Chris and Peter Allen were a fictitious set of brothers – real names: Peter Richard Woolnough and Christopher Bell. Peter was a pianist from Tenterfield NSW but was making little money as a solo act. By 1959, he was in Sydney, where he became a last-minute replacement in a duo appearing on the television show Australian Bandstand with guitarist and singer Chris Bell. The act was successful and the two became known as the Allen Brothers.

In late 1960, they had an Australian hit with "My Secret" which got to #28 nationally. After a couple more lesser remembered songs they went off to tour the Far East. While performing at an hotel in Hong Kong in the spring of 1964 Judy Garland saw them and was impressed. (Click to see photo with Peter, Judy and Chris). She got them bookings and brought them to London, where they were her opening act. She also introduced Peter Allen to her daughter, Liza Minnelli, and the two became engaged. The Allen Brothers made their American debut at the Diplomat Hotel in Miami in December 1964, then, they moved to New York. For the rest of the 1960s, they appeared in clubs around the U.S., notably at the various Playboy Clubs. After a lengthy engagement, Allen and Minnelli married on March 3, 1967.

The rest of Peter Allen's story is well documented and easy to locate on the internet. Here is their very first hit "My Secret" in glorious mono :



  1. Thanks for this one Tom Mix. I've been looking for it for a little while.

    Much appreciated

  2. Mick,

    Anything to keep the younger generation aware of their heritage must be a good thing.

    There should be a "national trust" of music.

    Mr. Mix

  3. Great Blog Tom. I also have an Australian music-themed blog that you might like to check out that highlights lost funky music of the 70s.

  4. I would like to find out more about Chris Bell ???