Sunday, 31 May 2015

Tony Worsley & The Fabulous Bluejays - Self Titled

 I Sure Know A Lot About Love/Me You Gotta Teach/I'm So Glad/If I/If You See My Baby/Just A Little Bit/King Bee/So Much In Love/Motivate/Pathfinder/Jay Walker/We're Friends/Louie Louie/Tell Me When/Hey Jack/Zoom Gonk

Tony was born Anthony Asheen Worsley in England in 1944 and emigrated with his family from his hometown of Hastings to the sunnier climes of Brisbane when he was 15. Tony had already set his sights on a show biz career. As a lad he won several amateur talent quests in England including one judged by Lonnie Donegan and Tommy Steele, which carried first prize of a Decca recording contract. Needless to say, his parents' decision to leave for Australia right at this point didn't go down too well with the ambitious young singer -- "I didn't get on with my parents too much on the ship for the first few weeks!" -- but he was determined to fulfill that dream in his adopted country. By day he worked as an apprentice rigger in the Brisbane dockyards, but at night he patrolled the dance halls, waiting for his chance to get up on stage.

Tony quickly developed into a consummate performer, gigging around Brisbane's dance circuit with a variety of pick-up bands. His outrageously long collar-length hair, wild stage presence and repertoire of Merseybeat tunes (copped from imported records sent by his friends in England) which earned him his early nickname "Brisbane's Beatle". As early as 1961, Tony had come to the attention of Ivan Dayman, a pop entrepreneur, and a budding 'svengali' figure in the mould of Lee Gordon. Dayman -- who would soon also steer Normie Rowe and Mike Furber to national success -- was on the lookout for a suitable backing band for his young discovery and he believed he had found it when he made a new addition to the Sunshine roster, the popular Melbourne dance band The Blue Jays. Dayman's offer of AU£35 per week to sing with The Blue Jays was simply too good for the young singer to refuse. It was a huge salary for the times -- ten times what Tony was being paid as a sailmaker -- and as late as 1966, even the members of The Small Faces, then one of Britain's top bands, were being paid just UK£20 per week each! The teaming of Tony with this tight, professional outfit in early 1964 proved to be an inspired choice.

The Blue Jays were already well established in Melbourne and one of the city's leading dance groups. They had formed in 1959, with the original lineup of Frankie Brent, Doug Stirling, Chris Lawson and Bobby Johnson. They cut a series of swingin' instrumental singles and EPs for the Crest label, and a delightfully titled LP, The Arthur Murray Twist Party Featuring The Blue Jays Big Dance Beat (Crest CRT12LP 002, 1961). Their first Crest single was "Everybody Loves Saturday Night" / "Maori's Farewell" (Oct. 1961). There was a regular turnover of personnel; among the members who passed through were singer Laurie Allen, Johnny Cosgrove, Alan Easterbrook and Ray Houston. At one point (says Glenn A. Baker) young guitarist John Farrar (later of The Strangers) was considered, but he was turned down because at the time he apparently lacked the required level of showmanship. Another Crest single "Wolfman" (backed by the lamentably titled "Kept A Broken Heart In Broken Hill") followed in early 1962 and credited to Laurie Allen and The Blue Jays. The lineup continued to turn over and by 1963 the band had become into a six piece consisting of Allen, Johnson and Easterbrook, bassist Mal "Beaky" Clarke, Dennis Tucker and guitarist Doug Flower. When the group signed with Dayman's Sunshine management, Laurie Allen departed to begin his solo career, soon teaming up with another former Dayman acts, Bobby Bright, to become Bobby & Laurie.

Dayman teamed The Blue Jays with Tony Worsley at the start of 1964, and with their name enhanced by the suitably glamorous prefix Fabulous the group immediately set about creating a dynamic stage show, centred on Tony's gritty tenor voice, good looks and dynamic showmanship. Tony's 'take-no-prisoners' attitude was backed up by one of the tightest and most competent bands in the country and the Blue Jays trademark 'fat' sound blended sax and guitar in a potent lead instrumental assault, giving them a powerful attack comparable to earlier rock'n'roll groups like Johnny O'Keefe's Dee Jays. From his recently acquired Brisbane HQ at the legendary Cloudland Ballroom (a landmark Queensland venue, sadly demolished in the 1980s) Dayman promoted the group in package extravaganzas up and down the coast, including appearances at his popular "Bowl" venues, and they soon earned a reputation for upstaging the main acts.

There were more lineup changes during 1964 as the Beat Boom hotted up and the band's frantic touring schedule took its toll, but by the end of the year the Blue Jays had settled into the first 'classic' lineup, each of whom earned their own nickname: Ray 'Screamy' Eames (lead guitar), Mal 'Beaky' Clarke (rhythm guitar), Paul 'Bingo' Shannon (sax and keyboards), and Royce 'Baby' Nicholls (bass), completed by the return of founding Blue Jays drummer Bobby 'Spider' Johnson. In mid-1964 Dayman took over the Saturday night lease on Melbourne's largest indoor venue, Festival Hall, renaming it "Mersey City". On 2 May 1964 he opened with Tony and the Fabulous Blue Jays. Over 4500 teenagers attended: "That was 500 more than saw the Beatles" according to Tony. Dayman also used them to open several other Queensland venues as his Sunshine empire exapnded to Bundaberg, Toowoomba, Ipswich, Inala and Surfers Paradise.

In late 1964, Dayman formed the Sunshine record label (distributed by Festival) with partners Nat Kipner and Apt Aulton. The first single, released in October, was an original instrumental by The Blue Jays called "Jay Walker". The next (November) was the debut single by Tony Worsley & The Fabulous Blue Jays, and it was a killer combination: the A-side was a scorching version of "Sure Know A Lot About Love", backed by a terrific acoustic-driven original, "Me You Gotta Teach", composed by what soon developed into the bands resident writing partnership of Beaky Clarke and Baby Nicholls.

Either with Tony, or under their own name, The Blue Jays were crucial to Sunshine's early success, and Glenn Baker makes the very fair assertion that in many respects they were Sunshine -- Tony Worsely/Blue Jays releases accounted for seven of the label's first thirteen singles, and they also rank as one of the most prolific recording units of "the Scream Years", churning out three LPs, eight EPs and seven singles in less then two years. Their Sunshine tracks including many original tracks by Clarke and Nicholls, which was unusual for Australian pop bands at that time. The stock-in trade for most local beat groups was covers of the latest British and American pop hits (which were often covers of originals by black American performers).

It's often not recognised that this repertoire was essential for pop acts at the time -- audiences demanded this, and expected bands to know the material, and groups like The Twilights built their reputations on their ability to deliver note-for-note renditions of Beatles, Stones, Who and Small Faces tracks. Naturally, the Blue Jays did their fair share of covers, but the choices demonstrated their versatility and their eclectic taste. There were blues/R&B standards like The Kingsman's ever-popular "Louie, Louie", John Lee Hooker's "Dimples", Slim Harpo's "King Bee", Smokey Robinson's "All Over You" and Etta James' "Something's Got A Hold On Me", plus a wide range of other material: the Everly Brothers classic "Raining In My Heart", "Do You Mind" by Oliver composer Lionel Bart, Jagger & Richards' "So Much In Love", "How Can It Be" (a cover of The Birds song, written by future Faces / Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood); "Reaching Out", by Dan Penn and Spooner Oldham (who went on to write Aretha Franklin's "Do Right Woman") and even a sprinkling of home-made covers like "I'll Never Love You Again" by Pogs member and future "Crocodile Dundee" composer Peter Best, and of course,"Velvet Waters", co-written by The Megatrons' Walter Plunkett and prolific Aussie lyricist and songrwiter Dorothy Dodd, a long-serving president of APRA and composer of the perennial popular standard "Granada".

The Blue Jays maintained their own identity for recording, and over the next year Sunshine releases alternated instrumentals by The Blue Jays, and and vocal tracks with Tony as lead singer. Although they were already very popular on their home turf and had some chart success in Queensland during 1964, it wasn't until early 1965 that they began to break in other states, thanks in large measure to a relentless tour schedule. Tony soon gained a reputation as a wild man on and off the stage.  

1965 was without doubt the peak of their meteoric career. February saw the release of the second Tony Worsley & The Blue Jays single and perhaps their best recording, a raucous, syncopated cover of Rosco Gordon's "Just A Little Bit", which broke through onto the national airwaves in early '65 and became a significant hit, charting particularly well in Melbourne and Brisbane. Tony and the Blue Jays had picked up on the song from a version by English band The Undertakers, but coincidentally it was also recorded at that time by The Animals (under the title "Don't Want Much"). The Animals' version was recorded during the sessions for their second LP Animal Tracks but it didn't make the funal cut and remained unreleased until The Complete Animals 2CD set was issued in 1990. It has to be said that The Animals' version sounds distinctly anaemic compared to the red-hot Worsley/Blue Jays version. Lobby Loyde's Purple Hearts covered it later a year or so later, but even their version pales by comarison.

The Worsley/Blue Jays cover is arguably the definitive version. Tony's sneering, proto-punk, double-tracked vocal is driven by what must be one of the fattest rhythm tracks ever captured on tape in Australia up to that time. Its in-your-face brass sound harked back to the classic R&B of Louis Jordan, but it also anticipated the powerful overdriven brass sound of later productions like The Beatles' "Lady Madonna" and The Masters Apprentices' "Turn Up Your Radio".

Unfortunately, around this time Pat Aulton and guitarist Ray Eames had a major disagreement in the studio, and Eames was unceremoniously ousted from the group and replaced by Jimmy Cerezo, from The Pleazers. Jimmy fitted in well and also brought his own writing skills to the group, contributing the ska-flavoured "I Dream Of You" to the flip-side to their next single, a cover of Chuck Berry's "Talkin' 'Bout You" (April '65). Over the course of 1965 Tony and the Blue Jays reputedly sold over 70,000 records, climaxing in their biggest and best-remembered hit, a dreamy cover of the Australian pop ballad, "Velvet Waters".

 The song had first been recorded in the early Sixties as an instrumental by Perth band The Megatrons; this was followed by Bruce Gillespie's vocal version which featured lyrics penned by renowned Australian songwriter Dorothy Dodd, although neither of these versions had any success at the time. Near the end of a recording session in mid-1965, producer Nat Kipner asked the band if they had any other tracks they could record; Cerezo, who had learned the song from Gillepsie, suggested "Velvet Waters"; after a quick run-through, they cut the track in a matter of minutes. 

Tony and the Blue Jays' version was released in September 1965 and it quickly shot into the national Top 5. The fact that one of the "softest" of their recordings became their biggest hit for our hard-rocking heroes was an irony that wasn't lost on the group.

With a major hit coming almost out of nowhere, Sunshine hoped they'd hit on a winning formula, so they immediately followed it up with another finely-arranged ballad, "Missing You", but this only managed to get into the lower reaches of the some charts, with its best placing being #28 in Sydney. But The Blue Jays continued to draw a healthy following, particularly among young female admirers, and Tony and pals developed a certain notoriety for their off-stage antics as well. (The old chestnut, "lock up your daughters!" should suffice as an explanation!) and the records kept coming, including a second LP, My Time of Day. This included a cover of the song "How Can It Be", originally recorded by UK band The Birds, and the Worsley-Blue Jay is considered by many to be superior to the original.

During 1965, the group won prestigious support slots with The Seekers, Johnny O'Keefe and Johnny Farham, as well as supporting the 1965 Australian tour by Britain's Dave Clark Five. Probably the most notorious show from this period was the now-legendary 4BC Sound Spectacular concert in Brisbane in December 1965. The first half of the show, featuring MPD Ltd, went smoothly enough, but when Tony and The Blue Jays hit the stage things had started to get out of hand, and by the time headliners The Easybeats came on a full-scale riot had broken out, with kids breaking down barriers, repeatedly storming the stage and smashing chairs and equipment. Police stopped the Easys after only 17 minutes and halted the show. In the melee that followed, the Easybeats only barely escaped the frantic fans, who stopped their 'getaway' car and stomped all over it, puncturing the roof and bonnet with their heels and doing hundreds of pounds' worth of damage. Tony himself nominates the January '65 tour with The Kinks, Manfred Mann, The Honeycombs and Tony Sheveton as the highlight of the band's career -- even though he copped some flak from the irascible Manfred Mann, who was apparently rather jealous of the frenzied fan reaction Tony & the Blue Jays were generating, both on and off stage.

The group continued performing into 1966 with their popularity unabated, and for their first single of the year they got back to business in a big way with a barnstorming cover of Etta James' "Something's Got A Hold On Me". (80s indie icons The Reels' also covered this song in tribute to Tony & The Blue Jays' effort.) Regrettably, this was to be the last single billed to Tony and The Blue Jays. Just as he did with Mike Furber and The Bowery Boys, Ivan Dayman was intent on promoting the singer at the expense of the group. He pushed the Blue Jays further and further into the background and it wasn't long before the 'original' Blue Jays split, although this was also partly due to family pressures on some of the members:

"Bobby Johnson and Ray Eames left ... they were married and when Beatlemania spread to Australia, of course we'd be gettin' publicity with girls in your rooms and all that -- their wives called 'em home so they left the band."

The significant factor in the split was Tony's spiralling drug and alcohol intake and his increasing unreliability. Fellow performer (and future Uptight host) Ross D. Wylie recalled the hazards of touring with Tony at this time:

"Anything he could swill, swallow or smoke. Poke for that matter. Out of control was Woozle. I’m designated Bus Driver due for the five hours drive to the next up-country gig. 9am start we’re delayed. Worsley’s’ wrecked the toilet again, the tour manager’s’ arguing with the publican about if only gold plating will replace it. Worsley he’s got a hot slab and his usual back row seat. We’re driving. Woozle starts up wanting to use his nozzle. Pit stop Tony must be shy, starts thrashing his way out of sight up through this banana plantation. Next thing, this brumbie horse charges out pursued by Tony. 'Must be a mare' says Marcie (Jones & The Cookies). Antics like that, catch up with you. That’s unreliability."

Over the next few months, Tony's brief solo career continued as Sunshine released a string of solo singles -- a lovely version of Buddy Holly's "Raining In My Heart" (May '66), followed by "No Worries" / "Humpy Dumpy" (Jan. '67); his final single, released in October 1967 and with backing by The Escorts, featured Lionel Bart's "Do You Mind" backed by the soulful Penn-Oldham number "Reaching Out".

Late in 1966 Tony put together a "New" Blue Jays, which included such future OzRock luminaries as Vince Maloney (ex-Aztec and future Bee Gee), John A. Bird (Country Radio) and Phil Manning (Chain). In December, they played at a huge Dayman-promoted event, 'The Johnny Young Show', at Brisbane Festival Hall, sharing the bill with virtually the entire Sunshine roster -- Johnny Young, Ronnie Burns, Peter Doyle, Mike Furber, Ross D. Wylie, Thursday's Children, Graham Chpaman, Greg Anderson, The Escorts, Marcie & The Cookies, The Pleazers, and Julien Jones & The Breed. Tony managed to steal the show with his version of James Brown's famous fainting routine. in which he pretended to collapse and have to be led off-stage, only to only to be doused with water, revive and return for encore after encore.

Unfortunately, The Johnny Young Show show effectively became the wake for the the ailing Sunshine empire -- by the end of 1966 the company was in serious financial trouble, its resources severely strained by Normie Rowe's attempt to break into the English pop scene, and its reputation compromised by Dayman's allegedly dubious financial practices. In early 1967 Dayman was forced to close his shortlived Kommotion label and soon after Sunshine was taken over by its major creditor, Festival Records.

Tony himself was exhausted and close to burn-out point -- he was using speed heavily (which he spoke about quite openly, even then) his weight had dropped by almost half, and he had gained a reputation for unreliability:

"I was pretty messed up by 1966. I was addicted to Methedrine and stuff and weighed about 8 stone. I'd started singing at about 14 stone and went down from there. I'd say I was pretty anorexic -- I used to have one toasted sandwich all day and I even cut the crusts off that! ... If The Beatles went off and took two months of trips then we'd do it too, y'know? Our bands based what we did on the British bands. Well I know I did. I doubt guys like Normie did -- I can imagine him having a beer but nothing worse. Probably a reason I didn't go anywhere was because I was too much of a rebel"."
Dayman put Tony on the oft-derided tent show circuit -- where Johnny O'Keefe was plying his trade at the same time -- performing all over northern Australia including Brisbane, Maryborough, Bundaberg, Rockhampton, Mackay, Townsville, Cairns, Camooweal, Longreach, Mt Isa, Winton, and even Darwin. While touring in Adelaide in late 1966, Tony cut a cover of Jagger and Richards "So Much In Love", which featured Terry Britten of The Twilights providing the distinctive 12-string Rickenbacker riff, but this remained unrelased at the time. One of Tony's last major public appearances was at the 1967 Sydney Royal Easter Show, performing in a Sunshine Records package show with Mike Furber. 

Thursday, 28 May 2015

Young Homebuyers - 1982 - Young Homebuyers

Sheree/Showbiz Revolution/She's A Girl/Sometimes/Take One Step/Every Dog/Fiona/Fashion/Jackie's Door/Boyfriend/Is She Gonna Go

 The Young homebuyers evolved out of a band called Nasty Nigel and the teenage hellcats (Nasty Nigel being Nigel Lawrence). By the middle of 1981 Greg Williams and Nigel Lawrence began writing their own material, and by the end of 1981 had become widely known for their "razor edged satirical lyrics" (Day et al, 1987, p 246).
In 1982 Lawrence and fellow band members Paul Ziesing and Greg Williams moved to Melbourne. The trio poached Greg Champion and Mick Teakle and established a new Young homebuyers in Melbourne. During this year negotiations with record label Rough Diamond and a publishing contract with Mushroom were forged. In 1983 the band began performing live and produced a set of new pop songs "distinguished by a rich guitar sound" (Day, 1987, p247).

In March 1983 they recorded an album titled Take one step, from which the title track was released as a single. Later a second single came out called She's a girl.

The band was applauded by critics for its honest, fresh approach, unfortunately public opinion was not as strong and PolyGram stopped distributing the Rough Diamond label , which led to the record failing to sell. Demoralised, the band split 18 months after it began.

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Lynne Randell - 1986 - The Dynamic Lynne Randell

I'll Come Running Over/Be Sure/Hold Me/A Love Like You/Forever/I've Got A Notion/Summertime/Ciao Baby/Heart/Going Out Of My Mind/That's A Hoe Down/I Need You Boy/Stranger In My Arms/Take The Bitter With My Sweet/That's What Love Is Made Of

Lynne Randell (born Lynne Randall, 14 December 1949 – 8 June 2007) was an English Australian pop singer. For three years in the mid-1960s she was Australia's most popular female performer and had hits with "Heart" and "Goin' Out of My Head" in 1966, and "Ciao Baby" in 1967. In 1967, Randell toured the United States with The Monkees and performed on-stage with support act Jimi Hendrix. She wrote for teen magazine, Go-Set and television programme guide, TV Week. While on the US tour, Randell became addicted to methamphetamine, an addiction which she battled for most of her life.

Randell went public about her methamphetamine addiction in 2004 in an interview with Peter Wilmoth of The Age. She indicated that her adrenal glands were atrophied to about 30% function. Randell was found dead at her home in Toorak, Melbourne on 8 June 2007. Police said that there were "no suspicious circumstances". She left notes and gifts for family and friends. Her father had died three years earlier, she was survived by her mother, brothers, sister, son (Jamieson) and two grandchildren

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

The Deakins - Take Me For A Little While

Take Me For A Little While/Look and Learn

A Melbourne based band created in 1963, originally as a 60s Pop, Surf rock quartet, reforming over time to a trio and a Quintet. Over their 10 year journey, performing live concerts and dance venues mainly in Melbourne, Geelong,Torquay, though to Warrnambool circuits and later, appearing on television’s rock shows Kommotion and The Go!! Show. In developing their own sound, the group focused heavily on 3 part vocal harmony. They also used a Fender Bass VI (six string bass guitar ), as part of their guitar line up.

For over three years, were the resident band at a Geelong Saturday dance named Surf City , afterwards, renamed to "Teen Scene". The group were also kept very busy by the numerous surf club dances along the southern coast of Australia. Ranging from beach locations Torquay, though to Warrnambool Victoria. During years, 1964–1965, each member of the group turned 18 years of age. With the Vietnam War, escalating in the background, it was each members turn, to register for Australian military Service. Conscripts were selected, on a lottery style system, based on their date of birth. By chance, none of the then, four members were chosen to serve. This event cleared the way for the group to pursue their ambitions of turning professional. Also to look for a recording contract. However, their final decision to turn professional in 1965, was the reason, one of the original members, Gary Schober, choose to depart.

Forming part of the second wave of rock and roll in Australia, it was as a trio in 1966, that The Deakins were contracted to The GO!! Record label.

In one morning session, early 1966, the Deakins GO!! Recordings were produced by Ron Tudor and engineered by Roger Savage at Armstrong Studios in South Melbourne. They recorded four songs, with two 'A' side releases: Tonight you’re gonna fall in love with me and Take me for a little while. These were released as two (2) single 7 inch vinyls. Included in the recordings, was an original track, Look and Learn composition by Jeff Donoghue, bass guitarist, with lead guitar arrangement by Bob Millar. This was the flip side of their second release.

The GO!! Era consisted of an interrelated GO!! Recording label, Television show the GO!! Show and Go-Set magazine. The television ventures of the GO show and Kommotion, started to wind up in 1967. Go Records was then next. Consequently, along with a wave of other musical artists of the time, The Deakins GO!! Era ended.

The GO!! Show archives are limited in number today and although over 200 shows were performed they are rare collectors items now. One of the Deakins GO!! performances of Look and Learn and was recorded on series three (3) Episode 117, on 28 November 1966. This escaped loss and is part of the 6 remaining complete tapes of the GO!! Show from the Australian 60’s Beat music era. Artists appearing on this show were numerous and some of the rare tapes to remain, include extracts from performances by a then young singer Olivia Newton-John.

The Deakins continued on for some years after the GO!! Era. During the Vietnam War in the early 1970s, there was an interlude in their history. The drummer, Ian Kinkead, departed the group and Australia, to join with other musicians to entertain the American soldiers serving in Southern Vietnam. When Ian returned to Melbourne in 1972, the group reformed again. Now as a quintet, it included the original members of the 1966 trio Jeff Donoghue, Ian Kinkead and Bob Millar, plus two new members Ian had met during his Vietnam experience. The group, with an additional lead singer and keyboard player, were now performing in a new music era, the Pub Rock (Australia) scene. External pressures and demands caused them to finally disband in 1973. Their last appearances together were at the Blackburn Hotel, Blackburn, Victoria.

Decades on, after a resurgence of interest in the music of the Sixties for 'Aussie garage groups', another Australian Record Company has rescued The Deakins song set from the archives. Remastering and re-releasing the tracks as part of a series of Composite CDs. These CDs portray the music beat scene of the sixties GO!! Era. The Original 7 inch vinyl records, displaying the GO!! label, have become desirable collectors items. Look and Learn has become the group's anthem.

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Easybeats - 1967 - The Best Of + Pretty Girl

For My Woman/She's So Fine/Wedding Ring/ Sad And Lonely And Blue/Easy As Can Be/In My Book/Women (Make You Feel Alright)/ Pretty Girl/Come And See Her/I'll Make You Happy/Too Much/Sorry/Made My Bed(Gonna Lie In It/Friday On My Mind

This is an album that I was always going to rip but could never find the time to get around to doing well I finally made the effort. Nothing here that hasn't been compiled before. But this was their first Compilation and boy does it show what a talented bunch they were. Australia had never seen anything like the Easybeats and never will again. Listening to the album transported me back to a better time a fun time a time when it was great to be alive.

Judy Stone - 1966 - 12 Good Reasons

Born A Woman/Forget Domani/These Boots Are Made For Walkin'/One Little Voice/Without Your Love/The Wedding/And The Trouble With Me Is You/A Taste Of Honey/I Need You/Don't Touch Me/Lost Without You/So Softly

 Judy Stone (born 1 January 1942) is an Australian pop and country singer from Sydney and during her teens taught herself to play the guitar. She was heavily influenced by country and western music as a young performer she was "by lined" as The Cowgirl from Granville but on her first appearance on "Bandstand" it was mis-announced as The Callgirl from Granville. In 1960, she met Col Joye and with his help she soon became a regular on Channel Nine's Bandstand. She was also touring around the country with Col and the Joy Boys. In June 1961, she signed a recording contract with Festival Records. Her first two releases were minor hits in Sydney. Her third single, I'll Step Down b/w Mommy and Daddy We're Twisting, was released in February 1962 and became her first Sydney Top 10 when it peaked at number five in March.
Festival then released her debut album also called I'll Step Down to take advantage of her success. Stone and Joye by this stage had begun singing duets on Bandstand so it was no surprise that they teamed up to record a number of EP's and an album. Between June 1962 and July 1963 she released three more moderately successful singles before she finally broke through nationally in April 1964 with her single 4,003,221 Tears From Now, which reached the Top 10 on most charts around the country. Two more singles were issued before year-end but neither made any impact on the charts.
In early 1965, she embarked on a two-month overseas trip to Asia and Japan with Col Joye and the Joy Boys. Her final single for the Festival label was released in September and in February 1966 she married Leo De Kroo of the De Kroo Brothers duo. She then signed up with Col Joye Enterprises' ATA Records, scoring her third Sydney Top 10 hit single in September with Born A Woman. For the rest of the Sixties she continued to consolidate her success with regular appearances on the club circuit as well as touring interstate and overseas. During this period Judy issued five unsuccessful singles for the ATA label before switching to M7 Records in 1971.
Her first M7 single, Day by Day, made the Sydney Top 10 in November. The mid-Seventies was her most successful period in more than a decade with two Top 20 hit singles in 1974 on the M7 label and one Top 40 and one Top 20 hit single in 1976 on the Polydor Records label. Judy Stone also represented Australia at Expo '74 in the US and in the mid-1977 she travelled to the UK where she signed with recording and management company Power Exchange. She continued to perform and record into the early Eighties.
Judy's most recent recording was a duet with Scottish singer/songwriter Isla Grant on a stirring rendition of her song What's A Girl To Do? from Isla's 2007 album "Down Memory Lane".

Saturday, 23 May 2015

Johnny O'Keefe - 1963 - About Love

My Heart Belongs To Only You/When I Fall In Love/I Will/Lollipops And Roses/Send Me The Pillow That You Dream On/Moon River/You Don't Know Me/A Girl Needs To Love And Be Loved/I Love You So Much It Hurts Me/I Can't Stop Loving You/Ecstasy/Let True Begin

John Michael (Johnny) O'Keefe (1935-1978), rock'n'roll singer, was born on 19 January 1935 in Sydney, second of three children of Raymond Moran O'Keefe, furniture salesman, and his wife Thelma Edna, née Kennedy, both born in New South Wales. Johnny attended Christian Brothers' College, Waverley, and completed a first-year certificate at the College of Retailing. His father occasionally played in a jazz band. While at school Johnny sang in the choir and studied piano. He began to imitate the emotional singing style of the American pop idol, Johnnie Ray, and appeared on radio 2UW's 'Australian Amateur Hour'.

While working as a salesman in his father's furniture store, R. M. O'Keefe & Co., Pitt Street, O'Keefe enrolled in economics at the University of Sydney. After he heard Bill Haley singing Rock Around the Clock in the film Blackboard Jungle in 1955, he decided to become a rock'n'roller. In September 1956 he and Dave Owens formed the 'Dee Jays' (Dee was for Dave, and Jay for Johnny). They were joined by Johnny Greenan, Lou Casch, Keith Williams and Johnny 'Catfish' Purser. The band began performing at Stones Cabaret, Coogee. By early 1957 they were playing at four dances a week (at Chatswood, Coogee, Balmain and Petersham) and also appearing on Saturdays in the interval between feature films at the Embassy Theatre, Manly.

After signing with Festival Records Pty Ltd, O'Keefe and the 'Dee Jays' released You Hit the Wrong Note Billy Goat, written by Haley, in July 1957. Their second record was Am I Blue?, with Love Letters in the Sand on the 'flip side'. In October they performed in one of Lee Gordon's 'Big Shows' at the Stadium with American stars 'Little Richard', Gene Vincent and Eddie Cochran. Five months later O'Keefe released Wild One, which he wrote with Owens, Greenan and Tony Withers, a disc jockey; the song was an immediate hit and made him the first Australian rock'n'roller to reach the national charts. Shout followed in 1959 and She's My Baby in 1960.

Stockily built and 5 ft 7½ ins (172 cm) tall, O'Keefe looked more like a boxer than a singer. Although his appearance was not striking and his vocal talents were unexceptional, most commentators agreed that he had 'presence'. On stage he traded, in part, on an overt sexuality and handled the microphone in a suggestive manner. He once remarked: 'It didn't matter how you sang the song; it mattered what you did'. Despite his image as 'The Wild One', he promoted rock'n'roll as wholesome entertainment, claiming that it was one of 'the greatest barriers to delinquency'. Like most stars of that period, he aspired to be an 'all-round entertainer'; two of his biggest hits were the ballads, I'm Counting on You (1961) and She Wears My Ring (1964).

At St Therese's Catholic Church, Dover Heights, on 2 August 1958 O'Keefe had married Marianne Renate Willinzik, a 23-year-old hairdresser; they were to have three children before she divorced him in 1966. The marriage felt the strain of his frenetic lifestyle and ambitions. O'Keefe left the family business in 1958. Joining Lee Gordon's record company, he worked as an artist and repertoire man. He recruited singers for the Leedon label, including 'Lonnie Lee', Barry Stanton and 'The Crescents', and wrote songs for them. From 28 February 1959 he and the 'Dee Jays' starred on the Australian Broadcasting  Commission's Saturday evening television show, 'Six O'Clock Rock'. O'Keefe soon became the compere, and was closely involved in the show's production. By the beginning of 1960 he also hosted an A.B.C. radio programme, the 'Johnny O'Keefe Show, Rockville Junction', which was broadcast on Friday nights.

O'Keefe regarded success in the United States of America as the ultimate accolade. In November 1959 he had visited America and signed with Liberty Records. Next year he toured thirty-five States and appeared on the television programme, 'American Bandstand', but his reception was far from the triumph he wanted and he returned to Australia. On 27 June 1960 he was involved in a serious motorcar accident on the Pacific Highway near Kempsey. He received sixty-four stitches in his head and another twenty-six in his hands. After only seven weeks he again compered 'Six O'Clock Rock'. In 1961 he hosted the 'Johnny O'Keefe Show' on ATN-7.

That year O'Keefe made another unsuccessful American tour. He flew to London, where he suffered a nervous breakdown. In August 1962 he suffered a further breakdown and spent two months in a psychiatric ward at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Sydney. He returned to his television show—renamed 'Sing, Sing, Sing' during his absence—in February 1963, but it ceased production in 1965. Exceptionally energetic and often charming, O'Keefe was subject to dramatic changes of mood and had a tendency to overreact. In November 1964 he was back in hospital, his 'holiday camp' as he jokingly called it.

The rise of 'Mersey beat' music signalled a change in O'Keefe's fortunes. He called 1964, the year in which 'The Beatles' toured Australia, the 'biggest downer of his career'. The production and sale of his records declined. Following a brief return to television in 1967 as host of 'Where the Action Is', he found work largely in tent-shows and at leagues clubs. In 1974 his career underwent something of a resurgence. His show, The Good Old Days of Rock'n'Roll, opened at the St George Leagues Club in August that year and continued on tour until his death. His song, Mockingbird, recorded with Margaret McLaren, became a hit. On 14 February 1975 (St Valentine's Day) at the Masonic Hall, Waverley, he married with Methodist forms Maureen Joan Maricic, a 29-year-old fashion consultant and a divorcee. They opened a boutique, J. O'K Creations, at Paddington in 1978.

The highs and lows of O'Keefe's life appeared extreme. Apart from numerous breakdowns, he had some run-ins with the police for driving offences and minor drug charges. Generous by nature, he helped to raise funds for the Spastic Centre of New South Wales and the Margaret Reid Orthopaedic Hospital, St Ives. He entertained Australian troops in Vietnam in 1969 and performed at a free concert in cyclone-devastated Darwin in 1975.

After taking pills at his Double Bay home, O'Keefe died of barbiturate poisoning on 6 October 1978 at St Vincent's Hospital, Darlinghurst, and was buried with Catholic rites in Northern Suburbs cemetery. His wife survived him, as did the daughter and two sons of his first marriage. The Australian Variety Artists Association named an award after him. In 1988 his name was included in the Australian Record Industry Association's hall of fame.

Friday, 22 May 2015

Daly-Wilson Big Band - 1978 - To Good For A One Night Stand

Star Wars/Charlies Angels/Lady Madonna/Song For Sarah/Car Wash/Gonna Fly Now (Rocky)/Doctor Sunshine/Baretta/Tribute To A Czar/Timepiece/Carnival/The Greatest Love Of All-I Always Knew I Had It In Me

Formed in 1968, the Daly-Wilson Big Band was the brainchild of Warren Daly (drums) and Ed Wilson (Trombone, composer, arranger-orchestrator). The band manager and 3rd partner was Don Raverty, (lead trumpet). The Daly-Wilson Big Band band grew out of an underground movement in Sydney, Australia, playing transcriptions, re-arrangements of existing jazz standards and originals in a Jazz, Funk-Rock, Fusion style. They band recorded 2 albums before Benson & Hedges chose to sponsor the band, thereby making it a viable entity.
 The band toured Australia several times between 1973 & 1978 but also toured to New Zealand, Japan, Hong Kong, Russia, England and the USA. In the USA they performed at the Hilton Hotel in Las Vegas as well as Donte’s, the renowned jazz venue in Los Angeles. They recorded several albums with only the “ON TOUR” album going gold. Many of Australia’s foremost musicians of the 70’s and beyond owe their careers to the start they got in the Daly-Wilson Big Band. After their initial tour, to rave reviews, all subsequent concert tours were sell-outs.

Some Of The Many Band Members

Barry Sutton, Bob Bertles, Bob McIvor, Bob Pritchard, Charles Hull, Col Nolan, David Glyde, Dieter Vogt, Don Raverty, Doug Foskett, Ed Wilson, Errol Buddle, Geoff Naughton, Graeme Jesse, Greg Foster, Herb Cannon, Hugh Williams, Jeff Duff, John Coca, John Helman, John Mitchell, Larry Elam, Merv Knott, Mick Kenny, Mick Reid, Miles Harris, Norm Harris, Pat Crichton, Paul Long, Peter Scott, Ray Aldridge, Steve Powell, Warren Clark, Warren Daly.


Live! At The Cellblock Columbia 1970, On Tour Reprise Records 1973, Daly-Wilson Big Band Featuring Kerrie Biddell - The Exciting Daly-Wilson Big Band Festival Records 1975, Daly-Wilson Big Band Featuring Marcia Hines - Daly-Wilson Big Band Reprise Records 1975, In
Australia '77 Hammard 1976, Too Good For A One Night Stand Hammard 1978. 

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

The Orphans - 1982 - Hop Skip Jump

Hop Skip Jump/See You

Formed in Melbourne in 1980 disbanded 1983.

The Orphans were Alex Burns (v), Michael Bright (g,v), Cres Crisp (k), Alex Batsch (b) and Jim Logan (d). They were around from 1981-1983, releasing two singles on LRB guitarist David Briggs' Rough Diamond Records. The singles were "Hop Skip Jump" which charted as high as #23 in 1982. You can view the clip on YouTube. The second single was "Big Ronnie" backed with "19th Nervous Breakdown" and a live mix of the title track "Big Ronnie".

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Fatty Lumpkin - 1973 - Don't Knock My Boogie

Don't Knock My Boogie/Got To Get Back T' Nellie

  Although little remembered today, Fatty Lumpkin were (according to Ian McFarlane) a local institution in Perth in the early 1970s and the various lineups included some very notable musicians. Like several bands of the era (e.g. Galadriel) the group took its name from the works of J.R.R. Tolkien, in this case his renowned fantasy novel The Hobbit (Fatty was Tom Bombadil's pony).

The original line-up was John Worrall, Roy Daniels, the great Lindsay Wells (ex-Healing Force) and Tom Watts. Worrall had been the original lead singer of noted Perth band Bakery and had performed on their two Singles and their debut LP, Rock Mass For Love LP. Worrall quit Bakery shortly after the LP was released in August 1971, joining Ssarb for several months before forming Fatty Lumpkin in 1972.

Typically, the group went through numerous lineup changes, but there is little extant information about tenures, although Joyson states that lead guitarist John Meyer joined sometime between their first and second Singles. Later members included other Bakery alumni -- Rex Bullen (a member of pioneering Canberra band The Bitter Lemons with Paul Lyneham), Bakery, Natural Gas), Phil Pruiti (guitar), John Meyer (guitar), Jon Rider (bass, vocals), David Little (drums), Bob Fortesque (bass), Warren Ward (bass) and Al Kash (drums). Fortesque and Kash will be known to OzRock aficionados as the rhythm section in the mid-1970 lineup of John Robinson's Blackfeather, the version of the group that recorded their acclaimed debut LP At The Mountains Of Madness. Warren Ward had been an early member of country-rock pioneers The Flying Circus and also played in a post-Robinson Blackfeather lineup. Almost all of the members of Fatty Lumpkin also played in Perth band Ssarb at various times.

Fatty Lumpkin issued four singles over their four-year career; the first two were issued on Martin Clarke's Clarion label, the latter two were on Festival. The band split at the end of 1976. Ian McFarlane describes the singles as balancing "jazzy hard rock with lofty, flute-led progressive ballads (somewhere between Jethro Tull and Focus) replete with quasi-Santanaesque lead guitar from Meyer". Joyson is more specific, describing their debut single as comprising "two rough and rather frantic boogie numbers". He notes that the A-side of the second single ("Millionaire") was in a similar style, but that the sharply contrasting B-side was "a beautiful seven minute flute-dominated ballad with some lovely mellow guitar from  Meyer.                                                                                                                      

Groop - 1966 - I'm Satisfied

I'm Satisfied/Little Man/Roberta/Here She Comes/Your Feets Too Big/Empty Words/Ain't That a Shame/Bad Times/Big Boy Pete/Ain't She Sweet/If You Live/The Gun & Flower Pot Trick

1964–1966: The Groop mark I

The Wesley Trio was formed as a folk music group in 1964 with Peter McKeddie on vocals, Max Ross on bass guitar and Richard Wright on drums; all three were students from Wesley College, a private school in Melbourne. The trio signed with CBS Records Melbourne, which released a single, an EP and an album.

They decided to become more R&B orientated and placed an ad for a guitarist, and, with Peter Bruce joining, they were renamed The Groop in late 1964. At the time, Bruce (originally from England) claimed that he had been a member of UK pop group Dave Clark Five in their early years as Dave Clark Quintet in 1957. In a 2002 interview, Bruce admitted that he had only been in a support act, The Hill City Skiffle Group and never actually in Dave Clark's band. 
The Groop had success on the Melbourne singles chart with "Ol' Hound Dog" reaching No. 13, "Best in Africa" No. 10 and "I'm Satisfied" No. 21 in 1966. They were assisted by positive reviews from Ian "Molly" Meldrum writer for national pop magazine Go-Set who had earlier been their roadie. This version of The Groop also recorded two albums, The Groop (1965) and I'm Satisfied (1966) both on CBS Records. In August 1966, founders McKeddie and Bruce left, but instead of disbanding the Rhythm section of Ross and Wright invited Don Mudie (ex-Sherwood Green) to join on guitars. At McKeddie's farewell party – he was travelling to UK – The Groop were supported by another R&B outfit The Jackson Kings. The Groop invited their keyboardist Brian Cadd to join, Cadd insisted on bringing along bandmate Ronnie Charles (Ron Boromeo) as vocalist.

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

The Paul McKay Sound - 1976 - You Better Believe It

You Better Believe It/Lonely Weekends

Melbourne band formed 1968 Paul Meaney brought several musicians together to form the Paul McKay Sound. Paul wrote a number of songs which became hit records, a success which helped to establish the name and reputation of the band. Other records followed which Paul described as ‘moderately successful’. Appearances on New Faces, and Bandstand, popular national television programs of the day also helped the bands popularity.

Monday, 11 May 2015

Big Red - 1982 - The Traveller

The Traveller/Slow Down

"The Traveller" was recorded at the Music Farm. Prior to this ten songs written by Peter Blyton, Tim Gaze and Chris Lloyds were recorded at Suite 16 in Brisbane, however none of these songs were ever released. In 1983 Big Red recorded five songs at Billy Fields' Paradise Studios in Sydney with Bill McDonough (brother of Guy and ex drummer of Australian Crawl) producing. Unfortunately these too were never released as the band played its last gig on the 30th June, 1983. The original line-up of Big Red had Peter Blyton, Suite 16's co-owner, playing bass, Peter Willersdorf taking his place when Blyton's studio commitments took priority. Scott Williams, Brett's brother, took Willersdorf's spot when he left. Tim Gaze, Robbie France and Annette Henry also departed and were replaced by Daryl Mitchell, ex "Skintite" on guitar and Jon Carson on drums. Later, Brett went on to join "The Choir Boys".

Big Red was one of only a handful of Queensland bands to appear on Countdown. "The Traveller" went Top 10 on Brisbane radio and 64 nationally in 1982. The band was managed by George Muskens and its members lived on the Gold Coast and in Brisbane. The song was recorded with Ian Mason at The Music Farm near Mullumbimby.

The Fugitives - 1974 - Rag Doll

Rag Doll/We've Got More Than it Takes

I could find out absolutely nothing about this band on the net doesn't help with other bands with the same name any info appreciate.

The Who's Who of Australian Rock tells me it may have been Sydney band The Fugitives formed in 1960 and performed into the 80's as a cabaret band lists "Rag Doll" as one of their singles.

Tadpole - Throw A Little Lovin' My Way

Throw A Little Lovin' My Way/Tweedly-Dum Tweedly-Dee

The Australian group (not to be confused with the New Zealand band of the same name) Tadpole only had one hit, the poppy little track, "Throw A Little Lovin' My Way" which was released in January 1971. The band consisted of Buddy England and Ian "Turps" Turpie. These two formed a couple of studio groups together, but this was their most memorable. "Throw A Little Lovin' My Way" made it to to #28 on the Go Set National Charts and had a 9 week stay.

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Innocent Bystanders - 1984 - Lebanon

Lebanon/Young Hearts

 At a time when cover bands dominated the Western Australian music landscape, "Bystanders" were one of the few original acts to make a dent and after a few years of hard work eventually pull very respectable crowds. Their Monday night residences at the Herdsman Hotel drew crowds of over 250 people, many of them music industry types there to listen to this powerful Australian band heavily influenced by Cold Chisel and Bruce Springsteen. The standout features were the depth of Keyser's songwriting and his powerful vocals and the amazing young teenage guitarist Mark Lizotte aka Diesel

The band's songs drew heavily from their local environment of beaches, hot summers, weekends down South and even the demolition of the Scarborough Beach Hotel. In addition Keyser soaked up many influences and ventured into the realm of story-telling with his songs.

In 1983 the band released a cassette entitled Live at the Subi, recorded at the Subiaco Hotel with a mobile recording truck.

In 1984 the band flew to Sydney and recorded their debut single, "Lebanon", with Peter Walker (Midnight Oil and Cold Chisel producer) with the lineup of Mark Lizotte (guitar), Brett Keyser (vocals), John ‘Yak’ Sherrit (drums), John ‘Tatt’ Dalzell (bass) and Cliff Kinneen (keyboards). The single reaching #98 on the Australian singles chart.

Innocent Bystanders travelled to Sydney to record their second single, "Dangerous", released in July 1986, which reached #97 on the Australian singles chart. They attracted the attention of hard rockers, The Angels, however Lizotte had already left the band in June 1986 taking Bremond, Dalzell and Sherritt, and they formed Johnny Diesel & the Injectors with George Dalstrom as a second guitarist. Keyser then recruited new players John Heussenstamm (guitar) and Al Kash (drums; ex-Blackfeather) and went on to record the band's first album, Don't Go Looking Back, which was released later in 1986 on the Chase label. reaching #59 on the Australian album charts.

Saturday, 2 May 2015

Meating - 1970 - Bad Luck Feeling

Bad Luck Feeling/Back Home

A 'supergroup' of top Melbourne-based musos Greg Lawrie (ex-The Creatures, Chocolate, Carson) and John Capek (Leo De Castro and Friends) got together with Matt Taylor (Bay City Union, Wild Cherries, Chain), Tim Piper and Yuk Harrison from Genesis, plus Trevor Courtney (ex-Chants R&B, Cam-Pact) in a one-off recording project called The Meating. The single they recorded together, Bad Luck Feeling / Back Home was released on Rebel in August 1970.

Ash - 1970 - Sable


This Melbourne-based hard rock band, which operated between 1969-72, was strongly influenced by Hendrix, Led Zeppelin and Jethro Tull. There were three different lineups, the second (1971) included several members of noted Sydney band Lotus. The central member, and the only person common to all three lineups, was vocalist Criston Barker (also known as Criston Somerset) but the second lineup is also notable for the presence of drummer Derek Pellicci, who went on to play with Mississippi and LRB.

The Ash's debut single "Avignon" / "Sable", produced by John Farrar, is credited as one of the first locally-produced 45s to be released in a picture sleeve -- packaging which until then was usually only used for EPs.

The group also made a promotional film-clip for "Avignon". Criston has archived a copy on YouTube, and it can be viewed by clicking HERE

It was the inaugural release for the newly established Havoc label, which was set up by Melbourne jazz saxophonist Frank "The Lion" Smith and agent-manager Rod De Courcy. Although the label lasted only four years (folding ca. 1975 after Smith died suddenly in 1974) Havoc was notable for concentrating on new releases by Melbourne-based rock bands of the period, and their LPs, which were pressed in New Zealand, were renowned for their superior quality compared to the local product.
There was a major lineup change after the single came out, and by the time they recorded their next single the group consisted of Criston (vocals), Ron Hood (guitar), Gary "Boofhead" Porterhouse (bass) and Derek Pellicci (drums); Peter Gregory (ex The Expression) filled in on guitar for a short time.

The second Ash single "Midnight Witch" -- written by Doug Ford of The Masters Apprentices -- was produced by Havoc house engineer Gil Matthews (The Aztecs). I

However Criston says the band was disappointed both with the production and a perceived lack of commitment from the label, so he and Derek moved to Sydney, hoping to make a new start. There they hooked up with Kim Dawson (guitar) and Warwick Wilkes (organ) both formerly of Lotus, plus noted bassist Tim Partridge, to become the the third and final lineup of The Ash. They performed regularly at Whisky A Go-Go, Chequers and numerous other Sydney venues until the group ended in 1972.

Criston Barker (aka Christon Somerset) (vocals)
George Edwards (guitar)
Dennis Johns (drums)
Ian Ryan (bass)

Criston Barker (vocals)
Peter Gregory (guitar)
Ron Hood (guitar)
Gary Mason (bass)
Derek Pellicci (aka Derek Allen) (drums)
Gary Porterhouse (bass)

Criston Barker (vocals)
Kim Dawson (guitar)
Warwick Wilkes (Warwick Ford) (organ)
Tim Partridge (bass)
Gary "Boofhead" Porterhouse (bass)
Derek Pellicci (drums)

Brian Cadd - 1973 - Alvin Purple

Alvin Purple/Some Time Man

Brian George Cadd (born 29 November 1946, Perth, Western Australia) is an Australian singer-songwriter, keyboardist and producer who has performed as a member of The Groop, Axiom, Flying Burrito Brothers and solo. Although he was briefly called Brian Caine in late 1966, when first joining The Groop, he is generally known as Brian Cadd.

Cadd produced fellow Australian acts, Robin Jolley, Ronnie Burns, Broderick Smith, Tina Arena and Glenn Shorrock; and established his own record label called Bootleg Records. He also composed or performed music for films, Alvin Purple, Alvin Purple Rides Again, Fatal Vision, The Return of the Living Dead, Vampires on Bikini Beach, Morning of the Earth and The Heartbreak Kid and for television Class of 74, The Midnight Special and Don Kirshner's Rock Concert. His songwriting for other acts includes The Masters Apprentices, Bootleg Family Band, Ronnie Burns, The Pointer Sisters and Little River Band.

Cadd's iconic status was acknowledged when he was inducted into the 2007 Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) Hall of Fame.

The single Alvin Purple made #29 on the Australian charts