John William "Long John" Baldry 's birth was registered in Brixworth Registration District in the first quarter of 1941. He was born to William James Baldry (1915-1990), a policeman and Margaret Louisa née Parker (1915-1989). His early life was spent in Edgware, Middlesex where he attended Camrose Primary School until the age of 11, after which he attended Downer Grammar School, now Canons High School. Just before his death, he attended the school's 40th anniversary celebrations.
He was a blues singer and a voice actor. He sang with many British musicians, with Rod Stewart and Elton John appearing in bands led by Baldry in the 1960s. He enjoyed pop success in the UK where Let the Heartaches Begin reached No. 1 in 1967 and in Australia where his duet with Kathi McDonald You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin' reached number two in 1980.
Baldry lived in Canada from the late 1970s until his death; there he continued to make records and do voiceover work. Two of his best known roles in voice acting were as Dr. Robotnik in Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog, and as Komplex in Bucky O'Hare and the Toad Wars.
After time in New York City and Los Angeles in 1978, Baldry settled in Vancouver, British Columbia, where he became a Canadian citizen. He toured the west coast, as well as the US Northwest. Baldry also toured the Canadian east, including one 1985 show in Kingston, Ontario, where audience members repeatedly called for the title track from his 1979 album Baldry's Out! – to which he replied, "I'll say he is!
John Baldry was openly gay during the early 1960s, at least amongst his friends and industry peers. However, he did not make a formal public acknowledgement of this until the 1970s—possibly because until 1967 in Britain, male homosexuality was still a criminal offence that could lead to forced medication and/or jail time.
In 1969, Elton John tried to commit suicide after relationship problems with a woman. Taupin and Baldry found him, and Baldry talked him out of marrying the woman, helping make Elton John comfortable with his sexuality. The song "Someone Saved My Life Tonight" from Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy was about the experience.
Baldry had a brief relationship with lead-guitarist of The Kinks, Dave Davies, and supported Elton John in coming to terms with his own sexuality. In 1978 his then-upcoming album Baldry's Out announced his formal coming out, and he addressed sexuality problems with a cover of Canadian songwriter Bill Amesbury's "A Thrill's a Thrill".
John Baldry died in Vancouver General Hospital, of a severe chest infection. He was survived by his partner, Felix "Oz" Rexach.