To the Main Home Page
Welcome to the Sydney Directory
The History of
Australian Rock 'n' Roll

The First Tours

The RECORDS - Who and When

An overview from the forthcoming Starlite Records' CD Rom publication..
'The Roots of Australian Rock-n-Roll'

The first actual Rock'n'Roll' record scene by Australians started in 1958 when Johnny O'Keefe recorded for Festival Records and then others such as Col Joye, Johnny Rebb,Dig Richards, Lonnie Lee, The Delltones and many others followed suite

1959 is considered to be the birth of Aussie Rock as this was the year that TV shows like Six O'Clock Rock and Bandstand took the stars to the whole of Australia and consequently record sales took off.

Melbourne also had it's record stars of that early time such as The Thunderbirds, Johnny Chester, Malcolm Arthur, The Planets and others although they did not have the national success the Sydney stars had. This was mainly due to the fact that the TV and major record companies were all based in Sydney.

The first hit parades were of the Top 10 variety and those radio announcers were the very first to take Aussie Rock and spin it. The Top 40 playlist format had just been introduced and it started to take hold due to the fact it would play all the latest records, not just the 'Top 10' at 'Top 10' time. Radio 2UE in Sydney and 3UZ in Melbourne were the first with this format in Australia and for good or bad, it lasted many years.

The announcers later become Disc Jockeys and in Sydney there was Tony Withers, Bob Rogers, John Laws, Graham Webb, Brian Henderson, Rhett Walker and a few others and finally Ward Austin in the later years. Melbourne had Stan the Man Rolfe, Don Lunn, Bert Newton and others.

The popularity of these stations and the individual announcers would rise and fall like the tide and it was not always a Top 40 listing that meant success. Most of the stations had their own Top 50, Top 100, Top 20 and so on and if they were the top station at the time, it was more important for the recording star to be on the top of that parade than any other. Unfortunately today there is little physical evidence of those other parades and most of the chart successes used for 'Gold' radio today are taken from the 2UE or 3UZ Top 40s as they were actually printed and distributed to stores.

Who were they?

The 3 major consistent recording stars of the time 1959 to 1965 were Johnny O'Keefe, Col Joye and Lonnie Lee although many others had great successes.

Other atists who should be acclaimed for their hits were Johnny Devlin, Johnny Rebb in the very early years,Dig Richards, The Delltones, Lucky Starr, Warren Williams, Barry Stanton, Noelene Batley, The Crescents, The Leemen, The Joyeboys and others.

A little later from around 1963 or so others such as Digger Revell, Jay Justin, Little Pattie and The Atlantics bridged the time from the first stars to the 2nd wave in 1964 when the English sound got louder

1959 to 1964 - The 'Boom Years'

The Starlite publication of 'The Roots of Australian Rock-n-Roll' will be released early 2000 to coincide with the Anniversary of Australia's music industry...If you are would like to be on the e-mailing list to be notified when it is due for release. Please email your name, address, phone and e-mail address.


Join our AusRock mailing list!
Enter your email address below,
then click the 'Join List' button:

Powered by ListBot

(c)1956-2002 Starlite International Pty Ltd.
No text or photographs on this site may be used for any commercial purpose whatsoever without the explicit written permission of Starlite International Pty Ltd, the copyright owner. Legal action will be taken if this is not adherred to.
Schools MUST give credit as follows:-
Photograph or Text (c)1956-2002 Starlite International Pty Ltd

Syd Dir thin Bar

Sydney Directory Bottom Bar
Last updated 1st Juner 200219:52:37