Wednesday, 23 March 2011
Lady/You Are The Sun
Digby Richards grew up in Narooma, and moved to Sydney, and met A guy called Jon Hayton in a music store. Jon thought Dig was (a) Good looking (being a dead ringer for James Dean, as you can see) and (b) had a voice, so signed him up as a singer in the band, the Red Jeans (later the R'Jays, then later the Rajahs).
They took off and Dig and the R'Jays were the third act signed to Festival Records (after Johnny O'Keefe and Col Joye), hitting the charts with their single I wanna love you. Initially he sung a bit flat (Am I the first person to ever say that?), but got his act together and produced some fantastic, rip-roaring tunes, and really honed his vocal skills.
He become one of the most prolific artists of the era, touring nationally (hilariously documented in Behind the Rock, in our Reading section) and made many TV appearances (even having his own show) well in to the late sixties.
He went over to America and the UK in the seventies and re-invented himself, as 'Digby' Richards, complete with beard, and wrote some pretty good country-rock tunes (six albums), to moderate success.
Tragically, Dig died in Royal North Shore hospital on the 16th Feb 1983 of Pancreatic Cancer.