A MIXED BAG OF AUSSIES:
In the 1940 and 1950's Australia's music tastes were satisfied by a blend of English and American music played on the radio. The first Australian recorded music stars were country bush balladeers such as Tex Morton, Slim Dusty and Reg Lindsay. Other than Australian country music, some big bands did a little recording and the first actual 'Hit Parade' style of performer was the Les Welch Band with “They Called It Dixieland”, in May 1956.
The Red Perksey Band came in second with a song from the then new movie “A Town like Alice” in Sept 1956. Red Perksey was a French jazz musician who arrived in Australia in 1951 and began to record conventional dance music for the Pacific label in 1953. The singer with the band was Ray Dickson. The song “A Town like Alice” got to chart position #5 in 1956.
“(Be My) Saturday Girl” by Johnny O’Connor with orchestra conducted by Julian Lee, got to #24 in 1959. The song was from the stage musical “Lola Montez”. The CD of this production was available for sale at one stage.
Graeme Emerson Bell AO MBE, b.1914 Melbourne, is ‘The Father of Australian Jazz”. Graeme was 11 when he began studying classical piano, but he was converted to jazz by his younger brother, trumpeter Roger. One of Graeme’s pop hits was “Rag Trade Rag” which got to position #19 in 1963.
"Rocking" John Currie had a #29 hit in 1974 with his traditional folk ballad “Four Maries”. John tried the following year with "And The Band Played Waltzing Matilda" which charted briefly in NSW.
Here is a RAR file download which contains:
“A Town like Alice”
“(Be My) Saturday Girl”
“Rag Trade Rag”
“Where Can The Lovelight Be”
This download is “They Called It Dixieland”:http://rapidshare.com/files/180590857/les_welch_-_and_they_called_it_dixieland.mp3