As Australian radio
started to play a little of the new American Rock'n'Roll it
was bound to happen that some young listeners would be mesmerized
by it and start creating their own styles or mimic those new
sounds that were very quickly getting straight to the teenagers
of the day that had been exposed to it.
exactly what happened and a few performers emerged in those
early times that are still performing today. Artists such
as Alan Dale and Lonnie Lee who kicked off with Rock'n'Roll
in late 1956, are still very active as performers today. If
it wasn't for individual tragic circumstances,
Johnny O'Keefe, Dig Richards and Col Joye, would all
probably still be rockin' away as well.
artists as well as some others, were at the very start of
the Rock'n'Roll industry. It could be argued who was first,
second and third etc., in terms of months, yet they all started
performing professionally that genre of music although their
styles were all different.
much agreed however that the first Rock'n'Roll dances were
held in suburban town halls in Sydney and featured either
Johnny O'Keefe and The Dee Jays or Alan Dale
and the House Rockers. Both bands were based on the styles
of Bill Haley and The Comets and Tommy Bell and the Bellboys
etc., which were sax oriented groups growing out of the big
band era. JO'K was the white Australian version of Little
Richard, full of emotion and at times off key whilst Alan
was the straight big band singer singing rock songs. His style
was much more sophisticated and in tune whilst JO'K's was
raw, yelling and brash!
other hand Col Joye's influence was from country music
and his group The Joye boys, a family effort, represented
that genre with the new 'back beat' of Rock 'n' Roll. Lonnie
Lee and his 3 piece combo was a little mixture of all.
His style stemmed from the 50's US country music as well as
the likes of all the pre rock superstars such as Johnnie Ray,
Frankie Laine, Nat King Cole and of course Elvis as he became
known in Australia. His raw Rockabilly combo style saw him
become in February 1957, Australia's first ELVIS PRESLEY.
on the name or a brief bio of 3 of these artists.....