The Age and Music Victoria today revealed details of The Age Music Victoria 10th Anniversary Hall of Fame inductees and a special concert event to be held at The Palais Theatre on Friday, 20 November 2015.
First introduced in 2006, The Age Music Victoria Awards (formerly The Age EG Awards) are the largest publicly voted music awards in Australia and at a media launch held this morning at The Palais Theatre, Music Victoria's CEO Patrick Donovan, and The Age's Shortlist Editor Martin Boulton announced the ten legendary Victorian musicians and industry icons who will be celebrated at the event's 10th Anniversary concert.
Unlike the annual Awards, the selection of the The Age Music Victoria Awards 10th Anniversary Hall of Fame inductees was made by a voting panel including former inductees, musicians and music professionals, all of whom had their work cut out for them in selecting just ten inductees from Victoria's long and illustrious musical heritage. Eligibility required inductees to have been Victorian residents when they made a significant contribution to Victoria culture.
The one night only concert event on Friday, 20 November, 2015, will be hosted by RocKwiz' Brian Nankervis with musical backing by the EG Allstars featuring Pete Luscombe (musical director), James Black, Bill McDonald and Ash Naylor.
The Age Music Victoria 10th Anniversary Hall of Fame inductees John Farnham (30 minute set) and Archie Roach will be joined on stage at The Palais Theatre by a few of their friends and fellow Victorian musical stars including Kate Ceberano, Brian Cadd, Normie Rowe, Colleen Hewett, Vika Bull, Angie Hart and Mark Seymour with more to be confirmed.
"These inductees are the architects of Victorian music and we are privileged to have the opportunity to pay tribute to them all in this one never-to-be-repeated event," said Music Victoria CEO Patrick Donovan.
Andrew Holden, Editor of The Age, added ''The only way to celebrate this fantastic milestone is with 10 outstanding inductees, each one thoroughly deserving of the recognition that comes with being welcomed into The Age Music Victoria Hall of Fame. Congratulations to all our inductees.''
$5.00 from every ticket sold will be donated to the events charity partner, Support Act Limited, to help musicians in need.
Full biographical material and pictures of all The Age Music Victoria 10th Anniversary Hall of Fame inductees can be downloaded from:
A highlights reel from the 2013 event can be found at www.youtube.com/watch?v=4jvEd7IUmMg.
Tickets for The Age Music Victoria 10th Anniversary Hall of Fame go on sale at 9.00am on Friday, 19 June, 2015 and are expected to sell FAST!
Without further ado, The Age Music Victoria Awards' 10th Anniversary Hall of Fame inductees (in alphabetical order) are:
AC/DC formed in 1973 and released their first album, High Voltage, in 1975. More than four decades into a career that shows no signs of slowing down or letting up, AC/DC, have sold over 200 million records worldwide, including 71.5 million in the US alone, and continue to perform sell out shows at stadiums and arenas around the world. Songs like High Voltage, TNT, Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap, Highway to Hell, Back in Black and Thunderstruck are embedded in our psyche and remain on rotation on radio stations around the world. In 2003, AC/DC were inducted into the USA Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and in 2004 had a Melbourne laneway named after them. Their latest album, Rock or Bust, debuted at No. 1 on the ARIA Albums Chart and their Rock or Bust World Tour will see them in Australia in November.
Angus Young from AC/DC said "Victoria has a special place in our hearts, especially the early years of the band. Thank you for the induction into The Age Music Victoria Hall of Fame. It is an honour".
Bill Armstrong, AM's extraordinary career has spanned over 50 years from wire recordings, through discs of varying dimensions and speeds, to cassettes and CDs and now the digital age. Bill has been recording music and sounds since before Robert Menzies was Australia's Prime Minister (and later made wire recordings of some Menzies' speeches). Like much of Bill's valuable work these recordings, and dozens more, are held at the National Film and Sound Archive. But it is Bill's life of recording music - from the early days with the likes of Graeme Bell and Smacka Fitzgibbon, through to explosive years of change as the 60s became the 70s and Australian music took on the world - for which he is best known. Armstrong Studios became the iconic space in which to record great pop records, and countless careers were launched there, including those of John Farnham, Brian Cadd, Russell Morris, Daddy Cool, Skyhooks, Spectrum the Sports, the Models and the Little River Band. Under Bill's direction, Armstrong's became the largest studio complex in the southern hemisphere, the artists and those who recorded them understood that it was Bill's attitude towards them that made the difference. At the same time Bill recorded legendary performers as they toured Australia including landmark albums by the likes of jazz violinist Stephane Grappelli and Cleo Laine, regarded as one of the greatest jazz vocalists of all time. The producers and engineers who worked with Bill to make all that magic speak of a man always open to the ideas of others and with an eagle eye for talent – on both sides of the recording console. Not long before he died last year, the legendary Australian music writer and previous The Age Music Victoria Award inductee, Ed Nimmervoll, hit the nail on the head when he observed that under Bill's care, Armstrong Studios had become Australia's Sun Studios, perhaps even its Abbey Road.
Bill Armstrong said today, "I was born in 1929 at the start of electric recording, talkies and radio and I decided at an early age that all I wanted to do was get involved in records somehow, without having any idea how. That was, and still is my passion and I'm still at it all these years later. What else would I do? Music is an important part of everyone's life and to paraphrase what the great Louis Armstrong sings – I think to myself often, what a wonderful world and life I've been lucky to have"
John Farnham, AO is one of Australia's most successful artists and has been "The Voice" of Australian music for over 30 years. In September 1967, at the age of 18, he was signed to a recording contract and in December of that year released the single, Sadie The Cleaning Lady, which became the biggest-selling single in Australia at that time. A string of hits following including One, Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head, Help, Pressure Down, Burn For You and the anthem, You're The Voice, which sold a million copies in Europe and reached the Top 10 in England. His watershed album, Whispering Jack, held the No. 1 position on the Australian album charts for a total of 25 weeks, and is still the highest-selling album in Australian history. Rock historian, Ian McFarlane described him as "the most successful solo artist in the history of Australian rock and pop ... Farnham has retained an affable sense of humour and a simple, unpretentious 'everyman' charm which also makes him one of the most respected celebrities in Australian entertainment history" and we couldn't agree more. John's enviable CV contains some seriously impressive milestones including stage productions (Pippin, Jesus Christ Superstar and Charlie Girl), lead singer with the Little River Band, being named Australian of the Year and King of Pop (5 times!), 19 ARIA Awards and an ARIA Hall of Fame induction. He's currently preparing for the release of his 26th album, Two Strong Hearts Live, with fellow inductee Olivia Newton-John, on 26 June.
John Farnham said today, "I am extremely proud to be on this list. I am a proud Victorian, now I am even prouder"
Olivia Newton-John, AO OBE - With a career spanning more than five decades Olivia's career started in Melbourne after winning a talent contest at the age of 15 on the popular TV show of the '60s, Sing, Sing, Sing. She has since sold over 100 million albums, won four Grammy Awards, numerous Country Music, American Music, Billboard and People's Choice Awards, a Daytime Emmy Award, and garnered 10 No. 1 hits and over 15 top 10 singles. In 1978, her co-starring role with John Travolta in "Grease" catapulted Olivia into super-stardom and to date remains the most successful movie musical of all time. Throughout her career, she has held many humanitarian and environmental causes close to her heart. After nearly 10 years of helping to raise more than $200 million, the Olivia Newton-John Cancer and Wellness Centre (ONJCWC) opened in her hometown of Melbourne, Australia, in 2012. She is currently selling out her acclaimed "Summer Nights" concert residency at Flamingo Las Vegas and, is thrilled that a portion of every ticket sold to these shows benefits the Wellness Programs at the ONJCWC.
Olivia Newton-John said, "I am so delighted to be receiving this amazing honour. I certainly didn't do this alone - and so I would like to thank everyone who has lent me a hand, or who gave me a word of advice on my amazing adventure. My gratitude to all the talented songwriters, producers, actors, musicians and singers who have written, played and/or performed my music with me throughout the years. Thank you to my array of managers, agents and my team behind the scenes who support me, and, of course, the fans, for without you I definitely wouldn't still be singing! My special thanks, love and gratitude, goes to my family and friends, especially my mother Irene and sister Rona, who always supported my dream. I am so honoured to be in such illustrious company! Thank you Australia!"
The Palais Theatre opened on 11 November 1927 as Palais Pictures before going on to be one of the first suburban cinemas to screen talkies on 3 July 1929. Palais Pictures was the largest cinema in the Southern Hemisphere and remains the largest seated theatre in Australia. Until the 1950s this was the place you went to the movies, then with the cinema's decline in popularity in the 1960s, the Elizabethan Trust reinvigorated Palais Pictures with ballet and opera at the renamed Palais Theatre - musicals, operetta and Hollywood greats including Bob Hope and Danny Kaye were now regular visitors to the Palais Theatre. In the 1960s rock and roll's biggest acts began to appear at the Palais Theatre; The Rolling Stones, Tom Jones, The Beach Boys, Roy Orbison cemented the Palais Theatre as the home of live music in people's hearts and minds. As Melbourne's city theatres were reinvigorated in the 1980s-2000s the Palais Theatre went into decline, however Palais Theatre Management has spent the last 8 years revitalising the Theatre. It is now Australia's No. 1 Theatre Concert Venue and No. 14 in the world, presenting a full calendar of international and Australian live music events and holds a special place in the hearts of many thousands of people.
Neil Croker, CEO of Palais Theatre Management, said, "Palais Theatre Management's team have spent the past eight years committed to the revitalisation of the Palais Theatre. We have a passion for this venue, our community, the artists and our patrons and are proud to be part of the Palais Theatre's continued rise as Australia's No. 1 Theatre Concert Venue and No. 14 in the world. As one of the country's most important contemporary performance spaces it is a thrill for us to see the Palais Theatre receive this Age Music Victoria Award. We look forward to introducing more and more artists, promoters, crew, staff and public each year to the richness of the 87 years of history this building provides."
Archie Roach, AM is a beloved and admired Australian artist whose career has spanned three decades. He has shared the stage with some of the world's most iconic artists and released 9 albums, recently including a box set, 'Creation', a retrospective of his first four albums. A new album is planned for release later this year. As a member of the stolen generations, Archie Roach has also become a powerful voice for Indigenous Australians and is one of this country's greatest storytellers. His music speaks the stories of his people, of this land and of the human condition. His voice - uniquely Australian and undeniably universal - continues to resonate for us all. Archie has faced his fair share of difficulties over recent years including the tragic loss of his longtime partner, collaborator and soul mate Ruby Hunter in early 2010. He then suffered a serious stroke in late 2010 followed by lung cancer surgery in 2012. Despite these challenges, Archie continues to draw strength and healing from his music and is performing better than ever and was made a Member (AM) in the General Division of the Order of Australia in last week's Queen's Birthday Honours list.
"Being inducted into The Age Music Victoria Hall of Fame 2015 is a great honour particularly as it is a Victorian award and I am a proud Victorian. It is also amazing to be mentioned in the same breath as the other recipients who are some my musical heroes, artists that I look up to and admire", said Archie Roach.
Stan Rofe (1933-2003) was a radio legend and an icon of Australian popular music. He was Melbourne's first rock 'n roll disc jockey and arguably Australia's most influential DJ for more than twenty years. Stan "The Man" dominated the Melbourne airwaves from the late 1950s, right through the 1960s and into the early 1970s and his influence extended nationally through the music and the performers that he championed, and through his weekly columns in Go-Set. Stan is credited as the man who put musicians and hit singles together including Johnny O'Keefe and Shout, Russell Morris and Hush and in 1994, Rofe's services to the music industry were honoured when the Australian Record Industry Association presented him with a Special Achievement Award.
Stan's brother, Roy Rofe, said today, "We are thrilled that Stan is being honoured with this award from The Age and Music Victoria. He was a larger-than-life brother and friend and our only wish is that he could have been here himself to accept the award and see how his legacy lives on and how fondly he is remembered within the Victorian music community"
The Seekers (Judith Durham, AO; Athol Guy, AO; Keith Potger, AO; Bruce Woodley, AO) originally formed in Melbourne in 1962 and were the first Australian pop music group to achieve major chart and sales success in the United Kingdom and the United States. When you trace the history of contemporary Australian music, you find it was these four Melbournians who started the ball rolling internationally for all the other big name Australian artists. From their first No. 1 hit, I'll Never Find Another You, The Seekers created history as the first Australian group to top the American charts (No.1) and went on to tour internationally with more chart-topping hits including A World Of Our Own, Morningtown Ride, The Carnival Is Over and the Academy Award nominated, Georgy Girl. When The Seekers called it a day in 1968, a live BBC concert spectacular was watched by more than 10 million people and a "Best Of" album charted in the UK for a staggering 125 weeks. The band is still writing, recording and touring recently celebrating their Golden Jubilee.
On behalf of The Seekers, Athol Guy said today, "As a homegrown musical product of Melbourne's fantastic jazz and folk generation in the early Sixties, to conquering the pop world of mid-Sixties London – what happened for The Seekers was unimaginable. But it did happen!
"How was that possible? It was the songs! Fifty years on, those songs are now standards, and we're still together to be able to bring them to life. What a precious miracle it is for the four of us … and what an honour it is to be recognised in this way by Music Victoria."
Sunbury Festival was an annual Australian rock festival held to commemorate Australia Day held on a private farm in Sunbury each Australia Day weekend in the early 70's. The Festival is renowned for embracing the beginning of Australian "pub rock" and featured performances from the biggest bands of the time including Billy Thorpe & the Aztecs, Max Merritt and The Meteors, Chain, Daddy Cool, Queen, Deep Purple and Wild Cherries. "Sunbury" ran from 1972 to 1975 and is seen as a forerunner to the current crop of festivals including the Big Day Out. In 1993 Festival organiser, John Fowler, donated his collection of Sunbury memorabilia to the Performing Arts Museum of the Victoria Arts Centre where they are on permanent display.
"I am very proud and surprised that The Age Music Victoria have recognised the Sunbury Festivals as part of our historic Australian music scene in that difficult period of time. This award is even more special because it recognizes the Victorian music history. Sunbury would never have been so successful had it not been for so many people involved in the production and presentation of the Festival and I would like to take this opportunity to personally thank The Age Music Victoria Awards for the recognition of the Sunbury Festivals. I'd also like to thank the many organizations and people involved and foremost and especially all the Duncan Family of the town of Sunbury without whose support and help the Festivals would never have taken place," John Fowler said today.
The Thunderbirds, first formed in 1956 by Harold Frith consisted of, at various times, Harold, Murray Robertson, Laurie Bell, Graeme Lyall, Henri Bource, Peter Robinson, Charles Gauld and Gordon Onley and were the bastions of Melbourne's early 1960s rock scene and attending one of their live shows was a window into a new world of rock 'n roll. In late 1959, The Thunderbirds signed to Festival's Rex label which resulted in the release of two EP's and two singles and the band virtually became resident band for Ron Tudor's W&G label during the early 1960s. The Thunderbirds had a very successful career as an instrumental band backing the likes of The Bee Gees, Roy Orbison, Helen Shapiro, Lonnie Lee, Johnny O'Keefe, Johnny Chester and Lucky Starr and their single Wild Weekend is also one of the most successful Australian instrumental singles of all time.
"The members of The Thunderbirds are honoured to be recipients of The Age-Music Victoria Hall of Fame Award. In doing so we wish to recognise and remember the contribution of saxophonist Henri Bource. We also recognise the contribution of Stan Rofe, Ron Tudor, Kevin McClellan (manager and promoter) and fans of our music over the years", The Thunderbirds said in a statement today.
The Age Music Victoria 10th Anniversary Hall of Fame Concert
Friday, 20 November 2015
The Palais Theatre, St Kilda
Tickets on sale from 9.00am on Friday, 19 June, 2015
John Farnham, Archie Roach
Normie Rowe, Colleen Hewett, Brian Cadd
Kate Ceberano, Mark Seymour, Vika Bull, Angie Hart
with more to be confirmed!