John Smith and the New Sound


John Smith and the New Sound were a band from the UK originally, but their releases did much better in Germany and France than back home.

“Just A Loser” shows that soulful and heavy sound UK bands were getting at the time. It was written by F. Sheen. The version of “Birthday” is no improvement over the original. “Girl’s in Love” is an excellent uptempo track with horns. They have several other 45s, including “Don’t Back the Loser” and versions of “Winchester Cathedral” and “See See Rider”.

Recently John Smith himself wrote to me in 2008:

I would like to point out that the band pictured on the [sleeve above] is NOT the original “John Smith & the New Sound.” The original band frequently flew to Germany in 1966/67 where we had a hit record with “Winchester Cathedral.” We followed that up with “Snoopy vs the Red Baron”. The ‘B’ side of ‘Snoopy’ was “Send Her Home”…which was penned by John Smith. We appeared on “Beat Club” in Germany (TV Bremen), also in Hamburg, Munich & Frankfurt. My records were produced by his manager Bill Wellings. I hope this information is of some use … the reason it is so accurate is that I am the original John Smith (my real name incidently)!

I have a video of me performing “Winchester Cathedral” on ‘Beat Club’ in November 1966. Also appearing were Dave Dee & Co., David & Jonathan & a couple of others. I originally recorded “Winchester” with The New Vaudeville Band. Then Bill Wellings (my manager) created the John Smith line-up. The other [versions of] the band were formed after I went to Australia.

I did stay in music, and I started up a cabaret act on my own, sometimes using a guitarist as musical director. In 1969, I was offered a trip to Australia, as a cabaret act, so I went. I worked in Australia for many years, supporting some of the ‘greats’ such as: Guy Mitchell, Frankie Laine, Blood Sweat & Tears, Cilla Black, Chubby Checker, Bobby Rydell, Al Martino etc. I’m now 68 years of age and I live a quiet life in Devon.

Thanks to Borja for turning me on to ‘Girl’s In Love’, to John Smith for his recollections of the band, and to Bernd for the scans of the Winchester Cathedral and Don’t Back the Loser sleeves.


14 thoughts on “John Smith and the New Sound”

  1. I am looking to find an ALBUM by these guys called Rockin with John Smith and the New Sound which came out in 68 on Vogue records. Any clues where I might find this or other tracks by this band

  2. some songs of “rockin with…” are included in a vogue france compilation witch was released in 1987..called ” rock around the clock and 15 succès du rock n roll” it features “rock around”,”shakin all over”(awesome version),”be bop a lulla””shake ratlle and roll”,”all shook up” and other songs by brian burd..

  3. I’m from 1959, born and living in Denmark. My bigger sister, had a 45 record back in the late sixties with John Smidt and the new sound playing their version of “Snoopy vs. The Red Baron”. The record is in a terrible condition, but I managed to rip it to mp3, but the quality is not 100%. I looked up the song on the internet, and the song popped up a million times, but only with the original group The Royal Guardsmen. The version that John Smidt and the new sound recorded, is 500% better, if you like that song at all that is. The Royal Guardsmen sound lame when heard after John Smidt’s version.

    I cant find the “good” version anywhere on the internet. P.S. John Smidt’s version was very popular in Scandinavia in the sixties.

  4. This band had a big hit here in the Philippines with “Wait For Me Baby” backed with a cover of “Judy In Disguise”. It is now a collector’s item 45. I saw one on ebay a few weeks back and it is very expensive for a 45.

  5. Hi.
    The song “Snoopy vs.., is on LP “Original Beat aus England, Vol.16”
    as well as “send her home” – John Smith & The new Sound

  6. Great tracks. John Smith and the New Sound would have fit right in with the Spenser Davis Group and Small Faces in their day. You’d almost swear it was Ian McLagen playing organ on “Just a Loser,” though of course that was very much the sound in vogue then.

  7. Ich suche von John Smith and the new Sound eine CD mit dem Song (Snoopy vs. the
    red Baron). Bitte informieren sie mich , ob es diese CD auf dem Markt gibt.
    Danke im Voraus herzlichst Gerald Halder

  8. Funny I commented a while back about these guys sounding like Grant Smith.
    I don’t even remember doing that.

    I just found out an interesting thing ’bout John Smith and what a Canadian producer named Brian Ahearn did with some of his music. Alot of bed tracks from and even some with vocals (some alternate mixes) made it onto some Canadian “hits’ Releases.

    For instance, I have found that the so called ‘first release of a pink floyd cover’ widely talked about in the collectors circles by an obscure Toronto group ‘3 to 1’ who put out the single “see emily play” on ARC, just used the bed tracks to John Smith’s version mixed it to mono, and then added new vocals and those ultra cool samples in the middle from some kiddies record (prince paul, eat your heart out!)
    The 3 to 1 version, also pops up on the Yorkville records compilation “CTV after four” but it’s hidden, not listed on jacket or the label curiously.
    The exact same mix of “emily” appears in Canada on the ARC records compilation called “Flower Power” credited to the ‘Okee Pokey band”
    So, it is now obvious who released the version first.
    The Vogue records mixes sound a bit better for the most part, with few exceptions.
    I wonder how Brian Ahearn procured not just a mixdown, but unmixed reels.
    My biggest wonder (maybe Chas, you can do this..?)was John aware that this Canadian record label owner exploited this material?

  9. I asked John and this is what he replied:

    In answer to your first question “See Emily Play”, I didn’t record that song. If my name and my band was used, this is new to me, but I don’t think there’s much I can do about that is there!

    However, regarding [“You Keep Me Hanging On”], I did record that one at Pye Studios, Marble Arch in 1966(?). It was produced by Bill Wellings Productions and how the master tape was obtained, I cant tell you. At a guess, I’d say from Deutsche Vogue, but that’s only a guess.

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