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Friday 7 June 2024

THE PERFECTION

 


The Perfection was formed in Melbourne in the late 60s. Vocalist Bob Pritchard was already well known to teenybopper audiences as he was a member of pop show Kommotion screened on Channel 0. The rest of the band was guitarist Joe Murdock, bassist Chris Pitch (ex-The Cruisers), drummer Bill Thomson, keyboardist Tony Enery and guitarist Ron Dent (ex-The Cruisers). The group aimed for older audiences at various venues around the city. Signed to the Astor label their first single was ''Pretty Girl / Three Rooms And Running Water''. The A side was written by talented songwriter Philip Quirk from The Last Straws. By 1970 the only original member was Pritchard. Tony Enery had played on boogie band Carson's single ''Resting Place'' recorded in 1970. The other members were now Martyn Sullivan on bass, Lynn Rich on drums, (who had been the Musical Director at the Lido), Mike McGuire (ex-The Harts, The Cherokees) on guitar and keyboard player Jill Batten who incidentally had been a ballerina with the Melbourne Ballet Company. 

The band left for QLD on a four-month tour and then worked on a cruise ship to Fiji before making the move to Sydney. Again, Pritchard's focus in Sydney was to play to a more mature audience which included private social functions. They cut a single on the du Monde label. The A Side was a cover of Cliff Richards hit ''Goodbye Sam, Hello Samantha'' and the B side ''Andrea'' was written by the band's guitarist Milke McGuire. The band continued to work on cruises and around town. It is unknown when they disbanded. Ron Dent has since died.

Members

Bob Pritchard (vocals), Joe Murdock (guitar), Chris Pitch (bass), Bill Thomson (drums), Tony Enery (keyboards), Ron Dent (guitar), Martyn Sullivan (bass), Lynn Rich (drums), Mike McGuire (guitar), Jill Batten (keyboards)







Saturday 18 May 2024

JUST KIDDING

 


Adelaide band Just Kidding began as a collaboration between Chris Mills (guitar/vocals) and Steve Phillips (drums) during late 1986. Joined by other core members Bart Bee (bass) and Paul Duldig (keyboards) they became one of the citys most innovative and outstanding bands. Their music developed from raw ska beginnings to a more diverse blend of ska, reggae and funk backed by a dynamic and flexible horn section. Venues they played at were Rox, Limbo's and Club Foote.

The band created its own record label (No Joke) and released two singles and an EP. Following a visit to Adelaide by an associate of Unicorn Records (based in London) the band was offered a place on two European compilation albums. Two tracks from their EP can be heard on Unicorn's 'Skankin' Aound The World Vol II' and 'Planete Ska' on French label Squale Records. In addition, Just Kidding secured a licensing deal with Unicorn for the worldwide release of their 1989 mini album 'Watch The Fires'. They finished up in the 90s.

Members

Chris Mills (guitar/vocals), Steve Phillips (drums), Bart Bee (bass), Paul Duldig (keyboards)




SINGLES
''Why Must We Fight / Makin Time'' 1987 No Joke
''Bite The Bullet / I Don't Understand It'' 1989 No Joke

EPs
'Just Kidding' 1988 No Joke

ALBUMS
'Watch The Fires' 1989 Unicorn





Monday 13 May 2024

VICIOUS KITES

 


Vicious Kites was formed in Brisbane in 1984. The lineup was Luke Jacobs (vocals/bass), Nick Patterson (drums), Gerard Lacheca (vocals/guitar) and Nick Volk (guitar). 1985 was a good time for the band. Thier release ''Speaking Minds / Here With You'' saw them get good airplay on 4ZZZ and they got some good support slots with the likes of the Hoodoo Gurus. They got good crowds at their own shows too and were generally thought as on par with band Ups and Downs but with less paisley and a bit more funk. The band relocated to Sydney and recorded their second single ''Taking Care Of You / Another Man's Poison'' on Revolution Records in 1986. The band gigged at many pubs around town like the Mortdale and Hopetoun. Patterson was replaced by Darren Lallich before they recorded 'Sold', a 12″ mini-album. It was released by Faith & Hope records and it included six songs, three on each side. Guitarist Ian Davies joined the band in the late 80s but they didn't last much longer. Gerry Lacheca, Nick Patterson and Luke Jacobs were later in a band called Ne’erdowells and they were based in Brisbane. Founding member Luke Jacobs died in 2019.

Members

Luke Jacobs (vocals/bass), Nick Patterson (drums), Gerard Lacheca (vocals/guitar), Nick Volk (guitar), Darren Lallich (drums), Ian Davies (guitar)




SINGLES
''Speaking Minds / Here With You'' 1985 Offbeat
''Taking Care Of You / Another Man's Poison'' 1986 Revolution

ALBUMS
'Sold' 1988 Faith and Hope




Wednesday 1 May 2024

U-TURN

 


Hard-rocking band U-Turn formed in Sydney in 1976, comprising vocalist Chris Fitzgibbon (who was clearly influenced in the coiffure department by Rod Stewart), guitarists George Steffe and Shane Pacey, bassist Shane Rogers and drummer Geoff Full. During 1977, the band released the ultra-catchy glam-infused single ''Traffic Lights'' and their sole album 'Living In The City' (1977) which spawned a single of the same name. All releases were on the Laser label and produced by Sherbet's producer, Richard Lush. The band appeared on Countdown several times. After they disbanded Shane Pacey would wind up in the legendary Bondi Cigars. As for the others I have no idea.

Members

Chris Fitzgibbon (vocals), George Steffe (guitar), Shane Pacey (guitar), Shane Rogers (bass), Geoff Full (drums)



SINGLES
''Traffic Lights / Long Lost Years'' 1977 Laser
''Living In The City / Do You Remember?'' 1977 Laser

ALBUMS
'Living In The City' 1977 Laser





Monday 8 April 2024

THE BLUE BEATS

 


The Blue Beats were formed in Sydney in 1964 and managed by 2GB disc jockey John Melouney (who managed other bands at the time including his nephew's Vince Melouney's band The Vibratones). Led by guitarist Mick Gibbons their brand of R&B was hugely popular wherever they played. They were one of the few bands that were sponsored by an amplifier company that being Moodys. Signed by Festival they released their first single ''She's Coming Home'' in 1965, a cracking garage rocker written by the bands lead singer Wayne Poll. This single is worth a fair bit of money these days. The song has made its way on to many compilations eg 'Ugly Things #2', 'Before Birdman Flew Vol 2' and 'So You You Wanna Be A Rock 'N' Roll Star'. 

Their second single ''Dr. Feelgood'' was an excellent cover of the Johnny Kidd and The Pirates track. The band toured all the over the east coast including all the major venues in the capital cities like the Thumping Tum and Biting Eye in Melbourne and the Bowl in Sydney. They supported The Rolling Stones on their 1965 tour. After the band called it quits Brian Patterson joined Tony Worsley's band The Fabulous Blue Jays in 1966. Gibbons was offered the guitar slot in the newly formed Dave Miller Set in 1967 but he didn't last long being replaced by future Blackfeather guitarist John Robinson. Gibbons moved to WA and died in 2015.

Members

Wayne Poll (vocals), Mick Gibbons (guitar), Brian Patterson (guitar), John Peters (drums), Barry Dessaux (bass)




SINGLES
''She's Comin' Home / Let It Be'' 1965 Festival
''Under The Moon Of Love / Dr. Feelgood'' Leedon





Tuesday 12 March 2024

KENNY ARNOTT

 

Kenny Arnott was born in Horsham, Victoria on June 19th, 1937. On his tenth birthday his Dad gave him his first guitar, and being left-handed he was self-taught. He wrote his first song at 13, titled ''Christian Cowboy''. Kenny was a promising young footballer in his hometown of Horsham, recruited by Horsham’s Seconds. However, he had ended up in hospital due to an accident on the field. He was equally involved in music, which he eventually took up as a career. Kenny’s first public performance was with his father in a prominent local Mouth Organ Band. This built the foundation of his musical career.

 On August 4th, 1950, the Horsham Legion of Ex-Servicemen and Women Amateur Hour had staged the grand final with 600 people in attendance at the Horsham Theatre. The winner was Max Barlett pulling in 212 votes in the Juvenile section, Kenny (yodelling guitarist) came in second with 211 votes. It was in February 1952; Kenny entered the Horsham Progress Association Amateur Hour where he won the best junior section. At the age of 15, he went to Melbourne to appear on Don Moore’s Hillbilly Hour which was broadcasted from station 3DB. A cousin advised him to leave Horsham and move to Melbourne.

At age 16, Ken left his parent’s home in Henry Street, Horsham in February / March 1954, to pursue a career in entertainment. After leaving home, he conducted his own sessions on 3AK Melbourne on Saturdays, and 3XY every Monday morning. He would also gain a regular engagement at the Savoy Theatre, Melbourne. His first recording for Planet Records was released on a 10inch LP, 'Hillbilly Classics' (December 1954), included standard songs: ''Old Shep'', ''Orphan Boy and his Dog'', ''Missing In Action'', ''Letter Edged in Black'', ''Sweeter Than Flowers'', ''Don’t Make Me Go To Bed'' to name a few. He toured with Gill Brothers Rodeo in 1955 as featured singer, after his first recording.

In 1959 he married Dulcie Cameron (hometown sweetheart). It was after their marriage Ken toured again with Gills Brothers and later with Perry Brother’s Circus. Arnott became involved in the service station industry, eventually running a Mobil Service Station for 12 years. During this time, he recorded a few sides for the Crest label, but due to other commitments eg. the birth of his son Peter, he could not promote them as well as he would have liked. In the early 1970’s he formed a band Country Revue which lasted until 1984, and by the late 1980’s Ken had stopped performing. He returned to his passion of performing in 1995. In 1998 Ken was inducted into the Hands of Fame in Tamworth. Kenny lives in Hervey Bay these days.




SINGLES
''Robbery Under Arms / One Has My Name (The Other Has My Heart)'' 1958 Planet
''Tom Dooley / Pub With One Beer'' 1958 Planet
''The Rebel Johnny Yuma / The Prisoner's Song'' [with The Blue Jays] 1962 Crest

EPs
'Reward' 1956 Planet
'The Singing Wanderer' 1956 Planet
'Here's Kenny' 1957 Planet
'Countrystyle No.1' 1959 Planet
'King Of The Hillbilly's' 1960 Planet
'Christian Cowboy' 1963 Crest

ALBUMS
'Hillbilly Classics' 1955 Planet
'Kenny Arnott Encores' 1958 Planet




References

Australian Pioneers of Country Music - Floreena Promotes Country


Wednesday 6 March 2024

THE TEEN QUEENS



The Teen Queens were formed in Sydney in 1991 by three model-singer-actresses: Roxanne Clarke, Kellie Crawford (née Hoggart) and Liza Witt. A pilot episode was developed by the creators of E Street, a teen TV soap opera, for a self-titled half-hour TV program about a girl group set in 1960s. According to The Canberra Times correspondent the show "follows three girls from the country who head to the city to make it big in the music world. Naturally all doesn't go according to plan." By the time that the pilot was turned down, the trio had made the group a reality as a dance-pop act. 

In May 1992 their cover version of the Ronettes' "Be My Baby" became a #6 hit on the ARIA Singles Chart. Their debut album, Get Happy, was released on Westside Records/Phonogram in November 1992 and reached #36 on the ARIA Albums Chart. It included "some classic songs from the '60s." Bevan Hannan of The Canberra Times rated the album at 3 out of 10, he felt that it was "Manufactured pop... for aspiring musicians (?) like the Teen Queens, who supposedly have the world at their feet, why would you choose to play the type of material that clapped out rockers use on the RSL club circuit? Get Happy! is a bit like that... it would probably be better to tune in to 2CA, or better still purchase one of the '60s rock box collections. The originals blow away this regurgitated stuff."

The group also provided the vocals for a Coca-Cola TV ad. In July 1992, the Teen Queens appeared on E Street as contestants on a fictitious, in-show dating game, Dream Date. They had further top 40 singles including The Four Tops' "I Can't Help Myself" (#28) in July 1992 and The Paris Sisters' "Love How You Love Me" (#14) in September 1992. The latter track featured on an episode of E Street for the wedding theme for the characters of Toni and CJ. A final single, a cover version of The Shirelles' "Baby It's You" was released in April 1993, which peaked at #91. In June that year they performed the track on TV's Midday show, with backing by the station's Geoff Harvey band. A second album, Get Happy! II', was released in July 1993 before the group disbanded.

Members

Roxanne Clarke (vocals), Kellie Crawford (vocals), Liza Witt (vocals)




SINGLES
''Be My Baby'' (#6) 1992 Mercury
''I Can't Help Myself'' (#28) 1992 Phonogram, Mercury
''Love How You Love Me'' (#14) 1992 Phonogram

ALBUMS
'Get Happy!' (#36) 1992 Phonogram
'Get Happy II' 1993 Phonogram




References

Teen Queens - Wikipedia


Sunday 18 February 2024

THE STATE


The Cutters were formed in Melbourne by Peter Bowman on guitars and vocals (ex-Talk That Walk), Phil Buckle on vocals and guitar, and Geoff Cain on bass guitar. They were joined by Virgil Donati on drums (ex-Cloud Nine, Taste, Peter Cupples Band, the Cosy Connection) and changed their name to The State in 1987. By 1988 the group were signed to Glenn Wheatley's label, Wheatley Bros Records, and released their debut single, "Responsible", in June. It was followed by "Real Love" in October. At the ARIA Music Awards of 1989 they were nominated for Best New Talent for "Real Love". They issued their debut album, 'Elementary', in February 1989. The Age's Mike Daly observed, "there is some polished playing on the album but it is undermined by predictable material. The quartet... produce hi-tech pop dominated by Donati's hard-edged acoustic and synthesised rhythms. Buckle is an accomplished guitarist, a jazz fusion veteran like Donati, which gives this group more chops than most contemporary bands. The opener. 'Responsible', is catchy, while some flashy guitar is unleashed on 'Real Love' and 'One Step', with strong vocal back-up. But the songwriting is superficial and short on melodic hooks."

During 1989 The State supported the Eurythmics Australian tour. According to Australian musicologist, Ian McFarlane, "their future looked promising, but there was one vital ingredient required to make the push into the big time (i.e. a good frontman and songwriter)." The State members formed Southern Sons with American-born guitarist-vocalist, Jack Jones (a.k.a. Irwin Thomas), in 1989, who became their front man. Jones "had auditioned for the band previously but was considered too young."

Members

Phil Buckle (vocals/guitar), Virgil Donati (drums/keyboards), Geoffrey Cain (bass), Peter Bowman (guitar)




SINGLES
''Responsible / Talk Mean'' 1988 RCA
''Real Love / Not My Life'' 1988 RCA
''So Lonely Now / Your Eyes'' 1989 RCA

ALBUMS
'Elementary' 1989 RCA


References

The State (band) - Wikipedia


Sunday 14 January 2024

THE MADMEN

The Madmen were formed in Townsville in 1988 with the lineup of Tim Steward (vocals, guitar), Bruce Gardner (guitar, vocals), Tony Blades (drums) and Jeff Johnson (bass). In 1989, Cam Hurst replaced Johnson on bass guitar and Gardner departed. The Madmen toured Queensland numerous times, before relocating to Brisbane in 1989. The band released the following on vinyl: ''Almost Past Caring / That's O.K. With Me'' on grey vinyl (1988), the EP 'Thunderegg' (1989), ''Tower / End Of This Day″ (1989) and ''Cool Kinda Kid / Walking Through the Village'' (1990).  Recorded in Brisbane and Townsville studios, these records show a band in its infancy; they sound innocent, naive, fresh and young. The playing and singing weren't perfect, but the tracks were simple, direct, to-the-point energetic pop songs. When Hurst was replaced by Kellie Lloyd, the trio became pop/indie rock band Screamfeeder.

Members

Tim Steward (vocals, guitar), Bruce Gardner (guitar, vocals), Tony Blades (drums), Jeff Johnson (bass), Cam Hurst (bass)




SINGLES
Almost Past Caring 

1988     
Tower

1989    
Cool Kinda Kid

1990    



References

The Madmen – Screamfeeder


Monday 1 January 2024

MILLIONAIRES

 


Henry Vihnyl (ex-Pelaco Bros) formed Millionaires in 1976 with longtime friend Nick Smith. The band was supposed to be the next big thing, but they were unfairly compared to Skyhooks and drew some criticism. They signed to Mushroom and released ''It's A Deal''. The band performed it on Countdown. The single flopped and they were unceremonially dumped by the label. They managed to record another single ''Please Don't Mention The Junta'' from a press of around 500 records but they didn't last much longer. After they disbanded Tim Brosnan would go on and join Paul Kelly & The Dots. Steve Leeson and Nick Smith would wind up in The Kevins and work with Joe Camilleri. 

Members

Tim Brosnan (guitar), David Hicks (drums), Steve Leeson (bass), Carl Segnit (drums), Nick Smith (vocals), Henry Vynhal (violin, Rex Wailer (guitar) 




SINGLES
''It's A Deal / Gossip'' 1976 Mushroom





Saturday 23 December 2023

LOVE ME


This Australian duo, built around a creative core of Tom Kristensen (guitar) and Madeleine King (vocals), formed in 1995 after both partners had experienced varying degrees of success in other bands. As Kristensen told the press, ''We were sitting in our lounge playing songs together when a friend suggested we should get out and do them in public.'' Writing principally in a melodic country blues vein, the group signed to MDS Records. In addition to Kristensen and King, the group featured other members Barry Turnbull (John Kennedy's Love Gone Wrong, Widdershins), David Orwell (Golden Rough), Mandy Pearson (Craven Fops, The Jackson Code) and Richard Boxhall with each participant playing at least three different instruments. This helped lend Kristensen’s songs a crisp, eclectic sound quite unlike anything in their genre. 

Their self-titled debut mini-album, produced by You Am I guitarist Tim Rogers, was voted album of the year by many Australian roots music critics. The album featured Amanda Brown (ex-Go Betweens) on violin and Chris Abrahams on keyboards. More albums followed: Fuel (1997), Jubilee Park (1999) and Greedy Hen (2002). The band held down a residency for several years at The Sandringham Hotel in Newtown and toured nationally. Mandy Pearson died in 2023.

Members

Barry Turnbull (guitar/bass), David Orwell (pedal steel/guitar/bass), Madeleine King (vocals/harmonica/bass), Mandy Pearson (vocals/drums), Tom Kristensen (vocals/dobro/guitar), Richard Boxhall (guitar), 






Monday 18 December 2023

SMOKESTACK LIGHTNING



Smokestack Lightning was a blues band formed in Adelaide in the early 70s. The band was very popular in the local pub scene; most notably at The Eagle Hotel where they had a weekly residency. Their debut album was released in 1975 on the EMS label and coincided with their Muddy Waters support show at the Adelaide Festival Theatre. Smokestack Lightning supported many overseas blues bands including John Mayall, Freddy King, BB King and Hound Dog Taylor to name but a few. The band went through many lineup changes in their five-year tenure. They disbanded in 1978. 

Members

Greg Baker (harmonica), Marty Honow (guitar/vocals), Andy Jennings (drums), John Selmer (sax/flute), Ron Tabuteau (guitar/vocals), Peter Tsounis (bass/vocals), Rod Venning (harmonica), Julie Charlton (vocals), Mark Cornwall (bass), Marty Honow (guitar/vocals), Peter Horsam (guitar), Bob Petchell (harmonica/sax), Sue Wylie (vocals) 




    ALBUMS
    'Don't Nobody Know' 1975 EMS





    Monday 11 December 2023

    BARRY GREENWOOD


    Barry Greenwood was born in Melbourne. In the late 1950s he became an apprentice motor mechanic and was singing at the Diamond Creek Hotel. He met up with Ben E. Joyner (a guitarist in one of Melbourne's first rock n roll bands The Planets) in a milk bar in Bell St Heidelberg late one Friday night where he used to sing with his guitar and friends next to the coloured lights of the big carnival juke box (for lighting & atmosphere) after the dances and theatres had finished. He used to sing there for customers and bikies and have his friends there for support.

    Joyner gave him some guitar lessons and liked Greenwood's voice so much he asked him to join the band. Soon Greenwood was working at the best dance halls in the city. Jon Royce one of Melbourne’s top popular radio personalities (who would soon become Greenwood's manager) heard him and advised him to forsake the motor trade for singing, drama and dancing lessons and go solo. UK entertainer Tommy Steele was touring at the time (in 1960) and his manager Larry Parnes stated Greenwood was potentially the best singing teenager in the country. A huge compliment for the youngster. Johnny O'Keefe also saw his potential and invited him to appear on his TV show Six O'Clock Rock. Greenwood would become a regular on the show. O'Keefe also took him on tour to open the shows.

    Greenwood was picked up by the Astor label and recorded ''Remember Your Kissin'! / Sittin' On Top Of The World'' in 1960 backed by The Planets. The A side was written by his manager Jon Royce. Jon Royce managed to get him a longer contract with W&G Records where he recorded a few singles and an EP. As a bonus Greenwood's songwriting was starting to shine through as he recorded his own songs ''Lonely Am I'', ''I Found A New Romance'' and ''Little Angel''. 

    Greenwood appeared on many popular TV shows at the time including Dig We Must hosted by Bobby and Laurie. Greenwood would later receive private tuition and a lasting friendship at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music where he studied under the famous Australian operatic tenor Donald Smith OBE. During the journey of his singing career Greenwood sang at many festivals and concerts including the annual ''Italian Australian Festival'' where he appeared as the guest operatic tenor and was so well received, he was invited back again the following year. Of their own volition (without consulting him) they introduced him as ''The Australian Tenor'' a title that has stuck with him. This can be seen on YouTube ''Barry Greenwood Opera''. Barry still however sings and loves rockabilly. He became a Reverend in the Christian Church.



    SINGLES

    ''Remember Your Kissin / Sittin' On Top Of The World 1960 Astor *Released as Barry and The Planets
    ''Lonely Am I / Betty Betty (Go Steady With Me)'' 1960 W&G
    ''I Found A New Romance / Little Angel'' 1961 W&G
    ''Little Girl In Blue / Baby I Love You 1961 W&G

    EPs

    'It's Barry Greenwood' 1961 W&G





    References

    Barry Greenwood


    Sunday 19 November 2023

    LAURIE ALLEN


    Lawrence Frank Allen was born in Melbourne on 09 March 1942 to Jack and Edna Allen. Having been a student of The Melbourne Banjo Club as a child and a self-taught guitar player - Laurie formed his first band in the mid 1950’s. On vocals and guitar, Allen called themselves The Three Jays with Jimmy Braggs on piano accordion and Johnny MacGaw on drums. He followed with stints in the Lories (c. 1958) and then the Roulettes (1958–59), a long-running Melbourne revue band. From 1959 to 1961, he was lead guitarist for Malcolm Arthur and the Knights, and in 1962 he was lead singer and organist of a previously instrumental group, the Blue Jays. The Blue Jays were picked up by the newly formed local label Crest Records. The first single ''Māori's Farewell'' was written by Allen as was the second single ''Wolfman''. Neither track charted and at the end of 1963, the Blue Jays became the Fabulous Blue Jays, the backing band for singer, Tony Worsley. Allen then rejoined the Roulettes. 

    Whilst in The Blue Jays, Laurie played the keyboard riffs on Colin Cook’s hit single ''Heart''. In 1964 Allen met former Adelaide singer Bobby Bright and they decided to form a duo. In the short time they were together (1964-66) they enjoyed significant success with a number of single releases. Their inaugural release, an Allen-penned foot-stomper called ''I Belong With You'' raced up the national charts and landed a few weeks at #9. Their 1966 version of Roger Miller's "Hitch Hiker" gave them a national #1 hit for five weeks in June remaining in the charts nationally for a further 12 weeks! On the strength of "Hitch Hiker", the ABC gave them their own TV show, It's a Gas, which was later re-branded as, Dig We Must. 

    After recording their last album 'Exposaic', the pair officially split on Christmas Eve of 1966. Soon after, Laurie put together a soul revue along the lines of the popular Stax and Motown acts. Originally called Dice, it was later renamed The Laurie Allen Revue, and its members included ex-Rondells Barry Rogers, Gary Young, Wayne Duncan, with guitarist Harry Herni (ex- The Harts) and backing singers Michele Kennedy and Colleen Hewett. Colleen’s sister Glynis later replaced Michele. In April 1967 Allen had told Go-Set: "I realized just a three-piece group couldn't give me the sound I wanted, so I added two girl vocalists, to give us a distinctive sound which can't be done by any Australian group". The Revue released three singles on the Festival label ''Beautiful Brown Eyes / Saved'' (Aug. '67), ''Any Little Bit / Cool Jerk'' (Apr. '68) and ''As Long As I Got You / Not Born To Follow'' (Jun. '68). Only Colleen and Michele can be heard on The Revue’s singles. They disbanded in 1968.

    Laurie reunited with his old mate Bobby Bright and they returned to the charts with their cover version of the country music song, "The Carroll County Accident". It was followed by "Looking Through the Eyes of Love", but they had split again by late 1971. Allen's first love was always country music and he eventually moved in that direction. Allen signed on with Col Joye's ATA label and released the singles ''Sunshine On Your Face'' (1972), ''I Belong With You'' (1975) and ''Musical Chairs'' (1976). During this period, he also recorded two albums with the label. Backed by The Joy Boys his first album 'Once Upon A Song' came out in 1972 with all the songs on the album self-written. His second album 'Any Other Man' was released in 1975 and included a few covers including a revamped version of the ''Carroll County Accident''. 

    A collaborative album 'Truck Stop' accompanied by label mates Col Joye, Bob Purtell and Jim Cooper was released in 1976 which had the who's who playing on the recording: Mick Hamilton from The Vibrants, Kenny Kitching on pedal steel, Errol Buddle on reeds and Bob Barnard on trumpet to name a few. In 1976 Bob Purtell won New Talent Of The Year at the Tamworth Golden Guitar Awards with the Laurie Allen written song ''Motivatin' Day''. Allen also played occasionally as a ‘guest’ with The Promised Band: Bernie O’Brien (ex-The Rondells) on vocals, lead guitar; Harold Frith (ex-Thunderbirds) on vocals and drums; Peter Hayes (The Hayes Brothers) on bass guitar, banjo and lead vocals; and Doug Wallace (Hayes Brothers Band) on rhythm guitar, dobro and fiddle. The Promised Band would eventually morph into Saltbush. 

    Allen would continue to record on Col Joye’s ATA label and in the 1980s occasionally perform with his old mate Bobby Bright, before they permanently reunited in the late 1990s, performing regularly on the club and rock'n'roll revival circuit and a last-ditch tour of Queensland and Northern Territory. The tour was very successful, but it took a toll on Laurie physically as he had suffered two broken legs from a horrendous motor accident a few years prior. In his last years Laurie Allen suffered chronic health problems but he largely kept this to himself. Bobby and Laurie were slated to take part in the Long Way To The Top concert tour, but these plans were dashed by Laurie's sudden death from a heart attack on June 13th. 2002 - just 12 days following his last performance with Bob Bright at Moorabbin Town Hall (June 1st. 2002).

    Some of Laurie Allen's recordings were donated to the NFSA by Col Joye where they are preserved for all time. In summary his contribution to Aussie music can't be denied. Col Joye, Johnny Mac, The Johnny Hawker Orchestra, Lionel Rose and many other Aussie vocalists recorded Laurie's songs. On hearing of his death, vocalist Colleen Hewett attributed her singing successes to her early work and ‘vocal tuition’ to Laurie (in The Revue). Laurie Allen was indeed an Australian Music legend.




    SINGLES
    ''Wolf Man /I Left A Broken Heart (In Broken Hill)'' [with The Blue Jays] 1962 Crest
    ''Sunshine On Your Face / On A Ferris Wheel'' 1972 ATA
    ''I Belong With You / Little Country Church'' 1975 ATA
    ''Musical Chairs / Me And Jack Daniels (And Jim Beam And Old Grandad)'' 1976 ATA
    ''Movin' On / Big Wheel Cannonball [with Col Joye, Bob Purtell, Jim Cooper,] 1976 ATA
    ''The Singo Song / Who Am I'' [with Bob Purtell] 1981 Wheel

    ALBUMS
    'Once Upon A Song' 1972 ATA
    'Any Other Man' 1975 ATA
    'Truck Stop' [with Col Joye, Bob Purtell and Jim Cooper] 1976 ATA
    'Rockabilly Beatin' Boogie Band' [with Nite Train] 2000 JRM
    'One Last Round' 2002 LBW
    'The Cowboy Album' 2010 LBW




    References

    Susie Gamble


    Sunday 29 October 2023

    CLIVE YOUNG


    Singer, songwriter and record producer Clive Young grew up in Melbourne. He was lead singer of synth rock band Talk That Walk that released one single ''Surface Tension / Harvest Time'' in 1987 on WEA. The single was also released in Germany. Not long after he left the band to commence a solo career. Picked up by True Tone Records he recorded a couple of singles ''Something Special / The Execution Of Understanding'' and ''Naturally / I Don't Need Your Loving Anymore'' in 1989. They were self-written and produced by Mi Sex guitarist Kevin Stanton. ''Something Special'' reached #50 on the ARIA charts. In 1992 he released his debut album 'When The World Goes 'Round'. A couple of more singles followed before Young moved to Nashville as a songwriter for a while. He returned to Australia in 2012 and settled back in Melbourne. 




    SINGLES

    Something Special


    17 APR '89

    #50







    Wednesday 11 October 2023

    THE TECHNITIONS


    Scottish group, The Technicians, migrated to Brisbane in the 80s and had some chart success locally with their music releases through record labels Powderworks and Jade, and were published by MMA which was owned by rock outfit INXS. The band broke up in 1987 and mutated into Steeltown.

    Members

    Andy Richmond (vocals), Malcolm Platt, Kat Livingstone, Terry Gidman (drums)



    SINGLES

    Hot for Love


    15 JUN '87

    #90

    Clockwork Clown

    '87

    #96







    Monday 2 October 2023

    CITY STOMPERS


    Melbourne band The City Stompers was formed in 1966. The band were regulars playing at the Club 431 in St Kilda Rd and The Q Club in Kew. Over the next couple of years, they went through a few lineup changes finally settling with Ken Wood on vocals, Bernie Rachelle on guitar, Tony Whitty on keyboards, Paul Anderson on bass and Gary Dewar on drums. It was this lineup that recorded two singles on the Astor label ''Times Like This / Half Past Midnight'' in 1968 and ''Rainbow River Band / ?'' in 1969. 

    Members

    Ken Wood (vocals), Bernie Rachelle (guitar), Tony Whitty (keyboards), Paul Anderson (bass),
    Gary Dewar (drums), Frank Durant (drums), Peter ''Max'' Bilney (drums), Collin Byrne (guitar)




    SINGLES

    ''Times Like This (#60) / Half Past Midnight'' 1968 Astor
    ''Rainbow River / ??'' 1969 Astor






    Thursday 31 August 2023

    GINGERBREADMEN (MELBOURNE)


    The Gingerbreadmen (not to be confused with the Adelaide band led by Idris Jones) was formed in late 1966 in Melbourne by Brendan Hanley former member of the Moonshine Five with Bruce Woodley and The Brian Hanley Chicago Seven. Bassist Hamish Hughes had played with the John Hawes Jazz Band and appeared on three EPs with them. They appeared at the Garrison discotheque in Prahan and the famous Thumpin' Tum in inner city Melbourne and on TV show Uptight. They released one single on the Columbia label. The A side ''Rattler'' was written and produced by Hanley's old mate Bruce Woodley of The Seekers. The B side ''Gingerbread Man'' was written by Hanley. Hanley died in Byron Bay in 2017. Any more info on this short-lived band would be welcome.

     Members

    Brendan Hanley (vocals/guitar), Jamie Jackson, Hamish Hughes (bass), Peter Hocking (drums)



    SINGLES

    ''Rattler / Gingerbread Man'' 1967 Columbia





    Tuesday 22 August 2023

    THE DYMONDS


    The Dymonds were formed in the 60s in Melbourne. The initial line up was Scottie Taylor on bass, Peter Waddell on vocals/Hammond organ and guitar, Tony Stumbles on drums, and big Pete "Stretch''? on guitar. They appeared on TV music shows Bandstand and Kommotion and were popular on the dance and discotheque circuit. The band also backed many artists including Lynne Randell, Tony Barber, Buddy England, Pat Carroll and Denise Drysdale. They performed at the Hoadley Battle of the Sounds on a number of occasions. During this period Graeme Hemphill replaced Stretch. Peter Waddell was one of the first guitarists in Australia to play a twin neck. 

    The band called it quits in late 1967 but reformed in 1968 with some lineup changes occurring. Les Taylor replaced Tony Stumbles on drums, Don Bailes replaced Scottie Taylor on bass and guitarist Richard Evans was added leaving Peter Waddell to concentrate solely on Hammond organ. In the same year they secured a record contract with Astor and released the single ''Anna J / Ice Cream Machine'' as The Dymond. The single went nowhere, and they broke up again. Waddell and Bailes would join The Paul McKay Sound.

    Members

    Peter Waddell (vocals/guitar/keyboards), Scottie Taylor (bass), Don Bailes (bass), Graeme Hemphill (guitar), Tony Stumbles (drums), Richard Evans (guitar), Pete ''Stretch''? (guitar), Les Taylor (drums)



    SINGLES

    ''Anna J. / Ice Cream Machine'' 1968 Astor





    Thursday 10 August 2023

    JOHNNY HEAP



    Country and Western artist Johnny Heap was born in Geelong in 1941.During the 1950s he began playing guitar, entering talent quests and performing on local radio stations. By 1959 he was playing lead guitar, bass and singing in a rock band, The Teen Beats, but still appeared on radio and TV as a country artist. Heap reached the grand final of the Victorian Banjo Club Championships in 1960.

    Johnny Heap joined Rick and Thel Carey's touring show in 1962 and remained with them for four years. After he departed from the tour, he gained a residency at the famous Dodds Hotel in Cooma, with his band The Snowmen, which provided a welcome break from years of travelling on the road. The band worked Dodds until midnight then set up at the nearby Taboo Night Club to play until dawn. It was in Cooma that Johnny met and married his wife Val. An all-round entertainer he played bass, rhythm and lead guitar and sang. He could play the straight man in comedy routines as well as compere. 

    In 1966 he released his first EP on Hadley Records, and this followed by a split EP 'Great Friends in Country Music' in which Heap sang two songs and Eddie Tapp sang two. He rejoined the Rick and Thel Carey Show who had by then teamed up with Chad Morgan and undertook their first tour of WA. Whilst there he recorded a self-titled EP 'Introducing Johnny Heap' for Clarion with four tracks. In 1969 John & Val reckoned it was time to leave the road and settle down to raise a family. He worked as a vocalist and bass guitarist for seven years with Nev Nicholls' Country Playboys virtually from beginning to end of their famous Texas Tavern residency. He recorded with Nev and the Playboys on some of their releases.

    In 1972 he recorded the EP 'Carroll County Accident' with CM Records, Dubbo followed by an 
    album 'Sunday Afternoon and Country Music' on W&G. In 1980 he was inducted into the Hands of Fame, Tamworth. Johnny’s best-known album, 'The Hordern Tree', was released on Selection Records. Johnny moved to Tamworth and worked as an announcer on John Minson’s famous Hoedown radio program.

    In 1987 the EP 'Lonely Street' was released on the Bunyip label. It featured the track ''Four Kinds of Roses'', a tribute to Johnny’s four daughters. In 1990s Johnny moved to Melbourne and formed his own record label, Smoky, with his first CD, 'Lavender Blue and Other Love Songs'. He continued to tour and perform up until the early 2000s, when he retired from the stage. In 2014 Johnny was invited to record again by Paul Hazell from the UK, with assistance from the British Archive of CM. He put down four new tracks. These four new songs were released on the double CD, 'Retrospectfully Yours', a compilation of his earlier recordings.



    SINGLES

    ''The Carroll County Accident / Dreaming That Your Teardrops Are For Me'' 1969 CM

    EPs

    'Another Stretch Of Track' 1966 Hadley
    'Great Friends In Country Music' 1967 Hadley *split EP with Eddie Tapp
    'Introducing Johnny Heap' 1968 Clarion
    'Carrol County Accident' 1970 CM
    'Lonely Street' 1986 Bunyip

    ALBUMS

    'The Hordern Tree' [With Jan Kelly] 1982 Selection
    'Sunday Afternoon And Country Music' 1983 Bunyip
    'A Heap Of Country Music' 1985 R&H Studios
    'Lavender Blue And Other Love Songs' 




    References

    JOHNNY HEAP; JOHNNY HEAP; HOF_1980_HEAP | eHive

    Sunday 6 August 2023

    THRUST

     


    Thrust was a high energy rock band from the Gold Coast formed in 1982. The band evolved out of another Gold Coast band The Cursed. Originally a quartet they recorded a mini-LP 'Go Insane' on the Grown Up Wrong label in 1988 which impressed Californian hardcore punk bible Maximum Rock n Roll whose critics looked favourably on it. The band were also featured on the 'Hard To Beat' compilation with a cover of The Stooges ''Your Pretty Face Can Go To Hell''.

    Becoming a trio after the departure of guitarist Bill O'Donnell, the band recorded their second album 'Mindness' in 1989 which was produced by Radio Birdman's Rob Younger and The Hard Ons manager Tim Pittman. In the same year the band signed on for a capital city tour with The Hard Ons. Thrust played many venues on the Gold Coast like The Playroom, Surfers Paradise SLC. A third album 'Burnt Out' was released in the mid 90s.

    Members

    Brendon Creighton (vocals/drums) Theo Heming (guitar), Bill O'Donnell (guitar), David Finn (bass)






    Thursday 3 August 2023

    UNCLE BOB'S BAND


    Uncle Bob’s Band (UBB) enjoyed a relatively brief but colourful history between 1974 - 1976 in Sydney and Melbourne. The bands lineup was rich in experience and talent: Tony Burkys, Bob McGowan and Terry Darmody had all been members of the Original Battersea Heroes. Keith Shadwick had been in Sun with Renee Geyer and John Taylor had played with Hot Rocket. 

    From its inception, the band was drawing crowds at inner city dances, catching the attention of 2JJ radio (which then became 2JJJ FM), becoming one of their go-to bands for live-to-air and other concerts, usually in support of major Australian bands of the day. Throughout 1975 and 1976, UBB were consistently drawing on a range of blues, jug, country and jazz swing as well as their own compositions to produce a distinct rock sound. This was demonstrated further through the band’s various guises at the Adventures in Paradise shows – utilizing 5 different band name "versions” of UBB such as “The Ordinaires”. McGowan even presented himself as the nude guitarist preempting Flea by decades. 

    Playing and living somewhere between Paddington and Dural N.S.W. took its toll and manager Steve Hill encouraged the band to move to Melbourne in 1976; where Dave Flett (Captain Matchbox Whoopee Band) recorded some excellent material, but a record deal was not forthcoming and the tapes themselves were scrubbed. The band imploded then Shadwick left for the UK leaving his own copies of all 1976 tapes with his brother Ian. After the demise of the band Tony Burkys would join Captain Matchbox Whoopie Band, Warwick Kennington, The Fabulous Zarsoff Brothers and John Taylor went on to Little Heroes. 

    In 2008 the band re-emerged with the album 'Unfinished Business', in memory of original sax player Keith Shadwick who died in the same year. A second album 'Now And Then' was recorded 2018, which marked the passing of Uncle Bob McGowan. In 2022 Ian Shadwick restored his brother’s tapes of the 1976 sessions; and 'Django Rock: 1976' was released as a 2 x CD on the ETT Imprint Pty Ltd label. The album was mastered by Dave Marett. 

    Members

    Tony Burkys (guitar, vocals), Bob McGowan (guitar, mandolin, vocals), Terry Darmody (vocals, harmonica), Warwick Kennington (drums, vocals), Keith Shadwick (sax, flute, vocals), John CJ Taylor (bass, vocals)




    ALBUMS
    'Unfinished Business' 2008
    'Now And Then' 2018
    'Django Rock 1976' 2022 ETT




    References 

    John Taylor