Saturday, 21 September 2013

Johnny Noble - Lonely City

Lonely City/Tough Enough/That'll Be All Right/This Little Girl

Johnny Noble was born in Muswellbrook in 1945 and later moved to Newcastle.At the age of sixteen he entered a talent quest in the Newcastle area which led to an appearance with Johnny Okeefe at the Century Theatre his popularity around Newcastle gained him an appearance on Alan Lappan's Tempo on NBN Channel 3 Newcastle. This led to his becoming a vocalist with a number of Newcastles top groups.
Because of his popularity disc jockey John Maloney invited him to meet whith his nephew Vince Maloney, guitarist with Sydney Instrumental group The Vibratones as they were lookin for a vocalist. Johnny joined and they changed their name to the Aztecs his debut with the Aztecs was in Kings Cross at Surf City a popular Sydney venue. They obtained a recording contract with Linda Lee Records and Johnny may have started recording with them. After eight months with the band Johnny quit he was not happy with all the travelling and hated living in Sydney so he returned to Newcastle. The split led the Aztecs with finding another vocalist and who did they find Billy Thorpe.
Back in Newcastle Johnny joined the Starlites who then became Johnny Noble and the Mods. An LP was issued with the Aztecs on one side and Johnny on the other called Poison Ivy Three of Johnny's songs were credited to Johnny Noble and the Mods but two of these "That'll ge All Right" and "Mean Women Blues" may have been recorded with the Aztecs and not the Mods. Johnny only ever had one charting single with another Newcastle group the Incas "Lonely City" whch Charted in Sydney for 9 weeks and reached #21. After his brief stint in the limelight Johnny continued to perform in the clubs around Newcasle including stints with big bands. As late as 2008 Johnny still had two regular gigs at the Toronto RSL and the Carrington Country Retreat.

Monday, 16 September 2013

Sir Robert Helpmann - Goes Surfing

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!