Saturday, 21 July 2018
In A Persian Market/Memphis Blues/While We Danced At The Mardi Gras/Beale Street Blues
Graeme Emerson Bell, AO, MBE (7 September 1914 – 13 June 2012) was an Australian Dixieland and classical jazz pianist, composer and band leader. According to The Age, his "band's music was hailed for its distinctive Australian edge, which he describes as 'nice larrikinism' and 'a happy Aussie outdoor feel'".
Bell was one of the leading promoters of jazz in Australia, bringing American performers such as Rex Stewart to Australia. He was the first Australian jazz band leader who was still playing at 90 years of age and the first Westerner to lead a jazz band to China. The Australian Jazz Awards commenced in 2003. They are also known as The Bells in his honour.On 13 June 2012, at age 97, Bell died after a stroke.
Bell, who was born in the Melbourne suburb of Richmond in 1914, and began playing in bands in 1935, gained fame as a Dixieland and classical jazz pianist, composer and band leader. He played music well into his 90s, producing more than 1,500 recordings and performing thousands of gigs in Australia and beyond. Bell became the first Westerner to lead a jazz band in China after the fall of the Bamboo Curtain, and as a successful live promoter will be remembered for staging American performers in Australia such as Rex Stewart.
Born into a musical family - his father John Alexander Bell was a musical comedian and his mother Mary Elvina a contralto recitalist - Bell was 12 when he started learning the piano. After several small time bands, he established the Graeme Bell Jazz Gang and entertained Australian troops during World War II after being declared unfit for service. When the war was over, he established Melbourne cabaret venue the Uptown Club and renamed his group the Australian Jazz Band.
After two short-lived marriages Bell met his third wife Dorothy in Brisbane in 1955 and the couple moved to Sydney, where Bell wrote commercial music and taught piano to supplement his income. A trad jazz boom in the '60s encouraged Bell to form the Graeme Bell All Stars and tour to the UK, an era the musician believed to be his greatest creative phase.
Bell was made a Member of the British Empire (MBE) in 1978 and an Officer of the Order of Australia in 1990. He was inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame in 1997 alongside The Bee Gees and Paul Kelly. Arguably Bell's most significant legacy, and a symbol of how influential he was on jazz, is that the Australian Jazz Awards are named after him and will forever be referred to as 'the Bells'.
Sunday, 15 July 2018
Barefoot Days/And They Called It Dixieland/Wedding Bells/Shanty In Old Shanty Town/Chesapeake Bay/Barrer Boy
Barry O'Dowd born Albert Park Melbourne 1934, first made a public performance in his late teens, He was tricked into entering a talent show. Though very nervous he came 2nd, missing the first prize of a 2 week engagement but the winner became ill, and amateur Barry nervously was hired for the 2 week engagement. He remained by popular demand for 9 months.
Then came radio and more success. Booked into the Theater Royal Brisbane for an intended 1 week, he broke all known records for an impressionist and ran at one show change a week for 7 months. Then Sydney and again broke records in nightclubs, theaters etc. finally back to Melbourne the audition with Planet Records where they found that "The King Of Impressionists" had his own voice and so impressed were they in hearing this voice that they prophesied that he was the greatest find since Bing Crosby. Thanks to Sunny
Baby It's You/I Want To Meet Her/What A Wonderful World/By The Time I Get To Phoenix
Jeffrey Travis Andrew Phillips was born in November 1948 and grew up on the Canning River, Western Australia. His father was a hairdresser. From the age of ten he learned the guitar. For secondary education he started at St. Francis Xavier High School with his final two years at Trinity College, where he played football and also performed at annual concerts. At the age of 12 years he appeared on TVW–7's Thursday Party and the following year on Play a Simple Melody. In 1964 he was spotted by a TVW–7 representative at a Trinity College concert and invited to appear on nightly variety show, In Perth Tonight. In 1966 he took over as compere of Perth TV pop music show, Club 17. At University of Western Australia he commenced an Economics course and formed a band, The Jeff Phillips Scene.
From September 1969 Phillips was the host of his own ABC-TV pop variety show, Sounds Like Us. The Australian Women's Weekly's Sally White described Phillips as having "charm" and "set for a long and highly tuneful career" with his "elfin chin and clean cut appeal". In 1970 he released a video recording of Sound Like Us with tracks by himself and by his guests, fellow pop singers, Ronnie Burns and Bev Harrell. At the Logie Awards of 1970, sponsored by TV Week, he won the George Wallace Memorial Logie for Best New Talent. In April 1971 he hosted a Saturday morning teen pop music show, Happening '71, for ATV-0 and followed with Happening '72 the next year. In July 1972 Phillips won a song prize at the Fifth Olympiad of Song, held in Athens, performing his self-written work, "Gloria"; the prize was 100,000 drachmae (AUD $2,797). At the TV Week King of Pop Awards of 1972 he won Best Dressed Male. In December that year he was placed fourth on Go-Set's Pop Poll for most popular Male Vocalists.
Thanks again to Ozzie Music Man
Incence/One Last Kiss/Love It Is/A Simple Song
Issi Dye has been a household name in entertainment in Australia for over 35 years!
He's performed thousands of concerts and cabaret shows, appeared on countless Television programs in front of millions of people all over the world.
In the 1960's Issi appeared on Television programs like Bandstand, Kommotion, The GO! Show and Uptight.
In late 1969 Issi had his first hit song with "Incense" and moved into the 1970's as a regular presenter and performer on the "Happening 70s" TV Show. This continued for three years.
During the 1970s, Issi toured with the great stars of music, including: Roy Orbison, The Beach Boys, The Everly brothers, The Platters, Ray Charles, The Supremes, Chuck Berry and The Drifters.
From the mid-70s until the end of the 90's, Issi had his own Television Programs on the Nine Network in Melbourne, Sydney and the Ten Network in Brisbane, establishing him as a TV presenter as performer of concerts.
In late 1999 Issi put together the Al Jolson Story, a tribute to the "World's Greatest Entertainer of the Twentieth Century"! Now over 600 performances later, Issi Dye has established this wonderful show and performs all over Australia at clubs, art centres, corporate functions and Casinos. Thanks to Ozzie Music Man for the Upgrade.
Forgive Me/Surfer Boy/Between Two Trees/My Cathedral
During the early 1960s, pop singer Noeleen Batley (born in 1944 and dubbed `Australia's Little Miss Sweetheart') was a regular on television pop shows like Six O'Clock Rock and Bandstand. She scored a hit single for Festival's Rex label with `Barefoot Boy'/`When My Blue Moon Turns to Gold Again', which reached the Top 5 in most states during November 1960. Her debut single was actually `Starry Eyes'/`Soldier Soldier Won't You Marry Me' in February 1960.
She recorded two more moderately successful singles for the Rex label, `Rendezvous'/`Fickle Fingers' (February 1961) and `Tammy'/`Little Sir Echo' (August 1961), and then signed direct to Festival for `Ice Cream Man'/`Over in that Happy Land' (September 1961). Throughout that time, Batley toured with artists like Johnny O'Keefe, Col Joye and the Joy Boys, Johnny Chester, Lucky Starr and The Allen Brothers. She was named Australia's Top Female Vocalist of 1961.
Batley began to move into cabaret, and recorded seven more singles for Festival in Australia before travelling to the UK in 1969. She recorded one single in England (`Seabird'/`Let It Stay this Way'), toured throughout Europe and represented Australia at the Brazil Popular Song Festival held in Rio de Janeiro. Batley later settled in the USA and retired from regular performing.
Friday, 8 June 2018
Death By The Gun/Didn't Tell The Man/Dark Surprise/If I Wanted To
Deniz Tek and Rob Younger formed Radio Birdman in mid-1974 in Sydney, having recently left their bands TV Jones and the Rats respectively. The pair sought to begin a band that would challenge the commercial mainstream and be completely uncompromising. They recruited classical keyboard player Philip "Pip" Hoyle, drummer Ron Keeley and bassist Carl Rorke. The band took their name from a misheard lyric from the Stooges' song "1970" (the actual lyric is "radio burnin'").
After being rejected many times from various venues, and having resorted to putting on its own concerts in rented garages and tiny community halls, by mid 1975 Radio Birdman found an upstairs room at the Oxford Tavern in Taylor Square, Sydney. They eventually took over its management, renaming it The Funhouse. Under their management the Funhouse became a home to other outsider groups. Prior to the opening of this venue, Carl Rorke had left the band and was replaced by longtime friend of Rob Younger, Warwick Gilbert (also a former Rats member). Also to leave the band would be Philip Hoyle, and though his departure was short-lived. Guitarist Chris Masuak, initially hired to replace Hoyle.
Soon, a small but growing subculture grew around Radio Birdman. This coincided with the beginnings of the Sydney punk scene.
After unsuccessfully trying several studios, Radio Birdman found a supportive recording milieu with the help of Rock Australia Magazine editor, Anthony O'Grady. They recorded an EP, Burn My Eye. and their first album Radios Appear, produced by John L Sayers and Charles Fisher at Trafalgar Studios in Annandale. Trafalgar Studios, under the management of Michael McMartin, signed the band and financed the recordings. Radios Appear was critically acclaimed, getting 5 stars in the Australian Rolling Stone edition. The album owed much of its style to Detroit bands of the late 1960s, such as the MC5 and the Stooges, as well as influences ranging from the Doors to the Velvet Underground and instrumental surf music. The title of the album comes from a Blue Öyster Cult song "Dominance and Submission" from their 1974 Secret Treaties album, influences from which can also be seen in Birdman's creative output. Though Radios Appear was totally ignored by commercial radio, it was championed by Sydney station 2JJ (Double Jay). Released on the newly created, purpose-built independent label Trafalgar Records, the album was made available through mail-order and was self distributed by band members and friends to a few sympathetic record stores, never achieving widespread sales or commercial success. Several years after initial release, and following the breakup of the band, Trafalgar Records licensed the recordings to WEA who took on the album and gave it a wider release. However, sales remained limited. Despite critical acclaim, some fans felt the recordings lacked the ferocity and immediacy of the live shows and did not represent their own intense experience of the band.
When Sire Records president Seymour Stein came to Australia to sign Brisbane punk band the Saints, he saw Radio Birdman and immediately invited them to join his label. Under Sire, licensed by Trafalgar, Radio Birdman released a new version of Radios Appear featuring a mixture of re-mixed, re-recorded and some new material. Comparisons between the two versions of the album are disputed with some feeling that the second version is a more accurate reflection of the band's sound. Most fans however own both versions and simply treat them as two separate and different recordings.
The underground scene at the Funhouse, now incorporating the nascent punk movement, began to attract some groups with negative agendas, including the Sydney chapter of the Hells Angels. With this new, more violent, and rowdy crowd, and over capacity every night, the Funhouse was at the point of exploding. The band was blamed for violent incidents occurring at the Funhouse, and were concerned that a disaster was in the making. Following a concert at Paddington Town Hall with the Saints and the Hot Spurs, in April 1977, attended by a few hundred people, they left the Sydney scene altogether, playing sporadically in other cities and working on new material.
Tuesday, 29 May 2018
Yo Yo Heart/I Wanna Bop/She's Got Soul/ I'm Counting Up My Love
William Victor Simms, known as Vic Simms and Vicki Simms, is an Australian singer and songwriter. He is from La Perouse, New South Wales, and is a Bidjigal man.
Simms began his singing career at age 12 at the Manly Jazzorama Music Festival in 1957,soon after Col Joye heard him as an 11-year-old singing at a football social. He released his first single (as "Vicki Simms"), "Yo-Yo Heart" (Festival Records), at age 15. He performed with Johnny O'Keefe, Shirley Bassey and Robie Porter among other prominent singers.
After his release from prison, he reentered the entertainment industry. He has toured Australian prisons and, in 1990, he toured Canada with Roger Knox and Bobby McLeod where they played in prisons and on reservations. In 1996, he released a covers album, "From The Heart".
In 2009, The Loner was added to the National Film and Sound Archive's Sounds of Australia registry. In 2013, it was re-released by Sandman records.
"Selections From the Loner" was released by Painted Ladies 6 June 2014. Songs from the original album were re-recorded by artists including Luke Peacock, Paul Kelly and Vic Simms himself.
Simms sang "Stranger in My Country" in both the SBS documentary and accompanying cd, Buried Country: The Story of Aboriginal Country Music.
Sunday, 27 May 2018
One Night Singer/Sunny Queensland/Bail Up/Wayfaring Stranger
Not to much on this band out there in the Ether if you have ant info let me know. More than likely a Quensland band whose members were Julie Zerner Keyboards Vocals,Kenn Zerner Bass,Acoustic Guitar, Greg Adams-Drums, Peter Jones-Mandolin,Vocals,Tin Whistle and Bass, Gary Mears Vocals,Acoustic and Electric Guitar and Banjo. Thanks to John.
Diddy-Wa-Diddy/If I Were A Carpenter/The Camera-Devils Of Dublin/Stolen Car Blues
Rick is a well known acoustic musician in the Australian Folk Music Scene whose speciality is Delta Blues and Leadbelly. He ran the very popular Folk Show on Melbourne radio station 3RRR for 29 years and was the producer and occasional interviewer for the Fairly Folk radio show on UGFM from 2011 to 2013. Rick is one of the regulars at the Port Fairy Folk Festival where he created and hosts the Sunday Singalong. When he is not playing professionally you can often catch him at a late night session at one of the many small gatherings in Victoria, hanging out with other session junkies and tune tramps.
First appearing on the folk music scene in Australia in 1977, many fans consider Rick an institution; especially when it comes to performing at Port Fairy.
Rick E Vengeance, with his eclectic taste in clothes and flair for entertaining, first appeared on the folk music scene in Australia back in 1977 and at Port Fairy in 1978. Now 38 years later, many fans consider him an institution (some would say a relic), especially when it comes to performing at Port Fairy, where his legendary Sunday Singalongs have become an absolute festival highlight. Over the years he has been many things – dance caller, radio DJ, guitar teacher, accomplished MC, band leader and a fine guitarist. Thanks to Sunny
Sunday, 1 April 2018
Put On A Happy Face/Wouldn't It Be Loverly/ This Could Be The Start Of Something/Tammy/ Bill Bailey Won't You Please Come Home
Elaine McKenna (24 March 1937 – 6 January 1992) was an Australian singer, who became known for her television appearances throughout the 1950s and 1960s, particularly in Melbourne where she was associated with GTV-9. For her television work, McKenna won the Logie for Best Singer at the 1961 Logie Awards.
McKenna relocated to the United States of America in late 1961. She appeared on The Bob Newhart Show in 1961.
In 1963, McKenna married American actor and performer Tim Evans. Although the couple had planned to get married at St Patrick's Cathedral in Melbourne during the Australian summer, they were married in Texas in October 1963. McKenna died in 1992. Thanks to Sunshine
The Hokey Pokey/You Make Me Happy/Beach Ball/You Gotta Have Love
Jimmy Hannan is a Gold Logie-winning variety show host, singer, actor and game show host. Making appearances on over 20 shows, his career in Australian television and radio spanned 30 years. In 2015, he donated a wealth of memorabilia to the NFSA, including photographs, audio recordings, film and video recordings, scripts and sheet music.
Jimmy got his start on television as a bright-eyed 18-year-old contestant on Name That Tune. It was 1956 and television had just launched in Australia. Very few people had televisions in their homes so people crowded around TV shop windows to watch, and listen - the shops kindly left the sound on. Jimmy was on the show for six weeks and never made a mistake guessing the songs. He used his £500 prize to go to Canada to further his career.
Jimmy's charming TV persona is well-reflected in his carefree, welcoming stance and huge trademark grin in the publicity photo below. Tall, with naturally blonde curly hair and blue eyes, he is perhaps most recognisable for his fantastic teeth.
In a telephone interview with Jimmy, he recalled to me with a laugh that they got the echo effect on the vocals by putting the speaker in the toilet and recording that. The song was released in February 1964 and reached number 2 on the Australian charts. Looking back he says that he put out some ‘dreadful songs’, but he remembers ‘Beach Ball’, and that time of his life, fondly. Jimmy’s vocals are assured, but today the stand-out characteristic of the song is its infectious fast-paced momentum thanks to John ‘Catfish’ Purser on drums.
Surfing music and the dance 'The Stomp' were popular at the time. During the taping of Saturday Date in 1963 an article from the Australian Women’s Weekly notes, ‘the teenage audience were so carried away with stomping on the cement studio floor that the camera was vibrating and the singer couldn’t be heard. In the end the singer and [host] Jimmy Hannan gave up trying to compete, and joined in the stomp instead.’
Two black and white photos featuring Jimmy Hannan performing at the Sydney Stadium with a band. The photo on the right shows him making his way to the stage through fans.
The concert photographs above were taken by an unknown photographer at Sydney Stadium in 1965 and are a terrific example of Jimmy’s popularity and vitality. Jimmy remembers this particular concert at Sydney Stadium where he performed alongside Johnny Devlin, Little Pattie and The Denvermen. Jimmy looks very relaxed in his role as a teen idol, managing to appear casual even in a suit jacket and tie. Jimmy went on to win a Gold Logie for most popular television personality in 1965 for Saturday Date.
In articles you read about Jimmy, journalists often mention how hard working and down to earth he is. He said in an Australian Women’s Weekly article from 1981, ‘Whenever I’ve compered a show, I’ve always stuck to the philosophy that it [the show] comes first. I try to play it low-key so people watch the programme instead of me. So many performers grab the spotlight and don’t let go.’
Thursday, 8 February 2018
Bama Lama Bama Loo/Tossin' & Turnin'/Lookin' For My Pigs/Let's Go, Let's Go, Let's Go
Raymond Hough only had to effect a small tweaking of his birth name but it gave him one of the coolest handles in Oz rock: Ray Hoff & the Offbeats. From the rock'n'roll cauldron of the late 1950s and throughout the beat and soul-funk era of the 1960s and beyond, it was a name that commanded respect in Australian musical circles even if it was not always familiar in the nation's households.
Kept from a level of prominence enjoyed by his peers - and indeed some lesser talents - by the lack of a signature hit or a solid body of recorded work, Hoff's fame, as it was, centred around his gruff, powerful, soul voice. Like Max Merritt & the Meteors, his formidable reputation as a song stylist and his energetic sidemen always commanded enthusiastic audiences.
A few band competitions later - with Isackson enticed away by Dig Richards & the RJ's but with Taylor still pounding his keys maniacally - Hoff was on Six O'Clock Rock and he and his Offbeats were setting Sydney alight with rock'n'roll as part of a pioneering elite headed by O'Keefe, Col Joye & the Joy Boys, Johnny Rebb & the Rebels and Alan Dale & the Houserockers.
It was a heady environment for a time but without a record deal (Teen Records promised but withdrew) and with fairly formidable competition from what mostly became multiple-hit acts, Hoff moved to Adelaide, then Perth, where he was warmly embraced. But it was not until he returned to Sydney in 1965 and put together a new line-up of the Offbeats that things began to fall into some sort of place.
Hoff was one of the most active Australian performers in Vietnam during the war, although due to his soul leanings, he was heard far more by American than Australian servicemen. During one tour of duty he met a go-go dancer called Kay, who became his wife of 25 years. (Glen A. Baker)
Wednesday, 7 February 2018
The Impossible Dream/They Call The Wind Maria/Hello Josephine/Little Deuce Coup/Mexico
Melbourne band formed in 1962. Members have included Frankie Brent (guitar, vocals), Frankie Burns (drums), John Cosgrove (guitar, vocals), Gavin Grace (bass), Ray Houston (bass), Graham Broomfield (saxophone), Rex Harris (bass), Gordon Pendleton (drums), and Noel Tresider (piano).
In 1961 John Cosgrove saw a Fender Guitar in a Melbourne shop window and Knew instantly that this was the instrument on which to build his musical career.
John with Bassist Ray Houston and Guitarist Frank Brent , left the Blue Jays Show Band and formed the first all-Fender group in Melbourne. When drummer Frank Burns joined up,the four young musicians,together with the full support of the Fender Company in the U.S.A. became the legendary Fendermen.
The Fendermen's blend of professional arrangements and quality equipment launched them to the forefront of the local pop music scene, securing long term contracts with Leggets Paladium and the Orana Ballroom, and the late night spot at the Palais De Danse. Regular appearances on IMT with Graham Kennedy and recordings with Frankie Davidson and Merv Benton followed.
1968 saw the Fendermen move to a long running residency at the Dorset Gardens working with and supporting a long list of international acts. Now working as a duo, the Fendermen have never stopped playing. In 1996 the original members reunited for their 35th Anniversary then in 2011 for their 50th.
The Fendermen's Fenders.
Thanks To John
Private Property/Better Late Than Never/I Did Nothing Wrong/Crack in the Door
Patricia "Trisha" Ann Ruth Noble was born on 3 February 1944 in Marrickville and grew up in Sydney, Australia. Her father was Clarence Lancelot "Buster" Noble (1 March 1913 – 1990), a comedian and singer; her mother was Helen De Paul (born Helen McGoulrick, 1921–2007), an entertainer, singer, dancer and comedian on the Tivoli circuit. During World War II, Buster served as a sergeant in the Warratahs Entertainment Unit in the AIF from November 1942 to January 1946. Noble has a younger sister, Amanda. In 1950, Noble appeared onstage with her parents and had her own radio programme. By age 14, she was qualified to teach ballet. There is a video of Patsy Ann Noble on the Dailymotion website, titled: 'Patsy Ann Noble More Than A Song'. Dailymotion website.
Noble won the 'Best Female Singer of the Year' Logie Award for 1961, presented by TV Week. By December 1962, Patsy Ann had scored herself two No. 1 and four Top 10 singles in Australia. In 1962, she travelled to London where she was given a two-year contract with Columbia Records. There, she released many "girl group"-sounding pop songs including "Sour Grapes" (February 1963), "I'm Nobody's Baby" (1963) and "Accidents Will Happen" (1963), but received little commercial success – although she continued to score hits between 1963 and 1965 in Australia. In 1963, she appeared in the British musical film Live It Up! (with music produced by Joe Meek), although only in a singing role. In June 1965, Noble released "He Who Rides a Tiger" which peaked at No. 21 on the British Top 30, and No. 15 on Australia's Top 40.
Trisha on the Dangerman episode "Not So Jolly Roger"
Sunday, 28 January 2018
Dream Girl/ I'm Gonna Make You Cry/I Don't Like To Be Alone/Skinny Minnie
Bryan Davies (born in 1945) is an Australian singer from Sydney, who came to the attention of Australian rock fans in 1959. His clean-cut good looks and comparatively mellow rock style made him ideal for the TV pop shows of the era, such as Sing! Sing! Sing! and particularly Bandstand, on which Bryan became a regular. Bryan has had songs written for him by acclaimed songwriter, Jay Justin, who wrote songs for many other artists, including Little Pattie, Reg Lindsay and Slim Whitman.
After having featured on pop shows all over Australia, Bryan scored his own teen music TV series on ABC Television. At age 17, Bryan Davies became the youngest person in the world to host his own television show. The Bryan Davies Show (1962–1963) included regular guests, Neil Williams, Judy Cannon and the Don Burrows Sextet. Resident girl singer in the series was Coral Kelly who later went on to become Coral Drouyn, a well known scriptwriter. As an indication of his success was his purchase of a bright red Jaguar which featured in the opening titles of the program.
At the beginning of 1964 Bryan with The Delltones, Dig Richards, Justin and others including his then girlfriend Jacki Weaver performed in the youth oriented stage production produced and written by Bill Watson at the Palace Theatre in Sydney. The show surrounded the antics of Gadget, played by Weaver. It was a play on the then popular Sandra Dee Gidget films.
However Beatlemania was then the name of the game and the entire music industry world wide was in confusion as to the future of the industry. The emphasis had switched overnight from single performers (including Elvis Presley and Cliff Richard) to singing as distinct from instrumental, male groups, preferably British and London and even Liverpool the home of The Beatles, suddenly became the popular music capital of the world.
In 1963, Bryan had met Norrie Paramour, a top British composer, producer and conductor who produced Cliff Richard and the Shadows' recordings, during a visit to Sydney with actor/singer, Helen Shapiro famous for one hit "Walkin' Back to Happiness". Paramour was impressed with Bryan’s work and encouraged him to go to England which he did in February 1964. In May that year he began recording for Paramour
In the absence of further chart successes, Bryan has continued his singing career to this day, working mainly in the Sydney music scene.
During his career, Bryan diversified into acting and hosting roles for television shows. He was a cast member for two years on Australia's first major comedy satire program, The Mavis Bramston Show (1964–1968), and featured in the 7 Network's Anything Goes (1968). Bryan has had guest starring roles in other productions. He appeared in a Matlock Police episode, 'What's In It For Me' in 1973. In 1981 Bryan became the presenter of the short-lived Candid Camera -style game show, Catch Us If You Can.
More recently, Bryan has been involved in The Johnny O’Keefe Memorial Show, performing alongside other legends from the JOK era including Alan Dale, Vicki Forrest, Barry Stanton, Johnny Devlin and Adam. He is currently performing with Roland Storm and Lucky Starr in the "Golden Boys of Aussie Rock 'n' Roll" show.
Thanks to Brian for supplying me with the labels.
Wednesday, 10 January 2018
Big Ben/Can't Blame Me/Why Hide/Besame Mucho
Hobart's Spook Club and Beachcombers, Melbourne's Pinnochio's, Perth's Cannon Bridge Stomp! All Felt the impact of The Kravats.
Tasmania's premier rock export of the 1960's, The Kravats gegan in 1958, their first gig being guests on the Lee Gordon Big Show at the City Hall in Hobart supporting artists like Llord Price , Conway Twitty, The Kalin Twins, Col Joye and The Joy Boysand The Delltones and Johnny OKeefe and the DJ's and Johnny Devlin and Dig Richards.
The Personal for this first appearance were Noel Best, Ray Woodruff, Norm Walker, Max Johns and Clem Meehan (filling in for the injured Richard Millhouse who was suffering from a broken arm).
The Kravats became the resident band and in June 1964 received a recording contract with W&G Records in Melbourne. Paying their own expenses to undertake this venture, the first session in 1964 led to the release of the single Puppet Strings (written by Noel) b/w Bel Mir Bist Du Schoen wich sold well in Hobart reaching #2 on the local charts. The follow up single Fred b/w Jindivik both sides being written by Noel, was also recorded at this session.
3UZ Disc jockey John Vertigan (ex 7HO Hobart), a close acquaintance of the group, actively campaigned W&G's Ron Tudor for the audition session which led to the recording contract. By the middle of 1964, Beatlemania was alive and well in Tasmania and the band realised the need for a vocalist to progress to this Merseybeat-style as compared to the Shadows-style wich had been their trademark.
Barry Woodruff a younger brother of Ray was added to the band. A Friday night residencey at the popular Beachcomber at the San Carlo Hall in North Hobart and a second recording session in Melbourne followed. This recording session produced the Tasmanian #1 hit "Baby Let Me Take You Home", the top 10 follow up "It Must Be Jelly (Cause Jam Don't Shake Like That) and the EP We The Kravats which also made the singles charts.
Former Hobart D.J. Keith McGowan had moved to Perth and as a result of his efforts "Baby Let Me Take You Home" entered the top ten in Western Australia which resulted in tour to Perth which commenced in August of 1965. The visit was originally scheduled for 1 week but the Kravats were so well recieved that another week was agreed to.
The return of the band from this tour coincided with their release of "It Must Be Jelly (Cause Jam Don't Shake Like That) which reached #7 in Hobart and #2 in Launceston on the 20th November 1965.
Things were going from strenght to strenght and because of their strong popularity base in Tasmania coupled with family commitments the band made a conscious decision not to base itself on the mainland but to do short spells.
As 1965 drew to a close the EP We The Kravats became their 5th release and entered the Hobart singles charts immediatley. the standout track being "Why Hide" written by Barry who was becoming something of a prolific writer. On this track Barry ovedubbed the harmonies himself. In 1965 this was ground breaking stuff indeed.
Just prior to their departure for W.A. Max Johns left the bamd and was replaced on drums by John McAbe from local band the Silhouettes. The third and final session with W&G followed this time with "Macka" on drums and resulted in the release of the singles "We're Gonna Howl Tonight" (1966) and "That's What I Want" (1967). The days of hitmaking were over though and these singles sank without a trace.
With legaslative changes allowing entry into hotels of 18 year olds tennage dances disappeared and a new era of cabaret entertainment commenced with the Kravats becoming the resident band at the Carlyle Hotel in Hobart. This trend continued with the move to the cabaret scene and the band worked with such artists as Kamal, John Farnham, Ross D. Wylie and the legedary Johnny O'Keefe. The Kravats continued the professional aproach to their work and this culminated in an invitation in November 1969 to provide entertainment on the P&O liner Himalaya.
Although guest appearances in mainland venues continued periodically it was the cabaret scene in Hobart that the Kravats returned, providing entertaiment for a further two decades.