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Where’s ’80s Pop Singer John Parr-Man In Motion [VIDEOS]

soundtrack
"St. Elmo's Fire" soundtrack. (Craig Allen photo)

John Parr scored a #1 hit in the USA (and New Jersey) in the summer of 1985! Afterwards, he seemed to disappear. Seemed. Actually, he’s still a “man in motion.”

After playing “St. Elmo’s Fire (Man In Motion)” on the Saturday afternoon show recently, I got to wondering: What ever happened to John Parr?

He was born November 18, 1954 in Worksop, Nottinghamshire, England. John Parr formed the band “The Silence” with a few school pals when he was 12!  His next band was called “Ponder’s End,” and they were often called “the best live act aound” in their part of England (along with Dire Straits). When they didn’t secure a recording contract, Ponder’s End came to an end.

John Parr secured a recording contract in 1983, the same year that Meatloaf asked Parr to write a few songs for a new Meatloaf album! Parr also met up with John Wolff, manager of the Who. With the first proposed end of the Who, Wolff was looking for a new project, and John Parr was it.

1984 brought Parr to the US for the first time. He worked with Meatloaf. He also signed a solo contract with Atlantic records. Pretty good year!

“Naughty Naughty” was John Parr’s first hit. It went to #23 on the charts in 1985. At this time, Parr hit the concert circuit with his band “The Business,” supporting bands like Toto. 

Next, record producer David Foster called Parr, asking for a song to include on the “St. Elmo’s Fire” movie soundtrack. Parr and Foster wrote a song in honor of wheelchair athlete Rick Hansen. The song became the main theme for the “Brat Pack” movie (which had nothing to do with Hansen’s accomplishments).

“St. Elmo’s Fire (Man In Motion)” went to #1 in the USA, and around the world. It grabbed many honors, including a Grammy nomination.

Parr immediately went on to tour with the likes of Tina Turner, Heart, and the Beach Boys. Parr wrote music for Roger Daltry (the Who), and sang with Marilyn Martin. He contributed songs to various movie soundtracks through the ’80s and into the 1990s.

After 10 years away from the music business, John Parr returned in 2006. A dance remix of “St. Elmo’s Fire” called “New Horizon” got some notice, although the song had no connection to Parr.

In 2007, Parr released the song “Walking Out Of The Darkness.”  He recorded the main title song for the movie “The Brothers Solomon.” And, he joined Bryan Adams on tour.

In 2008, John Parr guested on the British leg of Journey’s world tour.  Last year, he toured Britain with Richard Marx.

A 2011 ESPN appearance, where Parr sang “St. Elmo’s Fire (Man In Motion),” changing the words to “Tim Tebow’s Fire” went viral.

Earlier this year, John Parr was on the road, singing his music, and other ’80s faves, in the show “American Anthems-The Spectacular Rock Musical.” He plays the part of…John Parr.

Catch up with John Parr by clicking here!

John Parr. He’s not gone! He’s a “Man In Motion.”

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