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John Paul Young (born 21 June 1950 in Glasgowmarker, Scotlandmarker) (known as JPY or Squeak to fans) is an Australian pop singer-songwriter who had a 1978 worldwide hit with "Love Is in the Air". Initially performing as John Young, he was associated with songwriters/producers, Vanda & Young (ex-The Easybeats), who provided him with "Love Is in the Air", "Yesterday's Hero", "I Hate the Music" and "Standing in the Rain", his career was boosted by regular appearances as a performer and guest host on national broadcaster, ABC'smarker 1974–1987 TV series, Countdown. For touring purposes he fronted The All Stars, who also worked with Vanda & Young's former bandmate Stevie Wright. The All Stars included, Warren Morgan (ex-Chain, Billy Thorpe & the Aztecs) on piano and vocals, who co-wrote songs with Young. Besides, "Love Is in the Air", Young had top ten chart success in Germanymarker and The Netherlandsmarker with "Standing in the Rain" and four other top ten hits in South Africa, including #1 hits with "I Hate the Music" in 1976 and "Yesterday's Hero" in 1977.

On 27 August 2009, Young was inducted into the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) Hall of Fame alongside Kev Carmody, The Dingoes, Little Pattie and Mental As Anything.

Early career

Young was born in 1950 in Glasgowmarker, Scotlandmarker and his family emigrated to Australia arriving in Sydneymarker on Australia Day (26 January) 1962 at the age of 11. After finishing schooling, he started an apprenticeship as a sheet metal worker. Initially performing as John Young, his first involvement in music began in late 1967 when he formed a band, Elm Tree, with schoolmates.

The other members included Roger Barnett on bass guitar, Ollie Chojnacki on guitar, Phillip Edwards, Andy Imlah on co-lead vocals, Dave Kaentek, Ron Mazurkiewicz on keyboards and Geoff Watts on drums. Elm Tree gained a moderate following around Sydney, and after being spotted by producer Martin Erdman, they cut one single for his Du Monde label, a cover of UK band Marmalade's "Rainbow", which was released through Festival in November 1970, but did not peak into the top 50 Australian singles charts. In mid-1971 they entered the New South Wales heats of the Hoadley's Battle of the Sounds and got as far as the Sydney finals, but they didn't make it through to the national final, and so never managed to break out of the Sydney suburban dance circuit. For Young, a major break occurred at an Elm Tree performance when visiting producer and manager, Simon Napier-Bell, heard them in a pub in Newcastlemarker. He persuaded Young to sign as a solo artist to Albert Productions—the company that had produced Australia's top 1960s group The Easybeats. Napier-Bell then produced Young's first hit single, "Pasadena", at Armstrong Studios in Melbournemarker; it was co-written by George Young (no relation) and Harry Vanda of The Easybeats, together with British actor David Hemmings who was a partner in Napier-Bell's label, SNB Records. Vanda & Young also produced AC/DC and other Albert Productions artists. The single was released under the name, John Young, later releases used his full name to avoid confusion with Johnny Young (no relation), the 1960s pop star and Young Talent Time (1971–1988 TV show) presenter. "Pasadena" peaked at #16 in the Australian Singles charts in early 1972. It was followed by "You Drive Me Crazy" which was released in February 1973 but failed to chart. In addition to the above line up of Elmtree, George Taylor (myself) was the drummer directly before John (JPY) left to go into Jesus Christ Superstar then embark on his solo career. During my stay with the band we competed in the Hoadley's Battle of the Sounds coming third in the Hornsby heat to Sherbert (1st) and Jeff St John & Copperwine (2nd) at the time Elmtree played a Uriah Heap cover (Gipsy) and I think (I could be wrong On this one (Walking in Your Shadow) also by Uriah Heap. I happen to share the same birthday as JPY ie 21st June however he is 2 years younger. I remember this well as we were refused entry to Bass Hill RSL when he turned 21 as he had no ID and looked very young at the time

In early 1972 Young had also auditioned for Harry M. Miller’s original Australian production of the Andrew Lloyd-Webber and Tim Rice rock musical Jesus Christ Superstar, he won a major supporting role as Annas. The show premiered in Sydney on 4 May 1972, and, as well as established theatrical performers, the cast featured leading pop-rock artists: Trevor White, Robin Ramsay, Jon English, Doug Parkinson, Stevie Wright (ex-The Easybeats), Marcia Hines and Reg Livermore. Young remained with the production until it closed in February 1974, the production broke theatrical attendance records in its two year season, and whilst it provided him with a public profile, it left him at a loose end when it concluded.

Chart successes

Young renewed his association with Albert Productions, signing with them as a solo artist. Vanda & Young had returned to Australia from UK in 1973, after his stint in Superstar, they took over as his producers and resumed writing songs for him. Young's third single "It's Only Love" was released in March 1974 but failed to chart in the top 50. His next single was "Yesterday's Hero", which was released in March 1975, a song about the fleeting nature of pop stardom which clearly drew on Vanda & Young's own experiences as former teen idols. The single shot into the national charts in April and gave Young his first top ten hit, reaching #8 on the Australian singles chart and staying at #1 on the Melbournemarker charts for six weeks before being replaced by Hush's "Boney Maroney". The single sold strongly in the United States, where it reached #44 on the Cash Box Top 100 in February 1976. One of the key factors in the Australian success of "Yesterday's Hero" was the film clip made to promote it, which enabled the song to be given heavy exposure on Countdown, which had just switched to its new one-hour Sunday evening format, following the official start of colour TV broadcasting on 1 March 1975. Young's debut performance on Countdown had him miming "Yesterday's Hero" while dressed in a sailor's suit surrounded on an island stage with a studio audience of screaming teen girls. He was dragged off the stage three times by audience members and the microphone cord was ripped out but the song continued uninterrupted. ABC TV producer, Michael Shrimpton believes his show, Countdown, played a big part in making "Yesterday's Hero" and Young a teen pop success.

By mid-1975, Countdown's talent co-ordinator, Ian Meldrum, had started appearing on-screen with a weekly rock report. Young, as guest host, introduced Meldrum's second report, "Here's boring old Molly with boring old humdrum"—"Molly" Meldrum's Humdrum and Countdown continued until 1987, with Young often featured as a performer or guest host named "Squeak" or JPY by Meldrum. For touring purposes Young fronted John Paul Young and The All Stars, with members who had worked with Vanda and Young's former bandmate Stevie Wright. The All Stars included, Warren Morgan (ex-Chain, Billy Thorpe & the Aztecs) on piano and vocals, who co-wrote songs with Young. Other early members were, Kevin Borich (La De Das) on guitar, Johnny Dick (Max Merritt & the Meteors, Billy Thorpe & the Aztecs) on drums, Ronnie Peel (Missing Links, La De Das) on bass guitar and Ian Winter (Carson, Daddy Cool) on guitar.

Young's debut album, Hero, produced by Vanda and Young, was released in October 1975 on Albert Productions/EMI, which peaked at #9 on the Australian Album charts. Ray Goodwin (ex-Dragon) replaced Borich on guitar in The Allstars. A string of top 10 hits, written and produced by Vanda & Young, followed in Australia including "Love Game" (peaked at #4 in September 1975), "I Hate the Music" (#2, April 1976) and "I Wanna Do It with You" (#7, May 1977). Young's second album, J.P.Y., released in September 1976, which also peaked at #9, it contained three tracks co-written by Young with Morgan, including "Painting". The next singles "Here We Go" and "Where the Action Is" however did not reach the top 30. In addition to his Australian success, Young achieved top 20 hit singles in Swedenmarker, with "Yesterday's Hero" and "I Hate the Music", and in South Africa where "I Hate the Music" and "Yesterday's Hero" were #1 hits, and "Keep on Smilin'" and "I Wanna Do It with You" were top ten hits.

During 1976 various Allstars members issued their own recordings. Winters left to join Mondo Rock by January 1977, Peel switched to rhythm guitar, Phil Manning (Chain) on guitar and Dallas McDermott on bass guitar had joined. This line-up recorded his third album, Green, released in May, Manning left in June to be replaced by Ian Miller. In January 1978, Young released a disco single titled "Standing in the Rain", originally the B-side to 1976's "Keep on Smilin'", "Standing in the Rain" became a #11 hit in Austriamarker, #3 in The Netherlandsmarker and peaked at #4 in Germanymarker, selling over 400,000 copies.

The European success prompted local radio stations to play "Standing in the Rain" and it peaked at #12 on the national singles charts in March 1978. His next single, "Love is in the Air", became a worldwide hit during 1978, peaking at #3 on the Australian charts in May, #7 in the US Bilboard Hot 100, and #5 in the UK singles chart. Also in May, Jacques De Jongh (Hush) had replaced McDermott on bass guitar in The All Stars. The associated album, Love Is in the Air, was released in October and reached the top 40 on the Australian albums chart. European chart success for "Love Is in the Air" included, #2 in Norwaymarker and Sweedenmarker, #3 in Austria and Germany, #5 in Switzerlandmarker and #9 in The Netherlands. The song peaked at #2 in South Africa. As a result of his popularity in Australia he was crowned 'King of Pop' in October 1978. "Love Is in the Air" also won 'Most Popular Australian Single' and Vanda & Young won both 'Best Australian Record Producer' and 'Best Australian Songwriter' at the same King of Pop Awards. Subsequent singles, "The Day that My Heart Caught Fire" which peaked in the top 20, and "Heaven Sent" continued the disco style.

The 1979 line-up of The All Stars were, Ray Arnott (ex-The Dingoes) on drums, Tony Buchanan on saxophone, Miller and Morgan, with Vanda & Young briefly joining on guitars to record Heaven Sent released in September. By mid-1980 Young had left Albert Productions and ended his association with Vanda & Young. He used session musicians for his 1960s' covers album, The Singer released in 1981 but neither Heaven Sent nor The Singer reached the top 50. Young turned to a more contemporary electropop sound and adult oriented style. He signed to the Australian branch of German label I.C. Records in 1983 and flew to Germany with producer, composer and keyboard player John Capek (ex-Carson) to start recording a new album, with sessions at studios in Hanovermarker, Munichmarker, Los Angelesmarker, Melbourne and Sydney. Most of the material was co-written by Capek and Canadian Marc Jordan, together with a Young and Morgan composition "Cryin' Eyes". The resulting album, One Foot in Front was released in March 1984, it was renamed Soldier of Fortune for the European market. The title track, "Soldier of Fortune", peaked at #17 on the national singles chart, other singles "War Games" (January 1984), "L.A. Sunset" (1984) and "Call the Night" (1984) all failed to chart into the top 50, possibly due to the demise of the record company. "Soldier of Fortune" gained further prominence when it was picked as the theme song for the 1984 Summer Paralympics held in New Yorkmarker, and also went on to be a hit in Germany. Young released two more one-off singles, "Spain", in October 1986 and "Don't Sing that Song", in June 1989.

On 25 January 1988 Young performed in the 'Royal Command, New South Wales Bicentennial Concert' in front of the Prince and Princess of Wales at the Sydney Entertainment Centremarker. Televised across Australia, the event was viewed by over 10 million people and prompted an invitation to appear at World Expo 88 in Brisbanemarker.

In late 1988, Young and his family moved to Lake Macquariemarker near Newcastlemarker. Newcastle's first FM radio station, New FM, was preparing to open in 1989 and Young was asked to head their All-Australian programme, Oz Made Mondays. The programme was successful with Young moving through the ranks of the station to Morning Announcer garnering four #1 rating spots for his Breakfast and Drive Time programmes along the way.

Later career

Young had ceased recording new music by 1989 and concentrated on a second career as a disc jockey until the film Strictly Ballroom was released in 1992. Featuring a new version of "Love Is in the Air," the film was a success throughout the world, and Young's single once again peaked at #3 on the Australian Singles Charts in October, and was a top 50 hit in the UK. In 1994 Young left New Fm and joined 2CH in Sydney, which only lasted six months. On 4 November 1994, Young became a naturalised Australian citizen and received his papers from then Prime Minister, Paul Keating.

In 1997 Young made two trips to Germanymarker following invitations to perform on a host of national and european television specials. Young returned to Germany in 1998 with The Allstar band for a month long tour through both East and West Germany. On returning to Australia Young joined the stage production of 'Leader of the Pack' playing the role of Gus Sharkey (aka Phil Spector).

In 2000 he played to his largest audience as a featured performer at the closing ceremonies of the 2000 Summer Olympics. From 8 August 2001, ABC-TV broadcast a six-part documentary, Long Way to the Top which chronicled 50 years of rock 'n' roll in Australia, Young featured in "Episode 4: Berserk warriors 1973–1981". For the associated Long Way To The Top Tour in August–September 2002, Young re-formed the All-Star Band with Juan Gonzales on guitar, Warren Morgan on piano, Ronnie Peel on bass guitar, Greg Plimmer on drums and Michael Walker on synthesiser. From 12 October 2003, ABC broadcast, Love Is in the Air, a five-part documentary on Australian pop music with "Episode 3: Strange Fruit" describing Countdown and how Young was made into a pop star. Young was a mentor for contestants on music talent show, Popstars Live, which was broadcast on Seven Network from February 2004, one of the judges on the show was Ian Meldrum. Another judge, Christine Anu, quit and Young also left in April, a spokesperson for the producers of Popstars Live denied that he had been sacked. In 2005 Young reprised his role as Gus Sharkey in the musical, 'Leader of the Pack'.

2006 saw Young return to the studio at Flashpoint Music to record his first album of new material in many years In Too Deep, for which he reunited with Vanda as producer and principal songwriter. Young appeared on the Countdown Spectacular concert series in Australia during June–August in 2006 as a performer, and on the Countdown Spectacular 2 during August–September 2007, both as a performer and, alongside Meldrum, as a co-host. Young then worked on a musical comedy titled Van Park, in 2008, which focuses on "a group of fellow music lovers have gathered to live out their remaining years" in a caravan park. Young plays Akbar, one of the co-owners of the park.

On 27 August 2009, Young was inducted into the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) Hall of Fame alongside Kev Carmody, The Dingoes, Little Pattie and Mental As Anything. Upon the announcement Young said, "It's an honour to be inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame, now point me to the lounge room, I wonder who's in there." At the ceremony, Meldrum inducted Young who then performed, "I Hate the Music", "Yesterday's Hero" and "Love is in the Air".

Community work

For many years, Young has supported children's charities. He participates in the NSW Variety Bash as a participant in one of the old cars and also to entertain along the way. He also supports the children's emergency transport service NETS through its 4WD4Kids fundraiser.

Band members

Arranged chronologically:

John Paul Young and the Allstars
  • John Young/John Paul Young — lead vocals (1975–1981)

  • Kevin Borichlead guitar (1975)
  • Johnny Dick — drums (1975–1977)
  • Warren Morgan — piano, backing vocals (1975, 1977–1981)
  • Ronnie Peel — bass guitar, rhythm guitar (1975–1979)
  • Ian "Willie" Winter — guitar (1975–1977)
  • Ray Goodwin — guitar (1975–1976)
  • Dallas McDermott — bass guitar (1977–1978)
  • Phil Manning — lead guitar (1977)
  • Ian Miller — lead guitar (1977–1979)
  • Jacques De Jongh — bass guitar (1978–1979)
  • Ray Arnott — drum (1978–1981)
  • Tony Buchanan — saxophone (1979)
  • Harry Vanda — guitar (1979)
  • George Young — guitar (1979)
  • Billy Rogers — saxophone (1980–1981)
  • John Young (no relation) — bass guitar (1980–1981)
  • Vince Melouney — guitar (1981)
  • Peter Northcote — saxophone, keyboards (1981)

John Paul Young's Allstars
  • John Paul Young — lead vocals (1986–1989, 2002)

  • Juan Gonzales — guitar, backing vocals (1986–1989, 2002)
  • Warren Morgan — piano,backing vocals (1986–1989, 2002)
  • Greg Patterson — guitar (1986–1989)
  • Ronnie Peel — bass guitar, backing vocals (1986–1989, 2002)
  • Greg Plimmer — drum (1986–1989, 2002)
  • Michael Walker — guitar, keyboards, backing vocals (1986–1989, 2002)


Studio albums

Year Album details Chart peak positions Certifications

(sales thresholds)



1975 Hero 9
1976 J.P.Y.
  • Released: 6 September 1976
  • Label: Albert Productions/EMI (APLP-019)
  • Formats: LP
1977 Green
  • Released: 2 May 1977
  • Label: Albert Productions/EMI (APLP-023)
  • Formats: LP
1978 Love Is in the Air
  • Released: 30 October 1978
  • Label: Albert Productions/EMI (APLP-033) Ariola Records (25 846 OT)
  • Formats: LP
32 13 16
1979 Heaven Sent
  • Released: 3 December 1979
  • Label: Albert Productions/EMI (APLP-041)
  • Formats: LP, Cassette
1981 The Singer
  • Released: 10 August 1981
  • Label: Hammard Records (Ham 601)
  • Formats: LP
1983 One Foot in Front
  • Released: 31 July 1983
  • Label: I.C. Records (KSL 901)
  • Formats: LP
1996 Now
  • Released: September 1996
  • Label: Albert Productions/EMI
  • Formats: CD
2006 In Too Deep
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released in that territory.

Compilation albums

Year Album details Chart peak positions Certifications

(sales thresholds)

1977 All the Best 40
1978 Love Is in the Air
1979 John Paul Young 1974–1979
  • Released: 20 September 1979
  • Label: Hammard Records (HAM 038)
  • Format: LP
1988 Classic Hits
  • Released: 1988
  • Label: Albert Productions (465240-2)
  • Format: CD
1992 Yesterday's Hero
1994 The Very Best of
  • Released: 1994
  • Label: Diamond Records (NLDmarker)(019650.6)
  • Format: CD
"—" denotes releases that did not chart.

Extended plays

Year EP details AUS chart peak

1987 The Golden Dance-Floor Hits Vol. 10
"—" denotes releases that did not chart.



A. "Pasadena" was originally released in 1972 as a non-album single. A new version was recorded for the LP Album Hero in November 1975.
B. "Yesterday's Hero" was originally released in Australia in March 1975, ahead of its album, Hero in November, later releases include United States and Europe where it charted in early 1976, and then in South Africa in April 1977 where it peaked at #1.
C. "I Hate the Music" was originally released in April 1976 in Australia. It was his debut single release in South Africa in October and his first #1 hit. Young re-recorded it with Ratcat in 1998.
D. "Keep on Smilin'" was originally released in Australia in October 1976 with a B-side of "Standing in the Rain", it was released in South Africa in February 1977, when sent to Ariola Records in Europe the B-side charted in Austria, Germany and The Netherlands in late 1977. "Standing in the Rain" was then released as an A-side in Australia in 1978.
E. "Love Is in the Air" was originally released in Australia in 1978, it was re-recorded and released as the Strictly Ballroom mix for the Baz Luhrman film. It was re-mixed as Milk & Sugar vs. JPY in 2001.
F. "The Day that My Heart Caught Fire" / "Lost in Your Love" was released in Australia and South Africa with "The Day that My Heart Caught Fire" as the A-side but "Lost in Your Love" was the A-side in Austria and The Netherlands.
G. One Foot in Front was released in Australia in 1983 and spawned four singles, "Soldier of Fortune" in 1983, and "War Games", "L.A. Sunset" and "Call the Night" in 1984. For European release in 1984, the album was re-named, Soldier of Fortune and for re-release in 1992 it was re-named, War Games.


  1. NOTE: Used for Australian Singles and Albums charting from 1970 until ARIA created their own charts in mid-1988.
  2. NOTE: Some information in Austrian.
  3. NOTE: Some information in Dutch.
  4. NOTE: Some information is in German.


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