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John Wesley Harding (singer)
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John Wesley Harding (singer)

John Wesley Harding (b. 22_October 1965) is a folk/pop singer-songwriter who has called his style of music "folk noir" and "gangsta folk".

He was born Wesley Harding Stace in Hastings, East Sussex, England. His original first name (and performing middle name), Wesley, comes from John Wesley who preached one of his last sermons in the town where Harding was born. His stage name may be seen as an almost inevitable nickname, for a folk-connected musician, in light of the similarity between "Wesley Harding Stace" and the Bob Dylan album "John Wesley Harding" (and its title song). (His birth preceded the album's release by two years. The historical figure whose name could also suggest "Hardin" or "Harding" as a middle name following "Wesley", not only is American (rather than British), but also was less known even in the U.S. before the song "Hardin Wouldn't Run" was written by Johnny Cash, and recorded in 1965. So Harding's birth name is not likely to have been influenced by the gunfighter's name.)

His education included:

He left Cambridge before earning his Ph.d. in Humanities.

He has been dogged by comparisons to Elvis Costello which probably was fueled, in part, by two members of his early band (Pete and Bruce Thomas) having been members of The Attractions.

Influences on him include: Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Ray Davies, Phil Ochs...


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