Thursday, 22 December 2016
Christmas In The Air/Merry Christmas Polka/ Christmas/Mary's Boy Child
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.
At the ARIA Music Awards of 1999 Little was inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame and won an ARIA Award for Best Adult Contemporary Album. On Australia Day (26 January) 2004, he was made an Officer of the Order of Australia with the citation, "For service to the entertainment industry as a singer, recording artist and songwriter and to the community through reconciliation and as an ambassador for Indigenous culture". As an actor he appeared in the films Shadow of the Boomerang (1960) and Until the end of the World (1991), in the theatre production Black Cockatoos and in the opera Black River. As a teacher, from 1985, he worked at the Eora Centre in Redfern and from 2000 was a guest lecturer at the University of Sydney's Koori Centre.
In 1958 Little married Marjorie Rose Peters and they had a daughter, Frances Claire Peters-Little. Little was a diabetic with a heart condition and, in 2004, had a kidney transplant. After his transplant he established the Jimmy Little Foundation to promote indigenous health and diet. Marjorie died in July 2011. On 2 April 2012 Little died at his home in Dubbo, aged 75 years.
Tuesday, 20 December 2016
I Believe/Mary's Boy Child/Silent Night/Deck The Halls
Larry's Rebels were a garage rock band, formed in Ponsonby, New Zealand, in 1964. Staying with a relatively preserved lineup, the band had in New Zealand and Australia several nationally charting singles. The group incorporated a diversity of musical genres ranging from blues rock to psychedelic pop, in large part due to the versatility of lead vocalist, Larry Morris. As Larry's Rebels progressed, they were able to merge both British Invasion, and American musical influences into their own repertoire.
In late 1965, the group shared top billing with Ray Columbus and the Invaders at the Miss Auckland Personality Contest. Impressed by the performance, Russell Clark, the manager of Ray Columbus and the Invaders, agreed to oversee Larry's Rebels, and he soon finalized a deal with Philips Records. With Russell, the band recorded demos for their debut single, many of which were rejected by the record company. Finally the group released their first single in December 1965 after settling with a cover version of Dionne Warwick's "This Empty Place". Though they did not manage to chart, the single sold well enough to encourage a second recording, with the folk piece, "Long Ago, Far Away", being distributed in early 1966 to local success.
After a string of concerts in Australia in April 1967, promoter Ron Blackmore, head of the largest booking agency in Melbourne, closed a deal with the group to take part in The Easybeats high-profile homecoming tour. A follow-up to the band's successful single, a rendition of The Creation's "Painter Man", was released in April 1967, and raced up the charts before unexpectedly stalling at number six. The single's sales were impeded when a disgruntled listener complained about the inclusion of the term, "shit-cans". The phrase was miscued after Morris overdubbed "tin can" twice to emphasize the wording. Consequently, radio host Pete Sinclair banned the song from further airplay. It appeared the setback had little impact on the group's popularity when, in May 1967, their debut album A Study in Black was released, and a single, "Let's Think of Something", earned Larry's Rebels their first number one hit in Auckland and reached number four nationally.
On the band's return to Auckland, Clark arranged a publicity stunt in which Morris rescued a Miss New Zealand contestant from a fall overboard from a cruise. The act was later admitted to be fake, but attention was drawn to the group's psychedelic light show - the first of its kind in New Zealand. The band revealed the show when they went back on tour in August 1967, playing in the Golden Disc Spectacular. Afterwards, Larry's Rebels spent the rest of 1967 and most of 1968 in Australia, performing in larger venues as the featured attraction. The band was exposed to the drug scene while touring, particularly Morris, who would be late for concerts as a result. An original composition by Morris and Williams, "Dreamtime", was released in November 1967, and garnered another hit when it charted at number four. The group continued to incorporate psychedelic influences into their music, which ended with an ill-fated single, "Fantasy". Despite the setback, the group restored their position in the charts with the song, "Halloween", placing at number six in July 1968. However, the stress of another tour caused Rouse to suffer a nervous breakdown and leave Larry's Rebels. Their next recording, the Top Ten hit "Do What You Gotta Do", featured Mal Logan as his replacement, and included Brian Henderson on organ.
Friday, 9 December 2016
Slippin Around/Straight Skirts/I'm Grateful/How Would Ya Be
Johnny Devlin was New Zealand's first true superstar of the rock & roll era, a teen idol whose national fame and revolutionary impact made him a Kiwi counterpart to Elvis Presley. Born May 11, 1938 in the small town of Raetihi, Devlin was raised in nearby Wanganui, where in 1951 he made his solo performing debut yodeling at the local opera house. After graduating high school, he spent two years as a bank clerk, occasionally playing country & western music with his brothers in a band called the River City Ramblers. Then, in mid-1956, Devlin heard Presley's "Heartbreak Hotel"; overnight he became obsessed with rock & roll, snatching up Presley singles and performing Elvis songs on the amateur talent quest circuit. Complete with ducktail, loud suits, and hepcat lingo, he assimilated himself completely in the culture portrayed in American teen movies of the era, earning something of a reputation as the town eccentric.
Although Devlin regularly appeared in talent contests, he at first enjoyed little success, but in early 1957, he was spotted by Johnny Cooper, who had cut the first-ever New Zealand rock record, a cover of Bill Haley's "Rock Around the Clock," two years prior. Cooper became Devlin's mentor, and his career surged, he regularly won top honors at talent shows and played to increasingly enthusiastic crowds. After settling into a regular gig at Auckland's Jive Centre, Devlin's fame grew, and his nightly sets of dead-on Presley imitations were the stuff of massive teen hysteria; finally, in mid-1958, he recorded his debut single, "Lawdy Miss Clawdy." It was a massive hit, selling over 2000 copies in Auckland alone during its first month of release on its way to passing the unprecedented five-figure mark; trumpeted in the press as "New Zealand's Elvis Presley," Devlin was a true phenomenon, mobbed by fans wherever he went.
Tuesday, 29 November 2016
California Sun/The Hokey Pokey/What A Night/The Can Can Ladies/Shakin' All Over/That's How It's Gonna Be
1962 - Released first E.P. record Johnny Chester's Hit Parade, 6 tracks it contained both sides of his first three singles.
John Howard "Johnny" Chester (born 26 December 1941) is an Australian singer-songwriter, who started his career in October 1959 singing rock'n'roll and in 1969 changed to country music. He has toured nationally with The Beatles, Roy Orbison, The Everly Brothers, Kenny Rogers, Johnny Cash, Tammy Wynette and Charley Pride. During his career he has led various groups including Johnny Chester and The Chessmen, Johnny Chester and Jigsaw, Johnny Chester and Hotspur. With Jigsaw he had five top 30 hit singles, "Gwen (Congratulations)" (1971), "Shame and Scandal", "Midnight Bus" (both 1972), "World's Greatest Mum" (No. 9, 1973) and "She's My Kind of Woman" (1974).
Chester has hosted various TV series: Teen Time on Ten (GLV-10, Gippsland, 1963–64), Teen Scene (ABC TV, 1964–65) and Country Road (ABC TV, 1977–78). He has worked as a radio announcer on Melbourne radio station 3UZ and Radio Australia. He wrote a musical comedy, Rebound, that opened in Wagga Wagga. Chester has won Golden Guitars at the Country Music Awards of Australia for best selling track in 1975 and for Male Vocalist of the Year in 1981, 1982 and 1983. In 1994 he was awarded the Songmaker of the Year Award from the Tamworth Songwriters Association. According to Australian rock music historian, Ian McFarlane, he is "one of Melbourne's first and best rock'n'roll singers of the early 1960s". Music journalist, Ed Nimmervoll, acknowledges Chester's "essential inclusion on any major national rock package coming into Melbourne" and later he "helped bring Australian country music to pop
The Twist/The Hoochie Coochie Coo/Twistin' Australia Way/Let's Twist Again
John Michael O'Keefe, known as Johnny O'Keefe (19 January 1935 – 6 October 1978), was an Australian rock and roll singer whose career began in the 1950s. Some of his hits include "Wild One" (1958), "Shout!" and "She's My Baby". In his twenty-year career, O'Keefe released over fifty singles, 50 EPs and 100 albums. O'Keefe was also a radio and television entertainer and presenter
Often referred to by his initials "J.O.K." or by his nickname "The Wild One", O'Keefe was the first Australian rock 'n' roll performer to tour the United States, and the first Australian artist to make the local Top 40 charts and he had twenty-nine Top 40 hits in Australia between 1958 and 1973.
Johnny O'Keefe was the younger brother of Australian jurist Barry O'Keefe (a former head of the New South Wales ICAC). His father, Alderman Ray O'Keefe, was Mayor of Waverley Council in the early 1960s. Through Barry, Johnny O'Keefe is the uncle of Australian TV personality Andrew O'Keefe
"She's My Baby" was added to the National Film and Sound Archive's Sounds of Australia registry in 2007.
The Wild One (Live)/Ain't That A Shame (Live)/ Silhouette (Live)/Litty Bitty Pretty One (Live)
"Wild One" or "Real Wild Child" is an Australian rock and roll song written by Johnny Greenan, Johnny O'Keefe, and Dave Owens. While most sources state that O'Keefe was directly involved in composing the song, this has been questioned by others. Sydney disc jockey Tony Withers was credited with helping to get radio airplay for the song but writer credits on subsequent versions often omit Withers, who later worked in the United Kingdom on pirate stations Radio Atlanta and, as Tony Windsor, on Radio London.
According to O'Keefe's guitarist, Lou Casch, the song was inspired by an incident at a gig in Newtown, Sydney, in about 1957. According to Casch, as O'Keefe and the Dee Jays played at an upstairs venue, an "Italian wedding" reception was taking place downstairs. Some of the dance patrons came to blows with wedding guests in the men's toilets, and within minutes the brawl had become a full-scale riot that spilled out into the street, with police eventually calling in the Navy Shore Patrol to help restore order.
The release date of the single, 5 July 1958, is considered the birth of Australian rock and roll. The band Jet and Iggy Pop cover was released to mark the 50th anniversary of the original release. The Living End performed the song at the 2008 APRA Awards to mark the anniversary.
O'Keefe was the first artist to record it, on his debut EP Shakin' at the Stadium, released on the Festival label. This version, ostensibly recorded live at the Sydney Stadium, was in fact a studio recording, overdubbed with the sound of a real audience.
An alternate version was recorded and released outside Australia: in the USA (as "Real Wild Child") on Brunswick and in the UK on Coral. "Festival liner notes have always put forward that the crowd overdub was the only difference... Ignoring the crowd overdub at the start, both versions have a different intro and JOK's vocal on the foreign versions is noticeably wilder than on the EP version issued here… As far as I know, the US/UK single version which, IMHO, is markedly superior to our version, was never issued in Australia... at the time, [but] it did finally appear on a local compilation LP in the 70's and is now commonly available on various JOK CDs."
The song was the first Australian rock recording to reach the national charts, peaking at #20.
Rockin' Rollin' Clementine/Bye, Bye Baby Goodbye/Oh Yeah Uh Huh/Teenage Baby
Colin Jacobsen, born 13 April 1937, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. Joye began his career in 1957 singing with his brothers at suburban dances which they organized themselves, becoming popular with teenagers who were anxious to be involved with the ‘new’ rock ‘n’ roll emanating from the USA and UK. After recording successfully as Col Joye And The Joy Boys, his success as a solo artist was guaranteed once he had gained recognition on national television. His good looks and easy-going manner captured the hearts of many teenage girls, even though his vocal talent was not exceptional. From his first record release in 1958 through to 1965 Joye released over 50 singles including ‘Oh Yeah, Uh Huh’ (1959), ‘Bad Man’ (1960), ‘Goin’ Steady’ (1961), Sweet Dreams Of You’ (1962), ‘Whispering Pines’ (1964) and ‘Can Your Monkey Do The Dog’ (1965). Throughout this time, Joye vied with Johnny O’Keefe for the title of the most popular teen idol of the rock ‘n’ roll era in Australia. His material basically consisted of covers of international hits, but later he wrote his own material, or was provided with songs by his backing band the Joy Boys, who also had a successful recording career in their own right. After the initial rock ‘n’ roll boom died, Joye continued his success with ballads and later resurfaced as a country and MOR artist, recording consistently during the 70s. Joye also became involved in management (having Andy Gibb on his books at one time), music publishing, a talent agency and with his brothers Kevin and Keith ran the ATA label. Joye still performs and records today and is popular on the 50s’ and 60s’ revival circuit.
Friday, 25 November 2016
Take It Easy/You're Not Alone/Open Up Your Heart/Morning Of The Earth/Day Comes
G. Wayne Thomas was born in Auckland, New Zealand, and spent his early years from a very young age boarding at Timaru Boys High in the South Island. Due to his mother’s poor health, the family later moved to Christchurch, where he attended Cashmere High. Here he joined the school band and played First 15 rugby, subsequently being selected to play for Canterbury in several divisions up to under 19s, and for the schoolboy side that toured Fiji.
His first job was as a Production Assistant with CHTV 3, and he later moved to Australia on a scholarship to study Theatre Production at the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA). During this time he worked as Stage Manager for Frank Strain’s Theatre Restaurants at night, before taking a full time position with the then Elizabethan Theatre Trust Company, now Opera Australia.
Subsequently he accepted a position at Channel 7 in Sydney, as Stage Manager of a new TV series starring Tony Hancock, the British Comedian. Before production commenced, however, Mr. Hancock took his own life, leaving G. Wayne and many of the crew at a loose end. Following this, a chance a meeting with Bryce Courtney, Creative Director of advertising agency, J. Walter Thompson at the time, resulted in a position as Film Cameraman with that company, and although he was totally unqualified for this role, he managed to pull it off.
Wayne’s recording career as an artist began after being offered several writing and recording contracts. He asked a lawyer friend, Peter Steigrad, to assess them and his conclusion was that they were all rubbish. They decided to work together so that they would own the recordings and lease the finished product to a record company. The first recording session was scheduled with his backing band to include Rod Coe, an old friend of Wayne from New Zealand, who later became Slim Dusty’s Producer, Murray Grindley who became New Zealand’s most successful jingle writer and producer, and Allison McCallum who also became a successful recording artist in her own right.
The first four songs recorded under the new arrangement were “Take it Easy”, “You’re Not Alone”, “You Can’t Have Sunshine Everyday” and “Hello Sunshine” which was released by Allison McCallum, the tracks were all produced by G. Wayne Thomas. Before the release of the first single, Warner Bros realized that there was a drummer by the name of Wayne Thomas, playing in a fairly successful band at the time. G. Wayne was asked to add the ‘G’ in front of his name to differentiate between the two musicians, and he was happy to oblige. His first name was actually Graham although he had never been called that.
Early recordings were reasonably successful, getting good airplay. “Take it Easy” reached around No. 2 on the 2SM chart in Sydney and about 33 nationally, while Allison’s recording reached the top 10.
After the success of the first two singles, Turner and Greenop asked G. Wayne to produce an album for the band Autumn, and following the success of this album, he was offered the position of Head of A&R and General Manager at Warner Bros. Early into that role two guys came into his office looking to get in touch with him to produce a soundtrack for a movie they were making, later to be called “Morning of the Earth”.
The soundtrack was mostly recorded at TCS Studios in Melbourne at TCS, which at the time was one of only two studios in Australia that could provide 16 track recording. Recording was fairly chaotic due to player and band availability, and much is owed to the players who backed up the performers: Duncan McGuire, Billy Green, Mark Kennedy, Phil Manning and Broderick Smith, who sang the Tamun Shud song “First Things First” due to Tim Gaze not being well. John French did an outstanding job as Recording Engineer and Peter Jones was responsible for string and orchestral arrangements.
As there was no SMPTE code or picture lock in those days, timed sequences had to be counted in bars after watching the clips, which were not formatted in any coherent sequence. Consequently Elfick asked G. Wayne to write and record one extra track in case it was needed. This lead to the recording of “Open Up Your Heart”.
Albe and G. Wayne then set about editing and compiling the movie, which was done over about four days and nights, and “Open Up Your Heart” was not needed in the film after all. A master copy of the album, including the extra song, was sent to John Brennan at 2SM, and he was to select a track for airplay to promote the film. He selected the last song on the tape, “Open up your Heart”, and suggested that it should be added over the end titles.
“Open Up Your Heart” was released, with “Morning of the Earth” as the B side, by Warners in 1972. It reached No. 1 in Sydney and would have made No.1 in Australia wide but for the leading DJ in Melbourne refusing to play the track due to a personal argument he had had with Thomas some months before.
“Morning of the Earth”, the Original Soundtrack Album, was released around May 1972, containing only 12 songs. The song order was selected by Phil Greenop to best fit the vinyl format, and the album went on to become Australia’s first Gold Soundtrack album. According to Albe Toms it is the highest selling Australian film soundtrack album of all time.
The following year, at Warner’s request, G. Wayne produced the album “Laid” with a band called Duck, which included members of various bands that had either disbanded or were on extended hiatus. It was essentially a studio band that included John Robinson (ex Blackfeather), Jon English (Judas in Jesus Christ Superstar), Bobbi Marchini, Teddy Toi (ex Billy Thorpe and Max Merrit and the Meteors). Their album was widely acclaimed by critics and fans alike as a great album but only achieved moderate success.
At the same time he was continuously writing, producing and sometimes singing numerous television and radio commercials for Australia’s leading adverting agencies. One of these assignments required him to be overseas for an extended period of time and this eventually lead to him leaving Warner Bros.
On return to Australia he formed his own record label along with Jon English, called Warm and Genuine, the name being an antithesis of the reality of the music/recording business. He produced Jon’s first No. 1 record “Turn the Page” and became the Executive Producer of Jon’s first album “Wine Dark Sea”. These were released through Polygram, on which he also released his first solo album “G. Wayne Thomas” which included his third single “Everything in You” / “Call My Name”, as well as “Come Tomorrow Morning” and a version of Kris Kristofferson’s song “I’ve Got To Have You” made world famous shortly after by Carly Simon.
At this time Thomas was asked by David Elfick to write and produce the soundtrack for Albe and David’s new film “Crystal Voyager”. To do this Thomas formed a studio band, funnily enough, called the “The Crystal Voyager Band” whose members comprised Bobby Gibbert (keyboards), Mick Lieber (ex Python Lee Jackson, Ashton, Gardner and Dyke, guitars) Rod Coe (bass) and John Proud (drums), with Thomas on acoustic guitars and vocals.
G. Wayne’s last single on Warm and Genuine was “Mercy for the Innocent” / “Junkyard” (1975) but then he released “Just to Love You”/ How Can I Tell You” on Polydor in 1976.
Thomas continued to write and produce music for commercials, including “Spirit of Australia” for Qantas Airlines, the words now written on all of Qantas’ aircraft. He also adapted Gershwin’s “Rhapsody In Blue” from the “Grand Canyon Suite” for United Airlines in America, and all the music, theme and incidental for Malaysian Airlines.
G. Wayne has won many International and Australian awards for his commercials, such as a Penguin for “Spirit of Australia” for Qantas, a Gold Lion in Venice for “Can’t Say No” for CCs, Clio’s in New York for “Coke Teardrop” and Levi’s “Leaving” also “Get Your Body” for Reebok and International Radio Awards for “Eveready Red” and numerous awards for clients as “Toyota”, Fosters Beer, KFC, St George Bank, Marantz, etc
In the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, working with pianist and performer Peter Bailey, G. Wayne released four singles on Polydor, including “The Last Laugh” / “Its Alright” 1979, “Missing Persons”/ “Loving You” 1979, I Don’t Want To Spoil Your Party” / “Halfway Home” 1980 and “Tobacco Road” / “They Loved Their Lives Away” 1980, from the 1979 Polydor album “Missing Persons”.
In the late ‘80s, with David Perryman, he produced the original Ray Henwood authored play, “No Good Boyo”, which proved to be one of the hits of the Sydney Festival under Stephen Hall, an old associate from his Opera Company days. The idea of the play is an imagination of what may have happened in the last three missing hours of Dylan Thomas’s life, and it reunited all surviving members of Dylan Thomas’s family from around the world in Sydney for the premier.
G. Wayne was also co-inventor, co- international patent holder and founding director of Pinranger Australia, which introduced differential GPS distance measuring to the sport of golf in the early nineties. The system is now in use on over 10,000 golf courses worldwide and was sold to American interests in the early 2000s. He is currently involved in another innovative “real time” GPS project for specialized sport / recreational performance measurement and display.
He is still undertakes some music projects: he is currently music supervisor for an upcoming film and recently composed and produced the music for six hour long television specials for the “History of the Davis Cup”.
The “Morning of the Earth” album is now in it’s 42nd year on continuous release through Warner Bros, and G. Wayne only occasionally performs in shows around Australia, one of those being as recent as 2014. He has two daughters from his marriage to Dawn: the youngest, Melissa was a successful Australian actress before delivering four grandchildren, and the oldest daughter Olivia is a TV and film executive based in Los Angles.
Wednesday, 23 November 2016
Play Mumma, Sing Me A Song/City Lights, Saturday Night, 1959/Simple Ben/Embarrasing Situations
John J Francis rose to national prominence with the vanguard of contemporary Australian singer/songwriters who came to the fore in the early 70's. Between 1972 and 1974 he released four highly respected studio albums through Warner Brothers and penned the iconic surf anthem, 'Simple Ben' as well as scoring an Australian top 10 hit with the single 'Play Mumma, Sing Me a Song'.
John J Francis' career began in Newcastle, Australia where he fronted a popular local R n' B band, The Sorrows who became one of the better known Newcastle bands of that era and in 1965 supported the legendary Billy Thorpe and the Aztecs, playing to a packed Newcastle Stadium. This performance won the band several gigs at the legendary Sydney dance venue 'Surf City' in Kings Cross, and the following year they were asked to support the Easybeats at a frenetic show in the Newcastle Town Hall.
John J. Francis - Breaks, Works & Thoughts John's second album, 'Breaks, Works & Thoughts', was released in 1973 and included the iconic 'Simple Ben', which is featured on the 'Morning of the Earth' movie soundtrack, the hit single 'Play Mumma, Sing Me a Song', as well as the driving 'Bop Right Over You' and the strikingly powerful and distinctively original 'Steel Man'. 'Breaks, Works & Thoughts' is undoubtedly a landmark in Australian music history and was the most nominated album at the 1973 Australasian Radio Awards (the precursor to today's ARIA Awards) winning the coveted Best Song/Composer of the Year Award for 'Play Mumma, Sing Me a Song'.
It was around this time that John became the musical director for the popular ABC-TV series, 'Sit Yourself Down, Take a Look Around' which featured many emerging artists from the alternative music scene. Hosted by folk/jazz/blues legend Marion Henderson, the show musically covered everything from folk to jazz and blues and even the Aunty Jack crew on one occasion.
Sunday, 20 November 2016
Red Roses For A Blue Lady/Temptation/I Left My Heart In San Francisco/Cara Mia
Sandy Scott was the only son of English parents. In his teens, he took a day job at a bank in Sydney and at night he was singing with local bands. He was making studio recordings in the early 1960s. His big break came with national exposure on Brian Henderson's television show, Bandstand. Sandy was very popular and signed a 10-year contract to appear exclusively on the program. His biggest selling hit song came with Wallpaper Roses in 1966 #4 Sydney #10 Melbourne and at that time he was rated the country's #1 vocal star.
In 1971 his album Great Scott - It's Sandy went gold. His big hit single in 1972 was “Now” a sweeping waltz ideal for weddings. “Now” reached #38 and was his last major hit on the top 40 before he concentrated more on stage work. He played lead roles in stage shows such as Hello Dolly, Mame and The Desert Song. His career highlights include performances in front of Diana, Princess of Wales and Prince Charles in 1988, a Command Performance for The Queen Mother in Adelaide and touring America as a representative of the Australia Music Industry. He also worked as a television compare, hosting shows such as Family Feud, Sound of Music and $10,000 Winner Circle. He married Carol Jacobsen (Col Joye's sister) and they had two boys.
Sunday, 6 November 2016
In The Still Of The Night/I Don't Know Why/It's Been A Long Long Time/I've Never Left Your Arms
Lana Eleanor Cantrell AM (born 7 August 1943) is an Australian-American singer and entertainment lawyer. She was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best New Artist in the Grammy Awards of 1968.
Cantrell recorded for RCA Victor Records, releasing seven albums. Her preferred style of music was pop standards, but she later made contemporary pop rock a significant part of her performances. Cantrell commented in a 1994 profile, "Think of how few people can still make their careers by singing standards.... There's Tony Bennett and Barbra Streisand, and I don't know anyone else."
Cantrell was a frequent guest on television shows including The Ed Sullivan Show, The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, and The Mike Douglas Show. However, she never had a top 40 hit in the Billboard Hot 100.
In 1986, Cantrell enrolled at Marymount Manhattan College, where she majored in history. After receiving her bachelor's degree, she attended Fordham University School of Law. After graduation, she began practicing law with the firm of Ballon Stoll Bader & Nadler in New York City.
It was reported in 1973 that Cantrell was engaged to Australian television personality Graham Kennedy. This turned out to be a hoax—Kennedy was homosexual, although this did not become public knowledge until late in his life. Kennedy later claimed that his romance with Cantrell was purely an invention of the Sunday Observer, although at the time Kennedy himself had publicly portrayed the relationship as real. Judy Carne, Laugh-In's Sock-it-to-Me girl, claimed she had a love affair with Cantrell.
Friday, 4 November 2016
I'm Free/Goodbye/Crazy/Darktown Strutters Ball
After getting tired of being backed by different backing bands as a solo artist, in 1972 Ted switched from acoustic guitar to bass and formed his own band, Ted Mulry Gang, with guitarist Les Hall & drummer Herman Kovac. The band signed a recording deal with Albert Productions in 1974 and released their first album Here We Are. When that album didn't do as well as expected, the record company wanted Mulry to go back to singing solo. Ronnie Clayton told them to stick to it and brought in second guitarist Gary Dixon to complete the foursome. With his own band behind him he adopted a more hard rocking style.
Their first major hit, and the biggest of their career was the 1975 single "Jump in My Car" which spent 6 weeks at number one on the Australian singles charts in 1976. It was the second single released from the Here We Are album produced by John L Sayers at Trafalgar Studios. Over the next few years they achieved a string of hit singles including a rocked up version of the old jazz song, "Darktown Strutters' Ball", "Crazy", "Jamaica Rum" and "My Little Girl". Many of TMG's songs, including "Jump in My Car", were co-written with guitarist Les Hall. By late 1980 their chart success had ended but they remained popular performers on the Australian pub circuit. In 1989, after some time apart, the Ted Mulry gang reformed, releasing the album "Re-Union" for Albert, on Sony. This release also marked the first release of the Ted Mulry Gang on compact disc. Other CD reissues would follow in the early 90's.
In 1998 Ted released a solo CD called This Time featuring songs co-written by himself and his brother Steve Mulry. In early 2001 Ted Mulry announced that he had been diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. Gimme Ted, a series of tribute concerts organised shortly before his death, brought together an assortment of Australian rock acts of his era to pay tribute to him. These included a reunion of his band Ted Mulry Gang with his brother Steve Mulry standing in for him as lead vocalist.
Hangin' Five/Surf City/We're Goin' Surfin'/Surfin' Hootenanny
The Delltones, a popular Australian rock 'n roll band, originally formed in 1958. They started out as a vocal harmony group with members: Brian Perkins, Noel Widerberg, Ian 'Peewee' Wilson and Warren Lucas. In 1962, their single "Get a Little Dirt on Your Hands" was in the top five on the Australian charts. The lead vocalist Noel Weiderberg died in a motor vehicle accident. His position was later filled by Col Loughnan from Sydney band The Cresents.
The Delltones have been entertaining Australian audiences for over five decades with their most successful recording years in the 1960s. Ian 'Peewee' Wilson is the only current member from the original lineup. In the mid-1980s he transformed the group from a vocal quartet, to a five-piece vocal band. This along with other stylistic changes led to the band's resurgence and the chart topping, rock ‘n roll revival album, Bop Til Ya Drop. The band remains as one of the most consistent live entertainers in Australia, with arguably the longest performing and recording history for a vocal harmony band with an original member.
By the latter part of 1963 surf music dominated the Australian Charts, particularly in Sydney and Brisbane. The Delltones were quick to release the tongue in cheek composition, “Hangin’ Five”, written by Ben Acton. This release was almost as successful as “Come A Little Bit Closer” – reaching number 3. “Hangin’ Five” became a cult classic in California along with The Atlantics instrumental “Bombora”. “Hangin’ Five” also featured in Mel Gibson’s first movie, Summer City, released in 1977. That year The Delltones picked up four radio awards including “Gold and Silver Baton Awards,” “Golden Microphone Award” and “The Best Australian Record Award”.
Sunday, 30 October 2016
Shout Parts 1&2/That's My Desire/What'd I Say/Movin' On
Johnny O'Keefe is recognised as the pioneer of Australian Rock 'n' Roll music.
He was born in Sydney on 19th January 1935 and in a career that spanned 20 years he released over 50 singles, 50 EP's and 100 albums.
J O'K as he was known became the undisputed King of Australian rock and roll. There was little or no rock music scene in Australia in the mid 1950's and certainly no Australian rock recordings. When Bill Haley toured the country in 1957, a local band, the Dee Jays with lead vocalist Johnny O'Keefe was chosen as the supporting act. Johnny O'Keefe had been performing in talent shows, mainly doing impersonations of Johnny Ray singing songs such as 'Crying' and 'Little White Cloud that Cried'.
Reluctant radio stations gave very little airplay to Johnny's first record but by the time of his next recording, 'Wild One' was released early in 1958, there was sufficient demand from Johnny O'Keefe Fan Clubs throughout the country to make it a hit. Many of these Fan Clubs had arisen out of performances which Johnny gave at Police and Citizens Boys Clubs.
Radio at the time was experimenting with pop or rock 'n' roll music as they introduced the Top 40 and dee jays such as Bob Rodgers and John Laws were beginning to become very popular by playing not just American artists but Aussie artists like Johnny as well. Johnny of course befriended both announcers and they began to play his records and give him more air time.
A series of hit records and performances on Lee Gordon's 'Big Shows' supporting overseas artists such as Little Richard, Gene Vincent, Eddie Cochran, The Crickets with lead singer Buddy Holly, Jerry Lee Lewis and Paul Anka, led to Johnny O'Keefe being given his own national TV show, Six O'Clock Rock in 1959.
She's My Baby - The Very Best of Johnny O'Keefe
The TV show was an enormous success and ran until Johnny left to tour America. In the U.S. he visited 35 states but made little impact, although 'She's My Baby' reputedly sold more than 100,000 copies in the States. When he returned to Australia overwork led to Johnny being instructed by his doctors to take a rest, but he was soon back on television and recording another string of hit records. To cover his US failure he bought a bright red imported 1959 Plymouth Belvedere and began touring relentlessly up and down the east coast of Australia to pay off the car and replenish his finances. He would spend the whole week making appearances at clubs and pubs, returning to Sydney every Saturday to present Six O'Clock Rock.
He insisted on driving himself and on 27th June 1960 he fell asleep at the wheel of the Plymouth and ploughed into a gravel truck. He was seriously injured as his face smashed into the steering wheel and he was thrown out of the car suffering multiple lacerations, concussion and fractures to his head and face which required many operations. The accident led to Johnny becoming dependant on drugs and although his career continued at full pace he began to suffer depression and became reliant on medication.
O'Keefe's last major hit of the Sixties came in April 1964 with 'She Wears My Ring' and later that same year he had another spell in a psychiatric hospital, which he came to jokingly refer to as his 'holiday camp'.
By the middle of 1965 his popularity continued to decline and sales of his records fell. His TV show, which by now had been changed to 'Sing, Sing, Sing' was eventually cancelled in October 1965.
From 1968 onwards Johnny devoted most of his time to performing on the burgeoning Australian club and cabaret circuit but in early 1974 he scored his last big hit with a version of the old song 'Mockingbird', recorded as a duet with vocalist Margaret McLaren.
During his stellar career, J O'K had five number one records and ten other top ten hits. The recording for which he is best remembered, 'Shout!' was recorded and released as a single twice (in 1959 and in 1964) but interestingly never achieved better than number 11 on the To 40 charts.
Johnny O'Keefe died on 6th October 1978 from a heart attack induced by an accidental overdose of prescribed drugs. He was buried at Northern Suburbs Cemetery in Sydney.
He will always be remembered as the real pioneer of Rock 'n' Roll music in Australia
Father Confessor/A Little Ray Of Sunshine/My Baby's Gone/Time & Time Again
Axiom's formation was a by-product of the annual Hoadley's Battle of the Sounds in which the top Australian bands of the day performed in front of judges for the prize of a paid return trip to London. In 1967 The Twilights were the first winners, the next year The Groop. Both found it difficult to settle back to the grind of the Australian pop scene after tasting the London big time. Neither band had made anything but the smallest dent in London (The Twilights being given a song by the Hollies, while The Groop's "When I Was Six Years Old" was recorded by Manfred Mann's Paul Jones), but it was enough to leave the lingering thought amongst band members, "What if..?"
After signing with EMI's Parlophone label, Axiom buried themselves in the recording studio. In December 1969 the group released their first single, "Arkansas Grass", heavily influenced by The Band's "Music From Big Pink". Though the single's title superficially appealed to international markets, and its Civil War theme reflected Cadd's current obsession with the music of The Band, it was in fact a coded anti-Vietnam war song – and in that respect addressing a very Australian concern, since Australian men were at the time being drafted to fight in that war. "Arkansas Grass" reached No. 7 in December 1969.
In their absence the band's debut album Fool's Gold was released, one of the first true "albums" in Australian music. Apart from the "Arkansas Grass" single it was also one of the first attempts in Australian pop to write songs about the Australian landscape, and using Australian place names. It is also notable as one of the first Australian albums on a major label to be self-produced by the recording artist/s and also featured one of the first uses of the didgeridoo in Australian popular music. The songs were all of high quality as were the production values. Fool's Gold reached No. 18 in June and still stands as one of the best albums of the period, however it never reached its full commercial potential because Axiom were not around to promote it. A third single failed to chart. In Australia Axiom were signed to Ron Tudor's independent production company. They left Australia with Tudor's approval to try to secure a worldwide recording contract: he would not stand in their way.
"Warner Brothers hired me to record them. Super-duper band. It was a super album. Two weeks before the album was to be released on Warner, they decided to break up. And they did, and Warners said, "Bye!! If you think we're promoting this album, you're out of your fucking minds!" I was real pleased with that album. It was fun to do, they were talented, the songs were great."
By the time the album was released the band had already broken up and as Talmy indicated, it effectively vanished without trace.
Monday, 24 October 2016
I've Been Everywhere (Great Britain)/ I've Been Everywhere (USA)/ I've Been Everywhere (New Zealand)/I've Been Everywhere (Australia)
Born Leslie Morrison (in 1941), Lucky Starr presented an image as an `all-Australian' teenage idol. He dressed in sharp suits and played a trademark star-shaped guitar embossed with his initials on the scratch plate beneath the strings. One of Starr's major claims to fame was that he became the first Australian performer to headline his own show in Las Vegas, with three seasons at the Flamingo Hotel. Although he was one of Australia's early rock'n'roll stalwarts, by the late 1960s Starr had moved into the country music field.
Morrison began singing in 1957 using the stage name of Les Starr. He formed The Hepparays and the band issued one of the first Australian rock'n'roll instrumental singles when `Xmas Rock Medley'/`I Remember Xmas at Home' appeared in late 1959. After winning seven talent quests in quick succession, Les Starr became Lucky Starr. He signed to Festival and issued four singles during 1960, `Somebody Touched Me'/`When You Come Back to Me' (January), `The Big Hurt' (March), `Wrong'/`Bill Bailey Won't You Please Come Home' (#40 in Sydney during May) and `Yeah That's How (Rock'n'Roll was Born)' (#31 in September).
With two minor hit singles under his belt, Starr supported US visitors The Mouseketeers on their 1960 Australian tour. The publicity that surrounded his romance with 17-year-old Mouseketeer Cheryl Holdridge certainly helped to boost Starr's career. For a brief period in 1960, Starr compered Six O'Clock Rock while Johnny O'Keefe was in America.
Starr issued his fifth single in March 1961, `Someone Else's Roses' (Sydney #37 in May). Starr scored his first and only major hit single with the novelty tongue twister `I've Been Everywhere', written by unsigned singer Geoff Mack. Three weeks after release, the single reached #1 in Sydney and #2 nationally (April 1962). It stayed in the charts for 15 weeks and went on to sell 45000 copies. The B-side was Starr's own `Cuddle Closer'. Starr issued two more singles during 1962, `June in Junee' and `Hot Rod', plus a couple in 1963, `Mule Skinner Blues' and `Come on in'.
While playing a club in Pitt Street, Sydney during early 1963, Starr met visiting jazz singer Billy Eckstine, who persuaded him to try his luck in the USA. Starr played the Nevada circuit, opening in mid-1963 at the Mapes Hotel Casino Room, Las Vegas. Although Starr signed a recording deal with local label Dot Records (one single: `Poor Little Jimmy Brown'), the proposed American movie roles and major record deals never happened. Dot Records also issued an American version of `I've Been Everywhere' as a single by Hank Snow. It reached #1 on the American country chart.
Starr returned to Australia in late 1963, and appeared in the Christmas `surfing musical' Once Upon a Surfie with a cast that included Dig Richards, Jackie Weaver, Bryan Davies, Jay Justin, Rob EG, Jan Green and The Delltones. He issued an album in 1964, The Silver Spade Digs Lucky, before turning his attention to international club dates around the world including the USA, New Zealand, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Taiwan, Japan, Vietnam and Italy. By the late 1960s, he had moved into the country music field and took his travelling show around the Australian bush. During the late 1980s, the Lucky Starr Band included his son Craig Morrison, who went on to minor success with his own band, De Mont.
I’ll Go Crazy/Don’t Give Me No Friction/One More Time/Wooly Bully
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."
The first version of the band recorded a single, "We 2 Should Live" which was released in March 1965 on the Parlophone label. By that time, Boyne was replaced on guitar by John Jones (Mystics) and Cox left soon after with New Zealand-born Andy Anderson (as Andy James aka Neville Anderson) joining, initially on drums. The band briefly broke up in July. Peter Anson formed a band, the Syndicate. Bob Brady joined Python Lee Jackson, and Ron Peel joined Brisbane-based group, The Pleazers.
With this totally new lineup, the group signed with Philips Records and released "You're Drivin' Me Insane" in August 1965 followed in September by "Wild About You". Veteran rock 'n' roller, Johnny O'Keefe was not a fan – he banned them from appearing on his television show, Sing Sing Sing. They issued another single in October, "H'tuom Tuhs," which was their version of "Mama Keep Your Big Mouth Shut," but with the tape reel played on backwards on both sides of the record (as parts 1 and 2). It was followed by 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". In 1966 Baden Hutchins and Ian Thomas would depart. Hutchins, tired of the rock & roll lifestyle, was engaged to be married.
After The Missing Links had disbanded, Anderson and Ford formed Running Jumping Standing Still in Melbourne in August 1966. Anderson later became an actor on Australian and New Zealand television. Ford was lead guitarist in The Masters Apprentices from 1968.