Sunday, 10 April 2011
Oh Boy/Alone Again Naturally
Born in a lumber camp town near Melbourne, Dianna learned to sing at an early age singing at school functions and for her family. At age 16, she became a part of a singing group and she soon opened for top stars like Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr. that were touring Australia. It was Frank and Sammy that wanted Dianna to move to America to further her solo career there. She started out becoming a regular on Don McNeill's Breakfast Club TV Show and appeared as a dancer and singer on the Jack Benny TV show. She soon was noticed by conductor Mitch Miller who in 1960 decided to give her a recording contract with Columbia Records and also as a regular on his show Sing Along with Mitch. Dianna released two albums in 1961 and 1962 geared at the pop market but none of these were successful. After Miller's show was cancelled in 1964, she and her new husband Thom McEwen decided to move back to Australia so she could restart her career there.
In 1967, Dianna and her husband moved back to the United States and settled in Nashville so that she could become a country singer. She signed with Dial Records that year, and in early 1968 had her first country chart single with "Lock, Stock, and Teardrops" which was a minor hit only reaching the top 70. It was enough to garner her a major record deal with Dot Records that same year and she released an album which would become her nickname "Miss Country Soul", later released in the UK on Ember Records. The album featured versions of R & B hits like "Hold On To What You Got", "Show Me", and others and also displayed her soulful voice as well. The album drew critical acclaim but the single released "Hold On To What You Got" only reached the top 60. It wasn't until 1970 when Diana first reached the Top 40 on the country charts with her version of Patsy Cline's "I Fall to Pieces" and "Beneath Still Waters" (a decade later a Number 1 hit for Emmylou Harris). Starting in 1972, she started a string of major hits with songs like "We've Got To Work It Out Between Us" (1972), "It Meant Nothing To Me" (1972), and 4 straight Top 20 hits with "Say When" (1973), "It's A Man's World (When You Have A Man Like Mine)" (1973), "When I Get My Hands On You" (1974), and "Lean It All On Me" (1974), which would become her biggest hit reaching #13 on the country charts and a minor pop hit as well nearly breaking into the Top 100.
Dianna continued with ABC/Dot Records in which Dot had absorbed into with two more hits with "If You Wanna Hold On (Hold On To Your Man)" (1974) and "Oh Boy" (1975). These hits would become her last major hits to chart. She continued releasing albums and singles with the label until 1977. She made a brief comeback on the Kari label in 1981 with two minor hits with "This Must Be My Ship" and "Stirrin' Up Feelin's". After this, she and her husband moved back to Australia where she resumed her career there. Today, she is retired from the music business.