Thursday, 27 July 2017

Peter Nelson And The Castaways - 1967 - Skye Boat Song

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. 

 One more single was released, "Goin' Out Of My Mind"/"Skye Boat Song", before the group left for Australia in 1966. Following the groups arrival in Australia, Peter Nelson left them to find fame as a solo artist, heading to the lucrative scene in Hong Kong. Peter was replaced by a new vocalist called Frankie Stevens, brother of Jon Stevens and they changed their name to the Castaways.

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

Johnny Devlin - 1961 - Gigolo

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

Peter and the Panthers - 1964 - Stomp '64 @320

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

Barry Humphries - 1958 - Wild Life In Suburbia Vol 2 FLAC

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

Peter Posa - 1972 - Plays Westerns

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.

 Peter wasn't greatly interested in all that because from a very early age he had his mind set on music and specifically playing the guitar. He started on ukulele when he was seven. After that he used to spend all his spare time making his own toy guitars. He would find a round piece of wood for the bell, a long piece for the stem, and then steal his mother's clothes lines from the porch to use as strings. Mrs Posa was forever wondering where her clothesline had gone.

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.

 In Nashville, Peter spent time at all the major recording studios and met his hero Chet Atkins. He played on the TV show Hollywood Palace where he was accompanied by the legendary jazz guitarist Herb Ellis. He met Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin in Las Vegas, and worked his gigs mainly in LA.

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.     

In 1965, Peter and his manager Ron Dalton had been invited to a friends place in Henderson. Their were also some of the friends neighbours there as well. Two in particular were a couple of young girls who sang a few songs. After hearing them sing, Ron soon had them in the studio and the Chicks were on their way to success. Later in 1965 Peter released one single with the Chicks called "Do You Wanna Dance"/"Terry".

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).