Musical Memories

Musical Memories
By IVOR JONES

One thing that always seems to generate memories of the past is music.

We all have our favourite songs and recording artists and some even recall the favourites of their parents.

Quite often our age can be an indication of our musical memories as music does seem to be a generational thing.

My interest in music was more intense during the 1960s, although I first became interested in the 1950s when my parents bought a stereogram. Do you remember them?

I can recall that they had a record which seemed to be played over and over again. It was Doris Day singing “Deadwood Stage”. Doris has been a favourite of mine since that time.

What has brought these memories back to me was the death, a short while ago, of Michael Gudinski, the musical entrepreneur who founded Mushroom Records.

During the 1960s I was asked to organise and run a Saturday night dance or disco at Fairfield, I added to that a similar disco at Cabramatta.

At Fairfield, we had a regular band each week called “Shades of Purple” and I featured on one occasion “Donnie Sutherland & The Titans”. Donnie and I were students at a Radio Announcing school located in the City.

Donnie went on to a recording contract with Reg Grundy Records and into radio announcing and television.

Whereas I just went nowhere in the music industry except at one stage producing radio programs and becoming Chairman of the local radio station now known as Alive 90.5 based in the Hills district.

During the late 1950s and early 60s American born Lee Gordon was the leading musical entrepreneur in Australia. He founded Lee Gordon Records which later became Leedon Records and featured many of the top Australian recording acts of that time including Johnny O’Keefe, Judy Stone, Noelene Batley and Col Joye.

He also introduced American artists to Australian audiences. He brought out acts such as The Platters. Johnny Ray, Bill Haley and His Comets, La Vern Baker and Freddie Bell and the Bell Boys with his protégé, Johnny O’Keefe, as a support act.

The mid-1960s saw another wave of musical entrepreneurs such as Ted Albert and Robert Stigwood.

Ted Albert from the well-known Albert’s music publishing family, enjoyed his biggest success managing The Easybeats, he also gave us the Ted Mulry Gang, The Throb, John Paul Young and many others whilst Robert Stigwood was largely responsible for the success of the Bee Gees.

Stigwood also went into film production producing movies such as “Grease” and “Saturday Night Fever”.

Ron Tudor also started managing musical talent and producing records, establishing the Fable record label.

My musical interest also included producing videos for former Bandstand artist Maggie Jodrell Britton where she and I collaborated on “Good Ship Earth” and also Maree Montgomery where I produced a number of videos featuring her song “Sydney The Place To Be”. I also produced a number of videos featuring music from our very own, the late James Pegler.

Kamahl also once asked if I could produce a video for him but unfortunately, he has never sent me the music.

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Bandstand artist Maggie Jodrell Britton

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