Johnny Favourite Swing Orchestra

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Johnny Favourite Swing Orchestra
OriginHalifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
GenresSwing revival
Years active1996-2000
Past members
  • Stuart "Johnny Favourite" Bastow
  • John Wesley Chisholm
  • Trevor Wentzell
  • Pat Leonard
  • Wes Mackey Jr.
  • Colin Hudson
  • Pete Johnston
  • Matt Myer
  • Craig Sheppard
  • "Hound Dog" Dave Fitzgerald
  • Eric Landry
  • Andrew Killawee
  • David Christensen
  • Dawn Hatfield
  • Dean Drouillard
  • Ryan Fontaine
  • Marty Coles
  • Melanie Moore
  • Shaun Murphy

Johnny Favourite Swing Orchestra was a Canadian swing revival band,[1] active in the late 1990s.[2]

Formed in Halifax, Nova Scotia by jazz singer Stuart "Johnny Favourite" Bastow, the band released its debut album The Life Desire independently in 1997.[3]

Other band members included John Wesley Chisholm, Wes Mackey Jr., Colin Hudson, Pete Johnston, Matt Myer, Craig Sheppard, "Hound Dog" Dave Fitzgerald, Eric Landry, David Christensen, Dawn Hatfield and Andrew Killawee.

They won an East Coast Music Award for Best Jazz Group in 1998,[4] and signed to Universal Records that year.[5] Soon afterward, however, Chisholm left the band after the birth of his second child;[6] he subsequently received two Genie Award nominations, for both Best Original Song and Best Original Score, for his work composing music for the film Beefcake.[7]

The band's second album, Holiday Romance, was released in fall 1998.[8]

By this time the band was a popular touring act,[9] whose live show included original material, jazz standards and covers of classic and hard rock songs by bands such as Led Zeppelin and The Band.[10] They garnered radio and MuchMusic airplay for singles such as "Rootbeer & Licorice" and "We Still Talk".[11] "Rootbeer & Licorice" charted on the Adult Contemporary charts in RPM, peaking at #32 the week of January 11, 1999.[12]

The band won the Juno Award for Best New Group at the Juno Awards of 1999.[13]

Because the band had up to 14 members at various times, it underwent frequent personnel changes and internal tensions.[14] The band broke up following a show in Halifax in early 2000;[14] Bastow continued to use the name Johnny Favourite as a solo artist,[15] and released his first solo album The Tonight Album in fall 2000.[14] Five of the former Swing Orchestra bandmembers continued as his solo backing band.[14] He moved to Portugal for several years in the 2000s, before returning to Canada near the end of the decade;[16] his second solo album, Troubadour, was released in 2010.[16]


  1. ^ "Johnny's a crowd Favourite". Halifax Daily News, April 8, 2004.
  2. ^ "Band a favorite with swinging fans". Kingston Whig-Standard, June 10, 1998.
  3. ^ "Can't beat the swing on Favourite album". Halifax Daily News, August 22, 1997.
  4. ^ "Austin, Glamour Puss win big". Telegraph-Journal, February 2, 1998.
  5. ^ "Life desire becomes reality for Favourite: crooner signs deal with Universal". Halifax Chronicle-Herald, July 18, 1998.
  6. ^ "Favourite orchestra, John Wesley Chisholm dissolve partnership". Halifax Chronicle-Herald, September 9, 1998.
  7. ^ "Genie Award nominations". Toronto Star, December 8, 1999.
  8. ^ "Swigging and swinging to his heart's content". National Post, November 10, 1998.
  9. ^ "Swing returns as Favourite on dance floor". Calgary Herald, February 5, 1999.
  10. ^ "Johnny comes out swinging!: Swing is one of the hottest trends of the '90s -- and this band should know". The Province, February 11, 1999.
  11. ^ "Maritime swing band has pop attitude". Victoria Times-Colonist, January 29, 1999.
  12. ^ Adult Contemporary Tracks. RPM, January 11, 1999.
  13. ^ "Triumphant, Favourite coming back home: Weekend shows his first here since copping best new group Juno". Halifax Daily News, April 1, 1999.
  14. ^ a b c d "Just in time for summer: Johnny Favourite is smooth, solo and back on your radio". National Post, July 6, 2000.
  15. ^ "Still a Favourite, despite Juno curse". Kingston Whig-Standard, July 25, 2000.
  16. ^ a b "The Province Playlist; Featured artist: JOHNNY FAVOURITE, 'What a Difference a Day Makes'". The Province, July 6, 2010.