John Pearse

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John Pearse (born September 12, 1939 in Hook , Hampshire , † October 31, 2008 in Bietigheim-Bissingen ) was a British guitarist who gave the first television guitar lessons in the 1960s.


Pearse played the banjo and guitar in a jazz band in his youth . From the mid-1950s he lived in London , where he gave guitar lessons and performed in clubs in the evenings. During this time John Bailey built a forerunner of the Irish bouzouki for Pearse from an English cister , which was later made famous by Johnny Moynihan.

A BBC producer discovered Pearse in London, and from 1965 he appeared in the black and white television series Hold down a chord . The series was so successful that the format was also sold in other countries. In Germany, the series (called “Akkord und Rhythmus”) was broadcast in the third program in the 1970s; Pearse moderated the show himself in German. He also worked as a music producer for Capitol Records and Warner Brothers . In 1978 he moved to the United States , where he worked for the guitar manufacturer CF Martin & Co., Inc. worked. He later started his own guitar string company. In the early 1980s, the series was reissued for the station PBS .

Over the years, John Pearse has published a number of records, educational books, and instructional videos in multiple languages.

In 1983 he was paralyzed from the neck down due to an error in a spinal cord exam with injection of contrast agent, but was able to recover after a year and even play the guitar again. Most recently he lived in Besigheim , where he was buried on November 5, 2008.



  • Rap-a-tap-tap - English Folk Songs Miss Pringle Never Taught Us , LP, Folklore Records, 1961 - (Frank Purslow, pseudonym for Frank Chapman)
  • Bottoms up! - English Soak Songs for Fools , EP, Folklore Records, 1961 - (with Frank Purslow)
  • John Pearse , LP, Xtra, 1965
  • Folk 66 , LP, ARC, 1966 - (with Colin Wilkie & Shirley Hart)
  • Guitar Train , LP, Metronome, 1968 (German re-release by John Pearse from 1965)
  • Blues, Rags & Raga , LP, DaCamera, 1972
  • Traveling Man , LP, Songbird, 1975
  • Alive and Well ... and Living in America , LP, Underdog Records, 1980
  • Together , LP, Underdog Records, 1980 - (with Mary Faith Rhoads)
  • Live! At Kutztown , LP, Shubb, 2002
  • The Lost 1966 Waldeck Audition , CD, Bear Family, 2010
  • furthermore various guitar school LPs

On collections with other artists

  • Macaber Makes Funny LP, Xenophon, 1967 - ("Down in the Valley", "As I Went out one Morning")
  • Burg Waldeck Festival 1967 , LP, Xenophon 1968 - ("Cocaine")
  • Chanson & Folk Supersession, Volume 1 LP, Intercord Xenophon, 1975 - ("Cocaine")
  • Chanson & Folk Supersession, Volume 2 LP, Intercord Xenophon, 1975 - ("Down in the Valley")
  • Contemporary Folk Guitar , LP, CAMBRA records, 1982 - ("McGee's Rag", "Guitar Train")
  • Burg Waldeck Festivals 1967 - Chanson, Folklore International double CD (extended new release of the LP from 1968), Studio Wedemark, 2004 - ("Cocaine")
  • The Burg Waldeck Festivals 1964–1969 10 CDs with book, Bear Family, 2008 - ("The Shoemaker's Kiss" with Shirley Hart, "The Bonnie Lass O'Fyvie" with Colin Wilkie, "It's of a Little Taylor", "As I Went out one Morning "," Cocaine "," McGee's Jig "," Oh Baby, It Ain't no Lie ")


  • The John Pearse Album of Ragtime guitar Solos , B. Feldman & Co. Ltd.
  • Chord & Rhythm - for Beginners (1974), Schulfernsehen publishing company, Cologne
  • Akkord & Rhythmus - for advanced students (1974), Verlagsgesellschaft Schulfernsehen, Cologne
  • Guitar Blues (1976)

Individual evidence

  1. John Pearse Biography ( Memento of December 10, 2008 in the Internet Archive ) (English)
  2. Usenet article by John Pearse from Jan 16, 2000

Web links