Batdorf and Rodney
It was 1972. I was living in Washington DC and I had 5th row tickets to see Bread at Constitution Hall. Their music had taken over the airwaves in those days. It was a hot ticket. I got there a little early and found these long haired guys setting up the stage - for Bread to perform - or so I thought. When guitars, amps, el al were ready these "long hairs" plugged in and started playing music that had a double "wow-factor" in that it was truly great stuff - no doubt about that - but there was something else that we all picked up on that night - Batdorf & Rodney played great rock songs with extended solos and jump-start licks - on acoustic guitars. There were no electric guitars in sight.
The interplay between John Batdorf & Mark Rodney was jaw-dropping - and the audience responded. We all knew we had seen something very special that night. I've never forgotten the experience - the way they played and the brilliance of their music. That was the first time I'd heard of Batdorf & Rodney. The memory has never left me. I've been a fan for more than 30 years and I always will be.
- Dean Sciarra - ItsAboutMusic.com
John Batdorf Career Flash Points
Winter of 1970 at age 18, signed with Atlantic Records by Ahmet Ertegun.
Spring of 1971, co-produced first Batdorf and Rodney album with Ahmet Ertegun in Muscle Shoals Alabama.
Fall of 1971, Off The Shelf was officially released.
Winter of 1971, Batdorf and Rodney were a national instant FM radio hit.
Winter of 1971, toured nationally with Bread.
Spring of 1972, performed with the Youngbloods to a sold out audience which included Ahmet Ertegun and his wife Mica, at Carnegie Hall in NYC.
Spring of 1972, switched to David Geffen's West Coast based Asylum Records.
Summer of 1972, co-produced Batdorf and Rodney with Bill Halverson at the Record Plant in LA.
Fall of 1972, Batdorf and Rodney is released and again is an instant FM radio hit.
Fall / Winter of 1972, toured nationally with Poco, Dan Fogelberg, and began to headline their own college shows and clubs across the nation.
Summer of 1973, after extensive touring, Batdorf and Rodney take an extended break from one another and John pursues solo career.
Spring of 1974, Batdorf and Rodney begin working together again and sign a new deal with Clive Davis and Arista Records that summer.
Spring of 1975, Life Is You is released and has more impact on AM radio than ever before due to Clive Davis' production influence.
Summer of 1975, Batdorf and Rodney are headlining nationally and seemed destined for stardom.
Fall of 1975, Clive Davis believes the song, Somewhere in The Night, written by Richard Kerr and Will Jennings and recently recorded by Helen Reddy, would be a break-out hit for Batdorf and Rodney and rushes to record and release it as a single before Helen Reddy does.
Fall of 1975, Somewhere in the Night is released and enters the Billboard charts at # 80 with a bullet.
Fall of 1975, Helen Reddy manager Jeff Wald is furious with Clive and releases her version of Somewhere in the Night.
Late fall 1975, feud and power struggles between Clive Davis along with Jeff Walds' influence on AM radio programmers. Both records cancel each other out and neither version is a hit.
Winter of 1975, tensions build between Batdorf and Rodney over career direction as well as other personal reasons and the duo disbands forever.
Spring of 1976, John forms a new 5 piece band, Silver, and records an album for Arista that includes the top 20 hit single, Wham Bam, which again was personally hand picked by Clive Davis.
Summer of 1976, Silver goes on a national tour with America and in the fall with The Doobie Brothers.
Early 1977, Silver has all new material to record a follow-up album.
Spring of 1977, Clive Davis hears the new material and doesn’t hear a hit and tries to get the band to do more of his hand picked songs that again are clearly different than the bands' material and this time the band resists.
Late spring of 1977, Clive, Silver and Hartmann and Goodman are all in a power struggle and Clive elects to drop the band but holds their rights to any new deal which essentially kills the band.
In the summer 1978 John signs as a staff writer to The Entertainment Company started by Charles Koppelman and Martin Bandier.
1980 after two years, John has had songs recorded by America, Dan Seals, The Currie Sisters and Kim Carnes,
1982, at long last John signs a solo record deal with 20th Century Fox records and was being produced by Michael Stewart who previously produced Billy Joel among others.
1982, Marvin Davis buys 20th Century Fox and dissolves the record label and kills all new projects including Johns' album.
1982, John is introduced to Ad Music President Jim Bredouw and John starts a new career as a studio vocalist.
From 1982 to present day, John sings on many commercial national campaigns, many records, TV shows and movies including singing TV main titles for Tom and Jerry Kids, Garfield and Friends, Darkwing Duck, and Doctor, Doctor. John also sings on hit records with Motley Crue, Rod Stewart, Donna Summer, and Dwight Yoakum.
1990 John begins to write and produce his own commercials.
John meets Michael McLean and they begin writing songs together.
1996 the two record and release a CD, Don’t You Know, on a small indy label BWE Music.
Summer in 1996, John is offered a shot as composer for the CBS Touched By An Angel spinoff, Promised Land, and lands the gig and cannot tour to support the CD.
1996 to 1999 Promised Land lasts for three seasons .
John is asked by Touched By An Angel producers to stay on as a second composer and supply the show with all of its source music.
2004, after nine seasons, Touched By An Angel is canceled and John continues to compose music for the TV movie, Book of Days, and theatrical release, The Best Two Years.
Summer of 2004, John records All Wood and Stones CD with James Lee Stanley and the CD gets extensive Satellite Radio and NPR airplay.
2005 John records a solo EP, Side One, and releases it on his own BatMac Music label.
2005, John is back touring again and writes songs for his full length solo CD, Home Again.
Summer of 2006, John records the CD and after 30 odd years teams up on a few songs with Mark Rodney.
The record is released in 2007 and again gets extensive Satellite, NPR, 365 Radio play and gets great reviews.
Starting right after the January release in 2007, John begins touring as a solo act for the first time and gets rave reviews for his live show.
Fall of 2007, XM Radio program director, Mike Marrone, invites John and Mark Rodney to do an XM Radio live concert which was recorded in November that year.
2008, with permission from XM, John mixes the concert like a record, adds percussion, and releases Batdorf and Rodney: Still Burnin’ May of 2008 which also includes two brand new songs recorded in LA.
2008, John and Mark tour a bit as the CD is well accepted and gets a good amount of airplay.
Summer of 2008, John writes songs for a new solo CD, Old Man Dreamin', released June 11, 2009
Spring of 2011, Batdorf and Rodney are inducted in the Las Vegas Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame.
Oct. 4, 2011, John's releases his 4th solo CD "One Last Wish.
Early 2012, John toured and continued writing songs with Michael McLean for "Soundtrax 2 Recovery".
Mid to late 2012, John and James begin recording "All Wood and Stones II"
2013, John appeared as a background vocalist with Adele singing Let The Sky Fall on the Oscar's worldwide TV broadcast.
May of 2013, All Wood and Stones II is released
October 2013, Batdorf and McLean release "Soundtrax 2 Recovery" CD.
December 2013, John releases Portfolio by Batdorf and Rodney.
2014... Beep Beep, John's 5th solo CD is released August of 2015