Johnny Nicol

From the CD "Moving Forward"

JOHNNY NICOL was born at Ayr in far north Queensland. His introduction to music was at family gatherings around an upright piano played by his sisters. His first job was shovelling salt in Ayr's sweltering salt pans. Talent was Johnny's passport out of hard labour to the wondrous world of music. In his mid-teens Johnny journeyed south to Sydney and worked at various jobs including playing guitar at Bill McConnell's Redfern boxing gym where three Maori musicians linked up with Johnny and they formed the now legendary Maori Troubadours.

During his years with the Troubadours Johnny travelled the length and breadth of Australia and often performed up to fifteen shows daily in a marquee on showgrounds. He learned the craft of entertaining. Johnny left the Troubadours to go solo. Travelling overseas he combined his learned craft with his talent and performed in numerous prestigious venues including The Hacienda in Las Vegas, the Ilikai in Honolulu, the Fontainebleau in Miami, Lycayan Beach Hotel at Freeport in the Bahamas, several Playboy Clubs and many hotels and clubs in the UK, Europe and the Far East. Back in Australia Johnny quickly found his place as a contemporary jazz artist. Critics acclaimed him "the finest jazz guitar stylist in Australia" and "our own George Benson in both vocal style and jazz guitar technique". His following grew with exposure as a regular guest artist on television's national "Midday Show".

When Sydney's Regent Hotel first opened it's doors Johnny Nicol was the "star" in the Don Burrows Supper Club - a role he was asked back to fill regularly. During 1989 considerable recognition came Johnny's way with his nominations for three major awards - the Mo Award as an entertainer, the inaugural Ricky May Jazz Award, and the Artists and Performing Rights Award for the best Australian composition for his song "Where The Love Is" - the little song for his album for Larrikin Records. Also on this album Johnny sings the lovely ballad "Emily" as a dedication to his eldest daughter actress Emily Nicol which is better known as the scene-stealing "Chloe" in the TV Soap "A Country Practice". In 1990 the luxury Radisson Plaza Hotel, newest of the Cairns tourist resorts, brought Johnny back to far north Queensland to open and star in the hotel's showroom - "The Johnny Nicol Supper Club".

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