John Schroeder (musician)

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John Schroeder
Birth name John Francis Schroeder
Born 1935 (age 80–81)
Genres Easy listening, pop
Occupation(s) Composer, arranger, record producer
Years active 1960s-present

John Francis Schroeder (born 1935) is a British easy listening composer, arranger, and producer. In 1961, Schroeder won an Ivor Novello Award for co-writing "Walkin' Back to Happiness".[1]

Life and career[edit]

Schroeder worked as an A&R assistant to Norrie Paramor at Columbia Records. He was also a songwriter and, with Mike Hawker, wrote the song "Walkin' Back to Happiness", which in a version by Helen Shapiro reached number one in the UK Singles Chart during 1961.[2] Schroeder also co-wrote two other hits for Shapiro, "Don't Treat Me Like a Child" and "You Don't Know".[3]

Later he moved to independent British label, Oriole as A&R chief, and whilst he was there he brokered an early licensing deal with Motown for British distribution on the label.[4] It subsequently issued such singles as The Contours' "Do You Love Me" and "Fingertips" by Little Stevie Wonder.[1]

In the mid 1960s, Schroeder moved to Pye and formed the instrumental pop outfit Sounds Orchestral with Johnny Pearson. They had an international hit with their version of "Cast Your Fate to the Wind", which included reaching No. 5 in the UK chart.[4][5] With this group as well as under several other names, including his own, he released a large number of easy listening covers of popular songs. While many of these saw little critical acclaim upon release, there was a resurgence in interest in them in the 1990s, when they became popular tracks in London dance clubs,[4] and appeared on soundtracks to films such as the Ocean's Eleven franchise.

During his tenure with Pye, Schroeder oversaw their Piccadilly subsidiary label, eventually launching the career (after several false starts) of Status Quo, beginning in 1968 with their first hit, "Pictures of Matchstick Men".[1]

In the early 1970s, John Schroeder started Alaska Records, best known for the label's work with Cymande.[1] The Alaska label was subsequently joined by another of John Schroeder's, that being Janus Records. In the early 1980s, John Schroeder moved to Canada, living and working there until the early 1990s.

He now lives in Surrey, England. His autobiography, Sex and Violins was published in 2009.[6] Two years later, Schroeder again became an author, writing and publishing a second book titled, Cozy Cats Cottage plc.[7] This book is unrelated to the music industry and told the story of fictional character Angela Tillsworthy, and how she formed a company employing friendly cats to help the needy. It was published in 2011.



  • Working in the Soul Mine (Pye, 1966)
  • The Dolly Catcher (Piccadilly, 1967)
  • Witchi-Tai-To (Pye, 1971)
  • You've Made Me So Very Happy (Marble Arch, 1971)
  • Dylan Vibrations (Polydor, 1972)
  • Latin Vibrations (Polydor, 1971)
  • Love Vibrations (Polydor, 1972)
  • Party Dance Vibrations (Polydor, 1972)
  • T.V. Vibrations (Polydor, 1972)
  • Gangster Movie Vibrations (Polydor, 1972)[4][8]


  • "Soul for Sale" (Pye, 1966)[9]
  • "The Fugitive Theme" (Piccadilly, 1965)[10]
  • "On The Ball (World Cup Theme)" (Pye, 1966)[11]
  • "Wanna Thank You Girl" (Pye, 1971)[12]
  • "One Way Glass" (Pye, 1971)[13]
  • "I'm Gonna Change" (Alaska, 1975)[14]
  • "All Night" (Alaska, 1975)[15]



  1. ^ a b c d "John Schroeder, Alaska Records, Pye, Oriole, Oriole American, Sounds Orchestral, Helen Shapiro, Status Quo, Mersey Beat". 4 December 1961. Retrieved 5 January 2013. 
  2. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 494. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  3. ^ "John Schroeder". Retrieved 5 January 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c d Unterberger, Richie. "John Schroeder – Music Biography, Credits and Discography". AllMusic. Retrieved 5 January 2013. 
  5. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 516. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  6. ^ "Sex and Violins: "My Affair with Life, Love and Music" – John Schroeder – Google Books". Retrieved 6 January 2013. 
  7. ^ "Cozy Cats Cottage Plc – John Schroeder – Google Books". Retrieved 6 January 2013. 
  8. ^ "John Schroeder Discography at Discogs". Retrieved 5 January 2013. 
  9. ^ "John Schroeder Orchestra – You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling / Soul For Sale (Vinyl) at Discogs". Retrieved 6 January 2013. 
  10. ^ "John Schroeder Orchestra, The – The Fugitive Theme (Vinyl) at Discogs". Retrieved 6 January 2013. 
  11. ^ "John Schroeder Orchestra, The – On The Ball (Vinyl) at Discogs". Retrieved 6 January 2013. 
  12. ^ "John Schroeder – Wanna Thank You Girl (Vinyl) at Discogs". Retrieved 6 January 2013. 
  13. ^ "John Schroeder Orchestra* – One Way Glass (Vinyl) at Discogs". Retrieved 6 January 2013. 
  14. ^ "John Schroeder Orchestra* – I'm Gonna Change / First Love (Vinyl) at Discogs". Retrieved 6 January 2013. 
  15. ^ "John Schroeder Orchestra* – All Night (Vinyl) at Discogs". Retrieved 6 January 2013. 

External links[edit]