Thursday, 25 February 2016

Frank Ifield - 1966 - Confessin'

Confessin' (That I Love You)/Waltzing Matilda/Paradise/Lonesome Number One

Born in Coundon, Coventry, Warwickshire, England, Ifield moved with his Australian parents to Dural, 50 km (31 mi) from Sydney, about 1946. It was a rural district and he listened to hillbilly music (now called country) while milking the cows. He learned how to yodel in imitation of country stars like Hank Snow. At the age of 13 he recorded "Did You See My Daddy Over There?", and by 19 was the No. 1 recording star in Australia and New Zealand. He returned to the UK in 1959.

His first record in the UK was "Lucky Devil" (1960), which reached No. 22 in the UK charts. His next six records were less successful, but he finally broke through with "I Remember You", which topped the charts for seven weeks in 1962. Known for Ifield's falsetto and a slight yodel, it was the second-highest-selling single of that year in the UK and became the seventh million-selling single.

His next single was a double A-side: "Lovesick Blues" and "She Taught Me to Yodel". "Lovesick Blues" was originally sung by Hank Williams and was treated in an upbeat "Let's Twist Again" style. The other song is a virtuoso piece of yodelling with the final verse – entirely yodelling – sung at double-speed. It also reached No. 44 in the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. His next hit, "Wayward Wind", made him the first UK-based artist to reach No. 1 three times in the UK in succession. The only other person to have done so at that point was Elvis Presley.

His other recordings include "Nobody's Darling but Mine", "I'm Confessin'" (his fourth and final UK No. 1), "Mule Train" and "Don't Blame Me". In 1963 he sang at the Grand Ole Opry, introduced by one of his heroes, Hank Snow. Many of his records were produced by Norrie Paramor.

Ifield also was featured on Jolly What!, a 1964 compilation comprising eight of his tracks and four of those of the Beatles which has been considered an attempt to cash in on Beatlemania.

"(I'm) Confessin' (that I Love You)" (also known as "Confessin'," "I'm Confessin'," and "Confessin' that I Love You") is a jazz and popular standard that has been recorded many times.The song was a number one hit for Frank Ifield in the United Kingdom and Ireland in 1963.

Jim Keays - 1987 - Undecided

Undecided (Off Your Face Mix)/Dubcided/Undecided (Radio Mix)/Undecided (Electro Boy Slim Mix)

James "Jim" Keays (9 September 1946 – 13 June 2014) was an Australian musician who fronted rock band The Masters Apprentices as singer-songwriter, guitarist and harmonica-player from 1965 to 1972, and subsequently had a solo career. He also wrote for the teen newspaper, Go-Set, as its Adelaide correspondent in 1970 and its London correspondent in 1973.

The Masters Apprentices had Top 20 hits on the Go-Set National Singles Charts with "Undecided", "Living in a Child's Dream", "5:10 Man", "Think about Tomorrow Today", "Turn Up Your Radio" and "Because I Love You". The band reformed periodically, including in 1987 to 1988 and again subsequently. Keays, as a member of The Masters Apprentices, was inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame in 1998. As a solo artist he issued albums, The Boy from the Stars (December 1974), Red on the Meter (October 1983), Pressure Makes Diamonds (1993), Resonator (2006) and Dirty, Dirty (2012).

He published his memoirs, His Master's Voice: The Masters Apprentices: The Bad Boys of Sixties Rock 'n' Roll in 1999. From 2000, he performed in Cotton Keays & Morris alongside other former 1960s artists, Darryl Cotton and Russell Morris. In July 2007, Keays was diagnosed with myeloma, which caused his kidneys to fail. By 2009 the cancer was in remission after chemotherapy and stem-cell transplants. However, he died in 2014 from pneumonia due to complications resulting from his cancer, aged 67. He is survived by his son James (from his first marriage), his second wife Karin and their two daughters.

In 1987 Jim signed with Virgin Records in UK and recorded another version of "Undecided" with Andy Scott (Sweet) on guitar and produced by Craig Leon. The single had 4 versions of the Masters Apprentices 1966 hit single "Undecided" which peaked at #13 on the Go-Set charts and  #8 on the Kent Music Report.

The Melbourne New Orleans Jazz Band - The Melbourne New Orleans Jazz Band

Weary Blues/Nobody Knows The Trouble I've Seen/The Entertainer/Nobody's Fault But Mine

The appeal of old, neglected, black musicians from New Orleans was irresistible to those seeking an authenticity in jazz, and hence a very strong New Orleans community developed in Australia. In Melbourne, the Melbourne New Orleans Jazz Band was, plausibly enough, an example of this, as was the Yarra Yarra New Orleans Jazz Band. These two groups enjoyed enormous popularity at the end of the 1950s and during the early 1960s. The Melbourne New Orleans Jazz Band was formed in 1957 and became one of the premier jazz exponents in Melbourne in the late fifties and early sixties. The band left for England and toured the UK and Europe from September 1961 until in disbanded in London in April 1963.

The band released at least 3 EP's in Australia and 1 in the UK

The Melbourne New Orleans Jazz Band  ‎– Pick A Bale Of Cotton  Swaggie Records ‎– S 4517 Tracklist  A1 Pick A Bale Of Cotton   A2 God Leads His Dear Children  
B1 Over In The Glory Land Released 1959

The Melbourne New Orleans Jazz Band - The Melbourne New Orleans Jazz Band With Paul Marks Swaggie Records S 4529  Tracklist A1 Weary Blues A2 Nobody Knows The Trouble I've Seen B1 The Entertainer B2 Nobody's Fault But Mine Released 1960

The Melbourne New Orleans Jazz Band - The Melbourne New Orleans Jazz Band Swaggie Records S4533 Tracklist A1 The Chant A2 Wandering B1 Old Time Religion B2 Mary Don't You Weep No More Released 1961

Melbourne New Orleans Jazz Band -  Melbourne New Orleans Jazz Band Columbia: 8154 EP PS Tracklist A1 Hilarity March A2 Streets Of Antibes B1 Pralines B2 Clever Fella Released 1962

Monday, 22 February 2016

Various - 1966 - Club Seventeen Swings

Robby Snowden - Walking Along/Laurie Baker - Traveling Man/Glenn Hitchcock - Father Sebastian/Neville Hesketh - Havin' Fun

Club Seventeen was a pop show that ran from 1962 to 1968 on TVW7 Perth and was hosted by successive comperes Elizabeth Cater and Gary Carvolth, Gary Garvolth, John Young, Ashton Farley (6PM), Jeff Phillips and Keith McGowan

Sunday, 21 February 2016

Master's Apprentices - Turn up Your Radio

Turn up Your Radio/5.10 Man/Merry-Go-Round/Think About Tomorrow Today

 The Masters Apprentices are bona-fide Australian rock legends. If The Easybeats were "Australia's Beatles", then there is no doubt that, as Stan Rofe said, The Masters Apprentices were Australia's Rolling Stones. They left an indelible mark on Australian music, and along with the Easybeats and the Twilights, they were one of the"could-have-been" bands, who tried valiantly to break into the British and international charts. Like both those bands they were ultimately unsuccessful in their attempts, but one of the later members of the band, Glenn Wheatley, learned valuable lessons from their mistakes and has played a major role in the music industry and the media over the last 30 years.

The Masters were hugely popular throughout Australia, releasing hit after hit in their seven-year career, and they were consistently hailed as one of Australia's best live and recording acts. Their career encompassed all the changes in Australian music from 1965 to 1972; they started out as an instrumental band, rose to prominence during the beat boom, moved through psychedelia and "bubblegum' pop, finally became one the first and best progressive hard rock groups of the early Seventies. They survived numerous lineup changes, with vocalist Jim Keays being the only constant, and their membership also illustrates the intricate interconnections between so many Australian bands of that era.

Their career can be divided into three main phases: the original '65-'67 lineup, headed by Mick Bower, the transitional period of '67-'68 and the classic '69-'72 lineup of Ford/Keays/Wheatley/Burgess.

March 1969  "Linda Linda" / "Merry-Go-Round" (Columbia  DO-8677)

July 1969  "5:10 Man" / "How I Love You"  (Columbia DO-8826)   No 16, 11 wks

Dec. 1969  "Think About Tomorrow Today" / "A Dog, A Siren And Memories"   (Columbia DO-8995)   No 14   11 wks

April 1970  "Turn Up Your Radio" / "Jam It Up"  (Columbia DO-9104)   No 7, 15 weeks 

Saturday, 20 February 2016

Bluejays - 1965 - Motivate

Motivate/We're Friends/Hey Jack/Zoom Gonk

The Blue Jays had been performing and recording in Melbourne since 1959. The Blue Jays were already well established in Melbourne and one of the city's leading dance groups. They had formed in 1959, with the original lineup of Frankie Brent, Doug Stirling, Chris Lawson and Bobby Johnson.In 1964, Sunshine founder Ivan Dayman joined them with Brisbane singer Tony Worsley to become The Fabulous Blue Jays. There were many personnel changes over the years, and drummer Bob Johnston was the only original member after he rejoined the band in 1964. Johnston, Nicholls and Clarke, with lead guitarist Ray Eames, saxophonist-keyboardist Paul Shannon and lead singer Worsley, became one of Australia's pre-eminent Merseybeat-influenced bands, with an eclectic repertoire of covers and originals.

Betty McQuade - 1981 - Let's Meet

Midnight Bus/Blue Train/Beauty Is Just Skin Deep/Tongue Tied/You Make Me Mad/Bobby Bobby Bobby

 Betty McQuade is best remembered for her bluesy rendition of 'Midnight Bus' which reached No. 6 on the music charts in Melbourne in 1961. Born Elizabeth (Betty) Rankin McQuade in Paisley, Scotland on 26 August 1941, Betty's family migrated to Australia and settled in Brisbane when Betty was eight years old. As a teen she appeared in many talent contests and performed in various clubs and music venues around Brisbane including Festival Hall where she supported Johnny O'Keefe and Col Joye in 1956. In 1960 Betty moved to Melbourne in the hope of advancing her singing career and quickly found success as the new lead singer of The Thunderbirds replacing Judy Cannon. In 1961 Betty was signed to Astor Records as part of the company's new policy of signing and promoting local artists. The runaway success of 'Midnight Bus' led to television appearances on 'Six O'Clock Rock', Teen Scene', 'In Melbourne Tonight' and 'The Go!! Show' and in 1962 she joined The Premiers who provided backing vocals for her fourth and last single with the Astor label, 'Bobby, Bobby, Bobby'.

In 1965 Betty was signed by the Go!! label which re-released 'Midnight Bus' and Betty's 2nd single, 'Blue Train'. In 1966 Betty McQuade returned to Queensland where she continued to perform in local clubs. During the 1980s, a resurgence of interest in the first wave of Australian rock 'n' roll saw Betty performing at many rock 'n' roll reunion tours and concerts performing with The Thunderbirds, The Premiers and the Allstars. She continued to be a dynamic live perfomer well into the 2000s and was much admired by the music community until her death on 26 December 2011.

Friday, 19 February 2016

Procession - 1968 - Listen And Anthem

Anthem/Minuet For Moderns/Take Time/Listen

Procession was formed by members of two earlier Australasian groups, Normie Rowe's long-time backing band The Playboys, and New Zealand group The Librettos. The Librettos included singer/songwriter and bass player Brian Peacock (born 27 June 1946 in Levin, New Zealand), guitarist Rod Stone (who subsequently joined The Groove) and drummer Craig Collinge (born 24 August 1948 in Sydney, Australia). The Librettos had recorded four singles for HMV in New Zealand during 1964 and 1965 before transplanting to Australia later that year and issuing three singles for the Sunshine label, including a cover of Paul Revere & The Raiders’ "Kicks". The Librettos broke up in June 1966 when Peacock and Stone joined The Playboys. Collinge formed the heavy rock-trio, The Knack.

Apart from Peacock and Stone, The Playboys line up also included drummer Graeme Trottman and keyboard player Phil Blackmore. In November 1966, this line up relocated to London and hooked up with Australian singer Normie Rowe. In March 1967, Blackmore returned to Australia and Trevor Griffin (born 22 December 1944 in Birmingham, England) joined from The Question Marks (formerly The John Bull Breed, which included future Moody Blue, John Lodge). A month later, another Englishman, ex-Adam Faith sideman, Mick Rogers (born Michael Oldroyd, 20 September 1946 in Dovercourt, Essex, England) replaced Stone.While still with Rowe, The Playboys signed to Andrew Loog Oldham’s Immediate label and recorded a one-off single, “Black Sheep R.I.P” c/w “Sad”, which came out in August 1967. By then, Rowe and The Playboys had returned to Australia. In October, the group split from Rowe, and Collinge replaced Trottman on drums.

Renamed as Procession, the group made its much-heralded live debut at Sebastians disco in Melbourne on 17 December and then played at another local club, Berties from 19-26 December. After further shows at Sebastians from 27-31 December, Procession returned to Berties to play from 1-17 January 1968. Having signed to the Festival label, Procession’s debut single, Peacock and Rogers’ a cappella “Anthem” backed by the Rogers-Griffin collaboration, “Take Time” came out on 18 December 1967 but was only a minor hit. Three months later, a second single, coupling Peacock and Rogers’ “Listen” with “Minuet For Moderns” only reached the lower rungs of the charts, despite being the first Australian disc to be recorded on newly installed eight-track equipment.
 Throughout this period, the group became a weekly fixture on the national television rock show “Uptight”, which was produced by the band’s manager, David Joseph. The group played at Berties on 28 April before setting off on an Australia-wide tour. However, when the group’s debut LP “Procession ‘Live’ at Sebastians” (recorded on 3 April 1968) failed to chart, the group decided to relocate to the UK in search of a wider audience. The band's final Australian show was at the Royale Ballroom on 18 June 1968 alongside The Twilights and The Virgil Brothers.

Arriving in London, Procession soon found their feet on the burgeoning live scene and became a popular and regular attraction at the Marquee during early-mid 1969. The band signed to Philips/Mercury and a second eponymous LP, produced by Mike Hugg of Manfred Mann attracted rave reviews but poor sales. In the U.S., this LP was released on Mercury's subsidiary label, Smash.
Likewise, two singles, Peacock’s “Every American Citizen” c/w “Essentially Susan” and a re-recording of “Anthem” as “One Day Every Week” backed by Peacock's “Wigwam City”, released in October 1968 and December 1968 respectively, also flopped.

In March 1969, Collinge left to join Manfred Mann Chapter Three and former Cat Stevens sideman Chris Hunt (born 15 November 1945 in Hillingdon, Middlesex, England) joined on drums. The following month, Peacock brought his friend, singer-songwriter Ross Wilson (born 18 November 1947, Armadale, Victoria, Australia), formerly of The Pink Finks and Party Machine, over from Australia. Wilson took over from Rogers as the lead singer, although the move was resented by both Rogers and Hunt.

 In late May or early June the group recorded several new songs at Olympic Studios, including Rogers’s "Surrey" and Wilson’s "Papa’s In The Vice Squad" and "I Wanna Be Loved", but these were never released. They reportedly also featured another of Wilson's new compositions, "Make Your Stash", in their set-list, but never recorded it. According to Wilson, his song - which was based on a melody from Gustav Holst's The Planets - in turn became the basis for the abortive 1973 Manfred Mann's Earth Band album Masque (which was abandoned when the group was unable to secure the rights to use Holt's music from the trustees of his estate).

Although the band was now nearing its end, Wilson's brief stint with Procession provided an unexpected side-benefit - it was during this period that he read a British newspaper article about the history of "juke joints" in the American south, and the accompanying photo, which showed dancers performing "The Eagle Rock and the The Pigeon Wing" provided the inspiration for Wilson's breakthrough hit with his next band. Procession's final engagement was a month-long student cruise from London to New York. By this time manager David Joseph had largely lost interest in the band and was concentrating on The New Seekers. The group officially disbanded in September 1969. Wilson returned to Australia and formed a new group, Sons of the Vegetal Mother, which later evolved into the popular Australian rock'n'roll band Daddy Cool, who scored an Australian #1 hit with the single "Eagle Rock".

Dragon - 1988 - Four Play Volume 14

April Sun in Cuba/Are You Old Enough/Get That Jive/This Time

Dragon are a rock band which were formed in Auckland, New Zealand in January 1972 and relocated to Sydney, Australia in May 1975. They were originally fronted by singer Marc Hunter and are currently led by his brother, bass player/vocalist Todd Hunter. They performed and released material under the name Hunter in Europe and the United States during 1987.

Keyboard player Paul Hewson wrote or co-wrote most of the group's 1970s hits: "April Sun in Cuba" peaked at #2 on the 1977 Australian singles chart; "Are You Old Enough?" reached #1 in 1978; and "Still in Love with You" reached #15 also in 1978. Later hits, from when the band re-grouped in the 1980s, were written by other band members, often working with outside associates: The Hunter brothers, with Todd's partner, Johanna Pigott, wrote "Rain," a #2 hit in 1983, while other, more minor hits were written by the Hunters and/or Alan Mansfield, frequently in collaboration with any combination of Pigott, Mansfield's partner Sharon O'Neill, Marc Hunter's partner Wendy Hunter, or producers Todd Rundgren and David Hirschfelder.

The name Dragon came from a consultation of I Ching cards by early band vocalist Graeme Collins.

Dragon have endured tragedy, adversity and notoriety, and during the course of the band's earlier career, several members died from drug-related causes. Problems began soon after their arrival in Sydney in late 1975, when all their equipment was stolen. Several months later, in 1976, drummer Neil Storey died of a heroin overdose; Paul Hewson of a drug overdose in 1985 and Marc Hunter of smoking-related oesophageal cancer in 1998. Several members of the group including Hewson and Marc Hunter were heavy heroin users during the band's heyday, and The Stewart Royal Commission (1980–1983) which investigated the Mr. Asia drug syndicate obtained evidence that Dragon members were clients.

 Two members were involved in a serious car crash in 1977, where Paul Hewson's neck was in a brace as well as having a broken arm and Robert Taylor needed plastic surgery, and Hewson also suffered from debilitating scoliosis and arthritis, the pain of which reportedly contributed to his heroin use. The band also undertook a famously disastrous 1978 tour of the USA, supporting Johnny Winter, which ended when Marc Hunter abused the Texan audience as "faggots" and the band were pelted off stage, while Winter's band were said to have taken bets about how long it would be before Hunter was shot. On 1 July 2008, the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) recognised Dragon's iconic status when they were inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame.

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Loved Ones - 1966 - Blueberry Hill

Everlovin' Man/Blueberry Hill/The Loved One/This Is Love

The Loved Ones were an Australian rock band formed in 1965 in Melbourne following the British Invasion. The line-up of Gavin Anderson on drums, Ian Clyne on organ and piano, Gerry Humphrys on vocals and harmonica, Rob Lovett on guitar, and Kim Lynch on bass guitar recorded their early hits. Their signature song, "The Loved One" reached number two on Australian singles charts, and was later covered by INXS. In 2001 it was selected as number six on the APRA's list of Top 30 Australian songs of all time. Their debut album, The Loved Ones' Magic Box was released late in 1967, which included other hit singles, "Ever Lovin' Man" and "Sad Dark Eyes". They disbanded in October and, although the band's main career lasted only two years, they are regarded as one of the most significant Australian bands of the 1960s. They reformed for a short tour in 1987 which provided the album, Live on Blueberry Hill. Humphrys lived in London from the mid-1970s until his death on 4 December 2005. On 27 October 2010, The Loved Ones were inducted into the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) Hall of Fame.

The Loved Ones were formed in Melbourne, Victoria, in October 1965 by Gerry Humphrys (originally from London) on vocals and harmonica, Kim Lynch on bass guitar and Ian Clyne on organ and piano. They were all former members of a trad jazz group, The Red Onion Jazz Band, in which Humphrys played clarinet, and sang, and Lynch played tuba. Red Onions Jazz Band was released as an eponymous album in 1964 on W&G Records blue label. Following the British Invasion, led by the Beatles' tour of Australia in mid-1964, the band split as the three members wanted to switch to R&B and felt they had drifted towards more mainstream 1940s jazz. The Loved Ones were named after Evelyn Waugh's short and darkly satirical novel The Loved One. To round out the line-up, Humphrys, Lynch and Clyne recruited former Wild Cherries guitarist Rob Lovett. Their first drummer, Terry Nott, was soon followed by Gavin Anderson.

The Loved Ones became renowned as an exciting, if erratic, live act in a Rolling Stones/Animals mould and rose to prominence in the local club and dance scene. The group's visual impact was heightened by their striking mod stage attire and the band had a strong focal point thanks to the charismatic stage presence, saturnine good looks and growling blues-influenced baritone voice of Humphrys, who is widely acknowledged as one of Australia's finest male pop-rock vocalists. The Loved Ones were also one of the first Australian pop bands to use the electric piano (a Hohner pianet) as part of their regular stage set-up and their distinctive keyboard-based sound set them apart from most of their contemporaries.

Early in 1966, they signed to the In Records label, a subsidiary of W&G Records. Their debut hit was "The Loved One", which reached number two on the Sydney Top 40 singles charts in May. The song was written by Clyne, Humphrys and Lovett.

The Loved Ones' released their second single "Ever Lovin' Man" in July 1966, which peaked at number seven on the Go-Set National Top 40 singles chart in October while "The Loved One" was still in the Top 20. To promote their singles, the group appeared on ATV-0 popular music series The Go!! Show on 24 October to perform, "The Loved One", "Ever Lovin' Man" and "More Than Love".

A cover of Fats Domino's version of "Blueberry Hill" was issued in December on a four-track extended play, Blueberry Hill, which reached number 11 on the Go-Set singles chart. The EP included both "Ever Lovin' Man" and "The Loved One". After some personal crises, Clyne left and moved to Sydney; he was replaced by Treva Richards (ex Delta Set) on piano and organ in September.

 Sad Dark Eyes" followed in February 1967, which peaked in the Top 20. This was the first single with Richards' input. "A Love Like Ours" was issued in April and also reached the Top 20. Each captured an emotional intensity and musical inventiveness which marked them out from their peers. On 23 April, they performed at Festival Hall, Melbourne and recorded live versions of "Ever Lovin’ Man", "Sad Dark Eyes" and "The Loved One". They supported the national tour by Eric Burdon and the Animals and Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich in April. In May, Lynch left and they added a new lead guitarist, Danny De Lacy (from Los Angeles), with Lovett moving to bass guitar.


Their fifth single, "Love Song" was released in August but did not chart. They released their debut album, The Loved Ones' Magic Box, in October, which essentially was a collection of the band's singles. W&G Records was unable to co-ordinate releases with the band's touring, The Loved Ones split in late October, two years after they formed.

New Orleans Jazz Band With Judy Jacques - 1962 - Yarra Yarra Vol. 2

This Train/Walk Thru' The Valley/He's Got The Whole World In His Hands/Panama Rag


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.

 In 1975, after spending a year travelling in Europe, Judy decided to look for other ways in which to express her music. 'Jacques is one of the very few singers to emerge from the jazz/folk boom of the early '60's and define a new phase in her musical career in Australia'.

 Judy has collaborated with visual artists and poets, made and performed multi media works 'Memory Theatre One', 'Menindee Wire' and 'Words are not my mother tongue' for the Montsalvat Jazz, Montsalvat Poets Festivals, Women Improvising Musicians Festival and the Composing Woman's Festival.

 In music education, Judy taught and lectured in the Improvisation Dept. Victorian College of the Arts for five years. She also taught at Melbourne University, Presbyterian Ladies College, Eltham College. She has been Artist in Residence at tertiary colleges throughout Victoria. Her improvisation and gospel workshops are legendary. She examines for the Board of Studies and in '99 she was a member of the judging panel, along with Sheila Jordan, Kurt Elling and Tony Gould, for the Wangaratta Jazz Festival's vocal competition.

 She was featured on ABC TV in half hour specials with the Brian Brown Ensemble in 'Jazz as Now', the 'Burrows Collection' and the film 'New Dimensions' which was for general release.

 In 1992 she was included in the Montsalvat Jazz Roll of Honour.

 Judy sang the lead roll in the Brian Brown Opera 'The Winged Messenger' for the opening of the '94 Monsalvat Jazz Festival. She has recorded with the Yarra Yarra New Orleans Band and the Yarra Yarra Reunion Band. Her group in the sixties The Gospel Four recorded singles for Astor records. Later recordings include The Brian Brown Ensemble, High Steppin' with Bob Sedergreen, The Wild Dog Ensemble, with Ian Eccles-Smith and Sandro Donati 'The Moorabbin Tape', with Paul Shultze 'The Annihilating Angel' and in '97 her Lighthouse CD 'Going for a song'.

Tony Henry - 1966 - Tony Henry

Heartbeat/Oh Why/The Easy Way Out/It's Right

  Tony became a regular at Melbourne dances and discos throughout 1965 and 1966, usually in conjunction with the Breakaways. He was also a consistent performer on TV's Go!! show. Under the guidance of manager John Kamezi, he obtained a recording deal with W & G and in February 1966 he entered the charts briefly with a revival of Buddy Holly's "Heartbeat reaching #39. Tony released 3 singles backed by the Breakaways and 3 under his own name.

Monday, 15 February 2016

Herma Keil - 1964 - Herma Keil With The Keil Isles

Say Mama/Cinnamon Cinder/Til The End Of The World/Little Papoose

 Herma Keil along with brothers Olaf, Klaus, Rudolf and cousin Freddie Keil formed The Keil Isles in the 1950s which proved to be a popular hit making band. The band at one stage was billed as Herma Keil & The Keil Isles. He was their lead vocalist for six years from 1960 until 1966. He along with sister Eliza left the band to pursue solo careers. He released records under his own name as a solo artist and he and sister Eliza appeared in the musical comedy film Don't Let It Get To You.

During its 10-year career, the Keil Isles recorded prolifically – at least 25 singles, seven EPs and six albums – provided an outlet for many influential musicians, and entertained thousands. They followed musical fashions in the early years of rock and roll, including forays into novelties such as ‘Limbo Rock’ and several variations on the twist – but once rock music required originality as well as energy, their day had come.

In later years Herma Keil moved to Australia and retired there.

Friday, 12 February 2016

Noeleen Batley - 1960 - Starry Eyed

Starry Eyed/When My Blue Moon Turns To Gold/Barefoot Boy/Soldier Won't You Marry Me

 Noeleen Batley, 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.
                                                                          Noleeen with Robin and Barry Gibb of The Bee Gees. 

Noeleen was born in Sydney on Christmas Day 1944. Encouraged by her mother, she began singing when she was just five and she performed wherever she could. In 1960 aged 15, she entered a talent contest at Ling Nam's Chinese Restaurant in Sydney, which Festival's A&R manager Ken Taylor had helped to establish. Noeleen won first prize, a contract with Festival.


Her debut "Starry Eyes" / "Soldier Soldier Won't You Marry Me" was released in February 1960 on Festival's 'try-out' label Rex, but it was not a success. The breakthrough came with her winsome version of "Barefoot Boy " (b/w "When My Blue Moon Turns to Gold Again") on which she was backed by Festival's 'house' band, The R'Jays, and written by 16-year-old Helene Grover, who had won a talent contest a year earlier with her own performance of the song. Noeleen's version was released in October and it made the Top 5 in all mainland capitals in November 1960, thereby making Noeleen (de facto) the first Australian female pop singer to score a national hit (there was no national chart until 1966).

 Barefoot Boy" established Noeleen's popularity and she soon became a regular on TV shows including Six O'Clock Rock and Bandstand. She also recorded a commercial for Kellogg's breakfast cereals. She recorded two more moderately successful singles on Rex -- "Rendezvous" / "Fickle Fingers" (February 1961, #30) and "Tammy" / "Little Sir Echo" (August 1961, #35), followed by her first LP Rendezvous. This success led to her being signed directly to Festival. Her first Festival single was "Ice Cream Man" / "Over in that Happy Land" (September 1961), the A-side of which was another Helene Grover composition. During this period Noeleen toured regularly with Johnny O'Keefe, Col Joye and the Joy Boys, Johnny Chester, Lucky Starr and The Allen Brothers and she was named Australia's Top Female Vocalist of 1961.

Through 1963-64 Noeleen recorded four more singles -- "Steady Johnny" / "Letter Full of Tears" (March 1962), "Don't Play No. 9" / "Crying Fool" (June), "Ten Lonely Weekends" / "My Boy" (March 1963). Her next single "Forgive Me" (February 1964) was one of the earliest Australian covers of a Bacharach-David song, and it was backed with a very early Barry Gib tune called "Surfer 

In August 1964 Noeleen entered the most remarkable phase of her career. She recorded a song called "My Little Treasure From Japan", an English-language version of a million-selling 1963 Japanese hit. It charted well in Australia, making the Top 40 in Sydney and Brisbane and reaching #16 in Melbourne in October 1964. It was also released in Japan, where it sold an incredible 60,000 copies -- an extraordinary success for those days. In the 1970s, the Australian Record Industry Association awarded a Gold Record for sales in excess of 25,000 and Platinum for sales of over 50,000 units. Although it's not known whether Noeleen was ever given any sales awards for this particular single, she would undoubtedly have been eligible for at least a Platinum Record award by the standards of the time.

Noeleen's single came out during the period of the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games and it's likely that its release was part of the broad program of cultural and economic exchange that was taking place between Japan and Australia at the time. It is remarkable, given that only twenty years earlier the two nations had been implacable wartime enemies, but by this time relations had become far closer than ever before and Japan soon became Australia's major trading partner. This opening up of ties between the two countries also led to local events like the hugely successful screening of the Japanese historical adventure series The Samurai, which was the first Japanese television show ever screened in this country. It rapidly became the most popular shows yet shown in Australia and sparked a craze among kids for all things ninja, and this even led to the star of the show visting Australia in late 1965 for a performance tour.

Late in the year Festival released Noeleen's second LP You Made Me Love You, and over the '64/'65 Christmas season she made her theatrical debut in a pantomime version of The Wizard of Oz, which Festival marked with an EP of songs from the show, released early in 1965.

Her first single for 1965 was another Barry Gibb song "Baby I'm Losing You", and this was followed by a successful sequel to her earlier Japanese hit. Sung this time entirely in Japanese, the song "Owakare No Namida (Tears Of Farewell)" also did very well in Japan, again selling in excess of 60,000 copies, and it enhanced her popularity there. To promote it Noeleen made a groundbreaking and well-received Japanese tour in March 1965 which included several TV appearances.

Her third LP, a Christmas album, came out at the end of 1965, and her recording career continued with five more Singles over the next three years. But by the mid-Sixties a new generation of female performers such as "Dynamic" Dinah Lee and Lynne Randell were making their mark, and the limelight had shifted decisively to the rock groups. Programs like Bandstand kept her the public eye, but Noeleen never recaptured her earlier popularity. During the late '60s, like most of her Bandstand colleagues, she gradually moved into variety and the cabaret-club circuit. Her last release for Festival was the perennial "You Made Me Love You" in 1968.

But she worked solidly through closing years of the decade, touring the UK and Europe and in 1969 representing Australia at the Brazil Popular Song Festival in Rio De Janeiro. Around 1970 she moved permanently to England, where she made solo appearances as well as providing vocal backing for artists like Cliff Richard. Her last single, "Seabird", was released by Interfusion in 1972. 

In 1975, she married Stephen Stewart-Topper and settled in Essex. The couple had their first child in 1976 and although Noeleen continued to work in entertainment for some time she eventually gave up performing. At last report she had moved to the USA and was living in Miami, Florida.

On record, Noeleen's fans have been well-served over the years -- besides her original singles and albums, Festival released an excellent 1988 career overview Little Treasure From Japan: The Festival File Volume One, which was later issued on CD. In 2000 Noeleen's complete catalogue was compiled on the definitive 67-track, 2CD set Australia's Little Miss Sweetheart. "Barefoot Boy" (which was re-recorded in an inferior orchestrated version) has featured on several compilations including Bandstand, Living Legends Of Six O'Clock Rock, Rock And Roll Australia and Spinning Around, Volume 1. "Over In That Happy Land" appeared on Everything's Swinging.

N.B. The tracks on the back of the EP don't correspond with the order on the labels.

Thursday, 11 February 2016

B>> G>>s - Sp!ck$ and Speck$

Spicks And Specks/Jingle Jangle/Tint Of Blue/ Where Are You

"Spicks and Specks" is a song by the Bee Gees, written by Barry Gibb. When the song released in September 1966, the single reached No. 4 on the Go-Set Australian National Top 40, (No.1 on other Australian charts) and when the song was released in other countries in February 1967, it reached No. 28 in Germany, No. 2 in Netherlands, and No. 1 in New Zealand.

"Spicks and Specks" is dated to early July by the memory of Geoff Grant (Geoffrey Streeter) who played the trumpet. Grant recalls working three nights in a row on four songs including this track, "I Am the World", "All by Myself", and "The Storm". There were no charts; Barry sang what he wanted live, and Grant copied it. Some of the artists whose disks came out in August recall hearing "Spicks and Specks" being worked on or completed, further confirming that early July is the approximate date of the song's recording. "Spicks and Specks" was a ballad around a strong piano beat, Barry writing off a riff by Maurice in a way that would later get a joint writer credit. The 1967 cover of the single features four-piece Bee Gees including the brothers with the band's new member, Colin Petersen.

The single entered the Sydney charts at the end of September and stayed in the top forty for nineteen weeks, peaking at number 3. It appeared on the Go-Set National Top 40 for sixteen weeks, where it reached number 4 early in November. By the middle of October the Bee Gees were dead set on returning to England. It did finally convince their producer, Nat Kipner, and Festival to release an LP, and it must have helped convince Polydor (England) to sign the group. This was their first single released in England. An instrumental version of the song is part of the soundtrack for Melody, which also featured several other Bee Gees songs.

Barry Crocker - 1971 - Could It Be Love

Could It Be Love/Nana/I'll Catch The Sun/ Imitation World

Barry Hugh Crocker AM (born 4 November 1935 in Geelong, Victoria, Australia) is a popular Gold Logie award winning character actor and television personality, singer, and variety entertainer with a crooning vocal style known for his iconic Australian films The Adventures of Barry McKenzie and sequel Barry McKenzie Holds His Own and singing the theme tune to the popular Australian soap opera Neighbours.

 After undergoing National Service with the RAAF in 1955, Crocker toured with a theatre group and did the club circuit in Melbourne, followed by a partnership with David Clark (aka Dave Nelson), and performed in England and the United States. He returned to Australia to star in a TV musical comedy show called 66 And All That, which became The Barry Crocker Show (1966–67) on Network Ten.

Crocker went on to become the presenter and leading performer on The Sound of Music TV series, taking over from entertainer Bobby Limb which earned him a Gold Logie in 1970 as Australia's top (male) TV personality. His singing talents eventually earned him over 30 gold records.

Crocker made his acting debut on a 1969 episode of Skippy the Bush Kangaroo. He has been in a relationship with English actress Katy Manning for over a quarter of a century.

In May 1973, he released the album "Music Makes My Day", featuring an updated version of American Rockabilly singer Robin Luke's "Susie Darlin" on the Festival Records label. The recording featured Olivia Newton-John and Pat Carroll on backup vocals and enjoyed chart success, reaching Number 25 in Sydney, Number 7 in Melbourne, Number 3 in Brisbane and Adelaide.

He sang the original recording of the theme song for the soap opera Neighbours. He wrote and recorded the theme song for the Australian Rules Geelong Football Club, entitled Come on the Cats.

Barry Crocker has also had a successful career as a stage, television and motion picture actor, most notably starring alongside Barry Humphries in the title role of Bruce Beresford's 1972 movie The Adventures of Barry McKenzie and its sequel, Barry McKenzie Holds His Own. The "bogan" character of Barry McKenzie gave rise to Crocker recording such ribald songs as "My One Eyed Trouser Snake" and other "off-colour" songs.

                                                             Barry's hit single Suzy Darling at #7 on the Go Set Chart 1973

 Barry Crocker was Beresford's first choice as lead actor when it came to the filming of David Williamson's popular play Don's Party, but serious back problems curtailed Crocker's screen career at this point, opening the way for John Hargreaves to achieve film success in the coveted role of Don.

Nevertheless, Barry Crocker was crowned Melbourne's King of Moomba in 1976.

He had the lead role as Governor Alan Smith in the short-lived prison drama Punishment (1981). He guest starred on two episodes of the Australian satirical black comedy series Review with Myles Barlow. More recent TV roles have included parts in Pizza, Swift'N'Shift, and Housos for SBS and the Strange Calls, an ABC2 comedy series.

In 1994, Crocker appeared as himself in the world-wide record-breaking film Muriel's Wedding. Barry proved his acting/comedy credentials once again as the retro-disco-host Donny Destry in the movie Razzle Dazzle in 2009.                                                        

 Crocker was chosen by Chaim Topol to co-star as his nemesis Lazer Wolfe in a long-running Australian season of the musical Fiddler on the Roof. He also featured in the role of The Lecturer in the 2008 Australian premiere of the stage musical Reefer Madness.

Crocker presented the Australian version of Behind Mansion Walls on the Crime and Investigation network on Foxtel in Australia.

Crocker published an autobiography called Bazza - The Adventures of Barry Crocker, in 2003.

Thursday, 4 February 2016

Johnny O'Keefe - 1971 - Ooh Poo Pah Doo

Ooh Poo Pah Doo (Part 1)/Ooh Poo Pah Doo (Part 2)/Don't You Know/Quarter To Three

 Ooh Poo Pah Doo appeared on no less than three other JOK EPs, Six O'Clock Rock Vol. 2. (1960) Move Baby Move (1963) and Ooh Poo Pah Doo (1964), as well as being anthologised on various LPs.The song was a favourite live item for JO'K, especially on his TV shows,

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Dave Bridge Trio - 1963 - The Swan

The Swan/Skip To My Lou/Tornado/San Fernando Valley

Dave Bridge was one of Australia's original guitar heroes during the "First Wave" of Australian rock'n'roll in the late 1950s and early 1960s. He was born in Sydney in 1937 and showed an exceptional aptitude for music from an early age, taking up the guitar at the age of nine. His remarkable talent led to his professional debut on radio at the age of twelve, and by the early Sxities he was acknowledged as Australia's top guitarist in the popular field.

Dave influenced many younger guitarists from the '60s to the present, including Peter Hood of The Atlantics; their live sets regularly included the song "Dark Eyes", a traditional tune in a rock arrangement, which Dave had introduced: Peter Hood: "'Dark Eyes' was one of the songs we played live. It was one we got the most requests for, particularly from other musicians. Dave Bridge was an influence because he was one of the few guys in the world who tried to be pure technical at the time. He was so technical that you had to be a real virtuoso-type to be able to play like him".

Dave rose to prominence as the lead guitarist in The Joy Boys, the backing band for pioneering Australian rock'n'roll star Col Joye. Dave was a founding member of the Joy Boys in 1957 and played with them until 1961, when he went solo and formed his own instrumental band. The Dave Bridge Quartet included 16-year-old rhythm guitarist Ray Burton, who went on to a very succesful and distinguished career with a string of legendary Australian bands including The Delltones, The Executives, The Questions, Friends and Ayers Rock, and among his many other achievements he co-wrote the international smash-hit "I Am Woman" with Helen Reddy. The Quartet signed to EMI's HMV label and their wide popularity on the concert circuit was boosted by appearances on TV pop shows like Bandstand and Six O'Cock Rock.

The Dave Bridge Quartet featured on the cover 
of Teenagers' Weekly in Nov. 1961; Dave is seated, 
centre, with Ray Burton on the right in the red shirt.

(Image courtesy of the Ray Burton website)

The Quartet released two successful singles. "Skip To My Lou" (1961) was one of the top 10 Australian hits of the year, and its B-side "Sunday Morning" was later recorded by The Shadows. Their second single "San Fernando Valley" came out in 1962, but the Qurtet split around the beginning of 1963. Ray Burton formed his own band, The Telstars, while Dave recorded two singles under his own name. Dave's original composition "Tornado" reached #28, and he fared even better with its follow-up, "The Swan", a rock'n'roll arrangement of Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake, which reached #22. Dave then formed The Dave Bridge Trio with bassist Terry Hearne and drummer Bruce Janson. The absence of a rhythm guitar gave their sound a distinctive edge, and they caught the crest of the surf-instrumental craze, enjoying considerable success in 1963. The run of hits continued with "Trail Blazer" (#32) and "Bondi Stomp" (#25) and they also released an EP, The Swan and an LP, Surfing Down Under.                                                     

However, by the time of the Trio's last HMV single "Surfie Guitar" / "Flyover" in 1964, the onslaught of the beat group phenomenon was rapidly rendering the surf sound passé, so the Trio split, with Dave opting to concentrate on session work. Terry Hearne switched to guitar and joined The Leemen; in 1965 he joined forces with former guitarist Michael Morris (ex Dennis Williams & The Delwares) to form The Allusions, the highly-regarded Sydney band who scored several national hits including "Gypsy Woman" and "The Dancer".

Dave released one last solo single in early 1966, this time on the CBS label, and then he returned to the session scene, working as a studio guitarist, producer and arranger; through the 1970s and 1980s he was a one of Australia's most sought-after session musicians. After almost a decade behind the scenes, Dave stepped forward and released a new solo LP in 1972 on CBS, featuring guitar arrangements of popular favourites. In 1980, CBS issued a retrospective compilation LP, Guitar Sounds of The Seventies, which has become a collector's item -- a copy advertised on eBay recently for US$68 (AU$75).

For many years Dave worked extensively on the club circuit and was the Musical Director at Sydney's Western Suburbs Leagues Club. In 1991 he collaborated with veteran vocalist Frankie Davidson on a album of comedic golfing songs, Don't Worry, Keep Swinging, which was released on cassette by Larrikin. In 1993 he was the recipient of an Australasian Country Music Foundation 'Hands of Fame' award for his contributions to the genre.

John Hawes Jazz Band - 1963 - Here's Hawes

 Doctor Jazz/Shout 'Em Aunt Tilly/Stevedore Stomp/I Want A Girl

Looking back into our Jazz History, The John Hawes Jazz Band together with The Red Onions and The Yarra Yarra Jazz Band were the top three Melbourne jazz bands during the 1960s. Some will still remember Saturday nights at the Salvation Army hall in Moonee Ponds – Jazz Junction – with the John Hawes Jazz Band.

There's something almost punk about this EP from 1963 - six young Melbourne lads (none of the band members were over 21) smashing out party music with this rebellious new 'jazz' sound. The first track, Dr. Jazz opens with a sample of a phone operator asking 'May I help you?' who is then greeted to John Hawes screaming over a frenetic jazz track. Although the sound of the EP is generally trad jazz, the sample and the screaming vocals give this track at least, quite a modern feel. The next track Shout 'Em Aunt Tilly (written by Duke Ellington) is my favourite, another ostensibly trad jazz piece but with slightly more edge than the rest of the record. The EP closes with another vocal track, I Want A Girl which hearkens back to an age when it was socially acceptable to sing a song about how you wanted to bang a girl who was just like your mum. In summary, it's a consistently entertaining EP from some very young, exuberant players who wanted to "achieve a 'different' sound" and to "[a]bove all 'to entertain' as this album so ably demonstrates."


John Hawes - leader, cornet, vocals

Graeme Davies - trombone

Hamish Hughes - bass

Dave McCallum - drum-kit and interruptions

Jeff Thomas - standard banjo

Ray Rickerby - clarinet

Monday, 1 February 2016

Robbie Snowden - 1967 - No One Really Loves a Clown

No One Really Loves a Clown/Talkin'/The Wanderer/Take Your Time

Single on Western Australian label Clarion  No One Really Loves A Clown Australia 1967 #5 Melbourne #7 Brisbane #4 Perth by this Perth pop star who had a handful of charting records 1967-68, of which this was the biggest hit.
Robbie Snowden, was born in the UK but had lived in Australia since infancy. He started out recording advertising jingles for a Perth agency and appeared on Johnny Young's TV show. Signed to Clarion Records, he had a #1 in Perth 1966 with a version of Dion's The Wanderer (also #7 Brisbane) and relocated to Melbourne in 1967. In later years he worked at Radio 4GG and the Sunshine Coast Daily, and he also worked as a cruise ship director for a while. Robbie Snowden passed away in December 2009, aged 61.