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.


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