Abigail was born in the UK and arrived in Perth from London in 1968. Before long, she landed the leading role in the famous comedy 'Girl In My Soup'. From there she won parts in a variety of stage productions, TV shows and movies such as Play 543.
The part that really put Abigail on the map was that of Bev Houghton in the TV series No.96. The role won her the title of Australia’s No.1 sex symbol and, in keeping with her image, she released a version of the seductive French love song, ‘Je t’aime’ in 1973. The record became a top seller.
However, Abigail was primarily an actress and not a singer and her follow-up releases, which included a self-titled album and the singles ‘These Dreams’ and ‘Stay A While’, did not sell as well.
Billy Abott & The Jewels
This pop rock group had a minor hit in 1963 with 'Groovy Baby', a song referring to popular teenage slang.
Original line-up:- MALCOLM YOUNG (guitar); ANGUS YOUNG (guitar); PETER CLARK (drums); ROB BAILEY (bass); DAVE EVANS (vocals).
Malcolm and Angus were younger brothers of ex-Easybeat George Young who played an important role in advising and directing the band. The boys began playing with a variety of musicians in 1973, consolidating with the above line-up in April 1974. The band began working to develop the AC/DC sound, but their progress was temporarily delayed with Rob and Peter leaving to be replaced by PHIL LIP RUDD (drums) and MARK EVANS (bass). This change was followed by the departure of vocalist Dave Evans to join Rabbit, and led to the new notorious line-up including singer BON SCOTT. Bon was an experienced rock performer, having worked in top bands Fraternity and the Valentines and seemed to be the spark AC/DC needed to set the rock scene on fire.
Their single, ‘Can I Sit Next To You Girl?’, sold only moderately. However, the follow-up, ‘Baby, Please Don’t Go’ (which was a hit for British blues group, Them), entered the charts in March 1975 and became a national hit. The band’s first album, 'High Voltage', which was also released in March 1975, became the second biggest Australian album of the year and stayed on the charts for a mammoth twenty-five weeks. As well as establishing themselves on the charts, the band began to develop a strong punk rock (or at least hard rock) image with their aggressive stage act portraying Angus as a schoolboy, and publicity detailing their hard drinking, hard living lifestyles.
Meanwhile, their follow-up singles, ‘High Voltage’ and ‘It’s A Long Way To The Top’, charted well and their second album, 'TNT', which was released at Christmas in 1975, was declared gold within two months. Their success in Australia was now unqualified and with the attainment of a contract for overseas release on Atlantic, it was time for the boys to move on to greater heights, so in April 1976 they left for England. Their acceptance in the UK was almost immediate. They seemed to be the right band at the right time, having a punk image but displaying good musicianship. By July, they were selling records there, playing to enthusiastic crowds and getting publicity in music papers like Sounds and New Musical Express. Much of their publicity centred around Angus’ outrageous stage antics which included a gradual strip climaxing in a full nude rear view. Although the routine was a sensation with audiences, it caused some close brushes with the police. However, Angus managed to escape any prosecution.
The band’s third album, Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap, was released in October 1976 and they returned to Australia in December having paved the way for future success in England. Early in 1977 they returned to the UK. They toured Europe with Black Sabbath and then through the British Isles. They were a particular hit in Scotland where Angus, Malcolm and Bon were born. Meanwhile, the single ‘Love At First Feel’, charted in February 1977. ‘Dog Eat’, released in April ‘77, didn’t quite make it. In May 1977, it was announced that Mark Evans was leaving due to musical differences and he returned to Melbourne. The band held auditions for a replacement and came up with CLIFF WILLIAMS, formerly of English group, Bandit. The fourth album, Let There Be Rock, was also released in May and the following month the boys returned to Australia to record their next album to be released early 1978. Like its predecessors, it was produced by GeQrge Young and Harry Vanda. The band made no personal appearances during the visit and flew on to the US where they embarked on a promotional tour to stimulate their entry into the charts there. In America they were again met with a high level of excitement and from there moved on to Europe. Following further success in Europe, they returned to the UK in November where they had originally made it all happen. In England, the Let There Be Rock album leapt into the charts, hitting the No.15 position, whilst in Australia it had sold only moderately. The boys returned again to the US and their next local single was ‘Let There Be Rock (Pts. 1&2)’, cut in November. The boys arrived back in Australia on Christmas Day with plans to record a new album during their two or three month stay. Singles:
BABY PLEASE DON’T GO
IT’S ALONG WAY TO THE TOP
DIRTY DEEDS DONE DIRT CHEAP
LOVE AT FIRST FEEL
DIRTY DEEDS DONE DIRT CHEAP
LET THERE BE ROCK
There only hit was 'Wiggle, Wiggle' in 1958. The song assured girls that a well-placed wiggle would even show through a sack dress, the popular fashion of the day. The song reflects clothing styles and sexist attitudes of the day.
'Pledging My Love' (1955) was a number one record on rhythm and blues charts, was one of the first R&B songs to become popular among white teenagers. The song was later covered by numerous rock performers, including teen idols Johnny Tillotson and Bobby Vee. Ace's death in 1954, while playing Russian Roulette just prior to going out on stage, contributed to the legend that grew around him.
This rhythm and blues singer had a big hit, 'Shake A Hand' (1953) on the rhythm and blues charts in 1953.
This jazz musician's R&B influenced 'African Waltz' (1961) reflects the growing interest in Afro-American culture by the early 1960s. He would have even greater success later on with his instrumental hit, 'Mercy, Mercy, Mercy' (1967)
Billy became popular at dances and discos in the mid ‘60s and was a regular on the GO! TV show. He was famous for his particularly long (for that era) bouffant-style hairdo, which he eventually trimmed back as a result of hundreds of letters from GO! show viewers. His only hit was a version of the old Eddy Quinteros rocker, ‘Slow Down Sandy’, and when his two or three follow-up singles failed to make it, he took on a position in promotions with a major Melbourne department store.
Line-up: GRAHAM RUSSELL, born England, June 11, 1950 (guitar/ vocals); JEREMY PAUL, born Sydney, June 12, 1950 (bass, vocals); RUSSELL HITCHCOCK, born Melbourne, June 15, 1949 (congas, vocals).
The group evolved after Graham joined the cast of Jesus Christ Superstar in April 1975 and began singing with fellow cast members Russell Hitchcock and Chrissie Hammond. The trio became a serious project during Superstar?s New Zealand tour when they made some appearances at campuses and on radio and TV.
Chrissie left to pursue a solo career and went on to play the part of Mary Magdalene in Jesus Cbrist Superstar before becoming part of the duo, Cheetah. She was replaced by Jeremy Paul, who joined the show in Brisbane after performing in Joseph And Tbe Amazing Technicolor Dream coat. Jeremy had also played bass with a Sydney band called Soffrok and therefore added additional instrumentation to the trio.
In September 1976, they scored a recording contract with CBS and subsequently released a single comprising two Graham Russell compositions, ?Love and Other Bruises? backed with ?If You Knew Me?.
Superstar ended its season in Sydney on October 16, thus freeing the boys to make personal appearances to promote the single which was already receiving airplay. By the end of October they had begun touring and had augmented their line-up with a drummer (NIGEL MACARA, ex-Ariel), guitarist (BRENTON WHITE) and a keyboard player (ADRIAN SCOTT). In December 1976, they released their first album, Air Supply, which attained them a gold record three months later.
Meanwhile their follow-up single, ?Empty Pages?, was released in February 1977, and although it sold well, particularly in Brisbane, it just missed becoming a top forty hit. The group?s tour of Australia with Rod Stewart increased their status enormously and gained them assurances from Rod and his management as to the international potential of their act. At this point also, they began receiving some recognition overseas with the release of their first album and single in Canada, the UK and New Zealand.
The group?s big break came hot on the heels of the release of their new single, ?Do What You Do?, when, in June 1977, it was announced that they would be appearing at the annual CBS Convention in London with Chicago and Boz Scaggs. This was a fantastic achievement being the first Australian act to work at such an exclusive function.
Late June saw another step forward with the release of the new LP, The Whole Thing?s Started (which featured Graham?s compositions and continued in their soft rock theme), and a tour of the US and Canada with their old friend, Rod Stewart.
Air Supply?s first stumbling block happened in August when it was announced that Jeremy was leaving and returning to Australia with no news of a replacement. This retarded their progress and was not helped by the lack of airplay and therefore chart success of their next Australian single, ?That?s How The Whole Thing Started?, released in October 1977.
However, the group continued as a duo supported by their band and completed their tour with Rod, which turned out to be more than successful, before returning to Australia late in December. Plans for 1978 included an Australian tour and a new album to be recorded in Montreal.
This saxophonist's 'Leap Frog' (1957) bearely made it into the charts. His pop rock song about a childhood game is a good example of how some rock songs focused on pre-teen themes.
A pop rock performer who enjoyed moderate success in the early 1960s. His best known hits offer good glimpses of musical trends of the day. 'Mashed Potatoes' (1962) was an unsuccessful attempt to tie into the dance craze of 1961. 'Every Day I Had To Cry' (1963) found Alaimo trying to copy the increasingly popular R&B rock style, while 'Michael' (1963) was a minor hit trying to cash in on the folk sound made popular by acts such as Peter, Paul, and Mary.
Steve Alaimo eventually found his niche as a pop vocalist and regular on Dick Clark's 'Where the Action Is', a popular TV show of the mid to late 1960s.
He barely dented the top record charts in 1962 with two songs he wrote, 'You Better Move On' (1962) and 'Anna' (1962). Yet, artistically, the songs were two of the years best, and were later recorded by the Rolling Stones and Beatles, respectively. His success shows the lingering influence of R&B sound of the 1960s rock music.
Line-up: PETER ALLEN (vocals, piano); CHRIS BELL (vocals, guitar).
Peter was a country boy from New South Wales where he had learned piano and developed an interest in music. Whilst still only in his mid-teens, he headed for Sydney where he began playing in pubs and met up with singer Chris Bell. With the help of Chris? father, they became the Allen Brothers. In 1960 they were spotted by a friend of Brian Henderson, and as a result appeared on his Bandstand show where they became regulars for three years.
Their first record, 'Bells, Bells, Bells', was released on the Leedon label in April 1960. This was followed by 'There's No Need'. Later that year, they moved to Pye Records and released their only hit, ?First Kiss?. Follow-up singles included 'Pretty Keen Teen' (Pye, November ?60) and 'Too Much' (Pye, March '61).
In 1962 they left for the Orient where they met up with Judy Garland who enticed them to the US where they worked together at clubs and signed with ABC Paramount Records in 1965. They continued as a duet until 1970 when Peter moved into songwriting (later performing and recording - see section on PETER ALLEN), and Chris setded in California where he became a flying instructor.
LAURIE ALLEN & BOBBY BRIGHT
Laurie started out as a lead guitarist with the Knights and then took up the organ and lead vocals with the Bluejays. The Bluejays joined the Ivan Dayman organisation and Laurie decided to go his own way. Meanwhile, Bobby had been working for the Dayman organisation as a soloist in Adelaide and had decided to part company with them and move to Melbourne.
The two met up in Melbourne and decided to form a duo. They were one of the first local acts to adopt the new long hair image and met with immediate popularity. The boys became regulars on the GO! show. Early in 1965 they recorded one of Laurie?s compositions, ?I Belong With You?, featuring a catchy, foot-stamping bridge.
The song became one of 1965?s biggest hits and established Bobby and Laurie amongst the leaders of the mid sixties? pop boom. The duo had three more hits, 'Someone', ?Judy Green? and 'Crazy Country Hop' in 1965 before switching from the GO! label to Parlophone. The following year saw three more top records including their only number one hit, 'Hitchhiker', in April. In July of 1966, they were given their own TV show, It's A Gas, on the ABC. The show changed its name to Dig We Must and adopted a more sophisticated format than its counterpart on the 0-10 network, GO!
Unfortunately the TV show ruined their teenage appeal, as it featured a more ?young adult? type format and seemed to be the cause of friction between the boys. The two finally split on January 1, 1967 following their final appearance on New Year?s Eve.
Laurie formed a backing group called Dice (which included Colleen Hewett providing vocal backing). After a short time the band evolved into the Laurie Allen Revue. The Revue released a handful of singles on the Festival label. In the meantime, Bobby worked as a soloist and recorded for CBS. He then went on to become a DJ with 3XY in Melbourne in mid 1968.
In February 1969, Laurie joined Bobby on his Saturday morning radio show and in September of the same year they decided to reunite as a country and western act. They had releases on RCA (including ?Carroll County Accident? in December ?69), and on Fable (including ?Through the Eyes of Love? in December ?70), before separating again midway through 1971. Bobby went on to pursue a solo career with RCA. In July 1976, he released a self-titled album. He also wrote and recorded advertising jingles as well as pursuing an acting career on television and in the stage production of Tommy. Laurie concentrated on songwriting and several recent releases on the ATA label.
Lee Allen and His Band
He began as a saxophone player on several Fats Domino records. In 1957 he recorded an instrumental, 'Walkin With Mr. Lee' (1978), which became a minor hit.
Peter was born on February 10, 1942 in a little town in the hills of NSW. He learnt piano from an early age and was playing at the local pub by the time he was ten.
Peter left school in his mid-teens and decided to further his career in Sydney. It was there that he met CHRIS BELL and they joined forces as the Allen Brothers (see the section on the ALLEN BROTHE RS). After releasing several records and becoming TV regulars, they set out for the Orient where they met Judy Garland. Judy enticed the duo to the US where Peter met her daughter, Liza Mmdli. The couple subsequently became engaged late in 1964. They were married in 1967. However, the relationship became strained as Liza became a star and Peter?s career seemed to stagnate. Finally, in 1970, the couple broke up and so too did the Allen Brothers. From this point, Peter began to nurture his talent for songwriting. He moved to Greenwich Village where he gradually developed a cult for his bizarre stage antics in the small clubs in the area. As his popularity in cabaret began to increase, Peter directed his songwriting talents to expatriate Australians, Olivia Newton-John and Helen Reddy. It was for Olivia that he wrote the dual Grammy Award winning song, ?I Honestly Love You? in 1974. He returned to Australia in September 1975 as the opening act for Helen?s show in Sydney. Meanwhile, in the US, Peter was beginning to attract bigger audiences and had moved into bigger clubs. In 1976, Dee Anthony (Peter Frampton?s manager), took over his affairs and things began to happen. Peter teamed up with composer, CAROL BA YER SAGER. He also recorded ?I GiTo Rio. Although the single eventually topped the Australian charts, it was not until that amazing film clip of the song was shown on the pop show Countdown, that it received any airplay. By the time Peter arrived back in Australia in September 1977, the record had made number one and he was met with a tumultuous reception right throughout his tour. ?Rio? was followed hotly by his best selling album, Taught By Experts, and another single, ?The More I See You?. The next release by Peter was a double live album recorded at clubs in both Los Angeles and New York, entitled It Is Time For Peter Allen, which hit the shops in October 1977.
He first achieved fame with a country and western radio show out of Chicago in the late 1940s. By the early 1950s, he was making Grade B westerns for Republic Studios. In 1962 he had a Top 20 record on the rock charts with 'Don't Go Near The Indians' (1962). The song mirrors the public's fascination with the American West during the early 1960s when TV westerns were extremely popular. It also reflects stereotypes of Indians, and shows the continuing influence of country and western on pop music.
His only hit was 'Stranger From Durango' (1960). The song tried to capitalize on the popularity of movie and TV westerns of the early 1960s.
In February 1971, popular Sydney-based TV and club performer, Dave Allenby, released ?She Works In A Woman?s Way? (which he recorded with pop group Autumn) on the new Chart label. The single just scraped into the national top forty. It was followed by an E.P. of the same name. However, further chart success eluded him.
This pop rock group had a minor hit in 1963 with 'Surfer Street'. The song reflected the surfing fad of the day.
The Allman Brothers Band
The Allman Brothers Band was one of America's best 'live' groups. They came from the South, and cut their teeth in the go-go-club and liquor-bar circuit. From there Duane Allman became a revered and respected session guitarist, working for people like Wilson Pickett (Hey Jude), Aretha Franklin, Clarence Carter and King Curtis. Sometime later he took time off from the band to work with Eric Clapton on the 'Layla' album. The Allmans basic blues-rock style can be found on their first album 'The Allman Brothers Band', but a fairer representation of their legendary 'live' appeal occurs on 'The Allman Brothers Band/At Fillmore East' and on the highly praised 'Eat A Peach' album. It was half-way through this last album that Duane Allman hit a truck on his motorbike, and joined that long list of rock stars who have died befor their time.
The Band continued without him; the old two-guitar interplay between Duane and Dicky Betts being changed to a closer relationship between Betts guitar and Berry Oakley's bass. But fate struck again, a year after Duane's death, when Berry Oakley was killed riding his motorbike. New members, Chuck Leavell (piano) and Lamar Williams (bass), joined Gregg Allman (keyboard, guitar, lead vocals), Jai Johanny Johanson (drums and congas) and Butch Trucks (drums and tympani) to produce the much acclaimed ' Brothers And Sisters'.
Line-up: KEVIN HUGHES (drums); TERRY CHAPMAN (bass, organ, vocals); JOHN SHAW (piano, organ, vocals); TERRYHEARNE (lead guitar, vocals); MIKE MORRIS (rhythm guitar, vocals). The group, centred around composer Mike Morris, emerged in the mid-sixties with more talent and a tighter sound than most of their contemporaries. They were snapped up by Parlophone Records and released their first single, a version of Rick Nelson?s hit, ?Gypsy Woman?, backed with ?Fever (Burns My Brain)?, which was written by Mike. The single was a success and they followed it up with two more of Mike?s compositions, ?The Dancer? and 'Roller Coaster Man'.
In February 1967, they released their last hit single, ?Roundabout? before breaking up.
Born on March 31st, 1937, Herb Alpert attended the University of Southern California. He took up trumpet at the age of eight and played in junior and full symphony orchestras. During his spell in the Army he developed a love of jazz, but realized that he had no particular talent as a jazz musician. In 1957, he teamed up with Lou Adler writing songs for Keen Records. Their 'Wonderful World' was a hit for Sam Cooke in 1960, and later for Herman's Hermits in 1965. During 1966 he was working as a session musician and recording himself in his 'home-studio', where he discovered his distinctive 'double trumpet' sound. Alpert formed A & M Records with Jerry Moss to promote his first hit 'Lonely Bull', which reached no. 6 (USA) and no. 27 (UK) in 1962. From there he had a succession of Gold Albums, starting with 'Lonely Bull' (1962), then 'Herb Alpert Vol. 2', 'South Of The Border', 'Whipped Cream And Other Delights' (1965), and 'Going Places' (1965). In April 1966 'Going Places' was no. 1, 'Whipped Cream' no. 3, and 'South Of The Border' no. 6 in the USA charts. Following a decline in his popularity, Alpert moved more into the probuction side of A & M, and then producing Gino Vannelli.
Whipped Cream - 1965,
Taste of Honey - 1965,
Zorba the Greek - 1965,
Tijuana Taxi - 1965,
What Now My Love - 1966,
Spanish Flea - 1966,
The Work Song - 1966,
Mame - 1966,
and his biggest hit, This Guy's In Love With You in 1968.
Greg?s parents had a whip cracking act and he appeared with them as a child. At the age of seven, he took part in the Moomba Rodeo Festival as a trick rider, and at the age of ten he made his first appearance at the Orama Ballroom in Melbourne as a singer. He continued singing throughout the sixties doing a lot of country tours and making regular TV appearances. In 1970, he represented Australia at Expo ?70 in Osaka. In that same year, he wrote a song for a TV film about a drug addict called Michael. The song became his first and only hit and was followed by a self-titled album. In December 1973, he released a promising album on Festival called Harlequin. In the mid-seventies he drifted out of entertainment and took up farming.
The Anumals were one of the strongest groups in the English rhythm and blues boom of the mid 60's. Formed in 1959, the original band hailed from Newcastle, and featured Alan Price on organ and piano. Chas Chandler on bass, Hilton Valentine on guitar and Eric Burdon on vocals. In 1964, 'House Of The Rising Sun' cut through the Beatlemania to sell 4,000,000 copies world wide and achieved the distinction of turning Bob Dylan onto rock & roll. Alan Price can be seen hanging round with Dylan and several bottles of Newcastle Brown on the 'Don't Look Back' film. A string of hits followed, and the Animals became known as the 'blackest' of the white R*&B bands and Burdon's voice was considered 'soul' enough to rate five pages in the Black American magazine Ebony. In 1966, when Alan Price had left, Eric Burdon killed off the wild bluesy Animals, took LSD, formed Eric Burdon and the New Animals, and sang gentle songs about love and San Franciscan nights. The old fans were dismayed, and after releasing 'Love Is' in 1968, Eric left rock to become a film star. He returned a couple of years later with a backing group called War. Chas Chandler went into management with Jimi Hendrix and then Slade. Alan Price, after working with the Alan Price Set and Georgie Fame released his 'Between Yesterday And Tomorrow' album. The first two albums 'The Animals' (1964) and 'Animal Tracks' (1965) still stand as remarkably clear illustrations of what the British R&B boom was all about.
Paul Anka was born in Ottawa, Canada, on 30th July 1941, and started professional singing at the age of 12 with two friends. The trio were pretty successful in Canada, so when they disbanded Paul persuaded his parents to send him to Hollywood where he had a uncle with 'show-biz' connections. Eventually he was signed by Don Costa to Paramount records. He had his first hit in 1957 with 'Diana', which stayed at no. 1 for one week in the States and nine weeks in the UK. 'I'm so young you're so old, This my darling i've been told.' Not exactly tactful, but it went down well all the same. Anka's publicity sold him as a heavily emotional singer exposing his soul through his rather tortured voice. Other recordings to earn Gold Discs were 'Lonely Boy', 'Put Your Head On My Shoulder', 'Puppy Love' and 'My Home Town'. By the time he was 17 he was a millionaire and at 18 he was the youngest performer ever to star at the famous CopacabanaClub in New Yourk. By 21 - amidst talk of retirement - he had written over 200 songs, notably 'It Doesn't Matter Anymore', which was recorded by Buddy Holly in 1959. He has survived into the 70's in better shape than most of his contemporaries, such as Fabian, Tommy Sands and Avalon.
Rod Argent first formed The Zombies in 1964 with himself (keyboards, harmonica, violin, clarinet, vocals), Hugh Grundy (drums), Paul Atkinson (guitar, violin, harmonica), Chris White (bass, vocals) and Colin Blunstone (guitar, tambourine, vocals). Two of their major hits of the time were 'Tell Her No' and 'She's Not There'. They then seemed to drop out of the picture for a time, but came back again with a new album in 1968. It wasn't long after however, that Rod decided to back up The Zombies, and at the time of their successfull hit 'Time Of The Season' in March 1969, he formed Argent with his cousin Jim Rodford (bass), who used to be with Mike Cotton and Lucas, Russ Ballard (guitar), and Robert Henrit (drums), Argent's first album, 'Argent', was released soon after, but their first break came with the 'Hold Your Head Up' single, a hit on both sides of the Atlantic, which was followed by the successful 'God Gave Rock And Roll To You'.
Original line-up: MIKE RUDD (guitar, vocals); BILL PUTT (bass); JOHN MILLS (keyboards); TIM GAZE (guitar); NIGEL MACARA (drums).
The band evolved after the break-up of legendary group Spectrum in mid 1973 when stalwarts Mike Rudd (whose early experience included a stint with Ross Wilson?s Party Machine and Sons of the Vegetal Mother), and Bill Putt (who started out with the Lost Souls in the mid-sixties), decided to form a new group.
The new band was quick to fire with a contract on EMI and the release of an initial single entitled ?Jamaican Farewell?. The song was probably the most commercial since Spectrum?s ?I?ll Be Gone?. However, chart success was hampered by lack of airplay, particularly in Sydney. By November 1973, they began to achieve widespread recognition when they toured with Garry Glitter. In December they released their first album, A Strange Fantastic Dream, on which many tracks pioneered the use of a moog in Australian recording. The band seemed to get off to a flying start. But in April 1974, John and Tim left, followed by Nigel and it seemed that they would certainly dissolve. But, not to be discouraged, old faithfuls Bill and Mike reformed, initially as a trio with JOHN LEE (ex-Dingoes) on drums and then added HARVEY JAMES (ex-Mississippi) on guitar, to establish a quartet. With a minimum of rehearsal, the band left for a tour of Britain on October 12, 1974, following favourable reviews there of the single ?Jamaican Farewell?. On arrival in the UK they settled into Abbey Road Studios and recorded their second album, Rock And Roll Scars. They returned to Australia in January 1975 and added GL YN MASON (ex-Larry?s Rebels and Home) on guitar and vocals as a fifth member. Meanwhile, the single, ?I?ll Take You High?, released in December ?75, began to chart. The band returned to the UK in April ?76 to promote the second album. Upon arrival in London, another disruption to the line-up occurred when John Lee left to join English band, Dirty Tricks. He was replaced by original Ariel drummer, Nigel Macara. The band arrived back home in June 1975 and began strengthening their hold on Australian audiences. Their prestige amongst rock fans grew until March 1976, when Harvey?s departure to join Sherbet temporarily halted progress. However, the group capitalised~on the change by adding TONY SLA VICH on keyboards and vocals the following month. With the change in membership, came a change from record companics to CBS. An album entitled Goodnight Fiona was released on August 30, 1976. The album had a diversified folk, blues, country sound and featured tracks written by Mike and Glyn. A single, ?I Can Do Anything?, was lifted from the LP. October 1976 saw another line-up shuffle with Nigel leaving due to general incompatability. He was replaced by IAN McLENNAN (ex-Richard Clapton Band). The single, ?Disco Dilemma?, was released in April 1977 just prior to the band?s leaving CBS in June due to the expiration of their contract. From CBS the band moved to Image Records. Finally, in July 1977, feeling that they had begun to stagnate, the band announced that they would be disbanding and that their final appearance would be at the Dallas Brooks Hall in Melbourne on August 31. Their final gig was recorded on a live album entitled Aloha Ariel which was released in October. Their last single, ?It?s Only Love?, was put out to coincide with the concluding appearance.
Mike moved into promotion and the production of pop group Daniel; Tony and Ian joined the backing group for the ill-fated stage play, John, Paul, George, Ringo and Bert; Bill went to New York to study at the Conservatorium of Music, and Glyn went his own way.
A 23 year old singer with a powerful bluesy voice. Born in St. Kitts, West Indies, she came over to England at the age of eight and settled with her parents in Birmingham. In 1969 she teamed up with Pam Nester - Joan writing the music and Pam the lyrics. They have worked together ever since. Though comparatively new on the scene she has been credited with a number of radio and television shows and has completed extensive tours of both Germany and the UK. In November 1972 she released her first album 'Whatever's For Us' and in June 1973 her first single 'Lonely Lady'.
Johnny was born on February 1, 1927, and spent his early teens travelling the NSW country areas as an apprentice wool classer. His interest in music blossomed towards the end of World War II. In the late forties, he began touring as a country and western singer. He began recording in 1954 and in 1960 co-wrote a song with Sydney DJ, Tony Withers, about an actual news item in January of that year involving a lost schoolboy who was subsequently found after a mammoth search. The song, ?Little Boy Lost?, became a big hit. It was released in the US on the Capitol label as well as being covered in the UK by Tommy Steele. Johnny?s follow-up singles, ?Big River? and Kevin Shegog?s ?Little Kangaroo?, failed to chart. However, he continued to record until the early seventies when he again recorded on the EMI label. At this stage, his songwriting became more prolific and included Johnny Chester?s hit, ?Highway 31?. In 1973 he entered the charts with ?Playground In My Mind?. Today Johnny is still recording and in the mid seventies moved to RCA studios.
DOUG ASHDOWN At the age of ten, he was given a banjo and he learned to play by ear. By the age of seventeen he had managed to get himself to England where he played in~. a rock band only to return to Adelaide a year later and work in a group called the Bowmen (with Bobby Bright). From this point, Doug began to emerge as a folk hero. By mid 1969 he had three albums to his credit and was recording for the Sweet Peach label. In July 1970, he released his fourth album, a two record set entitled The Age Of Mouse. The album was highly acclaimed and was accepted by the MCA organisation for overseas release in fifty countries including the USA.
The record generated enough interest in the US to prompt Doug and Jimmy Stewart (who had produced the album), to move there. They based themselves in Nashville and concentrated on songwriting, but just couldn?t seem to crack the US market, so they returned to Australia. On their return, they set up their own label under the name of Billingsgate and produced Doug?s next album entitled Leave Love Enough Alone. The title track was released as a single, but it failed to take off despite a fair amount of airplay and it wasn?t until a year later when ?Winter In America~ was issued and charted, that the album began to be noticed. A single called ?You?re The Song? followed in April 1977. Later in the same year (in October), Doug released a new album entitled Trees on the Ash label.
The Association are a bit of an oddity on the USA scene. Their first hit in 1966, 'Along Came Mary', picked up a lot of publicity from the fuss about drug references in rock songs. The 'Mary' in the song went round solving people's problems and somebody decided that 'Mary' must be marijuana. There next three million-sellers, 'Cherish', 'Windy' and 'Never My Love', were as free from drug refereces as 'Mary' probably was, but by the time they were on their way. A very clean, wholesome and unrebllious group, their strength is their pure vocal harmonies. Highly rehearsed, they tend to sound like a 'robust heavenly choir'. They have a large following in the Mid West of America.
A country guitarist who became a Grand Ole Opry star, and was vice-president of RCA Victor when they bought up the unknown Elvis Presley's contract from Sun. Chet produced the early Presley records putting more emphasis on the electric guitar, drums and vocal backing groups than the very basic Sun tapes.
He also produced the Everly Brothers for Cadence. He was the inspiration behind most of the rock guitarists of the 50's and early 60's, and still remains a major personality in Nashville into the late 80's. In spite of being a millionaire, senior executive, and prolific producer, he can often played on sessions even for unknowns.
Lineup: PETER HOOD (drums); BOSCO BOSONAC (bass); THEO PENGLIS (guitar); JAMES SKIA THITIS (guitar). The boys met in a bus returning from the beach to Randwick in Sydney where they all lived during the summer of 1960/61. This chance meeting resulted in the formation of the band, initially playing Shadows-type instrumentals and then adopting the new surf sound. It wasn?t long before the band was snapped up by CBS Records. They released their first single, ?Dark Eyes? in February 1963. Their first chart success came in October ?63 with the classic ?Bombora?, which was followed by an album of the same name. The instrumental was one of many records of the era which borrowed its name from a surfing term. Follow-up singles included the ?Crusher? and ?Moon Man? before the group?s activity quietened only to re-emerge again in 1967 as Johnny Rebb?s backing group.
Brian Auger start out as a jazz pianist, being voted 'brightest hope' in the Melody Maker Poll of 1964. He was one of the many jazz musicians sucked into rock by the R&B boom of the mid 60s, when he joined the famed but unsuccessful Steam Packet which included Rod Stewart, Julie Driscoll, Long John Baldry and Elton John among others. He then formed the Brian Auger Trinity with Julie Driscoll. Two years hard touring brought the usual overnight success. Unusually they had their first hit on the continent with 'Save Me' and then went on to conquer Britain and New York with 'This Wheel's On Fire'. Julie breifly became the 'IT' girl of 1968, and the group was somewhat overshadowed by her publicity. Julie and Auger split in 1970 and the Trinity was disbanded in 1971. Then, tempting fate, Brian formed a jazz-rock group called Oblivion Express. Unfortunately, fate appeared to have taken up its option and Brian's career was temporarily obscured, although he did keep touring widely and releasing records.
See COOL BANANAS
AUSTRALIAN CAST OF CHARLIE GIRL
The Australian production of Charlie Girl was first staged in Melbourne in September 1971. It starred JOHNNY FARNHAM, DAME ANNA NEAGLE and DEREK NIMMO. The show went on to play around Australia and toured New Zealand in mid 1972. An album featuring the Australian cast was released and drifted into the charts in May 1972.
AUSTRALIAN CAST OF GODSPELL
Godspell was first staged in the Playbox Theatre in Melbourne in November 1971 starring COLLEEN HEWETT. She remained in the show for eight months. During that period she had a number one hit with ?Day By Day? from the show. An Australian cast album was also released early in 1972.
AUSTRALIAN CAST OF JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR
A breakdown of artists who worked in the production at one time or another reads like a Who ~s Who of the Australian pop scene. Cast members included JOHN ENGLISH (as Judas), TREVOR WHITE (as Jesus), MARCIA HINES (as Mary Magdalene), JOHN PAUL YOUNG (as Annas), STE VIE WRIGHT (as Simon), JEREMY PAUL, GRAHAM RUSSELL and RUSSELL HITCHCOCK of Air Supply, BILL and PAM MILLER of the Ferrets and CHRISSIE HAMMOND of Cheetah. The show was a lavish production utilising spectacular lighting and sound techniques. It toured throughout Australia and New Zealand over a period of four years spanning from 1972 to 1976, utilising a variety of formats. A cast album was released in 1972 and charted throughout the summer of ?72/?73.
AUSTRALIAN CRICKET TEAM
The 1972 Australian cricket team, in London to challenge for the Ashes, recorded the novelty song, ?Here Comes The Aussies?, which also made the English charts.
Lineup: STEVE McMURRAY (lead guitar); RICK GRAHAM (bass guitar); GLEN BEATSON (drums); TONY ROMERIL (vocals); GREG JACQUES (organ). The Sydney band surfaced in August 1970 with a cover version of English band Christies? hit, ?Yellow River?. The song was also covered by Melbourne group, Jigsaw. Together they charted nationally for an amazing twenty-four weeks. Autumn recorded for the new independent Chart label and soon became the heart-throbs of Sydney teenagers. Of course, the danger in having such a big initial hit was that they would become one-hit wonders. However, their follow-up single, ?Looking Through The Eyes Of A Beautiful Girl?, and album entitled Song To Raymondo, proved that they had the talent to last. Hot on the heels of their second single came a third (also from the album) called ?She Works In A Woman?s Way?, which also sold well. In April 1971, Greg left to be replaced by guitarist ALLAN MARSHALL (ex-Hot Cottage), who seemed to have the effect of improving and complementing the band?s harmonies. Meanwhile, the group switched record labels to Warner Brothers and released a new single in May 1971 called ?Falling?. At this point, the boys flew to Melbourne where they had previously had difficulty getting a hearing, as both their earlier records had been covered there by local bands (Jigsaw and the Strangers), to promote their 20 new single. The trip was a success. However, the band split up eventually following the release of their next single, ?Goblin?s Gamble?. The band did reform in mid 1976 with two original members (Tony and Rick), although they featured a new sound and played none of the old songs. Autumn?s comeback lasted only a short period before petering out. In 1977 Tony embarked on a solo career.
Lineup: TONY NAYLOR (lead guitar); GEOFF COX (drums); CLIVE HARRISON (bass);ADRIAN CAMPBELL (vocals). The band formed out of the split of the Bootleg Family Band and began appearing in Melbourne early in 1976. The boys were quick to release their first single, ?Wizard Of Love? in April ?76. The record met with immediate chart success. Their second single, ?Sweet Baby Brown Eyes? (written by Tony), was released in July 1976 and an album simply called Avalanche hit the music stores in September. The following month brought what was potentially the group?s biggest break when it was announced that they had signed with ABC Dunhill Records for release of their material in the US. ?Wizard Of Love? became their first US single and was followed with a record called ?Landslide?. Reaction from the US was not strong enough to prompt a trip there. Their progress was hampered with the loss of Geoff in February 1977. Geoff?s replacement was Queensland drummer, JOHN BARNES, who only stayed with the band until April ?77 when he was replaced by BARRY CRAM (ex-Panther). This disruption was followed by the news that Chive was also leaving. It looked like a dissolution might result. However, a new bass player, GRAHAM THOMPSON was found and the band completed the injection of new blood with the addition of GERARD McCABE on keyboards. The new line-up then produced a single, ?Got To Get You Into My Life?, at the end of 1977. The number was a rework of the old Beatles? song. Single: 17/ 4/76 WIZARD OF LOVE No.22 8 weeks Bootleg
Original lineup: BRIAN CADD (organ); DON MUDIE (bass); GLEN SHORROCK (vocals); DOUG LA VERY (drums); CHRIS STOCKLEY (lead guitar). The band?s formation in 1969 caused a lot of controversy as it was alleged in some circles that Don and Brian initiated the Groop?s break-up in order to form Axiom. Whether or not the claim was factual is hard to say. However, it was certainly true that the band?s formation caused disruption to some top groups with Glenn (exTwilight) withdrawing as manager of the Avengers to join up, Doug leaving the Valentines and Chris dropping out of Campact. Axiom was immediately hailed as a supergroup and their goal seemed obvious ? an assault on the English market. December 1969 saw the success of their first single, ?Arkansas Grass? (written by Brian and Don), and, unfortunately, the departure of Doug Lavery, who was replaced by DON LEBLER (ex-Avenger). Four months later (April 1970), the band left for England reportedly with recording offers from both Apple and Decca Records, and a firm publishing contract with Leeds Music. On the eve of their departure, they released their next single, ?A Little Ray Of Sunshine? (another Cadd and Mudie composition) and also their debut album entitled Fool?s Gold. The LP was hailed as a milestone, featuring their own original material and a variety of unusual instruments (such as a didgeridoo and jew?s harp) in order to enhance the otherwise basic sound. Whilst in the UK the band finally signed a three year contract with the Warner/Reprise label. They returned to Australia in November 1970. Their reception back here was a little quiet. After a national tour and the release of their next single (?My Baby?s Gone?), they returned to England. Back in the UK, things were far from stable as Don Mudie departed and Don Lebler left to join the Mixtures. Finally, in March 1971, the group officially disbanded. Brian and Don teamed up initially to write and record before Brian embarked on a very successful solo career. Glenn worked for Singles: 6/12/69 4/ 4/70 23/ 1/71 Album: 20/ 6/70 a time with MAM Agencies as a singer/composer/producer before turning up again in the Little River Band, and Chris went on to become part of the Dingoes. A single version of ?Fool?s Gold? was released immediately after the break-up in April 1971, but it failed to make the charts. ARKANSAS GRASS A LITTLE RAY OF SUN. SHINE MY BABY?S GONE FOOL?S GOLD No. 7 18 weeks P?phone No. 5 13 weeks P?phone No. 8 12 weeks Warners No.18 1 week P?phone
See BILLY THORPE AND THE AZTECS
The Bachelors were an Irish group, who hit the charts early in 1963 with 'Charmaine'. They followed this with nine more hits up to 1967 including a no. 1 with 'Diane' in 1964. They sang straightforward sentimental songs in a polished style with an insistent but light beat. Their other hits included 'I Believe' (1964), 'Ramona' (1964), 'I Wouldn't Trade You For The World' (1964), 'Marie' (1965) and 'Sound Of Silence' (1966).
Cash, whose real name is Arvids Krastins, was born of Latvian parents. He grew up in the Melbourne suburb of Ascot Vale and took up working at a timber mill in eastern Victoria which must have played a part in developing his robust image. The musical side of Cash?s life started at the age of fifteen when he began singing at parties and writing songs. It was his talent for composing that won him a contract with Compak Productions. His vocal abilities came to the fore with a cover version of Jim Stafford?s hit, ?My Girl Bill? on Image records. The record became a top ten hit and was interpreted by many as a ?gay? song. However, it was apparently about a girl with the name Bill. Cash?s next chart success came in February 1975 with a revival of Jim Reeve?s ?He?ll Have To Go?, and, in April ?75 he released his first album entitled Loving You. Meanwhile Cash was also developing as an actor, usually taking on tough-man roles in police dramas like Division 4 and Homicide. Cash moved on to the Rainbird label and released his second album, A Little Bit Of Understanding. One of his compositions, ?Oh Caroline? (which was about Cash?s wife), was released as a single from the album in May 1976. Although further success in the national charts has eluded Cash, he continues to be a top country seller and a popular touring artist. During the latter half of 1977 he toured with the renowned Greyhound Country Music Express. Singles: 6/ 7/74 MY GIRL BILL No. 7 10 weeks Image 15/ 2/75 HE?LL HAVE TO GO No.30 5 weeks Image
Joan Baez started out singing in the clubs of Cambridge, Mass., but arrived in New York City in 1960 where she began to make a name for herself in Greenwich Village. Although she sang too well to be regarded as 'authentic' by the purists, she was the first of a new wave of folk singers who became nationally famous and turned a whole generation of White America on to folk music. It was Joan who gave young Bob Dylan a start by persuading him to join her on stage when they would sing each others songs. After putting three albums into the Top Twenty in November 1962, Joan forsook material such as 'Plaisir d'Amour' and 'Mary Hamilton' for more political songs, much in the tradition of Peter Seeger, Jack Elliott and Woody Guthrie. As well as singing the songs she organized protests against the Vietnam war and was often seen at the head of demonstrations for peace, civil rights and student rights. Since opening a School For Non-Violence in 1967 she emerges only for the occasional major concert or tours, or for a political gesture such as spending Christmas 1972 in Hanoi.
Dorothy was a very popular cabaret and TV artist during the late fifties and early sixties, performing regularly on Melbourne variety shows like Sunnyside Up. She recorded for W&G Records. Her first chart success was with a cover version of Jo Ann Campbell?s ?Girl From Wolverton Mountain?. Kevin Shegog had already successfully recorded ?Wolverton Moun tain? (a hit for Claude King in the US), and when the powers that be at W&G heard that the sequel was due to be released in Australia, they decided to cover it also. They had to act swiftly and they produced what must be one of this country?s fastest single releases. Dorothy was contacted on a Tuesday, the song was recorded on the Wednesday, at the radio stations by Friday and in the shops the following Monday. Dorothy?s next chart success was ?Darling?, written by Kevin Shegog. In April 1963 she signed with Parlophone in the UK for releases there. Although she did not achieve high overseas record sales and had only one more local hit ?A Little Like Lovin??, she has retained her youthful style and good looks into the seventies and still makes regular TV appearances. Singles: 30/ 8/62 GIRL FROM WOLVER TON No. 5 13 weeks W&G MOUNTAIN 24/ 1/63 DARLING No.27 6 weeks W&G 9/ 8/63 A LITTLE LIKE LOVIN? No.26 3 weeks W&G
Ginger Baker started out as a jazz drummer and was almost an 'apprentice' to the late Phil Seamen. After playing with Alexis Korner, Ginger joined the Graham Bond Organisation, a group that was very influential on the club scene in the early 60s. Ginger spent two years with Bond, whose bass player was Jack Bruce, and it was in this band with its then quite unusual free-style jazz influence, that Ginger laid the foundations for Cream, formed at the beginning of 1967. While with Jack Bruce and Eric Clapton in Cream, Ginger was voted 'Worlds Top Drummer' in the music press, an honour he has received many times since. Ginger's extended solo 'Toad' became not only a high point of Cream's stage act but a source of ideas for many drummers in groups that followed the lead Cream had given. After Cream split in 1968, Ginger Baker and Clapton began jamming with Stevie Winwood which led to the ill-starred Blind Faith. Nothing went well for what was hailed as 'the supergroup of supergroups' right from the British debut on June 7th 1969. After Blind Faith, Ginger formed his own band Airforce, which made an album, but never really got off the ground. In 1971 Ginger scripted and produced a film record of his visit to Nigeria, which was shown on BBC television in July 1973. Since then Ginger has spent a lot of time in Lagos, and has started a recording studio there. His latest venture is Salt, a band made up of African and European musicians.
Long Johb Baldry
Long Johb Baldry was a giant on the early 60s British blues scene in more than one sense - he is six foot seven tall - Baldry sang with Alexis Korner and then Ied Cyril Davies' R&B All Stars after Cyril's death in 1964, changing the name to the Hoochie Coochie Men. In 1965 he formed Steam Packet, which included Rod Stewart and Elton John in the line-up. Despite his authentic blues voice, Baldry's only record success was with two slushy sentimental ballads, 'Let The Heartaches Begin' (a no. 1 in 1967) and 'Mexico' (1968). Since then Baldry has disappeared from the scene.
The Band started out playing together in Canada in 1959, playing with Ronnie Hawkins and making some records themselves as Levon and the Hawks, named after Levon Helm, the drummer. The other members of the Band were Rick Danko (bass, vocals), Garth Hudson (organ, vocals), Richard Manuel (piano, vocals) and Robbie Robertson (guitar, vocals). In 1965 they were playing in New Jersey when a phone call came out of the blue from Bob Dylan, who wanted a backing group when he made his controversial move into rock. Up to 1967 they spent their time touring with Dylan and making a number of unreleased recordings (e.g. the famous 'basement tapes' and 'live at the Albert Hall' recordings that have appeared on bootleg albums). They then developed a style of there own, displayed throughout their album 'Music From Big Pink' but most brilliantly in their 1968 hit single from this record 'The Weight'. Their first recordings made an impact through good songs and a free, relaxed style of impeccable good taste developed through years of playing together. Robertson emerged as a fine guitarist and songwriter, especially on their second album 'The Band' which successfully evokes the mood of rural and small-town America in a natural way that no other group has done. Succeeding albums 'Stage Fright' and 'Cahoots' developed the same themes equally successfully. The Band played with Dylan at the Isle of Wight in 1969; toured Europe themselves in 1971 and then, amid critical jeers, released a live album, 'Rock Of Ages' - following this with 'Moondog Matinee' in 1973.
BAND OF LIGHT
Original line-up: PHIL KEYS (guitar); PETER ROBERTS (bass); TONY BUETTEL (drums); NORM ROUE (slide guitar). The band was formed during the latter part of 1972 by Phil. Both Phil and Peter were ex-La De Das; Tony had worked with Fraternity and Levi Smith Clefs; and Norm came from the Sydney group Gut-bucket. The aim behind the band was to develop a sound that was basically rock orientated, but it included some blues songs and featured slide guitar. The band suffered its first setback after only three live performances when Peter left. He was replaced by IAN RILEN. By early 1973 they had consolidated themselves enough to land a recording contract with WEA Records. In July 1973, ?Destiny Song? hit the national top forty. This was followed by their debut album, Total Union, which was released in August ?73. Further record sales success eluded the band although they continued to perform successfully with some line-up changes until 1975. One of their better subsequent single releases was ?Free Them From Hunger?. Single: 7/ 7/73 DESTINY SONG No.18 3 weeks Warners Album: 1/ 9/73 TOTAL UNION No.13 1 week Warners
Tony was born in England on December 3, 1943. He is not to be confused with the other Tony Barber (of TV?s Great Temptation fame). He worked as a window dresser after leaving school and came to Australia in 1964. After only one month?s residency, he joined Billy Thorpe?s Aztecs and became a strong asset to the group as a rhythm guitarist and composer of many of their hits (including ?Blue Day? and ?Don?t You Know?). The group met with tremendous success, but in early 1965 they broke up and Tony formed Vince and Tony?s Two with lead guitarist, Vince Maloney. The duo had no successful records and only lasted a few months before breaking up. Vince formed The Vince Maloney Sect and Tony went on to pursue his successful solo career. Tony was snapped up by Spin Records. His first hit, ?Someday?, took off immediately. The single was followed by an album, Someday... Now, which was released in March 1966. Three more selfpenned singles managed also to make the charts (as listed below). In April 1967, he married well known Go-Set journalist, Sue Peck, and then drifted out of the pop limelight. Singles: 6/ 2/66 SOMEDAY No. 7 15 weeks Spin 1/ 6/66 WAIT BY THE WATER No.35 5 weeks Spin 17/ 7/66 NO, NO, NO No.21 21 weeks Spin 18/ 1/67 LOOKING FOR A No.39 1 week Spin BETTER DAY
Noelene was born in Sydney on Christmas day in 1944. She began singing at the age of five. With encouragement from her mother, she appeared wherever she could. Her big break came early in 1960 when she entered a talent quest which Festival?s A&R man, Ken Taylor, had helped establish at Ling Nam?s Chinese Restaurant in Sydney. Noelene?s clear voice and stage charm won her a contract with Festival. Her first record, ?Starry Eyes?, was released on the company?s ?try-out? label, Rex, in March 1960. The record was not successful. However, her follow-up, the dis tinctive, simple arrangement of ?Barefoot Boy?, made the top ten all over Australia. By this stage she had become a regular on Bandstand and continued to achieve chart success throughout 1961 with ?Rendezvous? and ?Tammy?. Although Noelene was unable to produce a national hit in 1962 or 1963, her popularity continued to grow. In August 1964 she released another very distinctive record, ?My Little Treasure From Japan?. The Japanese version, entitled ?Kon Nichi Was Achan?, had already sold over one million copies in Japan. Noelene ?s version repeated this success in Australia. An album followed. Over the ?64/?65 Christmas season she broadened her activities to take to the stage in the pantomime, Wizard of Oz. From this point, Noelene began to lose her pop singer image, adopting a more sophisticated cabaret/performer approach. Consequently she drifted from the charts. In March 1965 she travelled to Japan, following the success of ?My Little Treasure? there and made a number of TV appearances. Noelene?s English version of their song and her demure looks seemed to appeal to the Japanese. Back in Australia she continued to work clubs. Later in the sixties, she moved to England where she made solo appearances as well as providing vocal backing for artists like Cliff Richard. In 1975, she married Stephen Stewart-Topper and set up house in Essex. Noelene had her first child in 1976 and has remained involved in entertainment. Singles: 24/11/60 BAREFOOT BOY No. 5 16 weeks Festival 25/ 2/61 RENDEZVOUS No.30 8 weeks Festival 5/ 8/61 TAMMY No.35 4 weeks Festival 9/10/64 LITTLE TREASURE No.24 6 weeks Festival FROM JAPAN
Line-up: ROBIN GIBB and MAURICE GIBB (both born on December 22, 1949), BARRY GIBB (born on September 1,1947). The Gibb brothers were born on the Isle of Man in the Irish Sea and moved to Manchester in England where their interest in music began to develop. Their father, Hugh Gibb, was a band leader and drummer, so he was quick to give them every encouragement. As early as 1956, the brothers had formed their own skiffle trio called the Blue Cats. They appeared at the local cinema. Even at Bee Gees this early stage their harmonies were evident. The Gibb family, with Barry aged eleven and the twins (Maurice and Robin) aged eight, migrated to Australia and settled in Brisbane. By 1960 they had begun appearing on local television. Rules about minors performing restricted their progress to a certain extent. As the boys gradually improved their vocalising, Barry also developed his songwriting and by early 1963, they had scored a record contract with the Leedon label. Their first single, ?Battle Of The Blue And Grey?/?Three Kisses Of Love? (released in March, 1963), became a minor hit in Brisbane, and as interest in the group began to develop the family based themselves in Sydney. A second single, ?Take Hold Of That Star?/?Timber?, was released later in the year and the boys toured with Johnny O?Keefe and Chubby Checker. Throughout 1964 the brothers continued to tour and record. Releases included ?Peace Of Mind?, ?Claustrophobia? and a solo single from Barry entitled ?Turn Around And Look At Me?. Although they managed to build a large following, chart success continued to elude them. By 1965, the Beatles? sound (which involved a similar harmony style to the Bee Gees), had become firmly entrenched. By August of that year the group released their first single to achieve national recognition. It was called ?Wine And Women? and it just failed to make the national charts. It appeared that this might be the lever to ease them into the top forty, but, unfortunately, their follow-up single, ?And The Children Laughing?/?I Was A Lover, A Leader Of Men?, sold only moderately. In fact, it wasn?t until October 1966 that they scored their first big Australian hit with ?Spicks And Specks?, released on Spin Re- cords. This was to be their first and only Australian-made top ten hit as, in February 1967, as a result of frustration in not gaining the local acclaim they deserved, the family returned to the UK. About one week after their arrival, they were contacted by Australian, Robert Stigwood (of NEMS organisation), who took over their management and groomed them for stardom. It seems the contact was made as a result of the boys? father sending Brian Epstein (B~eatles? manager and head of NEMS) an album of their songs. ?Spicks and Specks? was released there. Although it made little impression, Stigwood was content and embarked on a no-expense-spared publicity and promotion campaign. Then in April, they released their first international hit, ?New York Mining Disaster ? 1941?, which not only charted high in Australia, but made No.14 in the US and No.12 in England. Now well on the way to stardom, the trio decided to expand the group instrumentally by importing Australian musicians VINCE MALONEY (on guitar) and COLIN PETERSON (on drums). The group?s follow-up single, ?To Love Somebody?, became probably their best remembered track and was subsequently recorded by over two hundred people. Ironically, the record didn?t chart well in England, although it was a hit in most other countries. In the meantime, they had signed a mammoth œ80,000 deal with Atlantic Records for US releases. Their next single, ?Massachusetts?, released in September 1967, became their biggest hit, selling over five million copies. Their first album, Bee Gees? First, which had been released in the UK in June, hit the US market in October. The world was beginning to experience Bee Gee mania. The group had developed a unique style with Robin?s high pitched voice, their tight harmonies and Barry?s talent for songwriting. In November, Stigwood left NEMS, taking the Bee Gees with him. The boys made a film with Spike Milligan called Cucumber Castle. The group began playing London theatres. The singles ?Holiday? (US), ?World? and ?Words? followed. Their second album, Horizontal, came in February 1968. In April they presented a memorable concert at London?s Albert Hall using a sixty piece orchestra, a forty voice choir and even a Royal Air Force Apprentice Band. It must have been one of the most spectacular concerts ever staged. Another album, Rare, Precious and Beautiful (Vol.1), was released and then came their million dollar tour of America, opening in July at the Hollywood Bowl. Their performances there were equally spectacular. But the strain was beginning to tell and the group returned to England. Robin collapsed from nervous exhaustion and Barry announced, 29 doubtless under pressure, that he intended leaving the group when their commitments had been fulfilled (this involved up to two years). Despite the period of uneasiness, they managed three more hit singles, ?Jumbo?, ?I?ve Gotta Get A Message To You? and ?I Started A Joke?. The latter half of 1968 also produced two more albums ?Idea (September) and Rare, Precious and Beautiful (Vol.2) (November). As the group?s style settled into a pop/ballad pattern, the use of electric guitar became less important. In December, Vince announced that he was leaving, having never felt part of the Bee Gees and holding different musical ideas. The group?s next single was ?First Of May?, which made the charts in March and featured Barry singing virtually solo. Apparently the release caused a rift between Barry and Robin, who had wanted the other side to be the A-side. The discord came to a head at the end of March when Robin announced he was leaving to pursue a solo career. The press seemed to consolidate the split with dramatic reports and articles quoting threats of legal action. The break looked damaging with a US tour coming up. The follow-up single, ?Tomorrow, Tomorrow? (recorded with Robin), had only limited success. Meanwhile, Robin?s solo single, ?Saved By The Bell?, made No.2 in England, adding fuel to the fire. Then, in September, Cohn Peterson announced that he was leaving to concentrate on management activities. (He formed his own production company in Australia in 1977.) The same month saw their next single featuring a country sound. It was called ?Don?t Forget To Remember?. In October they released their third album for 1969 entitled Best Of Bee Gees (it had been preceded by Rare, Precious and Beautiful, Vol.3 in February and Odessa in March). Early 1970 saw two only moderately successful singles, ?If Only I Had My Mind On Something Else? and ?1010? (April) and two albums ? Cucumber Castle (April) and Sound Of Love (May). In the meantime they had continued as a duo until Barry finally quit both Maurice and Stigwood. Barry turned to solo recording with ?I?ll Kiss Your Memory? which failed to sell. Robin?s follow-up singles were also unsuccessful. Fortunately, enough material by the group had been recorded to allow releases as the Bee Gees during this period. Finally, in June 1970, the brothers agreed to re-form as a recording trio, but the results weren?t quite the same. The break had interrupted their continuity. They did manage to produce two more albums ? Marley Purt Drive (October) and Two Years On (December). The new year got off to an optimistic start with the single ?Lonely Days?, but the following months seemed somewhat unproductive and the critics were claiming they had passed their peak. In April ?71, GEOFF BRIDGEFORD (ex-Groove) became semipermanent drummer with the brothers following his tour with them to the US. In July they toured Australia. In general though, 1971 proved a quiet year by previous standards, with only two more singles selling ? ?How Can You Mend A Broken Heart? and ?Don?t Wanna Live Inside Myself?. In late January and early February 1972, the group again toured Australia. A single, ?My World?, featuring their old sound, was released. The brothers? popularity seemed to shift toward the US during the year with their records selling better there than in the UK. Releases included ?Run To Me? (July), ?Alive? (November) and the To Whom It May Concern album (October). Another quiet year followed in 1973 with the interesting Life In A Tin Can album (March) selling well and two moderately successful singles, ?Saw A New Morning? and ?Wouldn?t I Be Someone?. However, there were many more songs that were shelved. A complete album recorded in Los Angeles was scrapped. A new direction began to evolve in 1975 with the boys taking more interest in songwriting and production. This expansion of activities was a positive utilisation of their talents which developed into a valuable contribution to the pop industry. As their operations shifted to the US and changed direction, record releases became minimal. With their base firmly established in America, it became obvious that their music, which had adopted a more soulful feel, was being influenced by their environment. The brothers? twentieth anniversary of performing in 1975, was celebrated with the recording of the first of the new style albums, Main Course, released in November ?75. By this stage they had added three permanent instrumentalists, ALAN KENDALL (guitar), DENIS BYRON (drums), and BLUE WEA VER (keyboards). The group now seemed to be experiencing a resurrection with tracks from the LP making the US charts and some being covered by other artists. The new album, Children Of The World, saw the change of style complete. The single from that album, ?You Should Be Dancing?, charted both here and in the US. Regrettably, the album?s release in Australia was delayed due to contractual hassles here, but it was eventually released in April 1977 on the RSO label. In the meantime, Barry?s production and songwriting began to achieve major recognition with his creation of younger brother, Andy?s, enormously successful album and single, and a highly acclaimed LP for 8 weeks 14 weeks 14 weeks 15 weeks 15 weeks 8 weeks 17 weeks 12 weeks 13 weeks 1 week* Spin Spin Spin Spin Spin Spin Spin Int?fusion mt ?fusion RSO 5 weeks 26 weeks 1 week 12 weeks 26 weeks Spin Spin Spin Spin Spin Samantha Sang. Their new album, Here At Last . . . Live (recorded at the Los Angeles Forum), began selling well in November, and the single, ?How Deep Is Your Love??, made No.3 in the US and No.3 in England. Late in December 1977, the locally. single had also begun to chart 9/ 8/67 18/10/67 27/12/67 28/ 2/68 8/ 5/68 Singles: 19/10/66 SPICKS AND SPECKS 31/ 5/67 NEW YORK MINING DISASTER - 1941 TO LOVE SOMEBODY MASSACHUSETTS WORLD WORDS JUMBO/THE SINGER SANG THE SONG 4/ 9/68 I?VE COTTA GET A MESSAGE TO YOU 15/ 1/69 ISTARTEDA JOKE 26/ 3/69 FIRST OF MAY 12/ 7/69 TOMORROW, TOMOR- ROW 4/10/69 No. 4 16 weeks Spin No. 3 9 weeks Spin No. 6 Spin No. 1 Spin No. 5 Spin No.11 Spin No.18 Spin No. 4 14 weeks Spin No. 3 No.13 No.19 13 weeks 16 weeks 12 weeks 7 weeks 8 weeks 16 weeks 11 weeks 6 weeks Spin Spin Spin No. 9 13 weeks Spin 25/ 4/70 6/ 2/71 31/ 7/71 19/ 2/72 19/ 8/72 16/ 6/73 19/10/74 23/ 8/75 16/10/76 w-iw A NEW MORNING MR. NATURAL JIVE TALKIN? YOU SHOULD BE DANCING 24/12/77 HOW DEEP IS YOUR LOVE Albums: 18/ 7/70 27/ 3/71 12/ 6/71 19/ 2/72 12/ 2/72 No.11 No. 8 No. 2 No. 4 No. 3 No.26 No. 7 No.16 No.14 No.35 * Still charting at time of writing CUCUMBER CASTLE BEST OF BEE GEES TWO YEARS ON TRAFALGAR BEST OF BEE GEES No.15 No. 5 No.15 No. 6 No. 5 16/12/72 TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN 28/ 7/73 LIFE IN A TIN CAN 7/12/74 MR. NATURAL 21/ 5/77 CHILDREN OF THE WORLD 20/ 8/77 HERE AT LAST No.20 1 week Spin No.11 No. 9 No.17 4 weeks 5 weeks 1 week Spin Spin RSO No.11 5 weeks RSO
Pianist Graeme Bell, became very popular during the post-war period and released a number of successful 78 rpm records. Early in 1963, he recorded a version ot the theme from a popular English comedy series called The Rag Trade. The record was a hit with both jazz fans and fans of the TV show. Although Graeme had no more hit singles, he continued to record with his band, the All Stars, and releases included a couple of successful albums for Festival Records. He has also become a permanent part of the Sydney League?s Clubs scene. Single: 21/ 2/63 RAG TRADE RAG Merv Benton
No.27 11 weeks Festival Merv grew up in the Melbourne suburb of Reservoir and went to school at Preston High where he was an enthusiastic tennis player. He had no great desire to become a singer and when he left s~hool he joined a prominent Victorian bank as a trainee. One night at a local dance, unbeknown to Merv, his friends en33 tered him in a talent quest. When his name was called it was too late to back out. His appearance was successful and he soon became a regular singer throughout Melbourne?s dance scene. Merv quickly built a strong following. Even prior to his first record release he had developed a fan club of over 250 members. This was a unique achievement considering his only exposure was at local dances. A record contract came early in 1964 with the W&G label. With young promoter, Brian de Courcy, as his manager, he began to create mild hysteria. Merv?s first single was a revival of Elvis Presley?s ?Baby, Let?s Play House?. It became the forerunner of a string of hit singles spanning the following three years. The Benton image of classic good looks, close-cropped hair and tailored suits was in complete contrast to the new wave of long-haired, Liverpool-sound groups of the era. However, he won the hearts of young fans all over Australia. By the end of 1964, the nineteen year old singer had released his debut album, Come On And Get Me; had become a regular on national and local TV pop shows; and toured the country with Billy J. Kramer. Throughout 1965, he continued to tour Australia with backing group, the Tamlas. He also produced four more hit singles. Merv created fervent excitement amongst female fans wherever he sang. He rode into 1966 on the crest of a wave of oncoming success. The early part of the year saw a continuation of his winning formula of recording rock?n?roll standards. During this time he gradually became aware of an irritating throat problem. By September 1966, the complaint had become serious enough for him to withdraw from a big concert at Melbourne?s Myer Music Bowl. Later that month it was announced that Merv had disabled his larynx as a result of a nervous disorder and that he would be out of action for two years. Nevertheless, the retirement became permanent. It was a tragedy for the young singer who had been voted Australia?s third top male vocalist (to Normie Rowe and Ronnie Burns) in Go-Set?s Pop Poll. Merv?s record company did have some unreleased material though, and he continued for a short time miming new singles on television. Eventually he returned to the bank, and although he released a country flavoured album later in the sixties, he did not re-enter show business. Singles: 3/ 4/64 BABY, LET?S PLAY No.17 4 weeks W&G HOUSE 19/ 6/64 NERVOUS BREAKDOWN No.38 1 week W&G 34 14/ 8/64 BE SWEET No.22 8 weeks W&G 4/12/64 COME ON AND GET ME No.34 3 weeks W&G 16/ 5/65 I GOT BURNED No.13 16 weeks W&G 22/ 8/65 YIELD NOT TO TEMP? No.11 7 weeks W&G TATION 10/10/65 DON?T DES TROYME No.19 6 weeks W&G 14/11/65 SHIMMY SHIMMY ?65 No.31 5 weeks W&G 9/1/66 WE GOT LOVE No.27 6 weeks W&G 20/ 2/66 YOU?VE GOT WHAT IT No.20 9 weeks W&G TAKES 15/ 5/66 THE WORRYIN?KIND No.22 5 weeks W&G
Kerrie began playing piano at the age of five and continued studying it seriously until she turned fifteen. At this point she developed serious arthritis in her hands and turned to singing as her only alternative. On leaving school, she took on a day job, but became frustrated over not being involved in her first love ? music. Finally, in 1968, at the age of twenty-one, she auditioned as a vocalist for a group called Affairs and became their lead singer. The band won the National Battle of the Sounds and, in 1970, utilised their prize which was a trip to England. Whilst in the UK the members found different directions and Kerrie returned home. Back in Australia she took on session work. She also began appearing with the Daly Wilson Big Band. In the meantime, Kerrie married David Glyde. Following the band?s last concert (at that point in time), they decided to check things out in Canada. She remained there for three months, doing some session and TV work before returning to Australia and joining the Bootleg label. Kerrie started work on an album immediately. The result was a best-seller. From April 1973, she toured with the Bootleg stable. The album sold steadily over the next few months. In January 1974, negotiations were completed via a Gold Coast hotel owner for Kerrie to sign a contract spanning three years, to sing at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Later that year she was chosen to appear at Expo ?74 in Spokane. She had now become a world class entertainer. In mid 1975, her outstanding Only The Beginning album was released following her move to EMI Records. Kerrie?s high point came later in ?75 when she left for London to appear at the Royal Albert Hall. Miss Biddel is still a major club performer and more recently has become an integral part of Sanyo?s advertising campaign. Album: 14/ 4/73 KERRIE BIDDEL No. 9 6 weeks Bootleg
BILL & BOYD
Lineup: BILL CATE and BOYD ROBERTSON The duo teamed up while they were both still at college in Wellington, New Zealand. They started off playing at concerts for fellow students. Then they graduated to clubs and managed to score a recording deal with a local label. A succession of hits followed on the New Zealand charts and they toured the country several times. Then, early in 1964, they left their following behind to further their careers in Australia. They wasted no time in releasing their first Australian hit in June of that year entitled ?Chulu Chululu?. It was a bright, sing-along song recorded live at the Rotorua Sound Shell in New Zealand. The talented Kiwis were quick to gain popularity, appearing regularly on TV (particularly on Bandstand) and working clubs around Australia. After repeating their initial chart success and refining their act even further, they left for America early in 1968. In the US they toured with the Supremes and Herb Alpert. The highlight of the tour was a mammoth performance at Central Park in New York. On their return to Australia, they established themselves as a top club act. In 1970, they joined Ron Tudor?s newly formed Fable label. Their first release, in July ?70, was a version of ?It?s A Small World? which, although a steady seller, didn?t quite make the top forty. They had several releases over the next four years including the patriotic ?Aussie? single in July 1974. However, their big chart re-entry came in January 1975 with ?Santa Never Made It To Darwin?. The song, of course, referred to the Cyclone Tracy disaster which devastated Darwin on the Christmas Eve just prior. It was recorded with the intention of raising funds for the appeal from royalties. Bill and Boyd?s aim was more than satisfactorily achieved when the record made number one nationally. Mid 1975, the duo released an album entitled Bill & Boyd (which Fable hope to revamp and re-release early in 1978) and hit the charts at the end of the year with ?Put Another Log On The Fire?. Although they had ceased recording by the end of 1977, they are still regarded as one of Australia?s top live acts. Singles: 26/ 6/64 CHULU CHULULU No.10 6 weeks Philips 18/ 9/66 EDEL WEISS No.38 2 weeks Philips 36 23/ 8/67 IF I WERE A RICH MAN No.24 5 weeks Philips 18/ 1/75 SANTA NEVER MADE IT No. 1 15 weeks Fable TO DARWIN 13/12/75 PUT ANOTHER LOG ON No. 6 14 weeks Fable THE FIRE
Lindsay Bjerre (pronounced bee-air) began singing quite by accident. He sang one night at a Tamworth hotel at the age of twelve. Being an impromptu performance, Lindsay was amazed to find he had been well received. At fifteen he bought a guitar and with some friends formed a group called the Sunsets. The group managed to get a contract with the Leedon label and released about five locally successful singles. Lindsay and the band were also responsible for the sound tracks to popular surf movies, A Life In The Sun and Hot Generation. Their most commercially successful sound track came later. It was for the movie Evolution, which was also shown overseas. The band evolved into Taman Shud (which included TIM GAZE ? later to play with Ariel). They developed a strong cultist following as a result of their highly creative material. Eventually, the band dissolved under the pressure of management problems and the fear of stagnation. However, another new band, Albatross, unfolded and perpetuated Lindsay?s desire for creative music. The group released an album, A Breath Of Fresh Air and toured with Frank Zappa. Lindsay left the group in 1974 to ?find himself?. He concentrated on theatrical writing and composing songs. During this period he developed the bizarre and romantic Bjerre image which included a hint of David Bowieism. In December 1976, he signed with Phonogram Records and began work immediately on his Steeling The Hours album. He toured with Manhattan Transfer in mid 1977. In late May, a single from the LP, ?She Taught Me How To Love Again?, was released. The record was slow to take off. However, it was spurred on by the amazing film clip which was screened regularly on Countdown and made the charts in October. A follow-up single, ?I?ll Take You Higher?, was released in November 1977. Single: 8/10/77 SHE TAUGHT ME HOW No.22 9 weeks Philips TO LOVE AGAIN
Original line-up: JOHN ROBINSON (guitar); NEALE JOHNS (vocals);AL KASH (drums);BOB FORTES QUE (bass guitar). The band surfaced in 1970 and were snapped up by Festival Records who immediately financed the recording of their debut album, Mountains Of Madness, which was released early in 1971. The highlight of the LP was a song called ?Seasons Of Change? which had originally been written by John for the band Fraternity. However, the track was so strong that Festival decided to release it as a single. It became an immediate hit. Meanwhile, Al Kash had left in March and was replaced by TERRY GASCOIGNE. Then, in August 1971, in a controversial move, Neale was sacked and replaced by HARRY BRUCE. However, Peter Cunningham of Nova Agencies, who had legal rights to the name, immediately formed a new, official Blackfeather with Neale as the leader. The new line-up was WARREN WARD (bass); NEALE JOHNS (vocals); JIM PENSON (drums); ZACK ZYTINICK (lead guitar);PAUL WYLDE (piano). In the meantime, John Robinson?s group lost Blackfeather?s following and disbanded a short time later. In December ?71, Zack left and the band sought no immediate replacement. The band?s sound had altered by this time and they featured the piano heavily (being an actual piano ? not electrified ? which was amplified using a microphone). During the intervening period, BILLY TA YLOR (ex-Flake) worked with the band on guitar. Jim left. He was replaced by TREVOR YOUNG and later GREG SHEEHAN. Then, mid 1972, they recorded ?Boppin? The Blues?, which was actually composed by the boys, despite the fact that the label credited Carl Perkins with writing it. The song actually bore little resemblence to the Perkins? old rocker. In any case, the song?s simple, rocking structure was a breath of fresh air amongst the maze of heavy, complicated records of the period. It became a number one hit. An album of the same name followed in December and another single, ?Slippin? and Slidin?? (a revival of Little Richard?s rocker), was released in January 1973. At the same time, the band experienced a change in sound with Paul leaving to be replaced by guitarist, LINDSAY WELLS. Finally, in March ?73, the band disintegrated when Greg and Warren left. A new Blackfeather formed around Paul Wylde, but this band was short-lived. Eventually, in early 1976, another Blackfeather came to the fore with a group of new, young players. It included only Neale from the original lineup. The new unit lasted only until November ?76, when Neale left to go to England where he joined a band called Fingerprint. Fingerprint seemed to suffer a similar fate to Blackfeather when it disbanded only to reform and return to Australia early in 1977. Singles: 26/ 6/71 SEASONS OF CHANGE No.15 16 weeks Infinity 19/ 8/72 BOPPIN? THE BLUES No. 1 20 weeks Infinity Album: 29/ 5/71 MOUNTAIN OF MADNESS No. 7 6 weeks Infinity
Line-up: RAY EAMES (guitar, banjo, vocals); RAY QUON (piano, moog, vocals); RON CHAPMAN (drums, vocals); CHRIS STUDDARD (bass, vocals); PHIL GOLOTTA (lead vocals). The band must certainly be one of Australia?s longest surviving groups, having formed originally in 1964. By the early seventies, the band had consolidated with the above line-up and gained a reputation as one of Victoria?s top pub groups. Phil was also becoming a successful songwriter with Jamie Redfern?s ?Hitch A Ride On A Smile? (which won the 1973 Australian Popular Song Contest) to his credit. In November 1973, they scraped into the charts with a tune which referred to several different artists and groups that were popular at parties at the time. The song was ?Going To A Party?. It sold particularly well amongst Melbourne hotel-goers. The boys also released two successful albums: Dancing In The Street and High-Heeled Rock?n?Roll on Image. In May ?77, Phil and Chris left and a new group called simply the Echoes emerged with ex-soloists ROD KIRKHAM and ROBIN JOLLEY in the lineup. Single: 24/11/73 GOING TO A PARTY No.40 1 week Image
Original line-up: TERR Y DEAN (lead singer); JOHN CREECH (drums);ED WA RD FRY (bass);MIKE BURKE (guitar, banjo). John played drums with the original Mixtures; Terry was a successful soloist in the mid sixties; Mike had played with groups in Wales before coming to Australia; and Edward had worked with various bands during the sixties. Bluestone formed in 1972. Before long they had built up a strong following in?Melbourne pubs. In the meantime, Brian Cadd of Bootleg Records, had been looking for a country rock band, so went to see them perform. Brian was knocked out by the group and signed them up immediately. The first single to be released was ?Wind And Rain?. It made the charts in July 1973. It was followed up by ?The Singer Sang The Song? in October ?73. Although the boys continued to release singles they had no more success in the charts. Up to the end of 1977, the band was still working Melbourne hotels and functioning basically on a part-time basis. Single: 14/ 7/73 WIND AND RAIN No.39 2 weeks Bootleg
BOBBY & LAURIE
See LAURIE ALLAN and BOBBY BRIGHT
BOOTLEG FAMILY BAND
Original line-up: GEOFF COX (drums); G US FENWICK (bass); TONY NAYLOR (guitar); BRIAN FITZGERALD (keyboards, wind instruments); ANGELA JONES (vocals); PENNY DYER (vocals); LOUISE LINCOLN (vocals). The band was formed by Brian Cadd for the Bootleg label late in 1972. Their function was to work at recording sessions for the label?s artists and provide backing for future tours. However, the group developed as an independent unit. In February 1973, they hit the charts with a cover version of Loggins and Messina?s ?Your Mama Don?t Dance?. The recording session was apparently an all-in Bootleg artist bash with Brian Cadd in particular making a vocal contribution. The Bootleg label managed to gather an impressive stable of artists within a very short period of time and, in April 1973, they set off on a national tour. In the meantime, the Family Band had added RUSSELL SMITH (on trumpet), making it a massive eight piece unit. In May 1974, they set off with Brian to the US where they appeared at Expo ?74. Throughout the year the band continued to develop with the growing popularity of the Bootleg artists. In September 1974, they again hit the charts with a revival of Betty Everett?s record of ten years prior, ?The Shoop Shoop Song?. Unfortunately, by April 1975, the band had become too expensive to maintain and were forced to disband. Undaunted, Brian Cadd had formed a new four piece band, basically for touring, within a few weeks. The line-up included: fEOFF COX (drums); TONY NAYLOR (guitar); CLIVE HARRISON (bass); and BRIAN FITZGERALD (keyboards). The new combination continued until later in the year when, with Brian?s departure from the label and his sights set on the US, they eventually split. Geoff, Tony and Clive stayed with Bootleg Records and reformed as Avalanche. Brian (along with Louise Lincoln), surfaced in 1977 with a band called Mumbles. Singles: 10/ 2/73 YOUR MAMA DON?T No. 4 17 weeks Bootleg DANCE 7/ 9/74 THE SHOOP SHOOP SONG No. 3 15 weeks Bootleg
KEVIN BORICH EXPRESS
Original line-up: KEVIN BORICH (guitar, vocals, flute); TIM PARTRIDGE (bass); JOHN ANNAS (drums). Kevin first appeared in Auckland, New Zealand in 1965, as a member of the La De Das. The group hit the top in their home country. In 1968 they moved to Australia. Over the next two years they built a strong following in Australia, and in 1970 they set out for London. Having found the overseas market difficult to crack, they returned a year later. In 1972, two of the members left, reducing the band to three pieces. It was at this point that the new Borich style began to emerge when Kevin found it necessary to concentrate more on his playing to provide a more complete sound than just plain lead guitar. The new look La De Das developed an even bigger following, and they had a number of successful records before splitting in mid 1975. Kevin attempted to form a new group. He came up with a recording called ?The End Of Me?, which was originally a Sherbet production. He was later taken under Clive Shakespeare?s wing after he left them. By mid ?76, the Express was formed with Tim and John. The band was signed by Image Records. In October ?76, the new group?s first single, ?I?m Going Somewhere? was released from their new Celebration album. The song was introduced by a train whistle sound. It became the band?s signature tune. In July, they recorded the new Lonely One album (released in November). On it?s completion, Tim Partridge left the trio. He was replaced initially by TIM A YERS (ex-Renee Geyer Band). Then, following Kevin?s ?look around? trip to the US in August, BOB JACKSON took over. November became a big month with the album?s release followed by the ?Tango Queen? single and an appearence at the blockbuster Santana/Fleetwood Mac show. Kevin?s style has begun to earn him a reputation as an updated Jimi Hendrix. Album: 21/ 5/77 CELEBRATION No.18 1 week Image
Mike first appeared on the scene in 1964 as a guitarist with Melbourne group, the Phantoms. Then, in 1965, he formed the enormously successful MPD Ltd. with Danny Finlay and Pete Watson. The trio released a series of hit records and became one of Australia?s most popular acts of the mid-sixties. MPD Ltd. eventually disbanded at the end of 1966 and Mike joined Johnny Young?s backing group, Kompany. Then, in August ?67, Mike formed a group to fulfill some of MPD?s overseas engagements and embarked on an international jaunt. By 1969, Mike (now back in Australia) had managed to combine a profitable career as an insurance agent with his activities as a performer, headlining his own hotel show band. During this period, he began to establish himself as an individual and developed his powerful, soulful singing talents. Eventually, Mike was snapped up by Fable Records. In January 1971, he hit the top forty with ?Sympathy?. This was followed up with ?Oh Lord, Why Lord?. However, further chart success was not forthcoming. From this point, Mike went on to establish himself as a top session vocalist and instrumentalist, as well as a talented composer concentrating on the lucrative field of advertising jingles. In fact, he has worked on everything from jean commercials to station identification. Single: 9/1/71 SYMPATHY No.39 1 week Fable
Tony began singing in the late fifties as a dance band vocalist. His main claim to fame, initially, was the fact that he looked and sounded like Frank Sinatra. In 1960, he worked with vocal group the Graduates for a five month period, during which time they toured with the Fabian Show. Then in January 1961, at the age of twenty-three, he signed with Coronet Records, and released his first single ?Angel In A Red And White Scarf?. The song sold moderately well, although it wasn?t until Tony moved to the Leedon label later in the year that he scored a hit with ?Big Things Are Happening?. Also in the early part of 1961, he compered a national Friday night radio show on the ABC called Mainstream For Moderns. Tony hit the charts again in March 1962, with ?A Penny For Your Thoughts?. Later in the year he embarked on a tour of Asia. Although he changed labels and went on to release more records (including a change of style, ?Let?s Stomp Australia Way? on RCA) over the next couple of years, further chart success eluded him. Eventually Tony gave up singing to take on show business management and promotion with Col Joye?s agency. Singles: 14/11/6 1 BIG THINGS ARE No.27 7 weeks Leedon HAPPENING 17/ 3/62 A PENNY FOR YOUR No.22 9 weeks Leedon THOUGHTS
Daryl, of course, rocketed to stardom as lead singer with legendary Australian band, Sherbet. He was born in Melbourne on January 11, 1949. His interest in singing showed from an early age. Daryl joined the school choir at primary school and later took up playing the guitar. In 1966, he made his pop debut with a group called Brightlights. From here Daryl worked with a few amateur bands (including House of Bricks and Samuel Liith) throughout the remainder of the sixties before joining Sherbet in 1969. By 1972, Sherbet had become Australia?s top band, having won the final of Hoadley?s Battle of the Sounds, and being voted best local group in the Go-Set Pop Poll Awards. In the meantime, as front man for the band and displaying both good appearance and singing ability, Daryl began to develop a complementary fan following. His popularity was unequalled by solo performers of the day. He was the obvious choice for the lead role in the musical extravaganza, Tommy. The show was staged only twice early in 1973 due to its magnitude. Daryl?s performance, however, was highly praised. Later in 1973, Sherbet?s popularity was confirmed by them again being voted Australia?s top band. By 1974, it was decided that Daryl should release a solo single. A revival of the Cilla Black song, ?You?re My World?, was chosen for his debut record. A number one hit in November ?74 was the result. Rumours (as had spread twelve months prior) were rife that Daryl would leave the group to go solo. But Daryl made it clear that his individual recording activities were simply an adjunct to the band?s recording activities and that his primary responsibility was to function as a member of Sherbet. Despite his continuing popularity, Daryl has adhered to this policy. The following year saw another solo hit with ?Cavalry?, and an ever increasing success for Sherbet. Also in 1975, Daryl was crowned King of Pop for the first time in the TV Week Awards, whilst Sherbet again took off the Top Australian Group award. By now the rumour-mongers had quietened down their talk about the possibility of Daryl?s split with the band and his solo releases had settled into a well-ordered complementary pattern. Daryl?s next release portrayed a change of style with the locally composed, lilting ballad ?Old Sid?. His different sound proved to be no less successful. It featured a more developed vocal style. Daryl and Sherbet again won the King of Pop and Most Popular Australian Band awards at the 1976 TV Week Awards. By now the band had set its sights on the overseas market. They had already achieved chart success in both the US and England with ?Howzat?. As 1977 emerged, the new Razzle label was established by Sherbet Record Productions Pty. Ltd. Daryl?s version of Linda Ronstadt?s ?Love Has No Pride? became the label?s first release. In the latter half of the year, Sherbet embarked on a do-or-die assault on the overseas market. Daryl and the rest of the band took off the top awards at TV Week King of Pop Awards for the third time in succession. With no sign of a wane in popularity, Daryl again hit the charts with ?Afterglow? in October 1977. Singles: 16/11/74 YOU?RE MY WORLD No. 1 17 weeks Infinity 13/ 9/75 CAVALRY No.10 11 weeks Infinity 1/ 5/76 OLD SID No. 5 13 weeks Infinity 2/ 4/77 LOVE HAS NO PRIDE No. 4 13 weeks Razzle 15/10/77 AFTERGLOW (OF YOUR No.29 5 weeks Razzle LOVE)
When Dave was nine years old, his parents bought him a guitar from a travelling salesman. He soon picked up the basics and showed such a keen interest that his parents decided to send him to top Sydney guitar teacher, Roy Royston. Within twelve months, Dave had made his debut on radio. By the age of fourteen he had become an accomplished musician, playing classical style guitar with a small group. When he left school, Dave took a job with a Sydney jewellery wholesaler where he discovered another of the boys working there shared his interest in music. The other lad was Col Joye and Dave encouraged him to learn how to play the guitar. Then, in 1957, Col formed the Joy Boys and Dave became the group?s lead guitarist. The band rose to prominence as Col produced a string of hit records. They displayed a tighter, more professional sound than most other groups of the era. As the Joy Boys built a reputation, so too did Dave ? as one of Australia?s most competent guitar players. Dave stayed with the group until he formed the Dave Bridge Quartet in 1961. The quartet consisted of DA VE (guitar); WARREN FOLEY (drums); KEN WHITE (bass); and RAY BURTON (guitar). (Ray later joined the Executives and also co-wrote Helen Reddy?s ?I Am Woman?.) Dave wasted no time in achieving chart success with ?Skip To My Lou? in July of that year. The Quartet became a highly acclaimed stage act and Dave became a regular on Bandstand and the Johnny 0 ?Keefe Show. By January 1963, he had again made the charts with his own composition, ?Tornedo?, and had reformed his band as a trio. The group included TERRY HEARNE (bass); BR UCE JANSON (drums); and, of course, Dave on guitar. The trio?s next single was Dave?s rocked up version of Tchaikovsky?s Swan Lake ballet simply entitled ?The Swan?. The record sold steadily in all capital cities (with the exception of Melbourne) and the trio embarked on a national promotion tour. The year saw two more hits for the group: ?Trail Blazer? and ?Bondi Stomp?, before Dave began concentrating on session work. Today he is one of the country?s most sought after producers and arrangers. He is also kept busy as Musical Director at Sydney?s Western Suburbs Leagues Club. Singles: 29/ 7/61 SKIP TO MYLOU*** No. 4 13 weeks HMV 17/ 1/63 TORNADO* No.28 4 weeks HMV 1/ 3/63 THE SWAN** No.22 6 weeks HMV 27/ 6/63 TRAIL BLAZER** No.32 3 weeks HMV 4/10/63 BONDI STOMP** No.25 6 weeks HMV * As Dave Bridge ** As Dave Bridge Trio ~?~?~? As Dave Bridge Quartet
BOBBY BRIGHT (See LAURIE ALLEN & BOBBY BRIGHT)
RAY BROWN & THE WHISPERS
Line-up (1965): RAY BROWN (vocals); JOHN MANNERS (bass guitar); LAWRIE BARCLAY (rhythm guitar); PAT JEFFREY (drums); AL JACKSON (lead guitar). Ray grew up in Hurstville, Sydney, and left school at the age of fifteen to become a clerk in the Customs Department. However, he had a particular passion for singing and teamed up with the Whispers (originally called the Nocturnes) when they were basically an instrumental group anxious to join the Beatle-boom. John?s interest in music started when his brother bought a guitar which he constantly borrowed and eventually mastered. Lawrie, who hailed from a musical family, began by studying piano and eventually branched out to organ and guitar. Pat originally hailed from Kempsey in NSW. He made his debut when he filled in for his brother on drums at a local ball. He made the move to Sydney in his mid-teens and played with various groups before settling down with the Whispers. Al was born in Queensland and moved to Sydney in 1958. His start as a guitarist came when a neighbour who was a musician, taught him a few chords and loaned him a guitar to practice on. Ray and the Whispers gained popularity almost immediately. They became regulars at Sydney?s famous Surf City, along with Billy Thorpe and the Aztecs. Their first record, a revival of Chubby Checker?s ?20 Miles?, made the charts in April 1965 and became the forerunner of a string of hits spanning the next two years. Then came what was probably Ray?s most popular single, ?Pride?, followed by ?Fool, Fool, Fool?, and the double-sider ?Midnight Hour?/?Now Is The Time?. The group rounded the year off with an album called Hits And Brass in November 1965. As the name implies, the LP featured a distinctive brass sound which was a refreshing change from the basic guitar style of most other bands of the time. The following year saw two more hits (?Tennessee Waltz? and ?Ain?t It Strange?). However, it also saw the break-up of the Whispers. Ray continued on though, forming a ?new? Whispers with three musicians from New Zealand. They included DAVE RUSSELL (ex-Ray Columbus and the Invaders, guitar); RON PEEL (bass); STEVE HARDY (drums). The new band was short-lived, although Ray kept singing. He eventually made his way to the US where he scored a contract with Capitol Records. The company spent a total of $30,000 on an album which, unfortunately, didn?t sell. Early in 1970, Ray returned to Australia sporting a new shoulder length hair and beard image. Still thinking positively, he formed a new country rock band called Moonstone (which included Pat Jeffrey of the original Whispers). Despite the fact that they were highly acclaimed, they were commercially unviable. Then, in Sydney in November 1971, Ray formed a lavish outfit called One Ton Gypsy. It was an eight piece group which featured three vocalists (Ray, ALLISON McCALLUM and GRAHAM LOWNDES), as well as ex-Twilight drummer, LAURIE PR YOR. The band went on to work as resident act at a Sydney disco and, in spite of numerous line-up changes, turned out some excellent live appearances. Although chart success was nearly eminent with a single called ?Steel Guitar? (released on Mushroom records in December 1973), the magnitude of the group seemed to cause its eventual demise. But, like they say ? you can?t keep a good man down. The latter half of 1977 saw Ray again performing around the traps ? bigger and better than ever. Singles: 18/ 4/65 No.26 7 weeks Leedon 16/ 5/65 No. 7 16 weeks Leedon 18/ 7/65 No. 7 16 weeks Leedon 24/10/65 No. 4 15 weeks Leedon 30/ 1/66 No. 5 15 weeks Leedon 6/ 7/66 No.20 7 weeks Festival 8/ 3/67 No.17 12 weeks Festival
Cohn was born in England where his mother was a successful variety performer. In 1948 the family migrated to Australia and settled in Melbourne. It was his sister, Gilhian, however, who was regarded as the family?s budding entertainer. At the age of seven she began taking singing lessons. In 1961, Gillian began singing at a 5 0/50 dance in the Melbourne suburb of Preston. It was through her that Cohn met the organisers and musicians. Eventually he got the chance to display his vocal talents. He won a spot at the dance as a regular singer. On leaving school, Cohn took on a job as salesman with a leading Melbourne emporium, whilst continuing to work part time as a rock vocalist. Eventually, through his appearances at dances and on the GO! show, his popularity had developed to the point where he signed with RCA Records. Cohn?s clean-cut good looks and powerful Roy Orbison style voice, helped him creep into the charts in October 1965 with a revival of Johnny Otis? ?Hand Jive?. However, no more chart success was forthcoming. By 1968 he had gone back to a steady job and worked cabaret only on weekends. Single: 3/10/65 HAND JIVE No.38 2 weeks RCA
Gaynor was born at Geelong in Victoria. She made her singing debut at a local theatre. At the age of eleven, she became a regular on Melbourne radio station 3DB?s Swallows Juniors. With a solid grounding behind her as an entertainer, by 1958 she had become a regular on Melbourne TV?s Channel 7. At the age of twenty, late in 1960, Gaynor went on to score a recording contract with W&G Records. She released a cover version of Edith Piaf?s ?Milord?. The single became the locally successful version of the song. By this stage, the vivacious blonde had gained herself a reputation as Victoria?s number one sex symbol. With good looks and talent prevailing, Gaynor went on to record local composer, Walter Edwards?, ?My First Love And Last Love?, which became her biggest hit. Her next single was another Edwards? composition, ?Is It All Over Now?. Although she produced no further top forty hits, Gaynor has retained both her appeal and interest in singing. Singles: 5/1/61 MILORD No.24 9 weeks W&G 15/ 6/61 MY FIRST LOVE AND No.22 3 weeks W&G LAST LOVE 10/11/61 15 IT ALL OVER NOW No. 5 15 weeks W&G
Ray was born on October 26, 1952 and grew up in the Melbourne suburb of Clayton. Whilst in his third year at Clayton Technical School, he formed his own band and played at parties, local dances and school functions. After leaving school, Ray worked briefly as a bank teller before joining Melbourne band, Redtime. Initially the band?s main claim to fame was the fact that they toured Australia as Johnny Farnham?s backing group. However, in 1972, Redtime moved to Perth where they became resident band at one of the city?s top night clubs. The group also became regulars on Perth television and achieved a high degree of popularity in the west before they returned to Melbourne in 1973. Back in Victoria, the band experienced no shortage of work in clubs and hotels. However, early in 1974, Ray decided it was time to pursue a solo career. Within a short period he had scored himself an energetic manager in Neville Kent. A host of bookings followed. Then came television appearances, and, by January 1975, his mammoth hit, ?Touch Me? had entered the charts. Ray?s punchy rock style was particularly popular amongst teenagers. He became a regular on pop shows Countdown and Bandstand. His next single was ?Love Fever?, which surfaced in July and enjoyed the same success as his first release. Although Ray was absent from the charts over the next two years, his career was certainly not inactive. He became compere of the TV series Rock?n?Roll Circus, and in July 1976, he moved to Sydney to take over hosting the five day a week national show, Flash ez. The show, which was screened via the ABC network, featured a pop news coverage as well as performances from a variety of rock artists. Meanwhile, another single, ?Little Boy Sad? (the old Johnny Burnette standard) came to light in May ?76. It was followed with Ray?s first album, Not So Pretty. The album was produced by Ross Wilson and was aimed at giving him a heavier image. One of the stronger tracks on the LP, ?Sad Rock?n?Roll? (a ballad written by Greg Macainsh), was lifted from it as a single. This was followed by a further single, ?Rock?n?Roll Lightning? in November 1976. Unfortunately, neither record nude the charts. Ray rounded off 1976 by touring as a compere with Status Quo. He then took a vacation-cum-look-around trip to England and the US. With no sign of his popularity waning, Ray moved into 1977, and in May came up with his third national hit single. The song was a remarkably close revival of the 1965 smash hit for Van Morrison?s group, Them, entitled ?Gloria?. In the meantime, Flasbez? popularity had reached a peak with over 1,000 fan letters being received each week. As a supplement to the series, a Flashez? Roadshow was introduced to tour near country areas in the vicinity of Melbourne and Sydney. However, the show?s frequency restricted Ray?s personal appearances. In July, another Burgess talent came to light with the release of a book of thirty poems by Ray called Love, Peace and Happiness. Another single, ?Midnight Cowboy?, came in September. But, perhaps because it didn?t follow his punchy rock style success formula, it failed to take off. Finally, in November 1977, the Flashez series came to an end. Ray moved to Channel 0 in Melbourne where he did the beach shows over the ?77/?78 summer. Singles: 25/ 1/75 TOUCH ME No. 3 14 weeks L&Y 12/ 7/75 LOVE FEVER No.11 11 weeks L&Y 16/ 7/77 GLORIA No.23 8 weeks Infinity
Ronnie was born Ronald Leslie Burns on September 8, 1946, in the Melbourne suburb of Prahran. His interest in music began at the age of eight when he bought a guitar with savings he had accumulated from his pocket money. He sang at school functions. By the time he was fourteen he had joined a rock?n?roll band with his brother, Frank. Then, in 1962, his interest turned to folk singing. For about twelve months, Ronnie performed in various coffee lounges around Melbourne. Then, along came the Beatles. He was instantly impressed with the new sound and formed Australia?s first successful long-haired group, The Flies. The band was very popular and toured Australia with a variety of overseas acts. In September 1965 (after two and a half years with the Flies), Ronnie left the group to pursue a solo career. He achieved almost instant success. In 1966, he was voted Australia?s second most popular (to Normie Rowe) male vocalist in the Go-Set Pop Poll. Also in that year he scored two hit records. By 1967 his popularity had peaked. His live performances created hysteria amongst his young fans. At the Sydney Easter Show, he did a solid ten day stint with Johnny Young and caused near riots with each appearance. Ronnie also commanded respect from other performers. In fact, his first two singles for that year (?Coalman? and ?Exit Stage Right?) were both written by the Bee Gees, who also supplied the backing vocals. In 1967 he scooped the pool in the Go-Set Pop Poll by being voted Australia?s top male singer, and in June, the ABC filmed a documentary called The Life Of Ronnie Burns. Over the following Christmas holidays, Ronnie broadened his talents by appearing in the pantomime, Alice In Wonderland. In the meantime, he continued his chart success with ?When I Was Six Years Old?, which had been penned by prestigious Australian composers, Max Rose and Brian Cadd (at that time part of the Groop). Then, in December 1968, Ronnie hit the No.16 spot nationally with the controversial ?Age Of Consent?. The song was the theme from an Australian movie of the same name and was written by ex-Twilight, Terry Britten. Ronnie?s next single, ?How?d We Ever Get This Way?, didn?t enjoy the same success. In fact, it was twelve months before he scored another hit. However, when he did he had his biggest selling record ever. The song was ?Smiley?. The lyrics told of a young boy who had been conscripted and sent to the unpopular Vietnam War. The hard-hitting words to the song echoed the feelings of the youth of the day. They showed their approval by buying over 50,000 copies which earned Ronnie a gold record in April 1970. Three months later, Ronnie left for London where he set the trip off with an appearance at the Miss Teen International Quest in Berlin with Bee Gee, Barry Gibb. The trip also coincided with his engagement and subsequent marriage to dancer, Maggie Stewart. Back in Australia, he released his controversial Virgo album as well as a single from it called ?The Prophet?. Although this was to be his last impression on the charts, Ronnie continued to record. In November 1972, he released his We?ve Only Just Begun album which featured a cover photo of him naked except for a fur draped over him. Despite the suggestive cover, the album was virtually middle-of-theroad and characterised his new ?nightclub? image. In July 1974, Ronnie again made the news when his new single, ?Changes?, was censored by Festival Records. A verse which was supposed to have strong sexual connotations was removed from the final release. Ronnie continues to be one of Australia?s most competent club acts. He is also a much sought after television performer. In fact, throughout April, May and June 1977, he compered the short-lived but well put together series, Long Play for the 0/10 network. Singles: 12/ 6/66 THE VERY LAST DAY No.19 l2weeks Spin 4/ 9/66 TRUE, TRUE LOVIN? No.17 9 weeks Spin 18/ 1/67 COALMAN No. 7 12 weeks Spin 21/ 6/67 EXIT STAGE RIGHT No.19 9 weeks Spin 4/10/67 WE HAD A GOOD THING No.36 3 weeks Spin GOING 13/ 3/68 WHEN I WAS SIX YEARS No.28 3 weeks Spin OLD 4/12/68 AGE OF CONSENT No.16 9 weeks Spin 20/12/69 SMILEY No. 2 20 weeks Spin 6/ 3/71 THE PROPHET No.25 6 weeks Spin Album: 22/ 2/71 VIRGO No.18 1 week Spin
Debra Anne Byrne was born March 30, 1957, in Melbourne. She was one of the four girls and a boy who made up the Byrne family. She took up dancing virtually as soon as she could walk. At the age of three she made her first public appearance at a ballet concert. Debbie went on to spend ten years studying classical ballet. She made her first professional appearance on (Melbourne) Channel 7?s Brian and the Juniors. By now she was also prominently displaying her singing talents and worked as a regular on the show. Then, early in 1971, she successfully auditioned for the 0/10 network?s Young Talent Time. As the show?s popularity spiralled, so too did Debbie?s, with her clear voice and cute appearance. Her management was taken over by the show?s producers, Lewis-Young Productions. Within a short period of time, it was obvious that she had built a strong individual following. Debbie recorded on four albums with the Young Talent Time team and, in June 1974, she entered the charts with her first single, ?He?s A Rebel?. The song was a revival of the Crystals? 1963 smash record and, aided by her constant exposure on the show, became Australia?s biggest hit single for that year. Debbie decided to play it safe with her follow up single by releasing another Crystals? oldie, ?Da Doo Run Run?. The difference here was that she updated the song by giving it a thicker, funkier treatment. She also released her first album during the latter half of the year called He?s A Rebel. Meanwhile, Debbie had begun to amass a collection of important awards. She had been presented with two logies (1973 and 1974) for the best TV Teenage Personality, and in 1974 and 1975 she was voted Queen of Pop. Debbie was also the recipient of a gold record award for sales in excess of 50,000 for ?He?s A Rebel?. Although her next two singles, ?Tell Sonny Not To Come? and ?Dirty 01? Man?, didn?t quite make the charts, 1975 was far from in-active. She made a host of television and club appearances and in September 1975, she travelled to England. Whilst there she appeared on the Cliff Richard Show. She also sang a duet with him. Cliff was so impressed with her that he acted as producer for her recordings at the famous Abbey Road studios. Her releases there were on the Interfusion label. Debbie continued on the TV and club circuit and in February 1977, she re-entered the charts with ?You Promised Me The Love?. Then, in September, she married her long time sweetheart, David Dudley. Her plans for 1978 include a new album featuring a move away from rock to a softer sound, and a TV special for the ABC with her old partner, Phillip Gould. Singles: 15/ 6/74 HE?S A REBEL No. 1 24 weeks Festival 7/12/74 DA DOO RUN RUN No. 8 12 weeks Festival 12/ 2/77 YOU PROMISED ME No.31 4 weeks L&Y THE LOVE
April grew up in Adelaide where her interest in music emerged at an early age. By the time she was twelve she had composed her first song, ?He?s My Bobby?, and had started singing publicly. Her big break came in 1962 when Johnny O?Keefe heard her sing and told her that she showed promise. This encouragement was enough to prompt her to leave school and take on singing as a full time career. Now in Melbourne, her management was taken over by Horrie Dargie. She was signed by Festival Records. In May 1964, she released a version of the Ray Price hit, ?Make The World Go Away?, backed with the song she had written four years earlier, ?He?s My Bobby?. The record sold well. April became much in demand for television appearances as well as discos, dances and hotels. Her follow-up single, ?What Does A Girl Do?, was released in March 1965. However, it did not enjoy the success of its forerunner. April continued to record and make live appearances all over Australia, including a stint on the lucrative Sydney club circuit. In 1967 she moved to CBS records and in December released her first single, ?See You Sam?. However, she was unable to re-enter the charts. Single: 29/ 5/64 MAKE THE WORLD GO No.15 5 weeks Festival AWAY
Brian George Cadd was born in Perth, Western Australia. At the age of ten, his mother gave him the choke between piano and tennis lessons. He chose piano and studied seriously for two years. Then, at the age of twelve, Brian?s mother entered him in a TV talent quest. As a result he was given the position of pianist in a junior band the station was forming for a children?s programme. From there Brian worked with his cousin?s hotel group, then joined a pop band formed by his school mates. His stint with the new group was curtailed a short time later when his family moved to Tasmania and finally to Melbourne. No sooner had the family settled into the new town when Brian began playing with a trad jazz band and then a modern jazz band. However, he became dissatisfied with the music he was playing and joined the Melbourne Castaways which, after a reshuffle of members, became the Jackson Kings. Then, in October 1966, Brian became a professional musician when he joined the Groop. They experienced several hit records in Australia and travelled to England where lack of success prompted them to disband. Late in 1969, Brian became part of a new band which had been created specifically for the overseas market. The group, of course, was Axiom. It seemed to follow its predecessor?s pattern of local success, but inability to crack the English market. Brian returned to Australia early in 1971. Individual success seemed to come his way almost immediately. His composing and production talents, which had emerged during his days with the Groop, were suddenly being sought after in both the advertising and pop fields. At the end of 1971, he teamed up with old Groop associate, Don Mudie, and released the single ?Show Me The Way?. The following year saw Brian continuing to write and produce. Midway through 1972, he joined forces with Fable Records? manager Ron Tudor, to form the new Bootleg label. Everything began to fall into place as Brian won the composer?s section of the Hoadley?s National Battle of the Sounds with ?Don?t You Know It?s Magic?. As a result, he represented Australia at the Tokyo World Popular Song Festival in November where he took out the Most Outstanding Composition Award. The song was also a hit for pop king, Johnny Farnham. 55 Meanwhile, Brian released his first, self-titled album in October. It met with immediate success, as did the ?Ginger Man? single cut from it. His major breakthrough came in January 1972, when Ron Tudor, acting for Brian, obtained a contract for the release of the album in the US on the new Chelsea label. Wes Farrell, the whiz-kid writer and record maker, owned the label. He showed immediate enthusiasm towards Brian. His first US single was ?Every Mother?s Son? rather than ?Ginger Man?. But this may have been a tactical error as the latter track was probably stronger. Then came Brian?s second album, Parabrahm, in July 1973 and the single from it, ?Silver City?. By now he was getting air play and seemed closer to his aim for overseas recognition of Australian records. Brian had already promoted his records in the US. Back in Australia in October, he produced a short series of half hour television specials for the ABC. Another single, ?Keep On Rockin?, was released in November 1973. Then movie maker, Tim Burstall, commissioned Brian to write the score for his film, Alvin Purple. The movie was a smash success, further boosting Brian?s career. In January ?74, the theme was released as a single. In the wake of his movie score success, Brian wrote and recorded the theme for the Class of ?74 television series. This was also released as a single in May. Unfortunately, to this point Brian seemed unable to crack the singles? charts, although this may have been due to the fact that he was regarded as an ?album artist?. In May he left for the US to appear at Expo ?74 during the following month. Then in September came a third album, Moonshine. This time a single from the LP ?Let Go?, did make the national top forty and the song received enormous recognition. In fact, it was successfully recorded in the US by Gene Pitney. The following year ? 1975 ? brought with it mixed success for Brian, with his album The Magic Of Brian Cadd, which sold only moderately. In December, newspapers reported that he had issued a Supreme Court writ against Fable Records for the recovery of $10,000 in royalties he alleged were owed to him. Determined to succeed overseas, Brian spent 1976 in the US and released an album entitled White On White. The highly acclaimed album was released on the Interfusion label and featured famous musicians such as Steve Cropper and Nigel Olssen. Throughout 1977, Brian continued to record and perform in the US. Future success for him there seems a virtual certainty. Singles; 21/10/72 GINGER MAN No.16 18 weeks Bootleg 28/ 9/74 LET GO No.14 13 weeks Bootleg Albums: 28/10/72 BRIAN CADD No. 2 20 weeks Bootleg 29/ 9/73 PARABRAHM No. 5 15 weeks Bootleg 28/ 9/74 MOONSHINE No.16 8 weeks Bootleg
BRIAN CADD & DON MUDIE
Line-up: BRIAN (vocals, piano); DON (guitar, bass, vocals). Brian ,and Don?s association began in the mid-sixties when they played together in the Groop. Their relationship as co-musicians and co-writers then came to the fore in super group Axiom. After the breakup of Axiom, they teamed up to record ?Show Me The Way?, which entered the charts in February 1972. Brian went on to pursue a highly successful solo career and Don concentrated on session work. (See also THE GROOP, AXIOM and BRIAN CADD.) Single: 19/ 2/72 SHOW ME THE WAY No.17 12 weeks Fable
CAPTAIN MATCHBOX WHOOPEE BAND
Original line-up: DA VE HUBBA RD (vocals); PETER INGLIS, PETER SCOTT, MICK FLEMING, JIM NIVEN, MICK CONWAY, DAN HICKS. Back in 1968, Mick Conway and his brother Jim formed the Jelly Jug Band as a joke to enter a talent quest. They won! The Captain Matchbox Whoopee Band emerged from the Jelly Beans in 1969. They began playing regularly at any venue that lent itself to their theatrical music style. In particular they played the Much More Ballroom in Melbourne. They organised a National Jug Orchestra from jug bands all over the country in April 1972. The band?s first single, ?My Canary Has Circles Under His Eyes?, hit the national charts in November ?72. However, they experienced a major split shortly afterward. In the interim came a single, ?I Can?t Dance (Got Ants In My Pants)?, and early in 1973 their first album, Smoke Dreams. After a period of recess, the band reorganised, and by September the line-up had consolidated to its more notorious format as follows: JIM NIVEN (piano); MICK FLEMING (banjo, mandolin, guitar); JIM CONWA Y (harmonica, kazoo, recorder); MICK CON WA Y (vocals, horn, uke); GEOFF HALES (drums); FRED OBLE (violin, guitar, harmonica); DAVID FLETT (sax, flute);DAN HICKS (guitar). Changes in line-up were characteristic of the band, perhaps because it was more a theatrical unit than a rock group. During 1974 two more singles emerged: ?Your?e Feets Too Big? and ?Hernando?s Hideaway?. At the end of the year came the Wangaratta Wahine album. It featured old standards as well as originals by Mick Conway and David Flett. Also during the year, JOHN SNYDER worked with them on guitar. The group became a TV regular and toured extensively throughout 1975. The year also saw the departure of Geoff and Dan to be replaced by CHRIS WORRALL (guitar) and MANNY PATERAKIS (drums), and was rounded off with their third album, Australia. The change was followed by Fred leaving, to be replaced by JACK SARAM. By mid ?76, another upheaval occurred when GRAEME ISAACS joined, filling Manny?s shoes on drums. The band then consolidated as a six piece unit (MICK C., GRAEME, MICK F., JACK, DAVID and GORDON McL EAN) and embarked on a campus tour. Then, in November, the group again reformed, becoming part of a fifteen member theatrical touring act set up by the Australian Performing Group. The whole group adopted the name Soapbox Circus, and two new faces ? PETER MULHEISSEN and RICK LUDBROOK appeared (David Flett was the notable omission from the new unit). A live album, The Great Stumble Forward, surfaced in June 1977. A single, ?If I Can?t Hay-Anna In Cuba? followed. The end of the year saw the band performing a play called Smack In The Dacks, and plans for 1978 included a new album. Single: 4/11/72 MY CANARY No.35 3 weeks Image HAS CIRCLES UNDER HIS EYES Albums: 4/ 8/73 SMOKE DREAMS No.20 1 week Image 1/ 9/75 WANGARATTA WAHINE No. 4 11 weeks Mush?rm
Warren hailed from Newcastle (NSW). He first came to the attention of rock?n?roll fans in 1960 as a pianist with instrumental group, The Keydets. The band played local dances. It also included Gil Mathews, who went on to work with Max Hamilton?s Impacts in the sixties and Billy Thorpe?s Aztecs in the seventies. 58 In 1961, Warren went solo and became a regular on Bandstand and Six O?Clock Rock. Although his style was his own, he was hailed as Australia?s answer to Floyd Cramer. He was soon scooped up by Leedon Records. His first hit was ?Li?l Ole Me? in August. It was followed with ?You Are My Sunshine? and ?Rondo? in June 1962. By 1963, Warren?s style had mellowed and his releases included a single of ?My Colouring Book? in June and an album entitled 50 Years Of Evergreens in August (featuring adult-type favourites). Warren went the way of most top musicians by moving into session work. Singles: 19/ 8/61 LI?L OLE ME No. 8 12 weeks Leedon 9/12/6 1 YOU ARE MY SUNSHINE No.21 9 weeks Leedon 2/ 6/62 RONDO No.10 11 weeks Leedon
Pat was born in Melbourne and started taking singing and dancing lessons at the age of eight. By the time she was eleven she was appearing on children?s television shows. From there she won parts in musical comedy shows such as Bye Bye Birdie and Carnival. Now in her mid-teens, she began to concentrate on the pop market, appearing on shows like Bandstand and GO! At eighteen she released her first record, ?He?s My Guy? (which sold moderately). Then, as a result of winning an award, Pat ventured to England where she met up with fellow Australian, Olivia Newton-John. At the suggestion of Seeker, Athol Guy, they teamed up to form a vocal act known as Pat and Olivia. The duo was successful both on TV and at clubs. However, Pat was eventually forced to return to Australia when she ran into work permit problems. Back home in 1970, she married John Farrar (ex-Strangers and part of Marvin, Welch & Farrar). She released a cover version of Dana?s English hit, ?All Kinds Of Everything?, which charted in June. Pat moved on to the Interfusion label and has continued to sing and record in Britain and America. Meanwhile, her husband has become a highly successful composer and producer for artists including Pat?s old friend, Olivia Newton-John. Single: 20/ 6/70 ALL KINDS OF EVERY. No.34 9 weeks Fable THING
Original line-up: GREG LAWRIE (guitar); IAN FERGUSON (bass); TONY L UNT (drums); JOHN CAPE C (piano). The band was formed originally in January 1970 as Carson County. However, they dropped the ?County? as they were being tagged with a country image. The group started out working mainly at discos. When John left early in 1971, they added two new members, BRODERICK SMITH (vocals), and IAN WINTER (guitar). They scored a record contract with the Havoc label, but no significant singles eventuated. Then, in mid ?71, Ian Winter left for a term and his place was taken by BARRY SULLIVAN (ex-Chain). Not long after, Ian rejoined, although in the meantime John had been replaced by MAL LOGAN (ex-Healing Force) and CARRY CLARKE took over from Ian Ferguson. Throughout the choppings and changings, the band?s manager, Rhett Walker (also then programme director for 3AK), decided that Broderick should be promoted as a separate entity as with Rod Stewart and the Faces. As a result, Broderick recorded ?Going On Down To The End Of The World? for the Image label. The single was not a big seller and it was not until September 1972 that chart success came with a record from the band called Boogie. At this point the boys had moved to Harvest Records and their line-up consisted of Greg Lawrie, Tony Lunt, Broderick Smith, Mal Logan, Gary Clarke and Ian Winter. Then came the Blown album in November followed by a single, ?Moonshine?, which was released by the band?s old label, Havoc. However, the band?s success seemed to spell their doom. Mal and Ian left, and by February 1973, the group announced that it had dissolved. The members all moved to successful groups and Broderick went on to form The Dingoes. Single: 30/ 9/72 BOOGIE No.30 5 weeks Harvest Album: 23/12/72 BLOWN No.14 2 weeks Harvest
Lineup: (1969) BARRY HARVEY (drums); WARREN MORGAN (piano); BARRY SULLIVAN (bass, vocals); PHIL MANNING (lead guitar). The highly acclaimed band formed originally in 1967 and early members included WENDY SADDING TON, CLAUDE PAPESCH and TIM PIPER. As is the case with many super groups, they were plagued with membership changes and featured over thirteen different line-ups. Throughout 1969 they established themselves as Australia?s top blues band and, in October, they released a single called ?Mr. Time?. Then, early in 1970, they added GLYN MASON (ex-Rebels ?guitar, vocals) and recorded their amazing Chain. . . Live album. Before the album was released they announced that they had split up, with Glyn going to London and Warren joining the Aztecs. However, Phil and the two Barrys went to Brisbane. By the time the album was released in September, they had reformed with MATT TA YLOR (ex-Genesis ? harmonica, vocals). The new Chain was quick to record a heavy blues song called ?We?re Groaning?, which was released early in 1971 under the title of ?Black And Blue?. It became their biggest single. The record was snubbed by radio stations, but sold mainly as a result of audience reaction to their live performances of the song. It was also released in the US on United Artists? Avalanche label. A follow-up single, ?Judgement?, came in July 1971 accompanied by more rumours of a split. The reports proved to be well founded as Phil departed to be replaced by CHARLIE TUMA HAl. The following month Barry Harvey dropped out and LINDSAY WELLS took over. The new format didn?t seem to click and finally disbanded in October 1971. However, just like the cat with nine lives, in January 1972 a new Chain surfaced as a trio featuring Warren Morgan, LAURIE PR YOR and Barry Sullivan. They relied on dominant piano as a substitute for guitar. Then, early in ?72, another album, Chain Live Again, was recorded, but it actually featured a re-union of old Chain members (Glyn Mason, Warren Morgan, Phil Manning, Barry Sullivan and Barry Harvey). Due to mixing difficulties, the album was not released until later in the year. Meanwhile Chain?s quorum formed a group called Mighty Mouse. This new band was not successful. Yet again, in early 1973, another Chain surfaced with the two Barrys, IAN CL YNE, MAL CAPWELL and Phil Manning. In its ?73 form, the band released singles including ?I Thought You Were My Friend? (August), ?Gonna Miss You Babe? (December), and the Two Of A Kind album (December). Then, in January 1974, whilst the group were touring Queensland, Barry Harvey decided to leave and stay put. He was replaced by TONY L UNT (organ, moog). The following month both Mal Capwell and Ian Clyne left and, although Chain again regrouped, the band met its final death midway through 1974. Phil went on to work solo and formed the Phil Manning Band in 1975. Then, in 1977, Phil formed a new band called, simply, Manning. Another album, The History Of Chain, was also subsequently released. Singles: 27/ 3/71 BLACK AND BLUE No.10 17 weeks Infinity 28/ 8/71 JUDGEMENT No.3 1 7 weeks Infinity Albums: 24/10/70 CHAIN... LIVE No.15 6 weeks Festival 23/ 1/71 CHAIN... LIVE* No.20 3 weeks Festival 25/ 9/71 TOWARD THE BLUES No. 6 15 weeks Infinity * (Re.entered)
Original line-up: ALAN ?EDGELL? JAMES (also known as ALAN WALKER) (bass guitar); ALLAN ELLIOT (drums); WILLY FERRIS (lead guitar); BARRY GALLAGHER (rhythm guitar). The group began in 1964 as the Beachcombers. In 1965 they began working for Garry Spry at Melbourne?s top disco at the time, Pinocchio?s, and changed their name to the Changing Times. With the new name came a change of image. All the boys dressed in mysterious black cloaks and bleached their hair blond. They made a tremendous impression on the local scene with their unique appearance and tight sound. Early in 1965, they signed with RCA Records. Their first single was a revival of Ronnie Hawkins? ?Mary Lou?, which charted in May ?65. This was followed up by ?It Ain?t So?, which charted three months later. Unfortunately, the group disbanded a short time afterwards with Willy and Edgell going to work in Queensland. In the early part of 1966, a new Changing Times emerged with Allan the only original member playing drums for the group. Other members were ALEX OPITZ (bass); L YN THOMAS (lead guitar); JENNY JOHNSON (piano, organ, harmonica). The new lineup had no successful recordings. However, they did become popular at local discos and dances. The following year the group split and merged with the Final Four to form the Dream. Singles: 2/ 5/65 MARY LOU No. 7 8 weeks RCA 8/ 8/65 IT AIN?T 50 No.22 6 weeks RCA
Graham was born at Watford, Hertfordshire in England on February 9,1949. His family migrated to Australia and settled in Brisbane where, by his early teens, Graham had become quite a proficient entertainer. His big break came when pop king Normie Rowe was conscripted for national service. Graham was seized upon to become his replacement. Thousands of dollars were spent on promoting Graham as the new king after Normie?s induction into the army in February 1968. His first record, ?Let Your Hair Down?, was not successful. Neither was his follow-up single. Graham?s third release was ?Gee I?m Gonna Miss You?, which became his only hit in May 1968. Graham continued to perform and record and future releases included a notable single for Columbia in June 1969, called ?Goodbye, Goodbye?. But despite the fact that he developed a strong following and achieved certain recognition, Graham did not manage to score any more hit records or to reach the upper rungs of the pop ladder of success. Perhaps the mistake was in promoting Graham in Normie Rowe?s shadow, and not simply as the talented individual that he was. Single: 29/ 5/68 GEE I?M GONNA MISS No.32 5 weeks Columbia YOU
Ronnie first rose to prominence in 1965 as lead vocalist with Melbourne group, the Jackson Kings, which also featured Brian Cadd on organ. In October 1966, Ronnie and Brian joined the Groop after a reshuffle in lineup. They both rode the crest of the band?s wave of success. (See section on THE GROOP.) After having reached the top in Australia, and then attempting to crack the English market, the Groop finally disbanded in May 1969. Ronnie then decided to pursue a solo career. His first single, ?Katy Jane?, made the charts. However, his followup, ?It?s Been So Long?, didn?t do so well. In April 1970, he formed his own band called Captain Australia and the Honky Tonk. The line-up included ex-Groop drummer, Richard Wright. The group was short-lived. By January 1971, Ronnie had formed a new band with the intention of taking on the English market. At the time of their departure they were unnamed. However, they later became known as Atlas. The band was plagued with membership changes and took some time to get off the ground. Then, late in 1972, they were signed by Reprise Records in London and released an album and a single. Unfortunately their releases received no great recognition. Single: 3/1/70 KATY JANE No.36 3 weeks Festival
Line-up: (Early 1965) DOUG TREVOR (lead guitar); PETER TINDAL (bass guitar); BARRY WINDLEY (drums); LINDSAY MORRISON (rhythm guitar). The band was formed in 1961 by Johnny Chester to back Melbourne vocalists at local dances. The name was not derived from the Cherokee Indian tribe, but from an ice cream that was popular at the time. They gained momentum over the next few years and recorded some instrumentals of which the most notable was ?Moon In The Afternoon?. The lineup changed over this period, with Barry remaining the only original member. By early 1965, they had consolidated with the above line-up and had adopted a new image and sound. Doug had played with the Marksmen and had met Lindsay whilst working together in the same department of the Public Service. Peter had worked with various bands. All the boys were competent vocalists. Peter especially wowed budding musicians amongst dance and disco audiences (particularly at Tenth Avenue in Melbourne), with intricate bass patterns played with incredible speed. The group also conquered TV pop show audiences. By mid 1965 they had been signed by the GO! label. Their first hit came in August with ?I?ve Been Trying?. The follow-up, ?That?s If You Want Me To?, charted in December. In 1966 they had two more successful singles including a tight revival of the Crest?s 1959 hit, ?The Angels Listened In?. They gained a national following as a result of extensive interstate touring. By the new year came a change of style to an almost semi-jug band sound, as well as an alteration to the lineup. The members now consisted of MAX BILNEY (drums); KEVIN ROSS (vocals); and old faithfuls Doug Trevor, Lindsay Morrison and Peter Tindal. Lindsay was subsequently replaced by MARTY VAN WYK (ex-Throb) who took on lead guitar and Doug moved to rhythm. A peak of success came also in 1967, with the group producing their two biggest hits, ?Oh Monah?, which was followed by an album of the same name, and ?Minnie The Moocher?. Both songs were revivals of old Nat Gonella hits, and ?Minnie The Moocher? was actually written in 1931 by the original ho-de-ho man, Cab Callaway. Unfortunately, 1968 brought with it a legal battle over their recording contr~ct. Also, later in that year Marty was replaced by MIKE McG UIRE. In August, however, they released another single called ?Sally?, which had been produced by Brian Poole during his Australian tour. The record didn?t quite make it, although it did comply with their apparently winning formula of reviving vintage hits. In October 1968, they toured with the Monkees and many pop critics claimed that they out-performed their overseas counterparts. A short time later, the band disintegrated with the boys going separate ways. Doug went on to cultivate his songwriting talents. In 1977 he won the Australian Popular Song Contest with his composition entitled ?Ride, Ride America?. He went on to the World Contest at Tokyo in November and took out the outstanding song award. Singles: 8/ 8/65 I?VE BEEN TRYING No.36 6 weeks GO! 26/12/65 THAT?S IF YOU WANT No.39 4 weeks GO! ME TO 20/ 3/66 THE ANGELS LISTENED No.22 8 weeks GO! IN 17/ 7/66 WOMAN WITH SOUL No.24 6 weeks GO? 11/ 1/67 OHMONAH No.18 lOweeks GO! 17/ 5/67 MINNIE THE MOOCHER No.17 16 weeks GO!
Original line-up: GRAEME TROTTMAN (drums); LES STACPOOL (guitar); ALBERT STACPOOL (piano); FRANK McMAHON (bass guitar). The band was formed in 1961 by Johnny Chester to become his backing group. They became regulars at the Preston Town Hall dance in Melbourne. It was reported that the promoter made some derogatory comment about their musical ability. Apparently his criticism prompted them to spend a solid twelve months rehearsing and studying musical theory. The result was that the Chessmen became one of Australia?s most proficient rock bands. By mid 1962, they began providing Johnny Chester?s backing on record and went on to record themselves for W&G. They also started writing some of their own material, including a little ditty called ‘Dracula’s Den.
The band’s popularity continued to grow. In the meantime, MIKE L YNCH joined on drums, replacing Graeme. In 1964 they released an album called The Chessmen Play And Sing Dance Favourites, as well as a single from it, ‘Rock and Roll Music’ (the old Chuck Berry standard). The song slipped into the charts in May.
A follow-up single, ‘Wild Little Willie’, was released. However, it sold only moderately. The record was exceptionally well produced, but didn’t seem to get the airplay it deserved. Perhaps because the boys were labelled as rockers in an era when the Beatle image was all the thing.
They became resident group on Johnny Chester’s ABC television show, Teen Scene, which started in October ‘64. The band split up when Johnny’s teenage popularity levelled off. However, the boys remained deeply involved in the music scene. Mike went on to work with the All Stars, and Les worked with a variety of super groups including Doug Parkinson’s In Focus, Levi Smiths Clefs and the Tamlas.
John Howard Chester was born in Melbourne on December 26, 1941. His first involvement in entertainment was as a comedy actor in primary school plays. His musical career started with his partici¬pation in’the school band as a drummer.
Upon leaving school, he took a job as a mechanic at his father’s garage. However, show business was in his blood and, at the age of seventeen, he began learning the guitar. Johnny’s main interest though was singing. Later that same year he formed his own band called the Jaywoods. His first public appearance was at the end of 1959 with his band at St. Cecilias Hall in West Preston.
From there Johnny began organising his own dances and ended up at the Preston Town Hall where he managed to coax top Melbourne disc jockey, Stan Rofe, into compering. Stan liked Johnny’s style and introduced him to Ron Tudor, who was then A&R man for W&G Records. At the time Sydney had already started to produce its rock heroes, but Melbourne still needed a teenage idol. So Ron was quick to sign Johnny to the label. He had already started to work with top instrumental group, the Thunderbirds, and early in 1961 they combined to record his first single, ‘Hokey Pokey’ (a rocked up version of the old standard). The record became an in¬stant success, as did the follow-up ‘Can Can Ladies’. Johnny became Melbourne’s hottest rock performer.
By the time his third single, ‘Shakin’ All Over’ (possibly the best version ever recorded) was released at the end of 1961, he had broken the ice interstate, particularly in Tasmania. Johnny tightened up his act by forming his own backing group, the Chessmen, who played on his next single, ‘Funny Little Feeling’/’Shy Away’, mid¬way through 1962. The year brought forth two more hits, a cover version of Chris Montez’ ‘Let’s Dance’, and a revival of Eddie Coch¬ran’s ‘Summertime Blues’. It also saw Johnny crack the Brisbane market.
In 1963, he produced two more hit singles and broadened his talents to become a TV personality as compere of country pop show Teen Time On Ten. Johnny had also become a regular support act for overseas stars touring Australia including Connie Francis, Bobby Rydell, the Everly Brothers and Roy Orbison. In addition, the year brought forth Johnny’s debut album, Wild And Wars, and also saw him gain momentum as an independent record producer.
Then came what was probably the highlight of his career when he was chosen as support act for the Beatles’ Australian and New Zealand tour in 1964. Everything seemed to be going Johnny’s way. In October ‘64, he became compere of the ABC’s national pop series, Teen Scene. He released two singles during the year, ‘Bye Bye Johnny’ and ‘Unless You Care’, as well as an album entitled The Best of Ches.
Teen Scene continued through 1965 and although Johnny released an album, Johnny Chester’s Greatest Hits, and three singles (‘Your Cheatin’ Heart’, ‘When Will I Be Loved’ and ‘Something’s Got A Hold On Me’), he didn’t have any chart success that year. (The latter two singles were released on W&G’s pop subsidiary label, In.)
At this point, Johnny embraced yet another facet of the enter¬tainment field. He joined Melbourne radio station 3UZ as an an¬nouncer. He remained there for eight and a half years. Now moving into the latter half of his twenties, Johnny took a step that many other ex-rockers had taken. He moved into the country field. Al¬though he didn’t re-enter the charts until 1971, he did have a handful of releases throughout the late sixties, including ‘Irene Goodnight’ (In - 1966); ‘Heaven Help The Man’ (Astor - 1968); ‘ Green Green’ (Philips - 1969); ‘Highway 31’ (Philips - 1969, which only just missed being a national hit); ‘If Only I Could Leave You’ (Fable - 1970); ‘Kawliga’ (Fable - 1970); and ‘Glory Glory’ (Fable - 1971).
By now the new look Johnny Chester was making a full assault on the Australian market with a new band, Jigsaw, and a national hit in ‘Gwen (Congratulations)’. Then came a novelty song called ‘Shame and Scandal’, which won him a silver disc. There was also an album entitled Johnny Chester & Jigsaw.
In 1972 came two more singles, ‘Ready Mix Revenge’ and ‘Midnight Bus’, as well as Johnny’s fifth LP called Going Places. At this stage his writing ability began to show. His next three singles (‘The World’s Greatest Mum’, ‘Let’s Build A Love Together’ and ‘She’s My Kind Of Woman’) were all his own compositions, the latter being Australia’s top selling country single of 1974.
Now a. national country singing star, Johnny released two albums in 1974 - Best Of Johnny Chester (featuring his Fable releases only), and For The World’s Greatest Mum. Then came Johnny’s fulfilment of a long-time ambition to record an album of all self-penned titles with Greensborough Music early in 1975.
Johnny had three more singles on the Fable label - ‘Sally On Sunday’ (‘75); ‘The One In The Middle Of Lonely’ (‘75); and ‘She’s Gone To Someone Else’s Arms’ (‘76) - before moving to the Red Bullett label in 1976. For Red Bullett, he recorded an album en¬titled Into Country, and released a single from it called ‘China Doll’.
Moving into 1977, Johnny continued to tour with his new group, The Blue Denim Country Band, and moved back into television on the ABC’s national series, Country Road. Midway through the year he moved to the Astor label and released a new single in September called ‘Lonely Women Make Good Lovers.
When Richard left school, he became a commercial artist. At the same time he took up guitar and seemed to master the instrument almost immediately.
In 1967, he went to London with the dual aim of pursuing his art career further, and joining a band there as a guitarist. After a while, he gave up art and concentrated solely on music. He worked in England for three years before his visa expired. Then he moved to Germany. Richard worked with a group in Berlin called Bitch. He also worked solo in folk clubs.
He returned to Australia early in 1972 with just the clothes he was wearing, his guitar and a batch of songs he had written. Before long he landed a contract with Festival Records and Essex Music. In September ‘72 he released his first single, ‘Last Train To Marseille’. Unfortunately the record received little airplay, so, to keep his finances up, Richard was forced to abandon his solo career tempo¬rarily and join a band called Sun.
Before long he was on his feet again and embarked on a solo tour of NSW. Then came Richard’s first LP, Prussian Blue, released in November 1973 on Infinity. The single from this album was ‘All The Prodigal Children’/’Hardly Know Myself’. Unfortunately his material suffered from lack of exposure. However, the album sold steadily. Four years later, it was still selling 200-500 copies per week. Another single from the LP, ‘I Wanna Be A Survivor’, was released in July 1974.
Richard’s first chart success came in February ‘75 with ‘Girls On The Avenue’, which was from his second album of the same name. The song really put him on the map and soared to the number two position on the charts. Then, in July ‘76 came his next album, Main Street Jive, which featured songs written by Richard about Mel¬bourne while he was living there with his band.
In late 1976 and early 1977, he toured Germany and throughout Europe. On his return he released his next big hit single, ‘Capricorn Dancer’. The song was featured in the movie Highway One. It was also on the soundtrack album of the same name which included tracks by Richard and four other artists.
Meanwhile, Richard’s band had become one of the country’s most renowned groups of musicians. It included G UNTHER GORMAN, KIRK LORANGE, MIKE HEGARTY and JIM PENSON. Together with Richard they embarked on his most extensive national tour ever, spanning July, August, September and October 1977. A fifth album was released in August entitled Goodbye Tiger. By the end of the year it had sold over 20,000 copies. A single from the LP, ‘Deep Water’, released in October, put Richard right back on the national charts.
Originality is what constitutes a legendary artist. That being the case, Richard seems assured of durability.
Original line-up: MICK HADLEY (vocals); ROBBIE VAN DELFT
(lead guitar); ROB DAMES (bass guitar); PETER MILES (drums);
SAM SHANNON (vocals).
The band was formed in Brisbane following the breakup of the Purple Hearts. Mick and Rob were from the Hearts; Robbie was from the Bowery Boys; and Peter and Sam had had a variety of experience.
In 1971, LOBBY LLOYD took over on guitar and the group, all sporting ‘skinhead’ hair styles, gained a reputation as a loud band after the style of the Aztecs.
By August 1972, the line-up had changed totally and included TREVOR YOUNG (drums); Lobby (guitar); JOHN MIG LANDS (bass guitar); and BOBSIE MILLAR (guitar). The band’s first notable single was ‘Liberate Rock’, which was written by Lobby. Most of the backing was provided by the Aztecs prior to the new Coloured Balls being formed. Although it didn’t quite make the charts, the single did make history being the first in Australia to be advertised on radio.
The follow-up was ‘Mr. Mean Mouth’/’Love Me Girl’ in May ‘73. Then in September they enjoyed their first chart success with a re¬vival of Elvis Presley’s ‘Mess Of Blues’. Later, in November, came a single called ‘Flash’, and in December they released their best selling Ball Power album.
Another single by the boys, ‘Love You Babe’, charted midway through 1974, but unfortunately the group disbanded not long after. However, m May 1976, an album entitled The Fir3t Supper Last, which was recorded in 1972 with the line-up at that stage, was relea¬sed on the Rainbird label.
Lobby initially went solo, recording for Bootleg Records. In 1976 he released an LP with the Southern Electric Band called Obsecration which was also on the Rainbird label. Then, in 1977 he left for England.
Trevor Young turned up in popular band, Fingerprint, in 1977.
RAY COLUMBUS & THE JNVADERS
Line-up: RAY (vocals); JIMMY HALL, DAVE RUSSELL, BILLY KRISTIAN, WALL Y SCOTT.
The group was formed in New Zealand in 1962. They began play¬ing dances and clubs in the Christchurch area. They quickly gained popularity and began touring. The boys had two successful records in New Zealand and obtained their own television show called Club Columbus.
Actually, the band began as a rock’n’roll outfit, but developed their style into a Mersey sound in 1963 with the inception of Beatle¬mania. Early in 1964, they moved to Australia and settled in Syd¬ney. Their initial aim was to promote their third single, ‘I Wanna Be Your Man’ (which was a cover version of the Rolling Stones’ treat¬ment of the Beatles’ song). They gained immediate acceptance in Australia and did a lot of TV and dance work.
Ray became famous for introducing a dance here called the Mod’s Nod (the main element being to shake your hair all over your face). The boys went back to New Zealand, but returned later in 1964 to promote their single, ‘She’s A Mod’. The record made number one all over Australia and became the second biggest selling local single for the year.
A follow up single, ‘Yo-Yo’, was released. However, although it sold steadily, its impact was not instantaneous enough to make the charts. Then came a national tour with the Rolling Stones. Later in 1965, they re-entered the top forty with ‘Til We Kissed’.
Although the group continued to record, they were not able to produce any more best sellers. Mid 1966 they moved to EMI Re¬cords and released ‘I Need You’. Then, in June 1969, Ray surfaced with a single called ‘Happy In A Sad Kind Of Way’.
Cohn was born in Dacca, Bangladesh, and moved to Australia with his parents in 1952. His family settled in the Melbourne suburb of Brighton. His interest in music inspired him to take up the guitar. Then, after finishing school, he studied clarinet and sax.
In 1959, he joined legendary Melbourne rock band, The Thunder-birds, on sax and vocals. He stayed with them for two years. When Cohn left, he concentrated on singing. He began by doing vocal backings for artists like Judy Cannon and Frankie Davidson (appear¬ing on his ‘Kings Cross’ single), and went on to establish himself as a soloist at Melbourne dances. He appeared on all the TV teen shows, including Bandstand. He also supported US singing idol, Fabian, on his Australian tour.
Late in 1962, he was signed by the W&G label. His first release was a cover version of Rick Nelson’s ‘It’s Up To You’. Cohn’s second single was ‘Crying Over You’/’C’mon Pretty Baby’ in June ‘63. However, it wasn’t until January ‘64 that he re-entered the charts with a version of Kenny Chandler’s ‘Heart’. It became his biggest selling hit and Cohn, now under the protective wing of entrepreneur Brian de Courcy, embarked on a national promotional tour.
He released a remake of Phil Philips’ ‘Sea Of Love’ in June ‘64, but it wasn’t until the following year that he again charted with two more revivals, ‘Blue Ribbon Baby’, originally a hit for Tommy Sands, and ‘Well, Don’t You Know’, originally a hit for Crash Craddock.
Despite Cohn’s overall popularity, he seemed unable to produce regular hit records. In 1966 he moved to the Clarion label and re¬leased ‘Cell Block No.9’ and ‘Pocketful Of Rainbows’ (both revivals once again, in the true Cook tradition).
Cohn continued to be in great demand for television and live appearances. In the early seventies he travelled to London where he appeared in the English productions of Hair and Jesus Christ Superstar.
Bobby grew up in Melbourne. He was educated at the Christian Brothers College in Clifton Hill, where he sang in the school choir. His musical inclination stirred in him a burning desire to play bag¬pipes in a Scottish pipe band. However, after studying the instru¬ment for only two months, his patience ran out.
At the age of eighteen, he bought a guitar and began playing for fun. Twelve months later, he got his start in the rock business as a guitarist and singer with a band called the Premiers at a dance con¬ducted at the Mordialloc Life Saving Club. However, Bobby didn’t consider himself to be a good guitarist, and a year later he decided to give it up and concentrate on singing.
He became friendly with Johnny Chester and gradually set himself up as a soloist performing at dances including those held at the Malvern Town Hall, Springvale Town Hall and his old haunt, the Mordialloc Life Saving Club.
In 1961, Bobby was signed by Astor Records. By November he had his first successful single with ‘Flutter Flutter’/’That’s All Right’. His powerful, Roy Orbison-style voice made him popular with teen¬age audiences. He churned out a string of best selling singles including ‘True And Faithful’, ‘Timber’, and a cover version of Ray Peter¬son’s ‘I Could Have Loved You So Well’. His big year was certainly 1962 when, apart from chart success, he toured with the Mark Wynter Show.
Bobby’s last hit was ‘Rona’ in March 1963. The following year he moved to Festival where he released ‘Freedom Of Love’/’Money’ in August.
From this point he adopted a more young adult approach, concen¬trating more on nightclub work and TV variety shows.
COOL BANANAS (i.e. AUNTY JACK & THE GONG)
The Cool Bananas was actually a pseudonym for Grahame Bond and Rory O’Donoghue, who were the stars of the ABC’s Aunty Jack show. The programme was a highly successful, bawdy television comedy which, despite its popularity, was dropped after only two series.
‘Farewell Aunty Jack’ was released on a special record which had a pictorial representation embedded into the vinyl. The single was enormously successful, and by June 1974 it had reportedly sold over 100,000 copies.
As a result of its popularity, a group called Gong was formed to tour as Aunty Jack and the Gong. The band included TONY BU¬CHANAN, MARK PUNCH, IAN CLYNE, RUSSELL DUNLOP, TIM PARTRIDGE and DENNY GORDON.
Before the fad began to wither, an album entitled Aunty Jack Sings Wollongong was released on Polydor in April 1975.
Rory continued performing and composing and formed a success¬ful music writing company with Grahame.
Amen Corner were the top Welsh group in 1966. They came to London and found success on the Deram label. They scored with 'Gin House', 'World Of Broken Hearts', 'Bend Me, Shape Me', 'High In The Sky'. Then they transferred to Andrew Oldham's ill-fated Immediate label, and scored their first no. 1. 'Half As Nice', followed by 'Hello Suzie'. The group was swamped as such by the collapse of the Immediate label; dropped the bass section and signed with RCA as Fairweather, releasing 'Road To Freedom' and 'Natural Sinner'. Andy Fairweather Low was still singing into the 70's. One of his last albums was 'Spider Jiving'. Neil Jones (lead guitar) later became a photographer. Blue Weaver (organ) had spent some time with the Strawbs, and Allan Jones (sax) formed Judas Jump. Dennis Bryn (drums) became part of the Bee Gees backing group, while Mike Smith played tenor sax, and Clive Taylor played bass.
Johnny started singing professionally in 1964 with Melbourne group, the Saxons.
Together they toured with Billy J. Kramer. After that Johnny decided that he was not coming across professionally enough. So he adopted a new image, sporting bleached blond hair and embarked on a solo career.
He worked the Melbourne dance circuit and appeared regularly on TV pop shows GO! and Kommotion. In October 1965, he released his only successful single, ‘Farmer John’.
Original line-up: GREG QUILL (vocals, guitar); JOHN WALSH (bass guitar); CHRIS ANDERSON (harmonica); ORLANDO AGOSTINO (guitar); DAVE HANNAGAN (drums, percussion, vocals).
Greg had been working solo and when he cut his first single, ‘Fleetwood Plain’, he used John and Chris on the session. They en¬joyed working together and decided to form a band. They added Orlando and Dave. Greg worked as a journalist with Go-Set maga¬zine and had been a folkie for many years, running the Shack folk haunt in Narrabeen, Sydney
By May 1971, the group had progressed from its original accoustic sound to a more commercial style. In the meantime, Greg had ex¬perimented with a variety of member combinations. The line-up now consisted of Greg, CHRIS BLANCHFLOWER (harmonica); JOHN A. BIRD (piano); MAL ALGER (bass) and ACE FOLLING¬TON (drums).
They moved to Festival Records (Infinity label) in October 1971, and Ace was replaced on drums by KIM BR YANT. Kim only lasted a couple of months before being succeeded by TONY BOUL TON. Then, in January 1972, Mal left and JOHNDUBOIS and KERRYN TOLHURST joined (on bass and lead guitar respectively). They re¬corded ‘Gypsy Queen’ (which was written by Greg and Kerryn) in Melbourne in April ‘72. By August it had entered the national charts.
That same month, they signed a contract with MUCH Productions for live work and recording in Canada and departed Australia in September ‘72. At the end of the year, an album which had been recorded in Sydney called Country Radio Live, was released.
In January ‘73, Kerryn left. A couple of weeks later he was followed by Chris and John Bird. RUSS JOHNSON (ex-Mississippi) joined forces with Greg, Tony and John Du Bois and they recorded their fourth single, ‘Bound For South Australia’ in May. It was not successful. However, they had managed to chart earlier in the year with ‘Wintersong’.
During the year LES STA CPOOL and R USS HINTON took turns playing with the group. John Du Bois left in September ‘73.
The band finally split in December after the frustration of compet¬ing with rock bands had got the better of Greg.
Greg recorded a solo album early in 1974 and went on to win a grant with the Australian Council of the Arts. Mid 1975 he went to North America on a semi-permanent basis and released his solo album, The Outlaw’s Reply.
Barry grew up in the Victorian city of Geelong where his interest in music began at an early age. He started out in a small way in the mid-fifties working at local venues. At the age of nineteen, he married his teenage sweetheart, Dana. At this point he recorded an EP for the Spotlight label entitled Whole Lotta Shakin’.
From there Barry concentrated on scoring as many roles as he could in any stage productions that were going. Over the next ten years, Barry’s talent as an actor and singer developed to the point where he scored a recording contract with Festival. He soon became one of Australia’s top club acts. He was also a much sought after TV performer.
In fact, for five years, he hosted his own variety show, Sound of Music for which he was awarded a gold Logie.
Soon Barry had set his sights on the overseas market. His big break came when he was chosen for the starring role in the movie The Adventures of Barry McKenzie. The film opened a lot of doors for him, although it did tend to land him with an ocker image which was difficult to shake. In London, Barry quickly gained popularity with the English via his TV and club appearances.
Meanwhile, he had also cracked the local pop chart in 1971 with ‘Love Is A Beautiful Song’, and again in 1973 with a revival of Robin Luke’s rock’n’roll classic, ‘Susie Darlin’ ‘. As Barry began to look toward the USA as his next challenge, he changed labels to Astor Records. His big selling albums for Festival had included Barry Crocker TV Requests, Barry Crocker’s Sound of Music, Barry Cro¬cker In London, Love, This Is My Song, I’ve Gotta Be Me, the bawdy Barry McKenzie’s Party Songs, Music Makes My Day and Golden Hits Of Barry Crocker.
By 1975, Barry had broken through in the US and was being recognised as our most successful international male entertainer. It was while he was making his breakthrough at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas that Barry was hit with a serious back ailment. An operation was necessary and it looked like he may have been off the scene for quite a while. Fortunately, Barry was back on deck quicker than anticipated. The following year he had returned to Las Vegas and Lake Tahoe, this time starring with old friend, Helen Reddy.
In the meantime, the gold albums kept on coming, this time from Astor. They included Barry Crocker Vol.2, Barry Crocker Sings The Hits and later, Moonlight And Love Songs. By 1977, Barry had divided his life between two homes in Sydney and Hollywood.
He returned to the stage in Two For The See Saw (with Michele Lee). His numerous television appearances included the Dinah Shore Show, Merv Griffin Show, the Johnny Carson Show and there is also the possibility of a role in a situation comedy for a major US network in 1978.
Original line-up: ROSS WILSON (vocals, guitar); ROSS HANNA¬FORD (lead guitar); GARY YOUNG (drums); WAYNE DUNCAN (bass guitar).
The two Rosses started out in the Pink Finks in 1965. They formed a partnership that lasted until they formed Daddy Cool with Wayne and Gary, who had worked together in the Rondells.
Their first appearance was at the TF Much Ballroom in Melbourne in November 1970. From there they took the dance and disco cir¬cuit by storm with their vintage rock’n’roll, outrageous acts and ostentatious outfits (which included a towel and bathing cap, Mickey Mouse ears and an Archie-style cap complete with a propeller).
In May 1971, they released their first single, ‘Eagle Rock’ (written by Ross Wilson), backed by ‘Bom Bom’ (written by the two Rosses). The record entered the Melbourne charts at number twenty after only ten days in the shops. It went on to become the best selling Australian single of the year. On conquering Melbourne, the band set off on a hectic tour of all the capital cities. In July their debut album, Daddy Who? ... paddy Cool, was released.
The band was also voted Australia’s best group of 1971 in the national Go-Set Pop Poll. This was quite an achievement when you consider they had only been on the scene for six months and had had to contend with competition like Chain, Zoot and Masters’ Appren¬tices.
Meanwhile, their album was selling like wildfire, with radio sta¬tions programming all or most tracks. By August it had gone gold and, of c~urse, the single had already achieved gold status within eleven weeks of its release. Also in August, the band took its first step toward international recognition when they set off for the US to play at the Whisky A Go Go in Hollywood. The gig was a success. As a result they were offered more concert dates later in the year. At the same time, ‘Eagle Rock’ was released in the US on Warner Brothers.
Then, in September, JERREMY NO ONE joined on sax and piano. Jerremy had worked with Co Caine and had also played with the two Rosses in Sons of the Vegetal Mother.
The new line-up returned to the US in October and arrived back in Australia the following month for the release of their five track extended play record called DCEP. Daddy Cool was by now renowned for creating precedents in this country. On November 29, 1971, they established another by becoming the first Australian band to broadcast live from a recording studio. The performance took part at Armstrong’s Studios in Melbourne and was transmitted right around Australia and New Zealand.
Then came the group’s second and most controversial album, Sex, Dope, Rock’n’Roll — Teenage Heaven. In fact, there was even talk of banning it following a review of it in one of Melbourne’s daily papers, where reporters brought the record’s content to the attention of government and church leaders. The complaints were based parti¬cularly on the album’s title and two songs, ‘Baby Let Me Bang Your Box’, and ‘Sixty Minute Man’. Ironically both tracks had originally been released (by the Penguins and Billy Ward & the Dominoes) in the US in the early fifties where neither song was banned and both were top sellers. Fortunately the LP reached the stores unscathed and made the charts in January 1972.
In the meantime, Jerremy, feeling that he could not become totally involved in the group’s music and performing style, parted company with the group in February ‘72. Later the same month, IAN WINTER (ex-Carson) joined the band on guitar, allowing Ross W. to concentrate on vocalising and Ross H. to specialise on his lead riffs.
Then in March, the group left on their third US tour with an im¬pressive total record sales of over three quarters of a million behind them in Australia. At Warner Brothers’ studios in Los Angeles, they recorded ‘Teenage Blues’ and ‘Rock and Roll Lady’. They returned to Australia in June ‘72, confident that they had established them¬selves on the American group structure.
In July they released ‘I’ll Never Smile Again’ which had been re¬leased six weeks prior in America. However, all was not well in the Daddy Cool camp. In September, Ian announced that he was leaving to rejo~ Carson. In addition, Gary and Wayne started showing interest in forming another band. The group seemed to stagnate. Meanwhile, the two Rosses seemed to be working on regrouping. The single, ‘Teenage Blues’, was released as part of existing contractual obligations.
Finally the band petered out, with Gary and Wayne forming Gary Young’s Hot Dog. Eventually after searching and changing combinations, the Rosses formed the Mighty Kong in May 1973. But the legend of Daddy Cool didn’t die there.
In September, The Last Drive-In Show album was released. It featured a live performance made by the boys twelve months prior at Melbourne’s Much More Ballroom. It was issued on the Wizard label. A single, ‘Duke Of Earl’, was also released from the album.
In March 1974, following a ‘once only’ reformation for the Sun-bury ‘74 pop festival, it was announced that the original four would get back together again and record. They released two singles, ‘All I Wanna Do Is Rock’ and ‘The Boogie Man’, but it wasn’t quite the same and the boys just couldn’t seem to re-enter the charts.
By early 1975, the music had begun to lag so they added GUN¬THER GORMAN on guitar to try to revitalise the sound. However, the magic was gone and they finally disbanded in September ‘75 after staging their final show at the Paddington Town Hall, Sydney.
Ross Hannaford went on to form a trio called One Foundation early in 1976 and then became part of Billy T. Ross Wilson went on to co-write the music for Oz with Gary Young and Wayne Burt, and then released a successful single, ‘Living In The Land Of Oz’. Ross’ solo career also included forming his own band called Mondo Rock.
Late in 1977 the Daddy Cool albums were re-released.
(See also sections on ROSS WILSON and GARY YOUNG.)
Frankie was born in the Melbourne suburb of Black Rock and began singing to amuse his fellow servicemen. By the mid-fifties he had become a regular featured vocalist at the Ziegfeld Palais Ball¬room in Melbourne. Frankie worked there with Max Bostock and his Rockets. He also recorded a series of rock’n’roll EPs on the Dance-land label. These recordings made him Melbourne’s pioneer in the rock field.
Then, in 1959, Frankie was snapped up by W&G Records. His initial release included a cover version of Carl Dobkins Jnr’s. ‘My Heart Is An Open Book’. In March 1960 came another single, ‘Why’. Then in May came his breakthrough record, ‘I Care For You’/’You’re Driving Me Crazy’. The single made the charts and impressed execu¬tives at W&G so much that they arranged for its release in the US.
However, Frankie’s main talent was as a send-up comedian and composer. In 1961 he found his niche with ‘Yabba Yabba Doo’, which entered the charts in December. This was followed by what probably became his signature tune, ‘Have You Ever Been To See King’s Cross?’. The song achieved national acclaim for Frankie and made a mockery of the short-sighted Melbourne/Sydney rivalry of the period. After all, a Melbourne singer performing a song about an area of Sydney in 1962 was strange, to say the least.
Frankie certainly made his mark with clever novelty material. Songs that followed included ‘Hector The Trash Collector’ and ‘50 Million Blowflies Can’t Be Wrong’. His big break came in mid 1963 when a Melbourne radio station ran a competition among local artists called Export Talent. Frankie won first prize which was a return ticket to England. He took full advantage of the trip, per¬forming and recording there. One of his most interesting releases was a cover version of Jay Justin’s ‘Proud Of You’ for the UK market.
Late in 1965, Frankie returned to Australia. However, he was now an international performer and went on to make appearances in Europe, North America and England.
Back home in 1970 he began recording for the Fable label and produced his biggest selling single, ‘Gimme Dat Ding’, followed by ‘Ball Bearing Bird’. Frankie had also become an accomplished actor appearing in dramas such as Matlock Police, Homicide and the ABC’s production of Dynasty.
In 1975 he switched to M7 Records and released an album called A Generation Of Children’s Hits. Then, in September 1977, on his return from yet another trip to England, Frankie toured Australia and released a new single entitled ‘The Wedding Vows.
Bryan was a Sydney based singer who came to the attention of rock fans in 1959. His clean-cut good looks and comparatively mellow rock style made him ideal for the TV pop shows of the era, particularly Bandstand, on which Bryan became a regular.
Then, in 1961, having been signed by the HMV label, he released his first successful recording, a cover version of Mark Wynter ‘s ‘Dream Girl’. Bryan’s version shared chart honours with the original. It sold especially well in Sydney. Three more top forty contenders followed over the next twelve months. Then, after having featured on pop shows all over Australia, Bryan scored his own TV series on the ABC.
His big break came in 1963 when he met Norrie Paramour (top British composer, producer and conductor) who had visited Sydney with Helen Shapiro. Paramour was impressed with Bryan’s work and encouraged him to go the UK.
As a result, he sailed for Britain in February 1964, and in May he recorded for Norrie Paramour in London. Although Bryan didn’t go on to achieve international stardom, the trip did stimulate him as an entertainer. He returned to Australia in October ‘64 with a different singing style and a new Beatle-type appearance. The new look Bryan Davies was readily accepted, and he returned to recording with re¬newed passion. One of his notable singles over this period was ‘I Need You’, released in November ‘65. However, it wasn’t until June ‘67 that he re-entered the charts with ‘Alberta’.
Unfortunately, although Bryan remained on the scene, no further hits eventuated. According to reports, he is still singing on the Sydney scene.
Terry was born on December 26, 1945. He was educated at St. Bernard’s College in Melbourne where he had his first singing experi¬ence in the school choir.
His first professional job was at the Collingwood Youth Club in Melbourne in February of 1962. From there Terry became a regular at dances, concerts and eventually on television. In 1965, his popu¬larity reached a peak with performances on top pop show GO!, and his subsequent contract with the related GO! record label.
Terry’s debut single was ‘It’s You’ (written by Bobby Bright), which became a top seller in July ‘65. The record further stimulated Terry’s career, and by early 1966 he had scored his own backing group, the original Mixtures. The Mixtures, of course, went on to achieve international acclaim in the early seventies.
Although Terry produced no further hit records as a soloist, in 1972 he formed successful country rock band Bluestone.
In 1977, Bluestone were still active as a semi-professional unit. Terry worked during the day with a Melbourne based record label.
Grantley’s real name was Grantley De Zoeta. As he was growing up with his parents in the Melbourne suburb of Balwyn, his one burning ambition was to become a disc jockey. However, Grantley was blind and it seemed impossible for him to fulfill his goal. But he possessed incredible courage and determination, and, in 1962, he started training at a radio school.
Despite his handicap, Grantley mastered the basics. In November ‘62, he landed a job with what was at the time Australia’s only land-line station broadcasting to about forty five homes in the morning. In the meantime, having been gifted with a powerful voice, he took up singing. By the age of sixteen he had won many competitions as a soprano.
In 1963, he was singing at a function and impressed a reporter from the Melbourne Sun, who wrote an article on Grantley. David Joseph (at that stage with radio station 3AK) read the story and immediately hired him as a dj. This made Grantley the youngest disc jockey on Australian radio at the time.
He continued his dual career and managed to score a recording contract with HMV. Grantley’s first chart success came with a revi¬val of Billy Bland’s ‘Let The Little Girl Dance’. This was followed by a remake of Bobby Rydell’s ‘Wild One’. He seemed to favour power¬ful rock standards. He also recorded ‘You’re Sixteen’.
Grantley continued to sing successfully both as part of groups and solo.
DE KROO BROTHERS
Line-up: LEO DE KROO (guitar, vocals); DOUG DE KROO (guitar, vocals).
The boys were born in Holland and migrated to Perth with their parents just after World War II. In 1960 they set out alone for Sydney to pursue their singing careers. The brothers were broke when they arrived and had to steal bottles of milk to survive.
Their first record was ‘On The Job Too Long’, released on Colum¬bia in March 1960. They caught the public’s attention with their gimmick of using oversized guitars. Initially they were plagued with problems caused by dishonest promoters. However, they began working country tours and set up their own musical instrument repair business to supplement their income.
Although the boys continually produced good records such as ‘Tears Of Pity’ (in February 1963), it wasn’t until ‘Scarlett’ was re¬leased in October of the same year that they eventually managed to get a fair share of airplay.
Unfortunately, the follow-up, ‘Foggy Mountain Top’, suffered a similar fate to earlier singles.
The brothers remained on the scene though, and went on to set up a guitar school in Bondi in mid 1965.
Original line-up: IAN (PEE WEE) WILSON (bass, vocals); NOEL
WIDERBERG (lead vocals); BRIAN PERKINS (baritone); WARREN
L UCAS (tenor).
The boys met at the Bronte Surf Club in Sydney where they were all members. As well as their interest in surfing, they found that they also had a mutual love for singing. In January 1959, they formed themselves into a vocal group. They decided to call them¬selves the Delltones (‘dell’ meaning ‘of’ in Spanish and ‘tones’ re¬ferring to their singing style).
The quartet’s first professional engagement was at a small nightclub in Kings Cross after they had bailed up the club owner and auditioned for him in the street. Eventually they came to the atten¬tion of entrepreneur, Lee Gordon, who used them on his Big Shows as a featured act (a la Diamonds), and also as a backing group (a la Jordanaires). Lee also signed them to his Leedon label and around September ‘59, they released their first single, ‘Gee’/’Why’. This was followed a few weeks later with ‘Tonight’/’Everything I Do’, then ‘Tell Me That You Care’/’Yes Indeed’ (February 1960), and ‘White Cliffs Of Dover’/’Land Of Beauty’ (May 1960).
Midway through 1960, they switched to Coronet records where they released a single called ‘Little Miss Heartbreak’/’Take This Heart’. Both songs had been written by Tommy Sands’ guitarist! arranger, Scotty Turnbull. Scotty had been impressed by the Dell-tones during his Australian tour, and not only did he provide them with two of his compositions, but he also played on the record.
However, it wasn’t until December ‘60 that the boys scored their first national hit with ‘You’re The Limit’. With a smash single on their hands, and regular TV appearances on Six O’Clock Rock and Bandstand, the scene seemed set for a long and successful run for the group.
Then, just after ‘Get A Little Dirt On Your Hands’ broke into the charts in mid 1962, tragedy struck. In July of that year, Noel was killed in a car accident. The other three band members, grief stricken over the loss of their colleague, cancelled all future engage¬ments. Eventually, following encouragement from friends in the business, and two months of inactivity, they decided to look for a replacement. They held auditions and came up with COLIN LOUGH¬NAN who had been part of the Crescents.
The new line-up was back in action after a brief period of rehears¬ing and in January 1963, they had their biggest hit ever with ‘Come A Little Bit Closer’. An album of the same name followed in April. Later in the year they joined the surfing craze with ‘Hangin’ Five’. The following year saw the release of one of their best albums, The Golden Hits Of The Golden Groups (August ‘64), and a single revert¬ing back to their original tight harmony style called ‘Hey Girl Don’t Bother Me’.
The quartet had now developed an appeal to all ages. They con¬tinued to record and tour throughout the remainder of the sixties. The group also travelled overseas including to London where they did some recording.
Finally, after twelve years in the business, they split in 1971. Warren, Pee Wee and Brian faded out of the limelight. However, Cohn reappeared as a vocalist, sax player, pianist and flautist with the highly renowned Ayers Rock.
Steve was originally from the UK where he had worked with a band called the Mysterys. He migrated to Australia and became popular at Melbourne’s Sunday afternoon charity pop shows held at Festival Hall where he appeared with the Phantoms.
In November 1963, he had his only successful single with ‘That’s The Love’.
Line-up: ALLAN CR0 WE (bass); TEX IHASZ (guitar); PHIL
BOWER (drums); RON PATTON (sax); LES GREEN (lead guitar).
(DIGGER REVELL was originally their lead vocalist. However, he
went on to be promoted as a soloist - see section under REVELL.)
The band was formed at the end of 1961. The name was actually a combination of the first letter of each member’s birthplace (Digger - Dubbo; Allan - England; Tex - Norway; Phil - Villawood; Ron - Epping; Les - Randwick).
The group was discovered by Johnny Devlin at the Teenage Night¬club in Sydney midway through 1962. Johnny liked the unusual lead guitar sound and offered to take over their management. He then arranged for an audition tape to be recorded of two instrumen¬tals called ‘Outback’ and ‘The Mexican’. The tape was presented to EMI Records, who were so impressed that they pressed a single directly from it. Unfortunately, the record was a flop. However, the follow-up, ‘Surtside’/’ Lisa Marie’ (both Devlin compositions), began selling early in 1963. By April it had made the charis in every state.
The band - now four piece - (minus Ron on sax) had another single, ‘Nightrider’, out by March ‘63. Then came ‘Avalon Stomp’ (written by Les). In June they toured New Zealand (with Digger Revell). They reportedly were paid a mammoth £8,000 plus expen¬ses. This was quite a sum for a local group of that era.
Then, in September 1963, they moved to RCA Records. With the new label they continued their dual role of performing and recording with Digger, as well as promoting themselves as a separate entity. The Band’s first single for RCA was ‘Stomp Fever’/’The Sun Seeker’. This was followed by an album entitled Let’s Go Surfside With The Denvermen, plus another single, ‘Spanish Sands’/’Mystery Wave’. The group had now earned a reputation as being one of the country’s best equipped, most versatile bands. They were in great demand for backing other artists such as vocalist, Tony Weston.
They continued touring extensively (they had apparently covered 250,000 miles in 1963). By mid ‘64, they formed into a tighter unit with Digger Revell as well as changing their image to a present Beatle-style appearance and sound. Digger’s records sold well. In May ‘65, Allan left to get married. He was replaced by KENNY KRAMER (ex-Bluedogs).
At one stage it even looked like they might achieve international acclaim, when they received encouraging response from Norman Petty (previously Buddy Holly’s manager) in the US as a result of Digger sending him some tapes. However, overseas success did not eventuate.
Johnny was born on May 11, 1938, in Wanganui on New Zealand’s north island. His parents had been entertainers in the country and western field, so Johnny grew up in a musical environment.
At the age of twelve he took on a paper round to enable him to pay off fifty cents per week on a guitar which he taught himself to play. Johnny left school and worked for a while as a bank clerk and as a railway clerk. As well as retaining his interest in music by sing¬ing with his brothers (as the River City Ramblers) and doing some solo work, Johnny was also involved in body building. In fact, at the age of sixteen, he won the Mr. West Coast title.
Then, following a break-up with his girlfriend, Johnny took a train to Auckland where he secured a job in a warehouse. His desire to become a rock singing star intensified. Following encouragement from his workmates, he scored a spot at the top local dance called the Jive Centre. It was while singing there that Johnny came to the attention of young entrepreneur and owner of the Prestige record label, Phil Warren.
Johnny’s first record for Prestige was a version of Lloyd Price’s ‘Lawdy Miss Clawdy’, sung in the Presley style. Although the song was primitively recorded, it topped the New Zealand hit parades, selling an unbelievable 100,000 copies. It became the first gold record ever awarded there. As a result of the record’s success, Johnny embarked on a six month tour for local impressario, Robert Kerridge, covering both the north and south islands, with his band, the Devils. The band consisted of CLA UDE PAPESCH (sax, piano); PETER BAZLEY (guitar); NEVILLE CHAMBERLAIN (guitar); RON MARTIN (bass guitar); and TONY HOPKINS (drums). (The Devils went on to establish themselves as an independent unit and recorded an album in 1960.) The tour was a resounding success, highlighted by Johnny’s brash stage antics. Around six more singles followed on the Prestige label.
Then, thanks to Phil Warren, Johnny came to the attention of Australian promoter, Lee Gordon. It seems Gordon had approached him to handle the New Zealand end of the Everly Brothers’ tour. In return, Phil asked Gordon to take Johnny and the Devils to Aust¬ralia. The proposition was accepted, and the boys left for what was to be a one week tour with Sal Mineo and Tab Hunter beginning in Melbourne. Johnny, now twenty one, became an immediate sensation and the trip turned into a permanent stay.
Appearances on Bandstand and Six 0 ‘Clock Rock followed, as well as doing the dance and concert circuits. Johnny’s record re¬leases in Australia were, to say the least, confusing. By 1977 he had recorded on nine different labels. His first Australian chart success was ‘Doreen’, released on Lee Gordon’s Leedon label. Meanwhile, Johnny established his own label, Teen Records, with newly acquired manager, John Collins. He became one of the hottest rock properties in the country, particularly because of his flamboyant stage gear. At one stage he was known as ‘Satin Satan’. Some of his New Zealand records were released here, but curiously they appeared on three different labels — Bell, Festival and Leedon.
Johnny’s second, third and fourth Australian hits portrayed a slightly more pop sound. They were on the Teen label, as was his debut album, Real Nervous (November 1960). Then, as Festival bought into Teen Records, Johnny moved across also. Johnny’s first single for Festival was a rewrite by A&R man, Ken Taylor, of ‘Charlie Mopps’ (an English folk song about the man who invented beer). The record was a little out of character. However, it did sell over 8,000 copies and apparently topped the hit parade in the Netherlands.
From this point, Johnny’s record success seemed to taper off, but he was far from inactive in the field of entertainment. He expanded in the areas of songwriting and management. Johnny wrote songs for artists like Patsy Ann Nobel, and took over the management of Digger Revell and the Denvermen. Mid 1963 found him in the unique position of still being under contract to record for Festival, yet working as the A&R man for RCA.
Then, in 1964, Johnny formed his own theatrical and booking agency with his wife Carol. He re-entered the limelight as one of the support acts on the Beatles’ tour of Australia and New Zealand. Johnny regarded the tour as a highlight in his career. It gave him the impetus to promote himself again as a performer. He quit his job at RCA, gave up his management of the Denvermen, dieted, grew his hair longer, re-formed the Devils and commenced his assault on a new generation of pop fans. He released a series of new singles (including ‘Mod’s Nod’, ‘Won’t You Be My Baby’ and ‘When I Go Away From You’). In September ‘65, he set off for England. He stayed in the UK until 1967 and recorded there for CBS.
On his return to Australia he established himself as a club and TV performer, having matured from the pop audiences. He worked both here and in New Zealand. Then, in 1972, feeling he was spending too much time away from his family, he swapped his microphone for a career in sales. Johnny’s retirement lasted only until 1974, when he joined Johnny O’Keefe’s review, The Good Old Days Of Rock’n’ Roll. Early in 1977, with a new band of Devils, he recorded an album for ATA Records called Happy Days Of Rock and Roll. A single from it, ‘Heartbreak Hotel’ (the old Elvis classic) was also released.
Original line-up: BRODERICK SMITH (vocals); KERRYN TOL¬HURST (guitar); CHRIS STOCKLEY (guitar); JOHN STONGIE (bass);JOHN LEE (drums).
After the breakup of Country Radio, Kerryn decided to form a band of talented musicians who believed in creating a unique sound. He chose Broderick (ex-Carson and soloist in the Tommy produc¬tion); Chris (ex-Axiom); and the two Johns (both from Black-feather). The band began rehearsing in April 1973 and played their first gig a month later.
In July, John Stongie left and was replaced by JOHN DU BOIS (ex-Country Radio). Their debut single was ‘Way Out West’ (written by Broderick), which was released in October ‘73. Unfortunately, the record’s progress was hampered by Chris having to spend two months in hospital following an accidental shooting at a party. Mal Logan filled in for Chris and the single started selling, particularly in Melbourne. Eventually, in January ‘74, the record broke nationally. Then in June came their first album simply called The Dingoes.
Tracks from the LP received a lot of attention. Following a listeners’ poll on Melbourne radio station 3XY, ‘Boy On The Run’ was released from it as a single. Naturally the record charted well down south, but didn’t enjoy the same success nationally. Then John Lee left (bound for England) to be replaced by RA Y ARNOTT. In October, the Federation of Australian Broadcasters bestowed up¬on them the Best Album of the Year award. Another single, ‘Smooth Sailing’/’Dingoes Lament’ was issued, but as with prior releases, it suffered from lack of airplay.
The group’s big break came early in 1975 when they met with Billy McCartney who was an ex-Australian roadie who had estab¬lished himself as a tour manager in the US. When Billy returned to America, he told Peter Rudge (manager of the Rolling Stones and Lynyrd Skynrd) about them. Following several months of negotia¬tions, Rudge agreed to take over their management in the US.
Just prior to the band’s departure for North~ America, half way through 1976, Ray Arnott left by ‘mutual agreement’. Ray was re¬placed by former drummer JOHN LEE, who met up with the guys in Canada. They gained some momentum and moved to California where, during January and February ‘77, they recorded an album. It included re-recorded versions of some of the tracks off their first album. It became their first overseas release hitting the record shops in the US around April ‘77. Meanwhile, the boys obtained their green cards (right to work), which allowed them to continue promot¬ing themselves there until the end of the year.
The album was released in Australia under the title of Five Times The Sun around July.
About two months later, a single of the new versions of ‘Smooth Sailing’ and ‘Way Out West’ began achieving limited local success.
Line-up: SHARYN CAMBRIDGE (vocals, guitar); WARWICK
THOMS (vocals, bass); STEVE GILL (vocals, drums); JIM SIFO¬NIOS (vocals, keyboards).
Steve and Jim went to the same school and later met with Sharyn and Warwick who were both from the Gippsland area of Victoria. They decided to form a group and came together as a professional unit in June 1973.
The quartet concentrated heavily on sophisticated vocal harmonies and became a popular attraction at Melbourne hotels. Around this time, WEA Records were looking for local talent. When they saw Dove they immediately sigiied them to their Warner Brothers’ label.
In August 1973, they released their first single, a revival of Carole King’s ‘It Might As Well Rain Until September’, which sold well locally. It was followed three months later by an album entitled Magic To Do. The group’s second single (‘Little Honda’) was not as successful, but the title track from the album, which was their next release, became another regional hit.
The band’s biggest hit was a vocal arrangement of ‘Amazing Grace’ which scored for them the Radio Federation Award for the Best Vocal Group of 1975. Two more moderately successful singles followed before they changed to Image Records in the spring of ‘75. The group promptly issued their second album, Love, Harmony And Understanding. A track from it, ‘Let’s Hang On’, was cut from it as a single.
At the Moomba Music for the People concert in Melbourne in 1976, they appeared before an audience of 65,000 and were accom¬panied by a sixty piece orchestra. By now the group was being tagged as middle-of-the-road, but in fact, they were simply a sophis¬ticated or soft rock band.
Another label change came in June ‘76 when they moved to Crys¬tal Clear Sound (through EMI). Since then they have continued to record and perform successfully.
Peter John Doyle was born on July 18, 1949. He went to school at Marylands High School in Melbourne. He started singing at the age of nine, and over the next three years he became a regular per¬former at hotels and night clubs. Peter also became a member of Swallow’s Juniors (a TV series featuring youthful entertainers).
At fourteen, he changed his style to rock singing and became a regular at the Sunday afternoon pop concerts staged at Melbourne’s Festival Hall. Peter was also one of the first artists to appear on the GO! pop TV show. Early in 1965 he scored a recording contract with Sunshine Records.
His first record was a revival of Conway Twitty’s ‘The Pick Up’. However, the title was considered too blatant and was renamed ‘Speechless’. Peter had three more best sellers (and an album in February ‘66 called Peter’s First Album), but despite his talent and popularity he had difficulty producing hit records more consistently.
Early in 1967, he formed a backing group called Grandma’s Tonic. In July he moved to Astor Records. He produced an excellent single also that year, entitled ‘Plastic Dreams And Toy Balloons’, but, once again, although highly acclaimed, it did not chart nationally.
In 1968, Peter’s career was revitalised when he became part of the highly publicised and promoted vocal trio, The Virgil Brothers. He remained with the group until mid 1970 when he joined the New Seekers in the UK. His stint with the New Seekers lasted until June 1973, when Peter decided to again go his own way. (See also VIRGIL BROTHERS.)
Line-up: (1975) MARC HUNTER (vocals); ROBERT TAYLOR
(guitar); PAUL HEWSON (keyboards); TODD HUNTER (bass);
NEIL STOREY (drums).
The group was formed in New Zealand by Todd in 1972 (Marc joined in August ‘72). They worked locally. In January 1973, they released an album called Universal Radio which had been made on a mini budget. It was released on the Vertigo label. The band con¬tinued working and recording in New Zealand. They released a second album, Scented Gardens For The Blind, in October 1974.
Having reached the upper echelons of rock in their homeland, they decided to take their next big step — conquering the Australian market. They arrived in Sydney in May 1975, and immediately sent for Paul to join them, thus completing their line-up. The first weeks seemed plagued with bad luck when equipment was stolen and then damaged along with their truck in a road accident. Nevertheless, un¬daunted, they continued working with Robert doing a lot of writing. The band featured a lot of original material.
Their big break came when Peter Dawkins (producer and A&R man for CBS) heard the band and took visiting CBS International President, Dick Asher, to see them. The encounter resulted in a contract with the label. Their first Aussie single, ‘Wait Until Tomor¬row, was released in July ‘76. Then tragedy struck with the band on the eve of success when Neil was found dead in his bed (reportedly from a drug overdose) late in September. He was replaced initially by TERRY TOLHURST, and then KERRY JACOBSON. This was the combination which took the country by storm — Marc (born Taumaramui, N.Z., 7/9/53); Todd (born Wiatra, N.Z., 22/6/51); Paul (born Auckland, N.Z., 25/10/52); Robert (born Waipukurau, N.Z., 27/9/54); and Kerry (born Wellington, N.Z., 19/4/56).
Then came the first of their string of hits, ‘This Time’, which was released in October ‘76. The third single, ‘Get That Jive’, really put the band. on the map. It was followed in May ‘77 by their Sunshine album which, by the end of the year, had gone double gold. The title track was released as a single and charted after a slow start. But meanwhile, bad luck still prevailed with a road accident putting Rob and Paul out of action for two weeks early in July. Fortunately though, the bad news was followed by good news, when it was announced that the band had been signed by CBS’ US west coast subsidiary label, Portrait, for release of their material in America. Their first overseas release was the Sunshine album which was issued under the title of In The Right Direction.
By now the group was being hailed as our top band of the future. At the TV Week King of Pop Awards, they were presented with the Most Popular New Group award. November saw the release of their amazing Running Free album which was a further example of their tight, light, carefully produced sound. As was expected, it had gone gold by the end of the year. ‘April Sun In Cuba’ was released as a single from the album, and it soared up the charts to reach the num¬ber three position. The song was still selling profusely at the end of 1977. It was to become their biggest hit.
With critics unanimously praising Dragon, it would seem that over¬seas success would be a strong possibility. Their trip to the US in 1978 could be the first step in that direction.
In fact, there was no such band as Drummond. The concept was created to take advantage of the popularity of Daddy Cool and of the song of the same name.
The Drummond style was a novelty sound utilising a Chipmunk vocal technique (which is produced by speeding up the voices to create a high-pitched, squeaky voice) and was coupled with normal voices.
It was purely a studio product. Apparently Adelaide group Allison Gross (who went on to become Mississippi) were used on the Daddy Cool session.
Denice Anne Christina Drysdale (she swapped the ‘c’ in Denice for an ‘s’ during her school years) was born on December 5, 1948 and grew up in Melbourne. She first came to the attention of pop fans as a dancer and mimer in the Kommotion TV series during the mid-sixties. At this point she released two singles on the Phono¬vox label, ‘Baby Neemus’ and ‘Rescue Me’ (which was released again in 1975).
She continued entertaining, and by the early seventies had taken to acting and appeared on television dramas such as Division 4, Homicide and Belibird. In 1974 she rose to prominence as a member of the Ernie Sigley Show. Ernie dubbed her Ding Dong. She went on to win a Gold Logie as the Most Popular Female Personality On Australian Television. Her resurgence in popularity put her in great demand on the club circuit around Australia, performing to record-breaking crowds wherever she appeared.
The theme of one of the Ernie Sigley Shows in 1974 was based on rock’n’roll of the late fifties. As a highlight of the programme, Ernie and Denise sang a duet of ‘Hey Paula’. The number was so well received that it was released as a single and became a national num¬ber one hit (see ERNIE SIGLEY & DENISE DRYSDALE). She then went solo and released a single, ‘Green’/’The Loving Song’, which also charted well. An album simply called Denise followed as well as a second, not so successful, single, ‘I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight’/’Res¬cue Me’.
Ernie Sigley moved to the 0/10 network and so too did Denise. She also worked briefly on Melbourne radio station 3AW in 1977.
Allison started singing at the age of five when she joined a child¬ren ‘s choir in Auckland, New Zealand where she grew up (her bro¬thers and sisters also took part). From there she developed as a solo vocalist. At fourteen she recorded ‘Can’t You Hear My Heart Beat’, which made the local top twenty.
She continued to sing and record with only moderate success until she joined the Mike Perjanik Show Band. Allison travelled to Sydney with the band and appeared at the Latin Quarter. Nine months later, she left the band to pursue a solo career. She worked clubs and hotels. She returned briefly to New Zealand to tour with Gene ~Pitney.
Her big break came when she recorded ‘I Have Loved Me A Man’. Allison’s manager, Doug Elliot, sent a copy of it to EMI’s A&R man, Howard Gable, who was suitably impressed. She was signed to the Columbia label. She then recorded ‘Don’t Come Any Closer’, which became a top seller, particularly in Melbourne (which was now her base) in December 1968. Allison’s popularity was now soaring, al¬though she just missed charting nationally once again with her next record, ‘Games People Play’. The single sold heavily once again in Melbourne, where it reached No.4. On the national charts it reached No.41.
Allison’s popularity was reflected in the awards she acquired which included Top Australian Female Artist in the Go-Set Pop Polls of 1969, 1970 and 1971, and being crowned TV Week’s Queen of Pop in 1969, 1970 and 1971. In the meantime, a romance blos¬somed between her and Howard Gable and late in 1969 the couple were married.
In May 1971, Allison scored her biggest Australia-wide hit with a cover version of Ocean’s ‘Put Your Hand In The Hand’. Also in 1971, she formed an association with Johnny Farnham. They recorded an album together (see also JOHNNY FARNHAM & ALLISON DUR¬BIN). Another best seller came in November ‘72 with ‘Amerikan Musik’ before Allison tapered off her singing work to concentrate on her family.
In October ‘76 Allison returned to recording with an album called Born A Woman on the Hammard label. It featured versions of big country hits and was immensely successful as a TV special. Then came an album of love songs entitled Are You Lonesome Tonight in May, 1977.
Slim was born David Gordon Kirkpatrick in Kempsey, NSW. He spent most of his younger days in the farming settlement of Nulla Creek. His interest in singing must have been stimulated by his father who would vocalise to the accompaniment of his fiddle while Slim was still a toddler.
Then, at about the age of ten, he was at a local dance when he heard an Aborigine sing ‘The Drunkard’s Child’. The performance fascinated Slim. This was probably the event that stimulated his desire to become a county style singer. Sometime over the next twelve months, he adopted the stage name Slim Dusty and his career had begun. He took up the guitar and at the age of twelve he wrote his first song, ‘The Way The Cowboy Died’. Three years later, and now a seasoned live performer, Slim began appearing regularly on radio station 2KM in Kempsey.
Slim’s first recording session was at the Columbia Studios, Home¬bush (Sydney), where he put down six tracks in November 1946. Three 78 rpm discs were released on the Regal Zonophone label as a result, the first being ‘When Rain Tumbles Down In July’/’My Faded Dream’. He recorded consistently over the next eleven years until midway through 1957 when his releases appeared as 45 rpm singles on the Columbia label.
That same year also saw the most amazing aspect of Slim’s career. It began in April when he was scheduled to record four songs and only had three chosen. At the time he was travelling with Gordon Parsons who was singing ‘A Pub With No Beer’, which he had compo¬sed, based on a poem by Dan Shean. Slim obtained permission from Gordon to record it (Gordon apparently saw little potential for it), thinking it would be a good flip side for a number he had chosen called ‘Saddle Boy’.
Months later, whilst working in outback Queensland, he was told that it had made the charts in Brisbane. Slim was dumbfounded, as it was considered impossible, even for the most successful country artists, to conquer the city hit parades. The song eventually made No.1 nationally, No.3 in the UK, and even sold well in the USA. In fact, up until recently, it was the biggest selling Australian recorded single ever.
Slim also recorded two sequels — ‘The Answer To The Pub With No Beer’ and ‘Sequel To A Pub With No Beer’.
In 1970, he was awarded the MBE for his services to entertain¬ment. He is still regarded as the biggest selling totally Australian recording artist ever. In 1976, he signed an exclusive world-wide contract for what was reportedly the highest fee ever paid to an Australian recording artist, with EMI (Australia) Ltd.
In 1977, Slim celebrated his fiftieth birthday. He also received his fiftieth gold record — a truly amazing feat.
Original line-up: HARRY VANDA (lead guitar); GORDON ‘SNOWY’
FLEET (drums); STE VIE WRIGHT (vocals); GEORGE YOUNG
(guitar); DICK DIAMONDE (bass).
The group’s formation stemmed from George and Harry~ s meeting at the Villawood Migrant Hostel in Sydney. All the boys had migra¬ted to Australia with their families. George was born in Glasgow on November 6, 1947. Prior to his leaving Scotland, he had been a schoolboy soccer champion. Snowy was born on August 16, 1945 in Engl~.nd where he had played with the Mojos (who were later managed by Beatles’ manager, Brian Epstein). Stevie was born on December 20, 1948 and lived in Leeds. Harry was from Holland where he played with top Dutch group, the Starfighters. He was born on March 22, 1947. Dick, also from Holland, was born on December 28, 1947. The boys got together as a band and, with the addition of the last member, Snowy, the Easybeats were founded in the winter of 1964. For the first two months they practised solidly.
They began playing at dances, in many cases for no pay. In December 1964, they were introduced to Mike Vaughan. After watching them perform, Mike negotiated with the group to become their manager. His first big publicity ploy, in January ‘65, was to hold a cocktail party at a dance and officially launch the band to djs and the industry in general. It was a great success and they went on to obtain a recording contract with EMI.
Their first record was made for Albert Productions and was re¬leased through the Parlophone label. Although ‘She’s So Fine’/’The Old Oak Tree’ was their first single to break nationally, ‘For My Woman’/’Say That You’re Mine’ was actually released earlier. The main difficulty was that at the time, Parlophone was only involved with local artists in a small way and distribution and promotion was restricted. So the boys took copies of their records around to radio stations themselves, in order to obtain airplay in Sydney.
The band’s breakthrough in Melbourne and the rest of Australia occurred when Ron Blackmore (Bobby and Laurie’s manager) heard about them and travelled to Sydney to see them. Ron was very im¬pressed. On his return, he began promoting them heavily in Mel¬bourne. The group visited down south in March ‘65 and were an instant hit with Melbourne audiences.
Over the next six months, the band became Australia’s top band, creating excitement wherever they went. In the meantime, the magic composing team of Vanda and Young, which became such an enor¬mous songwriting legend in the seventies, had already developed, creating exciting and different songs on each record.
Also in 1965, they released their debut album called Easy which became one of the year’s best sellers.
By early 1966, they had conquered the domestic market (having had six hits in a row and two good LPs, including their second album It’s 2 Easy). They decided to tackle England.
On July 10, they left for the UK and, following a brief period of adjustment, began recording. The resultant single, ‘Friday On My Mind’ became the sensation of their career. It made the British charts in November ‘66 and reached the number six position. Whilst in Australia, it became the group’s third number one hit. In the US, the record eventually made the charts in May ‘67 and went as high as number sixteen. Meanwhile, in October ‘66, they released their third Australian album entitled Easybeats Volume 3.
The band was now an international success, but their popularity was still strongest in Australia. They were voted Australia’s top group in the Go-Set Pop Polls of 1966 and 1967. In May of ‘67 they returned for a national tour. The tour was, of course, successful, but the following month Snowy announced that he was leaving the group for personal reasons. He settled down in Perth. Snowy’s place was taken by TONY CAHILL (ex-Purple Hearts). As well as having two hit singles over this period, they released their first album in the US under the title of Friday On My Mind.
As a result of their record sales in the US, the band set off on an American tour with Gene Pitney in August ‘67. But, despite the success of Friday On My Mind, and hit singles in Australia, it wasn’t until April ‘68 that they scored their next overseas hit when ‘Hello How Are You’ made number twenty on the British charts. In the meantime, a new album was released entitled Vigil, and in the US a second LP, Falling Off The Edge Of The World was put out. Vigil was different from their earlier works in that it contained such a variety of material — old standards, original compositions, easy listening songs, psychedelic songs and only a hint of rock.
Then came a change of label to Polydor and, in the US, a contract for release of material on Tamla Motown Records’ Rare Earth label. The group’s first release for Polydor was ‘St. Louis’ which sold in Australia and was even a mild hit in the US. Unfortunately, it was to be their last chart success. An album entitled Friends (from which ‘St. Louis’ was lifted) was released and coincided with another Aust¬ralian tour in the spring of 1969. During the tour, their old label (Parlophone) put out a single called ‘Peculiar Hole In The Sky’. The boys were unhappy about its release as the song was recorded origi¬nally only as a demo disc when the composition was presented to the Valentines. Naturally, the record didn’t sell and by now the band’s direction had changed completely from the exciting rock style that had brought them success. By the end of 1969, their popularity had begun to wane. Early in 1970, they finally disbanded.
Harry and George returned to London where they worked as pro¬ducers, songwriters and session men. In the UK, they released an album under the name of the Marcus Hook Roll Band before return¬ing to Australia where they have become probably our most success¬ful songwriting/producing team (see FLASH & THE PAN). Stevie initially formed a band called Rach-ette and in 1974 re-emerged as a top solo artist (see STEVIE WRIGHT). Tony returned to England to join Python Lee Jackson, and Dick, who was suffering from mental strain, dropped out of the scene.
The group is still regarded as possibly our most successful. Their Best Of The Easybeats, volumes one and two, are consistent sellers. A further album, The Shame Just Drained (containing fifteen pre¬viously unissued tracks) was released in October 1977.