by Donald J. Kay
Australian music from the sixties technically wasn’t recorded by Australians. We had overseas interests, migrants, which Australia would take under her wing and embrace and call them AUSSIE. Artists such as the Bee Gees, (UK) AC/DC (UK/Scottish), Easybeats (English Dutch), Billy Thorpe (UK,) Ray Columbus and the Invaders (New Zealand), to name but a few.
Stories have been tossed around as to how the Aussie artists got their recognition in America. Some say, they made personal appearances on TV shows etc., while other’s say they got records released possibly because ozzie labels did deals with major/minor labels. Artists like Johnny Young, Normie Rowe, Russell Morris, Bee Gees, Johnny O’Keefe, Lynne Randel, and Dinah Lee all went to the UK or US, to record, and had records released there. It wasn’t until the 70’s with the advent of the video, that many major artists gained recognition, band such as: AC/DC, Midnight Oil, The Church, Little River Band, Jimmy Barnes, Kylie, among others. During the ensuing years thousands of videos were made, cementing the Aussie icons onto the world stage of music.
After Fraternity disbanded, another band was happening, waiting for Bon Scott to take hold of the reins and rock hard. Their first lead singer was Dave Evans, who lent his vocals to the track “Can I Sit next To You Girl.” Evans was soon replaced with the legendary Bon Scott, who would re-record the Dave Evans track, making it his own. Bon would go on to leave his mark in rock history with many great hits and albums under his belt, until his sad death on the Feb, 19, 1980. The band almost folded, but kept going for Bon’s sake, and recruited Brian Johnson, who remains as lead singer to this day.
In closing, there are many Australian bands making their mark, not only on Australian shores, but they’re being heard and appreciated by the music fans, Worldwide. Australia stand up and be counted.