MICHAEL ST. JOHN'S BIO
MICHEAL ST. JOHN grew up in the small town of Morton, Pennsylvania, ten miles outside of Philadelphia. He attended an all Afro American school for his first 8 years as a student. When graduating, because he excelled in his academic work as well in music on every level, he qualified to attend the highly-rated Swarthmore High School. During his first year, he decided to audition for the famed PAUL WHITMAN TV SHOW (WFIL-NBC) as well as the CHILDREN'S HOUR, WCAU-CBS radio. This resulted in his appearing both on TV and Radio twice weekly. This resulted in Michael not only participating in the school's music productions but several of the theatre projects, as well. When he was selected to appear in plays DEATH TAKES A HOLIDAY, as a Russian general, it caused quite a stir not only in the school but in the community as well. When graduating from Swarthmore, he was asked to give a speech; at the conclusion of the speech he received a five-minute standing ovation.
Before leaving to attend his first year at Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana, he auditioned for the annual STARS OF TOMORROW CONTEST presented by the "PHILADELPHIA BULLETIN" newspaper. St. John was selected as one of the three winners. He appeared on the same bill as iconic stars DINAH SHORE, LOUIS ARMSTRONG, ALEC TEMPLETON, DUKE ELLINGTON, SUGAR CHILD ROBINSON, PHILADELPHIA ORCHESTRA, ED SULLIVAN hosted
His first year attending EARLHAM COLLEGE in Richmond, Ind., he was voted CLASS PRESIDENT, (first Afro-American for such an honor); however, during HOME COMING PRADE, the KKK attacked min and his class. They were forced to leave parade and return to the campus when later Mike's dorm- room was firebombed.
He was transferred to U.S.C. in California. It was there, the doors of opportunity opened up wide. He was selected to perform for President, Dwight D. Eisenhower at the Hollywood Bowl along with Jacque Horne who eventually signed with the Met; he was asked to perform for guest Russian composer DMITRI SHOSTAKOVICH, and selected as one of the featured characters in Shakespeare’s "MACBETH" performed in Bovard Auditorium (another first for that time in Hollywood), before graduating he was signed to the award-winning musical "Carmen ones" (starring Harry Belafonte, Diahann Carroll, Dorothy Dandridge, Pearl Bailey.
Michael made his nightclub debut at the "Peter Potter Club" in the Valley, later the sunset strip's "Purple Onion" which lead to his appearing in a few Broadway Road tours: FINIAN'S RAINBOW (David Wayne), MEMBER OF THE WEDDING (Ethel Waters), THE DESK SET (Shirley (Hazel) BOOTH, and several others. Upon receiving his MASTER’S DEGREE from U.C.L.A., he signed with NBC as ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR; following a two-year run there, he signed as EDITOR in CHIEF for CONFIDENTIAL MAGAZINE, TEEN TALK and later as EDITOR in CHIEF for PLAYER'S INT'L, helming magazines: PLAYER'S, NOW & MICHAEL ST. JOHN'S NIGHT BEAT (to rival that of Rona Barrett). Mike was offered a daily radio Entertainment reporter spot at KDIA RADIO in San Francisco, he accepted and continued the connection for over 20 years; he also hosted Mike St. John's TV Video Show (San Jose - Chn. 48).
While still in S.F., he attended DOMINICAN UNIV, received a Ph.D in music and English Lit., He composed an award-winning symphony FLIGHT OF COLUMBIA and DANCES OF REMEMBRANCE, later when returning to Los Angeles, he penned his memoir "HOLLYWOOD THROUGH THE BACK DOOR" - it is in its 3rd printing.
AMAZING LIFE OF “MICHAEL ST. JOHN” IN ENTERTAINMENT
First appeared at 13 on the PAUL WHITEMAN TV TEEN CLUB SHOW WFIL in PHILADELPHIA.
THE CHILDRENS HOURS (Stan Lee Broza Radio Show)– WCAU in PHILADELPHIA
Appeared in first major musical DE ADAMSES at HEDGEDRO THEATRE outside Philadelphia. Met and performed for President Harry Truman and Vice President Henry Wallis.
Chosen as one of 3 winners sponsored by the Philadelphia Bulletin Annual Stars of Tomorrow contest and Music Festival. Stars appearing on same show: Diana Shore, Hazel Scott, Jane Froman, Alex Templeton, Sugar Chile Robinson, Sigmund Romberg and his String Orchestra. Ed Sullivan as host, Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, Jonny Ray, Eugene Ormandy (conductor) Philadelphia Orchestra.
PERSONAL AUDIENCES WITH Paul Robeson, Roland Hayes, Marian Anderson, The Duke of Canterbury (England), Eleanor Roosevelt, Art Tatum, Mario Lanza, Tallulah Bankhead, Fred Waring (director of Pennsylvanian singing group), Oscar Levant, Gene Autry, Josephine Baker
The first Black Class Room President at SWARTHMORE HIGH SCHOOL (highest rated in area)
First Black President of his Freshman Class at EARLHAM COLLEGE (Richmond, Indiana).
Met and performed for Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich at U.S.C; (selected to perform with the noted musician along with future Metropolitan Opera Diva, Marilyn Horn performed for President
Dwight D. Eisenhower at the HOLLYWOOD BOWL along with Marilyn Horn,
Met famed composer, Igor Stravinsky, Cecil B. Demille, Bette Davis, Lionel Barrymore, Agnes Moorhead, June Allyson, Dick Powell, Eve Arden, Marie Wilson, Bing Crosby, Dan Daily, Orson Wells, James Dean, Marilyn Monroe, Ethel Merman, Marlon Brando, Rock Hudson, James Stewart, Vincent Price, Frank Sinatra, Ethel Waters, Nick Stewart, David Wayne, Shirley Booth, Dorothy Dandridge, Harry Belafonte, Pearl Bailey, Diahann Carroll, Brock Peters, Max Roach, Joan Crawford, Kate Hepburn, Sammy Davis, Jr., Grouch Marx, Richard Zanuck, Jr., Otto Preminger, Joe Pasternak, Glenn Ford, Ron Howard, David Raksin, Carmen DeLavalade, Archie Savage, Little Richard, Montgomery Cliff, Anthony Perkins, Debbie Reynolds, Mary Pickford, Ruta Lee, Grace Kelly, Ginny Sims, Charles Laughton, Hugh Hefner, Leon Isaac Kennedy, Jane Kennedy, Joseph Cotton, Florence Marly, Yma Sumac, Inis Ennis (French novelist), Judy Garland, Mickey Rooney,
~THE LATE 1950s~
CBS – RADIO, SCRIPT DEPARTMENT/ First Black hired in a position there.
Made appearances: /Shakespeare’s MACBETH, (U.S.C.), Marriage of Figaro, Shrine Auditorium Concert with The Andrew Sisters, McGuire Sisters, and the Lennon Sisters, Robert Ryan was host, Los Angeles Philharmonic Auditorium (performing) Palm Springs Concert, Musical “Carnival Island”, Take A Giant Step (play), Macado (Grand Poobah; Signed to appear as T-BONE in classic Motion Picture, CARMEN JONES, Directed by OTTO PREMINGER/ First all Black musical starring major stars in the film industry, nominated for OSCAR IN THE BEST PICTURE CATEGORY.
NIGHTCLUB APPEARANCES: THE PURPLE ONION, (Sunset Strip in Hollywood), HUNGRI EYE in San Francisco, PETER POTTER CLUB in SAN FERNANDO VALLEY (a major club) CALIFORNIA CLUB, Los Angeles, made numerous radio appearances and television appearances, based on the “Carmen Jones” film.
CONNECTED with ENTERTAINMENT COLUMNIST “HEDDA HOPPER” – because she was aware of his background, insisted MICHAEL join her staff; covering every aspect of the motion picture industry. He soon was signed as West Coast Correspondent for TV, RADIO,MOVIE GUIDE based on the East Coast.
FEATURED IN: FENIANS RAINBOW WITH “DAVID WAYNE”, MEMBER OF THE WEDDING WITH “ETHEL WATERS,” THE DESK SET WITH “SHIRLEY BOOTH “(HAZEL ON TV),
SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: WORLDWIDE NEWS – THE OUTRAGEOUS MICHAEL ST. JOHN ENTERTAINMENT WORLD, THE LOS ANGELES EAGLE NEWSPAPER, SANTA MONICA OUTLOOK, MOVIE STAR MAGAZINE, CONFIDENTIAL, TEEN TALK MAGAZINE, THE BLACK AMERICAN NEWSPAPER, ENCORE,
ASSOCIATE CASTING DIRECTOR AT “MGM”; ARTIST REP. (THE STAR AGENCY),
RECEIVED “ENTERTAINMENT LAW DEGREE” FROM UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA.
DIRECTOR: HOLLYWOOD MUSIC SHOW – radio – CBS.
HOSTING “ARM SERVICES RADIO SHOW – recorded in HOLLYWOOD.
PUBLIC RELATIONS DIRECTOR OF THE LOS ANGELES BUSINESS BUREAU.
EDITOR IN CHIEF: PLAYERS INTERNATION PUBLICATIONS: PLAYERS, NOW, MICHAEL ST. JOHN’S NIGHTBEAT.
FIRST BLACK DIRECTOR FOR “NBC” NETWORK in BURBANK, CALIFORNIA.
1980s: SIGNED WITH “KDIA” RADIO IN SAN FRANCISCO –co-hosting DAILY RADIO SHOW with BARRY POPE. Existed with that station for over 25 years interviewing celebrities, reporting news from the film and theatre world involving BROADWAY, HOLLYWOOD and any location where productions of entertainment are produced.
~2002 - 2004~
CONCENTRATED ON “FILMMAKING” AT “COLLEGE OF MARIN” AND later: “DOMINICAN UNIVERSITY receiving Ph.D. in music composition. COMPOSED award-winning SYMPHONY, ‘FLIGHT OF COLUMBIA 7Michael St. John | Facebook
Michael St. John is on Facebook. ... To connect with Michael, ... Grammy Award Winning Composer for "Flight of Columbia 7 and Dances of Remembrance."
and DANCES OF REMEMBRANCE.” ( European tour )
JEFF NISHIMURA, Dominican Professor.: WROTE and produced musical CHASIN THE BLUES for MICHAEL ST.JOHN, produced in SAN FRANCISCO. Received rave reviews. St. John composed some of the MUSIC for the show.
ONCE RETURNING to Hollywood, MICHAEL concentrated on writing his BEST SELLING BOOK, “HOLLYWOOD THROUGH THE BACK DOOR,” AS WELL AS A “PRE-BROADWAY PLAY “I FEEL SIN COMIN’ ON WITH MUSIC”. THE play is scheduled for a MARCH 2018 premiere in ATLANTA, GEORGIA, produced by LEVI MILLER and COMPANY.