Wednesday, 25 January 2017
The Hokey Pokey/You Make Me Happy/Beach Ball/You Gotta Have Love
Jimmy Hannan (born August 1934 He was born and bred in Sydney's Surry Hills)is a Gold Logie-winning variety show host, singer, actor and game show host. Making appearances on over 20 shows, his career in Australian television and radio spanned 30 years.
Jimmy got his start on television as a bright-eyed 18-year-old contestant on Name That Tune. It was 1956 and television had just launched in Australia. Very few people had televisions in their homes so people crowded around TV shop windows to watch, and listen - the shops kindly left the sound on. Jimmy was on the show for six weeks and never made a mistake guessing the songs. He used his £500 prize to go to Canada to further his career.
After snagging a compere role on the musical variety show Saturday Date (1963-67, TCN-9), Jimmy wanted to make a record of his own. 'Beach Ball' was originally recorded by The City Surfers in 1963 and the words and music were written by Roger ‘Jimmy’ McGuinn, who went on to start the band The Byrds, and Frank Gari. You can hear back-up vocals from the Bee Gees (early in their career) and the song also features musicians from Col Joye’s band on drums and guitar. The song was released in February 1964 and reached number 2 on the Australian charts.
Surfing music and the dance 'The Stomp' were popular at the time. During the taping of Saturday Date in 1963 an article from the Australian Women’s Weekly notes, ‘the teenage audience were so carried away with stomping on the cement studio floor that the camera was vibrating and the singer couldn’t be heard. In the end the singer and [host] Jimmy Hannan gave up trying to compete, and joined in the stomp instead.’
The concert photographs above were taken by an unknown photographer at Sydney Stadium in 1965 and are a terrific example of Jimmy’s popularity and vitality. Jimmy remembers this particular concert at Sydney Stadium where he performed alongside Johnny Devlin, Little Pattie and The Denvermen. Jimmy looks very relaxed in his role as a teen idol, managing to appear casual even in a suit jacket and tie.
Jimmy went on to win a Gold Logie for most popular television personality in 1965 for Saturday Date.
In 1957 Jimmy got his start as a singer in a big band that played at the Marrickville Strollers dance hall in Sydney. They played to 2,000 jitterbugging dancers each weekend. The Bee Gee's Barry Gibb joked that they got their name from being Jimmy's 'Backing Group'. Jimmy regularly hosted shows on Melbourne’s 3UZ and Sydney’s 2GB radio stations.
Jimmy's long list of TV credits includes: Name That Tune (1956), Say When (1962), Saturday Date (1963-67), Jimmy (1966), Take a Letter (1966), The Go!! Show (1967), Take a Letter (1967), Jimmy Hannan Tonight (1967), Generation Gap (1969), In Melbourne Tonight (1970), The Weekend Starts Here (1970), Spending Spree (1971-5), The Graham Kennedy Show (1972-75), Split Second (1973-74), The Mike Walsh Show (1973-84), The Ernie Sigley Show (1974), The Jimmy Hannan Show (1975), Celebrity Squares (1975-76), Let’s Make a Deal (1976-77), Micro Macro (1978), Have a Go (1980), Personality Squares (1981), Search for a Star (1981), $100,000 Money Makers (1982), Value Shopping (1987), This Is Your Life (1989).
He met his wife Joanne when he was singing in the big band. Four children and 59 years later, they are still very much in love. Jimmy retired at 50 and moved up to a farm in Bellingen where he kept cattle for 10 years.
Thanks to Brian for sending me this one.