John Lester “Johnny” Nash, Jr. was an American reggae and pop music singer-songwriter, best known in the US for his 1972 hit, “I Can See Clearly Now”
John Lester “Johnny” Nash, Jr. (August 19, 1940 – October 6, 2020) was an American pop singer-songwriter, best known in the US for his 1972 hit, “I Can See Clearly Now”. He was also the first non-Jamaican to record reggae music in Kingston, Jamaica.
Born in Houston, Texas, He began as a pop singer in the 1950s. He also enjoyed success as an actor early in his career appearing in the screen version of playwright Louis S. Peterson’s Take a Giant Step. Nash won a Silver Sail Award for his performance from the Locarno International Film Festival.
In 1965, Johnny Nash and Danny Sims formed the JAD label in New York. One of the more interesting signings was four brothers from Newport, Rhode Island, ages 9, 11, 15 and 16, called The Cowsills. This was before The Cowsills signed with Mercury/Philips with Shelby Singleton and before they signed with MGM and had their first million selling hit single, “The Rain, The Park & Other Things”. Nash had his writers writing songs for The Cowsills and they went into the studio in New York with studio musicians and recorded a number of songs like “Either You Do Or You Don’t” and “You Can’t Go Halfway”. Eventually The Cowsills would write and record their own song, “All I Really Want To Be Is Me” which became the group’s debut single release on JAD.