Sunday, November 7, 2021

NIKKI NICHOLLS

 



Nikki’s career in the music industry has flourished over the many years since performing weekly on Channel 7’s Brian and the Juniors. After leaving secondary school, she joined John St. Peeters and the Shirelles on the cabaret circuit throughout Australia. In 1980, she became the original backing vocalist for the brand new John Farnham Band over a period of four years and recorded backing vocals on the 'Whispering Jack' album. Nikki was a renowned Melbourne session singer back in the days when the album recording and commercial industries were thriving.

She has toured Australia and New Zealand with Australian Crawl, Suzi Quatro, Lulu, Richard Clapton, toured the world with Kylie Minogue and whilst with Farnham supported Stevie Wonder throughout Australia.  After studying Japanese on and off for eight years, Nikki wrote and recorded an album called 'Yumi Ippai' (Full of Dreams). Each song was written in Japanese about different parts of Australia. She has recorded 'Misunderstood' an album of ‘rock classics’ by Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Cream, Deep Purple and the Rolling Stones. Songs such as ''Foxy Lady'', ''Whole Lotta Love'', ''Smoke on the Water'', ''Tin Soldier'' and others.

In the early 2000’s, Nikki starred alongside Wendy Stapleton and Debra Byrne in a 10 year run of the much loved show “Girls, Girls, Girls.” In 2015, she released her new original album called 'Bridesmaid' produced by Nikki and Doug Brady. The album features tracks that are rock, blues, ballads and the title track has a “cute, quirkiness about it.”

The past few years have seen Nikki performing in awesome bands such as Jam the Funk, The Ritual of Rock and The Dreamroom alongside acclaimed musicians; Eric McCusker (Mondo Rock), Danny Simcic (Real Life), Rick Petropoulos (The Ferrets), Paula Reid (Vanessa Amorosi), John Grant (Brian Cadd, Mike Brady, Eurogliders) Lisa Bade, Paul Gildea (Icehouse), Dave Leslie (Baby Animals), Scott Griffiths (Chantoozies) and John ‘Watto’ Watson (Everyone!!.) Nikki has also been performing her show ''You’ve Got a Friend'' the songs and story of Carole King with a touch of James Taylor receiving rave reviews from audiences at The Palms, Crown and Performing Art Centres throughout the country.


Thursday, October 14, 2021

PENNY PARSONS

 


Penny Parsons was a lead vocalist with 60s bands The All Stars and The Vibrants. After going solo she appeared on TV shows like The Ernie Sigley Show and The Don Lane Show

Recommended Listening



Saturday, September 25, 2021

SHERRY WHEELER

 


Berta (Sherry) arrived in Melbourne with her mother and sister Sonja from the Netherlands. They travelled by boat as did many migrants from that time. Her father had arrived about eight months earlier to secure a job and when they were reunited they moved to Brisbane. They stayed in the Rocklea Migrant Centre for some time along with many others.

Berta began singing on Channel 9 with Billy Thorpe on the show Teen Beat. She performed on this TV show once a fortnight from the age of 16. The producer of the show thought that her name was "too ethnic"and suggested Sherry as a stage name. Along with her TV commitments she was a regular performer at Brisbane venue Teen City appearing alongside Tony Worsley. Wheeler recorded one single on the Sunshine label titled ''Single Girl'' in 1967.

She completed her education at Salisbury High school and applied for a teacher scholarship to become a teacher.  She moved to Channel 0 (now 10) and began compering the new children's show called The Channel 0 Saturday Show with Danny O'Dibble (Darryl Boyd) and The Wicked Witch (Babs Wheelton) both Babs and Darryl were well known stage actors in Brisbane at that time. The show was a three hour live show which had a number of different segments and a different story line each week. The writer of the show was Martin Overson.

Sherry also compered an other children's show on Channel 0 called Kindy. She became the producer of this show and sold it nationally. She then became the producer of The Saturday Show and sold this nationally as well. At this time there were only two women television producers in Australia. 

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

JUDY KENNY


Daughter of an Anglican Clergyman Judy Kenny was born in Croydon, Victoria. It was whilst living in Geelong that Judy came to the notice of record label W & G after winning a talent quest at High School which entitled her to an audition. In 1969 she recorded her debut album, 'Colonial Australia' a collection of Australian folk songs. After the album was released that's where the trail goes cold. Any info on Judy would be greatly appreciated. 



Monday, August 2, 2021

LORRAINE GARNESS

 


Lorraine Garness appeared on Bandstand in the 60s and ended up marrying a Mormon and moved to the USA. I have no other info on this singer. Please help

Recommended Listening





Wednesday, July 21, 2021

JAN CARTER

 


Jan Carter was born in the late 1930s. She states her career started when she was discovered by Jack Neary (who also managed Bobby Limb, John Laws and Barry Humphries) at an amateur show in Sydney at the tender age of 17. She reflected ''They had to put my age up when he started to produce me for pantomimes, theatre, TV and night clubs." Carter did a course at NIDA (National Institute of Dramatic Arts) and later spent five years at the Academy of Music in Sydney where she learnt to sing Bel Canto (an Italian opera term). At around the same time, she did a radio show on 3AW with Bert Newton. Carter sang all over the world and did a royal command performance for Prince Philip in 1956 at the Melbourne Olympic Games. She appeared on many TV shows including Bandstand and Showcase. She recorded on the HMV label in the early 60s.

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

CHERYL BRACKEN

 

Indigenous woman Cecelia Brackenridge born in 1942 was from Palm Island in North QLD. She appeared a few times  under the name of Cheryl Bracken on Brian Henderson’s TV music show Bandstand from 1963 - 65. Her brother was boxer George Bracken who held the Australian lightweight title and who also had a recording career with the W&G label. I have no further info on her career after Bandstand. Please help



Wednesday, July 7, 2021

LEE SANDERS

 


Lee Sanders was a 60s singer who appeared on TV shows like Bandstand, In Melbourne Tonight and The Mike Walsh Show. She also gigged in Asia as lead vocalist with the In People appearing at the Hong Kong Hilton. On return to Australia she joined Sydney band Multiple Balloon as a co-lead vocalist with Joan Lozelle. The band cut a version of ''Fool On The Hill''. After that the scent runs cold. Any further info would be appreciated.

Recommended Listening



Monday, May 24, 2021

MARY SCHNEIDER


Mary Schneider AM, (born 25 October 1932) is a singer, songwriter and performer, who is a master at the classic Swiss Alpine style, she is best known for yodelling the works of various standards by many a classic composer. Mary’s showbiz career started in the post war years when she and Rita performed as The Schneider Sisters. They toured the country and performed many times on TV from its inception in Australia. In fact, that same year – 1956 – when TV began in Australia, Mary and Rita penned and recorded the first Australian rock ‘n’ roll original tune with ''Washboard Rock’n’Roll''. This song was later recognised for its significance in Australian rock n roll history when featured in the ABC TV documentary series Long Way to the Top. The Scheider Sisters were inducted into the Australian Roll of Renown in 2002.

Mary's repertoire covers everything from yodelling of classical music pieces to marches and European folk music tunes. Her daughter the ARIA Award winning singer songwriter Melinda Schneider is also an Australian country music entertainer and performer. Mary mainly appears in club and pub venues around Australia, as well as overseas, but has also performed at many arena venues. She has appeared on the Don and Mike Show, The Howard Stern Show and National Public Radio in the US, Spicks and Specks and Enough Rope on ABC TV and Eurotrash in the UK. She has recorded many albums with 'The Magic Of Yodelling' being her most successful charting at #33 in 1981. Schneider was recognised in the Queens birthday honours in 2012.



Monday, May 10, 2021

CHRIS SCHERI


Chris Scheri was an original member of Australia's first all girl heavy rock / metal band, Sweet Jayne. For the duration of the band, from 1977 to 1983, Scheri was lead singer, flute player for the band and she wrote or co-wrote with Cris Bonacci (who later became the lead guitarist in the British heavy metal band Girlschool and has also provided session guitar work for other artists.all) of the band's 70 song repertoire. The band split up in 1983, when Mike Oldfield saw Sweet Jayne headlining at the Manzil Room during his Sydney tour and invited Chris Scheri to the U.K. to work for him as flute player and singer.

In 1984, Chris Scheri, via Ossy Hoppe Promotions ( who also managed Whitesnake ), signed a publishing contract with the German publishing house, Marie Marie Musikverlag, Hamburg for the European rights to some of her songs. Subsequently, Rik Borgia from Mink De Ville produced two of Chris's songs as covers for a girl duo in Holland.

In 1985 Chris Scheri concentrated on song writing and trying to secure releases and covers of her songs. Melbourne punk band, The Editions covered her song, "Bring Me Undone". Throughout the 1980's Chris Scheri entered and was successful in various Songwriter awards. In 1986, Chris Scheri set up 'Music Recording Studio 7' in Kingsway, South Melbourne in the ex Regency Recording control room and band rehearsal rooms.

She worked for clients and musician friends and recorded her own songs in between. Studio7, with Chris as manager, engineer and producer, made a very wide and diverse range of recordings. Artists included Stefan Dennis from the T.V. series Neighbours , Josie Jason's solo projects, recordings for The Mavis's first vinyl releases, Adrian Newington, Sisters of the Moon, Robyn Youlten, plus covers bands, jazz bands, heavy metal bands, Christmas carols for the Catholic Church and even a project for Safeway! She also worked on songs for Suzi Quatro, sometimes with Josie Jason playing guitars for the demos.Studio 7 wound up in 1993 when the commercial building in which the studio was housed was sold and rennovated.

From 1994 - 1998 she was in a duo with Robyn Youlten called Wild Orchids that expanded out to a full all girl band eg. 'Sisters of the Moon' and sometimes morphed into a covers band. In 1996, Wild Orchids, featuring Chris Scheri and Robyn Youlten released a 13 track CD, 'Past all the Edges'.

Monday, April 19, 2021

NINA RAYE


Nina Raye real name Nina Adams was born in born in Lerup, Philippines in 1936 arriving in Australia in December 1941. She started her professional career at the Celebrity Club (York St Sydney) in 1952 as a dancer, then soubrette at the Roosevelt (Potts Point) 1952-1953. She started singing at the Chequers night club where she worked 1953-1961. She married renowned DJ Lyal Richardson in 1962. She appeared on TV shows like Bandstand and Six O'Clock Rock. She continued on the nightclub circuit up until the 1990s.

Recommended Listening

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

FAY WHITE

 



Fay White is a singer, songwriter and community facilitator. Her album 'Did You See the Wind Today?' was nominated for the ARIA Award for Best Children's Album in 1989. Fay has recorded or produced a dozen albums of songs, about half of them for children. She performs in a wide variety of settings as a soloist and in the duo Songs with Legs with singer song-writer and multi-instrumentalist Jane Thompson. Fay's most recent CDs are 'These People This Place: everyday grace, a retrospective album, and an introductory "Songs with Legs" CD with Jane.

Fay often works as song-writer in residence for community arts projects such as the project with The Grampians-Gariwerd community in Victoria following the bushfires of 2006 which resulted in six new songs, a community choir and a CD. She has worked as a Song Rhymer in schools to re-establish classroom singing as a normal part of every child’s day, and to make a contribution to language, literacy and co-operative behaviour in the classroom. She and arranger Wendy Rowlands have produced a songbook collection of contemporary Aussie songs for choirs titled "Alive and Singing".



Tuesday, March 23, 2021

LINDY ALLEN

 


Lindy Allen has worked in the arts since the mid-1970s, as a performer and musician playing bass guitar with The Whittle Family, Olympic Sideburns, Agents and Dust on the Bible. 

A practising photographer for most of her adult life, Lindy completed a Photojournalism major at La Trobe University as part of a Bachelor of Visual Arts in 2012 and draws on these skills to create digital documentation. In 2018 Lindy's photographs formed an exhibition, Skin and Storytelling, at Favor & Grace café in Laverton. Her images documented the process of creating a tattoo design of the West Gate Bridge and the application of the tattoo, visually exploring how skin can be a personal canvas where important stories are told.




Monday, March 15, 2021

MARGARET HOOPER

 


Sydney singer of the early 60s who had won many talent quests since she was two years old when they put her on a soapbox to reach the a microphone on her first radio show. Later she appeared on Bandstand and Six O'Clock Rock and recorded three singles on the Rex label. 





Sunday, March 14, 2021

JOAN BILCEAUX

 

Joan was the daughter of Jean and David Bilcock Sr. David was a pioneer Melbourne film maker whose amateur films,some featuring Joan as a child, gained awards and were the foundations of a lifetime career. Born on the 4th Feb 1930 in Croydon, the oldest of five children, Joan showed early ability as a singer and in her teens became a member of an entertainment troupe called The Croydon Merrymakers.

First working with a Flinders Street clothing manufacturer as a bookkeeper, she was invited by her employer to do some part-time modelling of his range. She soon became a full-time mannequin and photographic model, early in her career being disappointed that she was rejected by Man magazine as being ‘too wholesome’ for its pin-up pages.Tempted to look for a professional name, she chose to use Bilcock with the pronunciation ‘Bilco’ favoured by a branch of the family; but one day when asked by a reporter to spell it, she came up with B-I-L-C-E-A-U-X. Joan Bilceaux was born.

She had continued to pursue her love of singing and became recognised as a singer of jazz and blues, gaining a strong following with bands like The Steamboat Stompers. ''Basin Street Blues'' became her signature song and the opening line, ‘Won’t you come along with me…’, delivered with her characteristic power, invariably triggered a roar of applause that often drowned out, ‘….down the Mississippi’. She often appeared with visiting overseas artists of the stature of Louis Armstrong and Bob Hope. In 1951 - a time when Australia had no feature film industry and when most so-called Australian films were produced here by overseas companies - Joan's father was involved in a local feature called Night Club. It starred Joan, with future television comedians, Joey Porter and Joff Ellen, in lead roles. Joan was not well served by writer-director A.R. Harwood and the film's failure convinced her that she was not meant for the screen. She was wrong.

With the coming of television in 1956, Joan was chosen for the original cast of Channel Seven Melbourne’s Hit Parade — an ambitious mime show that won a huge audience. She became one of the Channel’s most popular stars while still performing at concerts and continuing her modelling. In 1957 with Channel Seven director, Ian Jones, she created an early TV gem, Blues Studio One, a relaxed, partly ad-libbed show built around Joan rehearsing with Len Barnard’s jazz band. The show’s theme was the arrangement of ''Moonglow'' used in the film Picnic. Fans still speak of remembering her when they hear it. 

Joan recorded for the W&G label releasing a single in 1958 titled ''Corroboree Rock''. Joan married Ian Jones in 1958 and, soon after, retired from television, singing and modelling. The couple had three children Darren, Angus and Caitlin. They were divorced in 1983.

Joan worked in the Art Department of Crawford Productions and also did some antique dealing with a friend. She travelled to Bali and India way before it was fashionable to do so and became an expert in astrology, cultivating a rich spiritual life. She had slipped happily from the limelight and lived out her years as a loved mother and grandmother to Eva, Rosie and Oliver. Joan died peacefully on Tuesday 6th of March 2012 at Victoria Gardens Hawthorne from kidney failure. She was 82.




Tuesday, February 16, 2021

KATE DELANEY


Folk singer Kate Delaney is best known for her performance with late husband Gordon McIntyre. Kate's voice is in the category of famous women singers like Buffy Saint - Marie and Joan Baez. As well as singing a wide range of contemporary songs, Kate's strong, sensual voice breathes life into many of the old Celtic favourites. She has albums to her credit and a couple with with Gordon as well (Blackwaterside and Pleasures To Find). She appeared on the various artists album. 'Treasury Of Australian Song' released in 1974. Kate has performed with various groups over the years and has supported overseas artists. Kate has performed at all the major folk festivals, performed on television and radio and was a member of the Larrikins with Warren Fahey.

Friday, February 5, 2021

BRENDA WEBB

 


Brenda Webb is an indigenous Australian singer and actress. At seventeen years of age, she left Grafton and moved to Sydney. Webb was pursuing an acting career before her music become successful. She appeared in some educational videos for Film Australia and a few plays. She also made an appearance in A Country Practice. Webb played teacher Sally Pritchard in television soap opera Neighbours for six weeks in 1994.

Her debut single "Little Black Girl" was nominated for an ARIA Award in 1994 for Best Independent Release."Little Black Girl" was released in 1993 and received radio airplay all over the country. Another song "Melting Pot" (a cover a Blue Mink song) was used by NSW Aboriginal Land Council for an anti-racism campaign. Webb has been a participant in numerous national art exhibitions and in 2002 the Blacktown City Council acquired her work, Hailstorm. She was a finalist in the 2006 Parliament of New South Wales Indigenous Art Prize.




Monday, February 1, 2021

NOOSHA FOX

 


Susan Traynor was born in Australia in 1944. She began her music career as a singer in Sydney-based folk rock band Wooden Horse, who moved to England in 1970 and released two LPs 'Wooden Horse' (1972) and 'II' (1973). After the band split up, she provided background vocals on American singer and songwriter Kenny Young's 1973 solo album, 'Last Stage For Silverworld'.

She then joined Fox, the band formed by Young and Northern Irish singer-songwriter Herbie Armstrong. She adopted the stage name Noosha, a corruption of an anagram of her first name (nussa), and in performances wore dresses and accessories in 1920s and 1930s style. With Fox, Noosha achieved three top 20 hits on the UK Singles Chart: "Only You Can" and "Imagine Me, Imagine You" in 1975 and "S-S-S-Single Bed" in 1976. She left after their third album, 'Blue Hotel', to launch a solo career. Her first single, "Georgina Bailey", written and produced by Young, briefly entered the Top 40 in the UK Singles Chart, reaching number 31 in 1977.

In 1979, Noosha Fox tried to restart her solo career with a single, "The Heat Is On", written by Florrie Palmer and Tony Ashton, on Chrysalis Records. A later version of the song, by ABBA's Agnetha Fältskog, was a European hit four years later. In 1980, Fox provided guest vocals for the songs "Perfect Strangers" and "Havana Moon" on Tim Renwick's self-titled debut album. Fox recorded several singles in the early 1980s for the Earlobe label but none were successful, and she withdrew from the music industry. Although she did not write her own songs, her performance style has been credited with influencing Kate Bush and Alison Goldfrapp. It was reported in 2007 on BBC Radio 4's The Music Group that Fox was recording a solo album of electropop but it has not been released.

Friday, January 22, 2021

SUZIE DICKINSON


Suzie Dickinson (4 June 1955 – 12 January 2018) was a musician and songwriter. Originating from Melbourne, she was the lead singer and guitarist in the folk band Banshee, which was critically acclaimed for its original arrangements of American, Irish, English and Australian folk music and lilting, imaginative vocal harmonies. During this time Dickinson won two of Melbourne's "Free Entertainment in the Parks" awards for Most Popular Female Vocalist and Most Popular Female Folk Musician. Banshee was a regular guest on Shirley Strachan's TV show Shirl's Neighbourhood.

Dickinson was then invited to join PC and The Pickups, which was the house band for the Texan Cowboy bars, Spurs. This gave her the opportunity to experience the country music scene, performing nightly around Australia. The band also performed on the festival circuit including the Tamworth Country Music Festival.

Dickinson briefly joined Shane and Marcia Howard as a member of Goanna at the invitation of record producer Trevor Lucas, from Fairport Convention. During her time with the band, Dickinson was included in the recording of "Let the Franklin Flow", a song about the ecological damage to be caused by damming Tasmania's Franklin River for hydroelectricity, and performed at the Stop the Drop concert at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl with Midnight Oil and Redgum.

Dickinson then formed her own alt country band The Cutters and later The Hummingbirds. Band members included guitarist Ross Hannaford (ex Daddy Cool), her husband Dave Flett (ex Captain Matchbox Whoopee Band), Stefan Fidok (ex The Reels), singer songwriter Hugh McDonald, fiddle player John Bone and Matt Green. As a duo, Dickinson and Flett, toured throughout Australia, with a short stint in the United States. In 2008 and 2009, they provided the music for At the Centre of Light, a play about Australia's first saint, Mary MacKillop.

Dickinson's singing and songwriting have won her two Australian Songwriters Association Awards for Best Pop Song and Best Country Ballad for her songs "Straight from the Heart" and "We Live Apart". Richard Fields of Melbourne's 3CR radio compared the way that she engaged audiences to Jona Lewie, John Sebastian and Ray Davies. Her music was described by Anne Sydneham of NU Country TV as "more alt country than country....more rocky and rootsy", and Beat Magazine described "...great, catchy songs that lingered long after the performance had ended".

In 2010, Dickinson embarked on a series of performances around Melbourne – both solo and with a band – promoting her new CD '19 Steps'. When not performing, she taught singing, songwriting, and composition. Dickinson died in January 2018 from brain cancer.

Thursday, January 14, 2021

LYNNE DUTTON

 


Any info on this artist would be much appreciated. The only information I have on Lynne Dutton is that she released two singles on the Festival label, '' You've Got Me Loving You'' (1972) and '' Body And Soul'' (1973). In 1971 she went to Vietnam to entertain the troops at Nui Dat. Her TV appearances included The Graham Kennedy Show.