Thursday, 31 December 2015
Move Baby Move/You'll Never Cherish A Love So True/Ooh Poo Pah Doo (Parts 1 & 2)
Single on Leedon by Johnny O'Keefe (1935-1978), Australia's biggest star of the rock'n'roll era, known as The Wild One, The King of Rock'n'Roll or just J. O'K.
Move Baby Move was released in 1963 and shot to #1 Sydney #1 Melbourne #7 Brisbane #1 Adelaide #1 Perth. Single on Leedon by Johnny O'Keefe (1935-1978), Australia's biggest star of the rock'n'roll era, known as The Wild One, The King of Rock'n'Roll or just J. O'K. In Adelaide and Sydney, this was a double-sided hit with the B-side, You'll Never Cherish A Love So True (Until You Lose It).
Ooh Poo Pah Doo was also on two other EPs, Six O'Clock Rock Vol. 2. 91960) and Ooh Poo Pah Doo (1964), the song was a favourite live item for JO'K, especially on his TV shows.
Wednesday, 30 December 2015
Sunshine And I Feel Fine/Rainy Sunday/My Girl/I Didn't Know
Moderately successful Australian '60s pop band which featured brass in the lineup
Although membership changes were frequent, the RJBB were a breeding ground for many other respected musos, the best known members being drummer Gary Young (Bobby & Laurie's Rondells,Daddy Cool, Jo Jo Jo Zep & solo artist), his long time partner in rhythm, bassist Wayne Duncan (also Rondells/DC/Black Sorrows/Gary's Rocking Emus), keyboardist Ian Clyne (The Loved Ones, Chain), original drummer Ray Evans who became a long time manager for Renee & Russell Morris among others,sax player Michael Edwards (Pink Finks/Party Machine/Gerry & The Joy Boys, as well as acclaimed jazz players like Don Wright (SCRA) & John Ellis (Kush)
They released four singles "Sunshine And I Feel Fine", a Top 10 hit in their hometown. The Temptations "My Girl" which just missed the Top 20 but sold consistently well to hang around for 3 months. A 3rd Top 30 hit soon followed in the superb soul ballad "I Can't Let Go of This Feeling", which contains one of singer/trumpeter Russell Smith's best vocals on record. Unfortunately a final single "Lost & Found" failed to connect & the band broke up after 3 years in 1969.
Of Hopes & Dreams & Tombstones/You Can't Sit Down/Chicago/Tiger In Your Tank/I'm Gonna Try/Early In The Morning
The Purple Hearts were an Australian rock group, formed in Brisbane in 1964. The band consisted of lead vocalist Mick Hadley, lead guitarist Barry Lyde (known as Lobby Loyde), rhythm guitarists Paul Steffen (1964-65) and Fred Pickard (1965-66), bassist Bob Dames, and drummers Adrian 'Red' Redmond (1964–66) and Tony Cahill (1966-67).
It is notable that Brisbane, traditionally the most conservative of Australia's state capitals, has fostered some of this country's most anarchistic rock bands from The Purple Hearts to The Saints. The Purple Hearts were tough, arrogant and pioneering and Lobby Loyde is widely acknowledged as Australia’s first true rock guitar hero – busy blowing up speaker boxes before high volume and feed-back became rock staples.
Although they were part of the Sunshine Records stable (which included Australia's top male teen idol Normie Rowe) The Purple Hearts were uncompromising in their attitude toward recording. Consequently, their handful of singles are enduring artifacts of their unique style, which blended blues, R&B and prototype psychedelic rock, a style made even tougher by the regional influence mentioned earlier. Even their name, taken from the well-known slang term for a variety of amphetamine pop pills much favoured by mod subculture, was a brash and outrageous gesture.
Hadley, Dames and Pickard were, like so many of Australia’s rock stars, English migrants. Upon arrival in 1963 they joined forces with two other young R & B sympathisers – Lyde and Adrian Redmond – to form the Purple Hearts. Redmond was subsequently replaced by Tony Cahill, who was later chosen as Snowy Fleet’s replacement in The Easybeats.
Early in 1966 the group moved base to Melbourne, where they enjoyed minor chart success with "Early In The Morning". They quickly became a prominent part of the city's thriving pop scene and made several appearances on Australia's leading pop TV series The Go!! Show. A year later they exited with suave by issuing a press release stating that they had ceased to progress musically, were becoming stagnant and, therefore, had no reason to continue.
Easy As Can Be/Sad and Lonely and Blue/ Me Or You/Wedding Ring
Meant to post this a few days ago as a tribute to Stevie Wright who has passed away The ARIA hall of famer became ill on Boxing Day and was taken to Moruya Hospital on the New South Wales south coast, where he died on Sunday night (27.12.2015) aged 68 his son Nick by his side.
One Road/Just A Closer Walk With Thee/Each Step Of The Way/By And By
James Oswald "Jimmy" Little, AO (1 March 1937 – 2 April 2012) was an Australian Aboriginal musician, actor and teacher from the Yorta Yorta people and was raised on the Cummeragunja Mission, New South Wales.
From 1951 he had a career as a singer-songwriter and guitarist, which spanned six decades. For many years he was the main Aboriginal star on the Australian music scene. His music was influenced by Nat King Cole and American country music artist Jim Reeves. His gospel song "Royal Telephone" (1963) sold over 75,000 copies and his most popular album, Messenger, peaked at No. 26 in 1999 on the ARIA Albums Chart.
One Road Charted at #31 on the Australian Charts.
Now You Shake/Made You/Remember (Walking In The Sand)/Orbie Lee
Ray Columbus & the Invaders were a rock group from Christchurch, New Zealand that was active from 1964 to 1966, and fronted by leading vocalist, Ray Columbus a musician, television host and manager. Part of the new surf music craze, they were the first New Zealand band to have an international number 1 with a cover of The Senators "She's A Mod".
Influenced by the early 1960s work of Cliff Richard and The Beatles, Ray Columbus & the Invaders scored a #1 hit in Australia thus becoming the first New Zealand band to have an international #1 song—and New Zealand with "She's a Mod" in 1964, a cover version of a song by The Senators. Ray Columbus and the Invaders were included in a package tour "Big Beat '65" with Roy Orbison, The Rolling Stones and The Newbeats that toured New Zealand and Australia. During the tour, the Invaders performed as Orbison's backing band as well as performing as Ray Columbus and the Invaders.
They had several more hits in New Zealand before disbanding in late 1965. Leader Ray Columbus later moved to the US where he found a California psychedelic band, Newcastle Five, who he renamed as The Art Collection. As a band, Ray Columbus and The Art Collection released four singles for the Colstar label, including the psychedelic rocker "Kick It" before The Art Collection split with Columbus. During his time in California (1966–68), Columbus was offered an audition with The Monkees but turned this down. He was also turned down the chance to get together with David Crosby or Gene Clark after these musicians left The Byrds. Columbus then went on to become a band manager.
Over the Rainbow/That I Love/Funny Face/I Told the Brook
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.
The band was signed by Ted Albert to his newly established Albert Productions, a local record label devoted exclusively to recording Australian pop artists. Billy Thorpe & the Aztecs had national chart success, their record sales and concert attendances rivalling those of The Beatles, with hits like "Mashed Potato", "Sick and Tired" and Wizard of Oz tune "Over the Rainbow" in the top ten of the record charts in most state capitals.
The original Aztecs lineup split from Thorpe at the beginning of 1965 over a financial dispute, so he created another set] with Johnny Dick (drums), Mike Downes (rhythm guitar, vocals), Colin Risbey (lead guitar, vocals), Jimmy Taylor (piano), Teddy Toi (bass guitar), Tony Buchanan (saxophone) and Rocky Thomas (brass). This lineup achieved further success with pop ballads such as "I Told the Brook", "Twilight Time" and "Love Letters
I Told the Brook was released in Australia in 1965 reaching #1 Sydney #3 Melbourne #1 Brisbane #1 Adelaide #2 Perth - double-sided hit in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane with "Funny Face".
Released in Australia 1964 reaching #1 Sydney #6 Melbourne #1 Brisbane #1 Adelaide. Over The Rainbow was on Australian charts from the end of December 1964 until June 1965. Oz Net Music Charts shows it peaking at #1 nationally for two weeks in January 1965 B-Side was That I Love.
Monday, 28 December 2015
Good Golly Miss Molly/Everybody/Be My Baby/I Want to Hold Your Hand
The first Meteors were brought together by Max Merritt in Christchurch, New Zealand, in 1956. After becoming one of the country's top bands while based in Auckland, they moved to Australia in 1964. The Meteors went through many personnel changes along the way, before arriving at their classic late-60s line-up of Max Merritt, Bob Bertles, Stewie Speer and John 'Yuk' Harrison. Their biggest hit didn't come till 1976, with Merritt's own composition Slipping Away
A record deal was struck with Viking Records in 1964 and their first release on that label was an EP called "Giddy Up Max", containing "Giddy Up A Ding Dong", "Almost Grown", "Little Bitty Pretty One" and "Sweet and Tender Romance". A single with "Giddy Up A Ding Dong" and "Sweet and Tender Romance" also came out. The releases didn't sell very well, but the band's musicianship so impressed Viking, that the Meteors became the label's house band. They provided backing for the label's solo artists, Tommy Adderley, Dinah Lee and Peter Posa.
Viking released a second EP called "Good Golly Max Merritt", also in 1964. Its contents were "Good Golly Miss Molly", "Everybody", "Be My Baby", and "I Want To Hold Your Hand". Peter Posa did a number of live shows in 1964 and 1965, and these were captured on vinyl on two occasions. Max Merritt and the Meteors contributed one track to each of the "Live On the Peter Posa Show" albums in 1964 and 1965.
Sunday, 27 December 2015
That's Life/Krome Plated Yabby/Gotta Stop Lying
Fortune Teller/Black/She Is Mine
From obscure origins as a Sydney-based surf-instrumental band, The Throb emerged in 1965 and briefly shot to national prominence. Despite its short tenure, the group left no doubt about its punkish potential and they have been immortalised on record by two superb singles, their snarling "garage-punk" version of "Fortune Teller", which smashed its way to the top of the national charts in early 1966, and their group arrangement of the old English folk song, "Black (Is The Colour Of My True Love's Hair)", a slashing, snarling piece of proto-gothic wonderment that pop culture historian Ian D. Marks calls "the most adventurous pop recording made in Australia during 1966".
John Bell (vocals, guitar, harmonica)
Denny Burgess (bass, vocals)
Peter Figures (drums)
Marty Van Wynk (lead guitar)
"Fortune Teller" / "Believe In Me" (Parlophone A-8191)
"Black" / "Turn My Head" (Parlophone A-8212)
The Wild Cherries
For the more radically-inclined and discerning rock aficionado of the mid-60s, there could have been few more perfect musical formations than The Wild Cherries. They sported a wild and innovative lead guitarist in Lobby Loyde, a stunning vocalist in Danny Robinson, and apart from the skills of their superb rhythm section, they displayed an onstage creative abandon to rival the mayhem of their pioneering Sydney peers The Missing Links. It was a persona that earned The Wild Cherries notoriety, respect and wide popularity in equal measures.
"Krome Plated Yabbie" / "Every Thing I Do Is Wrong" (Festival FK 1879)
"That's Life" / "Try Me" (Festival FK 2052)
"Gotta Stop Lying" / "Time Killer" (Festival FK 2258)
"I Don't Care" / "Theme For A Merry Go Round" (Festival FK 2535)
"I Am The Sea" / "Daily Planet" (Havoc H 1006)
Autumn: "Day Tripper", "Midnight Special"
Levi Smiths Clefs: "Down in the Valley", "Lawdy Miss Clawdy"
Like their contemporaries The Executives, The Affair, New Dream and Zoot, Sydney band Autumn has been unfairly labelled as a lightweight pop band, mainly on the basis of their early recordings. They've also been tagged as 'one-hit wonders', although in fact they had four hits. Fronted by grievously underrated lead vocalist Tony Romeril, Autumn was a superb band with a strong following in their home city of Sydney, and they could tackle pop, country-rock and heavy/progressive rock with equal ease.
Like their close contemporaries The Flying Circus, Autumn formed at a time when rapid and significant changes were taking place in the music scene and the formerly homogeneous "pop" field was diversifying into several distinct genres. The trends that were drawing 'pop' musicians towards progressive music, "heavy rock" and country rock was counterbalanced by the popularity and commercial success of so-called "bubblegum" pop. This created to a situation where, as Glennn A. Baker has observed, being identified as a pop band "drew automatic derision and critical dismissal".
Autumn's chart success with straight-ahead pop material has obscured the fact that this was a highly competent group, with tastes and abilities which went well beyond the confines of the three-minute formula pop single. Their true talents were not really showcased on record until their last few recordings for the Warner label) and as Glennn Baker notes "... nobody, save those who caught them live, came to realise what a sturdy, musically adept and diverse unit they were."
Levi Smiths Clefs
If there is any Australian group that deserves to be described as "influential" it's Levi Smith's Clefs. Led for most of its career by famed R&B/jazz singer Barrie "The Bear" McAskill the band was not influential in terms of its repertoire or recordings (of which there are sadly too few) but rather because of its status as one of "the 'muso's bands" of the period and as a training ground for literally scores of players and singers. Levi Smith's Clefs arguably supplied more members to more leading Australian groups of the time than any other, and the list of LSC alumni -- many of whom came from bands of great renown -- includes members of The Aztecs, Max Merritt & The Meteors, Billy Thorpe & The Aztecs, SCRA, Tully and Fraternity, to name just a few. With the possible exception of Blackfeather, few other Aussie bands had such a bewildering series of lineups, which link to literally dozens of other contemporary groups. Full credit is due to the redoubtable Chris Spencer and his colleagues, who have managed to decipher and record much of the Clefs' ever-changing membership.
"Needle In A Haystack" / "9.50" / "What's Wrong With The Way I Live" / "Young Girl"
The Twilights were an Australian rock and pop music group of the mid to late 1960s. Alongside their own career successes, The Twilights are also notable for the inclusion of vocalist Glenn Shorrock, who later fronted Axiom, Esperanto and Little River Band, and guitarist Terry Britten who went on to become an internationally successful songwriter and producer and pen major hits for artists such as Cliff Richard and Tina Turner.
Alongside The Easybeats and The Masters Apprentices, The Twilights are widely considered to be one of the most significant Australian rock groups of the 1960s. Highly popular with teenage audiences, they were renowned for their musical excellence and live prowess, as well as their on-stage humour, and they were held in high respect by fellow musicians. The group is also notable as one of the few major Australian rock bands of the period to retain the same personnel for virtually all of its career. Like most of their contemporaries, they began as a cover band, playing accomplished renditions of hits by popular overseas bands of the era such as The Beatles, The Who and The Small Faces, and their early hits in Australia were all cover versions. The Twilights were noted for being on top of current musical trends, and their early repertoire was regularly updated with the latest British and American rock hits, which were regularly sent to them on record and tape by family and friends in the UK. Later in their career guitarist Terry Britten began to write original material but the group did not last long enough for this to have a significant impact on their career.
"I'll Be Where You Are" / "I Don't Know Where The Wind Will Blow Me" (Columbia DO 4582) June 1965
"Come on Home" / "Wanted To Sell" (Columbia DO 4610) Oct. 1965
"If She Finds Out" / "John Hardy" (Columbia DO 4658) Feb. 1966
"Baby Let Me Take You Home" / "You've Really Got A Hold on Me" (Columbia DO 4685) May 1966
"Bad Boy" / "It's Dark" (Columbia DO 4698) Jun. 1966
"Needle in a Haystack" / "I Won't Be The Same Without Her" (Columbia DO 4717) Aug. 1966
"You Got Soul" / "Yes I Will" (Columbia DO 4742) Dec. 1966
"What's Wrong with the Way I Live" / "9.50" (Columbia DO 4764) Feb. 1967
"Young Girl" / "Time & Motion Study Man" (Columbia DO 4787) May 1967
"Bowling Brings Out The Swinger in You" / "Bowling Brings Out The Swinger in You" (instrumental version) – EMI Custom PRS 1736 (promotional single) 1967
"Cathy Come Home" / "The Way They Play" (Columbia DO 5030) Nov. 1967
"Always" / "What A Silly Thing To Do" (Columbia DO 8361) May 1968
"Tell Me Goodbye" / "Comin' On Down" (Columbia DO 8448) Aug. 1968
"Sand in the Sandwiches" / "Lotus" (Columbia DO 8602) Nov. 1968
"2,000 Weeks" /" Bargain Day" (Columbia DO 8711) 1969 (Terry Britten solo)
"Bad Boy" / "I'll Be Where You Are" / "Baby Let Me Take You Home" / "If She Finds Out"
While still based in Adelaide, self-managed and produced, the newly-formed band released its debut single, "I'll Be Where You Are" on EMI's Columbia imprint in June 1964. A plaintive, Beatle-esque ballad written by Shorrock and Britten, the single got some airplay in Melbourne but failed to chart outside their hometown Subsequent releases made further inroads -- their second single, "Wanted To Sell", cracked the Melbourne charts and the third, the brisk, Brideoake-Britten original "If She Finds Out" gained them fans in Sydney and Brisbane. The Twilights began to cause a stir with their dynamic live shows in Adelaide, and a 'vibe' quickly built about the band who could knock out note-perfect renditions of the latest hits with ease and could also rock out with wild abandon.
Cathy Come Home/You've Got Soul/The Way They Play/Always
There's no question that The Twilights ranked alongside their contemporaries The Masters Apprentices and The Easybeats and solo singer Normie Rowe as one of the most successful and popular Australian pop acts of the 1960s, and they continue to enjoy a unique reputation in the top echelon of the OzRock pantheon. The Twilights have earned acclaim and respect for their formidable body of recorded work, coupled with their legendary status as arguably the most polished and accomplished Australian live act of the era. Glenn Shorrock himself remembers "Twilight Time" as the happiest and most fulfilling experience in his long and distinguished musical career. As he told an online group of Little River Band fans in 1997 "... my first band, The Twilights, is the band I remember most fondly; we were very close then in a very exciting period of pop."
Frank Barnard (drums) 1964-65
Peter Brideoake (rhythm guitar, vocals)
Terry Britten (lead guitar, vocals)
John Bywaters (bass, vocals) Clem "Paddy" McCartney (lead vocals)
Laurie Pryor (drums) 1965-69)
Glenn Shorrock (lead vocals)
Saturday, 26 December 2015
Catchin' Up With Me/Walk Softly To The Door/ookin' Good Feelin' Fine/Wasn't That Enough
Dan Robinson (born 15 March 1947 in Warrnambool, Victoria, Australia) is a singer who fronted the second incarnation of Melbourne Sixties band, The Wild Cherries and was later a member of the vocal trio The Virgil Brothers. He attended Melbourne Grammar School where he was a boarder and played the Bass in the School Orchestra. He graduated from the Conservatorium of Music at the University of Melbourne with B. Mus (Composition). In the 1970s, he was best known for his country band 'Hit & Run' and also worked as a session musician and composer.
Wilbur Wilde (born Nicholas Robert Aitken on 5 October 1955) is an Australian saxophonist, television personality and radio presenter. He is best known for his work on Hey Hey It's Saturday He rose to prominence with the bands Ol' 55, Jo Jo Zep & The Falcons.
Wilde was the tenor saxophonist (and did some vocals) with Ol' 55 from 1975 until 1977. Wilde then joined Jo Jo Zep & The Falcons in 1977 as saxophonist and backing singer. He still remains in that role to this
Peter Martin played guitar in such bands as Mississippi, The Captain Matchbox Whoopee Band played on the Ross Ryan album A Poem You Can Keep.
When The Birdman Fly/Lipstick/(I Ain't Got) Time Enough For Love/Savage
While the band existed from 1979 - 1980 under the name The Fun Things, they were also known previously during 1978 as The Aliens. There was another band of the same name during this period from Adelaide but were more new wave orientated. The Brisbane punk rock “Aliens” members featured Brad Shepherd on guitar and vocals, bassist John Hartley, and Murray Shepherd on drums but dissolved to form the Phantom Agents for a phase without Hartley.
After the Phantom Agents, The original Aliens reformed as The Fun Things with The Phantom Agents guitarist Graeme Beavis. This outfit rapidly gained a strong local following, which was due to their tight and energetic live shows. The Fun Things were still teenagers but managed to record a self titled E.P. in 1980. “It was just part of the punk process. It was something you wanted to do. We felt we had a couple of decent songs. We were still all in school at the time. I borrowed 400 bucks from my parents in order to make the thing happen,” Brad Shepherd recollected. The songs were “mixed gutsy guitar riffs, breakneck tempos, punk attitude and youthful exuberance in equal measure,” according to Ian McFarlane.In 2000 the EP was re-released on Pennimann Records from Spain. Some of the tracks in the
past had been subject to bootlegging from outside Australia.
The band split in 1980 at the time of their E.P. release which was followed by Brad Shepherd joining The 31st, an alternative rock outfit from Brisbane. Murray Shepherd and Hartley went to form The Screaming Tribesmen in 1981 with Mick Medew and Ronnie Peno from The 31st.
In the early 2000's the Shepherd brothers formed a band called The Monarchs, which was loosley based on the Fun
Things. A CD called Make Yer Own Fun was released by The Monarchs.
Marcia/Julia/So Much In Love/Falling In Love Again
Martin Albert "Ted" Mulry (2 September 1947 – 1 September 2001) was a singer, songwriter, bass player and guitarist. He was born in Oldham, Lancashire, England but achieved his success in Australia, firstly as a solo performer, and then leading his own band Ted Mulry Gang, sometimes officially credited as just TMG.
Ted Mulry gang first came to the attention of the music industry when he sent a demo of some of his own compositions to Albert Productions in Sydney. The company persuaded him to become a recording artist and he soon rose to fame as a solo singer/songwriter with his own composition, the pop ballad "Julia", which made the Australian charts in 1970. He followed that with "Falling in Love Again", a song by The Easybeats songwriting team Harry Vanda & George Young, which was a major hit in 1971.
Mulry was a prolific songwriter, and a number of bands and artists, including John Farnham and Alison MacCallum, recorded his songs. Most notably, rock band Sherbet had a hit with his song, "You're All Woman". He travelled to England in 1972 and recorded a single there under the name Steve Ryder but returned to Australia soon after. During his time as a solo artist he released two albums, Falling in Love Again and I Won't Look Back.
"Falling In Love Again", became Ted's first national hit, peaking #11 and charting for an impressive 25 weeks.
Mashed Potato/About Love/Don't You Know/Sick N' Tired
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.
Mashed Potato 1964 #7 Sydney #7 Melbourne #9 Brisbane #2 Perth, Don't Cha Know B-Side of Mashed Potato, Sick And Tired 1964 #3 Sydney #7 Melbourne #3 Brisbane #5 Adelaide #2 Perth, About Love 1964 #3 Sydney #7 Melbourne Double-sided hit with the A-side, Sick And Tired.
Tuesday, 22 December 2015
The Voyager/Ballad of Edgar Cooke/The Land Where The Crow Flies Backwards/Sydney Town
Gary Rhett Shearston (9 January 1939 – 1 July 2013) was an Australian singer and songwriter who was a leading figure of the folk music revival of the 1960s. He was notable as a performer of Australian traditional folk songs in an authentic style. He scored a Top 10 hit in the United Kingdom in 1974 with his cover version of the Cole Porter song "I Get a Kick out of You".
Shearston was born in Inverell, New South Wales, Australia, the son of Audrey Lilian (née Manchee) and James Barclay Shearston. During World War II his father was posted on active service and Shearston and his mother lived on his grandparents' property, "Aydrie", near Tenterfield, New South Wales. At the age of 11 his family moved to Sydney and he attended his father's alma mater, Newington College (1950–1955), commencing as a preparatory school student in Wyvern House.
Shearston trained as press correspondent with United Press and his first show business job was with The Tintookies, the Australian travelling puppet show. He joined the Hayes Gordon Ensemble Theatre working as an actor and stage manager.
Having taken up guitar, Shearston learned a repertoire of English, American and Australian folk songs and at 19 become a professional singer. He worked in hotels and sang at The Folksinger and with the American gospel and blues singer Brother John Sellers. In 1962 Shearston signed with Leedon Records and the following year was signed to the Australian division of CBS Records by A&R manager Sven Libaek. In March 1965 Sydney radio stations started playing a track from his album Australian Broadside. His single "Sydney Town" hit the Top 10 in his home city. In 1966 and 1967, he became Australia's biggest record seller of folk music. He had his own national television show called Just Folk and Peter Paul and Mary recorded a cover of his "Sometime Lovin'". They also invited him to go to the United States. He spent a year in London and then four years on the east coast of the United States. In 1972 he returned to England and rerecorded some songs for the album Dingo. The song which attracted most attention was his deadpan interpretation of Cole Porter's "I Get a Kick out of You". In 1990 he received the Tamworth Songwriters' Association's Bush Ballad of the Year award for the autobiographical song "Shopping On A Saturday".
Shearston returned to Australia in 1989 and later became a priest in the Anglican Church of Australia in rural New South Wales. Shearston died on 1 July 2013, aged 74 years, at Armidale Hospital in New South Wales after earlier in the day suffering a stroke at his home, "Aydrie", near Tenterfield.
We Had A Good Thing Going/Can't You Feel/Fifi The Flea/Terrible Way You Treat Your Baby
Ronald "Ronnie" Leslie Burns (born 8 September 1946), AM is an Australian rock singer and guitarist. He fronted the Melbourne band The Flies in the early 1960s, followed by a solo career into the 1970s and was a member of Burns Cotton & Morris in the 1990s. He retired from performing in 2000. His solo hit single, "Smiley" peaked at number two on the Go-Set National Top 40 in 1970. On 10 June 2013 Burns was awarded a Member of the Order of Australia with the citation "For significant service to the community, particularly to children recovering from illness and trauma, and to the entertainment industry".
Saturday, 19 December 2015
55 Days At Peking/Polynesian Bossa Nova/In The Middle Of An Island/Aloha Oe
55 Days At Peking was released in 1963 by Rob E.G. and was a hit in Sydney #1 Melbourne #1 Brisbane #1 and Adelaide #2 it was a Pop guitar version of a current film theme.
Didn't It Rain Children/Sweet Little Jesus/You Don't Have To Ride This Train/His Eye Is On The Sparrow
Judy Jacques has been recognised as one of Australia's most powerful and popular jazz singers since she started as a teenager singing gospel in the 1960s. During that period and for more than a decade, Judy was in great demand as an award winning television performer. This began with contracts with GTV9, doing shows such as I.M.T. and Bandstand to appearances on most commercial TV shows throughout Australia, including ABC radio and ABC TV.
Waltzing Matilda/The Albury Ram/The Reedy Lagoon/Lazy Harry's
The Twiliters, affectionately known as the 'twits', originated in Perth, Western Australia. This trio was one of many inspired by the Kingston Trio and their successors in the American folk scene and, as such, relied heavily on Anglo-American numbers. They were, by far, the best Australian exponents of this type of folk music and, as Warren Fahey notes, a lot of their music was adopted with variation from that of the American "Journeymen" group.
Friday, 18 December 2015
When I Was Six Years Old/So Good Together/Can't Let Go/Monday Monday
As a solo artist, Burns became one of Australia's most popular male pop singers from the mid-1960s to the early 1970s. His first single, "Very Last Day" was released in June 1966 on Spin Records and peaked at No. 12 on Melbourne's Top 40 singles chart. His second single, "True True Lovin" followed in August and reached No. 15. Go-Set published their inaugural pop poll on 5 October, Normie Rowe won 'Australian Male Vocal' of the year – he was later called 'King of Pop' – with Burns second and Johnny Young third. Also in October, Go-Set published Australia's first National Top 40 singles chart, Burns' third single, "Coalman", which was released in January 1967, peaked at No. 6. Another Top 20 single was "Exit, Stage Right" in June.
Burns had several minor national hits – "We Had a Good Thing Going" (October 1967), "When I Was Six Years Old" (March 1968), written for him by Brian Cadd and Max Ross of The Groop, and "Age of Consent" (January 1969), written by Terry Britten of The Twilights. Most of Burns' 1967 material was written by The Bee Gees, the tracks appeared on his first solo album Ronnie (Spin, July 1967).
"Smiley", Burns' biggest hit, reached number two on the Go-Set National Top 40 in February 1970.
In the early 1970s, Burns had moved from pop to more adult contemporary music, he toured the club and cabaret circuit. Further Young-penned singles were "The Prophet" in January 1971 and "If I Die" in 1972. He appeared on variety TV shows including as a judge on Young Talent Time, where Maggie Burns was a choreographer. Burns' last single, "Brand New Number One" was released in 1980 on the Fable Records label.
"When I Was Six Years Old" (March 1968), written for him by Brian Cadd and Max Ross of The Groop reached #30 on the Australian National charts. While in individual capital cities it made #37 Sydney, #19 Melbourne, #24 Brisbane, #38 Adelaide and #42 Perth.
Thursday, 17 December 2015
Sadie The Cleaning Lady/In My Room/Friday Kind Of Monday/I Don't Want To Love You
In a country of 22 million people, John Farnham is the one Australian artist who stages arena-sized concerts whenever he tours to satisfy the demand. He is, without challenge, Australia's most successful solo artist, on-stage and on record. His Whispering Jack album was the first album to sell over a million copies in Australia alone.
In September 1967 at the age of 18, he was signed to a recording contract and in December of that year released the novelty single "Sadie the Cleaning Lady," which became the biggest-selling single in Australia at that time. As a song, the record's success almost defies logic. What fans were responding to was "Johnny" Farnham's bright boy-next-door personality. He was someone both teenage girls and their mothers could both like. Farnham was also a fine singer and survived "Sadie" to release a long string of pop hits between 1967 and 1973, including the local hit versions of Three Dog Night's "One," B.J. Thomas' "Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head" (number one), and David Cassidy's "Rock Me Baby. He also starred in the stage musicals Dick Whittington & His Cat, Charlie Girl, and Pippin. His schedule prevented Farnham trying his luck internationally or developing on record. Success continued on the basis of his talent his personality, but by the late to mid-'70s, his career was reduced to night club and cabaret performances trading on his past. Even his record company lost faith in him and dropped him.
In 1980, changing from "Johnny" to the more mature John Farnham, he set about resurrecting his career. The trigger was a dramatically rearranged, impassioned performance of the Beatles' "Help" on a nationally broadcast Royal Command TV concert. He reminded everyone what a fine singer he was, and in July, he released Uncovered, a well-received comeback album recorded under the production eye of Little River Band's Graham Goble. In September 1982, longtime Farnham fan Goble was inspired to convince the rest of LRB they should take the radical move of removing Glenn Shorrock, singer of all the band's hits, and making Farnham their lead singer. The band's American record company was in shock. So were non-Australian fans. It was a hurdle Farnham could not overcome, and at the end of 1985, he left LRB and began work on a new make-or-break solo album.
The anthemic single "You're the Voice restored Farnham to number one for the first time in 17 years. The carefully crafted adult contemporary October 1986 album Whispering Jack was number one 18 weeks, and became the biggest-selling album in Australian history. "You're the Voice" sold a million copies in Europe and reached the Top Ten in England. A consummate singer and performer since 1986, Farnham has been Australia's number one attraction, with successive big-selling albums and sold-out concert tours. International interest has continued to beckon, but the dedicated family man is happy with his career as it is.
Wednesday, 16 December 2015
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.
Born in Strathfield to Sydney and Margaret Hough, at the end of a line of four brothers and two sisters, he lost his father at two weeks of age and developed a passion for singing while in short pants. In 1958 he fell in with two seminal Australian rock'n'rollers, drummer Leon Isackson and flamboyant pianist Jimmy Taylor, who saw him take the stage for an impromptu warble with Johnny O'Keefe's Dee Jays at Leichhardt Police Citizens Boys Club and were impressed as much by the frantic femme response he occasioned as by his pipes.
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.
Signed to RCA Records, the group recorded four tracks for the label, one of which, a thumping version of Chuck Berry's Little Queenie, became as close to a hit as he would have. It could have strongly established the act had not Billy Thorpe spirited away two of his Offbeats to form a new Aztecs, leaving Hoff floundering and losing momentum. Despondent, he made his way back to Perth, where he assembled an eight-piece horn-dominated R&B powerhouse version of the Offbeats, which was signed by Clarion Records for an album - the only LP he would record until the last decade of his life. During eastern visits this commanding unit was known to give the reigning likes of Jeff St John & the Id a bit of a scare.
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)
Bali Waters/Got a Feeling/My Father Told Me
Tamam Shud were an Australian psychedelic and progressive rock and surf rock band, formed in Newcastle N.S.W. Australia. The band had previously gone under the name Four Strangers then The Sunsets then finally they settled on the name Tamam Shud in 1967 after moving to Sydney and adding a new member Peter Barron on Bass Guitar. They released two albums, Evolution (1969) and Goolutionites and the Real People (1970) before disbanding in 1972. After a lengthy hiatus they reformed in 1993 to release a third album, Permanent Culture in 1994 but disbanded again in 1995.
In January 1972. The group was invited to contribute music for the soundtrack for the Alby Falzon surf movie Morning of the Earth and Falzon initially wanted Tamam Shud to provide all the music, but after G. Wayne Thomas took over as producer, other artists were added, and Tamam Shud's involvement was eventually reduced to just three tracks - the instrumental track "Bali Waters" (featuring Lockwood on flute), and the songs "Sea The Swells" and "First Things First". On the day that "First Things First" was recorded, Bjerre had throat problems, so the vocal was recorded by Tim Gaze, however, when the film premiered mid-year, the group was surprised to discover that, without their knowledge, Thomas had erased Gaze's voice and added a new lead vocal by Broderick Smith (then the lead singer of Melbourne band Carson).
In The Midnight Hour/High School Confidential/Summertimes Blues/ Rockin' Pneumonia
Ray Brown & the Whispers were a highly successful Australian rock band from 1964 to 1967. Led by singer Ray Brown, they ranked alongside the Easybeats, Billy Thorpe & the Aztecs and Normie Rowe as one of the most popular acts of the period. In 1964, the band played at the Bowl, a Sydney nightclub, doing covers of popular songs such as "Shakin All Over".
Released in Australia in 1965 reaching #2 Sydney #4 Melbourne #1 Brisbane #4 Adelaide #6 Perth -- one of the bigger hits of this group.
Monday, 14 December 2015
Something Wonderful/We Got Love/And Things Unsaid/I Can't Hear You
The Questions had been formed as a Shadows-style instrumental band, which was typical for groups of the early-mid Sixties. They recorded one album for Festival (in the ‘Herb Albert' vein, described by one critic as 'unreservedly awful') and one single, Karelia / Wheels which came out in October 1966. Although the members were musically competent and already very experienced as live performers, The Questions was a relatively undistinguished group and might well have remained so. But Doug Parkinson's arrival at the end of 1966 precipitated a major change of musical direction. They went on to record a series of impressive Singles that showcased Doug's outstanding vocal talents and which Ian McFarlane describes as 'minor psychedelic pop classics'. Their new lineup and style quickly took The Questions into the first division of Australian bands. Their debut single "Sally Go Round the Roses" (backed by a cover of Donovan's "Hey Gyp (Dig the Slowness)" was a substantial hit in Sydney, reaching #14 in July 1967. It was followed by "And Things Unsaid" / "I Can't Hear You" (October) and a psych-pop interpretation of "Something Wonderful" (from Rogers & Hammerstein's The King And I) (February 1968), plus the an EP Sally Go Round the Roses.
During Doug's tenure with the band the lineup included guitarist Ray Burton (The Executives, Innersense, Friends, Ayers Rock, Crossfire), bassist, engineer and producer Duncan McGuire (The Phantoms, The Epics, King Harvest, Friends, Ayers Rock, Windchase) and guitarist Billy Green (King Harvest, Fanny Adams, Gerry and the Joy Band, Friends). Some members later linked up in various combinations in the aforementioned bands -- McGuire and Green returned to work with Doug at several later stages in his career, Ray Burton contributed to Doug's 1973 solo album No Regrets, and McGuire and Burton reunited in the 70s in Ayers Rock.
The Questions entered the 1967 Hoadley's Battle Of The Sounds and eventually came in second behind The Groop. They almost didn't make it into the competition, because they missed the deadline for entry into the Sydney heats, and had to qualify via the Queensland country heats. However this initial oversight had the beneficial side-effect of providing them with their first interstate gigs. Their profile increased with a residency at The Can disco in Sydney and they gained invaluable national exposure with a support spot on the controversial January 1968 Australian tour by The Who and The Small Faces. Just before the tour, Green and McGuire left, and they were replaced by Ray Burton and Les Young. The solid performances by this short-lived lineup impressed audiences around the country but The Questions disbanded the following month.
Ongo Bongo Man/Rave On/Oh, Lonesome Me/Ongo Bongo Man (Extended Version)/My Name Is Earl
Made a slight boo boo with this one when I first posted it it's actually a 12" single but I had a request for a new link so here it is again.
When 1960s Oz super group The Loved Ones quit doing the rock circuit, lead singer Gerry Humphreys, soon unleashed his new group, Gerry & The Joy Band, with a series of rollicking singles, like "Ongo Bongo Man" and Buddy Holly's "Rave On" (for which he was backed by an all-star studio super group including members of Daddy Cool). Check this line-up of other names who passed through the ranks of The Joy Band during its short 2 year tenure: Tony Cahill, Billy Green, Lobby Loyde, Ian Mawson, Graeme Morgan, Warren Morgan, Jerry Noone, Brian Peacock and Ian Woodcock.
Exodus/Sabre Dance/Tonight/Town Without Pity
The Playboys were one of a small group of Australian bands to get international exposure during the mid-'60s, after distinguishing themselves in their homeland. They recorded an album and a brace of singles -- including one in England -- but their most wide-ranging musical contribution may have been providing the personnel who became the pop-psychedelic band Procession in the late 1960s. The Playboys were originally organized in Melbourne, Australia in 1962 as an instrumental outfit, with a membership that included Graham Trottman on drums and Phil Blackmore on the organ. They were soon making a name for themselves in the city and far beyond, and were good enough to support Gerry & the Pacemakers and Brian Poole & the Tremeloes on a tour of Australia in 1964. They were signed to the Sunshine label later that year, and recorded a whole LP, in addition to releasing five singles between January 1965 and May 1966. Their other major function was as the "house band" to singers such as Marcie Jones and Billy Adams, who were also signed to Sunshine. But their big break came when they were selected as the permanent backing back for Normie Rowe, a Johnny Kidd-style soul belter who was one of the hottest singers in Australia in the mid-'60s. And it was Rowe who brought them to England on a British tour in the late fall of 1966.
By that time, their lineup included Rod Stone on lead guitar and Brian Peacock on bass, and they soon lost Blackmore, who quit the tour owing to homesickness, and was replaced by Trevor Griffin, a keyboard-player whose earlier group affiliations included a stint with the John Bull Breed. Soon after this, Rod Stone decided to return to Australia, and was succeeded by guitarist/singer Mick Rogers. It was this version of The Playboys that attracted the attention of Andrew Loog Oldham, who signed them to his newly spawned Immediate Records label, where they cut an appropriately psychedelic-tinged single of "Black Sheep R.I.P.," an eerie little pop-psych adaptation of the nursery rhyme "Baa Baa Black Sheep" in early 1967. The latter release was credited to the "Australian Playboys" (to prevent confusion with Gary Lewis' outfit). The record never charted but the group continued to get lots of gigs and good notices in England and points beyond, including a Canadian tour. The group broke up late in 1967, and Rogers eventually landed with Manfred Mann's Earth Band, whilst the others formed the psychedelic pop-rock group Procession, who recorded an album that has found a cult audience around the world, and lasted into the start of the 1970s.
Sunday, 13 December 2015
Big Time Operator/Sister's Got A Boyfriend/Black Girl/Eastern Dream
Jeff St John was named Jeffrey Leo Newton when he was born in 1946, and grew up in Sydney as the only child of his linesman dad Leo and his mum Carmel, a secretary. Jeff was diagnosed at birth with spina bifida, a congenital disability that causes malformation of the spine and resultant posture and walking difficulties. For much of his youth, Jeff walked with a caliper on his right leg, and underwent numerous painful operations. But the kind of tenacity to overcome this affliction that Jeff has maintained throughout his life, first became evident in his formative years.
A couple of years afterwards, by this time almost constantly supported by crutches because of his worsening condition, Jeff joined forces with an established Sydney blues-rock outfit called The Syndicate who he met by chance at the Sydney Musicians Club in early 1965. With members including guitarist Peter Anson (from legendary Sydney garage-R&B monsters The Missing Links) The Syndicate with Jeff on board soon evolved, via The Wild Oats, into The Id (named after the popular Johnny Hart cartoon strip The Wizard of Id), with Jeff also adopting the stage name he has used ever since.
This powerhouse band quickly became a leading attraction in Sydney with a long-term residency at the Here Disco in North Sydney, and also made inroads in the Melbourne scene, playing at the famous Thumpin' Tum in the inner city) with its powerful, brass-augmented repertoire and Jeff's rich and soulful vocals. Jeff St John & the Id's reputation as one of the country's top R&B bands also earned them a well-received support gig on the 1967 Yardbirds, Roy Orbison and Walker Brothers package tour of Australia.
On record, Jeff and The Id are probably best remembered for their scorching, brass-laden smash single, "Big Time Operator", which featured Aussie sax legend Bob Birtles heading the horn section. The single reached #7 in Sydney and a respectable #12 in Melbourne in January 1967, and the recording sessions at Festival in Sydney were even photographed for a special feature in Go-Set. But this was the culmination of a series of accomplished 45s which, established Jeff & the band's credentials.
Little Boy Sad/You Might As Well Forget Him/Lonely Boy/Lonesome Traveller
Formed in Melbourne, Australia in 1965 disbanded in 1967.
The name MPD came from the groups christian names. Mike Brady (guitar, vocals) Pete Watson (bass, vocals) Danny Finley (drums)
The band were short lived but made an impact in Australia.Recording for the GO! label the band mainly did cover versions of post dated hits and playing them in their own style.Pete Watson was born in England and originally a member of 'The Phantoms' Mike Brady also born in England, also a member of 'The Phantoms in Melbourne.Danny Finley, a member and drummer of 'The Saxons' made up the trio.
This was the start of successfull but short lived career for the three. The group supported 'The Dave Clark Five' - 'The Easybeats'- 'The Rondells' etc. Their first single was the Johnny Burnette number 'Little Boy Sad' giving the group their first hit.
They appeared on most TV shows and also covered Australia over the years which included touring England as well. The group later split and went their own ways.
The same EP was issued in New Zealand and Australia with different artwork both sets of covers are included in the download.
Woman You're Breaking Me/Mad Over You/Downtown Women/Sorry
1966–1969: The Groop mark II
The Groop were searching for a more Blues / Rock sound, and when Cadd joined in October 1966 he used a pseudonym, Brian Caine, after advice from Meldrum that Cadd didn't sound good as a rock artist's name. Cadd soon changed his name back after family protests. The new line-up of Cadd, Charles, Mudie, Ross and Wright, released "Sorry" which reached No. 12 on the Melbourne charts in January 1967. Their next single, released in May 1967, "Woman You're Breaking Me" (written by Cadd and Wright) reached No. 4 in Melbourne, No. 12 in Sydney, and was their only national top ten hit.
The band won a trip to UK from the 1967 Hoadley's National Battle of the Sounds in July, with "When I Was Six Years Old" written by Cadd and Ross. Publishers sent the song to England where it was recorded by Manfred Mann's lead vocalist Paul Jones.
Don't You /Know Yockomo/Reet Petite/Kansas City/Hallelujah, I Love Her So
Dinah Lee is the stage name of New Zealand-born singer, Diane Marie Jacobs (born 19 August 1943, Waimate), who performed 1960s pop and then adult contemporary music. Her debut single from early 1964, "Don't You Know Yockomo?", achieved No. 1 chart success in New Zealand and in the Australian cities, Brisbane and Melbourne. It was followed in September by her cover version of Jackie Wilson's, "Reet Petite", which also reached No. 1 in New Zealand and peaked at No. 6 in Melbourne. The Australian release was a double A-sided single with "Do the Blue Beat". On her early singles she was backed by fellow New Zealanders, Max Merritt & His Meteors. Lee appeared regularly on both New Zealand and Australian TV variety programs, including Sing, Sing, Sing and Bandstand. She toured supporting Johnny O'Keefe, Ray Columbus & the Invaders and P.J. Proby. According to Australian rock music journalist, Ed Nimmervoll, in the 1960s, "Lee was the most successful female singer of in both her New Zealand homeland and Australia ... on stage and on record Dinah had all the adventure and exuberance for the time the boys had".
I (Who Have Nothing)/I Just Don't Understand/Let Me Tell You/That's Why I Cry
Normie Rowe AM was the first and biggest male solo star of Australian pop in the 1960s. A strong singer and a natural performer, his bright, edgy tenor voice was showcased in well-chosen material, much of which was produced by the legendary Pat Aulton, house producer for the Sunshine, Spin and Festival labels. Supported by the assured performances of his backing band The Playboys, Normie cut a string of classic beat singles on the Sunshine label that kept him at the top of charts for two years and made him the most popular Australian solo singer of the "beat" era
Normie's second single, released in August, was a cover of Ben E. King's "I Who Have Nothing)"-- a song also apparently discovered while trawling through Stan Rofe's (Popular Melbourne DJ) vast record collection. It became his second successive Top Ten hit, reaching #10 in Sydney, #4 in Melbourne, #23 in Brisbane and #6 in Adelaide.
Friday, 11 December 2015
Ol Hound Dog/Gloria/The Best In Africa/It Must Be Love
The Groop were an Australian folk, R&B and rock band formed in 1964 in Melbourne, Australia and had their greatest chart success with their second line-up of Max Ross on bass, Richard Wright on drums and vocals, Don Mudie on lead guitar, Brian Cadd on keyboards and vocals, and Ronnie Charles on vocals. The Wesley Trio formed early in 1964 with Ross, Wright and Peter McKeddie on vocals; they were renamed The Groop at the end of the year.
The Groop's best known hit single "Woman You're Breaking Me" was released in 1967, the band won a trip to United Kingdom but had little success there. Other singles included "Ol' Hound Dog", "Best in Africa", "I'm Satisfied", "Sorry", "Seems More Important to Me" and "Such a Lovely Way".
When The Groop disbanded in 1969, Cadd and Mudie formed Axiom with Glenn Shorrock (later in Little River Band). Cadd was inducted into the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) Hall of Fame in 2007, for his work with The Groop, Axiom and as a solo artist.
1964–1966: The Groop mark
The Wesley Trio was formed as a folk music group in 1964 with Peter McKeddie on vocals, Max Ross on bass guitar and Richard Wright on drums; all three were students from Wesley College, a private school in Melbourne. The trio signed with CBS Records Melbourne, which released a single, an EP and an album.
They decided to become more R&B orientated and placed an ad for a guitarist, and, with Peter Bruce joining, they were renamed The Groop in late 1964. At the time, Bruce (originally from England) claimed that he had been a member of UK pop group Dave Clark Five in their early years as Dave Clark Quintet in 1957. In a 2002 interview, Bruce admitted that he had only been in a support act, The Hill City Skiffle Group and never actually in Dave Clark's band. The Groop had success on the Melbourne singles chart with "Ol' Hound Dog" reaching No. 13, "Best in Africa" No. 10 and "I'm Satisfied" No. 21 in 1966. They were assisted by positive reviews from Ian "Molly" Meldrum writer for national pop magazine Go-Set who had earlier been their roadie. This version of The Groop also recorded two albums, The Groop (1965) and I'm Satisfied (1966) both on CBS Records. In August 1966, founders McKeddie and Bruce left, but instead of disbanding the Rhythm section of Ross and Wright invited Don Mudie (ex-Sherwood Green) to join on guitars. At McKeddie's farewell party – he was travelling to UK – The Groop were supported by another R&B outfit The Jackson Kings. The Groop invited their keyboardist Brian Cadd to join, Cadd insisted on bringing along bandmate Ronnie Charles (Ron Boromeo) as vocalist.
Girls Got Rhythm/If You Want Blood (You've Got It)/Hell Ain't A Bad Place To Be/Rock 'N' Roll Damnation
AC/DC are an Australian hard rock band, formed in November 1973 by brothers Malcolm and Angus Young, who continued as members until Malcolm's illness and departure in 2014. Commonly referred to as a hard rock or blues rock band, they are also considered pioneers of heavy metal and are sometimes classified as such, though they have always dubbed their music as simply "rock and roll".
AC/DC underwent several line-up changes before releasing their first album, High Voltage, on 17 February 1975; Malcolm and Angus were the only original members left in the band. Membership subsequently stabilised until bassist Mark Evans was replaced by Cliff Williams in 1977 for the album Powerage. Within months of recording the album Highway to Hell, lead singer and co-songwriter Bon Scott died on 19 February 1980 after a night of heavy alcohol consumption. The group considered disbanding, but buoyed by support from Scott's parents, decided to continue and set about finding a new vocalist. Ex-Geordie singer Brian Johnson was auditioned and selected to replace Scott. Later that year, the band released the new album, Back in Black, which was made as a tribute to Bon Scott. The album launched them to new heights of success and became their all-time best-seller.
Stupidity/Coming Home/I Ain't Gonna Eat Out My Heart Anymore/Respect
The La De Das were a leading New Zealand rock band of the 1960s and early 1970s. Formed in New Zealand in 1963 as The Mergers, they enjoyed considerable success in both New Zealand and Australia until their split in 1975.
In Australia the band is probably best known as the launching place for the career of guitarist Kevin Borich, and for their recording of the first Australasian rock concept album, The Happy Prince (EMI, 1968).
Thursday, 10 December 2015
She's A Mod/I Wanna Be Your Man/C'mon & Swim/Yo Yo
One of the best New Zealand groups of the '60s, and the first to successfully react to the changes wrought by the British Invasion. Starting out as a fairly accomplished outfit in the mold of Cliff Richard & the Shadows, though rawer, the group hit the top of the charts in both New Zealand and Australia with "She's a Mod" in 1964. A cover of an obscure British beat single by the equally obscure Senators, it took obvious inspiration from "She Loves You" with its "yeah-yeah" chorus, but it was a strong harmony rocker that was one of the biggest singles of the '60s in Australia. Although their biggest hit was quite Beatlesque, most of the group's repertoire (much of it self-penned) was in a decidedly more pronounced R&B direction. The Invaders would have most likely ground ashore had they actually made a determined effort to invade the U.S. or U.K. markets, but they were a decent outfit that stood way above most other Kiwi acts in 1964. The group managed a few more New Zealand hits, but couldn't crack Australia in as big a way again before splitting in 1966. Ray Columbus actually tried to crack the States as a solo artist for a year or two, recording the collectable psychedelic "Kick Me" single with a California group, the Art Collection.
Wednesday, 9 December 2015
Gypsy Woman/Looks Like Trouble/Roller Coaster Man/The Dancer
The Allusions was a Sydney-based quintet that burst out of nowhere in 1966, scoring a couple of major hits in Sydney. Although they disappeared into obscurity after their short career ended, this is a band that deserves much more recognition.
The Allusions formed in late 1965, its members drawn from several other accomplished Sydney groups, and boasting four singers. Their leader, singer-guitarist-composer Mike Morris, had previously played with Dennis & The Dellawares; Terry Hearne had been the bassist in popular instrumental group The Dave Bridge Trio, led by ace gutarist and Joy Boys founder-member Dave Bridge. Terry Chapman and Kevin Hughes had both been members of the early '60s Sydney surf band The Midnighters.
Within a short time of forming, The Allusions were signed to Robert Iredale's Leopold Productions, one of Australia's first independent record production companies (which had also recently signed Max Merritt & the Meteors) and their recordings were issued on EMI's Parlophone label. It's possible that their rapid signing came about because Robert Iredale was already familiar with Morris' talent -- it's known that The Dellawares provided backing for The Bee Gees on some of the trio's early recordings, which Iredale had produced.
The Allusions shot to prominence in early 1966 with their captivatingly melodic version of the old Rick Nelson hit "Gypsy Woman", backed with "Fever (Burns My Brain)", a Mike Morris original. The single proved a disc-jockey's dream, securing solid airplay on Sydney's 2SM and 2UW, registering impressive sales and peaking at #12. The Allusions' reading in turn inspired The Saints to record the song as a single B-side in 1981.
With this hit under their belt, the group was given the opportunity to record two original songs (both penned by Morris) for their mesmerising follow-up. "The Dancer" / "Roller Coaster Man" developed the polished sound and strong harmonies of their debut, and echoed The Beatles' "I'm Happy Just To Dance With You". The A-side, the song for which they are best remembered, fared even better than their debut, making the Sydney Top Ten (#9) and giving great hopes for this 'mysterious' outfit among punters and pundits alike. However, because of the parochial nature of radio and the pop scene at the time, The Allusions' chart success was limited entirely to Sydney, and their Singles made no impact whatsoever in Melbourne.
Morris' impressive songwriting ability and the success of the two singles persuaded Iredale to finance the recording of a full album -- a comparitively rare occurrence at that time for a new and relatively unproven group. The original LP is now a sought-after rarity, with copies changing hands for as much as $50; copies with the older-style black Parlophone label are particularly sought-after. Happily all the tracks from this rare gem of mid-Sixties OzPop have been included in the complete Allusions Anthology, recently released by Canetoad Records (see below).
The LP contains a variety of material, mixing originals by Morris with covers such as Smokey Robinson's "Shop Around". Some commentators have been rather critical of the album, reserving particular scorn for the song "I Believe", but Chris Spencer opines that "it's not as bad as some make us believe, and doesn't sound out of place on this collection".
The late Gary Aurisch, who wrote the only book about the band (available from Chris Spencer's Moonlight Publishing) describes the album thus:
"It remains a versatile work crammed with intelligently crafted pop songs, most of which are adorned with nifty little guitar solos and carefully thought-out, unobtrusive harmony".
Terry Chapman quit the band in July 1966, not long before their third single was recorded, apparently unhappy with the Beatles-ish direction in which Morris was taking them. He went on to join one of Australia's first psychedelic groups, The Knack, which included drummer Craig Collinge, formerly of The Librettos and later of Procession. Chapman's replacement was Bruce Davis, who had worked with Morris in The Dellawares.
Their third single "Looks Like Trouble" (Oct. 1966) didn't chart, although the follow-up "Roundabout" (another Morris original, released in March 1967) managed to scrape into the bottom of the Top 40. An EP, The Dancer, followed in April, compiling the A-sides from the first three Singles, plus "Roller Coaster Man".
According to Vernon Joyson, some time during 1967 The Allusions also recorded as the (uncredited) backing band for Digger Revell on his LP To Whom It May Concern. Another Allusions curiosity from this period is a promotional single -- which the group recorded under the pseudonym The Telemen -- the A-side of which was a version of the theme from the popular TV sitcom My Name's McGooley, What's Yours?.
The Allusions released two more Singles, "Seven Days Of Rain" (July 1967) and "Mr Love" (February 1968), but neither was successful. Between these two releases, Mike Morris left the band in late 1967, and he was replaced by John Spence. The Allusions continued as a four-piece until October 1968, when Terry Hearne quit to join Digger Revell's backing band. Mike Morris then rejoined, to raise money for an overseas trip, but by this time the momentum of their early success had dissipated, and in the face of changing trends they split for good in early 1969.
Not much is known about what happened to the members after their brief spell in the limelight; what little we have gleaned comes from Vernon Joyson's entry on the band in his book. Mike Morris worked with a number of local country-rock bands after returning to Australia. Terry Hearne was reported to be still playing with Digger Revell in the 1990s, although that was presumably ended by Digger's arrest conviction on charges of marijuana cultivation and trafficking, and his subsequent incarceration. Sadly, drummer Kevin Hughes committed suicide in 1975.
The Allusions left behind a fine batch of records that are highly sought after by collectors of quality sixties Aussie pop. The evidence we have is that they could indeed "rock out" -- exemplified by the spirited cover of The Kinks' "I Gotta Move" on the LP, which arguably rivals the original -- along with strong similarities to other early beat-boom merchants like The Zombies and The Searchers. They used "I Feel Fine"-style guitar feedback too, before it was remotely de rigeur. If this band will be remembered at all though (and they should be), it would be for their extremely tight and inventive sound, those complex vocal harmonies, and their mastery of the three-minute beat-pop single idiom.
A handful of The Allusions' recordings were reissued on vinyl, and later on CD, and for these we must (as usual) say thanks to Glenn A. Baker and the wonderful people at Raven. If you can get your hands on a copy, there are five Allusions tracks -- "Gypsy Woman", "Fever Burns My Brain", "I Gotta Move", "Looks Like Trouble" and "The Dancer" -- included on Raven's excellent 1981 anthology LP Five By Four.
Prior to 2003, only three tracks had made it onto CD -- "The Dancer" is on Volume 2 of Raven's Sixties Downunder series, and "Gypsy Woman" is on Volume 3; "I Gotta Move" is included on the bootleg compilation Devil's Children, Volume 1, which is a lot harder to find.
Happily, the entire Allusions oeuvre is now available on CD at last thanks to David McLean and Canetoad Records. The original recordings have been remastered for CD and the 21-track disc includes all the single A- and B-sides and all the tracks from the album, plus the two tracks that they recorded as The Telemen. Liner notes are by David McLean, with contributions from Terry Hearne.
Original article by Paul Culnane (Milesago)
Tuesday, 8 December 2015
The Lion Sleeps Tonight/The Lonely Hearts Club Christmas Party/May My Heart Be Cast Into Stone/Keep Searchin'
Originally Known as the Black Diamonds and formed in 1967 in Lithgow N.S.W. they released 2 singles "See The Way" / "I Want, Need, Love You" and "Outside Lookin' In" / "Not this Time".
By 1968 they had changed their name to Tympiece It was at this time that Pat Aulton approached them to record a version of The Tokens' "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" to promote the opening of Stafford Bullen's African Lion Safari at Warragamba, NSW. For the purposes of the single the group worked under the name The Love Machine. The song was a hit, but the band members then returned on to their own music, although Pat continued releasing material under the Love Machine moniker, using different musicians, until 1970.
As tympiece they released three Singles on the Festival label, beginning with "Bird in the Tree" / "I Gotta Know What You're Like" in August 1968, followed by a cover of The Small Faces' "Become Like You" b/w "Give a Little More" in November 1969 and "Won't You Try?" b/w "Down and Out" in October 1970.
Tymepiece then moved to Festival's progressive subsidiary label Infinity for the release of their ultra-rare debut album, Sweet Release (February 1971).
All I Want/We 2 Should Live/Don't Give Me No Friction/Wild About You/Some Kinda Fun/Speak No Evil
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."
Sunday, 6 December 2015
Louie Louie/Back Door Man/Comin' Home Baby/You're Good For Me/Rub My Root/Somethiin' Else/Untie Me
The Pink Finks is an very notable group, being the first in the series of bands featuring Ross Wilson and Ross Hannaford, which eventually culminated in the hugely successful Daddy Cool. The Finks formed in early 1965 when 16 year-old R&B fanatic Ross Wilson joined forces with Ross Hannaford's schoolboy outfit The Fauves, which played Shadows and Ventures covers.
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 gigs by his mum, and had to be sneaked in and out of the licensed venues they played at because he was underage. Inspired by the onslaught of English groups like The Stolling 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; Dalton later joined Running Jumping Standing Still with ex-Missing Links members Andy Anderson and Doug Ford. The Finks released four singles during their brief career; their first was their raucous version of The Kingsmen's "Louie Louie" released on the Finks' own label, Mojo (whose label was designed by Ross Wilson's brother Bruce) and it gave them an early taste of success when it was a local hit (#16) in Melbourne in June 1965.
Michael Edwards was added on trumpet and sax in August '66, but the group folded at the end of the year when Franklin, Cameron and Ratz left to go to university. It appears from the information in Who's Who of Australian Rock & Roll that they were replaced, at least temporarily, by Kinman, Landsdowne and Jimmy Niven, although in what capacity they contributed is not known. (Jimmy Niven was later a member of The Captain Matchbox Whoopee Band (1973-76) and Sports (1976-80). Wilson and Hannaford moved on to Party Machine, Sons Of The Vegetal Mother, Daddy Cool, and Mighty Kong.
Thursday, 3 December 2015
Drawing Room/I'm Your Puppet/Wasted On A Fantasy/Break It To Me Slowly
Cam-Pact were formed in Melbourne in April 1967 with a line up of Mark Barnes on bass guitar (ex-Moppa Blues, Roadrunners, Delta Set); Keith Glass on vocals and guitar (Rising Sons, Eighteenth Century Quartet); John Pugh on guitar, vocals and autoharp (Roadrunners, Delta Set, Eighteenth Century Quartet); Chris Stockley on guitar (Roadrunners, Delta Set); and Bob Lloyd (aka Bob Tregilgus) on drums Originally named The Camp Act but, as that was "too outrageous", they soon changed to Cam-Pact. Initially they performed soul music in the Stax Records and Tamla-Motown mould. By 1968 Greg Cook, on organ and guitar, had replaced Pugh; and Trevor Courtney had replaced Lloyd on drums.
In March 1968 they issued their debut single, "Something Easy", on Festival Records followed by a four-track extended play of the same name. The track was written by Glass. Their second single, "Drawing Room", appeared in May and was also written by Glass. It was followed by a third single, "Good Good Feelin'", in September, which was co-written by Cook and Courtney. Late that year Barnes left and Glass took up bass guitar. The group issued a fourth single, "Potion of Love", in June 1969. Australian musicologist, Ian McFarlane, described these singles as "fine examples of late 1960s psychedelic pop".
By mid-1969 Glass had left to join the cast of Hair and Stockley left to join Axiom, and they were replaced by Chris Löfvén on bass guitar and Russell Smith on guitar, respectively. The group issued a second EP, Cam-Pact / Pastoral Symphony, with two tracks by Cam-Pact and two by label mates, Pastoral Symphony, which were a studio ensemble. Soon after Cook was replaced in Cam-Pact by Bill Blissett on organ and vocals. In September that year they released another single, "Zoom Zoom Zoom", and an EP of that name.
Early in 1970 Ray Arnott (ex-Chelsea Set, Browns) replaced Courtney on drums and Cliff Edwards replaced Löfvén on bass guitar. They toured to Sydney with Matt Taylor guesting on lead vocals (ex-Wild Cherries). A three-piece line up of Arnott, Edwards and Smith continued until March 1970 before the trio formed Company Caine with Gulliver Smith on lead vocals and Jeremy Noone on saxophone.
If You got It/You have a God/ Raglan's Folly
Fraternity were an Australian rock band which formed in Sydney in 1970 and relocated to Adelaide in 1971. Former members include successive lead vocalists Bon Scott (who later joined AC/DC), John Swan (who also played drums and later had a solo career), and his brother Jimmy Barnes (Cold Chisel). Their biggest local hit was a cover version of "Seasons of Change" which peaked at No. 1 in Adelaide, but nationally it was overrun by the original Blackfeather version. The group won the 1971 Hoadley's Battle of the Sounds with the prize being a free trip to London. Fraternity went through various line-ups and was renamed as Fang, Fraternity (again), Some Dream and finished as Mickey Finn in 1981.
Fraternity were formed in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia in early 1970 by four ex-members of the recently-split Levi Smith's Clefs, John Bisset on keyboards, Tony Buettel on drums, Bruce Howe on bass guitar and vocals, and Mick Jurd on lead guitar. The band recorded their debut single, "Why Did It Have to Be Me?" which was issued on the Sweet Peach label in October. Howe was looking for a lead vocalist and called on Bon Scott, whose group The Valentines had just disbanded. They signed with Nova Agencies who also managed Sydney rockers, Blackfeather and their guitarist John Robinson would often jam with Fraternity. Early gigs were at Jonathon's Disco on Broadway in Sydney.
Scott was invited to play recorder on the Blackfeather track "Seasons of Change" for that band's debut album, At the Mountains of Madness. John Freeman (Levi Smith's Clefs) replaced Buettel on drums and Fraternity recorded their debut album, Livestock, which was produced by Doug Ashdown and Jim Stewart. By the album's release in early 1971, Fraternity relocated to Adelaide and lived on a farm. They signed with a new manager, Hamish Henry, and issued a new single, "Livestock" in January. They followed with their cover of "Seasons of Change" in March. The song sold well and became a No. 1 hit in Adelaide – it reached No. 51 on the Go-Set National Top 60. Upon learning of Fraternity's success in Adelaide, Blackfeather quickly released their version, which overran Fraternity's and reached No. 15.
John Ayers (ex-No Sweat) joined on harmonica and vocals in May. Fraternity won the Hoadley's Battle of the Sounds – a national performance competition between the best bands representing each state – with the prize being a free trip to London. Scott's previous band, The Valentines, had been a finalist two years earlier. By September, Fraternity were touted as "The Next Big Band" by teen magazine, Go-Set. Sam See (Sherbet, The Flying Circus) joined on piano and slide guitar that month. They recorded their second album, Flaming Galah, produced by Grape Productions, which appeared in April 1972. By that time, the band had taken their trip to London and attempted to crack the United Kingdom market. Bissett left to return to Australia and was followed out of the band by See who rejoined The Flying Circus (now based in Canada).
Fraternity were renamed as Fang in early 1973, but the band had stalled and was gradually disintegrating, with the remaining members returning to Australia by the year's end. Some members joined the loosely-knit Mount Lofty Rangers project with fellow Adelaide-based Headband members. Scott recorded a couple of songs with Mount Lofty Rangers before being seriously injured in a motorcycle accident in early 1974. When Scott had recovered, he joined heavy rockers AC/DC in Sydney.
Late in 1974, Fraternity reformed with Ayers, Freeman, and Howe joined by Mauri Berg (Headband) on guitar, Peter Bersee on violin and John Swan (Hard Time Killing Floor) on lead vocals. In mid-1975, Freeman left and Swan switched to drums with his younger brother, Jimmy Barnes (Cold Chisel) joining on lead vocals. By late 1975 Fraternity was renamed Some Dream, Barnes returned to Cold Chisel. Swan resumed lead vocals but left in 1976 and, under the name Swanee, had a solo career.
In 1978, Some Dream was renamed Mickey Finn, which comprised Ayers, Bateman, Berg and Howe. By 1980, Freeman had rejoined and a second guitarist, Stan Koritni, was added. Mickey Finn cut a self-titled album for the Eureka label and released two singles in 1980 and 1981 before finally disbanding.