Monday, 27 March 2023


Bob Bertles (born 1939) is an Australian jazz alto, tenor and baritone saxophonist and bandleader. A self-taught musician, Bertles in the late 1950s and early 60s was a member of the developing modern jazz scene that grew out of venues like the Mocambo in Newtown and the El Rocco Jazz Cellar in Sydney's Kings Cross. Active in clubs, on TV, as a session musician and on the pop-rock scene, he toured with Johnny O'Keefe and The Dee Jays between 1958 and 1963. Bertles led a quartet with Keith Barr and Brian Fagen and Barry Woods, which played at Melbourne's equivalent of Sydney's El Rocco, the Fat Black Pussycat in Toorak.

In 1967 Bertles joined Sydney-based rock-soul band Max Merritt & The Meteors. Only weeks after joining, Bertles, Merritt and drummer Stewie Speer narrowly escaped death after their van collided head-on with a truck on the way to a country dance; all three were seriously injured and Bertles was left with a permanent limp. He recorded two albums with the band ' Max Merritt & The Meteors' (1970) and 'Stray Cats' (1971). In 1972, Bertles left the Meteors while in London, tired of the attitude of the band's manager. "But it all turned out fine for me," he stated, "Because the Nucleus thing came out of that." Four rewarding years followed in this British-based jazz-rock band led by the trumpeter and Miles Davis biographer Ian Carr.

When Bertles returned to Sydney in 1976, he again landed on his feet, slotting into the Col Nolan Quartet for two years. In more recent years Bertles has toured Europe extensively, joined the orchestra for the Australian production of the stage musical Chicago, where he met his future wife, theatre performer Nancye Hayes.In addition to regular concerts, festivals, session work, and touring, Bertles' recent projects include recording and live performances with Sydney's renowned Ten Part Invention. He has released a few albums 'Misty Morning' (1980), 'You Must Believe In Spring' (1985), 'Rhythm of the Heart' (1995 nominated for best jazz album at the ARIA awards) 'Cool Beans' (1998) and 'Moonlight Saving Time' with Toni Lamond in 2000.


Bob Bertles’ Meteor, Nucleus and Ten Part Quadruple Threat – AustralianJazz.net

Wednesday, 14 December 2022


The Editions was formed in 1979 by drummer Fred Negro, guitarist John Gurr and bass player Bryce Collie. Roslyn Deer was soon recruited as the vocalist after the original singer failed to show up at rehearsal. The band played at St Kilda's iconic Crystal Ballroom in the early 1980's, and other venues such as the Mt Erica Hotel, the Duke of York Hotel, The Anglers Club, and Matthew's Hall.

The Editions did not define themselves by one musical style, running the gamut from country to punk with their unique attitude. Apart from performing weekly at pubs and music venues, the band were a popular attraction at house parties, halls and festivals. In late 1980, Roslyn left the band due to musical differences and was replaced by singer Sherine Abeyratne, who remained with The Editions until mid 1983.

With the help of Paul Elliott (Polyester Records/Books) three EPs were released on cassette in 1981, 1982 and 1983, respectively titled 'Aggression', 'Obsession' and 'Recession', on the the band's own label Orgasm Records. Elly Mantzaris an art student graduate and performance artist had joined the lineup in 1981 and introduced synth and backing vocals to the band's sound. Sherine left The Editions mid 1983 to join Big Pig, and by the end of 1983 Bryce Collie departed and Fred Negro left to form punk rockers, I Spit on Your Gravy on vocals and drums.  The band continued with John and Elly and introduced new band members Ben Harmsen on bass and Wayne Tait on drums until the band disbanded in late 1984. John Durr would later become an award-winning producer.


John Durr (guitar), Fred Negro (drums), Bryce Collie (bass), Rosalyn Deer (vocals), 
Sherine Aberyatne (vocals), Elly Mantzaris (synthesizer/vocals), Ben Harmsen (bass), 
Wayne Tait (drums)


Punk a Photographic Journey The History of the Melbourne Punk Scene (punkjourney.com)

Tuesday, 25 October 2022


Daniel Amalm (born 16 February 1979) is an Australian actor and musician. Amalm's mother is Maltese and his father is Swedish. Amalm's father introduced him to guitar from an early age. Amalm's first performances were as a busker in Brisbane's Queen Street Mall with his brother where they were spotted by George Benson's tour manager and invited to Benson's sound check. The Amalm brothers jammed with George Benson and after the jam Benson donated his own money towards a new guitar that the brothers had been saving for. With that guitar Daniel Amalm won a scholarship to study guitar at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music and was trained in classical guitar under Julian Byzantine. Amalm performed as one of the guitarists in "An Angel Moves Too Fast To See" written by Rhys Chatham for 100 electric guitars for the Brisbane Biennial on 4–5 June 1993. Amalm was runner up in the 9th Australian Classical Spanish Guitar Competition.

Daniel's first television appearance was in the role of Jack Wilson in television soap opera Home and Away and he was nominated for a 'Most Popular New Talent Logie Award' in 1995. In 1996, Amalm left Home and Away and recorded a single, ''Classical Gas'', which went #31  on the ARIA Charts and #5 on the Dance Charts; followed by ''Honey Dip Girl'', which was voted #1 on Network Ten's Video Hits for five consecutive weeks. In 1997 he released his debut album 'Daniel Amalm'. In 2000, he returned to Home and Away for a guest appearance and also appeared in All Saints and Tripping Over.

Daniel has worked as a music teacher in classical, flamenco and rock guitar. He has performed the live circuit with various Latin/Rock covers & originals bands and wrote with Alternative/Metal band OP25. Daniel's Brother Jacob plays drums in OP25. The band contributed to the original motion picture soundtrack of Two Fists One Heart with a song called ''Like No Other''.

Daniel appeared in the Nine Network drama series Underbelly in 2008 as Melbourne underworld figure, Dino Dibra. He also starred in the Australian film Two Fists, One Heart which was released 19 March 2009 and Cedar Boys released July 2009. In 2009, Amalm began a regular role in drama series Rescue: Special Ops as Jordan Zwitkowski on the Nine Network and co-hosted FOX8's adaptation of the boxing reality series The Contender. Daniel released an ambient classical guitar album in 2019 titled 'Guitared - Daniel Amalm' and a progressive flamenco album in 2020 titled 'Kaldera'.


Classical Gas

12 MAY '96


Honey Dip

27 APR '97



Daniel Amalm - Wikipedia


Wednesday, 12 October 2022



Country and Western singer Keith Riordon was born August 12, 1940, in Mildura. In 1948 his family moved to Lockington, and he began singing solo at school concerts. In 1952 he won the first talent quest he entered at Barooga, NSW. This was the start of him appearing regularly at concerts and talent quests. In the mid 50s he met Neville Pellitt at 3SR Shepparton and appeared regularly on the Harmony Trail Concerts until they ceased in the early 1960s.

He recorded his first single ''A Demon Called Love'', written by Colin James, backed with Clarabello Lambo, was released on Planet Records in 1959. He was accompanied by the Henri Bource All Stars and the Moontones. In 1960 he recorded a six-track EP 'The Rising Star of Keith Riordan' also on Planet Records. 

Keith was then offered a record deal with W&G and he continued to record on that label until the company ceased operation in the 1970s. His 1960s releases were the single ''Gerada/Two Cigarettes In An Ash-Tray (1961), the four track EP 'Keith Riordan Goes Hawaiian' (1961) backed by The Jack Varney 5, the four track EP 'Suvla Bay' (1963) backed by popular Cohuna band The Lonely Ones and the four track EP 'On Camera' (1966). During this period, he appeared on national TV show Country and Western Hour in Adelaide, and he also hosted his own TV show Matinee Of Song on local station GMV-6 Shepparton. In 1971 he recorded his first album 'Country Favorites' followed by a number of singles and one more album 'Red, Red Wine'. In 1979 Keith was inducted into the Country Hands of Fame at Tamworth.

Monday, 19 September 2022


Don Miller-Robinson is a multi-instrumentalist, skilled producer and engineer, sound designer and composer. His work covers many genre’s and his experience both in Australia and the USA over the years has brought him many great opportunities.

Originally from Canberra Don was first seen and heard when he appeared as an actor in the feature film Monkey Grip alongside The Divinyls. His first single ''There Was A Girl/Ghosts Of Love'' was released in 1982 on the WEA label. Soon after he was signed to Mushroom and in 1984 and recorded two singles, ''Who Kissed The Usherette ?/Just Can't Stop'' and ''Which Way Is Up/Rebels In The Mountains''.

In 1985 and 1986 Don had a stint as a touring member with legendary band Dragon before joining rock group Big Storm soon after. The band recorded an album 'Living In Exile' and a few singles. Since his band days Miller-Robinson's most consistent work has been writing scores for film eg Rise (2000) Erskineville Kings (1999) and TV. Don has also collaborated with his partner Sunny Amoreena on her original recordings.


Who Kissed the Usherette?

26 MAR '84


Sunday, 21 August 2022


Kevin King was born in Roseville, Sydney, NSW in 1931. He became interested in country music after hearing Tex Morton singing ''Rocky Ned'' on the radio. A self-taught guitarist, Kevin entered various talent quests winning for himself a guitar as first prize on Radio 2CH, Sydney. In 1951 he entered the Tim McNamara Talent Quest and won a heat. Kevin teamed up with guitar picker Pat Ware playing many pubs, clubs, charity shows and radio programs. In 1952 he signed with the Regal Zonophone label and cut a couple of singles. One of the songs was the now famous old 78rpm, ''Rub-A-Dub-Dub'' backed by ''With This Ring I Thee Wed'', which sold about 20,000 copies. Moving to the Columbia label in the late 50s he recorded a number of singles and an EP with them until the early 70s.

In the 60s he settled in Sydney and became resident singer with his band at the Texas Tavern, Kings Cross, entertaining American servicemen on R&R from Vietnam. He then moved to the Crystal Palace Hotel, in Railway Square, where he stayed for five years. From there he moved to the Regent Street Transport Club where he stayed for a further five years. This 11-year period was a boom time for country music artists. He worked with all the leading acts such as Cowboy Bob Purtell, Jan Kelly, Phil and Tommy Emmanuel, Kenny Kitching, Allan Caswell, Lee Brittan, Mort Fist (Erskineville Slim), Doug Castle and Terry Smith.

In the early 1970s, Kevin was asked by Slim Dusty to join him and his family, Michael Cooke and Barry Thornton to travel to New Guinea on his show. In this era, he emerged as a studio musician in demand to play on tracks for Tex Morton, Johnny Ashcroft, Slim Dusty, Lionel Long, Buddy Williams, Gordon Parsons and Smoky Dawson. These sessions required Kevin to play rhythm and acoustic guitar, harmonica and Dobro steel guitar. In 1977 he was Inducted into the Tamworth Hands of Fame. In the late 1980s, Kevin returned to the studio to record an album, 'Kevin King Sings In Ernest', a 13-track recording saluting the music of Ernest Tubb. King has made compilation albums of his early 45 and 78rpm recordings of , which are available from his website. In 2007 Kevin King was elevated to the Tamworth Roll of Renown.

Tuesday, 26 July 2022


Gene Bradley Fisk, born 1935 in Colac, Victoria is a country singer. Gene's musical interests began when he joined a banjo club at age 11 playing concerts and radio shows. He joined the Royal Australian Air Force as an engineering apprentice in 1951 and served for 15 years, which included overseas postings to Malaysia and Thailand. Fisk formed his first band called The Sidewinders in 1959.

Fisk began his broadcasting career at Butterworth Malaysia at Radio RAAF in 1960 as one of their first announcers. On completion of military service Gene became a disc jockey on commercial radio at 3HA Hamilton in 1967 and went on to 3CV Maryborough, 3BO Bendigo and 3GL Geelong. At 3UZ in Melbourne he hosted a top rated country music program from 1977 until 1980 followed by country music programs on 3GL Geelong and community stations 3CCC Bendigo, 3PBS Melbourne and 3YYR Geelong in the 1980s and 1990s.

Fisk's recording career began in the mid 70s and he recorded a number of singles on the Goldstrike, Mac, ENREC and Bullet record labels. He recorded his debut album 'Blood Of A Rambler' in 1981.

Gene was a founding member of Country FM radio in Geelong a 24-hour Country Music station from 1994 until it closed in 2005. At Country FM Gene was production/music director and an announcer. In 2014 he commenced broadcasting a one-hour all Australasian country music show “OZ Country” on Highlands FM Woodend, Victoria, and from May 2018 has been broadcasting the program on WYN FM Werribee Vic. It is also heard on OCR FM Colac and Apollo Bay, Highlands FM and 88FM Castlemaine Vic. In 1999 he was inducted into the Country Music Broadcasters Hall of Fame and in 2005 he was inducted into the Country Music Hands of Fame. Fisk currently resides in Geelong, Victoria, . His daughter, Donna Fisk, is also a successful country entertainer.


Gene Bradley Fisk - Wikipedia

Tuesday, 12 July 2022



Billboard was formed in Melbourne in 1970. The original lineup was Roy Rennie on vocals, Geoff Wright on guitar, Graham Beggs on drums, Graham Twist on bass and Nikki Woods on keyboards. Their musical inspirations were Spectrum, Chicago and The Band. They gigged around Melbourne and appeared at all the major establishments like The Thumping Tum, Sebastians, Berties etc.

Paul Meaney from The Paul McKay Sound became the band's manager and he secured them a one-off record deal (with an album option if the single was successful) with the Festival label. The band cut two sides for the Festival's imprint label, Infinity. Both tracks were written by the band's guitarist, Geoff Wright. The song "Three And Three/A Day In The Night Of A Roadie" was released as their debut single in 1971, in which the band promoted it on ABC TV's Hit Scene in April and July of that year.

Even though the single charted in Melbourne, vocalist Roy Rennie would depart the band. His replacement was a black Englishman by the name of Jim Brown. Unbeknownst to the band members, Brown was a sailor in the British Navy and during their visit to Australia had gone AWOL. One night, when Brown didn't show up for a gig, it was because he had been apprehended by the Military Police and escorted away. Geoff Wright told me, "it wasn't funny at the time, but it's incredibly funny now looking back."

In 1972 the band called it quits when some members wanted to go in a different direction. Geoff Wright would go on and join Doug Parkinson's Mantis and then Max Merritt and The Meteors. As for the other members they disappeared in to the ether but I would love to know whatever happened to Jim Brown (if that was his real name).


Roy Rennie (vocals), Geoff Wright (guitar), Graham Beggs (drums), Graham Twist (bass), 
Nikki Woods (keyboards), Jim Brown (vocals)


Three and Three

10 JAN '72



Geoff Wright

Friday, 3 June 2022


This short lived band produced three future significant members of the Australian music scene. Guitarist Marty Van Wyk (The Throb, The Soul Agents and The Cherokees), bassist Denny Burgess (The Throb, Running, Jumping, Standing Still and the Masters Apprentices and drummer Peter Figures (The Throb, Jeff St.John and Yama and Copperwine).

The No Names morphed out of Geoff Doyle and The Resonettes in 1964. That band had recorded a couple of singles on the Linda Lee label. The No Names lineup was vocalist Geoff Doyle, drummer Peter Figures, guitarists Marty Van Wyk and Paul Reay and bassist Geoff MacWalters. Signed to the Polydor label they recorded two singles "She is Mine/ All Because of You" and a cover of the Leiber-Stoller song "Charlie Brown" backed by ''I Love You''. Neither was successful and Polydor soon dropped the group from their roster, although they also backed rising new female vocalist Janice Slater on her two singles for Philips, "Wanting You / Summertime" and "I'm Gonna Live/ He Really Cares".

Geoff MacWalters left the No-Names around this time being replaced by Denny Burgess. A few months later, rhythm guitarist Peter Reays and singer Geoff Doyle also left, but rather than replace them with two new members the remaining three found what they were looking for in English-born John Bell, who proved to be an adept singer, guitarist and harmonica player. The new line-up of the No-Names played at Suzie Wong’s CafĂ©, the Beatle Village and University and college dances. By December 1965 The No Names changed their name to The Throb who went on to have considerable success.


Geoff Doyle (vocals), Marty Van Wyk (guitar), Paul Reay (guitar). Geoff MacWalters (bass),
Denny Burgess (bass), John Bell (vocals/harmonica/guitar)

Sunday, 22 May 2022



The Chosen Few were an Australian punk band which formed in 1978. Three founding band mates were all from an earlier hard rock band, Deathwish: Ian John Cunningham on bass guitar (later on lead vocals), Calum "Cal" McAlpine on drums and Bruce Friday on guitar. They were soon joined by Iain Weaver on lead vocals. The Chosen Few formed in the Mornington Peninsula and played a combination of covers of United States-influenced punk (MC5, Stooges) and hard driven original numbers inspired by Lobby Loyde and the Coloured Balls and The Saints.

In 1978 The Chosen Few released an EP, 'The Jokes on Us' which featured six original tracks - the title track and five other classic Chosen Few punk tunes, including 'Disco Tek Wrek' which was dedicated to Radio Birdman's Deniz Tek. It was recorded in a studio in Smith Street, Collingwood, with Baron Rolls as audio engineer. The band played regularly around the Melbourne and Adelaide punk scenes but disbanded in May 1979. They joined Bohdan X (ex-JAB) as Bohdan and the Instigators but they broke up by late 1980. Cal McAlpine went on to play with The Zorros and The Olympic Sideburns.

There was a short lived reunion of The Chosen Few in 1998 with a new line up: Cunningham, now on lead vocals, and McAlpine, were joined by Bill Blanche on bass guitar and Jeff Hussey on lead guitar. Two albums were released in that year: 'Do The Manic' (Buckwheat Headlock Productions/Existential Vacuum Records, US) and 'A Root And A Beer' (Au Go Go Records). They were followed by a double-CD album, 'Really Gonna Punch You Out' (Hate Records, Italy), in 2001. Buttercup Records released 'Gunk 78-79' in 2014 of two unreleased songs ''I Wanna Be Your Dog/Son Of Sam'' and an EP 'Get Nicked' in 2018.

The band revived briefly in 2018 with the following membership: Ian Cunningham (lead vocals), Jeff Hussey (guitar), Calum Hussey (guitar), Brad Barry (bass) and Alessandro Coco (drums). The band rehearsed for a couple of months intending to play at a punk festival but that event did not eventuate. Iain Weaver died in 1995.


Ian John Cunningham (bass/vocals), Calum "Cal" McAlpine (drums), Bruce Friday (guitar).
Iain Weaver (vocals), Bill Blanche (bass), Jeff Hussey (guitar), Calum Hussey (guitar), 
Brad Barry (bass), Alessandro Coco (drums)


The Chosen Few (1970s Australian band) - Wikipedia

Friday, 29 April 2022


Mike Jackson (born Fishtoft, Lincolnshire, England) emigrated to Australia in 1970. He taught himself harmonica in high school and acquired a taste for comic songs from his grandfather and the radio. He branched out onto other instruments and acquired a reputation for being able to get a tune out of almost anything. Michelle Jackson (born Noosa Heads, Queensland) already played guitar; fiddle; and mandolin when she met Mike on stage at the 1979 Kapunda Celtic Music Festival and married soon after.

They toured Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the U.S. almost non-stop for seven years and in between tours they created three songbooks, co-wrote an instruction book for string figure novices and recorded many albums - two collections of Australian folk music for adults 'Patchwork' (1980) and 'The Roaring Days' (1982) on the Larrikin label plus a few for children. The bulk of their thousands of performances together were Arts in Education performances designed to introduce children to a wide range of unusual instruments and encourage them to play music.

Mike and Michelle's children's albums were a huge success with their second, 'Playmates' (1983) going platinum and the rest of their first four kids' discs going gold in Australia. They had two North American releases, 'Bunyips, Bunnies and Brumbies' and 'Playmates', which were released in Canada on Sharon, Lois and Bram's Elephant Records label, distributed by A&M Records. They were featured artists on the ABC TV program Playmates and regular contributors to many other 1980s Australian children's shows. In 1986, the pair went their separate ways. Mike Jackson has continued touring, writing and recording both in Australia and internationally.


Mike and Michelle Jackson - Wikipedia

Monday, 28 March 2022


Short-lived band The Shivers was formed in Melbourne in the late 80s with Wendy Morrison on vocals (ex Loose Talk), Archie Larizza on bass (ex The Innocents, The Saints), Dave Shaw on drums (ex The Stems) Don Ely on lead guitar and Julian Mathews on guitar (ex The Stems). Mushrooms Records signed them up and they released an album 'Big Love' (1990) and a few singles: ''Washaway/Dolphin Blues'' (1989), ''Baby Says/The Gun'' (1990), Not In Love/Close My Eyes'' (1990) and Downtown Sister (Town Is Gone) in 1991. The band held down a residency at The Club in Collingwood and were very popular on the pub scene but their record sales were poor which is a bit of mystery as their music was super catchy, infectious power pop of the highest order. Due to this lack of success they disbanded. Wendy Morrison was the voice of the theme song for the very popular ABC TV series Seachange in the mid 90's.


Wendy Morrison (vocals), Archie Larizza (bass), Dave Shaw (drums), Don Ely (guitar), 
Julian Mathews (guitar), Chris Barton (drums)

Monday, 21 March 2022


Born in Lucknow, New South Wales, near Orange in 1922 Tim McNamara was the youngest of eleven children. He found work as a boundary rider at the age of 12 on a sheep station. After his family relocated from Orange to Sydney, McNamara remained in the Orange area and worked on dairy farms after leaving school. Inspired by performers such as Tex Morton, McNamara learnt how to sing, yodel and play guitar. In 1940, he married Daphne Ford, after which he served in the Royal Australian Air Force during World War II.

It was following the war, McNamara made a name for himself as an entertainer, writing and performing songs such as "Riding Along" and "We're Going To The Rodeo Today", which he recorded at his first recording session in 1948. He also appeared in the Australian film, Into the Straight. In 1949, McNamara commenced work as a radio presenter at Sydney radio station 2SM where he hosted a popular country music program. McNamara's program has been credited with boosting the popularity of such artists as Slim Dusty, Joy McKean and Gordon Parsons. McNamara launched a national talent show in 1950, which was sponsored by 2SM and Rodeo Records. The popularity of the inaugural talent show. which was won by Reg Lindsay, helped establish it as an annual event. It was a constant source of pride in the McNamara family that Tim had given Frank Ifield his first chance on his radio programme when young Frank was only fourteen. Frank Ifield acknowledges this himself on his website.

In 1950 he signed with the Rodeo label releasing a few singles before moving to Festival in 1956 where he recorded: ''Pale Moon/Where The Blue Of The Night (Meets The Gold Of The Day)'' and ''Girl Of My Dreams/The Singing Hills'' both in 1958. McNamara's recording output in the 60s was virtually non-existent but he returned to the recording studio in the 70s and 80s and released a number of albums, EPs and singles.

In 1978, McNamara was part of the second group of well known country music performers to imprint their hands into the "Australian Country Music Hands of Fame" monument which had been erected the previous year at Tamworth. At the 1981 Golden Guitar Awards in Tamworth, McNamara was named as the sixth person to be elected onto the Australian Roll of Renown. A wax sculpture of McNamara is situated in the Gallery of Stars Wax Museum at the Big Golden Guitar Tourist Centre in Tamworth, which was opened by Slim Dusty in 1988. McNamara died from cancer in Sydney on 16 April 1983.In 2002, McNamara was posthumously added to the Australian Country Music Broadcasters Hall of Fame.


Tim McNamara (musician) - Wikipedia

Thursday, 17 March 2022


Bryce Benno Rohde​ (pronounced Roe-dee) was born on September 12, 1923 in Hobart and moved to Adelaide when he was two where his family established Rohde's Homemade Cakes. Bryce attended Nailsworth Primary School and Unley High School. Both his parents were amateur singers and his mother Gertrude played piano, an instrument for which Rohde showed an early aptitude, studying classical music for seven years. Upon completing school he worked in the family bakery and began playing music professionally on the side.

During World War II, Rohde joined the army, and also met Barbara Coombe. They married in 1946, they had two sons, but the marriage was short-lived. During the war he encountered jazz and after the war he joined the Adelaide-based Alf Holyoak Sextet a Benny Goodman-style band, and became a credible jazz pianist the old-fashioned way: on the job.

In 1953 he and the vibraphonist/drummer Jack Brokensha headed for Canada at the suggestion of the multi-reeds player Errol Buddle, only to be jailed upon their arrival in Halifax with no funds and no means of support. They were bailed out by Buddle and the New Zealand drummer Don Varella, and settled in Windsor, Ontario, just across the border from Detroit. Initially little work came in, however, and in a 1982 interview for Jazz magazine, Buddle told Eric Myers: ''One night for dinner I remember we had between the four us enough money for three apples and half a loaf of bread''.

Eventually they fell into work in Detroit’s leading jazz club, the Rouge Lounge, backing a singer called Chris Connor. When she left town the club owner, Ed Sarkesian, stuck with what soon became known as The Australian Jazz Quartet (AJQ). Besides Rohde on piano, Buddle on tenor saxophone and bassoon and Brokensha on vibes and drums it had an American, Dick Healy, playing alto saxophone, flute and bass. The different sound combinations set the band apart, with Buddle’s bassoon being a source of particular notoriety. Sarkesian spoke to the American Booking Corporation’s president, Joe Glaser (who managed Louis Armstrong and represented Miles Davis, Dave Brubeck, Gerry Mulligan, Stan Getz, Chico Hamilton and George Shearing), and Glaser liked what he heard. Initially they were sent out backing singers, including Helen Merrill and Carmen McRae, before becoming a drawcard themselves.

''From then on we just worked consistently and recorded consistently, and people liked the sound combination'' Rohde told Jim McLeod for his 1994 book, Jim McLeod’s Jazztrack (ABC). ''We used to go out on 30-day bus tours and do one-nighters. A bus full of all these wonderful, famous people. I wish I’d paid more attention. I was just having too good a time''.

They played their very cool-school jazz from colleges to dives to the most prestigious theatres, including Carnegie Hall. In 1955 the constraint of not having a bass when Healy played reeds saw them add firstly Jimmy Gannon, then Jack Lander, and finally Ed Gaston on bass, turning them into Australian Jazz Quintet, a guise in which they worked and recorded solidly through the rest of the 1950s. Buddle told John Clare for his book Bodgie Dada and the Cult of Cool (UNSW Press, 1995) that they were the fifth-highest plaid jazz band in the US, after Armstrong, Brubeck, Mulligan and Shearing.

In 1958 they accepted an offer to do a capital-city tour of Australia, which, with Buddle having announced that he would like to resettle in Australia, would be the AJQ’s swansong. They played some farewell US concerts and then caught a ship in San Francisco. The Australian tour went well, even if the scale of the band’s success in the US had barely registered on the Antipodean radar. Rohde settled in Sydney and formed the Bryce Rohde Quartet. Along with being a mainstay at the El Rocco the quartet toured nationally supporting the Kingston Trio, during which Rohde discovered George Russell's hugely influential book on improvisation, The Lydian Chromatic Concept of Tonal Organization. From the moment he opened it he was a convert, and in turn converted bassist Bruce Cale and formed an exceptional band with Cale, Charles Munro (reeds) and Mark Bowden (drums).

During the 60s Bryce Rohde released a number of albums:Bryce Rohde Quartet In Concert (Coronet 1960), Straight Ahead! (CBS 1962), Corners (CBS 1963), Big 'N Bryce (CBS 1964) and Just Bryce! (CBS 1965). In 1964 Rohde married Valerie Manning and in the following year they moved to California, where he led bands, worked as a sideman, taught, and occasionally recorded. The marriage ended amicably in the 1970s. In the early 1990s the AJQ reformed for an Australian tour and Rohde published Turn Right At New South Wales: The Collected Compositions of Bryce Rohde. One of those, the gorgeous ''Windows of Arques'', was the theme of Jim McLeod's Jazztrack on ABC Classic FM for three decades. Rohde's last Australian performance was at the 2003 Wangaratta Jazz Festival.

Rohde's playing and compositions shared a flair for elegance and restraint, and his touch at the piano generated a muted luxuriance. Despite a stroke in 2014 he continued to play until he died in his sleep at home in San Francisco in 2016.


John Shand

Thursday, 17 February 2022


Charles Robert Munro born 22 May 1917 was a jazz reedist, cellist and flautist that grew up in Christchurch New Zealand. Munro moved to Sydney when he was 21, and played in the bands of Myer Norman and Wally Parks in addition to work as a sideman on various nightclub, theater, and ship gigs. He served in the military during World War II, then worked with Wally Norman at the Roosevelt nightclub in Potts Point in Sydney which was the hottest spot in town. The who’s who drank at the Roosevelt, from police chiefs and politicians to businessmen.

He played with Bob Gibson and his band in 1950, then joined the Australian Broadcasting Commission's (ABC) dance band in 1954, continuing to work with the group up until 1976 as a composer, performer, and arranger. In the 60s he worked extensively with Bryce Rohde participating in many of Rohde's Australian jazz experiments. He led his own bands toward the end of his career, and also worked with Georgina de Leon.

Charlie Munro was probably the first Australian jazz musician to explore influences from other cultures. His first album 'Eastern Horizons' recorded in 1967, is considered to be a landmark of Australian jazz, which is basically a blend of jazz and quintessential American music played by non-Americans, and Eastern music played by Westerners. This was followed by Count Down (1969) on the Columbia label and Integrations (1986) on Larrikin. Charlie Munro died in 1985 of a cerebral haemorrhage, at the age of 68.

Saturday, 22 January 2022



Colin Buchanan (born 1964) is an country and western singer, entertainer and multi-instrumentalist. Colin moved with his family to Melbourne  as a six-year-old, and then Peakhurst, Sydney, before moving to the outback in 1988, with his wife for a couple of years, studying with Cornerstone Community Inc. This included a year in Bourke, in the corner country of New South Wales, and another in Grenfell, New South Wales.

Colin has won ten Golden Guitar Australian Country Music Awards and has written songs with Lee Kernaghan, Adam Brand and Troy Cassar-Daley. His song "Hat Town", written with Lee Kernaghan, won an APRA Award, while his Christmas album, recorded with Greg Champion, has become an Australian classic, in particular his "Aussie Jingle Bells", now a staple at school end-of-year concerts. He was nominated for four ARIA Awards in 1993 for Best Country Album for 'Hard Times' (lost to Lee Kernaghan for 'The Outback Club'), in 1994 for Best Children's Album for 'I Want My Mummy' (lost to Mic Conway for 'Whoopee'), in 1998 for Best Country Album for 'Edge of the Kimberley' (lost to Shanley Del for 'My Own Sweet Time') and in 2013 for Best Comedy Release for 'The TGIF Songs of Colin Buchanan' (lost to Tom & Alex for 'The Bits We're Least Ashamed Of').

Colin was a regular presenter on ABC TV's Play School from 1992 to 1999, when the program was revamped. More recently he appeared on Playhouse Disney, a co-production between Australia's Seven Network and Disney Channel. He appeared with Monica Trapaga each year representing Seven and Disney on Carols in the Domain. For 20 years he hosted Qantas' in-flight audio entertainment, predominantly "Big Country", pioneering the guest co-host format eventually adopted across all Qantas inflight audio channels.

Since the mid-1990s, Colin has devoted much of his time to producing Christian albums. In particular, his children's albums are popular across Australia, United Kingdom and in parts of the United States. A former school teacher at several schools, his songs can be heard playing in many a primary classroom and Sunday School.

Thursday, 6 January 2022


Climax Five formed in 1965 out of Sydney. Guitarist Mike Wade was already a seasoned musician having played with The Midnighters who recorded on the RCA label and had a hit with ''Goofy Foot''. By 1967, the band was working at some of the main Sydney venues one of which was Long John's Disco in Kings Cross. During this period, Go-Set wrote an article about them and the band appeared on the ABC TV show Something Else. Producer Pat Aulton took them under his wing and they were signed to Festival Records and in 1968 they recorded the single, ''Gardens/She's Already Spoken For''. The single went nowhere. New Zealand singing star Sandy Edmonds joined them for a brief time and they would cut an obscure single on a independent label;however, the band didn't last much longer. Mike Wade would go on to distinguished career working with Jon English, Marcia Hines and Reg Livermore. Warren Kelly died in 2009 of cancer.


Greg Bushell (drums), Warren Kelly (bass), Nick Dunne (vocals), Mike Wade (guitar),
 John Lowry (guitar), Sandy Edmonds (vocals)



Tuesday, 21 December 2021



The Kinsfolk was a family act (formed after its members saw Peter Paul & Mary at the Sydney Stadium in 1964), grounded in church and gospel music. Before they went full time in 1969, Marion Begbie was an infant teacher, her brothers Richard (a theology student), Ross (a teacher) and Tim was a university student.Work in Sydney coffee lounges and gigging regularly at the Copperfield on the corner of King and Missenden Rd Newtown, led to appearances on national TV shows like Bobby Limb’s Sound of Music, tapping into the lucrative middle-of-the-road The Twiliters/ Wesley Three market.  

Although their influences were readily apparent in performance, arrangement and choice of material, The Kinsfolk were skilled and well-trained professional musicians, as evidenced by two creditable LPs they recorded for RCA, 'Ain’t That News' (1969) and 'For Tomorrow' (1970). In 1968 they sang at American evangelist Billy Graham's crusade in Sydney and Melbourne. Later the band toured Asia, the UK and had a very busy six months in the USA including a performance at Madison Square Garden in New York. In 1969 they appeared on the album 'Billy Graham Crusade In Miniature' contributing the song ''The Virgin Mary Had A Baby Boy''. Their last performance was in 1971. In 2000 a reissue of both albums was released.


Marion Begbie (vocals/celeste/recorder), Richard Begbie (vocals/banjo/guitar/flute), 
Ross Begbie (vocals/guitar), Tim Begbie (vocals/bass)


Early Sydney part5 - Warren Fahey

Sunday, 5 December 2021


Country and Western singer Brian Young was born in 1935 at Ayr QLD. Winning the World Champion Bull Riding title at age 18 at Home Hill, Brian Young appeared to have all the ingredients for a career in rodeo, but an injury put paid to any longevity in that arena. He turned his hand to his other love, writing country music story-songs of Australia and its inhabitants. Young toured with the All Star Western Show in the late 1950s, with fellow performers including Rick and Thel Carey, Nev Nicholls, Kevin King and Chad Morgan, among others. The touring life appealed to him and he continued hooking up with other performers, travelling the country, taking his music to the masses.

Young's recording career began in 1962 with the release of an EP on the W&G label which featured three of his compositions. He was later signed to Ross Murphy’s Opal Records label in about 1975, with 'Young Country' his first album. His other Opal album releases were: 'Gotta Wander Gotta Travel (1978), I'm Gonna Make It After All' (1979), 'Pull Up A Stump' (1983) and 'Tribute To Coster The Man' (1985).  After leaving Opal, Young recorded on the LBS label releasing 'Tjilpi' (1990), 'Voice Of The Outback' (1992) and 2007’s 'The Last of the Travelling Showmen', his final recording. 

In 1977 he started his own touring show, the Brian Young Show. Each year he would take expeditions out to far-flung regions of Australia, often chartering an airplane to reach the most remote places, and in the process taught a legion of youngsters about showmanship and about life in general. It’s been reported the longest tour went for 13 weeks and covered 22,000km of the remotest parts of Australia. As well as taking fresh-faced young kids and turning them into fair dinkum musicians, his tours also took leading artists like Col Hardy, Auriel Andrew, Roger Knox and Jimmy Little to people starved for entertainment – giving them just what they needed.

Awards came his way over the years – not that he ever sought reward for doing what he loved. One of the first major accolades to come his way was his induction into the Country Music Hands of Fame in 1978. In 1999, he was elevated to the Australasian Country Music Roll of Renown. That same year, the gifted wordsmith was also recognised by the Tamworth Songwriters’ Association as its Songmaker of the Year. He followed these at Tamworth in 2000 with the TSA’s Tex Morton Award and the Outback Trailblazer Award. In the Queen’s birthday honours list in 2001, he was the worthy recipient of the Order of Australia medal.

In recent years his health had declined and was a resident at Moonby House Nursing Home in Tamworth. Several of those youngsters who got a start with Young voiced their grief on Facebook in 2016 after the news broke of his passing. Troy Cassar-Daley was moved to write the following about the man he was so inspired by. ''Another loss for the year, a hero and good mate, Brian Young passed away ... You may not know a lot about Youngy (as he was known by his friends), but he had a hand in getting so many of us started in this industry and was someone I looked up to as a true gentleman. My time out on the road with him taught me so much musically and really helped me mature as a bloke''.“I want to send my condolences to all his family and to the many, many friends he has across this country that he loved and travelled so much. He will be missed from Weipa FNQ, Napperby SA, Derby WA, Cloncurry QLD, Timber Creek NT and by me. RIP Youngy. I guess this is where the cowboy rides away, old mate. We love ya.Troy xxx”


A ‘good mate’ has passed on | The Northern Daily Leader | Tamworth, NSW

Tuesday, 30 November 2021


Hot Rocket was formed in Sydney in 1970 with the original lineup of David Gibbons on vocals, Phillip Sill on bass, Paul Dixon on drums, Dave Webster on guitar and Jan Dezuan on keyboards. The band had only been together a short while when lead singer, David Gibbons, took the band into the Festival Studios at Pyrmont (where he worked as a recording engineer) and they recorded Joe Cocker’s ''That’s Your Business'' plus an original ''Pianola Roll'' written by guitarist Dave Webster. Gibbons had convinced management that a single from his hot new band would rocket up the charts. Unfortunately, the record never got airplay, never charted and crashed into oblivion. Drummer Paul Dixon departed and was replaced by John Taylor.

Hot Rocket soon established themselves on Sydney’s dance club, high school, university, harbour cruise, gay club and party rage scene. The gay scene found the band’s frenetic energy to their liking and Hot Rocket became the house band for over six months at the infamous Chameleons (The Midas Club), supporting many top artists of the day who featured at the club. The band also made the finals of a corporate-sponsored band competition run by a Sydney radio station. During this time Hot Rocket became the band of choice on Sydney harbour cruises where Kings Cross working girls took US R&R servicemen on private titillating drinkathons. And as the old saying goes: What happened on the ferries stayed on the ferries. 

Some lineup changes occurred with Phil Sill leaving for overseas being replaced by drummer John Taylor who moved onto bass and Warren Bell came in on drums. That same year Bill Chilvers joined on guitar and Jan Dezuan left. Gibbons smuggled the band back into Festival and a second single was recorded: covers of Rick Derringer’s ''Rock & Roll Hoochie Koo'' and Eric Clapton’s ''Bottle Of Red Wine''. However, this time it happened without Festival management’s knowledge or approval and Gibbons nearly lost his job. Today, that vinyl 45 has become a rare collector’s wet dream … an illegal / unofficial / unauthorised studio bootleg, recorded secretly, and mastered and pressed onto vinyl with official Festival Record Company labels and codes. 

David Gibbons later left to venture overseas and was replaced by Phil Coates. Hot Rocket entered the Hoadley’s Battle of The Sounds competition in 1972 but failed to qualify when some of the sponsors’ amplification equipment was destroyed during their performance. That same year the band was offered an exclusive, full time, bells and whistles, no holds barred management push by their Agency but turned it down due to circumstances. Warren Bell left to travel overseas and was replaced by John Swanton. Bill Chilvers also left for overseas adventures and was replaced by Phil Layton on sax. Hot Rocket finally called it a day in 1973.


Paul Dixon (drums), Phillip Sill (bass),  David Gibbons (vocals),  Dave Webster (guitar),
Jan Dezuan (keyboards), John Taylor (drums/bass), Bill Chilvers (guitar), Warren Bell (drums),
Phil Coates (vocals), John Swanton (drums),  Phil Layton (sax)


John Taylor

Friday, 26 November 2021


Frog Hollow was formed in the late 60s with John Crothers on guitar, Barry Falkner on bass (ex The Statics), Kevin Kahler on keyboards and Greg Sheehan on drums. The band was together for five years and played lots of dances around the Kingsgrove/Strathfield areas. The band had a 12 month residency at the Manly Vale Hotel and did two cruises around the Pacific and quite a number of TV appearances. In 1970 they recorded the soundtrack music for the surf film Over Under Sideways Down directed by Ken Anderson. The tracks were released on an EP on the Du Monde label. 

Another single ''Go Away/Send Me Back To Mama'' was released the following year. After the demise of Frog Hollow Greg Sheehan joined Blackfeather, Duck and McKenzie Theory. Barry Falkner became Marketing Manager of Wizard Records and worked with many artists including Marcia Hines, Hush, Doug Parkinson, Party Boys and Benjamin Hugg who later joined Barry’s band Terra Firma as lead vocalist. Kevin Kahler became a musical director (shows and club performances) and a senior executive at 2KY. John Crothers joined the priesthood.


John Crothers (guitar), Barry Falkner (bass), Greg Sheehan (drums), Kevin Kahler (keyboards)



Saturday, 13 November 2021



In November 1978,  drummer Louie Black put an ad in Rolling Stone looking for a harmonica player and guitarist. It read: “Please, please if you do not know blues do not waste our time.” Adding Nik Guselev on bass, Dave Hogan on vocals and harmonica and Manny Seddon on guitar, Southern Lightning quickly made an impact on the club and festival scenes becoming Melbourne's premier blues rock band on the pub based live music circuit. Southern Lightning opened on tours for B.B. King, Canned Heat, Roy Buchanan, John Mayall and Long John Baldry. During this period they recorded two albums: Down The Road in 1986 and Southern Lightning in 1987. In 2020 a compilation 'Muddy Waters Blues' was released comprising their first two albums remastered from the original vinyl, together with bonus live tracks from a 2014 Reunion (with John Stax on bass), and a laidback 2019 revisiting of "Muddy Waters Blues" by Dave Hogan and Manny Seddon, cut at Manny's home studio.


Nik Guselev (bass), Louie Black (drums), Manny Seddon (guitar), Dave Hogan (vocals, harp)

Friday, 29 October 2021


Western Australian band The Rainyard, formed in the late 80s with the lineup of Liam Coffey on vocals and bass, Brad Bolton on guitar, Adrian McMillan on drums and Jeff Baker on guitar. Their music is best described as jangly pop. In 1989 they recorded a mini album 'Ice Cream Overdrive' on cassette and it showed that these lads could write and play great indie pop. It was a fine debut and rated well among pundits. In 1990 they recorded a single, ''Hell Bent Suicidal Over You, Baby'' on Jason Reynolds' Summershine label which was a pretty significant indie label that included Autohaze, The Sugargliders, Even and The Earthmen on their books. The band was very popular on the Perth pub scene. Baker left the band in 1990 and was replaced by David Chadwick. Moving to the House Of Wax label they recorded the six track EP 'Let It Speed' in 1992. The band didn't last much longer and they pulled the pin in 1993. Liam Coffey, Brad Bolton and Dave Chadwick would go on to form Header with Ian Freeman and Dean Willoughby. In 2012 Spanish record label Pretty Olivia Records released the compilation album 'A Thousand Days'.


Liam Coffey (bass, vocals), Brad Bolton (guitar), Adrian MacMillan (drums), Jeff Baker (guitar),
David Chadwick (guitar)