Sunday, 11 September 2016

Christie Allen - 1979 - Magic Rhythm

Magic Rhythm/All Australian Female/Only Yes Will Do/Goose Bumps/Falling In Love With Only You/He's My Number One/Count Me Out/Fallin' In Luv/You Know That I Love You/Ships That Pass Through The Night

Christie Allen was born as June Allen on 24 July 1954 in the United Kingdom. Allen's father is Keith Allen and her mother is Vera Allen, her brothers are Keith, Stephen and Mark. At the age of eight years, Allen performed in a talent quest, singing "My Johnny's Gone Away". In 1965, the Allen family migrated to Australia and settled in Perth. Allen and her brothers formed a band, Pendulum, where she provided lead vocals.

Whilst performing with Pendulum, Allen contacted UK-born Terry Britten, a songwriter and record producer. According to an interview she gave on Sounds she virtually knocked on his door. In the mid-1960s Britten was the lead guitarist of Australian rock group, The Twilights, He had worked with Cliff Richard for whom he co-wrote "Devil Woman" (1976) with Kristine Holmes. After working with Richard, Britten was living and working in Australia, when he was impressed by Allen's vocal ability and bubbly personality, and began songwriting for her. Allen signed a recording contract with Mushroom Records. In September 1978 she released her first single "You Know That I Love You", which reached the top 100 on the Australian Kent Music Report Singles Chart, and attracted some national radio airplay and positive reviews. 

 Her next three singles from her debut album, Magic Rhythm (November 1979), were top 20 hits. Aside from co-writing most of the tracks with B. A. Robertson, Britten also produced Magic Rhythm for Mushroom Records. The first single was a ballad, "Falling in Love with only You", which reached No. 20 in April 1979. Her next two singles were strongly influenced by the popular disco style – "Goosebumps", which reached No. 3 in September 1979, and "He's My Number One", which peaked at No. 4 in February 1980. "Goosebumps" was Allen's greatest success, with sales of 60,000, and was one of Mushroom Record's highest selling singles at that time. Allen toured Australia backed by The Hot Band, which was composed of Max Chazan on guitar (Rubes), Greg Cook on guitar (ex-Cam-Pact, The Mixtures, Ram Band, Mondo Rock), Bruce Haymes on organ (Rubes, Richard Clapton Band), Michael Hegerty on bass guitar (Richard Clapton Band), and Rick Puchala on drums (Richard Clapton Band); and later Yuri Worontschak on keyboards: Yamaha CP70B and Mini Moog (ex Spitfire). 

Allen was voted the 'Most Popular Female Performer' at the TV Week / Countdown Music Awards for 1979 and 1980. At the 1979 awards ceremony, broadcast by Countdown on 19 April 1980, Allen performed, "He's My Number One". At the same ceremony, Britten won the 'Best Songwriter' award for "Goosebumps". Allen won the 1980 award for 'Most Popular Female Performer', broadcast on 22 March 1981, against nominees, Annalise Morrow of The Numbers and Lynda Nutter of The Dugites. 

Besides performing, Allen also appeared on Countdown as a guest host: in November 1979 with Russell Hitchcock (Air Supply), and in April 1980 with Molly Meldrum. In the early 1980s Allen supplied the voice over and sang the jingle 'Come Tarino with Me' for Tarino orange soft drink commercials. In 1980 and 1981, Allen released three singles – "Baby Get Away", "Switchboard" and "Don't Put Out the Flame" – from her second and final album, Detour, produced by John Hudson, but they had less chart success than her earlier work - though Don't Put Out The Flame was chart hit. Britten had moved on and was working with Tina Turner: writing her hits "What's Love Got to Do with It" and "We Don't Need Another Hero". By mid-1980s a long illness prevented Allen from adequately promoting her career and she subsequently retired.

Allen and her partner, Mark, had a daughter Christa Lea. In the 1990s Allen returned to performing as a vocalist, with country music bands. In October 1998 Allen married Mark, and at that time Michael Gudinski appealed on national radio for information on Allen's whereabouts – Gudinski wanted her to perform at a televised tribute concert for the 25th anniversary of his company, Mushroom Records.[12] On 14 November 1998 Allen sang "Goosebumps" before a huge crowd at the Melbourne Cricket Ground – she retired following her performance which was released on the VHS album, Mushroom 25 Live (December 1998).

In 2006, Gudinski asked Allen to participate in the Countdown Spectacular tour; however, due to ill health, she declined. In March 2008 Allen was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and died at her home in rural Western Australia on 12 August 2008, aged 53.

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