Fifty Plus Years In The Entertainment Business

Born and raised in Finlayson, in east central Minnesota, this farm boy, from the early age of 3 seemed to know exactly what he was destined to do for the rest of his life. From that tender age he would study this phenomena called music. And soon was making instruments out of anything that was available around the farm, such as pails, binder twine, wash tubs, and twigs from the big ash tree in the yard that his swing hung from. By the time he was nine, an old piano found its way into the house, and at age ten, an old "Stella" guitar. In the spring of the year 1948, band leader, George Drahosh, came to the Voit farm to ask his parents permission to allow John to play in his dance band. His mother says that had it been anyone else his father would not have allowed it. This was John's first big break, to be followed by many more. At age 16 he was working with the Arrowhead Trio, out of Moose Lake, Minnesota, and at 18 moved to the Twin Cities to go to work at Minneapolis Honeywell. He soon hooked up with a group called the Country Ramblers that was doing a weekly radio show on station W.C.O.W., the first and only country music station in the Twin Cities Area at the time, and was also playing at the Enlisted Mens Club and the Wold Chamberlain Air base. From the Country Ramblers band the next stop was the second largest country music show in the United States at the time, the K.S.T.P. "Sunset Valley Barndance Show" where John remained until 1957 when the show was retired. "Big" John, now at the ripe old age 22 and certainly not ready to retire, teamed up with country singer, Chuck Carson, and went to work on two of the biggest projects in town. A new Television show on K.M.S.P. Channel 9 and at the same time, the house band at the then world famous "FLAME CAFE," which was equal to "GILLY'S" at that time. After three years and seven months with the "Flame Cafe" and the CHUCK CARSON daily television show it was time to go on the road with his own band which was affectionately named "BIG JOHN AND THE BAD MEN." A band that would be retired and revived several times in his career. The name of course was inspired by the giant hit song, BIG BAD JOHN, which was included in his second album entitled "BIG JOHN'S IN TOWN." The year from the early fifties to middle seventies afforded "Big John Voit" the rare opportunity to work with and to personally get to know literally the "Whose Who" in the music industry. He is sometimes hesitant to talk very much about it because it all sounds so unbelievable. Because of Big Johns inherent love for the fiddle and Western Swing music, or as John calls it, "Texas Swing," he created a show and dance band in Michigan that featured three fiddles in the front line and was appropriately named the "FIDDLERS THREE." After a thirty year absence, John brought his love for music, and experience back to his home state of Minnesota and sought out the best musicians around to play the kind of music he loves most, "Texas Swing." In 1990 the "PLUM COUNTRY SWING BAND" was created, and in 1995 was voted by fans one of the top five best country bands in the Midwest. An international recording career has been on going since the early sixties when he helped with the production of Dave Dudleys huge world wide hit, "SIX DAYS ON THE ROAD" and still flourishes today. An instrumental album, a collaboration with producer/director and master keyboardest TERRY NORD, is set for release in Europe in June of 1998.