BIO


BIOGRAPHY

First and foremost, Jon considers himself a songwriter.

Starting out at a young age as an actor, Cardiff born Jon discovered music and songwriting in his early teens.  

Encouraged at an early age by his parents, (his mother was a singer with the Welsh National Opera), Jon first recorded in a studio aged fourteen, using girls from his school as backing singers.  He was then given carte blanche at the BBC studios in Cardiff for the next few years, attracting the attention of several labels, settling on a deal with RCA in LA.

A prolific writer Jon won his first award for writing whilst still at school, (he won first place in a national short story competition, having lied about his age).  He had his first book of poetry published whilst living in California.

As an actor, his first stage performance was aged seven, in front of two thousand people at Cardiff’s Sophia Gardens Pavilion.  His high school drama teacher encouraged Jon’s acting, the result being various drama courses and training with LAMDA and the Welsh College of Music and Drama, appearing in many professional productions including the then newly born Chapter Arts, the Sherman and other Cardiff theatres, with Cardiff Laboratory Theatre Company and Orbit. A project that remains special to Jon is the "Magic Bus", a theatre company run by Phil Cope, and based in a red double-decker bus, that travelled around Cardiff and the surrounding areas putting on plays, performances and shows, all on a specially made mobile stage, in parks and other outside venues.

At Cardiff Art College, given a project meant to be a five minute presentation, Jon, who already had a 8mm film camera, had the idea of making a film, and with valuable input from others, the film went on to win an award for the college, and featured songs by the band Jon was in at the time.

Still in his teens Jon moved six thousand miles away, first to beautiful Santa Barbara, performing with some of music's biggest names - Joe Walsh, Peter Frampton, Daryl Hall (Hall and Oates), Kenny Loggins, Peter CeteraJoe Cocker and more, before moving to LA.  However, after the successful concerts, releases and TV/radio appearances, Jon became disillusioned with being an artist and suddenly abandoned his own career and turned to representing, writing for and producing a wealth of artists.   His LA based entertainment company in the 90's attracted and/or worked with many top professionals and household names, including two teen idols from the 70's; a true musical legend; and two Idol judges, amongst others, becoming a highly respected independent company, creating innovative campaigns and producing some outstanding music for its artists. 

Amongst his numerous personal appearances on television, film and radio, a special moment was appearing on the national Jerry Lewis telethon along with, amongst others, one Francis Albert Sinatra.  He has an impressive reputation for discovering new artists and songs, having been the person who has brought many successful artists to the attention of the industry, media and public and he is a respected authority on both music and film.  His weekly radio show for Fox in LA introduced many new artists.

Whilst living in LA Jon took his song-writing to another level, writing scripts, first developing one of his 'story songs' into a screenplay, followed by a second television screenplay for Fox.

On his return to the UK he set about writing his first stage play, the acclaimed WEEKEND BREAK, which was first performed at the world-renowned Edinburgh Fringe Festival at the Gilded Balloon with Jon starring in the male lead; reviews included "skilful writing"; "excellent acting"; "impressive". Jon also actually directed the play as well. Weekend Break has been adapted for screen and is now called ‘TIL LOVE DO US PART.

A trilogy of plays by Jon, including two new ones, has been published in a collection now available as a paperback, Waiting in the Wings. The strong influences that the British ‘kitchen sink’ dramas of the fifties and sixties (A Kind of Loving; Saturday Night, Sunday Morning; A Taste of Honey; The Family Way; Look Back in Anger etc.) and writers and producers such as Tony Richardson, Alan Sillitoe, Stan Barstow and Bill Naughton have had on Jon is evident in his own writing. He also cites John Steinbeck, James Lee Burke, Kinky Friedman, William Goldman and Dylan Thomas as other major influences.

The plays are; TRICK, a disturbing, gritty drama which tells the story of a teenage prostitute, who is a single mum fighting to get her son back from care; THE COLOUR OF LOVE, an electrifying contemporary Romeo and Juliet, set in modern day London, exploring the dangerous underlying racism that is threatening countries everywhere; and WEEKEND BREAK.

Jon specialises in ‘two-handers’ – plays with just two characters.  LOOK, TWO HANDS is available now from Amazon.

Jon new play, CIRCLES INTO SQUARES is being published in 2015, to accompany the premiere of the play in Nashville.

It is planned that Circles will be performed in Los Angeles and New York before being adapted and filmed as a small, independent film.  All the plays will be accompanied by radio adaptations and soundtrack CDs.  Audio/radio adaptations of two of the plays have already been recorded and are scheduled for release shortly.

The four track E.P., THE RODEO, which features "Only Hurts Me When I Breathe" and "I Don't Work Without You", was released in the summer of 2012.

Now equally dividing his time between the UK and Nashville Jon released his full debut solo album, COUNTRY TALES AND HOBO TRAILS, in Spring 2013, and was preceded with the release of a single, TELEGRAPH ROAD released in early 2013 which received extensive worldwide airplay, which is finally now being released in the US.

A second album, THE LONELINESS OF NIGHT, a naked and intimate romantic album, was released in Summer 2013, whilst a third album, THE JOURNEY .... SO FAR, was released in 2014.  

A new EP, CARNIVAL, is released in November 2015, to be followed by his long-awaited new album, SONGS FROM A TRAILER PARK, (a double album) which will be released January 2016. SONGS is a very intimate release and features demos and out-takes, recorded solely at home.  It accompanies his recent new collection of short stories, TRAILER PARK TALES, which was published early in 2015

Jon's last band in LA consisted of a Doobie Brother and members of Chicago and Bonnie Raitt's band, recording in Danny (Three Dog Night) Hutton's Trancas Canyon studio in Malibu, Danny providing backing vocals alongside Jon.

His earlier new age, instrumental CD, HALF MOON SUITE, has been reissued and a single, WINTER'S DAY, from the album was released.

Jon also has several other books now available, including WINTER, SPRING, SUMMER, FALL which was published in 2013 as was a new collection of poetry and song lyrics, POSTCARDS FROM THE ROAD.

His company currently also has major projects in development, created for television by Jon. 

The first is TELEGRAPH ROAD, a drama series highlighting 'small town America', written around a disgraced Washington-based journalist and writer who inherits a small-town family newspaper, returning to the town where he grew up, just outside Nashville, to face personal demons and to build bridges, mainly with his estranged teenage children.   The single of the same name is the title song.

The second project is a television series for the BBC based on a collection of short stories featuring the cases of a Cardiff P.I., based loosely on Jon's uncle who was the real thing in the sixties, a private detective in Cardiff.   There is a collection of short stories due in 2015 introducing JOHN BEDWYN HARVEST.   

A second paperback book of his poetry and song lyrics was published in late 2014, TODAY WAS TOMORROW YESTERDAY.

Three anthologies of his work were published in 2015; IT'S NOT MY FIRST RODEO, featuring all his short stories; SONGWRITER, featuring all his lyrics and poems; and SCENES FROM A DREAM, which features all his plays and scripts.

SIMON CRENSHAW


BIBLIOGRAPHY

BOOKS

The End of the Beginning (2009)

Winter’s Trilogy (2010)

Look, Two Hands (2010)

Spring; A Trilogy (2011)

           Tall Stories (2007)

           Telegraph Road (script) (2012) 

           Summer; A Trilogy (2013)

           Fall; A Trilogy (2013)

           Scripts (2013)

           Weekend Break (2103)

           Trick (2013)

           The Colour of Love (2013)

           Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall (2013)

           Waiting in the Wings (2013)

           Postcards From The Road (2013)

           Today was Tomorrow, Yesterday (2014)

           Songwriter (2015)

           It's Not My First Rodeo (2015)

           Scenes From A Dream (2015)

           Trailer Park Tales (2015)


DISCOGRAPHY

ALBUMS

Half Moon Suite (2008)

The Rodeo (EP) (2012)

            Country Tales and Hobo Trails (2013)

            The Loneliness of Night (2013)

            The Journey ... so far (2014)

Carnival (to be released 2015)

Songs From a Trailer Park (to be released 2016) 

 

SINGLES

            Telegraph Road (2013)

            Country Tales and Hobo Trails (2013)

            Winter’s Day (released December 3, 2012)

            Fallen (2013)

All books and music available from iTunes, Amazon and all major sites 

Limited CDs and selected books are available online from this site

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