John’s father was a musician, playing the saxophone in local New Jersey society bands. John Jr. wanted to be a musician just like his dad, so on John’s 9th birthday his father gave him his first saxophone, which he took to like a fish to water and it became his obsession.
John attended the famed Arts High School for music and the Manhattan School of Music in New York, at the same time playing, singing and arranging in local New Jersey show bands. In 1963 John met renowned entertainment manager Bob Marcucci who secured a recording contract for him as a singer with Sinatra’s label “Reprise Records”. This led him to be a regular on the 60’s network hit music show Shindig. He then became musical director and travelled all over the world with such artists as The Beach Boys, Paul Revere and the Raiders, Vic Damone, Steve and Eddie, Eddy Rabbit and Sylvie Vartan. He also arranged/produced 25 Gold and Platinum Records and 70 Chart Records including such #1 hits as Indian Reservation by Paul Revere and the Raiders, Da Do Ron Ron by Shaun Cassidy, Can You Read My Mind (Superman Theme) by Maureen McGovern, Somewhere In Time by Roger Williams, and Time Of My Life by Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes for which he also won a Grammy Award for the arrangement.
He also arranged/produced a wide selection of albums by such artists as Shaun Cassidy, Leif Garrett, Maureen McGovern, Barry Manilow, Petula Clark, The Bellamy Brothers, Belinda Carlisle, Air Supply and John Schneider as well as the sound track albums from the Dukes of Hazard and a double album of Dirty Dancing which sold over 20 million copies.
From records John moved on to a career in composition for film and television. He scored such movies as: Boiling Point, Child’s Play III, Beyond the Law, Iron Triangle, and was also a co-writer for a number of the Latin dance songs for Dirty Dancing. His underscore for the popular TV show, Baywatch, co-written with Cory Lerios, received an ASCAP award for having “the highest number of performance credits on television in the category of dramatic underscore”. He went on to complete 12 years of Baywatch, including 3 Baywatch movies for video release. Baywatch was the #1 most performed TV show in the world.
Other notable TV series include: Days Of Our Lives (which brought home an Emmy), Flipper, How’d They Do That, Hard Copy, Martial Law, and Intimate Portraits for four years.
Amongst all his film and television projects, he still makes time to pick up his saxophone to play with the D’Anbino Family Band.