John Coast

John CoastJohn Coast was born in Kent, England on October 30, 1916. As Britain entered World War II,he left a comfortable post in the City to serve in the Coldstream Guards and then as an officer in the Norfolks. He was one of the few survivors of that regiment when it was trying to defend Singapore against the Japanese.

As a prisoner-of- war, Coast was sent into Siam (Thailand) to build railways for the Japanese and the story of that time, Railroad of Death, became a best seller and was later to form the subject of Return to the River Kwai, a documentary made in 1969 for the BBC.

During his internment, Coast got an inkling of his future profession: he drew together musicians among his fellow prisoners and put together concert parties, which he stage managed.

After the war, Coast joined the press department of the Foreign Office in Bangkok and then became press attaché to President Sukarno during the Indonesian struggle for independence.

Back in London in the mid 1950s, Coast became a manager and an impressario to such artists as Mario Lanza, Luciano Pavarotti, José Carreras, Jon Vickers and Montserrat Caballé. He was the first man to present Bob Dylan in London and take Ravi Shankar to the West.

For more information on John please visit his website here: www.johncoast.org