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.
Tuesday, 7 February 2017
I'll Step Down/Mean To Me/It Had To Be You/You'll Never Know
Judy Stone (born 1 January 1942) is an Australian pop and country singer from Sydney, who came to national prominence in the late 1950s through her regular TV appearances on the Australian pop music show Brian Henderson's Bandstand and her many hit records.
Major national hits were '4,003,221 Tears From Now' (1964), 'Born a Woman' (1966), '(Would you Lay With Me) in a Field of Stone' (1974), 'Mare Mare Mare' (1974), 'Hasta Manana' (1976) and 'Silver Wings & Golden Rings' (1976).
In 1963, she recorded "It Takes a Lot (To Make Me Cry)" on which the Bee Gees (Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb) sing backup vocals, and the song was released as a single in July.
She began touring with Joye and the Joyboys, and then signed a deal with Festival Records. Judy eventually teamed up with Col Joye on a number of recordings, including the EPs `The I's Have It' and `Clap Your Hands', and albums Col and Judy and The Best of Col and Judy, which contained material like `Young And Healthy', `Angry' and `Side by Side'. In early 1965 she embarked on a two-month Japanese tour with Joye and the Joyboys. A year later, she married Leo De Kroo of The De Kroo Brothers.
A 1966 single from Judy Stone which gave Bandstand's #1 lady a whole new sound..a real swingin' 60's sound with a groovy production by Pat Aulton. It was perhaps a bit too 'hip' for Judy's fans who liked her ballads, country & more traditional pop songs.
In September 1966, she scored her third Sydney Top 10 hit when a cover of Sandy Posey's `Born a Woman'. Throughout the late 1960s and early 1970s, Judy consolidated on her early pop successes with regular appearances on the club and country music circuits.
In 1974, Stone entered her most successful phase since the mid-1960s Judy's most recent recording was a duet with Scottish singer/songwriter Isla Grant on a stirring rendition of her song What's A Girl To Do? from Isla's 2007 album "Down Memory Lane".
Sunday, 5 February 2017
Too Much/I'll Make You Happy/A Very Special Man/Tryin' So Hard
In early 1966, while the group were still touring Australia, their manager, Mike Vaughan, flew to New York City to attempt to secure an American recording contract for the band. Despite an initial lack of interest, Vaughan was able to convince United Artists Records to sign the band. Just before relocating to London in 1966, they recorded a farewell TV special for the Seven Network, titled The Easybeats, more commonly known as The Coca-Cola Special), one of the few surviving appearances from the band's career during this period. The group left for the UK on 10 July 1966.
In August 1966, Albert Productions released an E.P. of material recorded before the group left Australia. Titled Easyfever, it reach #1 on the Australian singles charts. Albert Productions then released an entire album of material titled Volume 3 on 3 November 1966. This too was a commercial success and its lead single "Sorry" topped the Australian charts.
Happy Is The Man/You Me, We Love/Saturday Night/All Gone Boy
The Easybeats were an Australian rock band which formed in Sydney, Australia, in late 1964, and disbanded at the end of 1969. Regarded as the greatest pop band hailing from Australia in the 1960s[who?], they were the antipodean echo to the style and sound of the Beatles in Britain, and the first rock and roll act from Australia to score an international pop hit with the 1966 single, "Friday on My Mind".
The band's line-up exemplified the influence of post-war migration on Australian society. All five founding members were from families that had migrated to Australia from Europe: lead singer Stevie Wright and drummer Gordon "Snowy" Fleet were from England; rhythm guitarist George Young was from Scotland; lead guitarist Harry Vanda and bassist Dick Diamonde were from the Netherlands.
Wednesday, 1 February 2017
Friends - La La Song/Madder Lake - Down The River/Country Radio - Silver Spurs/Johnny O'Keefe - High Rollin' Man/69'ers - Harry Rag/Glen Cardier - Australia
Sunbury '73 ran from 27 January to 29 January. The attendance was 25,000 - 30,000 and the entry fee was $8.00 (3 days), $7.00 (2 days), $5.00 (1 day). Promoter, John Fowler provided a documentary, Sunbury 1973, which was aired on GTV9. Music entrepreneur Michael Gudinski was involved with the first Sunbury festival—as well as managing several major acts that appeared—he operated a lucrative concession selling watermelon to festival-goers. His new record company, Mushroom Records, was established with Ray Evans late in 1972. It became associated with Sunbury thanks to its inaugural album, a three-disc set of live recordings from the 1973 festival, Sunbury 1973 - The Great Australian Rock Festival. Guitarist, Lobby Loyde and his band, Coloured Balls were joined on-stage by Billy Thorpe and Leo de Castro (Friends) to record a live set, Summer Jam, which was issued in November. Carson released their own live album, On the Air in April but had disbanded by that time. Veteran rocker, Johnny O'Keefe, was initially booed but won the crowd over by his performance and went on to do several encores.
The 1973 festival was MCed by comedian Paul Hogan.
Band of Light
The Captain Matchbox Whoopee Band
The Flying Circus
Max Merritt & the Meteors
Mississippi (backed by a full orchestra)
Mulga Bill's Bicycle Band
Spirit featuring the Staehely Brothers
Billy Thorpe & the Aztecs
Everlasting Love/Take Me for a Little While/It's Hurting Badly/I Can't Help Myself
Popular Melbourne band The Town Criers formed around 1965. Their first single, a cover of The Kinks' "The World Keeps Going Round", was released on the Melbourne independent label Trend but didn't make any impression on the local charts. The B-side, a great 'garage-punk' number called "Big Deal", was included on the bootleg Oz '60s compilation CD It's A Kave-In, which also features another Criers rarity from this period, a version of the blues standard "Mama Keep Your Big Mouth Shut".
The Criers gigged consistently around Melbourne over the next two years, and in late 1967 they were signed to the Astor label by A&R manager Ron Tudor. Their second single, released in February 1968 and nominally produced by Geoffrey Edelsten, was a strong version of "Everlasting Love", the much-covered hit originally recorded by American singer Robert Knight in 1967 and also released in 1968 in the UK by The Love Affair. The song was penned by pop songwriters Buzz Cason and Mac Gayden, who also wrote "Hayride" and "La La" (both hits for The Flying Circus) and "Groupie" (covered by The New Dream). It was an immediate success and became a big hit in Melbourne, reaching #2 and also charted in Sydney (#16) and Adelaide (#33) in April-May 1968, and this success proplelled it into thethe Go-Set Top 20; it peaked at #18 and consistently out-charted the Love Affair version. The song has been covered many times since then, including a 1990s version by U2.
George Kurtiss left the band in May 1968 and was replaced by John Taylor (ex Strings Unlimited). Their second Astor single, "Unexpectedly" / "It's Hurting Badly" was released in September, but failed to chart. Astor also compiled the two Town Criers singles for an EP, Everlasting Love, released during 1968.
During the latter half of 1968 the Town Criers travelled to South East Asia where they entertained Australian and American troops stationed in Vietnam. This was followed by a trip to the USA, where they appeared on the Bob Hope Christmas Special. In early 1969 founding vocalist Andy Agtoft and John Taylor both left the group. Agtoft was replaced by singer Barry Smith from Adelaide; this raised the band's profile in Adelaide, but it may also have led some fans to think that the band itself was from Adelaide. It's also possible there was some confusion with The London Criers, a well-known late-60s Adelaide show band. Taylor subsequently joined the Sydney band Daisy Clover, who released two singles on Festival.
In the late 1970s Andy Agtoft joined Scandinavian band Soames Electric, singing with them and writing English lyrics for their songs. After he left that group he joined another Scandinavian band, Churchill, before returning to Australia. Andy and Barry Smith have collaborated on a history of The Town Criers called Everlasting Pop, published by Chris Spencer's Moonlight Publications.
Andy Agtoft (vocals) 1967-69
Mark Demajo (bass)
Sam Dunnin (guitar)
Chris Easterby (drums)
George Kurtiss (keyboards) 1967 - May 1968
John Taylor (keyboards) 1968-69
Barry Smith (vocals) 1968-69
Golfshoes/C.Y.O. Dance/The Nips Are Getting Bigger [Original Version]
Mental As Anything are an Australian new wave/pop-rock band that formed in Sydney in 1976. Its most popular line-up (which lasted from 1977-1999) was Martin Plaza (birth name Martin Murphy) on vocals and guitar; Reg Mombassa (birth name Chris O'Doherty) on lead guitar and vocals; his brother Peter "Yoga Dog" O'Doherty on bass guitar and vocals; Wayne de Lisle (birth name David Twohill) on drums; and Andrew "Greedy" Smith on vocals, keyboards and harmonica. Their original hit songs were generated by Mombassa, O'Doherty, Plaza and Smith, either individually or collectively; they also hit the Australian charts with covers of songs by Roy Orbison, Elvis Presley and Chuck Berry.
Their top ten Australian singles are "If You Leave Me, Can I Come Too?" and "Too Many Times" (both from 1981), "Live It Up" (1985) and "Rock and Roll Music" (1988). Internationally, "Too Many Times" made the Canadian top 40 in 1982, and "Live It Up" peaked at No. 3 in UK, No. 4 in Norway, and No. 6 in Germany, after it featured in the 1986 Australian film "Crocodile" Dundee.
All of the early members are visual artists and have had combined studio displays, some have had solo studio displays with Mombassa's artwork also used as designs by the Mambo clothing company. The majority of the group's record covers, posters and video clips have been designed and created by themselves or their art school contemporaries. On 27 August 2009, Mental As Anything was inducted into the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) Hall of Fame alongside Kev Carmody, The Dingoes, Little Pattie and John Paul Young.
Thanks to Sunshine for this FLAC version.