Friday, 21 August 2015

Noeleen Batley - 1965 - Little Treasure From Japan

Little Treasure From Japan/Don't Say Good Night And Mean Goodbye/03 She's A Fool/Then He Kissed Me

Noeleen Batley born in Sydney on Christmas Day 1944, was one of the pioneering female stars of Australian Sixties pop. Nicknamed "Australia's Little Miss Sweetheart", her pleasing voice and demure girl-next-door image endeared her to teenagers and parents alike, and she is fondly remembered as a leading member of TV's "Bandstand Family" during the early Sixties. Compared to many other Australian acts, Noeleen enjoyed a very prolific recording career, with around 20 singles, at least eight EPs and three LPs to her credit, most of them recorded during the peak period of her career between 1960 and 1965.

Noeleen's catalogue exemplifies Festival Records' mainstream pop output in the period preceding the cataclysmic changes of the "Beat Boom". She recorded mainly 'middle of the-road' material, including many standards and show tunes and even the odd novelty song; the rockiest' number is probably her cover of The Crystals' "Then He Kissed Me". As singer Dave Miller observed (when speaking of Dinah Lee's early career in New Zealand) the repertoire choices for female singers in that period were very limited, and it's doubtful that Noeleen herself was ever given much say in what she recorded. Nevertheless Noeleen remains a significant figure in Australian pop history -- she was our first modern female pop star, the first Australian female singer to have a national hit and most remarkable of all, Noeleen was the first Australian performer to have a hit record and tour in Japan.

Noeleen's recordings are also of interest to Bee Gees aficionados -- she was friends with the group in the early 1960s and was one of the first artists to cover Barry Gibb's work, recording four of his songs in 1964-65.


Ray Columbus And The Art Collection - 1967 - Kick Me

Kick Me (I Think I'm Dreaming)/Millicent/Snap,Crackle & Pop/I'm A Boy & You're A Girl

Ray had been trying to get to America for some time as he believed that was were his future lay he eventually married an American citizen, Levonne, and had now secured his green card to move to the US. In July 1966 he flew to San Francisco and set up home in the south bay area of San Jose. Ray managed to get a few solo outings, before linking up with a group called the Newcastle Five, and with him they renamed themselves to the Art Collection.

In early 1967, Ray Columbus and the Art Collection recorded a single "Kick Me" backed with a reworking of "She's A Mod". It was a Bay Area classic and unheard of in New Zealand until its appearance on the second "Ugly Things" compilation in the late eighties. Recorded at the same session was "Snap, Crackle and Pop", a bubblegum ditty Columbus had written to pitch to Kelloggs.

In July, a follow-up single was released. It contained his previous two New Zealand A-Singles on one record, "We Want A Beat"/"I Need You". The band continued to play around the Bay Area, with the highlight being able to play on the same show as Eric Burdon and the Animals. In October, Ray Columbus and the Art Collection were an attraction at the San Francisco International Pop Festival. The festival wasn't huge, but from it came a compilation album which featured several Columbus tracks, including "East Pinkerton Street" and "Polka Dot Resistance" and several tracks written or produced by Columbus. One was "I'm Good For You" for Oakland R&B group, Fire. The song later became a 1969 New Zealand chart hit for Troubled Mind. Ray's association with Art Collection came to an end at the close of 1967.


Sunday, 9 August 2015


The Flying Circus - Shame Shame/The Groove - Stubborn Kind Of Fellow/Johnny Farnham - Everybody Oughta Sing A Song/Little Pattie -WhatThe World Needs Now/Johnny Ashcroft and Katthleen McCormack - By The TimeI Get To Phoenix/Twilight - Once Upon A Twilight

I presume this was sold at the Easter Show back in 1969 EMI were kind enough to donate all profits to the Heart Fund Appeal.

Saturday, 8 August 2015

Craig Scott - 1972 - Four More Hits

Smiley/Ciao Baby/One More Mountain To Climb/C'est La Vie

Scott is a former banker from Dunedin who started his music career in the late 1960s. After involvement in the bands Klap and Fantasy, Scott joined the band Revival who won a Battle of the Bands contest in May 1969, releasing Viva Joe Bobby which peaked at #14 on the related singles chart. He later left the band, and released a series of commercially successful singles beginning with a cover version of Australian pop star Ronnie Burns Smiley which got to #3 on the New Zealand pop chart. He then released the single Star Crossed Lovers which was his only number one single, Let's Get A Little Sentimental, and then Ciao Baby, of which the singer Lynne Randell later performed a cover version which made the top ten, and When Jojo Runs. Around 1975, his last single to be successful was Wind and Rain, peaking at #11 on the New Zealand pop chart.

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Anne & Johnny Hawker - Best Of

Cinderella Rockefella/Lovin' Season/I Got You/You're Out Of Your Mind

Johnny Hawker achieved success with the Johnny Hawker's Band. After he married singer Anne Hathaway it was natural for them to record together. They hit the charts in 1968 with "Cinderella Rockefella" which had been a number 1 hit for another husband & wife duo Esther & Abi Ofarim. The record boosted them to be a sought after act for club and TV appearances. This single was followed in 1969 with another hit "Dear World" and "Real True Loving". After moving to Festival Records they released the single "Felix & Delilah" in 1973.

Angels - 1991 - Bleeding with the Times

Bleeding with the Times/Blood on the Moon/ Don't Waste My Time (re-mix)/When the Time Comes (re-mix)

The Angels are an Australian rock band that formed in Adelaide, South Australia, in 1974. The band later relocated to Sydney and enjoyed huge local success, clocking up hit singles across four decades, including "Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again", "Take a Long Line", "Marseilles", "Shadow Boxer", "No Secrets", "We Gotta Get Out Of This Place", "Let The Night Roll On", and "Dogs Are Talking".

The Angels were cited by Guns N' Roses and a number of Seattle grunge bands, including Pearl Jam and Nirvana, as having influenced their music. In the international market, to avoid legal problems with the Casablanca Records' act Angel, their records were released under the names Angel City and later The Angels from Angel City.

Lead singer Doc Neeson who fronted the band from 1974-1999 left pre-Millenium due to spinal injuries sustained in a car accident. After spending most of the 2000s apart, in April 2008, the original 1970s line-up of The Angels reformed for a series of tours.

In January 2013 it was announced that lead singer Doc Neeson had been diagnosed with a brain tumour and would undergo immediate treatment. Neeson died aged 67.

It was also revealed that bassist Chris Bailey (1950–2013) had been battling an aggressive cancer. Bailey died on 4 April 2013; a benefit concert was held at Thebarton Theatre in Adelaide on 17 April.

The Dargie Quintet -1955 - Dargie Favourites

The Three Bears/I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles/The Broken Record/Is It Any Wonder

Horace Andrew Dargie (7 July 1917 – 30 August 1999) was an Australian musician and harmonicist. Horrie Dargie was born in Whyalla, South Australia, the second son of Andrew Dargie and Adelaide (née Sargent). His older brother Sir William Dargie was a noted Australian portrait artist.

Dargie began his musical career as a diatonica harmonica player. He joined the Yarraville Mouth Organ Band, which practised in a shoe repairshop. Later he joined William Ketterer's "Victorian Mouth Organ Band". This band consisted of the most promising players in the state of Victoria.

In the early 1930s he took up the chromatic harmonica and won a variety competition on a local radio station in 1937. In 1938 he moved to Sydney. Dargie studied clarinet and orchestration and started his own harmonica school in Sydney. With Williamson, Lois, and Metcalfe on chromatics, and Shea on chords and Bertram on bass he started a harmonica group, The Rockin' Reeds.

Horrie Dargie joined the Australian Army in 1941 and served in New Guinea and later in the occupational forces in Japan. He returned to Melbourne in 1947 and subsequently formed the famous Horrie Dargie Quintet. By 1952 the Quintet had risen in popularity by dint of hard work, and played their farewell concert at the Sydney Town Hall in 1952 before leaving for England. By chance, a recording was made of the performance on a wire recorder using just one microphone. The 10″ record of the farewell concert became Australia's first Gold Record, selling 75,000 copies. Upon arrival in England the Quintet performed at the Empire in London and an agent recognised the group's performance as unique because of their distinctive sound, humour, and individual style. They never copied or made renditions of numbers by overseas performers. Whilst on tour in London Horrie contracted polio – apparently he collapsed on stage. The disease affected his diaphragm and legs, at the time he was told he would not be able to play a wind instrument again. He once described the illness as a 'bit of a problem' – he was paralysed except for his right arm and he could swallow. With persistence he recovered and the Quintet later performed upon their return at the Tivoli in 1958. One of their more well known numbers was "Green Door" which become a hit in its own right.

In 1958 Dargie returned to Australia where he took up a position at Channel 9, where he was in charge of the talent division – variety was very popular at the time and Dargie did four or five shows a week. He compered the BP Super Show and also was responsible for the Delo and Daly Show, He was the first Australian compere of the show The Price Is Right[ and managed the The Go!! Show, a pop music show that regularly featured entertainers such as Johnny Young, Ian Turpie and Olivia Newton-John. Dargie also established Go!! Records in 1964 to promote artists who appeared on the show. In August 1967 Channel 0 Melbourne abruptly cancelled The Go!! Show and the loss of its major promotional outlet led to the demise of the Go!! record label.

Dargie is also remembered for his musical arrangements for the film Crocodile Dundee and the TV show The Leyland Brothers. He also played the background music for the TV series Skippy the Bush Kangaroo.

Thanks to Brian for this one.