ADELAIDE JOINED WORLD-WIDE CREATIVE CITIES by being declared a UNESCO City of Music in 2015. But Adelaide had earned its international musical credentials in 1964 when it produced the biggest welcoming crowd of The Beatles world tour in June 1964. (This was as remarkable as 50,000 people packing Adelaide Oval in March, 1931, to hear 3000 voices, a 250-piece orchestra and as many bandsmen in threatening weather at the South Australian Musical Association's tribute after Nellie Melba died.)
The Beatles hadn’t been scheduled to visit Adelaide originally but a campaign led by 5AD radio DJ Bob Francis, with sponsorship by iconic South Australian store John Martin’s, saw more than 300,000 greet the group who played four packed concerts at Centennial Hall, Wayville. (Adelaide also had Australia's biggest Elvis Presley fan club, started by Lee Gaston, then Hook, in 1963.)
Adelaide’s impact on the music world continues with singer composer Sia Furler, now linked to one of the city’s serious music foundations: the Elder Conservatorium. That major and widespread impact is remembered by the South Australian Music Hall of Fame. World music in all its forms comes to Adelaide at the WOMADelaide festival and Adelaide Festival, Cabaret Festival, Guitar Festival and OzAsia Festival.
Diversity is the keynote of Adelaide music. The city that created its own 1960s folk boom, and wrought classical gems such as Australian String Quartet and Adelaide Chamber Singers, also has produced wild rock alternative groups such as Atlas Genius, Testeagles and Mark of Cain. This is alongside mainstream figures such as Mark Holden and Guy Sebastian, who were became associated from different generations through Australian Idol, children's songs performer Peter Combe and multi-talented Hugh Sheridan.
The Beatles’ visit had an impact on a South Australian phenomenon: the UK migrants to Adelaide’s northern suburbs. From there would come bands such as Cold Chisel.
On 1971, near a sleepy town south of Adelaide, thousands of rock fans were at a three-day festival that changed the Australian scene. Inspired by Woodstock, Myponga Musical Festival’s lineup included new Australia group Daddy Cool, Spectrum, Fraternity, whose lead singer was Bon Scott (before he joined AC/DC), Chain and Billy Thorpe and Aztecs. Overseas drawcards included Black Sabbath. 5AD was the main media sponsor and organisers were Adelaide music entrepreneurs Alex Innocenti and Trevor Brien. They were joined by Hamish Henry, who financed the venture through his millionaire father.
South Australian music makers keep making a world of difference.
FROM ABORIGINAL MUSIC AND DANCE TO ADELAIDE SYMPHONY AS A CROWNING GLORY
One of Adelaide earliest public musical dance performances was an Aboriginal corroboree in the parklands in 1839. The 1839 corroboree was at the Queen’s Birthday event hosted by governor George Gawler (borrowing from New South governor John Macquarie). Gawler’s “peace corroboree” was to “restore those former peacable relations … between us and our friendly native tribes” after a recent killing of the white settlers on the River Murray vessel Maria at the Coorong. By 1845, Sunday corroborees, promoted by Aboriginals for a paying audience of European settlers, became regular but colonial secretary ordered Matthew Moorhouse, the first protector of Aborigines, to tell the “native encamped near Adelaide” and Adelaide is “now a Christian country” and they were to “abstain from making a noise on Sundays”. The corroboree venture was checked by the 1850s Victorian gold rushes. The loss of European labour stimulated rural demand for Aboriginal workers. To meet this demand, the government closed the native school and discouraged Aboriginal visitors to the city.
The early Italian influence on Adelaide music started with Maurizio Lencioni, a Passionist priest from Lucca, who arrived in 1846, and Alfred Mantegani, who performed piano in Adelaide theatres and concert halls in the 1850s. Cesare Cutolo, a Neapolitan who had studied in Italy under composer Mercadante, in 1858-59 taught singing and pianoforte and gave concerts as far afield as Reynella and Kapunda. Cutolo was runnerup to German Carl Linger for Gawler Institute’s 1859 prize to the best musical composition for Caroline Carleton's verse “Song of Australia”. Signore and Signora Bianchi and their Grand Italian Opera Company in 1861 started a “golden phase” of opera in South Australia. In the 1880s, Faustino Ziliani and Raffaele Squarise helped develop many Adelaide music students, along with Raffaele Squarise, from Vicenza. In 1923, Ercole Filippini formed the South Australian Grand Opera Company, with seasons in 1924-25.
Carl Linger and Carl Puttman led the major German influence on South Australian music.Carl Linger and Carl Puttman led the considerable German influence on South Australian music. Linger, who arrived in 1849 after the German liberal revolution, had studied at the Institute of Music in Berlin. He eventually won access to the colony’s wealthiest families as a music teacher. He was the founder and conductor of the German Liedertafel in 1858 and composed church music, including the “Ninety-third Psalm” and “Vater unser”. He conducted Adelaide's first philharmonic orchestra and its first performance of Handel's Messiah in 1859. Also that year, Linger won the Gawler Institute prize for the music to “The Song of Australia”. Violinist Carl Puttmann in 1866 became conductor of Adelaide Liedertafel. Its first performance under his baton was also the first amateur opera in Adelaide: Die Mordgrundbruck bei Dresden at the Theatre Royal in 1868. Putmann’s Victorian Cantata was composed for the Adelaide Jubilee International Exhibition of 1887. It opened with variations on Carl Linger’s “The Song of Australia” and ended with a fuge on “God Save the Queen”. Puttmann taught music at St Peter’s College, Prince Alfred College and Christian Brothers’ College.
Charles Wittowitto Cawthorne became a fulcrum of 19th Century Adelaide music as music sheet seller and band master. Cawthorne, son of teacher/painter W.A. Cawthorne and pianist Maryann, began studying piano at 14 with Louis Eselbach and violin with F. Draeger. He also learnt the bassoon. From 1870, he worked with his father in a newsagent's business that, as Cawthorne & Co., grew into “music-sellers and artists’ colormen”, in Gawler Place and later Rundle Street. By 1896, Cawthorne’s were carrying sheet music from 60 publishers from England, France and Germany. At 18, Charles Wittowitto Cawthorne also was conducting the Adelaide Amateur Orchestra of 40 players and had composed a prize-winning "Olivia Waltz". Cawthorne was bassoonist and business manager for the Adelaide Grand Orchestra in the late 1890s. He managed concerts to promote Clara Serena (Kleinschmidt), Adelaide Choral Society, Bach Choir, Adelaide Liedertafel Society, Metropolitan Male Voice Choir and Adelaide Glee Club. He encouraged young talents and raised money for them to study abroad.
Harry Green, a Port Adelaide-born former Christian Brother, helped Jack Becker stage the On Parade extravaganza at the Theatre Royal in 1939. On Parade showcased Adelaide College of Music and the Music League of South Australia, both run by Becker. Green, a renowned art teacher as "Brother Jerome", brought stunning sets and Hollywood-style to On Parade. Green became vice principal of Adelaide College of Music. In 1941, Becker made Green principal and next year sold the college and Stradivarius Instrument Co. to him for a £1 deposit, expecting Green to make enough to pay the balance. This happened. In the next 20 years, enrolments grew from 1200 to 9900 and staff from 37 to 400. Until its last in 1975, the annual On Parade always sold out over nine nights. Green founded other colleges at Port Adelaide, Berri, Broken Hill, Brisbane and Perth. By 1963, Sydney and Melbourne bodies joined his Associated Music Colleges of Australia. Green competed with Elder Conservatorium of Music from 1944, undercutting its tuition charges. Using private teachers and South Australian Symphony Orchestra members, he formed what in 1953 became Adelaide Conservatorium of Music. By 1960, it was preparing 2100 pupils for exams by the Australian Music Examinations Board or Royal College of Music, London. From the 1960s, enrolments declined. In 1975, Green sold the business to Music Houses of Australia, taken over soon by EMI. On November 11, 1975, Green and his staff were told to stop teaching immediately. Green declined help to relaunch the Adelaide college.
Adelaide Symphony Orchestra had been the crowning glory of South Australian music since 1936. The state’s largest performing arts organisation, the orchestra has built a reputation for vitality and versatility and won international acclaim. Besides delivering performances to more than 90,000 each season, the orchestra has increasingly extended its audiences and activities beyond the concert hall. These include the Out of the CBD series and regular broadcasts on ABC Classic FM radio. Adelaide Symphony’s comprehensive Learning Series for schools and families symphony directly reached more than 16,000 children. In 1998 and 2004, the orchestra gained international attention for its role in the first fully Australian production of Richard Wagner’s The Ring in 2004. It was involved in Adelaide Festival’s 2017 staging of Barrie Kosky’s opera Saul and the Australian premiere Brett Dean’s opera Hamlet (2018). Delivering diverse and colourful programming with leading international and Australian musicians, it has enjoyed successful performances with such artists as Ben Folds, Tim Minchin and the Hilltop Hoods. In 2015, the orchestra and Hilltop Hoods reprised their collaboration to record Drinking From The Sun, Walking Under Stars Restrung. Adelaide Symphony Orchestra showcases new music and Australian premieres. It as madeinternational tours, including China, Korea, Singapore and Carnegie Hall in New York, and plays a vital role in the Adelaide Festival Adelaide Cabaret Festival, OzAsia Festival, WOMADelaide, State Opera of South Australia and Australian Ballet.
IN 1898, UNIVERSITY TAKES OVER FROM GOTTHOLD REIMANN'S ADELAIDE COLLEGE OF MUSIC
Elder Conservatorium of Music, Australia’s oldest music academy, became a formal identity in 1898 after a bequest by pastoralist Thomas Elder. These funds guaranteed Adelaide University’s chair of music that went back to 1883 when the colony’s governor William Robinson, a musician, raised £5000 to employ a professor but only for five years. Also in1883, Berlin-trained pianist Gotthold Reimann started his Adelaide College of Music, with Cecil Sharp (later to become famous as collector, and even inventor, of English folk songs) as a fellow director in 1889. For its first few years, the university school of music (composition and theory) and Adelaide College of Music (practical training in performance) complemented each other. After Elder's bequest, the two schools merged in 1898, operating in the college’s Wakefield Street premises until 1900 when the North Terrace university building was completed. Elder’s funds also enabled the Royal College of Music in London and the music board of the University of Adelaide to support the Elder overseas scholarship (in music)
John Bishop’s years (1948-66) as Adelaide University’s Elder professor of music saw initiatives such as the university’s wind quintet and the Adelaide Festival of Arts (as inaugural artistic director). Bishop learnt piano at 12 from noted Adelaide teacher William Silver. He won the 1919 Alexander Clark Scholarship to Elder Conservatorium and the 1923 South Australian Elder Scholarship to the Royal College of Music, London, to study piano and conducting. After eight successful years as conductor of Royal Wellington Choral Union and Wellington Philharmonic Orchestra in New Zealand, he became music director at Scotch College, Melbourne, in the 1930s. With fellow music teacher Ruth Alexander, he founded summer camps for young musicians from 1948. These led to the Australian Youth Orchestra, in 1957. Appointed Elder professor of music at Adelaide University in 1948, Bishop reorganised the curriculum with valued composers and musicologists as well as performance excellence and visits from composition lecturers. Professor Charles Bodman Rae, from 2001, again repositioned the Elder Conservatorium’s leadership. In 2005, the conservatorium won a classical music award (from Australasian Performing Rights Association) for “outstanding contribution by an organisation” (the only Australian music academy to win such an award), recognising its music program for the 2004 Adelaide Festival of Arts (curated by Bodman Rae).
MAKING AN IMPACT ON THE WORLD OF MUSIC
Percy Grainger’s bizarre and brilliant life on the musical world stage in the early 20th Century cannot be separated from his Adelaide-born and -raised mother Rose (nee Aldridge). Percy and his mother are buried together at West Terrace cemetery. Percy’s architect father John migrated from England to Adelaide in 1877 and married Rose (Rosa), daughter of a prominent Adelaide hotelier and race horse owner, in 1880. The couple moved to Melbourne but John, who produced designs for the Princes Bridge, left for England in 1890. This left Rose devoted to Percy’s precocious talents. She became his constant companion as he moved around the world, managing his business, social and emotional affairs, with his reputation soaring on many fronts including becoming a prime exponent of the music of friend Edvard Grieg. His record-breaking piano piece “Country Gardens" was published in 1919. Rose’s suicide in 1922 was a crushing blow for him.
Brenton Langbein, another South Australian violin prodigy who started studies at five, gave his first recital in Tanunda Town Hall at eight. Born at Gawler in 1928 to German and Scottish parents, he won a scholarship to the Elder Conservatorium at 11, studied under Ludwig Schwab and started playing with Adelaide Symphony Orchestra at 14. In 1948, at 20, Brenton joined the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and became a solo performer, while studying composition under Eugene Goosens. He moved to Europe in 1951 to study in Switzerland and Vienna and with cellist Pablo Casals. In 1953, he settled in Zurich and led Paul Sacher's Collegium Musicum Chamber Orchestra. Appointed violin professor at Basel Academy, he formed an acclaimed duo/trio with Australian pianist Maureen Jones and horn player Barry Tuckwell. Langbein founded and led the renowned Die Kammermusiker Zurich that performed in Europe, England, America and Australia. He started youth orchestra schools in Zurich and Basel and was musical director of Zurich Opera Factory. He played and conducted in Australia and was musical director of Adelaide Chamber Orchestra. He died in Zurich and is buried at Lyndoch in the Barossa Valley where the auditorium of Tanunda arts and convention centre carries his name.
South Australia’s Lance Albert Ingram became France’s national tenor and a world opera superstar in the 1950s/60s – as Albert Lance. It was an incredible triumph for someone born downstairs – for “fallen women” – at the McBride Salvation Army Hospital in the Adelaide suburb of Medindie in 1925. Ingram’s English mother had married the father, Renmark’s “Rolly” Ingram, a few weeks earlier and he disappared soon after the birth. The baby was given into the care of McBride home matron’s mother, Maria Latz, who became “Mutty” to Ingram in the strictly Lutheran German farm community at Cambrai on the Murray flats. Ingram grew up with Prussian German as a first language in very Australian rural conditions of Depression poverty and drought. Later taken to live in Adelaide by his father, Ingram Ingram worked at places such as Motteram biscuit factory and ACTIL during World War II years and had no ambition beyond returning to Cambrai to farm chickens. Ingram’s near-death experience with meningitis brought his mother back from Melbourne to care for him. She noticed his singing ability and urged him to enrol at Adelaide College of Music. This set off a winding sequence that saw Ingram's talent win through and arrive in 1955 in Paris aged 29. Within three years, Ingram conquered the French opera stage to critical acclaim. By 1958, he’d sung opposite Joan Sutherland at Covent Garden and with other greats Renata Tebaldi and Rita Gorr in Paris. But his experience next year at a Paris gala performance in Paris with volatile Maria Callas proved Ingram’s greatness – drawing on equanimity from his South Australian background.
19th CENTURY CHURCHES SUPPORT ORGANISTS WITH WIDER MUSICAL EFFECT INTO 20TH CENTURY
Tanunda Town Band, drawing on the Barossa Valley’s German heritage, is the oldest continuing brass band in the Southern hemisphere, from 1857. The brand has won several South Australian A Grade band contests and the national title in 1957. It presents a Melodienacht annual concert in the Tanunda Agricultural Shed, and continues the Tanunda band competition started in 1910 as Barossa and Light Eisteddfod. George Oughton, who arrived in Adelaide in 1870 as organiser and choirmaster for St Paul’s Church, Pulteney Street, Adelaide, had a background in military band music. As Lieutenant Oughton, bandmaster of Adelaide's Volunteer Militia/Adelaide Military Band, which made its first public appearance with him as conductor, at Adelaide Town Hall in 1878, and played regularly at Elder Park rotunda. He took the band in 1886 to Melbourne where it was recognised as possibly Australia’s best. South Australia was the first police force in Australia to form a band in 1884. Cliff Sorrell of the South Australian Band Association is credited with, from 1965, getting the National Band Council of Australia to decide the principles and unified rules for the Australian bands competition.
Norman Sellick, the Music Teachers’ (formerly Musical) Association of South Australia’s longest-serving president (1941-69), was also inadvertent originator of three Adelaide suburban orchestras: Unley, Norwood and Burnside. Sellick founded what became the prize-winning Unley City Orchestra in 1924. After a dispute with the Unley Council in 1956, the Unley orchestra moved to the City of Kensington and Norwood in 1957, becoming Norwood Symphony Orchestra. During the move to Norwood, another small group left and founded the Burnside Symphony Orchestra in 1957. Yet another group broke away in 1980 and started the present Unley Symphony Orchestra. Sellicks’ other wide contributions to Adelaide music included violin teacher; forming a junior orchestra in the 1930s; musical director for Adelaide Musical Comedy Company productions at the Theatre Royal in 1936-37; first violinist in the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra; with Lilian and Natalie, formed the Sellick Trio for Elder Hall Sunday afternoon concerts and broadcasts on 5CL in 1942; conducting the ABC Studio Orchestra for the first Carols by Candlelight in 1944, and judging for the Adelaide Eisteddfod in the 1950s.
Adelaide Chamber Singers’ Pavarotti Trophy win to become Choir of the World at the 2013 International Eisteddfod in Wales saluted Adelaide's choral tradition started by glee clubs, Adelaide Choral Society (1842) and the Liedertafel at the German Club (1850s). Adelaide Amateur Musical Union (under George Oughton) and Adelaide Philharmonic Society (under William Pybus) were more serious attempts at secular choirs. The philharmonic society, formed in 1869, staged concerts to raise more than £500 towards the £1,200 needed for Adelaide Town Hall’s organ. Adelaide Philharmonic Choir was disbanded in 1979 along with the Adelaide Choir Society. From that came the Adelaide Philharmonia Chorus. Adelaide Harmony Choir remains one of the foremost large choirs in Australia. It was founded in 1947 by Lewis Dawe. St Peter's Cathedral Choir has been singing for more than 130 years. It is the only choir of children and adults of its type in Adelaide. Groups such as the Adelaide Singers and the Glenlea Singers performed on ABC radio and the commercial 5DN through the 1940s/50s. Barossa Valley has a long tradition of German choral music. The Graduate Singers were formed in 1977 for high-standard music making and Adelaide Chamber Singers, started in 1985 by director Carl Crossin, comprises some of Adelaide’s best and most experienced young ensemble vocalists.
FLOW ON FROM FOLK MUSIC OPENS ADELAIDE SINGERS TO MAINSTREAM NATIONAL AUDIENCE
Tina Lawton was the leading figure of the Adelaide folk boom in 1960s that has crossovers with other musical genres. Lawton, who died in a plane crash in 1968, had built a national following on Channel 9's The Country and Western Hour. Keith Conlon embodied the folk-jazz crossover as one of The Wesley Three. Rob McCarthy, Lynne and Graham McCarthy, The Skillet Lickers, Phil and Pete Sawyer, John Fulton-Stevens, Bob Hardie, The John Gordon Trio, Phil Cunneen, Dick Bond, Judy Crossley, Doug Ashdown, Irene Petrie, Eric Bogle and Robyn Smith (Archer) were among others making Adelaide folk mainstream. Coffee lounges, Le Camille and The Catacombs, downstairs in the Romilly Building at the North Terrace/Hackney Road corner, were early venues offering light folk and jazz. Largest and most influential was the Folk Hut in Rundle Street, run by singer-promoter John Stevens with soft-drinks maker George Hall. Glen Tomasetti organised fringe folk concerts during the 1966 Adelaide Festival of Arts. Campus folk clubs evolved at Adelaide and Flinders universities while churches, folk masses and youth services featuring folk singers became popular.
Some of South Australia’s best-known jazz musicians – Bobby Limb, Errol Buddle, Bruce Gray’s All-Stars and Dave Dallwitz’s Southern Jazz Group – had their start in the 1940s and 1950s playing on radio and in dance halls. The source of jazz training in the 1930s and 1940s was Adelaide College of Music that presented an annual On Parade show, the first at the Theatre Royal in 1939, always attracting capacity crowds. Dave Dallwitz, a child violinist, was a teacher at the South Australian School of Art who joined, then led, the popular Southern Jazz Group (1945-51.) Bruce Gray, also a child violinist, played fife before moving to clarinet with the Adelaide College of Music Military Band and a jazz quartet with pianist Colin Taylor, Bill Munro and Bob Wright. He worked with Mal Badenoch in 1943 and joined Malcolm Bills’ Dixielanders that became the basis for the Southern Jazz Group. The 1958 Australian Jazz Convention was staged Norwood, when Adelaide had venues like the St Vincent’s Jazz Club where enthusiasts “bopped” to the Black Eagles.
“The Pushbike Song”, written by Adelaide brothers Idris and Evan Jones, and recorded by The Mixtures, reached numbers one and two in the Australian and United Kingdom music charts in 1971. Vocalist Idris and Evan were both in Adelaide’s Gingerbread Men band and also appeared as the Jones Boys. “The Pushbike Song” was featured in a concert presented by the Adelaide Music Collective and South Australian Music Hall of Fame, to launch a CD featuring 10 classic Adelaide songs. The songs were originally performed by musical pioneers such as The Angels, The Twilights, Masters Apprentices, Redgum, Rose Tattoo and Bev Harrell. Other songs featured included “9:50” by Terry Britten of The Twilights; “Wars or Hands of Time” by Mick Bower of the Masters Apprentices, Doug Ashdown’s big US hit “Winter in America” and Bev Harrell’s “The Looking Glass”; Beeb Birtles’ (Little River Band) song “The Last Romance”, originally recorded by Mark Holden; and John Brewster’s (Angels) song “Shadow Boxer”.
SOUTH AUSTRALIAN FEMALE SINGERS SPANNING ALL GENRES IMPACT NATIONALLY AND BEYOND
Adelaide’s emerging 50s/60s youth music scene produced the city’s first big rock band the Penny Rockets and a pocket-rocket singer Bev Harrell. She began singing at six on the Kangaroos on Parade 5AD radio series. By the end of the 1960s, Harrell's “What am I doing here with you?”, “Come over to our place” and “One in a million” were national hits. In 1966-67, Harrell won best female vocal and album of the year at The Major Network Awards (now ARIAs). She toured with international names including Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass, Winifred Atwell, the Rolling Stones and Roy Orbison. In 1970, Harrell cut a single for the US Bell label. She toured Europe, Canada (with her own television special Two New on Toronto TV), the Caribbean, South Africa and South East Asia. In London during 1971, Harrell released “Back To The People/ Travelling Easy” for Bell. The A side was written with Maurice Gibb. Representing England in the 1971 Tokyo World Song Festival, Harrell won the outstanding composition and performance award. Back in Australia in 1972, she released “It Was Easy/ "The Right Thing to Do”, “Carols by Candlelight" /You've Got to Save Me” (1973) and “Mon Pere/ I Believe in Music”. Harrell played Grizabella, with its song “Memory” in the Australian and New Zealand tour of the musical Cats.
From a childhood singer in the Adelaide suburb of Prospect, Robyn Archer became an internationally acclaimed performer and advocate for the arts. She was singing professionally by 12, moving from folk and pop to blues, rock, jazz and cabaret. Graduating from Adelaide University, she took up singing full-time. In 1974, Archer she sang Annie I in the Australian premiere of Brecht/Weill's The Seven Deadly Sins to open The Space at Adelaide Festival Centre. She played Jenny in Kurt Weill’s Threepenny Opera for New Opera South Australia where she met English translator and editor John Willett. Archer has been linked since with German Weimar Republic cabaret songs of Weill, Eisler and Paul Dessau. Her one-woman A Star is Torn (1979) covering female singers including Billie Holiday and her 1981 show The Pack of Women became successful books and recordings, the latter produced for television in 1986. It played throughout Australia 1979-83, and for a year at Wyndham’s Theatre in London's West End.Archer also has directed arts festivals overseas and Australia, including the Adelaide Festival (1998, 2000).
Julie Anthony’s voice is known to millions for singing the national anthem at the Sydney Olympics opening and in recorded versions at the former broadcast closing time of ABC television and at Australian Football League finals. Born on a farm near Lameroo, Anthony began singing with a local band and in 1970 won a talent quest before appearing on Ernie Sigley’s Adelaide Tonight. She moved to Sydney, doing television, club and cabaret before international tours. An engagement at Hong Kong Hilton in 1973 was followed by lead role in the Australian production of the musical Irene. She starred in the UK version at London's Adelphi Theatre. The Play and Players of London named her with best newcomer (actress) for 1976. She returned to Australian television in three national specials. In 1977, she won Sammy and Penquin awards for best television variety performer. On USA tours, Anthony worked with Bill Cosby, Roy Clarke and Merv Griffin. She played Maria in The Sound Of Music in 1983. For the 1988 World Expo in Brisbane, Anthony was lead singer with the renewed Seekers. In 1988, she performed the national anthem at the opening of Australia’s new parliament house. The same year, she returned to the stage in I Do!, I Do!. Anthony won Australia’s Mo Award for entertainer of the year three times and best female variety performer nine times.
Sia Furler Institute for Contemporary Music and Media opened at Elder Conservatorium in 2016, salutes Adelaide’s internationally acclaimed singer, songwriter, record producer and video music director. With father Phil Colson a musician and mother Loene an art lecturer, Sia is the niece of actor-singer Kevin Colson and Colin Hay from Men at Work. After attending Adelaide High School, Sia sung in the 1990s with acid jazz band Crisp, including their EPs Word and the Deal (1996) and Delirium (1997). Sia’s debut album OnlySee on Flavoured Records in Australia sold 1,200 copies. She moved to London and became background vocalist for British band Jamiroquai. Sia moved to New York City in 2005 and her song “Breathe Me” appeared in the final scene of the HBO TV series Six Feet Under. In 2014, Sia’s 1000 forms of fear, debuted at No 1 in the US Billboard 200 and generated the top-10 breakthrough single “Chandelier”.
As a young girl, Greta Bradman went to her grandparents' Kensington Park house every day after school where she was surrounded by her grandfather’s passion for music. Don Bradman had been a boy soprano in his school choir and played piano. At the Bradman centenary dinner in 2015, Greta sang his 1930 composition “Every day is a rainbow day for me”. Greta's grandmother Jessie Bradman was also musical, her father was a talented jazz musician and her maternal grandfather an opera singer. Greta studied music at Elder Conservatorium when she was also a soloist and member of Adelaide Chamber Singers. She won the Australian International Opera Award in 2013-14 allowing her to move to Cardiff to train with the Wales International Academy of Voice. From there, Richard Bonynge selected Bradman to sing the title role in a performance of Handel’s Rodelinda in 2014. Greta Bradman has recorded for Sony, ABC Classics and independently.
Kasey Chambers, inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame in 2018, was born in Mount Gambier in 1976 and spent her first nine years with her parents Diane and Bill, plus older brother Nash, hunting foxes and rabbits for pelts seven/eight months each year around the Nullabor Plain. From 1986, Bill and Diane returned to performing as a country music duo and later added Kasey and Nash to the Dead Ringer Band that, from 1992, released four albums. Kasey Chambers’ debut solo album in 1999, The Captain, reached No. 1 on the related ARIA Country Albums chart and won best country album with best female artist award for its title track in 2000. (“The Captain” was played in Episode 8 of The Sopranos third season in 2001.) Five of Chambers’ 12 studio albums have reached No.1 on ARIA charts: Barricades and Brickwalls (2001), Wayward Angel (2004), Carnival (2006), Rattlin’ Bones (with then-husband Shane Nicholson in 2008) and Drangonfly (2017). Chamber is the first Australian country music artist to have simultaneous No. 1 single and album. This was achieved with her second studio album, Barricades and Brickwalls, released in 2001 via EMI Music, produced by her brother Nash. Chambers won ARIA best country album for a record ninth time in 2018.
Beccy Cole, a country singer, songwriter and multi instrumentalist, has scored nine golden guitar trophies at the CMAA country music awards of Australia. Of her 10 studio albums, six have made the ARIA top 40 albums list. Her video album, Just a Girl Singer (2004), reached No.6 on the ARIA Top 40 DVD Chart. In 2005-06, Cole performed for Australian defence forces in Iraq and her related single, “Poster girl (Wrong side of the world)" won 2007 song of the year at the country music awards and its video was No.1 on Australia's Country Music Channel. Beccy Cole was born Rebecca Thompson in 1972 at Glenelg to country music singer Carole Sturtzel and Jeff Thompson, saxophonist for the Strangers. At 14, she joined her mother's group Wild Oats. In 1991, she moved to the Dead Ringer Band, led by Bill Chambers and met his daughter Kasey Chambers. Cole and Chambers performed as a duo at Port Pirie Country Music Festival and busked at Tamworth. In 2012, Cole revealed on ABC-TV’s Australian Story she is a lesbian. She became inaugural ambassador for the Adelaide-based Feast Festival in 2013 and presented her show The Queer of Country. By 2015, Cole was living in Adelaide with partner Libby O'Donovan, a cabaret singer. Cole and O'Donovan married in 2018.
SOUTH AUSTRALIA'S SONS OF MIGRANTS STORM AUSTRALIA AND OVERSEAS
The Masters Apprentices started life as an Adelaide surf music instrumental band called The Mustangs in 1964, with Mick Bower on rhythm guitar, Rick Morrison on lead guitar, Brian Vaughton on drums and Gavin Webb on bass guitar. Profoundly influenced by the Beatles in 1964, The Mustangs changed to a beat style and took on a lead singer: Scottish immigrant Jim Keays. They rehearsed in a shed behind a hotel owned by Vaughton’s family. Original manager Graham Longley taped a rehearsal that was released on CD in 2004 as Mustangs to Masters... First Year Apprentices. In 1965, The Mustangs became The Masters Apprentices because “we are apprentices to the masters of the blues – Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, Jimmy Reed, Elmore James and Robert Johnson." In a heat of Hoadley’s Battle of the Sounds, they finished third behind The Twilights (eventual national winners). The Apprentices shared a gig with pop star Bobby Bright of Melbourne, who recommended them to Astor Records. Their debut single “Undecided”/”Wars or hands of time” climbed the Adelaide charts, thanks to local DJs’ support. “Wars or hands of time” was the first Australian pop song to directly address the Vietnam war. The Masters Apprentices moved to Melbourne in 1967. Keays became a mainstay of the band that had psycjhedelic-rock and wild-bad-boy phases and kept losing personnel. (Lead guitarist Peter Tilbrook from Adelaide band The Bentbeaks joined in 1967.) Their album Choice Cuts received rave reviews in England but the band broke up in 1972.
Glenn Shorrock was a founding member of The Twilights, Axiom, Little River Band and its spinoff trio Birtles Shorrock Goble and a solo performer. Shorrock migrated to Adelaide with his family on the Orcades in 1954 when he was 10. Shorrock's first public performance was in 1958 at St Peter's Lutheran hall in Elizabeth when he mimed Elvis Presley’s “All Shook Up”. When the record player stopped, he continued singing and realised he had a good voice. In 1962, Shorrock formed harmony group the Checkmates. As a result of The Beatles’ popularity, the Checkmates and instrumental group The Hurricanes merged as The Twilights, with eight consecutive national hits. When The Twilights disbanded in 1969. Shorrock formed an early Australian supergroup Axiom. It recorded two acclaimed albums and had three top-10 singles but disbanded in the UK in 1971. Shorrock stayed in the UK and recorded his own song “Let's get the band together" in 1971 and a cover of “Rock'n'roll lullaby”. As Andre L'Escargot and His Society Syncopaters, he released “Purple umbrella". He joined the multinational progressive rock band Esperanto and did backing vocals for Cliff Richard. Also in the UK at the time was Australian rock band Mississippi with Beeb Birtles and Graham Goble, both originally from Adelaide where Birtles was in Down the Line that became Zoot. When Birtles reformed Missisippi as the Little River Band, Shorrock joined what became the first Australian band first to achieve major success in the US. Shorrock wrote the hits “Emma”, “Help is on its way” and “Cool change".
Cold Chisel became an epic Australian pub-rock music success from its start in Adelaide in 1973 as a heavy-metal cover band called Orange. Singer Jimmy Barnes and drummer Steve Prestwich brought the working class UK immigrant background from the northern suburbs. Barnes’ older brother John Swan was in Cold Chisel in the mid 1970s, providing backing vocals and percussion but was fired after violent incidents. In 1977, when Cold Chisel was moving to Sydney from Melbourne, Barnes wanted to quit to join Swan in a hard-rocking blues band called Feather. But a farewell performance in Sydney went so well the singer changed his mind and Warner Music Group picked up Cold Chisel. In 1978, Cold Chisel recorded its self-titled debut album. Soon after, the song “Khe Sanh” was released but was deemed too offensive for commercial radio. It was only played regularly on ABC’s Double J but still reached No.41 on the Australian chart. It was No.4 in Adelaide, thanks to local radio support. Cold Chisel became notorious for wild behaviour, particularly from Barnes, but in 1981, the band won all seven major awards at the Countdown/TV Week music awards. As a protest against a TV magazine being involved in a music awards ceremony, the band refused to accept its awards and, after performing a verse of “My turn to cry”, smashed the set and left the stage. Its album Swingshift debuted at No.1 Australian album, sealing the band’s status as the nation’s biggest-selling act. Barnes launched a solo career in 1984 with nine Australian No. 1 albums and an array of hit singles.
The Angels, one of Australia’s most brilliant rock bands in the 1970s, began in Adelaide as the Moonshine Jug and String Band, a folk band featuring banjo, violin, harp, jug and tea-chest bass, with John Brewster, his brother Rick, Craig Holden, Bob Petchell and Pete Thorpe. They were joined next year by Belfast-born immigrant Bernard “Doc” Neeson on guitar and lead vocals. They played at university campuses and cafes. Holden left in 1972 and Spencer Tregloan joined on banjo, kazoo, jug, tuba and backing vocals. Their debut extended play, Keep you on the move, made top five in Adelaide. In 1974 came the single “That’s all right with me” and name change to Keystone Angels with a switch to electric instruments and 1950s rock at pubs. Personnel changes and disputes became a blight on the band. Beefing up to hard rock, the Keystone Angels (later the Angels) supported AC/DC's 1975 South Australian tour. Bon Scott and Malcolm Young from AC/DC recommended the Angels to Alberts records. The Angels' first single, “Am I ever gonna see your face again” (1976) was produced by Vanda and Young and written by the Brewsters and Neeson. By 1978, the Angels were Australia's highest-paid band, attracting record crowds. Neeson brought a theatrical edge as the band added punk/new wave to high-energy metal. The Angels’ top-10 albums were No exit (1979), Dark room (1980), Night attack (1981), Two minute warning (1984), Howling (1986) and Beyond salvation (1990). They were inducted into ARIA Hall of Fame in 1998 but effectively ended when Neeson left in 2000.
BUILDING ON THE RECORD OF THE STATE'S GREATS
South Australian hip hoppers Hilltop Hoods, formed in 1994, confirmed their legendary status with a 2019 world tour on the back of The great expanse becoming their sixth No.1 on the ARIA album charts. Suffa (Matt Lambert) and MC Pressure (Dan Smith), who met as Blackwood High students in 1987, founded the group. DJ Debris (Baz Francis) joined after fellow founder, DJ Next (Ben Hare), left in 1999. Hilltop Hoods’ other ARIA album chart No.1s have been The hard road (2006), Start of the art (2009), Drinking from the sun (2012), Walking under stars (2014) and Drinking from the Sun, Walking under stars Restrung (2016). Three tracks have topped ARIA charts: “Chase the feeling” (2009), “I love it” featuring Sia (2011) and "Higher", featuring James Chatburn (2015). “Cosby sweater” (2014) and “1955” (2016) reached the top 5. Hilltop Hoods' quality and longevity is reflected in a string of ARIA music awards right though to 2014 when they were nominated for best group, best urban album and engineer of the year. They won best urban album – their seventh ARIA award. The group's first official release, in 1997, was a vinyl-only, seven-track extended play, Back once again. DJ Next did the scratching and turntablism on the hoods early works. He regularly won the local DMC world DJ titles. Among the Hilltop Hoods creative branches was a 2010 “zombie flick”, Parade of the Dead, which they wrote, filmed and starred in. Hilltop Hoods founded the Certified Wise Crew – a hip hop collaborative – with local groups Terra Firma, Cross Bred Mongrels and After Hours.
FURTHERING SUPPORT FOR SOUTH AUSTRALIA'S CHORUS OF MUSIC STYLES
Port Pirie-born music mogul Robert Stigwood, who managed the Bee Gees and guided Eric Clapton's solo career while producing stage musicals, lives on in a fellowship for South Australian musicians. Stigwood revolutionised the role of music managers in England by moving into music publishing, promotion and independent records. Stigwood worked with a many ground-breaking acts on the pop charts, with Cream and the Bee Gees, and on the Broadway stage, producing counter-culture stage hits Hair and Jesus Christ Superstar. He also produced 1996 Hollywood film Evita, starring Madonna. It won an Academy Award for best music and a Golden Globe for best motion picture. Stigwood had earlier backed the ground-breaking film of The Who's rock opera Tommy. After the highly successful Grease, Robert Stigwood Organisation Films made Saturday Night Fever, one of the biggest hits in the history of the business. It introduced disco music and a young John Travolta while propelling the Bee Gees to global stardom. Adelaide-based music industry professional Stuart McQueen considered Stigwood (who died in 2016) one of his heroes. He worked with the state government’s Arts SA on the Robert Stigwood Fellowship Program to help young Adelaide creatves build their careers.
Friday lunchtime concerts at 1.10 pm, March to October, are a staple of many music performances at Elder Hall in the Adelaide University ground on North Terrace, Adelaide. Elder Hall was built from £65,000 that Thomas Elder, businessman and pastoralist, left to the university in 1897 – with £20,000 devoted to his love of music, enabling the Elder Conservatorium and the hall. The hall's Florentine gothic design was by architect Frank John Naish and constructed by North Adelaide-born master builder Walter Charles Torode, using freestone from his Stirling West quarry. Opened in 1900 when the only other major music venue was Adelaide Town Hall, Elder Hall was refurbished in 1978 and 2006. It now has 660 seats and state-of-the-art audiovisual. The original pipe organ built by J.E. Dodd of Twin Street, Adelaide, was replaced in 1979 by a spectacular French classical organ built by Casavant Freres of Quebec and regarded as one of Australia’s finest instruments. The hall's lunchtime concerts present local, national and international artists in a range from classical masters to jazz standards, baroque, experimental and contemporary. Adelaide Connection, Australia’s first jazz choir, are among those featured, along with Elder Conservatorium staff and students individually or in their own chamber and symphony orchestras.
Thebarton Theatre, in 2018 – its 90th year – joined the Governor Hindmarsh and the Grace Emily hotels in the South Australian Music Hall of Fame as iconic Adelaide live music venues. Heritage-listed in 1982, Thebarton Theatre opened in 1928 as the growing suburb’s second town hall. Besides being used by film promoter Dan Clifford for weekly screenings, the hall did its community duties as host to dance classes, concerts and fundraisers. In 1936, a sellout crowd heard Catholic priest Father S.M. Hogan decry the "dechristianisation of society" in an Australia “half paganised already”. Ironically, Thebarton Theatre became the stage for some irreverently wild musical acts. This started in the 1950s, as adventurous new American music, such as drummer Gene Krupa’s explosive concert, transformed what became Thebarton Theatre into a live music venue. With renovations under new operators Weslo Holdings, Thebarton Theatre, in the 1980s-90s, joined the national touring circuit, with its 2,000-seat capacity. The huge list of acts at Thebarton Theatre have included Arctic Monkeys, B-52s, Beastie Boys, Beck, Belle and Sebastian, Ben Folds Five, Billy Bragg, Black Sabbath, Blondie, Brian Wilson, The Church, The Clash, Bruno Mars, The Cat Empire, Cold Chisel, Elvis Costello and The Attractions, Foo Fighters, Jeff Beck, Heff Buckley, Gipsy Kings, Hunters and Collectors, The Hoodoo Guris, Midnight Oil and The Kinks.
Ukaria Arts Cultural Centre, a 200-seat auditorium set in bushland at the summit of Mount Barker, is growing in prestige as a music venue. On the hillside of the Ngeringa property just outside Mount Barker, has hosted concerts for acclaimed musicians since the mid 1990s. In 2014, its modest concert room was demolished and replaced with 220-seat concert hall purpose built for chamber music. The $7 million rammed earth and timber building on Williams Road was funded by businesswoman and philanthropist Ulrike Klein, who was a founder from 1985 of the international skincare label, Jurlique. The state of the art and environmentally sustainable Ukaria (formerly Ngeringa) cultural centre is attracting serious classical acts such as Australian String Quartet, the Adelaide Chamber Singers, Goldner String Quartet, Los Angeles Philharmonic Wind Quartet and US opera star Dawn Upshaw, as well as jazz and cabaret performers. It is built on what was once the Jurlique Farm for natural skin care products. Architect Anton Johnson has designed every aspect of the centre with the sensory experience in mind.
Old pubs carrying on a tradition of live music on all levels are a hallmark of Adelaide music. The Gov (Governor Hindmarsh) at Hindmarsh was crowned Best Entertainment Venue in Australia by the Australian Hotels’ Association in 2009/2012. Since the Tonkin family took over in 1993, The Gov has become as one of Adelaide’s leading live music venue. Besides hosting world-class musicians, its bars welcome groups such as the Adelaide Ukulele Appreciation Society, open mic sessions, Irish jam and live local bands. From a late 19th Century tradition, the Crown and Sceptre in King William Street, Adelaide, hosted numerous indie bands, including Luke Million, Funk Latin Union, Orelia, The Swiss and The Cat Empire in the 1990s and early 2000s. Starting as The Launceston, when the colony was only three years old, the hotel became The Grace Emily in 1998 and a live music stage was built in the former dining room. Some of the earliest to feature include Mick Thomas and Dave Graney. Paul Kelly and all members of Cold Chisel have performed there as have international stars Ben Folds, Jeff Martin, Justin Townes Earle and The Handsome Family.
Broadway Sessions, an open-mic experience with a musical theatre focus, has opened another opportunity for Adelaide talent since 2015. Each Broadway Sessions show, on the last Sunday night of each month at the Norwood Hotel on The Parade, Norwood, includes invited performances from some of Adelaide’s favourite or rising performers, performances from musicals opening in Adelaide during the next month, an open mic section where anyone can register their interest in being selected to sing, and a theme based on a composer, type of song or an era. Peter Johns and Scott Reynolds are producers of Broadway Sessions. Johns is a producing and directing stalwart of Adelaide musicals. He's toured as an accompanist around Australia, New Zealand, Europe, the UK and the USA, and regularly accompanies soloists and choirs from around South Australia. He has played piano for cabaret shows in the Adelaide Fringe Festival and Adelaide Cabaret Fringe. Johns is also founder of his own Irregular Productions company. Featuring some of Adelaide’s best musical theatre talent, Irregular Productions presented its inaugural show, Jason Robert Brown’s Songs For A New World, at the Opera Studio in 2011. In 2012, as one of the producers for the 24 Hour Show, Irregular Productions produced a variety concert, Not the 24 Hour Show, to raise funds for the Muscular Dystrophy Association of South Australia. A musical theatre enthusiast and performer from his schooldays, Scott Reynolds is also involved with the sound, lighting and website for Broadway Sessions.