Bernie Townsend logo
 
home
bio
music
videos
store
reviews
contact
Bernie Townsend
 
       
news get in touch  
 
 
 




1965 - 1967
.. 17 year old Bernie Townsend and a few musician friends formed their first band in their hometown of Oxford in 1965. Like many of their musical peers from the baby-boomer generation they were influenced by the widely differing sounds of Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry, Otis Redding and Bob Dylan and the historic Blues songs that were becoming available then on the old


Chess Records Label - those influences were certainly reflected in that first band as they started out on their journey to become the next Beatles or Rolling Stones.

Within a year that same band was residing in Paris and working as back up musicians for Chuck Berry, Eddie Lee Mattison and Mickey Baker and later opened for The Rolling Stones. This was the Paris of student unrest and social upheaval and it was on Montparnasse that Bernie and his fellow band members met with expatriate American writers and civil rights activists and young American servicemen bound for a place called Vietnam - it was a time that would form a lasting impression on Bernie Townsend and has provided more than one backdrop for his songs.


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



1968 - 1970
.. Bernie Townsend returned to the UK and was signed as a singer-songwriter to the then new independent label Zeus Records. This was the formative period of his career as a singer-songwriter and though full of promise and great support his output met with limited success and ran its course to a disappointing end to his first foray into the music industry as a solo artist.




------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


ok


1971 - 1979 .. During the early 70's Bernie had tuned in to the sounds of The Eagles and Jackson Browne and the Southern sounds of Lynyrd Skynyrd and the Allman Brothers and in doing so he started a voyage of discovery into the 'Americana' genre that was to provide him with a vehicle for his songs across the spectrum of Country, Blues, Southern Rock, Southern Soul and Tex Mex - from that point onward the catalogue of songs from Bernie Townsend became heavily influenced by those genres and still is today.

Throughout this decade Bernie Townsend gave his services as a vocalist to various touring Country-Rock and Blues bands while continuing to craft his art as a songwriter and it was during this period that he struck up what was to be a life-long friendship with American guitarist Glenn Coleman who was the inspiration for the storyline of Bernie's recent US hit single "Just Won't Touch Me Now" - Bernie and Glenn played in 70's country-rock band 'Stampede' and Glenn is now a stable-mate guitarist and singer-songwriter at Gravel Road Records.

In 1977, Bernie was invited to form a band with Blues guitarist Robert Wakeley which featured a raft of songs from Bernie's growing catalogue and which caught the attention of Ralph Simon who signed him to a publishing contract with Zomba Music in 1979.



------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


1980 - 1984
.. Bernie Townsend was signed by Richard Vernon to the legendary Blue Horizon/CN Records label as a singer-songwriter and he recorded two singles, "Another Night" released in 1981 and featured on the late Alexis Korner's BBC Radio 1 Playlist and "Little By Little" released in 1982 and featured on the BBC Radio Playlist of Bob Harris - this period saw Bernie tour and undertake promotional visits to the USA for the first time as a recording artist in his own right.

On the back of the two singles an album was recorded which reflected a track roster of cutting edge songs written by Bernie and his co-writer Richard Sharpey that were inextricably linked to the sounds that were coming out of the southern states of America at that time. The album was ostensibly recorded for the US market and saw the songs "Hold On", "If I Could Only" and "Every Bit Of My Heart" receive critical acclaim at the Midem Festival in Cannes and an offer of license from US label Bearsville Records, however for contractual reasons the product was shelved and remained untitled in a studio library for many years.



------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



1985 - 1995 .. The frustration felt by Bernie Townsend over this issue lead to the end of a particularly creative period at Blue Horizon/CN Records and saw him put down his pen for an inordinately long period, during which time he found solace in a return to the days of long haul tours and the after hours side of life on the road.

During these intervening years Bernie shared stages, including London's Wembley Arena and BBC 2 TV, with such diverse artists as Conway Twitty, Steve Young and Desert Rose Band and performed to many thousands of US service personnel at military installations around the world. However, as the years rolled by he felt more and more distanced from the reasons that had inspired him to start his musical journey and so one day he just got off the bus and returned home to his roots as a singer-songwriter.



------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


ok


1998 - 2011
.. After taking a time-out from the music industry, Bernie renewed his songwriting partnership with long time co-writer Richard Sharpey resulting in a wealth of new songs that saw Rob Gripper the CEO of Fat Cat Records and BBC Presenter Bob Harris become instrumental in getting the career of Bernie Townsend back on course - he became a member of Country-Rock band 'The Rescue' and was their singer and songwriter, (with co-writer Richard Sharpey), on their first album, the eponymously titled "The Rescue" and their later album "Forever Young" - The Rescue, which was met with critical acclaim in both the US and the UK and saw The Rescue signed to Nashville record label ARG in 2008.

 



------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


ok


2012
.. Bernie Townsend was persuaded, for the first time since the end of his career at Blue Horizon/CN Records, to embark on a solo career and he signed to Gravel Road Records as a singer-songwriter. In turn the Rights were acquired to the previously unreleased album as Gravel Road Records believed that the release of that Work was long overdue, and, in deference to the location of the legendary and long since gone Chipping Norton Recording Studio, Bernie decided to title his first solo album "Made On New Street".

 

 

 



------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


ok


2014
.. During September there began a series of events that launched the career of singer-songwriter Bernie Townsend to the wider mainstream audiences within the United States of America. This was kick-started by the release on You Tube of the acclaimed video of the song "Just Won't Touch Me Now" featured on the album "Made On New Street" - this song was inspired by the experience of a close friend of Bernie's on his return from the Vietnam War. The video of "Just Won't Touch Me Now" has since been the subject of many thousands of views on You Tube and posts and comments on the Vietnam Veterans of America Facebook Page and has been adopted by VVA Chapters across the United States. In the light of the background to the song and the source of its inspiration, Bernie Townsend donated his share of royalties to the Vietnam Veterans of America in perpetuity.

 



------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



2015 .. In April the single "Just Won't Touch Me Now" was released to US radio and in June 2015, the song peaked at #17 on the Adult Contemporary Top 40 US Radio Chart and at #34 on the AC Hot 100 US Radio Chart and #7 on the AC Western Region US Radio Chart.

In the light of the success of the single "Just Won't Touch Me Now" on US national radio and the outreach to both the Vietnam Veterans and mainstream America, Bernie Townsend had a 4th September 2015 worldwide release for his new four song EP "The Day Before You" on Gravel Road Records.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

2016 .. Bernie Townsend was nominated in the category of "Adult Contemporary Breakthrough Artist of the Year" at the 'New Music Weekly' US Radio Awards for his hit song "Just Won't Touch Me Now".

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

s
 
 


contact@bernietownsend.com

or contact:



18 Newbury Street
Wantage
Oxford OX12 8DA
England UK

Tel +44 (0) 1235 770500
Fax +44 (0) 8721 116062

contact@gravel-records.com

http://gravel-records.com


 
 

lower menu

 
contactcontact about tunes discography contact