Rock anthem climbs to number one slot in US charts for Doncaster’s John Parr

St Elmo's Fire singer John Parr.
St Elmo's Fire singer John Parr.

It’s 33 years since Doncaster rock star John Parr made number one in the US charts with his iconic hit, St Elmo’s Fire (Man in Motion).

On September 7, 1985, the song that was written in honour of wheelchair athlete and activist Rick Hansen topped the US charts for two weeks.

Doncaster 's John Parr opens a Bryan Adams gig at the Keepmoat Stadium.

Doncaster 's John Parr opens a Bryan Adams gig at the Keepmoat Stadium.

St Elmo’s Fire was a global hit that earned Parr a Grammy award nomination, and was the theme song for the acclaimed film starring Rob Lowe and Demi Moore, of the same name.

The singer said he had watched a short video of Rick Hansen setting out to circumnavigate the globe in his wheelchair, when he penned the charttopper, feeling truly inspired.

It was Parr’s second US number one, as the previous year, rock single Naughty Naughty from his 1984 debut album had climbed right up the charts.

Born in November 1952, Parr first formed a band with schoolmates, at the age of 12. He went on to serve his time on the pubs and clubs circuit aroiund Northern England with Ponders End, then St Elmo’s Fire changed the game completely. It smashed into the UK top ten, lingering at number six, as it conquered the US charts.

John Parr performs at the Keepmoat Stadium in the rain on Friday 20th July 2007 (Picture: Malcolm Billingham D3701MB)

John Parr performs at the Keepmoat Stadium in the rain on Friday 20th July 2007 (Picture: Malcolm Billingham D3701MB)

Parr lives at rural Sykehouse, a village on the outskirts of Doncaster, where he has his own studio.

He has sold more than 10 million albums, and penned and performed a dozen or more Hollywood movie themes.

They include Three Men and a Baby, Near Dark and The Running Man.

Parr’s songs written for other singers and musicians such as Roger Daltrey, Meat Loaf and Tom Jones, are numerous.

The singer/songwriter and guitarist remains highly active musically.

In June this year he performed in Paris where he took to the stage with guitar legend Jeff Beck.