Frank Kresen and I share a deep, lifetime affection for unique songwriter John Stewart, who died six years ago on January 19, 2006. I have written about John Stewart here, and I’m pasting in a link below to a post I wrote two years ago. But the real treat in this post is the PDF Preface — Johnny They Hardly Knew Ye — by Frank Kresen. Here it is. Frank is writing a book about John, and we will be publishing it here in installments. This is the first installment – enjoy! You can click on it and read it online, or right click (control click on a Mac) and download it. Many thanks to Frank Kresen for sharing this with all of us.
For those who know nothing about John, start with the realization the Rolling Stone named him one of the 100 most influential songwriters of the modern era. He was a member of the Kingston Trio before going single, and wrote Daydream Believer, which is a nice song but not representative of who he became. His most famous songs are California Bloodlines, July You’re a Woman, Kansas, Survivors, Mother Country, Big Horse, Eighteen Wheels — I could go on, but those are the first ones that come to mind.
Without further ado, here is the Preface to Frank’s book. Try reading it with some of John’s music playing int he background. Theoretically you can open it and read it online, or left click and download it, or left click and choose “Open in New Tab”.
My article remembering John:
And some YouTube Videos of some of his best songs (and there were many) — just go to Youtube and google “John Stewart”.