Thursday, 27 July 2017
A Little Lovin' Somethin'/At A Time Like This/Goin Out Of My Mind/Skye Boat Song
Peter Nelson and the Castaways originated from Christchurch. Peter's real name was Peter Trebilcock. They appeared on the local TV show "Teen Scene" there before basing themselves in Wellington. With this original line-up they recorded two singles "Baby Can I Take You Home"/"I'll Never Be Blue" and "Down The Road Apiece"/"I'll Go Crazy" in 1965. They were good examples of R&B from that time. Unlike other New Zealand bands of the era the Castaways chose to mine a rich vein of obscure tracks of R&B and mixed them with their own originals.
It was the next single that they were best known for. It was "Down In The Mine"/"So Don't Go". "Down In The Mine" was written by Peter Hindmarsh, who was the bass player for the Wellington band, the Premiers, in the early sixties. Around this time Doug Rowe, from Palmerston North's Saints, replaced Don Clarkson on bass in 1965.
There were still two singles to be released as Peter Nelson and the Castaways. They were "Knock On Wood"/"Old Man Mose" and "At A Time Like This"/"A Little Lovin' Somethin' ", both released in 1967. As the Castaways they released the singles "Any Little Bit"/"Early Morning" in 1967 and "One More Fool"/"Baby What I Mean" and "Angelica"/"Love Is A Hurtin' Thing" for EMI in Australia before returning to New Zealand in 1968. During their time in Australia, Len Ormsby was replaced by Reno Tehei, Doug Petrie by ex-Twilights drummer Laurie Pryor, and Peter Gillette by Lance Dixon.
Peter Nelson had previously been in another Christchurch group called the Diamonds, along with a number of others from the Castaways. The Diamonds consisted of Ray Messervy on bass, Don Clarkson on guitar, Doug Petrie on drums, David Henderson on guitar, Kay Bassett on vocals as well as Peter on vocals. They released one single in 1963 called "Ventures In Paradise"/"Lucille".
Don Clarkson had also been with Don Clarkson and the Wildcats, another Christchurch group consisting of Bevan Littler on piano, Elton Burgess on bass, Russ Thompson on drums, Don on guitar and vocals and Brian Ringrose, of Invaders and Dave Miller and the Byrds fame, on lead guitar. They also released one single in 1963 called "Pretty Baby"/"Somewhere".
Peter Gillette went on to play with the Chapta, the Footsteps and Moviez.
After the Castaways dissolved, Len Ormsby and Doug Petrie joined up with Peter Gillette on keyboards, Ben Kaika, now from Compulsion, and a girl singer called Toni, in a new group called the Traque
Tuesday, 25 July 2017
Gigolo/I'm Gonna Love You/Turn The Lights Out/Wicked,Wicked
Johnny Devlin (b. 1938 in Raetihi) was a New Zealander who had been a pioneering rock'n'roll star in his home country. Devlin's New Zealand success was in covering American rock'n'roll, and his repertoire included a range of astutely chosen covers, many away from the mainstream. However, most of his charting Australian records were originals, usually written or co-written by himself.
Johnny Devlin had sixteen songs on the Sydney charts alone 1959-1965. His biggest hits were:
Gigolo 1960 #16 Sydney #25 Melbourne #19 Adelaide, Turn The Lights Out Johnny (1959, #3 Sydney, #27 Melbourne, #2 Adelaide), an original rocker by Devlin; the novelty Got A Zack In The Back Of My Pocket (1960, #7 Sydney, #19 Brisbane, #8 Adelaide), written by Nat Kipner, (a zack was a sixpenny piece); and Stomp The Tumbarumba (1963, #5 Sydney, #5 Brisbane), by Devlin, a surf craze song that seems to refer to an inland New South Wales town.
Thanks to Geoff G.
Saturday, 22 July 2017
Come Surf With Me/Love's Made A Fool Of You/How Will It End/This Time
The year 1963 in the music world was one of new fads and new faces one of the fads was a brand new dance called the "Stomp". And along with it came a brand new vocalist sounding very much like the late Buddy Holly. His name is Peter Leslie and together with his own instrumental group "The Panthers" he has made a tremendous impact on the Rock and Stomp dances all over Victoria.
The Panthers consist of Peter White (Lead Guitar) Ron Albett (Rhythm Guitar) Peter Henley (Bass Guitar) and Bob O'Connor (Drums).
Peter Leslie who in common with many other many well known singers sang for the first in public with a church choir, started his professional career by singing pop tunes with a dance band in 1961.At about this time he met and joinrd forces with the present lead guitarist for the Panthers Peter White and together they began to introduce the dance patrons to a brand new Rock beat during the supper break. They were immediately successful and very shortly formed the group now known as The Panthers.
Nineteen year old Peter Leslie is a recording engineer by trade and has been largely resonsible for creating and developing the sound of the Panthers. Originally formed in Gippsland Victoria the group must be headed for big things in 1964.
Liner notes from the EP.
Thanks to Geoff G. for this one.
Friday, 21 July 2017
Highett Fidelity/Dear Beryl
John Barry Humphries, AO, CBE (born 17 February 1934) is an Australian comedian, actor, satirist, artist, and author. He is best known for writing and playing his on-stage and television alter egos Dame Edna Everage and Sir Les Patterson. He is also a film producer and script writer, a star of London's West End musical theatre, an award-winning writer, and an accomplished landscape painter. For his delivery of dadaist and absurdist humour to millions, biographer Anne Pender described Humphries in 2010 as not only "the most significant theatrical figure of our time … [but] the most significant comedian to emerge since Charlie Chaplin".
In 1958, Humphries and director Peter O'Shaughnessy collaborated on and appeared in the Rock'n'Reel Revue at the New Theatre in Melbourne where Humphries brought the characters of Mrs Everage and Sandy Stone into the psyche of Melbourne audiences. In the same year, Humphries made his first commercial recording, the EP's Wild Life in Suburbia Volumes 1 & 2, which featured liner notes by his friend, the Modernist architect and writer Robin Boyd.
Thanks to AussieRock
Thursday, 6 July 2017
The Ballad of Jed Clampett/Cotton Fields/Redwing/Mexicali Rose
In the Henderson Valley west of Auckland during the 1940's a boy was growing up who within twenty years would be New Zealand's best known instrumentalist. He would have numerous hit records and make no fewer than twenty albums. His fame would spread throughout Australia and the South Pacific. He would work in the USA and mix with the giants of world show business. He was of course Peter Posa.
Peter was the youngest of three sons born into an industrious Yugoslav family. The family business was an orchard growing apples, peaches and plums, but eventually Mr Paul Posa could see that Henderson was proving to be an ideal place for making wine. So out went the fruit trees and in came the vineyard.
Finally for his ninth birthday, Peter was given his first real guitar, he remembers it well. It was a South African Galatone which his father bought for £5 from a secondhand shop. He used to listen to his family's old 78 rpm records, country artists like Tex Morton and Col Wilson and try to copy the guitar licks. He had a few lessons to learn the chords, but worked out all the rest for himself. The family couldn't get the guitar off him.
He got a better instrument when he was eleven and his older brothers used to take him around to talent quests. Peter was a shy lad who didn't dare look at the audience, and he laughs when he recalls that he always used to finish second, even when he played "Guitar Boogie" on 1ZB's "Have A Shot". He also used to do some singing in those days.
At age twelve Peter at last got his first amplifier and began taking a deep interest in the multi-guitar sounds which Les Paul was turning out in the States, this was a major influence on his early career. As he developed in his teenage years he led the Peter Posa Combo which used to play for all types of dances and functions in West Auckland. There were a number of different people who played in the Combo, some of the significant ones are Jack Stradwick and Brian Harris, who were later in the Figures and the Action.
After leaving Henderson High School, Peter thought it was time to make his first record., so he approached Eldred Stebbing of the Zodiac label. Eldred wasn't interested in recording the Posa Combo, but could see a real technical challenge in the multiple guitar style in which Peter overdubbed all the tracks himself.
So the first record was put together in late 1959. It was "Sweet Georgia Brown"/"Some Of These Days" and was the start of his solo career, with nightclub engagements and several more singles to follow. In 1961 the first real breakthrough came when Peter did his own version of the Stringalongs hit "Wheels". It was played on the Lever Hit Parade and suddenly he had a nationwide tour as support act for the English singing sensation Helen Shapiro.
By 1963 Peter was feeling the need to branch out and develop his own guitar style in different directions. So he signed a deal with Viking Records, the "hot" label at the time, which also had the advantage of overseas outlets. His first record there was "Galloping Guitars"/"Jessie", but out of the blue two Auckland musicians, Bill Ivory and Graham Rosling arrived with a tune that they thought had potential. Peter loved it at first hearing and it was about to change his life.
"The White Rabbit" was the name, and even in that wonderful year of 1963, when the Beatles had just arrived and the charts were overflowing with million sellers, it received enormous airplay. Peter was now headlining his own national tour with co-artists Bill and Boyd, and Max Merritt and the Meteors. A string of hit records followed, the same composers came up with "The Mad Hatter", then Margaret Raggett of Gisbourne penned "Grasshopper" and "Hitch Hiker". Peter himself wrote "Gonk", named after the fluffy toy of the moment, and then the track mysteriously called "?", and the radio contest to find it's name, which was eventually "Flapjack".
1963 and 1964 were one long whirl, Peter says he worked 363 out of 365 days in one of those years. On top of his New Zealand shows, he toured Australia, New Caledonia, Fiji, Tahiti and Vanuatu. To cap it all off, Viking's Ron Dalton arranged for "White Rabbit" to be released in the USA and for Peter to do six months work there. Before he left, his farewell tour, the "Peter Posa Spectacular" swept through the country, which took about eight weeks so huge was the public interest.
But there was a downside as well. The "White Rabbit" had been released on a small independent label and there was little promotion. What's more Peter was on his own in the States and very homesick. So he made the decision to come home for Christmas 1964 and to confine his future touring to the South Pacific, a similar decision as Howard Morrison made when the world seemed to beckon him also.
Back in New Zealand Peter became a prolific recording artist making more albums than any other New Zealander. He toured the country many times, often as part of the Miss NZ Shows, which now included the likes of Eddie Lowe, Howard Morrison, John Hore and Paul Walden, and also on tours by Marty Robbins, Roger Whittaker, Hank Snow, Slim Whitman and Demis Roussos. In Fiji he was made an honourary chief, in Noumea he was known as "King Peter", and he dedicated one of his compositions "French Caledonian Blue" to that market. He had residencies at some of Auckland's top venues, including the Troika.
His writing talent also won him awards and recognition. In 1975, "Nashville Express" won the Best Instrumental of the Year Award in Australia. The next year his "Rose Can I Share A Bed With You" was a huge hit for Toni Williams.
Today Peter lives happily in Auckland with his wife Margaret.
Peter's total output on vinyl amounted to 28 singles, (14 on Zodiac, 13 on Viking and 1 on Joe Brown), plus international releases, 15 EP's on Viking, plus 1 international, and 20 albums, (2 on Zodiac, 16 on Viking, 1 on Salem and 1 on Axis).
Tuesday, 20 June 2017
Poison Ivy/Broken Things/Blue Day/You Don't Love Me
Billy Thorpe and the Aztecs were an Australian pop and rock group dating from the mid-1960s. The group enjoyed success in the mid-1960s, but split in 1967. They re-emerged in the early 1970s to become one of the most popular Australian hard-rock bands of the period. Thorpe died from a heart attack in Sydney on 28 February 2007.
Originally a four-piece instrumental group who had put out one surfing instrumental, "Smoke & Stack", they formed in Sydney in 1963. With the advent of the Merseybeat sound, they added a lead singer, Billy Thorpe. His powerful voice and showmanship (which made him one of the most popular and respected rock performers in Australian music), completed the original line-up, which consisted of drummer Col Baigent, bassist John "Bluey" Watson and guitarists Valentine Jones and Vince Maloney (who later played with The Bee Gees). Valentine Jones left the band shortly after Billy Thorpe had joined and was later replaced by Tony Barber.
The group broke through in mid-1964 with a massive nationwide hit, their cover of the Leiber and Stoller classic "Poison Ivy", which famously kept The Beatles from the No. 1 spot on the Sydney charts at the very moment that the group was making its first and only tour of Australia—a feat which resulted in Thorpe being invited to meet the Fab Four at their hotel.
Saturday, 20 May 2017
The Deep Warmth Of You/Snowdrift/Skiing Holiday/On The Perisher Track
The Saints were very much an 'easy listening' instrumental band with some vocals. They put a twist on the surf instrumental genre in 1964 by recording one with a ski theme. Sit back by a roaring log fire, pour yourself a steaming mug of gluhwein, and enter the world of 1960s-era ski lodges.
Songs predominantly written by producer Sven Libaek, with some by vocalist/guitarist Noel Quinlan, and also drummer George Thornton and pianist/vocalist Brian Myers.
Tuesday, 16 May 2017
World/Sir Geoffrey Saved The World/In My Own Time/Please Read Me
"World" is a song from the Bee Gees' fourth album Horizontal, released in 1967 in the United Kingdom. Though it was a big hit in Europe, Atco Records did not issue it as a single in the United States, having just issued a third single from Bee Gees' 1st, "Holiday"."World was a #6 hit in Australia and made top ten in charts all over the world and made #1 in Germany, Neterlands and Singapore.
The song's first recording session was on 3 October 1967 along with "With the Sun in My Eyes" and "Words". The song's last recording session was on 28 October 1967. "World" was originally planned as having no orchestra, so all four tracks were filled with the band, including some mellotron or organ played by Robin. When it was decided to add an orchestra, the four tracks containing the band were mixed to one track and the orchestra was added to the other track. The stereo mix suffered since the second tape had to play as mono until the end when the orchestra comes in on one side. Barry adds: "'World' is one of those things we came up with in the studio, Everyone just having fun and saying, 'Let's just do something!' you know". Vince Melouney recalls: "I had this idea to play the melody right up in the top register of the guitar behind the chorus".
Pretty Girl/Lonesome Traveller (Live)/Gretel/Aubrey
Hogsnort Rupert are a New Zealand band. Originally formed in 1968 as Hogsnort Rupert's Original Flagon Band, they shortened their name after their second album in 1970. They are known for their light, humorous brand of music which produced several charting singles, including the number one hit Pretty Girl which also became the biggest selling single in New Zealand for 1970.
The two consistent band members had been; Alec Wishart (lead vocals, percussion) and Dave Luther (vocals, guitar, harmonica). Luther was also the composer of all their hit singles.
Hogsnort Rupert. L to R: Alec Wishart, Dave Luther, Billy Such, Ian Terry and Frank Boardman.
During their 'Original Flagon Band' period the other band members were; Ian Terry (vocals, guitar), Frank Boardman (bass) whose idea the band was, and Billy Such (drums). However, those three left the band in 1970 and 'Hogsnort Rupert' then became a trio with a new member John Reilly (vocals, guitar). Reilly departed the band prior to the recording of their third album, which was recorded as a duo by mainstay members Wishart and Luther. During subsequent years and varying incarnations of the band, other 'Hogsnort Rupert' members have included; John Newton, Graham Brown, Neil Worboys, Kevin Findlater, Bernie Reber, Dean Ruscoe, and Graeme Luther. The band's manager in the early days was John MacGee.
Hogsnort Rupert in HMV Studios, 1970. Left to right, Dave Luther, Alec Wishart, John Reilly
Dave Luther subsequently became the founding member of the New Zealand band Dave and the Dynamos who had a number one hit in 1983 with "Life Begins at Forty". Luther was the 'Dave' in the band's name, and 'The Dynamos' were Kevin Findlater (bass) and Bernie Reber (drums).
Hogsnort Rupert went on to become one of the longest running bands in New Zealand music history. In November 2010, the band celebrated their 40th anniversary, with a pair of live concerts held in Napier. Frank Boardman, the man credited with the idea for the band, died in Sussex, England, on 6 October 2015. Frontman and founding member, Alec Wishart (born Alexander Frederick Wishart, 20 June 1939) died on 22 January 2016 at the age of 76 from lung cancer.
Wednesday, 12 April 2017
Midnight Bus/Gwen Congratulations/Shame and Scandal In The Family/Highway 31
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).
Saturday, 8 April 2017
Tossing And Turning/Buckeye/Walkin' With My Angel/Boom Boom Baby
When I bought this EP I was a little disappointed that it wasn't as old as thought it was, late sixties. I would say it is more late seventies early eighties but that disappointment aside it still a great little EP. This is a custom job and judging by the clips on Youtube these are songs they were performing at the time. Of interest to Executive fans the record was produced by Brian King.
Below is some information taken from the bands webpage .
Reputed to be the longest running working band in the world, the fabulous Tornadoes. Lead vocal Brian Goodger, Lead guitar, David Goodger, Rhythm guitar ,John Goodger, Drums, Peter Goodger. Bass guitar, Harry Mitchel. Formed 1960 and still performing in the Wollongong area Illawarra coast Australia although only one original member remains playing those wonderful days of the 60's and the many years following should never be forgotten.
Fans have always regarded the Tornadoes as "their own". Known throughout the region for over four decades, the fabulous Tornadoes have provided top class entertainment to countless audiences.
With that success behind them, the Tornadoes negotiated a recording contract with Arcade and Sony / BMG records for release of Ghost Riders in Europe and Australia.
In 2006, the Tornadoes were selected to be a part of the Best of the Best tour of New Zealand. As well as the Tornadoes, the tour featured some of the biggest stars of the Australasian music scene of the past 40 years including Sharon O’Neill, Ray Columbus ( Invaders fame ), and Australasia’s King of Rock and Roll Johnny Devlin. Having played in 11 major cities across New Zealand, the Tornadoes captivated audiences and earned a new legion of fans from across the Tasman. The tour, organized by Pacific Entertainment of Auckland, proved to be one of the most successful tours of New Zealand that year.
The Tornadoes strong point is their ability to deliver a repertoire consisting of over 50 years of great music. Lead vocals by Fred,Wayne, Peter and Evan and harmonies by David and Harry, together with the raunchiness of the rhythm section, form the nucleus of the Tornadoes captivating sound.
The Tornadoes sound is a unique blend of rock and roll to boot scootin’ rock and country to classic ballads which always leave the fans wanting more.
Music fans are always left satisfied after a Tornadoes gig because the fabulous TORNADOES put dance in your pants!
Friday, 31 March 2017
0f Hopes & Dreams & Tombstones/Here T'is/ I'm Gonna Try/Long Legged Baby
The Purple Hearts were an Australian R&B, rock group, formed in Brisbane as the Impacts in 1964. The band included lead vocalist Mick Hadley, lead guitarist Barry Lyde (later known as Lobby Loyde), rhythm guitarists Paul Steffen (1964–65) and Fred Pickard (1965-66), bassist Bob Dames, and drummers Adrian "Red" Redmond (1964–66) and Tony Cahill (1966-67). The group issued an extended play, The Sound of the Purple Hearts (1966), and several singles, including "Long-legged Baby" (1965) and "Early in the Morning" (1966). They disbanded early in 1967.
Brisbane, traditionally the most conservative of Australia's state capitals, has fostered some of this country's most anarchistic rock bands from the Purple Hearts to the Saints. The Purple Hearts were tough, arrogant and pioneering and Lyde, as Lobby Loyde, is acknowledged as Australia's first true rock guitar hero – busy blowing up speaker boxes before high volume and feed-back became rock staples. When the Impacts performed in Melbourne, they found another band of the same name, so Dames provided their new name – Purple Hearts – for the illicit amphetamine pills favoured by the mod subculture. The group's debut single, "Long-legged Baby", was a cover version of Graham Bond's track. It was "a rough recording made at a radio station studio" and issued "on the obscure, independent label Soundtrack" in 1965.
They signed with Sunshine Records (home to Normie Rowe) and reissued "Long-legged Baby" in October 1965, which reached the top 10 in Brisbane. The group were uncompromising in their attitude toward recording; consequently, their handful of singles are enduring artefacts of their style, which blended blues, R&B and prototype psychedelic rock, a style made even tougher by the regional influences. The group relocated to Sydney where Redmond was replaced by Tony Cahill on drums.
Early in 1966 they moved base to Melbourne, where they "ruled over the city's discotheque circuit." According to music journalist, Ed Nimmervoll, "they were making an impression in their own right, not because their music was the latest thing. The Purple Hearts' Mick Hadley was an amazing frontman, riveting audiences with his wild-eyed performances. The rest of the band were quickly considered the best in their field, especially guitarist Barry Lyde." In February of that year they issued their second single, "Of Hopes and Dreams and Tombstones". It was a cover version of the United States singer, Jimmy Fraser's 1965 single.
Following his departure from the Virgil Brothers, Hadley reunited with Dames and kept the Purple Hearts tradition alive by forming the Coloured Balls. Besides Dames and Hadley the R&B group included Sam Shannon on lead vocals, Robbie Van Delft on guitar (ex-Mike Furber and the Bowery Boys) and Peter Miles on drums (ex-Bay City Union). Loyde revitalised the traditional jazz band, the Wild Cherries, into a psychedelic rock group. He played a pivotal role in Billy Thorpe's transformation from clean-cut 1960s pop idol into an archetypal long-haired, guitar-wielding 1970s hard rocker. In 1972 Loyde led a reformed version of the Coloured Balls as a progressive rock group, with Andrew Fordham on guitar and vocals; Janis Miglans on bass guitar; and Trevor Young on drums.[ Loyde was also a record producer. In 1970 Dames and Miles were members of Bulldog, a progressive blues trio, with UK-born Mick Rogers.
All Gone Boy/Hound Dog/Coke Ads 2 & 3/ Interview/Watch Me Burn/Where Did You Go Last Night/Little Red Bucket
"All Gone Boy" This was recorded for the UK "Good Friday" LP but only ever surfaced on a Frnch and an Australia EP prior to appearing on the "Albert Archives" LP in 1979.
"Hound Dog" One of a handful of non original Easybeats UK tracks passed over for Australian release issued on the UK "Good Friday" LP.
"Watch Me Burn" second haly of a two song suite (with "I'm On Fire") penned for Mike Furber. A Central Sound recording. Vocal by Stevie.
"Where Did You Go Last Night" from the 1967 Olympic Studios session for the scapped second UK LP. Vocal by George piano by Nicky Hopkins drums Freddy Smith. "Little Red Bucket" another 1968 Central Sound demo track, previously recorded by UK group Bubblegum.
Mean Old Lovin'/I'm Happy/Hey Babe/I Don't Agree/Keep Your Hands Off My Babe/No One Knows
The six tracks on this EP represent the cream of the 40 or so unreleased tracks from the Easybeats first recording sessions in 1965.
When Ted Albert took the totally inexperienced group into the 2UW radio theater in Sydney, he was determined to catch on tape absolutely everything in their repertoire, lest he miss a possible hit.
Although their first single "For My Woman" came from those early sessions, virtually all of the material was left in the can. he six songs contained here in are by no means as polished and revolutionary as the more familiar Easybeats Australian material. But they are solid inventive rock ditties which adequately evidence the degree of original class which the group possessed, from it's very beginnings at the Villawood Migrant Hostel in 1964.
Find My Way Back Home/Coke Ad/Mandy/I'm Just Trying/Look Out I'm On the Way Down
"Find My Way Back Home" is a Nashville Teens song recorded for a 1965 TV spot on the Johnny O'Keefe show promoting "For My Woman" the result of an odd rule allowing only one original song to be telecast. This never made it to air being replaced by "I Who Have Nothing". Recorded EMI Sydney.
Coke Jingle sung to the tune of "Come And See Her" Vocals by Stevie and Dick. "Mandy" from the unreleased first UK sessions with Ted Albert at Abbey Road shortly after arrival from Australia. " I'm Just Trying" A fine soul/rock track from the Central Sound Studio demo tapes vocals by George. "Look Out I'm On The Way Down" another Central Sound demo with a commercial pop sound vocal by Harry.
Historeasy/She's So Fine (Live)/Hello, How Are You
There were abortive plans for an Easybeats reunion in 1979, but happily there was a grand 'last hurrah' for the Easybeats in 1986. The classic lineup, with Snowy Fleet, got back together for a national tour and in spite of Snowy literally not having touched the drums since his departure in 1967, the old magic was still there. They performed to sell-out houses around the country and treated fans old and new to the magic that had made the them legends. Stevie was, at least for that time, back in good health, as vital and exciting as ever, even performing his famous leaps and backflips. The final Sydney concert was filmed and recorded and several tracks were later released by Raven. The Easybeats released the EP HistorEasy - Tour '86 Souvenir Medley in November 1986
Saturday, 4 March 2017
I'm Counting On You/Love Me/Susie Darlin'/When My Mother Prayed For Me
Johnny Devlin was New Zealand's first major rock'n'roll star. He had a major effect on the domestic scene. He was the first musician that parents loved to hate. He was the first performer to be awarded with a gold record. Also the first to go on an extended national tour and the first successful artist to leave the local shores for Australia. Mad hysteria had taken New Zealand by storm in proportions they had never seen before. Johnny Devlin was New Zealand's original king of rock'n'roll.
John Lockett Devlin was born on May 11, 1938, the son of a railway ganger stationed in the small mid-North Island town of Raetihi. The family soon shifted to near-by Ohakune and then Marton before eventually settling in Wanganui, where John spent his formative years. He received a guitar for his eleventh birthday and it never left his side. His parents and three other brothers were all musically minded and when in his early teens, they formed a group called the Devlin Family. They performed country songs at Wanganui talent quests. The family used to listen to the Lever Hit Parade to get new songs to perform. One night they heard "Rock Around The Clock" and were blown away. But the song that really influenced Johnny the most, was Elvis's "Heartbreak Hotel".
Devlin entered every amateur talent quest he could find and chasing up every Elvis Presley recording he could lay his hands on, for the next eighteen months he would perform nothing but Presley material. On weekends, Devlin would often go to Palmerston North and whenever he had the chance he would sing his Elvis songs in talent contests run at the youth club there by pioneering New Zealand rock'n'roller Johnny Cooper. The first to recognise a certain something in Devlin, Johnny Cooper took him under his wing, coached him in the art of stagecraft and persuaded him to practice his moves in front of a mirror. He said to Devlin, with a bit of work, you could become New Zealand's Elvis Presley.
So in February 1957, an 18 year old bank clerk from Wanganui, won his first talent quest as a rock'n'roll performer. Over the next four months, he gyrated, jumped, grimaced and growled at quests in the towns near by. He didn't win them all, but the younger members of the audience knew who the night's star was. One weekend in Palmerston North he met Dennis Tristram, a rock'n'roll dancer, who tried to persuade Devlin to move to Auckland. Devlin was happy to stay where he was, but did run into Tristram again, a month or so later, when he was in Auckland. Dennis persuaded Johnny to come down to the Jive Centre and sing with the resident band. The owner, Dave Dunningham, gave him an audition and agreed to let him do a set that night. Johnny Devlin's debut at the Jive Centre featured an all-Presley repertoire and although there was a general buzz in the audience before he commenced, no-one was prepared for what was to follow. By the time he completed his set, girls were screaming and everyone else was in awe and disbelief. Dave Dunningham was impressed and offered him a regular spot. Back in Wanganui he thought it over and a month later, March 1958, he returned to Auckland.
Dave Dunningham became his manager and within a month he had made Johnny Devlin the talk of the town With Auckland conquered, Dunningham realised that the quickest way to break Devlin nationally was with a record release, but all the record companies in the country gave the thumbs down. They were very nervous about this type of music.
Phil Warren, a part-time drummer, began working at Begg's Music Store in 1955, and later formed Prestige Records, primarily to distribute overseas releases from independent labels. Dunningham pressured Warren into recording Devlin, so they came to an agreement and selected a poor-selling Presley release, "Lawdy Miss Clawdy" for the debut single. It was recorded at the Jive Centre one Sunday afternoon in May 1958, using the Dixielanders as the backing group, and given the primitive circumstances of the session and surroundings, the quality was awful, but "Lawdy Miss Clawdy" launched Johnny Devlin as New Zealand's first superstar when it was released in June 1958 on the Prestige label. Recorded at the same session was the flipside, "When My Blue Moon Turns To Gold Again". A romping sax break replaces the guitar on Elvis's version.
Although the single got very little airplay, the broadcast panel thought it was not of sufficient quality, it was snapped up by Auckland's teens in an unprecedented frenzy. Once sales had topped the 2000 mark, the radio stations could no longer ignore it, and within a few weeks the disc was at the top of the Lever Hit Parade. By now the Dixielanders were out of the picture and Johnny was working with the Bob Paris Combo as his back-up band.
Devlin was now in great demand and by August, his record sales had passed the 10,000 mark. Time to record more records. With this he entered Bruce Barton's Wellesley Street studio for his second recording session. Between August and October Devlin recorded a dozen tracks, to be released as Phil Warren saw fit. The Bob Paris Combo were used as backing on all of these tracks. Warren was receiving little-known records from American artists for distribution by his record company, but selected a few to give to Devlin to record.
His second single was a cover of both sides of a Jimmy Lloyd record, "I Got A Rocket In My Pocket"/"You're Gone Baby". An excellent recording, it unfortunately received little airplay and sold only moderately well, but within a fortnight Devlin's third single appeared. "Slipping Around"/"Straight Skirt" sold a lot better and without the Presley influence, it demonstrated that New Zealand could produce credible rock'n'roll.
By November 1958, his three singles had sold 50,000 copies. Between November 1958 and May 1959, Prestige released eight further singles, plus three EP's and an album, amassing total sales in excess of 200,000.
Dave Dunningham left the management to Phil Warren, so Phil and Graham put together a schedule. Bob Paris and his band weren't keen on going on the road, so a new backing band had to be put together. Dent asked multi-instrumentalist Claude Papesch if he could put a band together. Claude was a sixteen year old blind musician, who was a regular at the Point Chevalier youth club. Papesch recruited guitarist Peter Bazely, bassist Keith Graham and drummer Tony Hopkins. Together they became the Devils, one of New Zealand's first truly rock'n'roll bands.
The tour kicked of at Wellington on November 21, 1958. Over the next two weeks he performed for close to 20,000 ecstatic fans in Wellington, Palmerston North, Masterton, Napier, Gisbourne and Tauranga. The press raved and chaos broke out at every performance. The shows exceeded everyone's expectations, with New Zealand having never seen anything remotely like it.
Back in Auckland, another two-week tour was being organised, but before setting out, Devlin was rushed back into the studio, where in one night he recorded sixteen more tracks. In late November his fourth single, recorded earlier in the year, was released. It was "6.5 Hand Jive"/"Play Rough". In December, five more records were released, three singles and two EP's. The singles were "Wild One"/"The Watch", "Crazy Baby Crazy"/"My True Love", and "Bony Moronie"/"Leroy". The first EP was a freebie called "Hit Tunes" put out by Coca-Cola, who had been part sponsoring his tour. It contained the tracks "Cast Iron Arm", "Nervous", "Say Yeah", "Matador Baby", "Believe Me" and "Rave On". The other EP was called "How Would Ya Be?" and contained "Straight Skirt", "How Would Ya Be", "Slipping Around" and "I'm Grateful".
Devlin set off on the second leg of his tour and the media followed him wherever he went. He was constantly making headlines. After his shows he was mobbed by screaming girls and on one occasion lost sleeves from his shirt. This was big news with headlines claiming "Girls Fight Over Singer's Shirt" and from then on a piece of his shirt was every girls aim.
By the end of 1958, Devlin had conquered the North Island, but was still relatively unknown in the South Island. A tour down there was going to be a challenge as there was a local lad in Christchurch who was also attracting attention. He was Max Merritt and the Meteors. His fans were fiercely loyal and the bookings for the Christchurch show were light. Dent was going to cancel the show, but came up with an idea. He invited MP and Cabinet Minister Mabel Howard to a champagne party followed by the Devlin show, and after the pair would be driven off to meet up with Max Merritt. A pink convertible was used and of course the press were there, along with the usual mob of screaming fans. A stroke of genius and from there on the South Island was bedlam.
By February 1959, Johnny Devlin's record sales had reached astronomical proportions. A new single was released, "20 Flight Rock"/"Move It" and another EP called "Johnny Sings Ballads". Its tracks were "Love Me", "I'm Counting On You", "Susie Darling" and "When My Mother Prayed For Me". Devlin's original recording of "Lawdy Miss Clawdy" had sold steadily since its mid-1958 release. With sales in excess of 30,000 and orders for another 10,000 after his South Island tour, it was decided to re-record the song under better conditions. The new version was released in February 1959 and well and truly out sold the original version, two to one, with combined sales exceeding 100,000. "Susie Darling" was placed on the flipside of the new version.
In the next two months, two more singles and another EP were released. The first was "Nervous Wreck"/"Queen Of The Hop" and the second a tribute to his backing band "Rock With The Devils" backed with "Devil's Rock", an instrumental by the Devils. The EP was just called "Johnny Devlin" and contained "High Heeled Shoes", "Hard To Get", "Big Green Car" and "Your Cheatin' Heart".
In March 1959, Devlin left on what was to be his final tour of the country. He took in the smaller centres that hadn't experienced the Devlin hysteria and madness. It was same old story wherever he went, but inside the show, things were starting to fall apart. There was internal bickering, and being mobbed and screamed at was no longer a novelty. The whole touring thing was becoming a bore. The only remaining highlight came when in Wellington, he met the touring evangelist Billy Graham and the Prime Minister Walter Nash. A picture of the three of them appeared in the following days newspaper. A week later, having had enough of the goings-on, Robert Kerridge pulled the plug on the tour.
With his career in temporary limbo, Devlin returned home to Wanganui to celebrate his 21st birthday. Meanwhile, Phil Warren received a phone call from Sydney-based American promoter, Lee Gordon, who was in the process of organising an Australasian tour for the Everley Brothers. He wanted to know if Phil could handle the New Zealand leg. Phil agreed on the condition that Johnny Devlin be placed on the bill for the Australian concerts. They agreed and with no fuss, fanfare or farewell concert, Johnny Devlin and the Devils slipped out of New Zealand in the last week of May 1959. Although he was moderately successful in Australia, his reign as a social phenomenon was over. It had lasted a mere twelve months.
Johnny Devlin with the Beatles on their New Zealand tour.
Another EP, also called "Johnny Devlin" was released, containing "Flat 13", "Queen Of The Hop", "I Was Robbed" and "Patty". The last two Prestige singles also came out. They were "White Lightening"/"Doreen" and "I Was The One"/"Pointed Toe Shoes". Prestige also released an album called "Johnny" in 1959.
Devlin continued to record while in Australia. Between 1959 and 1981, while using at least 14 different record labels, he released a further 40 singles, ten EP's and three albums. Music World released a an album called "24 Original Golden Greats" in 1980 that contained all of his New Zealand singles.
Johnny Devlin still continues to perform on the club level in Australia. Of the original Devils, only Claude Papesch dedicated his life to music. Widely traveled around Australasia, he eventually settled in NSW, working more in the jazz field than the rock'n'roll which launched him. Battling cancer during the last years of his life, he served time on the Lithgow City Council and was elected Mayor of Lithgow in 1984 but due to ill health was unable to complete his term. Claude died, aged 45, in February 1987. Keith Graham went on to play with the Embers.
Festival released two great CDs that cover pretty much all of Johnny's work. The first in 1998 covers his Australian years, while the second, released in 2001, was a compilation of his New Zealand
Wednesday, 22 February 2017
Since My Best Girl Turned Me Down/Barnacle Bill (Vocal Gerry Humphries & Bill Howard)/Perdido Street Blues/Tight Like That (Vocal Gerry Humphries)
The Red Onion Jazz Band was formed around 1960, as the Gin Bottle Jazz Band, by Allan Browne who was taking lessons from Melbourne University Jazz Band's drummer, Norm Hodges, and Brett Iggulden who was taking trumpet lessons from Ade Monsbourgh, then one of Australia's leading jazzmen. The original lineup, drawn largely from the bayside Beaumaris, Sandringham and Brighton suburbs of Melbourne, consisted of Allan Browne, drums; Brett Iggulden, trumpet; Kim Lynch, tea-chest bass; Bill Howard trombone; Felix Blatt, banjo and John Pike, piano, while Brett’s sister Sally (aka "Sweet Sal", who later married Browne and became a clothes designer) was an occasional addition on washboard. John Funsten, another pupil of Ade Monsbourgh, was added on clarinet. They played New Orleans inspired traditional jazz and infused it with their own vitality, their flair for presentation and promotion and zany sense of humour.
Jazz standards were the material for their first job at St Michael & All Angels Anglican Church hall dance in Beaumaris, and by about April 1961, they were given a brief spot at the Melbourne Jazz Club; their first introduction into the Melbourne jazz scene and in June Corrine Kirby included them on her ABC T.V. programme Let's Make a Date for which, at the insistence of Channel 2 executives a name change from their original Gin Bottle Jazz Band to the more respectable Red Onion Jazz Band was made, the title chosen in honour of an early Louis Armstrong recording group. They opened then at the 'Oxford' Jazz Club, where they continued for six months, with Fred Charles on clarinet.
In November 1961, Geoff Thomas took over from Felix Blatt as banjoist and the band started the Red Onion Jazz Club in Brighton. They also played at the Downbeat Jazz Concert in 1962 before Fred Charles and Geoff Thomas left the band in October and were replaced by Gerry Humphries (born Brian Anton Humphrys, 1941, in Battersea, England) and Rainer Breit. After securing gigs at the Ormond R.S.L. Hall and Beaumaris Yacht Club, they joined the 17th Jazz Convention in Sydney in December 1962, where their long hair, formal wear, violins and mad vocals caused a stir. Returning to Melbourne they played Friday nights at the 'Newport' Jazz Club at the Edithvale Life saving Club and on Saturday nights at their own venue ‘The Onion Patch' in Oakleigh. In early 1963, the group released their first 7” EP, An Impromptu Recital by the Amazing and Entertaining Red Onion Jazz Band on the tiny EAST (Elwood Audio Services Transcriptions) recording label, and it received conspicuous airplay on radio station 3XYs Jazz As You Like It program. John Pike left in March and for 11 months the band played without a pianist, but had a busy year of concerts that included Moomba, Myer Music Bowl, a 3-day tour of Tasmania including radio, T.V. and dance engagements in Hobart, as well as the 18th Australian Jazz Convention. The Red Onion Jazz Band at the 1963 Jazz Convention EP (their second recording) contains two vocal tracks; the bawdy sea-shanty "Barnacle Bill", and a version of Tommy Dorsey's "It’s Tight Like That". Gerry Humphrys left the band for four months in June 1963, and Jerry Salt, Derek Miller or Eddie Robbins replaced his clarinet, while Brett Iggulden took up alto sax for special numbers. Venues then included the 'Driftwood' Club and the 'Downbeat' Jazz Club where in February 17-year-old pianist Ian Clyne first sat in and thereafter became a regular member.
In July 1964, The Red Onions signed with W&G Records who put out a well-received EP entitled The Red Onions At Home and they transferred from the 'Onion Patch' to the popular 'Campus' Club. They appeared again on TV for GTV9 and ATV0, most importantly on Graham Kennedy’s influential In Melbourne Tonight. In November the band opened at ‘Opus' discotheque in South Yarra where it was estimated that more than 2,000 attended the first night. The entire band also featured at the 19th Jazz Convention in Newcastle.
After the split
In early 1965, The Red Onion Jazz Band released their self-titled debut LP. Its black-and-white cover art (see above) was designed by tuba player Kim Lynch, however in October, he and two other members, clarinetist, vocalist and occasional violinist Gerry Humphreys and Ian Clyne left, after three years of success, to play together the electric Rhythm and Blues that was beginning to eclipse jazz amongst younger audiences, especially after the visit of the Beatles to Melbourne in 1964. Humphrys and Lynch went on to form The Loved Ones.
After this split The Onions’ Brett Iggulden (trumpet and vocals), Bill Howard (trombone and vocals) and drummer Allan Browne persevered, joined by John Scurry (banjo and guitar) and Richard Miller (clarinet) in 1965. In 1967 the group left Australia for a 10-month, 50,000-mile tour of Europe. During the tour the band performed at the Jazz Jamboree in Warsaw, Poland, during October 1967, and at jazz clubs, ball rooms, jazz festivals and on radio. On return to Australia they continued to appear on television, at balls and discothèques, jazz clubs, university concerts and fashion parades.
Between 1974 and 1983 the Onions did not perform together. In 1983 they reunited in a benefit for Bill Howard who had lost his house and possessions in the Ash Wednesday bushfires. Thereafter they performed quite regularly, with festival appearances and occasional gigs in Melbourne. They travelled to Europe a third time in 1992, and released the CD Crisis shortly thereafter.
With Bill Howard’s death from cancer in 1996 the Red Onions finally disbanded, with their last formal appearance at the Wangaratta Festival of Jazz and Blues. At this performance they featured their mentor and long time friend, Ade Monsbourgh.
A Red Onion Jazz Band exhibition was opened by Allan Browne on 7 August 2010 at the Victorian Jazz Archive.
Its Not Love/Trouble and Sorrow/Wonderful World/Wandering
The Glen Men are three seminarians in their sixth year of study for the Catholic Priesthood, at Corpus Christi College, Glen Waverley (Melbourne).
This trio is a perfect example of what happens when people of similar interests and backgrounds are thrown together in a common cause.
The group was formed initially in 1964 to perform some songs at one of the concerts run by the students. Since then they have appeared frequently at these concerts and in addition, have played and sung to inmates of a number of institutions of various types.
Until the present time they have not bothered about a name, as they felt it was not essential but when asked for a title for the cover of this record, they decided upon - The Glen Men.
Friday, 10 February 2017
Friday On My Mind/Sorry/Who'll Be the One/Made My Bed, Gonna Lie In It
"Friday on My Mind" is a 1966 song by Australian rock group the Easybeats. Written by band members George Young and Harry Vanda, the track became a worldwide hit, reaching no. 16 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in May 1967 in the US, no. 1 on the Dutch Top 40 chart, no. 1 in Australia and no. 6 in the UK, as well as charting in several other countries. In 2001, it was voted "Best Australian Song" of all time by the Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA) as determined by a panel of 100 music industry personalities. In 2007, 'Friday on My Mind' was added to the National Film and Sound Archive's Sounds of Australia registry.
In addition to its 7" single release in late 1966, the song was issued in the United Kingdom on the band's first album for United Artists titled Good Friday which was also released in North America under the song's title. In Australia the song would be released instead with its B-side, "Made My Bed (Gonna Lie in It)", on the greatest hits package The Best of The Easybeats + Pretty Girl in 1967 and an EP named after the track in September 1967, with the tracks "Sorry", "Who'll Be the One" and "Made My Bed, Gonna Lie in It"
Thursday, 9 February 2017
Heaven and Hell/Women Make You Feel Alright/Come and See Her/Pretty Girl
In June,1967 UA in America released the superlative psychedelic rocker "Heaven & Hell". It was their last Talmy-produced single, with Nicky Hopkins prominent on harpsichord, and some great bass playing by Dick. It was released in June, with the wonderful "Pretty Girl" relegated to the b-side, and became another Top 20 hit in Australia. By rights, it should have been a double-sided hit for them worldwide. For a while it looked set to restore their chart fortunes, especially in the US, but once again bad luck intervened: just as it entered the charts, the single was banned by various US stations, due to the line "discovering someone else in your bed" and supposed drug references. Inexplicably, it also failed in the UK.