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Thursday, 15 May 2014

Merv Benton - Dollars And Dimes


Dollars & Dimes/Honey Don't/Put The Blame On Me/It's Love Baby (24 Hours A Day)



 Merv Benton is an Australian singer famous  during the sixties.

In the Melbourne dance circuit, Merv Benton gained national attention and quickly became one of the most popular male singers in the country appearing on all national television programes.

In early 1964 he signed with Melbourne's W&G Records and became one of their most prolific artists, releasing several singles and EPs, and three LPs between 1964 and 1967. In 1967, at the height of his popularity, Merv was struck down by throat problems that ended his singing career.

His career began, like many others taking to rock'n'roll listening to Melbourne radio and was captivated by the music of Elvis Presley, Sam Cooke, Gene Vincent, Chuck Berry, Little Richard and Jerry Lee Lewis.

Merv saw his first Lee Gordon 'Big Show' in 1957, which featured Bill Haley & The Comets, The Platters and Freddie Bell and it was Bell especially who fired Merv's desire to become a singer.

These were very good times for one growing up and a teenager.

He toured around Australia with his backing group, The Tamlas.

The original lineup included.

Charlie Gauld - guitar
Ian B. Allen - bass
Eddie Chappell - drums

The line-up during most of Benton's career with "The Tamlas" included.

Eddie Chappell - drums
Les Stacpool - guitar
Noel Watson - guitar
Dennis Tucker - bass

The lineup that backed Merv on most of his recordings was Les Stacpool and Noel Watson (guitars), Murray Robertson (keyboards), Dennis Tucker (bass) and Eddie Chappell (drums), with backing vocals on most of the singles by the trio of Pat Carroll, Anne Hawker and Julie McKenna.

In the early 1980s Merv returned to the recording studio after he was approached by his old fried Ian B. Allen to perform again in Melbourne.

He found a backing band, The Allstars, which included Les Stacpool on guitar, the legendary Henri Bource on sax, Murray Robertson on keyboard, Ron Chapman on drums and Ian on bass.

The group recorded a 5-track EP with Merv at the helm.

In 1991, Merv migrated to the USA.

However he has made occasional live musical appearances and in the early 2000s he has returned to Melbourne from his new home near Phoenix, Arizona for Australian annual Sixties concerts.

All information may be obtained at the web address above for an in-depth look at the times of Merv Benton.

Monday, 12 May 2014

The Iguana - California My Way


California My Way/Mary Go Round/Imagine This/Dreaming Away To Myself


 "California My Way" was a cover of the original recording by the Committee (or it may have been The 5th Dimension version) it was released on Festival in 1968 by Melbourne band The Iguana that had formed from the Sands of Time and the Contours in 1967. The band menbers were Vocals Gary Sweetman Gary Littlewood (lead guitar) Cleve Littlewood (rhythm guitar), Graham Jones (bass) and Peter Saunders (drums). "California My Way" charted #10 Melbourne #5 Brisbane .

They had four singles, plus an EP that combined two of their 45's. Imagine This / Dreaming Away to Myself 1967, California My Way / Mary Go Round 1968, Ticket to Ride / Sunshine People 1968, Good News / Requiem 820 Latham 1969.