Nobody Knows Your Story

Rock n' Roll Pioneer, John Durrill, Formerly of the Ventures Tells His Story

June 17, 2020 Larry Camp Season 1 Episode 9
Nobody Knows Your Story
Rock n' Roll Pioneer, John Durrill, Formerly of the Ventures Tells His Story
Show Notes

John Durrill is a name you probably don't know but here's just a bit about him and why you'll want to listen to his story.

For almost six decades, award winning, songwriter John Durrill's works have been recorded by more than sixty major recording artists in the US and around the world. Frank Sinatra, Bette Midler, Cher, and Everly Brothers, Chicago, Ray Charles, Merle Haggard, The Statler Brothers, Joe Williams. Sarah Vaughn, Peggy Lee and Reba are a sampling of artists whose hits have sold over fifty million singles, albums, DVD's and CD's of John's compositions.

As a former high school English teacher in Oklahoma John, along with his close friend Mike Rabon, formed "The Five Americans" in 1963. John, Mike and group member Norm Ezell, wrote and sang the Group's first top ten hit, "I See The Light", soon followed by the number on record "Western Union" selling over a million copies.

In 1968 Durrill left the The Five Americans and joined the Internationally famous, instrumental group, "The Ventures" in Hollywood, California. Shortly after their mega hit "Hawaii 5-0", John co-wrote "Kyoto Doll" which was released by The Ventures in Japan and soon the multi million selling single became a standard recorded by scores of artists in the Far East. In March, 2008 The Ventures were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame along with John Mellencamp, Madonna, Leonard Cohen, and the Dave Clark Five.

Besides his over fifty year affiliation with The Ventures, John is one of the Music Industry's most prolific songwriters. In 1970 he joined forces with one of Hollywood's all time, most successful, record producers, Snuff Garrett. Virtually every record project produced by Snuff had the Durrill name attached to it as a writer. During this period, John worked with Clint Eastwood writing songs and music backgrounds for five of Clint's popular films. His song "Misery and Gin", written for the movie "Bronco Billy" went on to become number one in the charts for legendary Merle Haggard. In Eastwood's "Any Which Way You Can", Durrill wrote five of the movies songs, one of them, "The Good Guys and The Band Guys" on camera in the film.

John wrote for over twenty motion pictures and television series including "Smokey and The Bandit II", "Sharkey's Machine", "The Cannon Ball Movies", and "Reba".

Over the years Cher has recorded five of Durrill's songs including her number on hit, "Dark Lady" and "I Saw A Man" and "He Danced With His Wife". The Everly Brothers' sang three of his compositions and Chicago's XXV Christmas CD included his song "Child's Prayer" which he co-wrote with Lee Loughnane, one of the founding members of the group.

John continues to write and produce music, and when he can; he likes to visit Maui where I met him many years ago.