The Music of John Anthony Franklin

A late bloomer as they say, but boy did he bloom! Started playing harmonica at age 17. Bought his first guitar when he was 19. Wrote his 1st song as soon as he got the rhythm to 3 cords. Started playing professionally in clubs when he was 20. Opened for Livingston Taylor, Arlo Guthrie, Michael Murphy & Leon Redbone when he was 21.

Hearts - In My Silverado - Lin & John


My First Guitar

I bought my first guitar in 1975 with an income tax check I got back for $350. That was a lot of money back then. I went to the local guitar shop, a little place called Bucks County Folk Music. I gave him all my money for my first guitar. I had no idea how or what kind of guitar to pick. I had to totally trust him, his name was Carl. The guitar was made by the Guild guitar Co. It was a great starter.

As soon as I started playing I would just listen to what the music was saying to me, That enabled me to make up my own chords and start writing songs right away. There was nothing to compare my experience with. So the early time with music was Clear, easy, very zen, no presumption. I had already traveled a lot! Right out of high school started hitchhiking thinking I would avoid being drafted to a proven death in Vietnam. So I did have a lot of fresh experiences to write about.

"True American Hero" - T.A.H - Johnny Dock


Yankee Son - Two Hearts - Lin & John

The Original Music

Within one year he had enough songs written that he could make a record. He learned Crosby stills, Nash and Young songs, Van Morrison, Bob Marley, Gordon Lightfoot, and Jonathan Edwards songs that got him gigs, playing at coffee, houses, bars, and small parties. His Setlist were always dominated by his original songs. Music was instantly woven into every part of his life.

Double Wide Love - Two Hearts - Lin & John


St. Anthony Newfoundland

When I hitchhiked through Newfoundland I was walking out of the city of Saint Anthony with a pack on my back carrying a guitar. There was a crew of burley construction workers putting the final touches on a very large slab of concrete. One of the Canadian gents yelled over from across the highway to me, “hey Laddy, Play your guitar.” He had such a thick Canadian brogue that I could not understand him. I looked in question and held up my hands. He answered back making gestures to play air guitar and said you’re a guitar, you’re a guitar, come play your guitar.”
I shyfully crossed the highway and the crowd began to gather. There were probably about 20 to 30 men gathering around me as I unfastened my guitar case latches and pulled out my instrument. Turning my case up on its side I sat down on it and began to play. I figured that it would be smart to come up with a song they might know. The first one I played was Gordon Lightfoot, Early Morning Rain. They immediately turned in and started singing along. Then someone broke out a bottle of rum and started passing it around slugging it down, and then another. I kept singing mixing my originals in with other songs like Neil Young’s Helpless. They were a very jovial bunch that loved being entertained. It wasn’t long before one of them took off his hat and began dancing around the other men as they would drop money into it. As rough as they were they had big hearts and loved that I had hitchhiked all the way from the United States way up to the top tip of their Canadian home. This was 1976 and they gave me well over $100 which back then was a large sum of money, it enabled me to eat well on the road.

"Goin Down" - In My Silverado - John Anthony Franklin

A fairly large car ferry boat took me and my friend, Joel, from Nova Scotia to Newfoundland. The only ride we could get off the ferry was in the back of a pickup truck. We traveled three hours to Corner Brook in the cold pouring rain. A newspaper reporter saw us get out of the truck. He pulled his jeep over and told us he would take us to the YMCA for hot showers if we would pose at the tourist center for the newspaper...

The picture is from the 1976 newspaper article from the Corner Brook newspaper in Newfoundland.

Here is what the newspaper article read:

Jacqueline Noseworthy (right) one of the two staffers at the corner brook JC tourist chalet on the trans-Canada highway points out areas of interest in Newfoundland for two summer tourists Joe Laurens (left) and John Franklin (right) both of Philadelphia PA who visited the chalet this morning the figures for this year‘s tour is trash at the chalet operated each summer by the chassis is down from what it was and 75

The truth behind the story:

When the pickup truck dropped us off in Corner Brook we stood in the middle of an intersection while the rain was clearing. We were freezing! Both of us shivering to the bone from having been exposed to the cold rain for three hours straight. A fella pulled up in a sedan vehicle and offered us a ride to the YMCA where we could get a hot shower. The caveat was first we had to go to the tourist center and allow him to take pictures of us talking to the agent. So that he could do this and be able to put it in the local paper. On our way back from Saint Anthony we were able to snag a copy of it and bring this article home.

Notice closely that we were both still soaking wet and very cold but boy was it worth that hot shower. We were very grateful for the info and ride.

"Wine and Chocklet" - SPIRIT OF THE DIRT - John Anthony Franklin

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"Crossing the River" - Johnny Goes Country - John Anthony Franklin


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"Trucking Highway" - JOHNNY GOES COUNTRY - John Anthony Franklin

The Making of Johnny Goes Country

Throughout his life, John has been told to focus on just one genre.
“Couldn’t happen! There is way too much to explore,” he would say.
So LIN & JOHN are releasing a series of John’s almost 50 years of work based on the Genres of his music. Johnny Goes Country is the first. A collection of 12 songs from 1975 to 2012 written and recorded in the Country vein.

"Hey Billy" - JOHNNY GOES COUNTRY - John Anthony Franklin

"Dying Child" - SPIRIT OF THE DIRT - John Anthony Franklin

The Making of Spirit of the Dirt

An extraordinary time in John’s life. 2002 to 2004 when the business of his architectural designs was melting down. It opened up a universe of possibilities! He began weighing out the importance of life. Whether to proceed and pursue the success that he had been experiencing being published in Architectural Digest and other national magazines. Even on the cover of Country Living Magazine. His architectural business was based on intuition and a sense of vision that he was often told must’ve come from a previous life. It was based on Old World architecture. And even though he had never been to Europe at that time he was designing and developing a residential architecture that was simply inspiring on the history and geography of European living. His success threatened many of the local architects who were driven by their own lack of vision to bring him down and he was faced with many lawsuits and overwhelming challenges coming from that side of human nature. Realizing that it was not worth fighting such demons he began looking for an alternative way of living.

"Land of the Crow" - Spirit of the Dirt - John Anthony Franklin

He took a trip out to California to visit Linda‘s uncle in Calabasas California. He revisited the hitchhiking trips that he had done there 30 years before. All the while he had been meditating and practicing meditation while he was traveling. While out there he received a phone call from a filmmaker friend who was doing a scouting trip in Real de Catorce Mexico and was invited to join him during that scouting. Gratefully accepted and flew from San Diego to Laredo Mexico. They met there at the airport. Rented a car and drove up into the mountains 10,000 feet to Real de Catorce. This turned out to be one of the most inspiring and motivating trips and adventures of John’s life. Within a few days of their arrival, they commissioned a Mexican Indian to take them into the desert in the lower flatlands and to scout out peyote. The trip from the mountain top down into the desert was so frightening that John literally feared for his life and hung onto the lever of the door ready to jump out on the Mountain side of the road because he believed the car would eventually fall off the side of its thousand-foot cliff. Upon their arrival at the desert in Mexico, they were led to these special places where they picked peyote. Even among rattlesnakes. While John was reaching down to pick a peyote button the Mexican Indian grabbed his arm as he slowly focused he saw the diamondback wrapped around the Peyote button.

Mexican Indian left them early in the morning in the hot sun with one tree to find refuge in the shade. They rolled out their blankets set up their totems ate the peyote and fell into sleep. When John woke he began wandering through the desert. He was encountered by spirits That challenged his intentions. At one point John was looking for some totem he could take with him to prove that he was a spiritual person. To prove that he had these experiences that gave him wisdom. To prove something that would make him feel like he had reached a goal that was important to the meaning of life. In a moment there was a whirlwind literally spinning around him. The face of the spirit stared him straight in the eye and said - STOP SCANNING! That was a huge awakening for John he realized that in all his spiritual endeavors throughout life - he had had many. Having been an elder in a Presbyterian church, having been baptized three times - once in the Pacific Ocean with three halos around a full moon… all these different events that made him feel like he was something that was special all of a sudden dissolved into an instant moment where the spirit said STOP SCANNING! It was over.

"Wild One" - Spirit of the Dirt - John Anthony Franklin

After eight hours or more going through the peyote experience the Mexican Indian came back in his Toyota 4 x 4. They quietly rolled up all their blankets tucked away their totems and quietly piled into the vehicle and proceeded to go back up to the 10,000-foot refuge. As they climbed the same Incredibly Dangerous Rd., John with his legs hanging over the tailgate of the vehicle looked out and down the thousand-foot cliff and had absolutely no fear at all. Having been transformed! He had no fear of life ending - no fear of death - he didn’t even think about that. What he thought about was a pebble hitting water and seeing ripples coming from it and spreading out over the distance of the water and realizing that every ripple was like a generation - and that everything that he had in him, all his DNA that was in him from all his traveling was a part of his children now. Anything that it happened to him after they were born was no longer a part of their DNA. But anything that he had done - anything that he had experienced before they were born was in their DNA. And so it was with all the generations before them and for him. Everything. John realized at the time that his grandparents and great grandparents his great-great-grandparents were ripples in the water of time. And that each ripple had the DNA memory of what the generations had experienced.

This was life-changing for John! He came up out of that - he had an amazing beautiful meal in a wonderful restaurant that reminded him so much of Europe and he slowly faded back into the normal consciousness of humanity.

The next week that went by was filled with revelations and thoughts that were life-changing. He came back to the states to deal with all the emergencies. All the conflicts! All the drama of humanity that he stepped out of. He faced it! He weighed the odds, he made his choices. Over this period of time, he wrote 16 songs and recorded them all. They are now in Spirit of the Dirt!

"Highway Signs" - Spirit of the Dirt - John Anthony Franklin



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The cover is a picture that he took of a hand-laid stone Road on the way to Real de Catorce. It was ancient so are the cactuses to the left and right. An endless road that transfixed for 30 miles up into the mountain from the plains of the desert. Extraordinary that every stone had been laid by a human being. That’s why he created Spirit of the Dirt


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The Making of Southern Roots

"They say family is everything according to Jesus, one might want to stretch the idea."
-Mark 3: 31-35

However, in John's case, his Souther Roots go deep, very deep, and devout! Southern Baptist - Primitive Baptist. You can judge that all you want, but wait! Consider the stories. Listen to this recording over and over. Hear the tales of the days gone by and put yourself in the shoes of those who tell them.
George Franklin, the literary professor at Boston University. Oscar Franklin, judge of the circuit court Georgia. And then there is Sweet, the nic-name giver was Aunt Sweet. The name reflected her spirit. They are the hosts in the tales.
One of John's deep revelations was to explore, understand and devote the history of his Southern Family.
So, his cousin Brett came to visit John at his farm in Bucks County Pa.
Entering the house, by his side were the Franklin reunion tapes from 1949. Brett gently passed them on to John with John’s goal in mind to transform them into digital format. There, John could review and edit them to a comprehensible level. Combine them with Music tracks and songs from a recording that he visioned for the record Southern Roots.

"Old Savannah" - Southern Roots - John Anthony Franklin

The Making of MY SOUTHLAND

LIN & JOHN are releasing a series of John’s almost 50 years of work based on the genres of his music. MY SOUTHLAND is a collection of songs from the 2000’s period written and recorded in the Southern Americana vein.
John wrote “My Southern roots run very deep. Even though I had no idea until I was 50 years old. I was given hints growing up by my daddy. He was a very quiet man, a strong-bred Primitive Baptist raised in Southern Georgia one generation after the Plantation life that my granddaddy grew up living. My granddaddy was kin to 6 brothers and 2 sisters. It wasn’t the Hollywood version that our culture has been fed. No Gone With The Wind idea of plantation life. It was a family of hard-working children that were as important a part of everyday work as any hired hand was. His Brother Oscar said on the Southern Roots record “My brother Russell could plow a row as straight as a rifle bullet, just as straight as a rifle bullet!” That was plowing a field with a mule and single bottom plow. Not the tractors and modern-day machines there are today. That took years of practice and skill. He went on the become the dentist of Hawkinsville Georgia. My Grandfathers name was John Russell but they called him Russell. I was named after both my grandfathers. John Russell, my father's side, and Anthony from my Ma’s side.
Mom was 1st generation Irish Catholic immigrant. She was a tough one and very beautiful! So when they got married Dad never went back to his Southern Roots, never talked about it, and converted to Catholicism.

"Back to Georgia" - My Southland - John Anthony Franklin

Coming in 2023 RECORD RELEASE

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