Johnny Harris (born John Stanley Livingstone Harris in 1932) is a Scottish-born composer (of Welsh parentage), producer, arranger, conductor, and musical director. He has lived in the U.S. since 1972.
The British years (1932–1972)
Johnny Harris was born in Edinburgh, Scotland and is a graduate of the Guildhall School of Music in London. Originally a trumpet player with the Norman Burns band & big bands led by Vic Lewis, Ken mackintosh, Cyril Stapleton and then a member of the short-lived beat group The Shubdubs with drummer Jimmie Nochol and organist Roger Coulam. In 1964, he recorded a Beatles cover version album and EP called "Beatlemania" with Jimmie Nicol which resulted in Nicol replacing the ill Ringo Starr on a worldwide Beatles tour. He joined Pye Records in 1965 as an arranger and conductor for producer Tony Hatch and his then-wife Jackie Trent. Johnny had an un-credited role as conductor on the "Nancy Sinatra In London" album and worked with many other artists in the sixties as a staff member at Pye. He worked freelance for many other record labels in Great Britain and Europe and was a regular arranger, conductor, and producer for Petula Clark until she left Pye in 1971.
The first official colour programme on BBC 1 was a concert by Petula Clark with the Johnny Harris Orchestra from the Royal Albert Hall, London, broadcast at midnight on 14/15 November 1969. He arranged, conducted and produced the majority of tracks on the Shirley bassey albums "Something", "Something Else", "I Capricorn", "And I Love You So", "Never Never Never" and "All By Myself" and many tracks on Tom Jones albums. Johnny was the musical director for the BBC light entertainment show Happening For Lulu in 1968-69 with the Scottish singer Lulu and conducted her Eurovision Song Contest joint-winner "Boom Bang-A-Bang" in Madrid, 1969 which led to him gaining a solo record deal with Warner Bros. UK. He was the musical director for the BBC/ZDF co-production "Pop Go the Sixties" broadcast on BBC 1 on 31 December 1969 and had his own BBC Show Of The Week called "Up Tight" featuring Georgie Fame and Lulu.
His ground-breaking album "Movements" was recorded with the best London session musicians in the spring of 1970, was performed live at the Royal Albert Hall and was pressed by Warner's three times in the UK (on orange, green and Burbank labels) and finally reissued on CD by Warner Bros. UK in 2002 with remastered sound, bonus tracks and an in-depth interview with Johnny talking about the album and his long career. "Movements" was again released in 2015 as a limited edition SHMCD by Warner Bros. Japan for the Japanese only market (this is the first time Movements has been issued in Japan). "Movements" was again out-of-print worldwide in 2017 until a vinyl only release made in Australia came out in November.
Singles released from the album were the space age classic Footprints On The Moon (1969) and the moody suspense theme Fragment Of Fear (1970) from the film of the same name starring David Hemmings. Shirley Bassey recorded a vocal version of his arrangement of The Doors "Light My Fire" from "Movements" on her 1970 "Something".
issued in the US as "Shirley Bassey Is Really "Something" album which she still performs today.
Warner Bros. UK also released his "Man in the Wilderness" film soundtrack (1971) and the sequel to "Movements" - "All To Bring You Morning" (1973) before he left for the US to work with Paul Anka.
He composed the scores for several cult British films including Fragment of Fear (1970), Bloomfield (1971, his score was recorded in 1969 featuring Maurice Gibb of The Bee Gees), Man in the Wilderness (1971) and I Want What I Want (1972).
The American years (1972–present)
Johnny moved to the United States to record and conduct his orchestra in Las Vegas with Paul Anka where Elvis Presley asked him to lead his Vegas band. In 1973, while back in the UK at Advision Studios, he recorded the album "All To Bring You Morning", with progressive rock musicians from the group Yes, Jon Anderson on vocals, Steve Howe on guitars and Alan White on drums who happened to be working in the next studio at Advision and asked to be involved in his follow-up album to "Movements".
He continued to work with Paul Anka until 1977 and after that, he wanted to concentrate on scoring for film and television which led to a long-time gig as the musical director for Lynda Carter after he scored the third season of her television series of Wonder Woman in 1979.
Lynda Carter and the Johnny Harris Orchestra toured the world in 1980 to support her debut single for Motown Records "The Last Song". His 1980 Miami disco hit Odyssey (TK Records) featured prominently on popular video game Grand Theft Auto : San Andreas playing on Bounce FM funk radio, as well as being in the lowrider challenge mission. The song was also featured in the Buck Rogers in the 25th Century episode "Space Rockers", he originally wrote the song for that episode and arranged the opening Buck Rogers in the 25th Century theme music composed by Stu Phillips. The first 40 seconds of the Buck Rogers main-title theme is an original Johnny Harris composition before Stu's theme starts.
Johnny's original music is still finding a new audience today with his score to the first season of Buck Rogers In The 25th Century released in 2013 and his contemporary Disco score to the third season of Wonder Woman released in 2017.
- 1966 : The Heart of Bart, United Artists Records SULP 1152
- 1966 : A Handful Of Songs, United Artists Records UAS 6607
- 1966 : The Guitar Workshop, Pye Records NSPL 18165
- 1970 : Movements, Warner Bros Records WS 3002
- 1972 : Man In The Wilderness, Warner Bros Records K 46126
- 1972 : Bloomfield, Pye Records NSPL 18376
- 1973 : All To Bring You Morning, Warner Bros Records K 46187
- 2013 : Buck Rogers In The 25th Century - Season One, Intrada Records 255
- 2017 : Wonder Woman - Season Three, La-La Land Records
- 2017 : Fragment Of Fear, Orchard Strike Records
Johnny Harris - Movements
UK Warner Bros. WS 3002 stereo (1970).
This record for sale is the 1970 Warner Bros. orange label 1st press.
Album produced by Daniel Secunda and Johnny Harris.
The vinyl record has remained in excellent condition.
Audio quality is very clear and strong throughout.
Both record centre labels are clean, unmarked, and free from tears, stains or stickers.
The album's laminated cover is in excellent condition, displaying only minimal signs of wear.
The album cover has a strong spine, displaying very clear, printed script.