Bridget St John
|Bridget St John|
Bridget St John, 2003
|Birth name||Bridget Ann Hobbs|
4 October 1946 [|
Surrey, England, UK
|Occupation(s)||Singer, guitarist, songwriter|
|Years active||1968–1976; 1999–present|
Bridget St John (born Bridget Ann Hobbs; 4 October 1946, Surrey) is an English singer-songwriter, best known for the three albums she recorded between 1969 and 1972 for John Peel's Dandelion record label. Peel produced her debut album Ask Me No Questions. She also recorded a large number of BBC Radio and Peel sessions and toured regularly on the British college and festival circuit. St. John appeared at leading folk venues in the U.K., along with other folk and pop luminaries of the time such as Nick Drake, Paul Simon, and David Bowie, among others. In 1974 she was voted fifth most popular female singer in that year's Melody Maker readers poll.
Bridget grew up in a musical household where her mother and sisters were all accomplished pianists. She took piano lessons at her mother's behest, but she didn't get along with her teacher and quit when she was 11. After studying the viola for a while, St. John bought a guitar with 20 pounds her grandmother gave her shortly before she finished high school. Her first performances were at Sheffield University in 1964-5. After a few cameos in between zany sketches by the revue team her very first "proper gig" was at a pub in Rotherham. That night she walked back home to Sheffield under the stars and knew she was destined to become a musician and performer. Blessed with a rich, husky vocal style, she is also an accomplished guitar player who credits John Martyn and Michael Chapman as her "musical brothers".
Her second album Songs for the Gentle Man, was produced by Ron Geesin. This album was a significant step up from her debut, and contained string arrangements by mostly by Geesin himself, particularly striking on the opening track, 'A Day A Way' and 'Seagull- Sunday'. Her third album, released in 1972, 'Thank You For...' was even more ambitious and utilized more musicians with a folk-rock sound. The album was her last album for John Peel's Dandelion label, however, which folded due to its artists' lack of commercial success. She recorded another album, Jumble Queen, for Chrysalis Records in 1974, but by this time her career momentum had stalled.
She emigrated to Greenwich Village in 1976 and virtually disappeared from the public eye for over 20 years. She took part in the Strawbs 25th Anniversary festival held in 1993. Bridget released a 'come-back' album in 1996, 'Take The Fifth' and appeared at a Nick Drake tribute concert in New York in 1999. She toured Japan in 2006 with the minimalist French musician Colleen, and appeared with the Electric Strawbs in the B.B. King Blues Club and Grill (NYC) on 27 June 2007.
Aside from work under her own name, Bridget St John has also recorded with Mike Oldfield on his albums Ommadawn (1975) and Amarok (1990), as well as Kevin Ayers and Robin Frederick. In 2007 she reunited with Ayers to record "Baby Come Home" on his album The Unfairground.
- Top Gear (BBC) 1969 includes four tracks by St John
- Ask Me No Questions (Dandelion) 1969
- John Martyn (guitar), Richard Sanders (guitar), Bridget St John (vocals, guitar, keyboards), Simon Stable (bongos), producer: John Peel
- "To B Without A Hitch"
- "Autumn Lullaby"
- "Curl Your Toes"
- "Like Never Before"
- "The Curious Crystals of Unusual Purity "
- "Barefeet And Hot Pavements"
- "I Like to Be with You in the Sun" (Song for the Laird of Connaught Hall)
- "Lizard-Long-Tongue Boy"
- "Hello Again (Of Course)"
- "Many Happy Returns"
- "Broken Faith"
- "Ask Me No Questions"
- Songs for the Gentle Man (Dandelion) 1971
- Thank You For... (Dandelion) 1972
- Jumblequeen (Chrysalis) 1974
- Take the 5ifth (Road Goes on Forever) 1996
- Profile, ascap.com; accessed 29 September 2015.
- Anna Richardson, unidentified article, Cumberland News, 2007; reproduced within the interview at the Wayback Machine (archived July 8, 2011) of St John's previous website.
- Davies, Gill. "Celtic Connections Festival 2012-Bridget St John", bbc.co.uk; retrieved 29 May 2013.
- Pullella, Philip. "Bridget St. John happy with move to the Village". St. Petersburg Times, 12 April 1978, p. 3D; retrieved 29 May 2013.
- Various sources, reproduced within the Interview at the Wayback Machine (archived July 8, 2011) of St John's previous website.
- Jerry McCarthy, "Bridget St. John, dryden29.net, 27 June 2007.
- Bridget St John's website at the Wayback Machine (archived July 8, 2011)
- Interview, Terrascope.co.uk; accessed 29 September 2015.