22.4.09

DOWNLOAD NO.205 - NORFOLK SINGERS

For ANZAC Day (25th April) I have posted an old 1965 protest song based on the old traditional song "Here We Go Gathering Nuts In May". The Sydney-based Norfolk Singers were talented musos who mixed classics like “The First Time Ever” (1965) and “Whiskey in the Jar” (1964) with topical drollery like “Nasho Service” (1965) and “The Opera House is Falling Down” (1964-5).

“The Opera House is Falling Down” was their biggest hit according to the Ozburn charts and got to #27 in Sydney in December 1964. It makes an appearance on the 2SM top 40 charts and local 2NX Newcastle charts but didn't make the top 40 on the often quoted 2UE Sydney chart.

I sometimes wonder if top 40 charts were very reliable in recording what was popular? I used to work in a co-operative shop that sold 7" records and I know that top 40 singles sometimes sold volumes but only got placed in the lower reaches of the charts. Radio DJs in the early days could make or break an act by helping them to place on the charts...I wonder if we had our own Oz version of "payola"? (Wink)!!!

The Norfolk Singers recorded their brand of folk music on the CBS label which was one of the big music labels at the time trying to find the next big thing to promote, after all the Beatles couldn't last much past 1965, could they?

"Nasho Service" for those too young to know was a colloquial term used for the training all the conscripted male youths faced during the Vietnam War era. During the era of "National Service", most boys were not able to vote but they were sent off to War unless they were at university or married (according to the song).

Here for download is the droll protest song "Nasho Service":

http://rapidshare.com/files/224346817/norfolk_singers_-_nasho_service__from_tom_mix_.mp3

Re: "Opera House Is Falling Down" from contibutor Jim B.: It made No 47 for 6 wks on the National Charts in late 1964. It appeared briefly on the 2UE predictions list in Jan 1965 for two weeks at positions 18 & 20 and then dropped off.

NB. The newspaper article "Roll Of Honour" is a copy of what I try to put in the newspapers every 5 years or so on ANZAC Day.

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