John Pressley was born in Richmond, VA and raised by his grandparents on a farm in Sumter, SC
John always loved music. As a young child, he spent hours listening to the radio and mimicking the soulful sounds of the many vocalists and groups he heard. John says Johnny Mathis, Luther Vandross, Eddie Levert and Teddy Pendergrass were some of those artists that inspired him to sing. At the tender age of 10, he joined the choir at Union Station AME Church in Sumter where his love for music grew stronger and with the help of the Pastor and choir director, he fine-tuned his vocal skills.
John began singing with his Half-Brother Arthur “Mac” Daniel under the name “Mac and the Classics”. At age 16 they landed their first paid gig at a local club in Columbia, SC. By then it was clear that singing and music was what he wanted to do for the rest of his life.
After graduating from high school, John enrolled at Allen University in Columbia, SC where he formed a vocal group called “JOBS” an acronym for “Just One Bad Show”. They performed at local clubs, parties and other events throughout the State and opened for big name acts such as “The Ojay’s”, “The Manhattans”, “The Spinners” and others when those groups performed in South Carolina.
In 1978 the group flew to Los Angeles to perform on the popular TV show “The Gong Show.” While there they met Marvin Gaye who took an interest in them and gave them a unique look into the music industry. When they returned to South Carolina they cut a commercial track titled “Summer Fun” for WIS-TV and performed many gigs at public and private gatherings for then South Carolina Governor, Richard Riley.
Upon leaving college, Pressley and his friend and vocal partner, Ricky Cooper, formed a duet called Pressley & Cooper and moved to New York in 1984 to pursue their singing careers. That same year they achieved one of their lofty goals when they performed at Harlem’s world famous Apollo Theater and received a standing ovation. After the Apollo show, Pressley & Cooper became well-known on the NY club circuit for their smooth vocals and love ballads and performed at local clubs throughout the tri-state area. In 1985 they performed on a public station television show “FIRST Exposure” where he met his wife of 28 years, Diane.
In 1987, John embarked on a solo career with release of his first single “It’s So Easy Loving You” on the Harlem International Label. Over the next several years John performed gigs across the country and appeared with several other well-known artists. In 1995 he met the King of Neo-Soul, Funk and Jazz, Vibraphonist Roy Ayers. Roy loved John’s vocal abilities and asked him to join his band - “Ubiquity.” Since then, John has travelled the world with Roy Ayers and Ubiquity appearing at sold-out venues all over France, England, Italy, Japan, Russia, Moscow and other cities in Europe, Asia and South America. His vocals can be heard on some of Roy’s most popular CDs such as “Nasti'e”, “Smooth Jazz”, “Perfection”, “Live at Arturo's”, and “King of the Vibes”.
This year, while still travelling and performing with the Roy Ayers’ band, John Pressley took on a new project that has produced his latest solo cd titled “Listen 2 The Lyric’s.” The title song “Listen” has been described as a classic ballad that promises to enhance the love experience for its listeners. John says “only time will tell – 9 months to be exact.” “Listen 2 The Lyrics” can be purchased and downloaded from John Pressley’s Facebook page and other internet music resources.