Thursday, 8 February 2018
Bama Lama Bama Loo/Tossin' & Turnin'/Lookin' For My Pigs/Let's Go, Let's Go, Let's Go
Raymond Hough only had to effect a small tweaking of his birth name but it gave him one of the coolest handles in Oz rock: Ray Hoff & the Offbeats. From the rock'n'roll cauldron of the late 1950s and throughout the beat and soul-funk era of the 1960s and beyond, it was a name that commanded respect in Australian musical circles even if it was not always familiar in the nation's households.
Kept from a level of prominence enjoyed by his peers - and indeed some lesser talents - by the lack of a signature hit or a solid body of recorded work, Hoff's fame, as it was, centred around his gruff, powerful, soul voice. Like Max Merritt & the Meteors, his formidable reputation as a song stylist and his energetic sidemen always commanded enthusiastic audiences.
A few band competitions later - with Isackson enticed away by Dig Richards & the RJ's but with Taylor still pounding his keys maniacally - Hoff was on Six O'Clock Rock and he and his Offbeats were setting Sydney alight with rock'n'roll as part of a pioneering elite headed by O'Keefe, Col Joye & the Joy Boys, Johnny Rebb & the Rebels and Alan Dale & the Houserockers.
It was a heady environment for a time but without a record deal (Teen Records promised but withdrew) and with fairly formidable competition from what mostly became multiple-hit acts, Hoff moved to Adelaide, then Perth, where he was warmly embraced. But it was not until he returned to Sydney in 1965 and put together a new line-up of the Offbeats that things began to fall into some sort of place.
Hoff was one of the most active Australian performers in Vietnam during the war, although due to his soul leanings, he was heard far more by American than Australian servicemen. During one tour of duty he met a go-go dancer called Kay, who became his wife of 25 years. (Glen A. Baker)
Wednesday, 7 February 2018
The Impossible Dream/They Call The Wind Maria/Hello Josephine/Little Deuce Coup/Mexico
Melbourne band formed in 1962. Members have included Frankie Brent (guitar, vocals), Frankie Burns (drums), John Cosgrove (guitar, vocals), Gavin Grace (bass), Ray Houston (bass), Graham Broomfield (saxophone), Rex Harris (bass), Gordon Pendleton (drums), and Noel Tresider (piano).
In 1961 John Cosgrove saw a Fender Guitar in a Melbourne shop window and Knew instantly that this was the instrument on which to build his musical career.
John with Bassist Ray Houston and Guitarist Frank Brent , left the Blue Jays Show Band and formed the first all-Fender group in Melbourne. When drummer Frank Burns joined up,the four young musicians,together with the full support of the Fender Company in the U.S.A. became the legendary Fendermen.
The Fendermen's blend of professional arrangements and quality equipment launched them to the forefront of the local pop music scene, securing long term contracts with Leggets Paladium and the Orana Ballroom, and the late night spot at the Palais De Danse. Regular appearances on IMT with Graham Kennedy and recordings with Frankie Davidson and Merv Benton followed.
1968 saw the Fendermen move to a long running residency at the Dorset Gardens working with and supporting a long list of international acts. Now working as a duo, the Fendermen have never stopped playing. In 1996 the original members reunited for their 35th Anniversary then in 2011 for their 50th.
The Fendermen's Fenders.
Thanks To John
Private Property/Better Late Than Never/I Did Nothing Wrong/Crack in the Door
Patricia "Trisha" Ann Ruth Noble was born on 3 February 1944 in Marrickville and grew up in Sydney, Australia. Her father was Clarence Lancelot "Buster" Noble (1 March 1913 – 1990), a comedian and singer; her mother was Helen De Paul (born Helen McGoulrick, 1921–2007), an entertainer, singer, dancer and comedian on the Tivoli circuit. During World War II, Buster served as a sergeant in the Warratahs Entertainment Unit in the AIF from November 1942 to January 1946. Noble has a younger sister, Amanda. In 1950, Noble appeared onstage with her parents and had her own radio programme. By age 14, she was qualified to teach ballet. There is a video of Patsy Ann Noble on the Dailymotion website, titled: 'Patsy Ann Noble More Than A Song'. Dailymotion website.
Noble won the 'Best Female Singer of the Year' Logie Award for 1961, presented by TV Week. By December 1962, Patsy Ann had scored herself two No. 1 and four Top 10 singles in Australia. In 1962, she travelled to London where she was given a two-year contract with Columbia Records. There, she released many "girl group"-sounding pop songs including "Sour Grapes" (February 1963), "I'm Nobody's Baby" (1963) and "Accidents Will Happen" (1963), but received little commercial success – although she continued to score hits between 1963 and 1965 in Australia. In 1963, she appeared in the British musical film Live It Up! (with music produced by Joe Meek), although only in a singing role. In June 1965, Noble released "He Who Rides a Tiger" which peaked at No. 21 on the British Top 30, and No. 15 on Australia's Top 40.
Trisha on the Dangerman episode "Not So Jolly Roger"
Sunday, 28 January 2018
Dream Girl/ I'm Gonna Make You Cry/I Don't Like To Be Alone/Skinny Minnie
Bryan Davies (born in 1945) is an Australian singer from Sydney, who came to the attention of Australian 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, such as Sing! Sing! Sing! and particularly Bandstand, on which Bryan became a regular. Bryan has had songs written for him by acclaimed songwriter, Jay Justin, who wrote songs for many other artists, including Little Pattie, Reg Lindsay and Slim Whitman.
After having featured on pop shows all over Australia, Bryan scored his own teen music TV series on ABC Television. At age 17, Bryan Davies became the youngest person in the world to host his own television show. The Bryan Davies Show (1962–1963) included regular guests, Neil Williams, Judy Cannon and the Don Burrows Sextet. Resident girl singer in the series was Coral Kelly who later went on to become Coral Drouyn, a well known scriptwriter. As an indication of his success was his purchase of a bright red Jaguar which featured in the opening titles of the program.
At the beginning of 1964 Bryan with The Delltones, Dig Richards, Justin and others including his then girlfriend Jacki Weaver performed in the youth oriented stage production produced and written by Bill Watson at the Palace Theatre in Sydney. The show surrounded the antics of Gadget, played by Weaver. It was a play on the then popular Sandra Dee Gidget films.
However Beatlemania was then the name of the game and the entire music industry world wide was in confusion as to the future of the industry. The emphasis had switched overnight from single performers (including Elvis Presley and Cliff Richard) to singing as distinct from instrumental, male groups, preferably British and London and even Liverpool the home of The Beatles, suddenly became the popular music capital of the world.
In 1963, Bryan had met Norrie Paramour, a top British composer, producer and conductor who produced Cliff Richard and the Shadows' recordings, during a visit to Sydney with actor/singer, Helen Shapiro famous for one hit "Walkin' Back to Happiness". Paramour was impressed with Bryan’s work and encouraged him to go to England which he did in February 1964. In May that year he began recording for Paramour
In the absence of further chart successes, Bryan has continued his singing career to this day, working mainly in the Sydney music scene.
During his career, Bryan diversified into acting and hosting roles for television shows. He was a cast member for two years on Australia's first major comedy satire program, The Mavis Bramston Show (1964–1968), and featured in the 7 Network's Anything Goes (1968). Bryan has had guest starring roles in other productions. He appeared in a Matlock Police episode, 'What's In It For Me' in 1973. In 1981 Bryan became the presenter of the short-lived Candid Camera -style game show, Catch Us If You Can.
More recently, Bryan has been involved in The Johnny O’Keefe Memorial Show, performing alongside other legends from the JOK era including Alan Dale, Vicki Forrest, Barry Stanton, Johnny Devlin and Adam. He is currently performing with Roland Storm and Lucky Starr in the "Golden Boys of Aussie Rock 'n' Roll" show.
Thanks to Brian for supplying me with the labels.
Wednesday, 10 January 2018
Big Ben/Can't Blame Me/Why Hide/Besame Mucho
Hobart's Spook Club and Beachcombers, Melbourne's Pinnochio's, Perth's Cannon Bridge Stomp! All Felt the impact of The Kravats.
Tasmania's premier rock export of the 1960's, The Kravats gegan in 1958, their first gig being guests on the Lee Gordon Big Show at the City Hall in Hobart supporting artists like Llord Price , Conway Twitty, The Kalin Twins, Col Joye and The Joy Boysand The Delltones and Johnny OKeefe and the DJ's and Johnny Devlin and Dig Richards.
The Personal for this first appearance were Noel Best, Ray Woodruff, Norm Walker, Max Johns and Clem Meehan (filling in for the injured Richard Millhouse who was suffering from a broken arm).
The Kravats became the resident band and in June 1964 received a recording contract with W&G Records in Melbourne. Paying their own expenses to undertake this venture, the first session in 1964 led to the release of the single Puppet Strings (written by Noel) b/w Bel Mir Bist Du Schoen wich sold well in Hobart reaching #2 on the local charts. The follow up single Fred b/w Jindivik both sides being written by Noel, was also recorded at this session.
3UZ Disc jockey John Vertigan (ex 7HO Hobart), a close acquaintance of the group, actively campaigned W&G's Ron Tudor for the audition session which led to the recording contract. By the middle of 1964, Beatlemania was alive and well in Tasmania and the band realised the need for a vocalist to progress to this Merseybeat-style as compared to the Shadows-style wich had been their trademark.
Barry Woodruff a younger brother of Ray was added to the band. A Friday night residencey at the popular Beachcomber at the San Carlo Hall in North Hobart and a second recording session in Melbourne followed. This recording session produced the Tasmanian #1 hit "Baby Let Me Take You Home", the top 10 follow up "It Must Be Jelly (Cause Jam Don't Shake Like That) and the EP We The Kravats which also made the singles charts.
Former Hobart D.J. Keith McGowan had moved to Perth and as a result of his efforts "Baby Let Me Take You Home" entered the top ten in Western Australia which resulted in tour to Perth which commenced in August of 1965. The visit was originally scheduled for 1 week but the Kravats were so well recieved that another week was agreed to.
The return of the band from this tour coincided with their release of "It Must Be Jelly (Cause Jam Don't Shake Like That) which reached #7 in Hobart and #2 in Launceston on the 20th November 1965.
Things were going from strenght to strenght and because of their strong popularity base in Tasmania coupled with family commitments the band made a conscious decision not to base itself on the mainland but to do short spells.
As 1965 drew to a close the EP We The Kravats became their 5th release and entered the Hobart singles charts immediatley. the standout track being "Why Hide" written by Barry who was becoming something of a prolific writer. On this track Barry ovedubbed the harmonies himself. In 1965 this was ground breaking stuff indeed.
Just prior to their departure for W.A. Max Johns left the bamd and was replaced on drums by John McAbe from local band the Silhouettes. The third and final session with W&G followed this time with "Macka" on drums and resulted in the release of the singles "We're Gonna Howl Tonight" (1966) and "That's What I Want" (1967). The days of hitmaking were over though and these singles sank without a trace.
With legaslative changes allowing entry into hotels of 18 year olds tennage dances disappeared and a new era of cabaret entertainment commenced with the Kravats becoming the resident band at the Carlyle Hotel in Hobart. This trend continued with the move to the cabaret scene and the band worked with such artists as Kamal, John Farnham, Ross D. Wylie and the legedary Johnny O'Keefe. The Kravats continued the professional aproach to their work and this culminated in an invitation in November 1969 to provide entertainment on the P&O liner Himalaya.
Although guest appearances in mainland venues continued periodically it was the cabaret scene in Hobart that the Kravats returned, providing entertaiment for a further two decades.
Just A Poor Boy/Mailman Bring Me No More Blues/You're Back Again/Love Talk
Just A Poor Boy by Paul Wade,Robbie van Delft and Neville Peard The writers are three members of The Bowery Boys released in 1965 it charted #25 Melbourne #21 Brisbane #5 Adelaide #42 Perth. A single on Sunshine label, also released on Kommotion. Its main chart action was in early 1966, but it appears to have been released at the end of 1965.The Bowery Boys were formed in Brisbane in 1965. Lead singer Mike Furber was given top billing after they were signed to Ivan Dayman's Sunshine label and management. After the band broke up in 1966, Mike Furber pursued an under-appreciated solo career, but in the early 70s he appeared to good notices in the gospel rock musical Godspell. Lyn Nuttall
It's Too Late/I'm So Glad/If You Need Me/Take This Hammer
Mike Furber was born on 28 September 1948 in London, England. His father was Ed Furber and Furber was raised with a sister Marian. When he was 10, his family emigrated to Brisbane, Australia. In mid-1965 Furber as lead vocalist joined local pop band The Bowery Boys which consisted of Robbie van Delft on lead guitar and vocals, Neville Peard on drums, Paul Wade on bass guitar and vocals, and Greg Walker on rhythm guitar. The group signed with Sunshine Records and were managed by label boss Ivan Dayman. Dayman promoted the group as Mike Furber and the Bowery Boys.
In late 1965 their debut single, "Just a Poor Boy", was released and in early 1966 it became a top 5 hit in Adelaide and top 30 in both Melbourne and Sydney. The song was written by Wade, van Delft and Peard. In February 1966, their second single, "You Stole My Love", was released – it is a cover version of The Mockingbird's 1965 song and was written by Graham Gouldman. Furber's version was a top 10 hit in Melbourne and peaked at No. 12 in Adelaide. The Kommotion label released the group's debut album, Just a Poor Boy. In July, a third single, "That's When Happiness Began" was issued but the group disbanded in August.
According to music historian Ian McFarlane, he was "never a strong-willed person to begin with, Furber continued to suffer bouts of depression". Furber committed suicide on 10 May 1973; he was found hanged in the garage of his Sydney home. According to McFarlane, "reputedly in the depths of depression, he hanged himself ... It has been suggested, however, that Furber was actually murdered because he had befriended a King's Cross prostitute".
Tuesday, 9 January 2018
Michael & The Slipper Tree/Ulla/Spinning Spinning Spinning/Grooviest Girl In The World
The original line-up of the Simple Image is as listed above, but Allan Gordon didn't stay very long and he was replaced by Gordon Wylie on drums. Barry, Harry and Gordon were all employees of Todd Motors in Wellington when they first started playing together. Harry had been around the music scene for a while, originally starting out in a group called the Young Ones, which after Harry left, went on to eventually become Larry's Rebels. Ron Gascoigne had originally played with South Island band, the Termites, before joining the Insect for six months. He left them at the end of 1966 to join the Simple Image. The Insect eventually evolved into the Fourmyula. Original drummer Allan also came from a South Island band called the Vaqueros.
Their first single was "Two Kinds Of Lovers"/"Summer Wine", and released with little fanfare, it spent four weeks in the national charts in March 1968, peaking at number 11. It was their second single which really established Simple Image outside their hometown. Producer Howard Gable used a phasing technique in the mix and it gave the song a very distinctive sound. "Spinning Spinning Spinning"/"Shy Boy" climbed to number one on the charts and spent two weeks in that position in July 1968. "Spinning" was entered into the 1968 Loxene Gold Disc Awards and narrowly missed winning the top spot.
Barry Leef left the group in June 1969 and had a short spell in a group called Retaliation, before he headed to Australia. He joined up with fellow Kiwis, Jack Stradwick, Mike Wilson and Mike Darby to form Straw Patch. They had a minor hit with a song called "Send Me No More Flowers". Barry's replacement in the Simple Image was Doug Smith and with him they chose to do a cover of a song by the Equals called "Michael and the Slipper Tree". Backed with "Mean So Much", the single was another top 10 hit, reaching number 7 in September. It was the last time the group featured on the charts. The Simple Image won the "Group Award" at the 1969 NEBOA Entertainer Of The Year Awards. Also in 1969 the group released an EP called "Four Hits From The Simple Image" and it contained "Michael and the Slipper Tree", "Ulla", "Spinning Spinning Spinning" and "Grooviest Girl In The World".
In 2001 EMI released a CD called "Spinning Spinning Spinning - The Complete Simple Image" which, using the cover from their original album, contains the entire album, plus every single they did and two previously unreleased songs.
My Day/Lady Bug/Everything Old Is New Again/Ain't No Mountain High Enough
Promotional release available only from the Max Factor counter at MYER stores.
Julie Moncrieff Anthony, 23 August 1951, Galga, South Australia. Anthony was born in Galga (population 15) and raised on the family farm. In her teens she began singing with a local band and in 1970 won an amateur television talent quest. Her victory and the first prize ($600 and a trip to Tasmania) led to regular appearances on the Adelaide Tonight Show. She moved to Sydney, making television appearances and performing on the club and cabaret circuit, and eventually embarking on international tours. An engagement at the Hong Kong Hilton in 1973 was followed by the lead role in the Australian production of Irene. Three years later she starred in the UK version at the Adelphi Theatre. The Play and Players of London honoured her with the Best Newcomer (Actress) award for 1976. She returned to Australian television and appeared in three national specials, and in the same year she married her manager Eddie Natt. In 1977 she won the Sammy and Penquin awards for Best Television Variety Performer. Tours of America followed and Anthony worked with Bill Cosby, Roy Clarke and Merv Griffin. In 1980 she was awarded an OBE for services to the entertainment industry. Three years later she accepted the role of Maria in The Sound Of Music; following a season in Sydney, the show successfully toured major and regional centres.
For the 1988 World Expo held in Brisbane, Anthony was invited to sing with the re-formed Seekers, joining the group as lead singer from 1988-89. In 1988 she sang the national anthem at the official opening of Australia’s new Parliament House. The same year she returned to the stage in I Do!, I Do! In 1990, she was awarded AM in the Order of Australia for services to the entertainment industry. In 1994, Anthony further demonstrated her versatility by teaming with jazz musician Don Burrows (reeds/flute) for tours, including a successful appearance at the Jazz and Blues Festival at the Gold Coast International Hotel in 1995. A year later she returned to cabaret with a season at the Tilbury Hotel in Sydney. In her extensive repertoire she demonstrated great conviction, whether singing ‘Amazing Grace’ or material ranging from Stephen Sondheim to the Beatles. In June 1996 she accepted a cameo role as a band singer in the Bruce Beresford film Paradise Road, starring Glenn Close and Jean Simmons. Julie Anthony is one of the best and most durable theatre and variety performers in the post-war Australian entertainment industry. She has won the prestigious Mo Award for Entertainer Of The Year three times, and Best Female Variety Performer nine times. An admirable singer and engaging personality, she has successfully blended her career and family duties.
Thursday, 7 December 2017
The Teddy Bears' Picnic Stomp/Cherry Pink And Apple Blossom Time/Secret Love/Three Coins In The Fountain
Think surf rock classics and a few songs come to mind. The Surfari’s Wipeout, Dick Dale’s Miserlou, Pipeline by the Chantays and of course Bombora, by Australia’s own, Atlantics. Virtually the only successful surf instrumental band, not from America.
Echoing the Shadow’s Twangy Atmospheric Instrumental Sound, they were snapped up by CBS Records and became a household name with the release of their Giant Hit Bombora.
cover-1The Atlantics went on to record seven more singles and four LPs for CBS, all of which are now regarded as classics of the Surf Instrumental Genre. They also recorded a string of vocal singles with various recording companies and these songs are now considered as outstanding examples of Pre-Punk Garage Rock.
Since reforming The Atlantics have released four excellent new CDs. “Flight Of The Surf Guitar”, ‘Atlantics – The Next Generation”, “Point Zero” and “Atlantics The Best Of”. In 2000 Bombora was given the ultimate accolade by being used in the Closing Ceremony of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. It was really a thrill to hear the “all new” Bombora during the closing ceremony of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games! What could have been better than to see Bondi Life Savers and Australia’s own Kylie Minogue making their entrance to the thundering sounds of Bombora!
Their brilliant performances on tours around Australia with the spectacular “Long Way To The Top” Concert and as the support act on the Beach Boys and Chris Isaak Shows, resulted in rave reviews about their music and their talents and once again cemented their title of, Australia’s Greatest Instrumental band, ever.
Can't You Feel/Doin' The Mod/Tell Her That/Ain't That Just Like Me
The Flies were the first Aussie band to consciously ape The Beatles. The band supported The Rolling Stones on their first Australian tour and released a number of singles; Tell Her That (July 1964), Doin’ The Mod (July 1965) and Can’t You Feel (September 1965).
Doin' The Mod charted in June-July 1965 #23 Melbourne and was followed onto the Melbourne charts in September-October by Can't You Feel, an original song by Ronnie Burns and John Thomas of The Flies (#26 Melbourne).
He was replaced in the band by Peter Nicol, who had previously been with a group called The Wild Colonials.
Lead guitarist John Thomas also departed, following some musical dissension, leaving The Flies a trio of Peter Nicol (vocals and guitar), Themi (short for Themiststocles) Adams (bass) and Hank Wallis (drums).
The band called it a day in 1966 with Nicol returning to The Wild Colonials.
Wednesday, 6 December 2017
Wolverton Mountain/The Strange Little Melody/I Cant Stop Loving You/Raindrops
Kevin Joseph Shegog (20 August 1933 – 9 November 2000) was an Australian country music singer. He is perhaps most well known for his cover of Claude King's hit Wolverton Mountain and his singles One Small Photograph and Little Kangaroo.
Shegog was born in Lower Turner Marsh near Launceston, Tasmania to Joseph and Elvie Shegog (née Briant). When he was nine years old, Shegog taught himself how to play the guitar. He was also a member of the choir at school. At the age of fourteen, he started performing at venues and began to write his own songs.
Shegog was married to Shirley (née Haas) (d. 1981) and they had five children, Dallas, Susan, Lorena, Angela and Travis. They lived in Melbourne. He was a distant cousin of Vivian Bullwinkel.
Shegog died on 9 November 2000 at the age of 67 from complications of a stroke he suffered 7 years earlier. In 1983, Shegog was inducted into the Australian Country Music 'Hands of Fame' cornerstone.
Thanks to Mustang
Saturday, 4 November 2017
Danny Boy/Galway Bay/I'll Take You Home Again Kathleen/Charmaine
With decades of performing experience internationally on radio, television and live performances, plus 27 top selling recordings, RON LEES is one of the great tenors of our time. His large Lyric Spinto Voice has been heard on every major television and radio station in Australia and overseas. He has also sung lead roles in no less than seven major operas.
His career started at 20 with a show called "New Faces of 1960" with the English performer DAVID WHITFIELD at the famous TIVOLI THEATRE in Melbourne, this went for 6 months after which he worked as a truck driver for another 6 months until he went into the studios of Channel 7 Melbourne where he met the producer of the television show "Sunnyside Up", Mr Alf Spargo, who hired him immediatly and he became the feature tenor for ten years. During this time he was invited to do 3 command performances, one with KATHRYN GRAYSON ( the American soprano & co-star of the renowned tenor MARIO LANZA), who then chose him to tour around Australia as her duetist. She remarked back stage "Hey! You sing better than Mario!" It was about then he was given his own television show called "Free and Easy" which was highly successful.
For a further fve years he performed in Sydney clubs, concerts and on television. He toured in South Australia with the June Bronhill show which went for 3 months. The tours entrepreneur had trouble paying the acts and they all had to take extra work. Ron got a spot singing in The Blue Cave nightclub in Adelaide where he met his friend actor/comedian Tony Barry. Ron was then contacted by David McIlwraith a well known entrepeneur who ran the famous LIDO nightclub. He sang there for 4 years and during that time he worked with international stars such as KATHRYN GRAYSON, JOSE FERRER, JOHNNY RAY, HOWARD KEEL, FRANCIS FAYE, EARTHA KITT, JUNE BRONHILL, JOHN RAITT and many others. In 1974 he won a Scholarship into the Opera, but as fate would have it, a Brisbane television show, "Studio 9", offered him a contract and he became the featured singer on that show for another three years.
1977 saw him in his first leading role in the opera "The Gypsy Baron", after that season concluded, Ron sang the lead role in "Tosca" for the A.B.C. on a conert tour of Australia, called "The Longest Land Based Tour in the World". It was at this time he was recognised as one of the great singers of our day, getting rave reviews from newspapers and critics alike. Four operas and four leads later, he was invited to sing at the famous "Genting Highlands Casino", the second largest in the world, where to this day, his life size portrait hangs above Andy Williams and Tom Jones. After being voted as the best and most popular singer ever to visit South East Asia, the success of this initial two-week engagement was extended to three months! Ron then returned to Melbourne for "Madam Butterfly", once again as the leading man, for a very successful season with "Victorian Opera Company".
Up until 1994 Ron toured Australia singing on television, clubs and concert halls. Ron's next engagement was at the famous "Mietta's" restaurant for a 14 day season, in the Australian version of "The Mario Lanza Show", whilst Jose Carreras of the "Three Tenors " fame, did the version in the U.S.A. The show was so successful it toured all over Australia. He has received rave reviews for his ability to recall the Great Tenor back to life. During all this he appeared on BERT NEWTON'S 'GOOD MORNING AUSTRALIA' on Channel 10 for 6 years and was voted the show's most popular artist. All though Ron Lees is Australian and has sung leads in 7 major operas there are many worldwide aficionados who regard him as one of the greatest "Italian Tenors" of our century. He has an extensive repertoire of arias & popular standard music which he performs in his exciting cabaret act that includes show songs and some Elvis Presley materiaL. Thanks to Mustang.
Wednesday, 4 October 2017
The Same Old Song/New Kind of Love/Duke of Earl/Dance of Love
"It's the Same Old Song" is a 1965 hit single recorded by the Four Tops for the Motown label. Written and produced by Motown's main production team Holland–Dozier–Holland, the song is today one of The Tops' signature songs, and was notably created—from initial concept to commercial release—in 24 hours. In 1967, Australian singer Ray Brown (following his split with The Whispers), took his version into the Australian Top 10 #4 Sydney #23 Melbourne #18 Brisbane #5 Perth It was a double-sided hit in Sydney with New Kind Of Love.
Friday, 29 September 2017
Heatwave/Be Bop A Lula/Let's Dance/California Sun
The Chicks were sisters Judy and Sue Donaldson. Both girls were born in Wellington in 1950 and 1952 respectively. They moved to Auckland at an early age and were brought up on a farm in the Huapai district. They got their first taste of success at a talent quest in Napier one Christmas when they were still children singing as the Dots. A neighbour on the farm was Kevin Borich (later with the La De Da's) and with him they made a couple of acetates at Ascot Studios.
Their lucky break came after the family moved to Henderson, when another neighbour was entertaining, and one of his guests was Peter Posa and his manager Ron Dalton. After hearing them sing, Ron thought the girls had some potential and a few weeks later he invited them into the Viking Studio to make their first real recording, "Heart Of Stone"/"I Want You To Be My Boy". The session players on that gig were among the best in Auckland, the Mike Perjanik Band. It was Mike who gave them their name, the Chicks, and the record was released on Viking in 1965.
In August 1965, the were support act on a tour featuring Sandi Shaw, the Pretty Things and Eden Kane. Following that there was another tour with Tommy Adderley and Dinah Lee. Two more singles were released in 1965, "Do You Want To Dance" with Peter Posa, coupled with "Terry" and "Java Jones"/"He's My Guy". It was time to release their first album and this was called "The Sound Of The Chicks".
1966 saw the Chicks appearing on TV in "A Swinging Safari" and more tours with the likes of P J Proby. Another single for Viking "Cumala Be Stay"/"Be Bop A Lula" and then one single on Impact "Tweedle Dee"/"Rebel Kind". In 1967 a visit to Australia gave them guest spots on TV shows over there. Two singles were recorded on Festival "You Won't Forget Me"/"Gotta See My Baby Every Day" and "What Am I Doing Here With You"/"River Deep Mountain High" in 1967 and 1968 before the girls joined the team on TV's "C'Mon". This show ran for 26 weeks, thereby cutting out much of their live work because of its heavy schedule.
During their time 1965 to 1970, they also had 3 EP's and 6 albums released. After the breakup Judy married Ross Hindman from the Rumour and settled down to raise a family, not before recording one solo single on Philips called "Heaven Is The Place"/"I Can Hear The Picture" in 1970 and Sue went solo under the name Suzanne.
Monday, 11 September 2017
Red Lights And Bells/Shimmy Like My Sisiter Kate/Song And Dance Man/You Played On My Piano
Born in Oamaru New Zealand about 1928, McKay began working as a female impersonator in the early 1950s. In his heyday he wore 18 wigs and eight frocks a night during his act, making all the dresses himself after learning to sew in a clothing factory (he was quickly sacked for sewing up the wrong seams).
“People say I make easy money, but I do suffer for it,” he said, regretting that thanks to his shaved legs, chest and armpit, he could never wear short-sleeved shirts and walk-shorts during summer.
McKay was occasionally “accused of being gay”, wrote the Otago Daily Times in 1978. “He vehemently denies this, however, and holds up a 25-year long happy marriage with his late wife for proof.” He doubted that any “camp” people attended his shows, though he had nothing against them. “I don’t give a damn what they do or are. That’s their business.”
By the 1970s, McKay was pleased to see that society had become more open-minded towards his sophisticated entertainment. “I enjoy playing to sensible adults,” he told the 8 O’Clock in 1975. “The ones who can laugh instead of snigger and come to the show for fun instead of dirt.” Then aged 48, he was based at Bondi Beach, Sydney, and had just taken up surfing after his much-older wife Tess had recently died. He was back for a two-week season at the Glenfield Tavern, and would soon have residencies at the Station Hotel in Auckland, and Phil Warren’s Silver Spade cabaret in Napier.
McKay performed in Japan, Britain, Europe and the United States, but all of his many recordings were made in New Zealand. In the early 1960s there were six albums, A Date with Noel McKay, Noel McKay In Person, That’s Me All Over, Noel McKay’s Party Song Book, The Fabulous Noel McKay plus the 1967 live album Bold ‘n’ Blue; all but the last were on Viking, who also released a series of five EPs called Party Songs for Adults Only. Among the tracks were ‘Johnny’s Little Yo-yo’, ‘My Body’s More Important than My Mind’, ‘Sweater Girl’ and ‘Leave My Instrument Alone’.
Monday, 28 August 2017
In The Midnight Hour/High School Confidential/Summertime Blues/Rockin' Pneumonia
Ray Brown & the Whispers were a highly successful Australian rock band from 1964 to 1967. Led by singer Ray Brown, they ranked alongside the Easybeats, Billy Thorpe & the Aztecs and Normie Rowe as one of the most popular acts of the period. In 1964, the band played at the Bowl, a Sydney nightclub, doing covers of popular songs such as "Shakin All Over".
In The Midnight Hour was released in Australia in 1965 reaching #2 Sydney #4 Melbourne #1 Brisbane #4 Adelaide #6 Perth one of the bigger hits of this group.
Devoted To You/Talkin' About You/Gonna Send You Back To Walker/Shakin' All Over
Like his contemporaries, Brown began as a soloist at Sydney's suburban dances in front of house bands, until he acquired his own band, the Whispers in 1965. National success came quickly with a series of hit singles, including, "Pride", "Fool, Fool, Fool", and "20 Miles". In 1966, after five hit singles, the Whispers disbanded and the New Whispers were formed, who failed to sustain the momentum of the earlier outfit and broke up. Brown flew to the USA and, despite gaining a recording contract with Capitol Records, did not find success. He returned to Australia in 1970 with a new, bearded, long-haired image and immediately formed Moonstone, who used exotic instruments, such as the sitar, to record their album, and were consequently seen as a hippie folk band. In late 1971 Brown formed the 11-piece One Ton Gypsy, a cumbersome but excellent country-influenced rock band. After this band broke up, Brown continued to perform sporadically, although he has ceased recording.
Sunday, 27 August 2017
Jambalaya/Fool! Fool! Fool!/He'll Never Love You Like I Do/Go To Him
Fool, Fool, Fool by Ray Brown and the Whispers was a chart topping single o 1965 reaching #1 Sydney #4 Melbourne #2 Brisbane #1 Adelaide #1 Perth. The B-side was Go To Him, something of a cult classic in its own right.
Fool fool fool released in July 1965, was a cover of Roosevelt Grier's "Fool, Fool, Fool". Lyrically, the song is pretty slight, being a rather melodramatic variant on the "Mockingbird" theme, with a dash of "I Fought The Law" thrown in.
A former footballer, Ray was always known for his fit and non-indulging lifetyle, so it came as a great shock to friends and fans when he died suddenly on August 16, 1996 ,at 53
Now Is The Time/Hands Off/Away From You/One Of These Days
Ray Brown and the Whispers were a chart-topping Sydney band that originated in the surf music scene as The Nocturnes. After acquiring Ray Brown as their lead singer, they went on to become one of the most popular Australian bands of the British Invasion era.
In The Midnight Hour was a double-sided hit in Brisbane with Now Is The Time on the B-Side reaching #2 Sydney #4 Melbourne #1 Brisbane #4 Adelaide #6 Perth.
20 Miles/If You Need Me/You Got That Way/Skinnie Minnie
Ray Brown & The Whispers were a chart-topping Sydney band that originated in the surf music scene as The Nocturnes. After acquiring Ray Brown as their lead singer, they went on to become one of the most popular Australian bands of sixties era. The focus was on Ray Brown, who became a major star of the Australian pop scene. with a series of hit singles, including, "Pride", "Fool, Fool, Fool", and "20 Miles" #11 on the OZ charts.
Ray Brown & The Whispers ranked with Normie Rowe, The Aztecs and the Easybeats as one of the hottest acts in the country. They made regular appearances on all the major pop TV shows. By the end of 1965, they had already released two LPs, four singles and several EPs, and starting with their second album, Headin' For The Top, they were able to make use of Festival's newly opened four-track studio in Ultimo, enabling them to make great strides in production. In 1966, after five hit singles, the Whispers disbanded and losing momentum over the next few years, Ray Brown flew to the USA. returning to Australia in 1970 with a new, direction and he immediately formed Moonstone who used exotic instruments, such as the sitar, to record their album.
Ray spent most of 1971 back in the USA, returning in late 1971 to unveil the 11-piece One Ton Gypsy an excellent country-influenced rock band. One Ton Gypsy regrettably made no studio recordings, and lasted only until 1973, eventually folding due to the cost of keeping such a large outfit on the road. The only extant tracks by this remarkable all-star band are the two songs they performed at the closing of the Garrison venue in Melbourne in mid-1973, which were recorded by Mushroom and later released as the LPs Garrison: The Final Blow. Whether any other songs from One Ton Gypsy were recorded at this event, and if such recordings have survived, is unknownAfter this band broke up, Ray recorded a superb solo single "Steel Guitar" / "Covered Wagon" for the newly-launched Mushroom label in November 1973. He continued to perform solo, and also revived the Whispers (with new lineups, including Wilbur Wilde) for concert appearances into the 80s.
Thursday, 27 July 2017
A Little Lovin' Somethin'/At A Time Like This/Goin Out Of My Mind/Skye Boat Song
Peter Nelson and the Castaways originated from Christchurch. Peter's real name was Peter Trebilcock. They appeared on the local TV show "Teen Scene" there before basing themselves in Wellington. With this original line-up they recorded two singles "Baby Can I Take You Home"/"I'll Never Be Blue" and "Down The Road Apiece"/"I'll Go Crazy" in 1965. They were good examples of R&B from that time. Unlike other New Zealand bands of the era the Castaways chose to mine a rich vein of obscure tracks of R&B and mixed them with their own originals.
It was the next single that they were best known for. It was "Down In The Mine"/"So Don't Go". "Down In The Mine" was written by Peter Hindmarsh, who was the bass player for the Wellington band, the Premiers, in the early sixties. Around this time Doug Rowe, from Palmerston North's Saints, replaced Don Clarkson on bass in 1965.
There were still two singles to be released as Peter Nelson and the Castaways. They were "Knock On Wood"/"Old Man Mose" and "At A Time Like This"/"A Little Lovin' Somethin' ", both released in 1967. As the Castaways they released the singles "Any Little Bit"/"Early Morning" in 1967 and "One More Fool"/"Baby What I Mean" and "Angelica"/"Love Is A Hurtin' Thing" for EMI in Australia before returning to New Zealand in 1968. During their time in Australia, Len Ormsby was replaced by Reno Tehei, Doug Petrie by ex-Twilights drummer Laurie Pryor, and Peter Gillette by Lance Dixon.
Peter Nelson had previously been in another Christchurch group called the Diamonds, along with a number of others from the Castaways. The Diamonds consisted of Ray Messervy on bass, Don Clarkson on guitar, Doug Petrie on drums, David Henderson on guitar, Kay Bassett on vocals as well as Peter on vocals. They released one single in 1963 called "Ventures In Paradise"/"Lucille".
Don Clarkson had also been with Don Clarkson and the Wildcats, another Christchurch group consisting of Bevan Littler on piano, Elton Burgess on bass, Russ Thompson on drums, Don on guitar and vocals and Brian Ringrose, of Invaders and Dave Miller and the Byrds fame, on lead guitar. They also released one single in 1963 called "Pretty Baby"/"Somewhere".
Peter Gillette went on to play with the Chapta, the Footsteps and Moviez.
After the Castaways dissolved, Len Ormsby and Doug Petrie joined up with Peter Gillette on keyboards, Ben Kaika, now from Compulsion, and a girl singer called Toni, in a new group called the Traque