The Knowledgemusic | songwriting | production
London…the greatest city on the planet!
Arthur Daley,Del Boy Trotter, David Bailey, Harry Potter…
… it’ll blow your bloody doors off!
The Knowledge is a songwriting team based in Islington, London. Joe Cartwright and Jon Cox both combine careers as professional musicians and London cab drivers, and Vaughan Williams is an ex- City gent now turned theatre producer.
The three of them met when Vaughan produced the play “The Knowledge“, the first stage adaptation of Jack Rosenthal’s legendary TV film about aspiring London cab drivers learning the Knowledge of London.
Joe and Jon interviewed Vaughan for London Taxi Radio and discovered that they all lived in Islington. As the three got on so well, Jon then recorded a sax theme for the show which was used throughout the run. They later cooperated in producing Joe & Jon’s sellout “Great American Songbook” show, and then made a parody song, with Joe singing, Jon engineering and producing the video, using his own striking photographs, and Vaughan writing the new lyrics.
Jon & Joe subsequently invited Vaughan to join them more formally in creating original songs with a view to commercial release.
So together they formed The Knowledge and wrote “We Are London“, a positive anthem about the great city they live in. With the Brexit fiasco there is a pervasive sense of hopelessness and uncertainty, which The Knowledge wanted to counter by reminding Londoners that they are privileged to be living in a city that is the envy of the world.
“Past of glory, City of today“ as the song says!
Inspired by Blur’s iconic “Park Life”, The Knowledge decided to feature a guest as the song’s narrator.
Obviously the list of potential candidates never ends, but Jon was at school (again in Islington) with actor Lee MacDonald, who had found fame playing Zammo in BBC TVs “Grange Hill”. The band met Lee and immediately realised that he was perfect for the role. Fortunately, Lee reciprocated by loving the song, so “We Are London” was made by the team of four, with a little help from a few friends!
Vaughan was born in Wales and spent most of his childhood in Stoke, though he has lived in London for many years. He studied English Literature (mainly poetry) at London University before taking a long detour into the world of high finance, where after a spell at Deloitte he rose to become a Board Director of merchant bankers Morgan Grenfell and an MD at Deutsche Bank. Retiring early, Vaughan launched a second career as a theatre producer and is Chairman of the Charing Cross Theatre.
While he does play lead guitar in a rock’n’roll band, Vaughan does not pretend to possess Joe & Jon’s professional musical skills… but he writes the lyrics and adds a lifetime of business experience.
Born and raised in Holborn, Joe won his first singing competition at the age of two. Coming from a musical family, he was exposed to a wide range of influences from a very early age, from music hall and swing, through Motown to the best of singer-songwriters. In 2001 beat 50,000 applicants to finish agonisingly as runner-up on TV’s “This Is My Moment” talent show.
Joe’s singing career continued in jazz clubs and bars until he teamed up in a writing/live performance partnership with Jon Cox. Since then the pair have demonstrated their versatility in a range of genres, from their own sell-out West End Rat Pack Big Band show to regular club and party gigs with their band The Jukebox Party Band. To listen to Joe with The Jon Cox Big Band just CLICK HERE. Joe has been a London cab driver since 2000.
Jon is from Clerkenwell in London and studied saxophone at the ILEA Centre For Young Musicians under Professor Stephen Trier. He went on to study jazz with Aubrey Frank and to study composition at music college.
This led to a successful international composing career, in which Jon’s music has been heard in “Friends”, “Sex and the City”, “Come Dine With Me” and many radio & TV ads.
Jon’s performing career has covered a wide range, including funk bands, swing bands and the regular partnership with Joe Lewis as The Jukebox Party Band and last year they released a well-received original song called Christmas Just Ain’t Chrismas( Without You). Jon has been a London cab driver for 25 years.