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John has produced recordings for labels as wide-ranging as Columbia Records and the National Geographic Society. A pioneer of professional multitrack recording and production, he designed and built the first 12-track recording studios in both New York and San Francisco and still writes extensively on the recording business.

As founding president of The Confederate Naval Historical Society, he received the first-ever Federal award for leading an F.B.I. investigation and prosecution of looters of historic sunken ships under the federal Abandoned Shipwrecks Act.

Former program developer at The Mariners' Museum in Newport News, Virginia and New York's South Street Seaport Museum, his research papers have been published by the Society for Historical Archaeology, Mystic Seaport Museum, and the U.S. Naval Academy.

He has been officer, crew, performer and instructor aboard  historical tall ships in the U.S., Canada, and Europe, including Polish staysail schooner Zawisza Czarny and Washington, D.C.'s Baltic trader Alexandria.

More tales and details here: Houseplant Studio interview...

NEW:  Toe Music, pipey clarinet and mini-keyboard concoction!
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New York Soho Concert photo gallery


Music CDs and Videos by John Townley

A Chesapeake Sailor's Companion (CD listen)
A Chesapeake Sailor's Companion (CD notes)
The Starboard List (CD)
Classic Maritime Music (CD)
An Invitation To Cry: The Best Of The Magicians (CD)
O Glory: The Rev. Gary Davis Apostolic Studio Sessions (CD)

Concertina Tutor (DVD)
Seaman's Fantasy (DVD)
Concertina and Accordion Repair (DVD)

for recording buffs...the story of pioneering Apostolic Studios, where Frank Zappa recorded Lumpy Gravy and Uncle Meat... and for astro-songwriters...the magical, mystical Harmony Crystal
1966 Magicians' CBS "Four To Go" TV special, parts 1,  2,  3...








...and from the Bicentennial,


the complete original album, featuring the drinking song that became
 "The Star Spangled Banner..."







...all twenty-two cuts of the ground-breaking 1968 album
The Family of Apostolic!

>>...click here!!!<<

just re-released by Light in the Attic
as part of the Vanguard Vault series!...









...just back in circulation...the complete maritime album...



...all fifteen cuts, free -- listen, download and enjoy... ------>>>>

...plus ten more recorded in Poland, just added, featuring...

The Warsaw Mermaid! 













...and suddenly, for the first time, the Merseyside recordings of the performing crew of the Polish 140-ft staysail schooner


...a sixteen-cut musical documentary of her voyage, along with a forty-day journal with photos!












Just rereleased, the original Liverpool recording of the group that started and still leads the Polish shanty movement today, all seventeen cuts ...






go to Ocean!
Rare never-realeased pop album with Jay Ungar, Lyn Hardy, John Townley and more, from the Apostolic archives:





Play "Wave Over Wave"
Photo by Susan Townley








Original Songs





The Top Hits of 1776 album

The Family of Apostolic album

Sailor! album


Zawisza Czarny album

Stare Dzwony Live In Liverpool







  Copyright © John Townley 2005-15. All rights reserved.
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