Although Jon's influences and tastes are wildly electic (classical composers Ravel; Rimsky-Korsakov; Stravinsky; Debussy; Great American Songbook masters George Gershwin; Irving Berlin; Cole Porter; jazz and big band legends Charlie Parker, Artie Shaw, Duke Ellington and more; even crooners like Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra), the music that has impacted and influenced him most is still the bedrock from which his style has been formed: Chuck Berry; early Elvis Presley; Percy Mayfield; Ray Charles; George Jones; Bob Dylan; Levon Helm; Tampa Red; Leroy Carr; Howlin' Wolf and others from the pantheon of American Music.
Jon's love of ethnic folk music, urban and rural blues and the folk revival of the 1960s influenced him to pick up a guitar for the first time and attempt his own songwriting. Specific influences on his writing include Chuck Berry, Percy Mayfield, Hank Williams, Sr., Gordon Lightfoot, Marty Robbins, Bob Dylan, Stephen Stills, Van Morrison, Lennon & McCartney, and a host of folk, blues and R&B musicians too numerous to note.
One of Jon's earliest attempts at songwriting was overheard in a Detroit folk music club called The Chessmate by a Canadian singer/songwriter named Joan Anderson. She encouraged Jon by telling him, "You stick with that, young man. You've got something there." Ms. Anderson later changed her name to Joni Mitchell and her encouragement has naturally inspired Jon ever since.
Jon began performing professionally in 1965 at various coffee houses in the Norfolk and Virginia Beach areas while still in the U.S. Navy. During his two years there, Jon performed and associated with Doug MacLeod, Emmylou Harris, John Pilla, Bryan Bowers, Jim Dawson and many other performers who helped form his tastes and performing style.
Moving to New York in 1968, Jon formed the band Thirty Days Out with lead guitarist Jack Malken and bassist Monte Melnick in 1969. North Carolinian Phil Lowe became the band's drummer a year later. TDO produced two albums for Warner Bros. Reprise (reissued on CD by Wounded Bird Records in conjunction with Warner-Reprise in 2010 and available at Wounded Bird, Amazon.com and other sites). Following the band's demise, Monte became tour manager for the Ramones. Jack has been a well-known and respected recording engineer in New York City for decades. Phil & his family reside in Florida. Thirty Days Out opened for such acts as The Beach Boys, The J. Geils Band, George Carlin, Patti Labelle, Tom Rush, Captain Beefheart, Barbara Keith, Charlie Daniels & Jerry Corbett, among others.
By 1974 Jon was living and working in the Boston area. With the help of artists like Robin Batteau, Ric Ocasek & Ben Orr (of The Cars) Jon began recording demos in the hopes of landing a solo recording contract. Instead, his songwriting abilities caught the ear of United Artists who signed him as a staff songwriter in 1977 where he achieved limited success.
Tired of being chained to the commercial disciplines of a major publishing company, Jon formed a band called the Doubles with lead guitarist George Pratt in 1979. By 1982 the band had run its course and McAuliffe and Pratt locked themselves into various Boston area recording studios for four years where they recorded whatever suited their fancy. A CD of this work was issued in 2007 entitled "Rubber Room Rejects."
Jon's creative explosion reached a peak by 1987. Exhausted and somewhat uninspired by changes in the music industry, Jon pulled back from his efforts for 6 years to study American Music History, venturing out only occasionally to perform Gospel music. By 2007 a request to return to local stages in the Northeast resulted in greater response than he'd ever known previously, which in turn inspired a raft of new songs.
In 2009, Jon began recording his first solo album with the help of producer/engineer/multi-instrumentalist Seth Connelly. "In This Present Form" was released to in late spring, 2011. Jon's new songs echo the sum total of his musical influences and personal beliefs. Response has been profoundly positive and Jon has enjoyed wide support and encouragement with the local musical community and its audience.
Jon has recently begun work on a new CD, which he hopes to release by 2014.