Alan Dale
and
The Houserockers

One of his hits

Short Interview

 

The early days TV

Many years later


In 1951 Johnnie Ray was enjoying his first hit 'Cry'!, Frank Sinatra was at an all time low, the Lindy Hop jive dance which was later to become Rock'n'Roll dancing, was starting to sweep across black clubs in USA and in Australia a Sydney Eastern suburbs boy who later called himself Alan Dale, was about to start his career as a Big Band singer.

This was rudely interupted when he was called up for 3 months of National Service but as fate had it, it was this event which led hiom into showbusiness.

Jys aroub d the corner from where he workded as a printer typsetter was a brash young guy of the same age who worked in his father's big furniture store. R.M. O'keefe and Co was a very well known store in Castlereag St, Sydney and young Johnny was learning the salesman trade. He too was drafted at the same time as Alan.

When they were let out of National Service they went back to thgeir respective jobs and Johnny felel head over heels with a beautiful young German immigrant Marianne Renate who was a Niss Australia entrant. To help her raise money for charity Johnny held a dance and asked Alan to help him with the printing of tickets etc. This gave Alan the idea that he too could promote his own dances.

At the same time the Blackboard Jungle movie hit Sydney with Bill Haley and his Comets' giving the world, the first full on Rock'n'Roll song, 'Rock around the Clock'. Alan flipped for the music and promptley found a few budding musicians and started a band which he called, 'The Houserockers'. On February 7th 1957 at the Maroubra Memorial Hall, he started what could arguabley be Sydney's first Rock'n'Roll dance. This was the start of the Rock'n'Roll dance craze which is still alive today, 50 years later!

Alan became very popular around the Sydney area with his dances but as yet none had yet recorded any Rock'n'Roll in Australia. The labesl just weren't inyteresetsd as they thought that it was maybe just a fad which would quickly pass. Part of this thought was due to another style of muisc called 'Skiffle' was coming out of England and many thought this may be the one to watch, not Rock'n'Roll.

Late in 1957, Alan's career took a turn upward when he was asked in to be the regular band at the the Rockdale Grand Hotel. 10pm hotel closing had just come in and people were starting to go out more at night, any night. This was such a good financial move for Alan and the band that he gave up the dance circuit which he promoted himself to commence a successful 50 years in the hotel and club industry. He was later asked to take up a residence at the Pagewood Rex Hotel where he stayed for a long time.

During that time he was offered a contract with EMI Records as they wanted to compete with Festival Records and their new stars such as Johnny O'Keefe, Johnny Rebb and Col Joye.

In September 1959 his song 'Crackin' Up' hit the Sydney Top 40 charts He3 released several records for EMI and Teen Records which cemented his place asd one of the first Rock'n'Roll hereos of the Aussie music industry..

Since those days he has managed many clubs and booked many artists. He still performs today with his own show and that which features some of the legends of the Johnny O'Keefe TV Show and Six O'Clock Rock.

In late 2006 he went back to his dance band roots and recorded a CD of beautiful Sinatra style songs titled 'Nice and Easy'.

It can be seen and purchased here

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