Glasgow-born John Wright (Full name: John Baxter Connor Devine Wright) had his one and only solo LP "Laughter Through Tears" issued by Scottish folk label Neptune/Lismor Recordings in 1979. According to the sleeve notes:
No profound message or moral is intended, he [John] has simply written a set of twelve contemporary ethnic songs entitled "Laughter Through Tears", which express the humour that the natives of Glasgow manage to sustain in a tough and sometimes hostile environment.And around 15 years ago John wrote this to me about the enterprise:
'Laughter Through Tears' was my first "pro" recording, produced by the Mcready Brothers ('Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep' - Middle of the Road). It was recorded "live" in 4 days in their studio in Klrkintilloch (just outside Glasgow) and released on the Lismore label (1979).
The resulting record is an honest and melodic effort in a simple, no-frills, folk-pop vein. Lyrically it is story-based and seems to draw primarily from the author's upbringing in Glasgow. Tales of the local homeless shelter as well that of a juvenile romantic rendezvous in a public park blend effortlessly together with those of "a kid being embarrassed at having to take his Granny's laundry down to the council wash house" - to quote, again, the album's sleeve notes.
Wright clearly knew his stuff and his next move in the music business was somewhat surprising...or perhaps not. He teamed up with singer Leslie McKeown, who then had recently left Scottish teen pop sensations the Bay City Rollers for a solo career. Wright, now having reinvented himself as the pop-person Scobie Ryder in effect became McKeown's co-writer and co-conspirator for the next two or three years, as well as signing a short-lived solo deal with EMI, which issued three Scobie Ryder solo singles in 1979 and 1980. To quote the artist, again from my e-talk with him early this century:
In the space of 8 months I could hardly recognize myself, and of course in that time (living in a van parked in Soho Square) I changed my stage name to Scobie Ryder and have been him ever since.
In the decades since "Laughter Through Tears" John Wright/Scobie Ryder has continued working as an artist of some sort or another; be it performing or producing other musical acts; working in television, or as a writer. Or, as the man himself sums it up:
Being an artist can be a strange and somewhat bizarre lifestyle, drifting from one discipline to the next, always on the lookout for a new way to express one's self ...though not always successfully ;-)