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 …
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.
Shorrock, the founding frontman of The Twilights, Axiom and ‘70s hitmakers Little River Band (later known as LRB) carved out astonishing success around the globe and in particular the U.S., where LRB shifted the bulk of its 25 million-plus career album sales. The living legend has the unusual distinction of having been inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame on two occasions, both as a member of LRB, and as a solo artist.
“I’ve been lucky enough, I’ve never had a proper job over my career,” he quips. “It’s one of the measures of success as far as I’m concerned. People say, ‘what’s your success down to’? It’s about surviving and keeping busy in the entertainment industry. It’s something I think a lot about now, being 72 and being a so-called ‘rock legend,’ which I find amusing.”
The veteran singer isn’t caught reminiscing on “Rise Again,” a collection of songs from different writers. It’s a textured reflection of a mature, evolving artist who has enjoyed the rare sight from the summit of showbiz, and knows all too well the struggle that invariably comes with it. Shorrock taps into this struggle, and finds new energy.
It’s no secret Shorrock and his longtime bandmates Beeb Birtles and Graeham Goble have been embroiled in a drawn-out fight over the LRB name (the trio co-founded Little River Band 40 years ago and have performed as Birtles Shorrock Goble). Every escalation in the war-of-words becomes headline material for news titles around the globe. Shorrock is battle-hardened from the experience, but never battle-weary. He went to the well and turned the fight into song. The struggle is upfront from the opening track “Hear My Voice”, which features the ear-catching line, “I don’t care who is right or wrong/you’ve got my name/ I’ve still got my song/ I don’t care what you might call me/Hear my voice and you will know me”.
“I’m not in a battle anymore. It’s only when certain situations arise that I feel as though we’ve got to stand up and say things,” admits Shorrock. “But it does get me irritable when they accept the accolades of all the work we’ve put in. It’s a long running saga.”
More than 12 months in the making, “Rise Again” explores Americana, folk and rock with hues of funk and swing. A brassy rebooted cover of New Zealand great Dave Dobbin’s classic “Slice of Heaven” also makes the cut.
What began as an EP project expanded as Shorrock discovered new avenues and inspiration through collaboration. The British-born artist shaped a handful of songs with some help from former Twilights bandmate Terry Britten. “I felt the creativity coming out again. I wanted to record them and my players were enthusiastic about the songs. Graeham Goble said songs find a way into your psyche. I think that’s true.”
As a fully-fledged album took shape, Shorrock reflected on his own state of mind. “During the early stages of last year as I was writing the album, I thought of calling it ‘Grumpy,’” he says with a laugh.
“I’m glad the songs came along like ‘Rise Again’, which are much more of a positive to come out of negativity. That helps me in my attitude. I’m not exactly a negative person, but realistic and my feet are on the ground. I’m not an incurable romantic.”
Many millions, however, have been romanced by Shorrock’s lyrics. With Shorrock at the helm, LRB’s “Reminiscing” vaulted to No. 3 hit on the Billboard Hot 100, the United States’ official singles chart. “Reminiscing” is one of six U.S. Top 10 hits for the band, and 10 to crack the Top 20. The album “First Under The Wire” cracked the U.S. Billboard 200 albums chart and spawned the Top 10 hits, “Lonesome Loser” and “Cool Change”.
“The statistics are good, the runs on the board are great,” Shorrock admits. “It’s just my approach to what I do. I’ve never chased celebrity as such. I was just born at the right time, in post-war south east England. I got sucked into the whirlpool of rock ‘n roll that was 1956. I suddenly arrived in Australia and, to paraphrase Keith Richards, everything turned to technicolour.”
Shorrock’s had his hands full since the release of his last album of originals, the Brian Cadd co-produced “Spin Me ‘Round” from 2000. He has indulged his passions across the entertainment business, from starring and producing theatre and cabaret shows (“Evita,” “The Rocky Horror Show,” “Grease” and his own productions “One for the Money,” “Go Cat Go” to name just a few). In a career highlight, Shorrock produced and performed alongside the late Sir George Martin in the acclaimed, six-date 1998 production “All You Need Is Beatles”. Shorrock never left the music business, he’s just been spreading-out his wings. “My passport says ‘entertainer’. It doesn’t say ‘songwriter’ that’s just one of the strings of my bow. I’ve been lucky enough to write some very successful songs. None of us knew we were going to be in our ‘70s and singing pop songs. It’s a situation you have to adjust to and I’m lucky to still doing it. Of course it helps to have the body of work behind me.”
Shorrock always looks forward, though his live performances pay respect to the past. His typical set list will feature a wealth of classic tracks from across his 50-year-plus career, woven in with material from his latest album. “It’s an eclectic bunch of material,” he says of “Rise Again”. “I didn’t want to reproduce the same song over and again and not everybody is going to like everything. But I wanted it to be a very dynamic record. And I think I’ve succeeded in that.”
Moving forward to the years following, 2018 saw Glenn release is autobiography and get back into the studio to record with producer and artist, Steve Balbi, and re-imagine some of LRB’s biggest hits with the release of Glenn Shorrock Sings Little River Band in March 2019.
Touring and performing constantly and now in his mid 70s, he’s definitely not ready to slow down.
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.