S2 E50 JOHN SWAN (SWANEE) Happiness, The James Wright Band, Southern Cross, Fraternity MK II, Feather, Blackfeather, The Party Boys, Order of Australia Medal, South Australian &Australian of The Year
Play • 1 hr 23 min

John Swan OAM, better known as Swanee, was born John Archibold Dixon Swan in Glasgow, Scotland in 1952, and migrated to Australia with his family in 1961. John is an Australian rock singer who started his musical career as a Drummer when he was 11, when he joined the Elizabeth Caledonian Pipe Band. When his mother remarried in the mid-1960s, he was the only child to keep the surname of his biological father. John left school aged 13 and joined his first professional band Happiness, as a drummer when he was fourteen. When he was seventeen, he enlisted in the Australian Army, and was discharged after two years of service. In early 1974 he was the drummer with The James Wright Band, moving on to Jim Keays' Southern Cross for a short time.

In 1975 he joined Adelaide band Fraternity MK II replacing Bon Scott on vocals for two years. In 1977 he became the vocalist with Feather. This band had been known as Blackfeather in the early 1970s, but by 1977 no original members were left so the name was shortened. Feather recorded one single with John, "Girl Trouble", before he left in 1978 to establish himself as a solo artist. Under the name Swanee by which he was already known, he released his debut solo single "Crazy Dreams" in 1979. An album, Into the Night, and several other singles followed. In late 1981, his version of "If I Were a Carpenter" became a national hit, peaking at number 5. The single was followed by the 1982 studio album This Time It's Different that spawned another two hits, "Temporary Heartache" and "Lady What's Your Name". In 1987, he replaced Angry Anderson as lead singer of The Party Boys. John's time with the band proved to be the group's most successful period. A cover of the John Kongos song "He's Gonna Step On You Again" peaked at number 1 on the Australian charts. The band's self-titled album made the Australian top 20. He remained with the band until 1989 before going solo again.

In 2015, John was announced as South Australia's Senior Australian of the Year, and in 2017, recognised for his work with various charitable organizations, he was appointed an Order of Australia Medal (OAM). If you have enjoyed this interview please share the link!

Music: Intro "Band It About" written and recorded by Catherine Lambert & Michael Bryant. Outro "Here's To You" which is off of Swanee's 2014 album One Day At A Time.

Links: https://www.swaneemusic.com/ 

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