18th October 2002
My wife Margaret met John Sidney in Hobart (early 1940's) whilst a dancer in "Patches" - when John played violin in the local concerts. He was later to teach himself piano and organ.
I first met Margaret in 1978 in Melbourne and later when visiting (1980) Hobart and walking through the Wrest Point Casino I heard this great piano sound: mind you, coming from a small Yamaha upright. I stopped, listened, quite astonished, as one rarely hears the piano being used as intended; being played so enthusiastically and with such aplomb. My being a traditionalist: from Beethoven sonatas to Fats Waller solos - I was pleasantly surprised to once again hear that tradition (once described as "two-fisted piano") live!! I expressed to John my views at the time : A mutual concurrence.
John is well known and admired as a popular entertainer: with "Charlie" : Hammond organ and piano various. He has kept up the repertoire of the popular piano classics, equipping his craft with every known song from the "sing-a longs" through the "evergreens" to the "show stoppers".
Australia, I feel sure, at this time has nobody who can top John Sidney : We are all the better to embrace the work of this great artist : a craftsman whose attention to detail in his workmanship : his musicality : his musicianship from technique to good taste is remarkable; and he remains standing high in the pecking order of his peers the world over.
Congratulations John; a job well done; praise well deserved.
With best wishes, from all your admirers,