Powell St. John

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Powell St. John
Birth namePowell St. John
Born (1940-11-18) November 18, 1940 (age 79)[1]
Houston, TX US
Associated actsMother Earth

Powell St. John born September 18, 1940, is an American singer and songwriter. He was a well-known figure on the mid-1960s Austin, Texas campus folk/bohemian music scene.[2] He was an occasional member of various Austin rock groups, including The Conqueroo, and he wrote some songs for The 13th Floor Elevators, including "You Don't Know (How Young You Are)," which was on their 1966 debut, The Psychedelic Sounds of the 13th Floor Elevators.[3]


Powell St. John was born in Houston, Texas on September 18, 1940. Three years later, his family moved to Laredo, Texas.[1] He went from Laredo to Austin, Texas in 1959 as a harmonica playing, beret-wearing beatnik.

Powell began his musical career in Austin in the early 1960s, playing at parties and clubs around the University of Texas campus. Eventually, he came to work with Kenneth Threadgill of Austin’s Threadgill’s Bar, performing with Janis Joplin and Lannie Wiggins in a small trio called The Waller Creek Boys. Later, in answer to a request for material from Tommy Hall of the 13th Floor Elevators, St. John wrote six songs for their two first albums.[4]

In the late '60s, Powell moved to San Francisco, California, and with Tracy Nelson, formed the band Mother Earth.[5] He, along with a couple of others, left the group after the second album when Mother Earth abandoned California to relocate to the Nashville area.[1]

Many musicians have recorded Powell’s songs, including Janis Joplin ("Bye, Bye Baby"), Boz Scaggs ("I’ll Forever Sing"), Mother Earth ("Living with the Animals", "The Kingdom of Heaven is Within You", "Marvel Group", "Then I'll Be Moving On", and "I, The Fly"), Roky Erickson ("Right Track Now"), Doug Sahm ("You Don’t Know"), and The Vietnam Veterans ("Right Track Now").

In 2005 the Texas Music Hall of Fame inducted Powell as part of the South by Southwest Music Conference.[4]

In Spring 2006 he was reunited with Roky Erickson in performance at South By Southwest in Austin, Texas.[4]

In 2009, he released his second solo album of new material, On My Way to Houston, Tompkins Square TSQ2233.[6]

Starting 2006, Powell St. John was performing in live concerts backed by The Aliens, the same band that once backed Roky Erickson on his famous recordings and performances.[4]

In Oct 2010 Powell had an interview with Music Life Radio where he discussed his life and times.


With Mother Earth[edit]

  • Living With The Animals (1968), Mercury SR 61194
  • Make A Joyful Noise (1969), Mercury SR 61226


  • Right Track Now (2006)
  • On My Way to Houston (2009), Tompkins Square TSQ2233
  • Women Rule (2015)[7]


  1. ^ a b c http://www.terrascope.co.uk/Features/Powell%20St%20John%20interview.htm
  2. ^ Bentley, Bill, The Kingdom of Heaven. Austin Chronicle, 2006. http://www.austinchronicle.com/music/2006-12-22/431087/
  3. ^ Margaret Moser (2006-12-22). "Powell St. John Reviewed". Austin Chronicle. Retrieved 2016-06-09.
  4. ^ a b c d "Biography". Retrieved 7 May 2017.
  5. ^ "Billboard Album Reviews". Billboard. 23 November 1968. p. 53. Retrieved 11 September 2010.
  6. ^ http://www.allmusic.com/album/on-my-way-to-houston-mw0000822621
  7. ^ "Announcing Powell's New Release! Women Rule". Retrieved 7 May 2017.

External links[edit]