Bridget St. John


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At a Glance

Born: Oct 04 1946


Biography

BRIDGET ST. JOHN - a biography
by Nigel Cross

In his humorous liner notes for the Dandelion Records sampler LP, There’s Some Fun Going Forward the late DJ and Dandelion co-founder John Peel said of Bridget St. John:
" What can you hope to do with someone who won’t do a damned thing but go on being the best lady singer/songwriter in the country? We’ll keep trying though....” and in his sleeve note to the BBC Top Gear compilation, released in Autumn 1969, he wrote:
“ She’s my favourite lady singer (along with Fairport Convention’s Sandy Denny) in the whole world".

Having graduated from ... Read more

BRIDGET ST. JOHN - a biography
by Nigel Cross

In his humorous liner notes for the Dandelion Records sampler LP, There’s Some Fun Going Forward the late DJ and Dandelion co-founder John Peel said of Bridget St. John:
" What can you hope to do with someone who won’t do a damned thing but go on being the best lady singer/songwriter in the country? We’ll keep trying though....” and in his sleeve note to the BBC Top Gear compilation, released in Autumn 1969, he wrote:
“ She’s my favourite lady singer (along with Fairport Convention’s Sandy Denny) in the whole world".

Having graduated from Sheffield University in 1968,and with John Martyn's help,
Bridget made her first demo on a Revox owned by another rising singer/songwriter,
Al Stewart. Within weeks of leaving college, Bridget was recording her first BBC radio broadcast for John Peel’s eclectic Wednesday evening programme Night Ride. Her debut session aired on 28th August 1968 and would mark the first stage in a significant friendship with the late DJ. "John really liked what I did and the next day he rang up and had got me a spot on a television show How It Is. Then somehow he’d take me on gigs. I can’t remember how it evolved. We’d go to his discotheque and club dates, and I’d play for half an hour in between John playing records’.

When Peel and business partner Clive Selwood formed their own label, Dandelion,
Bridget St. John was one of the first signings. In 1969, following various other BBC radio and TV sessions, Bridget released a single To B without a Hitch/Autumn Lullabuy, and album Ask Me No Questions on Peel’s Dandelion label and was featured heavily on the Top Gear LP. She had also become a mainstay of the booming college and club circuit, and played some prestigious shows including two Royal Festival Hall concerts supporting Tom Paxton and Matthews Southern Comfort and Trees, at which she was given a standing ovation. And she even got to have her own half hour show on Radio One with special guests John Martyn and Kevin Ayers.

The start of the 70s might have seen folk rock and acoustic music blossom in the UK, but for Bridget St. John, 1970 was something of a quiet year in terms of record releases. This was in part due to distribution problems for Dandelion product. In October 1970 just as Peel and label co-partner Clive Selwood were switching from UK CBS to WEA, Bridget released one of the finest performances of her career: a single If You’ve Got Money b/w Yep. ‘Money’ was a real change of pace, a rocking tune with ‘hit’ stamped all over it, a catchy bop-shoo-wah style chorus and an all-star cast that included Steve Broughton on drums, David Bedford on piano, Mike Oldfield on cracking lead guitar and Kevin Ayers on bass – the latter also produced the single, and with and his old Soft Machine cohort Daevid Allen wrote Yep. At this time she was being represented by Peter Jenner and Andrew King’s Blackhill Enterprises Agency who put on so many great free concerts in Hyde Park during that halcyon era, so it was no surprise that she became firm friends with other members of their roster, which included Michael Chapman, the Edgar Broughton Band and Kevin Ayers & the Whole World. Bridget had met Kevin at a CND benefit gig at the Roundhouse in April 1969 and Ayers had asked Bridget to contribute to the Whole World’s second album for Harvest Records Shooting at the Moon and she duly complied with the enchanting Oyster & the Flying Fish – Ayers again producing, and fellow
Whole Worlder, David Bedford doing the arrangement. Bridget would later also sing
Jolie Madame on Kevin’s Odd Ditties LP. Fast-forward to 2007 and Bridget can be found singing harmonies on Kevin's highly acclaimed release Unfairground.

In 1971 Songs for the Gentle Man was released, a collaboration with producer-arranger Ron Geesin that Peel once described as the Sgt Pepper of its genre. As
Kim Cooper wrote in her piece on Songs for the Gentle Man included in the 2004 book Lost in the Grooves- Scram's capricious guide to the music you missed:
" Imagine a Nico of the buttercups, all sunshine, smiles and cautious optimism... a set of cool pastel originals garnished with a pinch of John Martyn and a splash of Donovan... A small record, yet one that fills the room and lingers."

At the beginning of 1972, Bridget seemed to be no nearer to a breakthrough into the big time. Press had been good, live gigs plentiful and sessions for Radio One a regular occurrence – Bridget also enjoyed a solid fan base yet she somehow remained on the margins, still far from being a household name – in part this was down to her record label’s continuing distribution problems. By the time of the release of her third album, Thank You For... Dandelion had hooked up with another major company, Polydor, though as ever it was still very difficult to find their releases in all but the hippest record stores. Thank You For… was the closest Bridget ever got to fully-fledged folk rock and was the album that should’ve finally established her as one of the leading singer/songwriters of her generation. The early 70s saw an explosion of solo performers armed with just a guitar or piano make their mark and ‘soft rock’ was the order of the day – listening now to this record and her previous ones, it remains a mystery as to why she didn’t go beyond a cult following. She definitely wrote and performed material that was the equal and at times even better than that of the late Nick Drake or Sandy Denny. Dandelion finally went belly up in early 1973 leaving its acts high and dry – Clive Selwood engineered a deal for Bridget with MCA though only one 45 was released –
Passing Thru, a Leonard Cohen song, and The Road Was Lonely, a St. John original. The single was produced by another friend, and a stalwart of the British acoustic scene, Michael Chapman,; Bridget can be heard singing harmony on Michael’s Deal Gone Down, album. Fortunately she was soon to land a new record contract – through Jo Lustig whom she had been introduced to by Steeleye Span bass player Rick Kemp – and signed a deal with Chrysalis, home to some of the biggest rock acts of the day such as Jethro Tull and Ten Years After, the blues rock legends of the Woodstock Festival whose bass player Leo Lyons would end up producing this album, Jumblequeen.

After cutting Jumblequeen in 1974 and doing some highly enjoyable live shows with both Pete Berryman and ex-Daddylonglegs guitarist Steve Hayton, Bridget made the bold move of relocating to New York in 1976 and has lived in the heart of Greenwich Village for over 30 years. She became involved in the vibrant New York music scene and, as well as playing prominent Village clubs - The Bottom Line, The Bitter End and Kenny's Castaways - she also appeared at Carnegie Hall and on the Central Park Wollman Rink Summer Stage. Since the birth of her daughter, Cristy, in 1983 she has continued to write, record and perform live. Road Goes On Forever Records released Bridget’s fifth album - a great compilation of recordings made between 1976 and 1982 called Take the 5ifth.
In December 2004, shortly after the sad passing of friend and mentor John Peel, she played a fine live set at Bush Hall in Shepherds Bush to great audience acclaim, which marked the beginning of a return to touring. In 2007, after a spring tour in Belgium, Bridget returned to the UK towards the end of November to play a London gig at the St. Sloysius Social Club, with Wizz Jones,, and then joined up with Michael Chapman for a short tour in the North of England and Scotland.

All of Bridget’s recordings are currently available: Cherry Red Records has reissued Bridget’s Dandelion catalogue, including all the singles, Hux Records has reissued Jumblequeen, and Road Goes On Forever Records has reissued Take the 5ifth.
A Japanese only album - Under Tokyo Skies - a live in concert recording was released in August of 2009 on the P-Vine label.
Spring of 2010 will see the issue on HUX Records of Bridget's BBC recordings - a double CD release; also a "Best of..." on Cherry Red Records- and a month long tour of the UK starting on March 31st in London and ending in Paris on April 27th. The good news is that she has started to do live work again and is beginning to gain a new younger audience who never saw her the first time around. Despite her slim body of work she may yet be recognised as one of the great British troubadours and take her rightful place alongside the likes of John Martyn, Sandy Denny and Donovan Leitch.

This biography was provided by the artist or their representative.

BRIDGET ST. JOHN - a biography
by Nigel Cross

In his humorous liner notes for the Dandelion Records sampler LP, There’s Some Fun Going Forward the late DJ and Dandelion co-founder John Peel said of Bridget St. John:
" What can you hope to do with someone who won’t do a damned thing but go on being the best lady singer/songwriter in the country? We’ll keep trying though....” and in his sleeve note to the BBC Top Gear compilation, released in Autumn 1969, he wrote:
“ She’s my favourite lady singer (along with Fairport Convention’s Sandy Denny) in the whole world".

Having graduated from Sheffield University in 1968,and with John Martyn's help,
Bridget made her first demo on a Revox owned by another rising singer/songwriter,
Al Stewart. Within weeks of leaving college, Bridget was recording her first BBC radio broadcast for John Peel’s eclectic Wednesday evening programme Night Ride. Her debut session aired on 28th August 1968 and would mark the first stage in a significant friendship with the late DJ. "John really liked what I did and the next day he rang up and had got me a spot on a television show How It Is. Then somehow he’d take me on gigs. I can’t remember how it evolved. We’d go to his discotheque and club dates, and I’d play for half an hour in between John playing records’.

When Peel and business partner Clive Selwood formed their own label, Dandelion,
Bridget St. John was one of the first signings. In 1969, following various other BBC radio and TV sessions, Bridget released a single To B without a Hitch/Autumn Lullabuy, and album Ask Me No Questions on Peel’s Dandelion label and was featured heavily on the Top Gear LP. She had also become a mainstay of the booming college and club circuit, and played some prestigious shows including two Royal Festival Hall concerts supporting Tom Paxton and Matthews Southern Comfort and Trees, at which she was given a standing ovation. And she even got to have her own half hour show on Radio One with special guests John Martyn and Kevin Ayers.

The start of the 70s might have seen folk rock and acoustic music blossom in the UK, but for Bridget St. John, 1970 was something of a quiet year in terms of record releases. This was in part due to distribution problems for Dandelion product. In October 1970 just as Peel and label co-partner Clive Selwood were switching from UK CBS to WEA, Bridget released one of the finest performances of her career: a single If You’ve Got Money b/w Yep. ‘Money’ was a real change of pace, a rocking tune with ‘hit’ stamped all over it, a catchy bop-shoo-wah style chorus and an all-star cast that included Steve Broughton on drums, David Bedford on piano, Mike Oldfield on cracking lead guitar and Kevin Ayers on bass – the latter also produced the single, and with and his old Soft Machine cohort Daevid Allen wrote Yep. At this time she was being represented by Peter Jenner and Andrew King’s Blackhill Enterprises Agency who put on so many great free concerts in Hyde Park during that halcyon era, so it was no surprise that she became firm friends with other members of their roster, which included Michael Chapman, the Edgar Broughton Band and Kevin Ayers & the Whole World. Bridget had met Kevin at a CND benefit gig at the Roundhouse in April 1969 and Ayers had asked Bridget to contribute to the Whole World’s second album for Harvest Records Shooting at the Moon and she duly complied with the enchanting Oyster & the Flying Fish – Ayers again producing, and fellow
Whole Worlder, David Bedford doing the arrangement. Bridget would later also sing
Jolie Madame on Kevin’s Odd Ditties LP. Fast-forward to 2007 and Bridget can be found singing harmonies on Kevin's highly acclaimed release Unfairground.

In 1971 Songs for the Gentle Man was released, a collaboration with producer-arranger Ron Geesin that Peel once described as the Sgt Pepper of its genre. As
Kim Cooper wrote in her piece on Songs for the Gentle Man included in the 2004 book Lost in the Grooves- Scram's capricious guide to the music you missed:
" Imagine a Nico of the buttercups, all sunshine, smiles and cautious optimism... a set of cool pastel originals garnished with a pinch of John Martyn and a splash of Donovan... A small record, yet one that fills the room and lingers."

At the beginning of 1972, Bridget seemed to be no nearer to a breakthrough into the big time. Press had been good, live gigs plentiful and sessions for Radio One a regular occurrence – Bridget also enjoyed a solid fan base yet she somehow remained on the margins, still far from being a household name – in part this was down to her record label’s continuing distribution problems. By the time of the release of her third album, Thank You For... Dandelion had hooked up with another major company, Polydor, though as ever it was still very difficult to find their releases in all but the hippest record stores. Thank You For… was the closest Bridget ever got to fully-fledged folk rock and was the album that should’ve finally established her as one of the leading singer/songwriters of her generation. The early 70s saw an explosion of solo performers armed with just a guitar or piano make their mark and ‘soft rock’ was the order of the day – listening now to this record and her previous ones, it remains a mystery as to why she didn’t go beyond a cult following. She definitely wrote and performed material that was the equal and at times even better than that of the late Nick Drake or Sandy Denny. Dandelion finally went belly up in early 1973 leaving its acts high and dry – Clive Selwood engineered a deal for Bridget with MCA though only one 45 was released –
Passing Thru, a Leonard Cohen song, and The Road Was Lonely, a St. John original. The single was produced by another friend, and a stalwart of the British acoustic scene, Michael Chapman,; Bridget can be heard singing harmony on Michael’s Deal Gone Down, album. Fortunately she was soon to land a new record contract – through Jo Lustig whom she had been introduced to by Steeleye Span bass player Rick Kemp – and signed a deal with Chrysalis, home to some of the biggest rock acts of the day such as Jethro Tull and Ten Years After, the blues rock legends of the Woodstock Festival whose bass player Leo Lyons would end up producing this album, Jumblequeen.

After cutting Jumblequeen in 1974 and doing some highly enjoyable live shows with both Pete Berryman and ex-Daddylonglegs guitarist Steve Hayton, Bridget made the bold move of relocating to New York in 1976 and has lived in the heart of Greenwich Village for over 30 years. She became involved in the vibrant New York music scene and, as well as playing prominent Village clubs - The Bottom Line, The Bitter End and Kenny's Castaways - she also appeared at Carnegie Hall and on the Central Park Wollman Rink Summer Stage. Since the birth of her daughter, Cristy, in 1983 she has continued to write, record and perform live. Road Goes On Forever Records released Bridget’s fifth album - a great compilation of recordings made between 1976 and 1982 called Take the 5ifth.
In December 2004, shortly after the sad passing of friend and mentor John Peel, she played a fine live set at Bush Hall in Shepherds Bush to great audience acclaim, which marked the beginning of a return to touring. In 2007, after a spring tour in Belgium, Bridget returned to the UK towards the end of November to play a London gig at the St. Sloysius Social Club, with Wizz Jones,, and then joined up with Michael Chapman for a short tour in the North of England and Scotland.

All of Bridget’s recordings are currently available: Cherry Red Records has reissued Bridget’s Dandelion catalogue, including all the singles, Hux Records has reissued Jumblequeen, and Road Goes On Forever Records has reissued Take the 5ifth.
A Japanese only album - Under Tokyo Skies - a live in concert recording was released in August of 2009 on the P-Vine label.
Spring of 2010 will see the issue on HUX Records of Bridget's BBC recordings - a double CD release; also a "Best of..." on Cherry Red Records- and a month long tour of the UK starting on March 31st in London and ending in Paris on April 27th. The good news is that she has started to do live work again and is beginning to gain a new younger audience who never saw her the first time around. Despite her slim body of work she may yet be recognised as one of the great British troubadours and take her rightful place alongside the likes of John Martyn, Sandy Denny and Donovan Leitch.

This biography was provided by the artist or their representative.

BRIDGET ST. JOHN - a biography
by Nigel Cross

In his humorous liner notes for the Dandelion Records sampler LP, There’s Some Fun Going Forward the late DJ and Dandelion co-founder John Peel said of Bridget St. John:
" What can you hope to do with someone who won’t do a damned thing but go on being the best lady singer/songwriter in the country? We’ll keep trying though....” and in his sleeve note to the BBC Top Gear compilation, released in Autumn 1969, he wrote:
“ She’s my favourite lady singer (along with Fairport Convention’s Sandy Denny) in the whole world".

Having graduated from Sheffield University in 1968,and with John Martyn's help,
Bridget made her first demo on a Revox owned by another rising singer/songwriter,
Al Stewart. Within weeks of leaving college, Bridget was recording her first BBC radio broadcast for John Peel’s eclectic Wednesday evening programme Night Ride. Her debut session aired on 28th August 1968 and would mark the first stage in a significant friendship with the late DJ. "John really liked what I did and the next day he rang up and had got me a spot on a television show How It Is. Then somehow he’d take me on gigs. I can’t remember how it evolved. We’d go to his discotheque and club dates, and I’d play for half an hour in between John playing records’.

When Peel and business partner Clive Selwood formed their own label, Dandelion,
Bridget St. John was one of the first signings. In 1969, following various other BBC radio and TV sessions, Bridget released a single To B without a Hitch/Autumn Lullabuy, and album Ask Me No Questions on Peel’s Dandelion label and was featured heavily on the Top Gear LP. She had also become a mainstay of the booming college and club circuit, and played some prestigious shows including two Royal Festival Hall concerts supporting Tom Paxton and Matthews Southern Comfort and Trees, at which she was given a standing ovation. And she even got to have her own half hour show on Radio One with special guests John Martyn and Kevin Ayers.

The start of the 70s might have seen folk rock and acoustic music blossom in the UK, but for Bridget St. John, 1970 was something of a quiet year in terms of record releases. This was in part due to distribution problems for Dandelion product. In October 1970 just as Peel and label co-partner Clive Selwood were switching from UK CBS to WEA, Bridget released one of the finest performances of her career: a single If You’ve Got Money b/w Yep. ‘Money’ was a real change of pace, a rocking tune with ‘hit’ stamped all over it, a catchy bop-shoo-wah style chorus and an all-star cast that included Steve Broughton on drums, David Bedford on piano, Mike Oldfield on cracking lead guitar and Kevin Ayers on bass – the latter also produced the single, and with and his old Soft Machine cohort Daevid Allen wrote Yep. At this time she was being represented by Peter Jenner and Andrew King’s Blackhill Enterprises Agency who put on so many great free concerts in Hyde Park during that halcyon era, so it was no surprise that she became firm friends with other members of their roster, which included Michael Chapman, the Edgar Broughton Band and Kevin Ayers & the Whole World. Bridget had met Kevin at a CND benefit gig at the Roundhouse in April 1969 and Ayers had asked Bridget to contribute to the Whole World’s second album for Harvest Records Shooting at the Moon and she duly complied with the enchanting Oyster & the Flying Fish – Ayers again producing, and fellow
Whole Worlder, David Bedford doing the arrangement. Bridget would later also sing
Jolie Madame on Kevin’s Odd Ditties LP. Fast-forward to 2007 and Bridget can be found singing harmonies on Kevin's highly acclaimed release Unfairground.

In 1971 Songs for the Gentle Man was released, a collaboration with producer-arranger Ron Geesin that Peel once described as the Sgt Pepper of its genre. As
Kim Cooper wrote in her piece on Songs for the Gentle Man included in the 2004 book Lost in the Grooves- Scram's capricious guide to the music you missed:
" Imagine a Nico of the buttercups, all sunshine, smiles and cautious optimism... a set of cool pastel originals garnished with a pinch of John Martyn and a splash of Donovan... A small record, yet one that fills the room and lingers."

At the beginning of 1972, Bridget seemed to be no nearer to a breakthrough into the big time. Press had been good, live gigs plentiful and sessions for Radio One a regular occurrence – Bridget also enjoyed a solid fan base yet she somehow remained on the margins, still far from being a household name – in part this was down to her record label’s continuing distribution problems. By the time of the release of her third album, Thank You For... Dandelion had hooked up with another major company, Polydor, though as ever it was still very difficult to find their releases in all but the hippest record stores. Thank You For… was the closest Bridget ever got to fully-fledged folk rock and was the album that should’ve finally established her as one of the leading singer/songwriters of her generation. The early 70s saw an explosion of solo performers armed with just a guitar or piano make their mark and ‘soft rock’ was the order of the day – listening now to this record and her previous ones, it remains a mystery as to why she didn’t go beyond a cult following. She definitely wrote and performed material that was the equal and at times even better than that of the late Nick Drake or Sandy Denny. Dandelion finally went belly up in early 1973 leaving its acts high and dry – Clive Selwood engineered a deal for Bridget with MCA though only one 45 was released –
Passing Thru, a Leonard Cohen song, and The Road Was Lonely, a St. John original. The single was produced by another friend, and a stalwart of the British acoustic scene, Michael Chapman,; Bridget can be heard singing harmony on Michael’s Deal Gone Down, album. Fortunately she was soon to land a new record contract – through Jo Lustig whom she had been introduced to by Steeleye Span bass player Rick Kemp – and signed a deal with Chrysalis, home to some of the biggest rock acts of the day such as Jethro Tull and Ten Years After, the blues rock legends of the Woodstock Festival whose bass player Leo Lyons would end up producing this album, Jumblequeen.

After cutting Jumblequeen in 1974 and doing some highly enjoyable live shows with both Pete Berryman and ex-Daddylonglegs guitarist Steve Hayton, Bridget made the bold move of relocating to New York in 1976 and has lived in the heart of Greenwich Village for over 30 years. She became involved in the vibrant New York music scene and, as well as playing prominent Village clubs - The Bottom Line, The Bitter End and Kenny's Castaways - she also appeared at Carnegie Hall and on the Central Park Wollman Rink Summer Stage. Since the birth of her daughter, Cristy, in 1983 she has continued to write, record and perform live. Road Goes On Forever Records released Bridget’s fifth album - a great compilation of recordings made between 1976 and 1982 called Take the 5ifth.
In December 2004, shortly after the sad passing of friend and mentor John Peel, she played a fine live set at Bush Hall in Shepherds Bush to great audience acclaim, which marked the beginning of a return to touring. In 2007, after a spring tour in Belgium, Bridget returned to the UK towards the end of November to play a London gig at the St. Sloysius Social Club, with Wizz Jones,, and then joined up with Michael Chapman for a short tour in the North of England and Scotland.

All of Bridget’s recordings are currently available: Cherry Red Records has reissued Bridget’s Dandelion catalogue, including all the singles, Hux Records has reissued Jumblequeen, and Road Goes On Forever Records has reissued Take the 5ifth.
A Japanese only album - Under Tokyo Skies - a live in concert recording was released in August of 2009 on the P-Vine label.
Spring of 2010 will see the issue on HUX Records of Bridget's BBC recordings - a double CD release; also a "Best of..." on Cherry Red Records- and a month long tour of the UK starting on March 31st in London and ending in Paris on April 27th. The good news is that she has started to do live work again and is beginning to gain a new younger audience who never saw her the first time around. Despite her slim body of work she may yet be recognised as one of the great British troubadours and take her rightful place alongside the likes of John Martyn, Sandy Denny and Donovan Leitch.

This biography was provided by the artist or their representative.

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