Monday, 17 August 2009

Lana Cantrell - Lana!

The Sound Of Silence/How Can I Be Sure/Baby Now That I've Found You/Honey/The Fool On The Hill/Can't Take My Eyes Of You/ For Me/Workin' On A Groovy Thing/Mine/The Music Played

By the time she was ten years old, Australian born musical prodigy, Lana Cantrell was already the "Boogie Baby" of her country, singing and playing the piano in jazz concerts at the Sydney Town Hall. She made her television debut on the first show ever to be shown in Australian and during the next four years was a regular on the two biggest variety shows in the country, Bandstand and In Melbourne Tonight.
Her American debut was even more auspicious. Coming to the States at age 19, Lana made 15 appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show as well as numerous appearances on all of the top variety shows, including Kraft Music Hall and The Red Skelton Show. In 1966 she was selected to represent the U.S.A at the International Song Festival, held in Poland. Lana returned to America with the first prize, which was awarded to her for her unique rendition of "I'm All Smiles".
A top recording artist, Lana Cantrell has recorded seven albums for RCA Victor, numerous singles in Australia on the Festival Label, and her hit single, "Like A Sunday Morning" on the Polydor label. Lana has worked with many summer stock companies, including a summer co-starring with Alfred Drake. She played the role of Dorothy in the summer theatre production of The Wizard Of Oz.
1972 was a homecoming for Lana when she returned to Australia to open the Sydney Opera House. In 1975 she was honoured once again when she was named "International Woman of the Year" and was flown to Paris by the United Nations to sing at the Olympia. In 1978 she co-hosted the Greater New England Emmy Awards Show with Phil Donahue and in 1979 was a judge for the Miss Universe Pageant held in Perth, Australia.

Lana! was released in 1968 and is a slice of sixties pop with songs from Simon and Garfunkle "Sounds Of Silence" The Rascals "How Can I Be Sure" Beatles "Fool On The Hill" Bobby Goldsboro "Honey" 5th Dimenson "Working On A Groovy Thing" and my favourite on the album Matt Monro's "The Music Played" the whole album is a delight to listen to, her style has been likened to Liza Minnelli and Barbra Streisand but that's the Yanks for you always trying to pidgeon hole you.

Saturday, 15 August 2009

Billy Thorpe - That I Love

That I Love/Over The Rainbow

This single was released in 1964 and the label shows "That I Love" as the A-side but "Over The Rainbow" went on to #1. I'm fairly sure that this did not appear on any album besides the 1965 complation ."That I Love " is a Tony Barber original and a right little foot stomper it is while "Over The Rainbow" is the Judy Garland classic which Billy made his own.

Sunday, 9 August 2009

Billy Thorpe & The Aztecs - Great Hits

Rock Me Baby/Dream Baby/Poison Ivy/Smoke And Stack/Blue Day/Good Morning Little School Girl/You Don't Live Twice/Broken Things/Board And Boogie/You Don't Love Me

 Strange Greatest Hits this one 3 singles from the first incarnation of the Aztecs A and B sides, a single fom 1967 then one single his first with the new heavy rock and boogie version of the Aztecs. The six early tracks also appear on the Linda Lee album that they shared with Johnny Noble. The album cover shows Billy during the heavier phase of his career while the majority of the songs predate it so they must have been trying to cash in on the new image. The interesting thing about the cover is that it shows Billy playing Bass Guitar.

Apr. 1964 "Blue Day" / "You Don't Love Me" (Linda Lee LL-006)
Jun. 1964 "Poison Ivy" / "Broken Things" (Linda Lee LL-007)
Nov. 1964 "Smoke & Stack" / "Board Boogie" (Linda Lee HK-765)
Sep. 1967 "Dream Baby" / "You Don't Live Twice" (Festival FK-2015)
Mar. 1970 "Good Morning Little School Girl" / "Rock Me Baby" (Festival FK-3638)

Saturday, 1 August 2009

James Reyne - Hammerhead

Hammerhead/Coin In A Plate
Born in Lagos, Nigeria to an Australian mother and an English father, James' family migrated to Australia in the early 60's, settling in Victoria's Mornington Peninsula area. Leaving law school to study drama at the Victorian College of the Arts, James' musical career initially took hold in the early 80's when he and some friends formed the band Australian Crawl.
James Reyne self-titled album was released in 1987 and was the Australian singer's first solo venture since the break-up of Australian Crawl in 1986. Hammerhead went to #8 on the charts the B-side "Coin In A Plate" was originally included on the album but when "Motor's Too Fast" became a hit it was included on the repackaged album and "Coin In A Plate" was removed.
You can watch Hammerhead here