Australian Music Archives

Australian Music Archives

Building on the work of many others, this series of podcasts charts the development of Australian Music. The Chart series commences at 1957 with the introduction of Top 40 charts. Other series will focus on Singers and Groups. Whilst 1957 is the starting-point, we will also be moving back in time to chart the rich history of Australian Music in many forms, before the beginning of the Top 40 era. The general principle in the development of these podcasts is 'let the music do the talking'. Thus, there will be a premium on musical content, with less emphasis on the narrative. Occasionally, when there is a good story to be told (and there are many!), I may wax a touch lyrical, more so in the Singers and Groups series. The key reference work is David Kent's "Australian Chart Chronicles 1940-2008", a truly monumental work in its breadth of detail. Many people/sites have contributed to the research for the podcasts; too many to name them all but special thanks to the History of Aussie Music Blogspot, the Milesago Facebook page, the Best of Bandstand Facebook page and the Pop Archives site, where you can answer the question, "Where did they get that song from?". Many video contributors on You Tube have been a great resource in finding obscure songs including Folk Rock Australian Rock More! sallie6 and Clem Viney and there are many others! The podcasts are designed to be a permanent record and as such this is a 'labour of love' and strictly not-for-profit. I have attempted to partner with a major Australian organisation but, alas, no interest! Thus, as my late Father would have said, I am the "chief cook and bottle-washer" which means that I'm researcher, scriptwriter, digitiser, narrator and producer. As such, especially in terms of digitising vinyl records, there may appear to the ear of the listener, to be less-than-optimal sound. I work all music through Audacity, vinyl or otherwise, but, at times with old vinyl, "you can only do so much"! So, please enjoy the podcasts and let me know what you think.


November 13, 2023 28 mins

Apologies for the delay in getting this episode published. The throat is still not clear and then, I had to update my audio editor; and we know what can happen with updates! Cheryl Gray's career has been a remarkable one. In this first episode we sort out the 'name' issue (Cheryl Gray/Samantha Sang), trace Cheryl's remarkable musical grounding and listen to some of the six 45s that Cheryl released from late-1966 to early-1968; quit...

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After a few months off the scene, I'm back with an opening episode featuring the music of The Atlantics. This episode focusses on 1963 and The Atlantics rapid rise in the space of a few months. As well as the classics; Bombora and The Crusher, we'll hear The Atlantics as backing band for Kelly Green, Kenny Shane and Johnny Rebb. There's a lot of great music in this episode and much more to come!

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Made it again after more medical misadventures; Covid this time, with various implications for the voice! I am going to take a three-month break with the publication of this one; recharge the batteries! Episode 3 of the TV Series is taken from an LP, The Johnny O’Keefe Show (a 1962 episode). The LP was reissued on CD. However, no attempt was made to fix the pitch of Johnny’s various introductions; he sounded like he had a peg on hi...

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Apologies for the delay in publishing the next episode but I’ve been making a one-person assault on Medicare; many tests but not much to see!

This episode is another where we play and comment on a whole LP; in this instance, “My Favourite Kinda’ People”, W&G 1965. The “My” in the title refers to Brian De Courcy who managed four of the seven artists who appear on the LP. It’s a snapshot of W&G, arguably at the height of its power, i...

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March 16, 2023 35 mins

Episode 2 of the Johnny O’Keefe story covers the period from July ‘58 to August ‘59. This was a period of significant advancement for Johnny O’Keefe & The Dee Jays.; several hit records and the release of the first LP; the seminal TV show, Six O’Clock Rock began; several appearances on Lee Gordon Big Shows and an appearance on promoter Bill Watson’s “Shower of Stars” tour - a rival to Lee Gordon. The highest charting hit nationally...

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February 6, 2023 38 mins

A belated return to the Television Series with Brian Henderson’s Bandstand ‘63. This episode was released as an LP, from which the songs used in this podcast have been digitised. The songs also appeared on the Brian Henderson’s Bandstand CD, issued in the “SPIN” series around the turn of the century. The LP is a part-snapshot of the Australian Music Industry in ‘63, albeit a powerful one with the combination of Bandstand and Festiv...

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January 23, 2023 34 mins

This weeks episode takes us back to the Singers series, with Part One of the Johnny O’Keefe story. The first episode takes us from July ‘57 to May ‘58. So there’s a lot to go and a lot more research to do! Particular thanks to Bob Hayden and Don Hudson for their definitive work, “Johnny O’Keefe Discography”(2020) which lays out a complete and accurate music chronology.

Highlights of Episode 1: Johnny O’Keefe & The Dee Jays’ first r...

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January 14, 2023 28 mins

After the Christmas/New Year break, we return and head into the Australian Music hitting the charts in June 1966. The highest charting 45 was a double-sider for Johnny Young & Kompany on the Clarion label out of Perth. In fact, three Perth groups hit the charts this month, along with a group out of Hobart and another out of Adelaide; certainly reflecting a more national chart. Sydney and Melbourne artists are also represented with ...

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December 7, 2022 26 mins

May 1966, the last month of Autumn, brings a load of 60s classics entering the charts, including Frank Sinatra’s return to the top of the charts with Strangers in the Night. On the Australian artist side, Normie Rowe reaches the highest position with Pride & Joy/The Stones That I Throw (and who wrote that one?). We’ll also hear debut chart success for Grantley Dee, Ray Hoff & The Offbeats (on Clarion) and The Loved Ones. Tony Barbe...

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November 24, 2022 32 mins

April of 1966 brings us Bobby & Laurie’s No.1 hit, Hitch Hiker. The Easybeats reach No.3 with Come and See Her, yet another Wright-Young composition. There’s certainly a couple in the “should have been bigger” category; Mike Furber & The Bowery Boys with You Stole My Love reaching 36, and The Allusions with Gypsy Woman reaching 27. There’s some satire from a folk trio originally from WA, The Twiliters with Dismal Currency. And, we ...

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November 17, 2022 28 mins

In March of 1966 we’ll hear hits from The Seekers, Patsy Biscoe, The Purple Hearts and Steve & The Board; quite a contrast! We’ll also attempt to unravel the “Bay City” dilemma: Why did so many bands have “Bay City” in their name? The Cherokees, Tony Worsley, Little Gulliver, Pat Carroll and The Wild Colonials also enter the charts. Quite a month for Australian Music!

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November 7, 2022 35 mins

A swag of high-charting Australian Music in February 1966: The mighty, The Throb, lead the way with Fortune Teller. Other big hits come from Normie Rowe, The Twilights, MPD LTD and The Groop. We’ll hear debut 45s for Margie Bayes and The Sonomatics, and a return to the charts for Ernie Sigley and Merv Benton. Enjoy a great month of Australian Music!

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October 17, 2022 30 mins

This week: A return to the Chart series and January of 1966; the year that some historians claim to be the pivotal year for 1960s musical culture. In Australia, 1966 began with three big hits of the weeks ahead entering the chart: Tony Barber, ex-Aztec with Someday, The Easybeats with Women/In My Book, and Ray Brown and The Whispers with Tennessee Waltz. No future No.1 entered the chart but these three 60s classics did; Gloria, Sou...

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October 5, 2022 39 mins

Episode 2 of the Frankie Davidson story, covers the years 1961-63. Have You Ever Been To See Kings Cross hits high in the charts. We also learn of the unusual intent of Frankie’s LP of the same title. There’s a W&G custom recording for Lawrence Dry Cleaners which grew a life of its own and, around mid-1963, Frankie heads to London to pursue his dream of taking Australian Music to the world. The UK adventure begins with a reworking ...

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September 26, 2022 32 mins

Here’s Episode One of the Frankie Davidson Story; a bit later than expected. As it turned out there isn’t a lot that has been written about Frankie. The History of Aussie Music Blogspot has an excellent summary and Glenn A Baker wrote a thorough obituary at the time of Frankie’s recent passing. I discovered a three-hour field interview on the NLA site conducted in 2013 by Rob Willis. Then, I dug deep into TROVE and found a lot of r...

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September 9, 2022 44 mins

December of 1965 again sees Billy Thorpe and The Aztecs at the top of their game with the double sider, Love Letters/Dancing in The Street reaching a national high of 3. Tony Worsley also hits with the double-sider Missing You/Lonely City reaching a 27 high.There’s a couple of ‘sleepers’ this month which should have reached a much higher chart position but……The Purple Hearts, outta’ Brisbane with Long Legged Baby, and The Southern ...

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August 29, 2022 41 mins

Heading into November of 1965 and, in a sad irony with the recent passing of Judith Durham, we’ll hear The Seekers’ No.1 hit, the poignant The Carnival Is Over. Normie Rowe takes the 2nd highest position with Tell Him I’m Not Home/Baby Call On Me. We’ll hear from The Easybeats & The Cherokees, with national chart debuts from Sharon Black, Yvonne Barrett and Bobbie Thomas. And amongst all of that, three stalwarts have minor hits; Co...

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August 21, 2022 34 mins

October of 1965 and Ray Brown & The Whispers score the highest-charting hit with In The Midnight Hour. We have follow-up hits for Billy Thorpe & The Aztecs, The Times & M.P.D. Ltd. First chart entries from Max Hamilton & The Impacts, with Gil Matthews on guitar, and Richard Wright & The Vikings. We will also hear a rare reissue; in this instance, Midnight Bus by Betty McQuade, first a hit in 1961. And, of course, lots more! Enjoy!

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July 30, 2022 41 mins

September of 1965 brings us 15 Australian-artist songs that made the Top 100, highlighted by Normie Rowe and The Playboys #1 smash double-sider, Que Sera Sera/Shakin’ All Over. Groups that made the national chart include; The Easybeats, The D-Coys and The Flies. The Bee Gees make their biggest chart impression to this point. And, of course, much much more! Enjoy the Australian music for September of 1965.

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July 18, 2022 33 mins

A return to the Chart Series and the month of August 1965. An amazing month with five songs that would in time be considered as 60s classics entering the Australian chart, including the Righteous Brothers’ Unchained Melody. The highest charting Australian release was Billy Thorpe and The Aztecs’ double-sider Twilight Time/Hello Josephine. We’ll also hear from Merv Benton, The Changing Times, Lynne Randell and more…… The highest cha...

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