Swinging Sixties

This week my mind has wandered back to the 1960s and memories of Jean (The Shrimp) Shrimpton and her mini-skirt at Flemington racecourse, which caused a bit of a stir at the time. Talking fashion, what about Pedal Pushers, rope petticoats and culottes? Other notable events of the era included the Profuma Affair which featured Christine Keeler and Mandy Rice Davies, but closer to home in Sydney we also had the Moratorium Marches against the Viet Nam War. Yes the 1960s was a decade of change. Old values and traditions were being challenged by the youth of the times. It was a period of excitement. The days of holding a girl in your arms as you danced was being challenged by the new dance crazes of the period. Remember the “Twist”, “Hitch-Hiker”, “ Pony”, “Stomp” and the “Madison” when the young started to change in their music taste from Pat Boone to the Beatles or from Paul Anka to the Rolling Stones. The British beat invasion from Liverpool and Manchester was upon us. Radio stations changed their formats to the new style of music 2UW, 2CH and 2GB became the radio stations that we listened too. Ward “Pally” Austin, Bob Rogers and the 2SM Good Guys were the dee jays of the day.

Brian Henderson’s Bandstand on Channel 9 and Johnny O’Keefe’s Six O’Clock Rock on Channel 2 were soon joined by shows such as “The Go!! Show”and “Kommotion” featuring Australian acts or groups such as “The Twilights”, “MPD Ltd” and the “Cherokees”

I got caught up in all these changes when I was asked by Jim Ward who owned Dance Studios at Fairfield and Cabramatta to run or operate teenage dances on the weekend at the studios. I arranged for a licence from APRA (Australian Performing Rights Asscn) to enable me to approach the leading record companies to obtain the latest releases. Astor records who were at Concord delivered records to me at my place of work at the Grace Building in York Street, whilst I would walk to Festival Records at Pyrmont (where I saw Johnny O’Keefe) to pick up records or to EMI in Castlereagh St, Sydney (where I bumped into Bobby Bright & Laurie Allen of “Bobby & Laurie” fame). Those were hectic and exciting times for me. Donnie Sutherland and the Titans were a local band from the Cabramatta-Fairfield area and I asked them to play on one occasion at the Fairfield studio. I discovered that Donnie and I were attending the same radio announcing school during the same period but on different days. Donnie Sutherland went on and became host of “Sounds” on Channel 2.

I eventually had a number of radio shows on the local station in the Hills (2CCR now known as Alive 90.5) one of the radio shows that I created “Juke Box Jive” is still on at the station although I am no longer involved with the show or the station. Other shows that I produced and presented were “Romance on the Radio” which featured love songs and “Moments to Remember” which consisted of the old crooners, a little light jazz and tracks from the 1940s and 1950s.

Yes for me the 1960s were swinging with the music and fashions. What memories do you have of the times?

Don’t forget to contribute your memories and also any old photographs that you would like to see published in this magazine’s “as we were” section.


You can write about childhood memories of where you may have grown up or moving into the area. Tell us about your school days. Where you worked, played or went on holidays; your first car; that first date, getting married or maybe the history of your family, group or organisation in the district. This page is about memories so tell us yours.

If you have some great memories, or perhaps you belong to a local community organisation and would like to share your organisation’s history or story with us then feel free to share your memories or experiences by writing to 17 Rose St., Baulkham Hills NSW 2153 or email to [email protected] You can also share memories on any of my Facebook memories groups including Hills District Memories which you will find at https://www.facebook.com/groups/Hills.memories/ or Hawkesbury Happenings & Memories which you will find at https://www.facebook.com/groups/Hawkesmemories/

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