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J.D. Souther

While J.D. Souther may have made his biggest impact on the country-rock sound behind the scenes or in a supporting role to some of the bigger pop names of the '70s, he had an impressive and critically acclaimed series of solo albums that have unfortunately all but disappeared from music fans' radar. Born in Detroit, Souther was raised in Amarillo, Texas, which may help explain his stylistic roots in both country and rock music. He was in a band called John David & the Senders (also known as the Cinders) while in high school, and later relocated to Los Angeles. He worked as a session musician, meeting Glenn Frey and eventually renting a house with him; the two were signed to Amos Records and recorded an album under the name Longbranch Pennywhistle.

Souther's connections with Frey would prove fruitful later when he collaborated on some of the Eagles' biggest hit songs like "Best of My Love," "Heartache Tonight," and "New Kid in Town." Previous to forming the Eagles, Frey had also played in Linda Ronstadt's band; their collaboration would lead to a long-term working partnership between Souther and Ronstadt. He produced her 1973 album Don't Cry Now and performed background vocals on it. Many of Ronstadt's albums would feature Souther's songs from then on, and he often performed as a vocalist on them as well. David Geffen encouraged Souther to form the Souther-Hillman-Furay Band with Chris Hillman and Richie Furay. The trio would record two albums before disbanding in 1975.

Souther's country-rock style was featured on four critically acclaimed -- but not particularly commercially successful -- solo albums, 1972's John David Souther, 1976's Black Rose, 1979's You're Only Lonely, and 1984's Home by Dawn. Frequent label changes plagued Souther, with each new company struggling to promote his music. Between albums, he also worked as a session player with Don Henley and Danny Kortchmar and collaborated with James Taylor on his song "Her Town Too," which appeared on Taylor's 1981 album. The late '80s brought a bit of a career change for Souther as he garnered acting roles for film and television. He had a recurring role on the television series thirtysomething, as well as roles in two independent films, To Cross the Rubicon and How to Make the Cruelest Month.

A seemingly revitalized Souther released If the World Was You on Slow Curve Records in 2008. He returned to his past with 2011’s Natural History, revisiting his key songs ("Best of My Love," "New Kid in Town," "Prisoner in Disguise," "Faithless Love,” "You're Only Lonely," and others) in spare, muted arrangements that quietly paint a world where everyone is desperate for love. Souther returned to acting as well. He played the occasional yet recurring role of songwriter Watty White in the first three seasons.

In early 2015, Souther performed at the inaugural Tucson Jazz Festival with pianist Billy Childs, who wrote the string and horn charts for the singer's May release, Tenderness. Produced by Larry Klein with the singer/songwriter on guitar and vocals, his studio band included pianist Chris Walters and saxophonist Jeff Coffin; as well as vocalist Lizz Wright and trumpeter Till Brönner. ~ Stacia Proefrock & Steve Leggett, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

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Track List: Something In The Dark (Single)

Comments

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A talented singer-songw r i t e r !
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Have loved J.D. Souther for years; has such a tenderness to his voice that really touches me.
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Great songs from a wonderful singer,chill i n g ,love songs.
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Don't read this because it actually works. You will be kissed on the nearest Friday by the love of your life. Tomorrow will be the best day of your life. However if you don't post this you will die in 2 days. Now you started reading this so don't stop. This is so scary put this on at lest 5 songs in the next 143 minutes. When done press f6 and your lovers name will appear on the screen in big letters this is so scary because it actually works
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great music !
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Phenomenal talent. See him in person.
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officemgr28
Love him!
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A little too syrupy for me
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GREAT TALENT!

MARK
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chahnel8
Loved him with Souther Hillman Furay band (great concert), as well as Linda Ronstadt. Glad to see him pop up on Nashville tv show.
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My fav is You're only lonley so far...

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Beautiful and heart felt!
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Souther's overwhelming talent proved enormously helpful to LINDA R. The Eagles and others. He will never be out of vogue to me.
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I loved his songs and his voice. He a very talented musician and song writer. His songs take me back in time, a better time.
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Greatartist, t o bad more people didn't appreciate his artistry. I found his albums in a used record store in the 70s and just about wore them out.
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NEVER HEARD A BAD SONG FROM HIM.GREAT TALENT
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We love JD Souther. His song Prisoner In Disguise - absolutely blew us away. My husband and I sing with a singer/songw r i t e r here in Austin, and we learned this song and performed it for several years at a great cafe downtown. We have any and all CDs we could find where he was the writer or performer. Souther is a great poet, and has the most incredible harmonies. Keep writing and singing. Barb and Mark Dotson, Austin, Texas
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Souther digs deep to get the emotional impact it takes to make a lasting song. "Closing Time" is a model of simplicity and self confidence which reflects great credit on him.
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brilliant writer with A silky-dreamy voice
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neshrebel
as a preforming artist in the 70's 80's, I never forgot his input as a writer/prefo r m e r in his songs. 'When youre only lonely' stuck with me forever.
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What a talent!
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dan8875
If Souther, as songwriter and Linda Ronstadt, as vocalist, only ever released one song, Faithless Love, they would far exceed the total output of many others. What an incredible composition and performance by both.
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kekiel2
Not only Black Rose, but there was the Souther Hllman Furay Band that was phenomenal.
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gymdandy54
I'm surprised that there's only one album listed here. In the early 70s JD did a rare vinyl called "Carry A Black Rose"
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hapa3838
I want to hear his newest CD/LP.
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Great voice and songwriter.
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Ditto...on that comment
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divico_g
what a sweet voice....by far one of the better singers of the past century...kd

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