Beyond the Song: The Basics of Music Publishing

Photo: John Capek, 2021.

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John Capek was born in Prague, Czechoslovakia. He studied piano as a child and then later, influenced by Little Richard, Ray Charles and Chuck Berry, co-founded Carson, one of Australia's premier blues bands. He graduated as a Chemical Engineer but left this job soon to pursue his passion of music. He played in the bands King Harvest, Flite and with Aussie superstars Doug Parkinson and Renee Geyer. In 1973 he emigrated to Canada.


In Toronto, he played keyboards and arranged songs for Marc Jordan, Ian Thomas, Dan Hill and Dianne Brooks, and produced hit recordings for Hill, Ken Tobias, The Good Brothers, Downchild and Amy Sky. He formed a songwriting partnership with Jordan and moved to Los Angeles, placing songs with René Shuman, Rod Stewart, Joe Cocker, Diana Ross, Manhattan Transfer, Isaac Hayes and many others. As a session musician, he recorded with legendary producers Humberto Gatica and John Boylan. As John Capek & The Family of Man, he released his debut recording, Indaba (Mesa Blue Moon).


He co-wrote the 1984 album One Foot in Front of Australian singer John Paul Young, who is famous for "Love Is in the Air". After returning to Toronto in 1995, John continued writing for Rod Stewart, as well as for Cher, Amanda Marshall, Bonnie Raitt amongst others and also scored the television series "Grandpa's Garden" and "Letters to God”.


He was the former director of the Songwriters Association of Canada and the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame, and founding faculty member of the songwriting program at the Royal Conservatory of Music.