John Paul Young
John Paul Young, undoubtedly one of the most popular Australian artists of the 70’s, cementing himself a place in music history with a string of hits resulting in over 4 million record sales and capped off with an induction into the ARIA Hall of Fame in 2009. Migrating from Scotland with his family in 1962, it wasn’t long before John finished school and formed a semi-pro …
John Paul Young
John Paul Young, undoubtedly one of the most popular Australian artists of the 70’s, cementing himself a place in music history with a string of hits resulting in over 4 million record sales and capped off with an induction into the ARIA Hall of Fame in 2009. Migrating from Scotland with his family in 1962, it wasn’t long before John finished school and formed a semi-pro band with some friends, Elm Tree, to perform at local dances on weekends. Elm Tree managed to record one single, Rainbow, and reached the Sydney final of Hoadley’s Battle of the Sounds at the Capitol Theatre.
Elm Tree soon disbanded and not long after JPY successfully auditioned for Harry M Miller’s Australian production of the Rice-Webber rock musical Jesus Christ Superstar, landing the main role of Annas. He stayed with the production throughout its 700 performances between May 1972 and February 1974. During that period, as John Young, he released his first singles under the direction of English producer and kingmaker Simon Napier-Bell – the man behind T. Rex. The first of those singles in May 1972, Pasadena, also John’s first hit, was written by song-writing duo extraordinaire, Vanda and Young of Easybeats fame.
When John released his fourth single, Jesus Christ Superstar had ended and Harry Vanda and George Young had returned to Australia as house songwriters and producers for Albert Production. The song they now wrote and produced for John Young was Yesterday’s Hero, about someone who had once been famous. He performed the song on Countdown and by the time filming was finished he had convinced the audience he really was a star! Yesterday’s Hero was initially released as John Young, but became such a major hit, the singer became John Paul Young to avoid confusion with Sixties pop star, Johnny Young.
John Paul Young went on to became a Countdown regular, both as guest and performer, his easy going boyish personality making him a favourite with fans. More major hits followed – The Love Game, I Hate The Music, I Wanna Do It With You, Standing In The Rain (all Top 10 hits) and his June 1978 No. 1 song, Love Is In The Air, also a huge hit internationally, leading to television performances on Britain’s ‘Top Of The Pops’ and in the US.
JPY’s music certainly was the soundtrack to the “Countdown” generation, and in 1992 a whole new generation fell in love with his music with a remixed version of Love is in the Air from the soundtrack to Baz Luhrmann’s Strictly Ballroom becoming a hit all over again.
In 2012, a 40th Anniversary run of concerts spawned a special 40th Anniversary repackaging of the album I Hate the Music and JPY won over a whole new audience while delighting the already converted.
To top off his 40th Anniversary year, John received an O.A.M. in the Queen’s Birthday honours list for his services to the music industry & services to charity.
John’s pet project since 2015 has been “The Vanda & Young Songbook”. The show celebrates the hits of one of the world’s most amazing song-writing duos, Harry Vanda and George Young. Since its sell out premier’s at Sydney’s Enmore Theatre and Crown Palms in Melbourne, the show has continued to add dates around Australia to both critical acclaim and enthusiastic audiences.
John joined the highly successful APIA Good Times franchise for its Australia tour in 2016 alongside Kate Ceberano, Daryl Braithwaite and Jon Stevens. And again in 2018 with Marcia Hines, Brian Cadd, Russell Morris & Leo Sayer and will be joining the 7th anniversary of this touring goliath in 2019.
And, there’s to be a book released in 2019. The memoir of a kid from Glasgow, Scotland and how his father’s chance decision had a major impact on the Australian music scene.
Russell Morris is a singer-songwriter and guitarist who had five Australian Top 10 singles during the late 1960s and early 1970s. On 1 July 2008, the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) recognised Morris’ status when he was inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame …
After six decades on the road, an album can almost write itself. It might arrive in the space of a few months, fully formed in vision and texture in the mind of the vigilant creator. But it takes a rare combination of talent and circumstances to realise that vision as vividly as Black and Blue Heart.
“I’d met Bernard [Fanning] years ago,” Russell Morris remembers. The Powderfinger frontman came backstage at one of the Australian rock legend’s countless gigs to pay his respects with a mutual friend. “But It wasn’t til I moved up to Queensland last year that we sat down and started talking.”
The warmer environs had already exerted a strange, organic influence on the songs Russell was writing in the wake of the platinum-selling, ARIA-winning blues-rock trilogy — Shark Mouth, Van Diemen’s Land, Red Dirt Red Heart — that so spectacularly relaunched his career from 2012 onwards.
“I thought I was writing an album which was rootsy, bluesy, almost psychedelic, but nothing came out the way I expected.” He gave the demos to Fanning and producer Nick DiDia (Springsteen, Pearl Jam, Powderfinger) and “they rang me back within two days,” Russell says. “They said, ‘We can’t stop listening to these songs. This will be a great album’. So I said, ‘Let’s do it’.”
The two producers speed-dialled their dream studio team: guitarist Dan Kelly, drummer Declan Kelly and, from Fanning’s touring band, bassist Matt Englebrecht and keys player Ian Peres. Perched between the tropical bush and panoramic ocean views of La Cueva Studios near Byron Bay, Black and Blue Heart found its rhythm fast.
“I didn’t want to have any smooth edges,” Russell says. “Pop songs were the last thing I wanted. The musicians had the songs the week before but they were told not to do too much work. They came into the studio, we’d play them once, twice or three times, and that was it.”
That raw energy commands attention from the ragged count-in of Ain’t No Angel, slammed down with splashy drums, overdriven Hammond organ and vintage vocal echo. From that bracing opener to the sinuous, conspiratorial whisper of Is There Anybody Out There?, this extraordinary album begins to climb yet another peak for one of our all-time greatest singer-songwriters.
“I’ve got two passions: history and astrophysics,” Russell says. “Is There Anybody Out There is totally out there; not like out in my backyard, but out in the universe. It’s questioning how much life is out there in the great beyond and wondering … ‘Are you going to contact me?”
Co-written with Split Enz’s Eddie Rayner maybe 15 years ago, it’s the only song that wasn’t fresh off Russell’s pen. A lifelong observer of human experience, he found inspiration in art and life, past and present.
A classic gangster film informed the tragicomic character portrait of Witness Protection. Fat Man and the Priest came from a conversation with a mate “about people who sit in moral judgement of other people.”
The office drone in Asleep at the Wheel may have come from distant, monotonous memories of working the mail desk for the Kiss Army in Los Angeles back in the mid ’70s, he says with a laugh.
“I think the song that’s had the most emotional connections with people is Forever Remembered. It’s about missing people close to me who I’ve lost; friends like Jim Keays and Darryl Cotton and [rock photographer] Ros O’Gorman. They’re all in there.”
Then there’s the title cut, a song of simmering tenderness and empathy that Bernard Fanning describes as “a song for the ages. Russell’s been a really substantial artist for a very long time but I think that song will live on with his best,” he says.
“As soon as we heard the demos, the quality and grace of the songs was obvious immediately,” Fanning says of the album overall. “It sounded to me like the kind of music only someone with Russell’s backstory could make.
“He’s always been renowned for his incredible voice but it’s really come into its own now. His tone just communicates this unique life experience, so we just had to get that down.”
Born and bred in the USA, Nick Didia’s perspective was more immediate. “I was hearing this amazing history for the first time as we were making the record,” he says of timeless Australian classics such as The Real Thing, Wings of An Eagle and Sweet Sweet Love. “And his stories are incredible. I mean, I thought I’d been around,” he laughs.
“Their contribution was enormous,” Russell says. “Bernard’s harmonies in parts are fantastic [check the skybound chorus to Sitting Pretty, for instance]. He knew the songs better than I did. See, I wrote the songs so quickly, by the time we got to the studio I couldn’t remember some of the details. Bernard knew them back to front. Nick and Bernard’s attention to detail was just extraordinary.”
For their part, the producers deflect back to the source material, a rush of pure inspiration that Russell credits to the stunning career-reset of his Shark Mouth trilogy.
“I went back to the blues, where I started in the early ‘60s, and that allowed me to reset all the quantum things in my writing and in my body. It kickstarted my creativity. I think that’s how this album happened so fast and so confidently.
“The band, the studio… it all fell into place beautifully but the songs came from where I came from. I went back to the well and I drank from the fountainhead, and this is the result.”
Glenn Shorrock’s story, when it is finally told, will have the ingredients of an epic. It’s one of ambition, global stardom, longevity and battles. Back in 2016, he released his first album of new material in 16 years, “Rise Again”. And he had some stories to tell …
With a career spanning over 40 years, Glenn Shorrock is one of the elder statesmen of Australian contemporary show business.
Born in England, Glenn migrated at the age of 10 to Adelaide in the mid-1950s. A self-confessed child of rock n roll, he began singing in 1962 with a vocal group called the Twilights. By 1965, the Twilights became a six piece beat group based in Melbourne scoring hits with Needle in a Haystack, What’s Wrong with the Way I Live?, Cathy Come Home and Young Girl, before disbanding in 1969.
Axiom with Brian Cadd followed shortly thereafter, with hits including Arkansas Grass and Little Ray of Sunshine. Axiom disbanded soon after with Glenn moving to London in 1970. Glenn chose to remain in London as a session singer and songwriter working with other ex-pats and Europeans in a twelve-piece rock orchestra named Esperanto.
Late 1974, Glenn returned to Melbourne to help form Little River Band as lead singer. Managed by long time friend, Glenn Wheatley, Little River Band cracked the lucrative United States market in 1976, and began a string of eight Top Ten Hits in the U.S.A. and around the world. The band has sold in excess of 25 million albums, often being credited for opening the door for many Australian acts on the international circuit. In 1995, Glenn fronted Little River Band during their 20th year anniversary, three and a half-month tour of the United States. His songwriting credits include the international hits Help is on its Way, Emma, Home on Monday (co-writer Beeb Birtles), Long Jumping Jeweler, Shut Down Turn Off, My Own Way Home (co-writer Brian Cadd) and Cool Change.
Glenn’s credentials extend to all fields of show business, notably in theatre and cabaret where he starred in Evita, The Rocky Horror Show, One for the Money, Go Cat Go and Two Up. A career highlight was producing and performing alongside Sir George Martin in the highly acclaimed production All You Need Is Beatles (1998). He performed the role of Johnny Casino in the smash hit Grease: The Arena Spectacular!, which played to full houses across Australia and in Auckland; co-starred in British Rock Symphony with Eric Burdon and Thelma Houston, performing the hits of the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Rolling Stones and The Who; and toured Australia with the successful Long Way to the Top concert series with Axiom and Twilights. 2002 re-introduced Glenn, Graeham Goble and Beeb Birtles on stage as Birtles Shorrock Goble performing the famous classics with which Little River Band captured the world and produced the Full Circle DVD, a live concert recording of them performing at the Forum Theatre in Melbourne
Glenn continues to work regularly with contemporaries including Doug Parkinson, Wendy Matthews and Brian Cadd. He also loves to be at sea and so selectively chooses to cruise with his band several times a year. Glenn also regularly performs on behalf of various charities and continues as an ambassador for Variety. As a testament to his enduring talent he has been twice inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame first in 1991 in his own right and again with The Little River Band in 2004.
On 9 September, 2016 Glenn released his first album in many years, “Rise Again” through SOCIAL FAMILY RECORDS. A collection of songs composed by himself and a few friends. This new solo album offers a mix of folk-rock and easy listening tracks.
“I have been blessed with a long and successful career and I’m doing some of my best work right at the moment” says Glenn, who intends to begin work on his autobiography after a good lie down!
Well the lie down seemed to have suitably refreshed Glenn for the auto biography is done and is available through New Holland Publishers and via Amazon on line at this time. Its title ‘Now Where Was I?” is beautifully presented in hard back form and contains many personal and professional photographs from Glenn’s life.
Captivating and electrifying are just two words to describe the unmistakable voice of Australian rock and soul legend Doug Parkinson. The multi-award winning performer has become part of the soundtrack of our lives during a fifty year career. When working as a cadet journalist at Sydney’s Daily Telegraph, Doug struck up a friendship with sports writer …
Captivating and electrifying are just two words to describe the unmistakable voice of Australian rock and soul legend Doug Parkinson. The multi-award winning performer has become part of the soundtrack of our lives during a fifty year career. When working as a cadet journalist at Sydney’s Daily Telegraph, Doug struck up a friendship with sports writer Jeff Collerson whose passions included greyhound racing, fine wine and a love of black American music.
When working as a cadet journalist at Sydney’s Daily Telegraph, Doug struck up a friendship with sports writer Jeff Collerson whose passions included greyhound racing, fine wine and a love of black American music. He was invited to Collerson’s home and upon listening to his extensive and meticulously catalogued collection, it became a defining moment in Doug’s life. He had never heard music such as this before and at that very moment he knew journalism was not for him and that music would become the essential meaning in his life and shape his future.
Parkinson’s first band Strings and Things, formed with the children of legendary test cricketer Sid Barnes, made a minor impact around Sydney in 1966.
By 1967 however he had teamed up with some of Sydney’s best musical minds to form The Questions and began exploring the outer regions of psychedelic rock. Their first recordings established them as one of the more innovative and interesting acts in a rapidly evolving scene.
In 1967 the band supported The Who and Small Faces tour nationally and were placed second in the finals of the prestigious Hoadley’s Battle of the Sounds. This led to appearances in Melbourne and this is where the story really begins. A year later he formed Doug Parkinson in Focus which became the musician’s musicians outfit of the time. The band would later prove to be a benchmark in Australian rock folklore.
With this group he recorded the Beatles’ ‘Dear Prudence’ in 1969 and it topped the charts. Parkinson re-interpreted this masterpiece and made it his own. This song became a cult recording for Parkinson and his band. He followed it up with another spectacular chart topper ‘Without You’.
The same year they won Hoadley’s Battle of the Sounds and played to sell out shows around the country.
In Focus recorded a third single ‘Baby Blue Eyes’ which immediately entered the charts but the single died soon after, a casualty of the notorious Record Ban which denied Australian artists airplay.
Two times Platinum, 8 times Gold and APRA award winning, Jack Jones singer and songwriter (guitarist) with 90’s rock giants Southern Sons has entertained audiences across Australia and the globe …
Born – Irwin Thomas – in New York City, raised in Sydney, Jack arrived in Australia as a ten-year-old. Even as a youngster, he began showing an incredible talent with his guitar playing. At fourteen Jack was already playing professionally in both cover and original bands. At the same time, he was earning a reputation as a very accomplished and well respected studio musician.
After heading back to the United States for several years to further study his craft, Jack eventually returned to Australia and joined the successful 90′s band Southern Sons as lead singer/guitarist. With hits such as Heart In Danger, Always & Ever, Hold Me In Your Arms, Waiting For That Train, I Can’t Wait Any Longer, Lead Me To Water, Silent Witnesses, & You Were There, his vocal ability was highly praised by both fans and musical peers alike. He not only enjoyed success in Australia, but in Asia, Canada, Germany, & pockets throughout Europe, confirming he was a major talent on the international music scene.
His vocal ability is highly praised by both fans and musical peers alike… Not only has he enjoyed success in Australia, but in Asia, Canada, Germany, & throughout Europe. Confirming he is a major talent worthy of recognition. Jack’s touring and recording credits are equally as impressive. Working as singer/ guitarist with Multi-Platinum Artists such as: Guy Sabastian, John Farnham, Glen Shorrock (Little River Band), Tina Arena, Tommy Emmanuel, Rick Price, Merryl Bainbridge, Graham Goble (Little River Band), Richard Clapton, Garry Beers (INXS), Dweezil Zappa, Ahmet Zappa, Jeff Jacobs (Foriener), Schuyler Deale (Michael Bolton, Billy Joel), Crystal Talefiero (Billy Joel), Joe Travers (Billy Idol, ZappaPlaysZappa), Deb Byrne, Stoolz Roachman & the Idiot Sevilles, Renee Geyer, Bachelor Girl, Anthony Warlow, DeanGuyer, Daniel Bedingfield, Jon Stevens, Ian Moss, Doug Parkinson, Jeff Martin (The Tea Party), Mark Seymour (Hunters & Collectors), Jon Toogood (Shihad), John Waters, Dean McGrath (Hungry Kids of Hungry), Tim Morrison (Trial Kennedy), ROACHFORD and countless others.
The enigmatic Southern Sons singer and guitarist is respected as one of Australia’s iconic musicians, A new acoustic album of he’s hits marks Jack’s return.
With 20 years of critically adored music under his belt Jack has returned to Australia.