Singer-songwriter-musician John Babcock was born in Nyack, New York, a small village situated on the banks of the Hudson River. At age six, John’s father introduced him to the drums, teaching him various styles of rock, jazz, Latin and swing.
When John was eleven, he auditioned for The Pearl River Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps and got a spot in the drumline. There, his father’s instruction served him well. He performed with the Corps for six years, developing his technique and winning numerous percussion awards. In 1972, the Cadets performed for United States President, Richard M. Nixon. In 1975, the Corps won seven captions in a single competition and became the 1975 American Drum Corp and Heritage Color Guard Circuit Champions.
By the fall of 1976, John joined The Muchachos from Hawthorne, New Jersey, a corps considered one of the best in the country. He played in The Muchachos snare line for two years, performing with the Corps at the CYO Nationals “Dream” Contest, the U.S. Open, the American International Open, the World Open and many other top national shows. On August 17th 1977, the Corps performed at Giant’s Stadium in the Meadowlands to a sold-out audience of 77,691. They also played at Shea Stadium August 19th, 1977, home of the Mets, and the site of two historic Beatles concerts.
John left his drum corps days behind in 1978 when he was offered an artist development deal with Suede Productions and New Jersey producer Bob Suede. Over the next couple of years, he composed and recorded dozens of original songs, developing and refining his work. John worked with Singer songwriter Leslie Pearl (If The Love Fits Wear It) who sang background vocals on his sessions, along with session guitarist Keith Loving (Killing Me Softly. The closer I Get To You).
In the early ‘80s, John recorded two albums with two New York-based original bands, US City and 4 on the Floor. Influenced heavily by British pop and the Motown/STAX sounds, he continued to compose his own brand of pop songs and performed at many of the most popular venues in New York City and throughout the tri-state area.
From London to Woodstock
In 1985, John traveled to London, England to begin recording his first solo album at the famed EMI Abbey Road Studios. The finished disc, Outta De Bleu, an independent release, was a Northeast regional success with the single “Always Be Around” charting at #20 based solely on listener requests on New York radio station WGRC.
In 1988, for the 25th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s Assassination, John composed a tribute song, “Passing the Torch,” and created a video with producer Bob Suede that was aired nationally on “The Joe Franklin Show” on WOR Channel 9. The following year, he was invited to take part in a concert celebrating the 20th anniversary of Woodstock, at the original site on Yasgar’s farm in Bethel, New York. He shared the stage with Woodstock veterans Richie Havens and Wavy Gravy.
Florida & The British Invasion
When John relocated to Orlando, Florida in 1990, he immersed himself in the local music scene, performing as a solo acoustic act that garnered him a nomination for Best Solo Performer by Central Florida’s #1 music showcase, “the Jammy’s.”
Returning to Abbey Road Studios in 1991, he began sessions for his second album, Matthew Street. He composed, performed and produced the disc and enlisted the vocal, lead guitar and engineering talents of long-time friend David Mikeal. The single “Matthew Street” was released in Germany on Deep Cut Records in 1996 and received heavy airplay and excellent reviews.
In 1997, John joined The British Invasion, a Beatles/‘60s tribute show at Walt Disney World’s EPCOT Center U.K. Pavillion. He also toured with the cast of Beatlemania, performing 18 concerts in 14 U.S. cities.
Later Albums & Recent Recordings
Between 1997 and 2003, John composed and recorded four more albums: Life through the Looking Glass Vol. 1, 17 Castle Heights, Chiller Theatre with guests Joe Lynn Turner (Rainbow, Deep Purple) and Liberty Devitto (Billy Joel Band) the funky “Nothin’ Mo’ Betta.” He also played with Byrds’ founder and Rock n’ Roll Hall of Famer Rodger McQuinn for the Orlando Ballet fundraiser concert in 2002.
During 2003-2004, John saw the release of two compilations of his earliest recordings, 1st Sessions and Hackensack Daze. He recorded and released The Gnomes of Marydell in 2005, a DVD electronic press kit (EPK) and a “best of” CD entitled Reel Music: A Collection. In 2006, he released CDs from his two original bands, US City and 4 on the Floor.
In 2008 John released his 10th CD of original songs entitled "It Is What It Is." Most recently a new remastered best of CD collection entitled "Twenty" is now available at John's live performances, as well as the JB's Abby Road Tour & Video Album DVD.