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Johnny Coppin

Born 5 July 1946, Woodford, Essex, Johnny was the main man behind folk-rock combo, DECAMERON. Most of the mid-70s spent competing with LINDISFARNE, STRAWBS and many others, the quintet finally laid to rest after their fourth album, `Tomorrow’s Pantomime’.
JOHNNY COPPIN pressed the solo button courtesy of ROLL ON DREAMER (1978) {*6}, NO GOING BACK (1979) {*5} and GET LUCKY (1982) {*5}; supports to GERRY RAFFERTY and Jasper Carrott followed. For the remainder of the 80s, Johnny looked to settling for a certain country-esque, Cotswold-poets theme from selective works such as FOREST AND VALE AND HIGH BLUE HILL (1983) {*5} – aka “Songs of Gloucestershire” – to 1989’s EDGE OF DAY {*6}, the latter a collaboration with writer Laurie Lee; classical, military band and folk songs were timelessly unified for COPPIN’s next album project, THE GLORIOUS GLOSTERS (1990) {*7}.
A musical drama telling the story of war time composer/poet Ivor Gurney, COPPIN brought to stage (Worcester Swan Theatre) SONGS ON LONELY ROADS (1990) {*6}, a moving and vibrant production that co-billed the combined talents of actor/writer/broadcaster David Goodland; the festive SONGS & CAROLS FOR A WEST COUNTRY CHRISTMAS (1990) {*5} spotlighted outside help from Phil Beer, Paul Burgess, Mick Dolan, John Broomhall and Trevor Foster. With just about the same musicians (Gareth Sampson came in for Broomhall) and augmented further by guests Pete and Bill Zorn, FORCE OF THE RIVER (1993) {*7} was another eloquent and evocative piece of work boasting ageless gems like `River Song’, `Reach Out For You’, `May Not Be Far Away’ and `On A Hill In Shropshire’; ex-DECAMERON man Geoff March was added on A COUNTRY CHRISTMAS (1995) {*5} and stuck around for a specially commissioned set for the Festival Players Theatre Company paying homage to a certain 16th century bard, THE SHAKESPEARE SONGS (1997) {*6}.
Johnny’s most recent renderings have come through THE WINDING STAIR (2005) {*6}, an awesome collection from inside the British Isles and America, plus BREAKING THE SILENCE (2007) {*7}, an album of soaring harmonies co-billed with another excellent singer-songwriter, MIKE SILVER. Breaking the silence indeed, COPPIN finally stretched his mammoth CV by releasing comeback set, BORDERLAND (2014) {*6}.
© MC Strong 2010/GFD // rev-up MCS Aug2015

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