Monday, 6 January 2020
Catfish John/Too Many Tears/Molly Breen/Eumerella Shore
The Hawking Brothers, were an Australian country music band, formed in 1955 and disbanded in 1985. They comprised brothers Russell (1931–1976) and Alan (1933–1988). Excellent singers and instrumentalists, they first recorded in 1955 and were equally proficient with both traditional Australian folk music and country music. In the latter genre they very deservedly had a big hit in Australia with the American song Catfish John (on their self-titled album). They toured North America in 1975 and appeared at the Grand Ole Opry. After originally recording with Regal Zonophone Records, they went on to record a number of albums with RCA Records. When it comes to winning awards, The Hawking Brothers have been very successful, winning 6 Golden Guitars. In 1989, The Hawking Brothers were inducted into the Australian Roll of Renown.
It Ain't Necessarily So/Gonna Leave This Town/ Lindy Lou/Shakin' All Over
Norman John Rowe AM (born 1 February 1947) is an Australian singer and songwriter of pop music and an actor of theatre and soap opera for which he remains best known as Douglas Fletcher in 1980s serial Sons and Daughters. As a singer he was credited for his bright and edgy tenor voice and dynamic stage presence. Many of Rowe's most successful recordings were produced by Nat Kipner and later by Pat Aulton, house producers for the Sunshine Records label. Backed by his band, The Playboys, Rowe released a string of Australian pop hits on the label that kept him at the top of the Australian charts and made him the most popular solo performer of the mid-1960s. Rowe's double-sided hit the A-side, a reworking of the Doris Day hit "Que Sera Sera" /with b-side "Shakin' All Over" was one of the most successful Australian singles of the 1960s.
Between 1965 and 1967 Rowe was Australia's most popular male star but his career was cut short when he was drafted for compulsory military service (called National Service in Australia) in late 1967. His subsequent tour of duty in Vietnam effectively ended his pop career and having never been able to recapture the success in music he enjoyed at his peak in the 1960s, instead carving out a career in theatre and television.
Friday, 18 October 2019
Hooray For Fatty Finn/Phar Lap/Mean Woman Blues/Old Slouch Hat/Fatty's Fair
Fatty Finn, is a popular long-run Australian comic strip, was created in the early 1920s by Syd Nicholls. The strip was initially called Fat and His Friends and was first published in the Sunday News on 16 September 1923. Fat appeared as a Billy Bunterish almost bald, nasty schoolboy, complete with straw boater. Fat was usually the butt of his friend's jokes, with those early strips exhibiting much of the cruelty practiced by children and reflecting a school system which believed in corporal punishment. On August 1924 the title of the strip was changed to Fatty Finn, heralding a change in the strip's direction and the role of the main character, who evolved from an English boy lookalike into a knockabout schoolboy innocently living out his days in a never-never urban world. Over the next few years, Fatty gradually lost weight, gained a boy scout style uniform, a dog ('Pal'), a goat ('Hector') and permanent supporting characters including Headlights Hogan, Lolly Legs, Bruiser and Mr. Claffey the policeman. Fatty adopted a more heroic role and the comic moved closer to the standard 'kid' strip with a distinct Australian flavor.
In 1980 the strip was adapted into a feature film, Fatty Finn, directed by Maurice Murphy. The film grossed $1,064,000 at the box office in Australia and was nominated for seven Australian Film Institute Awards in 1981, including Best Original Music Score, which it won. The movie starred Bert Newton, Lorraine Bayly, Gerard Kennedy, Noni Hazlehurst and Ben Oxenbould who later played the character "Ben" in the sitcom, Hey Dad..!
Rory O’Donoghue & Grahame Bond penned the songs for the Soundtrack and the EP was released in 1980 on Polydor Records - apparently without the consent of O’Donoghue and Bond. O’Donoghue’s parents, Terence and Sybil O’Donoghue, who were with D’Oyly Carte Opera in London, both sing on the soundtrack. (Thanks to Ozzie Music Man for the EP and the Bio)
Wednesday, 9 October 2019
Colleen Hewett - Pippin ( Finale )/Stuart & McKay - No Time At All/Marcie Jones - Corner Of The Sky/Dove - Magic to Do
Pippin is a 1972 musical with music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz and a book by Roger O. Hirson. Bob Fosse, who directed the original Broadway production, also contributed to the libretto. The musical uses the premise of a mysterious performance troupe, led by a Leading Player, to tell the story of Pippin, a young prince on his search for meaning and significance.
The protagonist Pippin and his father Charlemagne are characters derived from two real-life individuals of the early Middle Ages, though the plot is fictional and presents no historical accuracy regarding either. The show was partially financed by Motown Records. As of April 2019, the original run of Pippin is the 36th longest-running Broadway show.
The original Australian production (a replica of the Broadway production) opened in February 1974 at Her Majesty's Theatre in Melbourne. It starred John Farnham as Pippin, with Ronne Arnold as the Leading Player, Colleen Hewett as Catherine, Nancye Hayes as Fastrada, David Ravenswood as Charles and Jenny Howard as Berthe. The production transferred to Her Majesty's Theatre in Sydney in August 1974. A cast album was released.
Colleen Hewett (born 16 April 1950) is an Australian theatre and TV actress, and a popular singer. Her top 40 singles on the Kent Music Report include "Super Star", "Day by Day" (both 1971), "Carry That Weight" (1972), "Dreaming My Dreams with You" (1980), and "Gigolo" (1981). Her version of "Day by Day" peaked at No. 1 on the Go-Set National Top 40 Singles Chart and was certified as a gold record. At the TV Week King of Pop Awards she was voted Queen of Pop in both 1972 and 1973. During 1985, she played Sheila Brady in the international hit TV series, Prisoner.
In 1973, Ian Stuart & Ken McKay charted in Brisbane & Perth with "Hey Billy", a song based on a photo seen in “Time” by Ken. Reviews compared Stuart & McKay to the U.S band "America”.. They released two albums “Playing Up” and “Never Is Forever” plus five singles. Both men are no longer with us.
Marcie’s career started out as a teenager with The Thunderbirds in the early ‘60s. She then went on to perform with Normie Rowe and The Playboys and had many appearances on the popular TV segment ‘The Go-Show’. In the late ‘60s It was Normie who suggested she team up with the Cook sisters from Brisbane, who were already performing as ‘The Cookies’. With the attention of The Twilights Manager Garry Spry, Marcie and The Cookies were signed to E.M.I and went on to record in the studio. Though, it was the demand for session work on tracks such as ‘Something’s Got a Hold on Me’ and Russell Morris’ ‘The Real Thing’ that they are most recognized for today.
Dove was a Melbourne quartet that formed in 1970 and released several singles and three albums 1973-76. Their lead vocalist was Sharyn Cambridge. In 1981 she released an EP with The Colin Who Band.
The Sheik Of Scrubby Creek/Since Dear Mother Died/The Shotgun Wedding/Here I Am
Morgan was born in Wondai, Queensland, the eldest of 14 children to Dave and Ivy Morgan. From an early age he was raised by his grandparents, Bill and Eva Hopkins. After his grandfather died in 1945, he and his grandmother moved back to Scrubby Creek to live with his parents and siblings. Morgan left school at age 12 and found work cutting timber.
Morgan was discovered through Australia's Amateur Hour, a radio talent contest, where he sang his original song "The Sheik of Scrubby Creek" and was a finalist. He began recording with Regal Zonophone Records (a subsidiary of EMI) in 1952, while completing his national service obligation in the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF).
Morgan's songs are peppered with Australian slang; one CD compilation is called Sheilas, Drongos, Dills and Geezers.
Morgan's first wife was Pam Mitchell, with whom he had three children - Allan, Chad Jr. and Janelle. Morgan married again on 14 September 1985 to Joanie, whom he had met the year before. After their marriage Morgan gave up drinking and smoking completely.
Morgan has toured extensively, including with the Slim Dusty Show, the All Star Western Show and his own Chad Morgan Show. He has been prolific in his recorded output and live performances. In 1987 Morgan was inducted into the Australian Roll of Renown., and was awarded an OAM in 2004. Morgan has appeared in three films, Newsfront (1978), Dimboola (1979), and the biographical documentary I'm Not Dead Yet (2011).
Morgan contributed one verse to the Gordon Parsons song "Pub With No Beer". He was dubbed the "clown prince of comedy" by Slim Dusty. He recorded a duet with John Williamson, "A Country Balladeer". He has had platinum and gold album sales and is one of Australia's most popular country music artists. Morgan performed at Sydney Opera House with Slim Dusty in April 1978. An album of the concert was released three years later, as On & Off The Road. It was released the same year as Sheilas Drongos Dills & Other Geezers which contained 20 of Morgan's hits from the 1950s and 1960s.
In 2009, Morgan wrote a song about his Aboriginal heritage, dedicated to his grandparents who raised him as a child, titled "The Ballad of Bill and Eva". It was recorded with his granddaughter, Caitlin Morgan.
Artists who have impersonated Morgan in their shows include Col Elliott and John Williamson. Barry Humphries used Morgan as his inspiration for Les Patterson's teeth. Tex Morton once described Morgan as the only original country music artist in Australia. In 2008, false rumours of his death began to surface after an announcement on radio station 4GY. The radio station later apologised for the rumour. Thanks to AussieRock.
Moanin'/Comin' Home Baby
Alan Lee (born 29 July 1936, Melbourne, Australia) is an Australian bandleader, vibraphonist, guitarist, and percussionist. He was one of the first Australian jazz musicians to fuse classical music with jazz and to utilize Latin American rhythms in his music. He led several jazz bands in Melbourne and Sydney from late 1950s through the 1980s. His recorded albums include Gallery Concerts (1973, Cumquat Records 12-03), The Alan Lee Jazz Quartet (1973, Jazznote), Moomba Jazz ’76, Live from the Dallas Brooks Hall (1977, 44 Records 6357708), and Alan Lee and Friends: Jazz at the Hyde Park Hotel (1990, Request Records 1511) among others.
"There are few Australian originals in jazz, though vibraphonist Alan Lee surely ranks alongside the best. Australian jazz is and always will be an interpretation of the American art form, but throughout his long career Lee has ploughed his furrow undaunted, 'What I want is the fire! Whether it's John Coltrane's Blues Minor from Africa Brass or Backwater Blues by Leadbelly, I want the emotion, the gut wrenching pain, the cry from within!'
These are uninhibited words. A musician and bandleader who cut a number of jazz sides for small independent Melbourne labels from the early 1960s to the mid-1970s, Lee has always searched for this fire, evident in the broad styles he's covered throughout his career,
Saturday, 10 August 2019
Finders Keepers/ I'm Confessin (That I Love You)/I Wanna Love You/Where Are You
Judith Anne Stone AM (born 1 January 1942) is an Australian pop and country music singer. For much of the 1960s she was a regular performer on Bandstand, a pop music TV show, hosted by Brian Henderson. Stone's top 20 singles on the national charts are "I'll Step Down" (No. 19, February 1962), "4,003,221 Tears from Now" (April 1964), "Born a Woman" (No. 3, September 1966) and "Would You Lay with Me" (No. 2, June 1974). On the Queen's Birthday Honours List of June 2006, Stone was awarded a Member of the Order of Australia, with the citation, "For service to the community as an entertainer at fundraising events for a range of charitable organisations, and as a singer."
Stone grew up in the Sydney suburb of Granville. She has two younger sisters, Joyce and Janice. From a young age she sang country music at home and her parents bought her a guitar, which she learned to play.In her early teens Stone entered and won a local talent contest and was noticed by an attendee, Reg Lindsay. By November 1956 she had joined his touring performance troupe, the Reg Lindsay Show, and stayed for 18 months. In July 1957 a reviewer of Lindsay's show in Cabramatta for The Biz wrote that "Little Judy Stone, of Granville, was very pleasing in her turn."
Jacobsen had Stone signed with Festival Records and in June 1961 she issued her debut single, "You're Driving Me Mad" – a cover version of the 1958 song by United States singer, Jo Ann Campbell. For the track she was backed by the Joy Boys. In August she relocated to Melbourne, for three months, to appear on Graham Kennedy's In Melbourne Tonight variety TV show. She expected that "While in Melbourne most of my shows will be adult performances, which will be a change from the present teenagers' shows." Her third single, "I'll Step Down", was released in February 1962 and became a top 10 hit in Sydney and top 20 in Brisbane. The Biz' correspondent compared it to her earlier single, "Although very different to 'You're Driving Me Mad', this still possesses the inimitable style of this great little local star." Also in that year Stone issued her debut album, I'll Step Down, on Festival.
Aside from her solo releases, Stone was often teamed with Col Joye in duets for singles, extended plays and albums. McFarlane found their work "contained cutesy material like 'Young and Healthy', 'Angry' and 'Side by Side'." In early 1965 Stone with Col Joye and the Joy Boys undertook a tour of Japan for two months. In September 1966 she covered "Born a Woman" by US singer, Sandy Posey. It was a top 10 hit in Sydney.
From the late 1960s and into the early 1970s Stone "consolidated on her early pop successes with regular appearances on the club and country music circuits." Later singles included, "Mare Mare Mare" (January 1974), "Would You Lay with Me (In a Field of Stone)" (No. 2, June 1974), "Silver Wings and Golden Rings" (February 1975) and "Hasta Mañana" (May 1976).
In January 1992 Stone was diagnosed with throat cancer, which was removed by surgery.
In 2007 Stone performed a duet with Scottish singer-songwriter Isla Grant on the track "What's a Girl to Do?" for Grant's album, Down Memory Lane. Judy with Little Pattie
Friday, 12 July 2019
Hush/Heat Wave/When I Come Home/It's All Over Now Baby Blue
Russell Morris' career started in September 1966, when Morris was 18 years old with the formation of the Melbourne group Somebody's Image, together with Kevin Thomas (rhythm guitar), Phillip Raphael (lead guitar), Eric Cairns (drums) and Les Allan (aka "Les Gough") (bass guitar). Somebody's Image quickly developed a strong following at Melbourne's premier venues. It wasn't long before the band came to the notice of Go-Set staff writer Ian Meldrum and the group had a local hit version of the Joe South song "Hush", which peaked at number 15 on the national chart. (the song reaching #2 on the local Melbourne charts) They had 3 singles: "Heatwave", "Hush" and "Hide And Seek".
Meldrum's support and hard work promoting the band helped them to secure a firmer recording deal with EMI Records. The result was their third single "Hide And Seek" which peaked at #32 in Melbourne. It was their last release with their original singer with Russell leaving Somebody's Image in September 1968. They were destined for greater things when the group seemingly imploded.
Lady/Good Evening Girl/Going Out Of My Head/Willy Nilly
One of the most popular performers to leave Western Australia to become
one of Australia’s top performers and comperes.
Originally born in Holland, His family migrated to Australia where he lived in Kalamunda.Perth.W.A.
Young’s career started in Perth compering and singing on his home state TV show – CLUB 17.
Formed his backing group ‘The Kompany’ with many changes during the run. In Perth he was signed to Martin Clark’s Clarion Label with two hits to his credit.
Probably mainly known for the song ‘CARA-LYN’ and ‘STEP BACK’ the latter by Stevie Wright and George Young from The Easybeats in 1966. He became King of Pop in Australia taking the crown from Normie Rowe. He compared the ‘Go Show’ and also compared the well known
‘Young Talent Time’.
Young’s career could be decribed as incredible not only for writing one of the most recognised songs ‘The Real Thing’ by Russell Morris.
His show ‘Young Talent Time’ was no fluke as he took the show to the top from 1969 to 1989, a near 20 year run and an abrubtly cancelled
show by the Ten network.
Johnny Young may be looked at in many ways with his singing, TV shows, and his Young Talent Schools, no one can say he ever under achieved.
Saturday, 25 May 2019
Marshall's Portable Music Machine/Where The Music's Playing/Marshall's Portable Music Machine (Japanese Vers.)/Yesterday Love
Robin Jolley started singing with the Melbourne group “Windy & Warm” whilst in his mid teens. Neville Kent discovered him and enticed him to come to Hobart where he got him off the ground as a solo singer. The next step was a record deal, in 1972 he returned to Melbourne in the search for one. Radio DJ Paul Konik introduced him to Brain Cadd which presented him with a song called “Marshall’s Portable Music Machine” which Brian had co-written with Don Mudie. Cadd and Konik produced the single and it was snapped up by Fable Records. Robin Jolley was called into Fable Music to rework the lead vocal track of this Brian Cadd song which was a Tokyo Song Festival entry hurriedly put together in 1971 by Cadd. Robin thought he would fade into obscurity but his song went #1 in Melbourne and Top 20 in Japan. It was a massive one hit wonder. Robin released five singles and a EP and LP for Fable and three other singles. (Kimbo)
Wednesday, 24 April 2019
Surfer Doll/Surf Dance/I Still Could Care/Let-A-Go Your Heart
Sir Robert Helpman was a world famous ballet dancer, choreographer, stage director and movie star. What you may not know was that he was also a Top 40 pop singer.
Helpmann enjoyed and exploited his notoriety. In 1963 he made headlines and the airwaves with a bizarre disc of surfing songs which he recorded in a studio in Honolulu on his way to Australia. It is now a coveted collectors’ item. His flamboyance challenged the stultifying conservatism of 1960s Australia. On one celebrated occasion, with eyebrows plucked and fingernails painted red, and sporting Oxford bags, pink shirt and purple tie, he strolled with a friend on Bondi Beach. Before long they were being trailed by a large, silent crowd, ‘like mourners behind a cortege’. Eventually some macho lifesavers picked him up, carried him to the surf, and unceremoniously dumped him in. More headlines!
Wednesday, 17 April 2019
California Sun/The Hokey Pokey/What A Night/The Can Can Ladies/Shakin' All Over/That's How It's Gonna Be
1962 - Released first E.P. record Johnny Chester's Hit Parade, 6 tracks it contained both sides of his first three singles.
John Howard "Johnny" Chester (born 26 December 1941) is an Australian singer-songwriter, who started his career in October 1959 singing rock'n'roll and in 1969 changed to country music. He has toured nationally with The Beatles, Roy Orbison, The Everly Brothers, Kenny Rogers, Johnny Cash, Tammy Wynette and Charley Pride. During his career he has led various groups including Johnny Chester and The Chessmen, Johnny Chester and Jigsaw, Johnny Chester and Hotspur. With Jigsaw he had five top 30 hit singles, "Gwen (Congratulations)" (1971), "Shame and Scandal", "Midnight Bus" (both 1972), "World's Greatest Mum" (No. 9, 1973) and "She's My Kind of Woman" (1974).
Chester has hosted various TV series: Teen Time on Ten (GLV-10, Gippsland, 1963–64), Teen Scene (ABC TV, 1964–65) and Country Road (ABC TV, 1977–78). He has worked as a radio announcer on Melbourne radio station 3UZ and Radio Australia. He wrote a musical comedy, Rebound, that opened in Wagga Wagga. Chester has won Golden Guitars at the Country Music Awards of Australia for best selling track in 1975 and for Male Vocalist of the Year in 1981, 1982 and 1983. In 1994 he was awarded the Songmaker of the Year Award from the Tamworth Songwriters Association. According to Australian rock music historian, Ian McFarlane, he is "one of Melbourne's first and best rock'n'roll singers of the early 1960s". Music journalist, Ed Nimmervoll, acknowledges Chester's "essential inclusion on any major national rock package coming into Melbourne" and later he "helped bring Australian country music to pop
Monday, 15 April 2019
All My Lovin'/Like A Baby/Grizzly Bear/What Now My Love
Johnny Young (born Johnny Benjamin de Jong; 12 March 1947) is a Dutch Australian singer, composer, record producer, disc jockey, television producer and host. Originally from Rotterdam, Netherlands, his family settled in Perth, Western Australia in the early 1950s. Young had a career in the 1960s as a pop singer and had a number one hit with the double-A-side, "Step Back" and "Cara-lyn" in 1966, and his profile was enhanced by a concurrent stint as host of the TV pop program The Go!! Show. As a composer, he penned number one hits, "The Real Thing" and "The Girl That I Love" for Russell Morris, "The Star" for Ross D. Wyllie and "I Thank You" for Lionel Rose and the hit single "Smiley" for Ronnie Burns. After his pop career ended he returned to TV where he presented and produced the popular television show, Young Talent Time, which screened on Network Ten from 1971 to 1988 – it launched the careers of numerous teen pop stars especially Jamie Redfern, Debra Byrne (then known as Debbie Byrne), Dannii Minogue and Tina Arena, as well as Jane Scali, Sally Boyden and Karen Knowles – typically each episode closed with a sing-along rendition of The Beatles song "All My Loving".
On 9 March 1990, Young was inducted into the TV Week Logie Awards' Hall of Fame. On 27 October 2010, he was inducted into the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) Hall of Fame by Arena who performed his song, "The Star". He is the first person to be inducted into both halls.
Monday, 25 February 2019
I’ll Go Crazy/Don’t Give Me No Friction/One More Time/Wooly Bully
The Missing Links were an Australian garage rock, R&B, and protopunk group from Sydney who were active from 1964 to 1966. The group was known for wearing their hair long and smashing their equipment on-stage. Throughout the course of 1965, the band would go through a complete and total lineup change resulting in two completely different versions of the band: the first consisted of Peter Anson on guitar, Dave Boyne on guitar, Bob Brady on vocals, Danny Cox on drums and Ronnie Peel on bass and released their debut single, "We 2 Should Live" in March 1965.
The second and better-known version had none of the previous members and consisted of Andy Anderson on vocals (initially also on drums), Chris Gray on keyboards and harmonica, Doug Ford on vocals and guitar, Baden Hutchens on drums, and Ian Thomas on bass, and released their debut album, The Missing Links in December. According to Allmusic's, Richie Unterberger, "This aggregation cut the rawest Australian garage/punk of the era, and indeed some of the best from anywhere, sounding at their best like a fusion of the Troggs and the early Who, letting loose at times with wild feedback that was quite ahead of its time."
The first version of the band recorded a single, "We 2 Should Live" which was released in March 1965 on the Parlophone label. By that time, Boyne was replaced on guitar by John Jones (Mystics) and Cox left soon after with New Zealand-born Andy Anderson (as Andy James aka Neville Anderson) joining, initially on drums. The band briefly broke up in July. Peter Anson formed a band, the Syndicate. Bob Brady joined Python Lee Jackson, and Ron Peel joined Brisbane-based group, The Pleazers.
With this totally new lineup, the group signed with Philips Records and released "You're Drivin' Me Insane" in August 1965 followed in September by "Wild About You". Veteran rock 'n' roller, Johnny O'Keefe was not a fan – he banned them from appearing on his television show, Sing Sing Sing. They issued another single in October, "H'tuom Tuhs," which was their version of "Mama Keep Your Big Mouth Shut," but with the tape reel played on backwards on both sides of the record (as parts 1 and 2). It was followed by their debut album, The Missing Links, in December. According to Allmusic's, Richie Unterberger, "This aggregation cut the rawest Australian garage/punk of the era, and indeed some of the best from anywhere, sounding at their best like a fusion of the Troggs and the early Who, letting loose at times with wild feedback that was quite ahead of its time". In 1966 Baden Hutchins and Ian Thomas would depart. Hutchins, tired of the rock & roll lifestyle, was engaged to be married.
After The Missing Links had disbanded, Anderson and Ford formed Running Jumping Standing Still in Melbourne in August 1966. Anderson later became an actor on Australian and New Zealand television. Ford was lead guitarist in The Masters Apprentices from 1968.
My Baby/No/Saturday Date/If You Don't Come Back (Bonus)/Toni & Royce - Marble Breaks & Iron Bends (Bonus)
Toni McCann, released her first single in 1965, when she was only fifteen years old. Born and raised in London, McCann’s world changed forever after seeing The Rolling Stones live. Inspired to play tough R&B, she was ready to sign a recording contract in the UK when her father announced that the family was immigrating to Brisbane. So McCann pursued a career as an entertainer in Australia instead, a challenging proposition given that she bucked then-current trends of what a female performer was and should be. In her own words, she wasn’t “girly-girly with pretty sounds and pretty dresses”. Instead McCann grew her hair long and wild, wore tight pants or bellbottoms, sang in a lower key than most of her peers with a rough blues-y voice, and played harmonica like Jagger himself (“It tended to mess up your lipstick”, she later laughed, “you could always spot my harps because they had pink stuff all over them”).
Discovered by producer Pat Aulton at a Brisbane talent quest, McCann was introduced to famed promoter Ivan Dayman, who began touring her across the country backed by Melbourne rockers, The Blue Jays (later to find their own fame with singer Tony Worsley). Aulton then took her and the band into the studio to record McCann’s debut 45 for the Sunshine label, a storming garage-rock double punch ‘My Baby’, backed by ‘No’ on the flipside. Both songs were frenetic fast-paced originals, with the potent ‘My Baby’ still having the power to set dance floors alight, while the nihilistic sentiments and furious pace of ‘No’ are almost proto-punk.
It would be a few more years before Australian audiences would accept such a tough, no-nonsense image from female singers like Wendy Saddington, Renee Geyer and later Chrissie Amphlett. But pioneers like Toni McCann deserve more recognition and respect nonetheless. It’s a shame that the four excellent songs McCann recorded with the Blue Jays on the Sunshine label have yet to be compiled altogether on one release, some thing I've done here while McCann herself – despite later finding further fame and touring the globe in a Sonny-and-Cher-styled duo with ex-Blue Jay (and later her husband), Royce Nicholls– doesn’t even have a Wikipedia page I've also added a live track by Tony and Royce.
Twilight Time/Hello Josephine/Baby Hold Me Close/Hallelujah, I Love Her So
Billy Thorpe and the Aztecs were an Australian pop and rock group dating from the mid-1960s. The group enjoyed success in the mid-1960s, but split in 1967. They re-emerged in the early 1970s to become one of the most popular Australian hard-rock bands of the period. Thorpe died from a heart attack in Sydney on 28 February 2007. Twilight Time released in Australia in 1965 reaching #3 Sydney #2 Melbourne #3 Brisbane #2 Adelaide #2 Perth. In Sydney, Brisbane and Perth this was a double-sided hit with My Girl Josephine.
Johnny Cooper - Farmer John/Pink Finks - Back Door Man/Johnny Cooper - She's Got It/Little Gulliver - Short Fat Fannie
"Farmer John" Single on W&G, B-side of Oh Donna released in 1965 and charted in Melbourne at #28, by Melbourne rock'n'roll singer and guitarist Johnny Cooper who released a handful of singles on W&G 1965-66 and appeared on the major TV pop shows, notably The GO!! Show. Farmer John was also on the W&G album Go Go Go. Backing was by Melbourne band The Strangers. The deep voice saying, "Now looky here!" belongs to John Farrar of The Strangers.
Johnny Cooper started out in the early 60s with Melbourne bands The Mustangs and The Monarchs, and before going solo he was with The Saxons for a time as vocalist. Johnny Cooper and the Saxons supported Billy J. Kramer on their Australian tour in Sydney,Melbourne and Brisbane. He was a hard-working performer and gigged around Melbourne and beyond, and was still gigging well into the 2000s.
The Pink Finks formed in early 1965 when 16-year-old R&B fanatic Ross Wilson joined forces with Rick Dalton & Ross Hannaford's schoolboy outfit The Fauves, which played mainly covers of The Shadows and The Ventures. They were a part-time band, since the members were all still at school at the time. Hannaford, who was only 14 when the band formed, was often driven to concerts by his mother, and had to be sneaked in and out of the licensed venues they played at because he was underage.
Money was short and Hannaford played his magical guitar work on a low cost acoustic guitar fitted with a Moody sound hole pickup (without controls) through a Burns Tri-Sonic amplifier provided by Wilson. Inspired by the onslaught of English groups like The Rolling Stones, The Pretty Things and The Yardbirds, the young band's repertoire was chiefly R&B and blues covers.
David Cameron replaced original rhythm guitarist Rick Dalton in early 1965, with Dalton later joining Running Jumping Standing Still, which included Andy Anderson and Doug Ford, both formerly of The Missing Links and Ian Robinson on drums.
The Pink Finks released four singles during their brief career; their first, released on their own Mojo label, was a raunchy version of The Kingsmen's "Louie Louie" and it gave them an early taste of success when it became a local hit (#16) in Melbourne in June 1965. These were followed by covers of The Shirelles' "Untie Me", Howlin' Wolf's "Back Door Man" and Spencer Davis Group's "It Hurts Me So".
Franklin, Cameron and Ratz left to go to university in early 1966. It appears from the information in Who's Who of Australian Rock & Roll that they were replaced, by Kinman (bass), Lansdown (drums) and Niven (keyboards). Michael Edwards was added on trumpet and sax in August 1966. Jimmy Niven was later a member of the Captain Matchbox Whoopee Band (1973–76) and The Sports (1976–80).
Gulliver Smith died on 12 November 2014 from kidney failure, according to Australian musicologist, Ian McFarlane, "Smith drew on vintage rock'n'roll, Professor Longhair-styled New Orleans R&B, psychedelia and soul for inspiration. He was known for his outrageous stage act, which incorporated an inventive free-form approach and much evangelist-styled ad-libbing. Later on, he added a satirical Zappaesque component to his on-stage banter and lyrics."
Without You/Hair/Today I Feel No Pain/Dear Prudence
After the demise of the Qustions in March 1968 Doug Parkinson, Billy Green, Duncan McGuire and Rory Thomas reunited and recruited a new drummer, Doug Lavery (ex Running Jumping Standing Still, Andy James Asylum) and took a new name that acknowledged the rapidly growing stature of their lead singer -- Doug Parkinson In Focus.
The slew of Singles released by Doug Parkinson In Focus warrants particular attention. The group (unfortunately) never made an album, but, if gathered together with their unreleased tracks (such as "Theme From 12th House"), these tracks would form a pretty solid album. Most have since been anthologised on the essential Raven compilation Doug Parkinson: In and Out of Focus.
The debut In Focus single "Advice" / "I Had A Dream" (May 1968) didn't chart, although it set out their stall in confident fashion, but the original lineup fell apart in August 1968. Organist Rory Thomas left to join The Affair and was not replaced; Doug Lavery departed to join The Valentines and was replaced by Johnny Dick (ex- Aztecs, Max Merritt & the Meteors).
In early 1969, a friend of Doug's in the UK sent him an advance copy of The Beatles' stunning new self-titled double album (now universally known as The White Album). They were smitten and immediately recorded a superb cover of the classic John Lennon song "Dear Prudence". Doug sent the tape to Festival, hoping to have it released as the next single but, incredibly, Festival turned it down. Stunned, Doug took the recording to EMI, who loved it. A record deal was signed, and the single was released on Columbia in May 1969. It shot up the charts all over the country, earning rave reviews; it peaked at #5 in the Go-Set national singles chart in early August and stayed on the chart for a solid four months, becoming the biggest hit of Doug's career. It was a brilliant showcase for Doug, enabling him to display both his power and subtlety, and it also highlighted the tight, funky cohesion of his band. The package was reinforced by its impressive flipside, the Billy Green-composed "This Must Be The End". It became one of the biggest selling Australian singles of 1969 -- no mean feat in a year that produced classics like "Smiley", "The Real Thing" and Mr Guy Fawkes" and it remains a signature tune for Doug ... not to mention being one of the best Beatles covers ever recorded.
In July, as "Dear Prudence" was heading up the charts, the group again competed in the annual Hoadley's Battle of the Sounds. In a nail-biting finish, Doug Parkinson In Focus was awarded equal first place with competition underdogs The Masters Apprentices, and the two bands shared the prize. The prize enabled the Masters to achieve their long-held dream of going to England, but for In Focus the glory was shortlived -- soon after the finals rumours began circulating that their prize money had had been misappropriated by their management.
The Hoadleys controversy was followed by another setback when their next single, "Today (I Feel No Pain)" was deemed uncommercial by EMI and was withdrawn soon after release. Fortunately, the A-side -- remarkable for its driving, slightly psychedelic backwards guitar effects -- reappeared later on the Dear Prudence EP.
They bounced back with their next single, which showcased Billy Green's brilliant pop writing skills, together with his astounding, almost orchestral (and criminally overlooked) guitar stylings on the power ballad (in the best senses of the term) "Without You" (October) which provided them with a second Top 5 hit. On its reverse side, this single featured Doug's unique take on the title song from the notorious rock musical, Hair which had recently premiered in Sydney in a blaze of publicity.
Once again on the crest of a wave, the group looked set for continued success, but in November Green and McGuire abruptly split to join the short-lived supergroup Rush with former Wild Cherries members Mal McGee and Kevin Murphy. Doug hastily recruited English guitarist Mick Rogers (ex-Playboys, Procession) and veteran guitar ace Les Stacpool and the new lineup premiered in December. By January 1970 Rush has folded and Billy Green returned in time for In Focus' appearance at Australia's first rock festival, the Pilgrimage For Pop at Ourimbah, NSW.
Duncan McGuire returned the next month, Stacpool and Rogers departed and In Focus returned to its classic lineup. Their final single was arguably also their supreme achievement, a fantastic 45 where it's hard to nominate an A or B side. "Baby Blue Eyes" / "Then I Run" was also a remarkably dynamic recording, and was one of the first stereophonic 7" singles recorded in this country. By turns lush, dramatic, evocative, funky and just plain hard-rocking, both of these Green-penned songs were shamefully neglected at the time, and deserve retrospective scrutiny for the hallmarks that they undoubtedly are. It performed moderately well, reaching #6 in May 1970, but the next month Doug and Johnny were invited to come to England to join a new band being put together by former Aztec Vince Melouney but that's another story.
Coming Generation/Only Thing On My Mind/Oh My Word/It's Easy To Say/Man's Gotta Be A Man
Former Embers stalwart Glyn Tucker was just in his 20s but already an industry veteran when he formed The Adventurers in early 1965 with Paddy McAneney (guitar), Peter Davies (guitar), Roger Wiles (drums) and Ben Grubb (bass). During April 1965 they changed their name to The Gremlins and in mid-year the group recorded their first single ‘But She’s Gone’/‘Don’t Ya’ on the Allied International label.
Shortly after their debut single, Glyn and Paddy were called up for National Service, which put the group into mothballs as they embarked on their 12-week compulsory military training. On discharge in December 1965, a considerably fitter Glyn and Paddy re-grouped and they approached Viscount Records owner Gary Daverne, who had been in The Embers with Glyn. Daverne was enthusiastic and the first Viscount session for the group took place in June 1966 at Eldred Stebbing’s Saratoga Ave studio. It was decided that ‘The Coming Generation’ would be the next single. At the last minute, Paddy had to borrow a 12-string guitar from the music retailer Lewis Eady. The borrowed instrument gave the song a folk rock feel that suited the mild protest element of the song.
The Coming Generation’ burst on to the national charts the following month and instantly became a big hit for the group, eventually peaking at No.2 on the New Zealand Hit Parade on September 22, 1966. The Beatles’ ‘Yellow Submarine’ prevented it from reaching the top.
As a follow-up single the group recorded a Glyn Tucker original, ‘Understand Our Age’. It was released in November 1966 and bubbled under the National Top 20 chart.
Early in the New Year Glyn's long-time friend and collaborator Paddy McAneney decided to leave the group. Instead of finding a new lead guitarist, the band had a more ambitious plan in mind. Ben Grubb had recently bought a Jansen Transonic organ, which paved the way for Ces Good to join the Gremlins on bass with Peter Davies handling lead guitar duties and Glyn taking care of the 12-string guitar. This new line-up can be heard on the next single ‘You Gotta Believe It’/‘I Can’t Say’ which peaked at No.18 on the NZ Singles Chart during April 1967.
Gary Daverne managed to secure a UK release for ‘The Coming Generation’ on the Mercury label on May 20, 1967 where Record Mirror favourably reviewed it as “A bit Monkee-ish in conception, though it's certainly spirited”.
They weren’t to know that the track was recorded a month before The Monkees’ debut single.
During June 1967 the group recorded their fifth single ‘Blast-Off 1970’. The groovy, space-age keyboard sounds on the record were stumbled upon by accident in the studio. Peter had his guitar strapped on while in close proximity to Ben’s organ, which meant the pickup on Peter’s guitar picked up sound from the organ.
When released the following month, ‘Blast Off 1970 ’ made the finals of the 1967 Loxene Gold Disc Award.
Mercury Records in the UK released ‘You Gotta Believe It’ in the UK on October 22, 1967 with Record Mirror reviewing it as a “tough edged sort of romantic ‘belter’ which goes along nicely in a sharp-cut style”.
Around the same time the group cut their next single ‘Never You Mind’/‘I Want Your Love’, Peter Davies left the band and was replaced by Daron Curtiss from the Gisborne group ‘The Crying Shame’. The Gremlins had observed Daron during one of their tours and sent him a letter asking if he would like to join the group. He jumped at the opportunity.
Overflowing with creative input and with new blood, a rejuvenated Gremlins released their next single ‘Ballad Of A Busker’/‘Listen To Me’ where the disc featured the two songs on the A-side with a double-grooved spoof on side 2 called ‘The Great Drain Robbery’. The two grooves meant that depending on where the needle was dropped, either track would play.
The Gremlins ambitiously wrote songs and a script for a television pop-opera based on a fictional town called Kingsforth Heemingseen. This was to be a new beginning for the group but instead turned into a death knell when AKTV2 politely turned the project down. The theme song was recorded and released as a single in November 1968, to little fanfare.
The Gremlins broke up soon after in January 1969. Glyn Tucker carried on playing in several bands before starting a long and distinguished career on the production side of the music industry.
Sunday, 24 February 2019
A Life In The Sun/ Windansea/When I Found You/ Don’t Get Around Much Anymore
Starting out life as a Newcastle (Australia) instrumental band called The Four Strangers.
The group released one well-regarded surf instrumental single -The Rip b/w Pearl Diver – for Astor in 1964, after which their original guitarist (Gary Johns) left the band and was replaced by singer/guitarist Lindsay Bjerre.
Under Bjerre’s guidance the band – now renamed The Sunsets – moved to a more up-to-date beat/R&B style and scored a five-year recording deal with the Australian Festival label.
They met filmmaker Paul Witzig via a mutual friend who ran surf film screenings in the city. The band initially provided a theme song for Witzig's 1966 film "A Life In The Sun" which met with some minor success around Sydney and was modelled around the Sandals theme for the Bruce Browne film Endless Summer. Hot Generation was the theme for his next film and saw a more exciting original sound from the band.
Becoming Tamam Shud in 1968, the band became one of the first local groups to embrace the late 60s psychedelic sounds, translating the acid-rock into a uniquely Australian context.
Why Do You Treat Me Like You Do/It's A Hard Life/I Put A Spell On You/By The Glow Of A Candle
By all accounts Sydney's Atlantics, formed 1961, could turn their hand to any style of pop music, from surf to garage. Their biggest hits were two original surf instrumentals that rank among the world's best of the era: Bombora and The Crusher (both 1963).
Vocals on I Put a Spell On You are by Johnny Rebb of Hey, Sheriff fame, who had joined the Atlantics at this time, following the trend of instrumental bands acquiring a vocalist in the wake of the British Invasion. Released in Australia in 1966, this single reached #29 in Sydney.
Yes My Darlin'/Forever/She's Had It/High Heel Sneekers
Roger Skinner (Lead Guitar / Vocals)
Brian Layton (Rhythm Guitar / Vocals)
Kevin Walsh (Bass Guitar / Vocals)
Max Thompson (Drums)
Roger Skinner had served his apprenticeship well, by the time he formed the Pleasers in January 1964. Roger began his career back in 1957 with a skiffle group he formed, called the Kool Kats. With him in that group were Jimmy Elliot, later of the Premiers and the Dallas Four, Peter White on tea-chest bass and Lance Whittington on drums.
After the Kool Kats, Roger formed the Top Hats, who consisted of Graham Gibson, Geoff Land, Neville Findlay, Ian Goldwater, Neil Harvey and Roger. They used to play at RSA dances for several months until Goldwater and Harvey left. This was in 1960 and the remaining members renamed themselves the Versatones. Basing themselves as a Shadows type band, they secured regular paying gigs on the social circuits of Auckland City, playing regularly until disbanding at the end of 1963.
The Pleasers was his next outing, formed with Brian, Kevin and Max. They were inspired by the Beatles and managed to get a residency at the Beatle Inn, taking over from the Merseymen. Building their own group of fans, they were also giving a guest spot on television's "In The Groove", where they came to the attention of the producers of the Wellington based TV music show "Let's Go". They were offered a contract to be the shows resident band until the end of 1964.
This required a move to Wellington, and as soon as they got there they were also offered residencies at Teenarama and at the Petone Youth Club. The Pleasers replaced the Librettos at Teenarama and also as resident band on "Let's Go", after they had gone to Australia.
A recording contract was also secured with Red Rooster, a subsidiary of Viking Records. Their first single was "Ain't Gonna Kiss You"/"Move It". It was a cover of the Searchers song and when released in 1964, the Pleasers used the TV show to help promote it. The follow-up single is their best known one, "Yes My Darling"/"For Ever". It also came out in 1964 and was included on an EP called "The Pleasers" and an album called "Let's Go with Pete Sinclair and the Pleasers" that was released in early 1965. Their third single was "Lovely Lovely"/"Let's Go" and was actually cut with host Pete Sinclair.
They were one of the most visible pop groups in the country, working steadily on the club circuit as well. In 1965 they took the support role on the Dave Clark Five tour along with Lew Pryme and Ray Columbus and the Invaders. During 1965 they returned to Auckland and its club scene, making frequent appearances on the TV music show "Teen Scene".
A second EP called "The Pleasers Again" was released along with one final single, "Justine"/"I Saw You There", before the group disbanded in 1966.
Roger Skinner joined the last Keil Isles line-up for their residency on the "C'Mon" TV show before forming yet another band in 1968 called Motivation.
Unguarded Moment/An Interlude/The Golden Dawn
The Church is an Australian alternative rock band formed in Canberra in 1980. Initially associated with new wave and the neo-psychedelic sound of the mid-1980s, their music later became more reminiscent of progressive rock, featuring long instrumental jams and complex guitar interplay.
Founding members are Steve Kilbey on lead vocals and bass guitar, and Peter Koppes and Marty Willson-Piper on guitars. Drummer Nick Ward played only on their first album; through the 1980s the band's stable drummer for eight years (1982-1990) was Richard Ploog, who left the band after Gold Afternoon Fix. Jay Dee Daugherty (ex-Patti Smith Band) played drums for the band 1990-1994, after which Tim Powles became the longest-serving drummer; having played with the band, since 1996 he has now been a member for 18 years. Three of the members recorded material as The Refo:mation in 1997.
The Church's debut album, Of Skins and Heart (1981), delivered their first radio hit "The Unguarded Moment". They were signed to major labels in Australia, Europe and the United States. However, the US label was dissatisfied with their second album and dropped the band without releasing it. This put a dent in their international success, but they returned to the charts in 1988, with the album Starfish and the US Top 40 hit "Under the Milky Way". Subsequent commercial success proved elusive, however, and the band weathered several line-up changes in the early 1990s. The last decade has seen them settle on their current line-up. On 27 October 2010, The Church were inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame in Sydney.
Sick Sick Syd/My Father's Sores/Sleazo Peepshow/Satan/An Ale-Head Wind
Box The Jesuit formed from the ashes of Sydney group Madroom, founding members Goose & Susie took the band name from a 17th century old English seafaring slang term for masturbation. Box the Jesuit went through a number of line-up changes and indie record labels between 1986 and their break-up in 1995. They released their debut EP "Bloody Mary" on Snoyd Records. Here for you to download from 1987, recorded at Kings Lane Studios, Darlinghurst. There's a great version of Freashwater's 1970 song "Satan". The band became renowned for their wild and entertaining glam rock stage shows, lead singer Goose would often climb the speaker stacks. In January 1992 Box the Jesuit supported Nirvana at the inaugural Big Day Out. They released their final CD "Guide Dogs For The Spiritually Impaired" in July 1993, but sadly Goose died just three weeks later on 1 August 1993 following a long battle with lymphoma. It was one of Goose's final wishes that the band continue after he died, as he felt that the last line-up was the band's best. Ben Brown, lead singer of the Hellmen, took over as front man for a year. He was replaced by Martin Laud, Goose's younger brother in 1994. Even though the band felt they were writing some of their best music, it seemed that the audience's interest had died along with Goose. The last line-up recorded an album that was never released and later broke up in 1995.
The Girl That I Love/Slow Joey/Rachael/Mr. America
Originally a member of Melbourne's Somebody's Image between 1966-68, guitarist and vocalist Russell Morris struck out on his own in 1969. Morris' career started in September 1966 with the formation of the Melbourne group Somebody's Image, which rose to prominence with a local hit version of the Joe South song "Hush." He then achieved a No. 1 hit in 1969 with the Johnny Young song "The Real Thing" which was pruduced by the guru of Aussie Rock 'Ian Molly Meldrum'. "Real Thing" remained at No. 1 for weeks and was the largest selling Australian single in 1969. The song itself was a seven-minute epic moving from a gentle beginning through full-on psychedelia with sound effects and phasing (ending with a 'Zeig Heil' and a nuclear explosion!). His follow-up "The Girl That I Love"/"Part Three Into Paper Walls", also topped the charts in which it spent a total of twenty-one weeks. He set off for the U.K. to promote his singles (unsuccessfully) and recorded "Rachel", which made No. 25 in Australia, whilst there. He enjoyed several subsequent hits, including three Top Ten ones with "Mr. America", "Sweet, Sweet Love" and "Wings Of An Eagle". His debut album "Bloodstone"in 1971 also did well, narrowly missing the Top Ten. He later lived and toured in the U.S.A. On his return to Australia he went on to front several Melbourne bands Russell Morris Band (1978-84), Russell Morris and The Rubes (1980-81), Russell Morris and The Lonely Boys (1986-89) and Russell Morris and The World (1990) His solo releases during the seventies were "Russell Morris" 1975 and "Turn It On" 1976 Russell Morris Band "Foot In The Door" 1979 which charted at #38 His only release during the eighties was "Almost Frantic" #28 once again recording as a solo artist now 11 years since his last release he releases "A Thousand Suns" just making the charts at #71 11 years on "Off The Shelf". In 2007 "Fundamentalist" is released an album of acoustic versions of his past hits and favourites. Also in 2007 he releases "Jump Start Diary" then in 2013 Russell release "Sharkmouth" and is probably the biggest surprise of the year by making it to #6 on the national Charts. Sharkmouth is a distinctly Australian blues album it is a gritty album about legendary Australian stories of sly grog and gambling dens and characters such as Squizzy Taylor, Phar Lap, Les Darcy and even the Sydney Harbour Bridge.