Monday, 13 June 2016
Velvet Waters/Rock A Billy/Missing You/All Over You
Tony was born Anthony Asheen Worsley in England in 1944 and emigrated with his family from his hometown of Hastings to the sunnier climes of Brisbane when he was 15. Tony had already set his sights on a show biz career. As a lad he won several amateur talent quests in England including one judged by Lonnie Donegan and Tommy Steele, which carried first prize of a Decca recording contract. Needless to say, his parents' decision to leave for Australia right at this point didn't go down too well with the ambitious young singer -- "I didn't get on with my parents too much on the ship for the first few weeks!" -- but he was determined to fulfill that dream in his adopted country. By day he worked as an apprentice rigger in the Brisbane dockyards, but at night he patrolled the dance halls, waiting for his chance to get up on stage.
There were more lineup changes during 1964 as the Beat Boom hotted up and the band's frantic touring schedule took its toll, but by the end of the year the Blue Jays had settled into the first 'classic' lineup, each of whom earned their own nickname: Ray 'Screamy' Eames (lead guitar), Mal 'Beaky' Clarke (rhythm guitar), Paul 'Bingo' Shannon (sax and keyboards), and Royce 'Baby' Nicholls (bass), completed by the return of founding Blue Jays drummer Bobby 'Spider' Johnson. In mid-1964 Dayman took over the Saturday night lease on Melbourne's largest indoor venue, Festival Hall, renaming it "Mersey City". On 2 May 1964 he opened with Tony and the Fabulous Blue Jays. Over 4500 teenagers attended: "That was 500 more than saw the Beatles" according to Tony. Dayman also used them to open several other Queensland venues as his Sunshine empire exapnded to Bundaberg, Toowoomba, Ipswich, Inala and Surfers Paradise.
In late 1964, Dayman formed the Sunshine record label (distributed by Festival) with partners Nat Kipner and Apt Aulton. The first single, released in October, was an original instrumental by The Blue Jays called "Jay Walker". The next (November) was the debut single by Tony Worsley & The Fabulous Blue Jays, and it was a killer combination: the A-side was a scorching version of "Sure Know A Lot About Love", backed by a terrific acoustic-driven original, "Me You Gotta Teach", composed by what soon developed into the bands resident writing partnership of Beaky Clarke and Baby Nicholls.
(Bio Continued in post below)