Whispering Jack

John Peter Farnham was born on the 1st of July 1949 in Dagenham in the UK. After 10 years his family emigrated to Australia. In 1964 while still at school he joined the band The Mavericks with a repertoire of only five songs. In 1965 he joined Strings Unlimited as lead singer. This resulted in a three-track demo tape. As a result of that Strings Unlimited performed as a backing band for pop singer Bev Harrell in 1967. Harrel's manager Darryl Sambell was impressed with Farnham's vocals and offered to become his manager. Farnham recorded a light advertising jingle "Susan Jones" for flight company Ansett-ANA and was offered a solo record contract by EMI.
Farnham in the Bobby Dazzler TV series
From 1967 till 1979 he had a career as a teen idol in Australia. He also starred in a television series "Bobby Dazzler" and did cabaret and stage musicals. 
Farnham in the middle here with The Little River Band in 82
Then in 1980 he joined The Little River Band until 1985 with hits like "Night Owl" and "The Other Guy". Farnham's first studio album of the 80's was titled "Uncovered" and only included one cover song by the Beatles "Help" released as a single which charted at #10 in Australia.
You're The Voice - single
Promo for "You're The Voice"
But in 1986 it all changed and he would record a real commercial pop record that would bring him success all over the world."Whispering Jack" would also become Australia's best selling album behind Meat Loaf's "Bat Out Of Hell". And it's the best sold album made by an Australian artist in Australia. It was finally released in October 1986.
Pressure Down - single
The album was a synth pop album produced by Ross Fraser. When Farnham visited a jazz club in the US he was mistakenly introduced as Jack Phantom. He also provided commentary for a local pool game on TV and named himself Whispering Jack Phantom after the Pot Black (BBC TV show for annual snooker tournaments) commentator "Whispering" Ted Lowe. Songwriters offered him the song "We Built This City" but he decided not to use it. This song would later be recorded by the US band Starship and became a hit in their hands.
Farnham in 1986
At first Australian radio shows refused to broadcast his new songs, because they couldn't match the idea of a teen idol transforming in a rock star. Things started to change after Sydney radio station 2Day FM played the first single "You're the Voice" from the new album. After that many other radio stations received requests for playing the song. The song reached #1 in Australia, #6 in the UK and #15 in the Netherlands. The song was written by Andy Qunta (ex-Icehouse), Keith Reid (Procol Harum), Maggie Ryder and Chris Thompson (ex-Manfred Mann's Earth Band). Besides "You're The Voice" also "Reasons", "Pressure Down" and "A Touch Of Paradise" were released as singles. "Whispering Jack" is definitely his best solo album. After this his solo career continued but he never made such a great album again. Simple and honest synth pop.
official album cover
Whispering Jack
Pressure Down / You're the Voice / One Step Away / Reasons / Going, Going, Gone / No One Comes Close / Love to Shine / Trouble / A Touch for Paradise / Let Me Out

You're The Voice - video

Pressure Down - video

Let Me out

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