Did you know?
The first Aussie Rock'n'Roll shows were actually 'dances'. Teenagers just wanted to dance to their idols.
Most of the first dances were in the inner city areas of Sydney and Melbourne. Later they went out into the suburbs.
The screaming, clapping and stamping sounds were so loud at the big concerts, it was very hard to hear the music. Even for the stars on stage!
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They screamed and clapped
and stamped..
You could hear them miles away!

The biggest of the halls was the Sydney Stadium with around 10,000 and the other Festival Halls came in around 6,000 down to 2,000 people. They were host to all the major shows that came to Australia up until the mid 70's when the Stadium was demolished for a trainway and they used the Horden Pavillion at the Showground. This held around 6,000 and was never the thrilling venue the Stadium was. Some Festival Halls are still in use today!


Later affectionately called ' The Tin Shed'

The Stadium was built in the early 1900's on Rushcutters Bay Rd., just down the hill from Kings Cross, as Sydney's main boxing and wrestling venue, yet years later it was to earn itself the title of the premier venue for the early Rock 'n' Roll scene.

Many World Boxing and Wrestling title fights were held there and it operated many nights of the week. It was in fact one of the most popular venues in Sydney during the 20's, 30's and 40's.

The whole place was made out of corrugated iron sheets without any linings and the natural echo was amazing. When the music turned up, the sound enveloped back on itself and was very hard to decipher although it suited the slap echo type of R'n'R ! Once the audience started screaming it was impossible to hear anything, even on stage.

It was Sydney's Premier Showcase before The Opera House and Entertainment Centre were built.

Many Aussies such as Johnny O'keefe and The Dee Jays, Col Joye and The Joy Boys, Lonnie Lee and The Leemen, Johnny Devlin and The Devils, The Delltones, Johnny Rebb and The Rebels, Dig Richards and The Squares, Warren Williams and Barry Stanton performed there as well.

It also saw movie stars such as The Mouseketeers, Bud Abbott and Lou Costello, Bob Hope and many ethnic dance shows.

Festival & Centenary Halls

The other capital cities also had their fight venues as pre Rock patrons not only had Bing Crosby and others as their idols, they also were boxing and wrestling crazy. The same story applied to these venues as to the Stadium.

The Starlite DVD publication of 'The Roots of Australian Rock-n-Roll' will be released early 2005 to coincide with the 45th Anniversary of Australia's music industry...If you are would like to be on the e-mail list to be notified when it is due for release. Please e-mail you name, address, phone and e-mail address.


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