CD 1: 20 Miles/Devoted To You/Pride/Say It Again/Fool, Fool, Fool/Go To Him/I Need Your Lovin'/In The Midnight Hour/Now Is The Time/I Am What I Am/The Tennesse Waltz Song/I Can't Get Enough/Ain't It Strange/ Too Late To Come Home/Respect/The Same Old Song/New Kind Of Love/Ivor The Engine Driver/That's It, I Quit, (I'm movin' on)/Don't Let Your Left Hand Know/You Got That Way/Skinnie Minnie/500 Miles/Gonna Send You Back To Walker/Shankin' All Over/Talkin' About You/Old Man Mose/Away From You/That's Evil/Summertime Blues
CD 2: Rockin' Pneumonia/High School Confidential/One Of These Days/In Love Again/Summertime/Dimples/Somebody To Love/You Got What It Takes/Hands Off/Maggies Farm/Neighbour, Neighbour/Just A Little Bit/Lovely Ladies/Little Latin Lupe Lu/CC Rider/My Babe/Mickey's Monkey/The Duck/The Locomotion/Louie Louie/Bama Lama Bama Loo/Help Me (part 1)/Help Me (part 2)/Woman/Sticks And Stones/Jumila/I'll Be Missing You/Look At Me Now (previously unreleased)/Things Go Better With Ray Brown
Typical of pop acts in the mid-sixties, Ray Brown and The Whispers resulted from a former instrumental group (the Nocturnes) finding themselves a singer in order to bring themselves in line with the Group Quake led by the Beatles and Rolling Stones. Together Ray and The Whispers became one of Australia's most popular pop acts of the day.
On paper Ray Brown and The Whispers were a repetition of the formula which had taken Billy Thorpe and The Aztecs to success. They replaced the Aztecs as resident group at Sydney's premier teenage venue Surf City, when Billy Thorpe and his group were enjoying national hits and touring interstate. Ray and the Whispers shared management with Billy and the Aztecs. Both acts tended to source their songs from a similar slightly-obscure fund of American soul. Both singers had distinctive voices. But there the similarity ended. While the Aztecs' erratic performance on record was carried by their popularity and Billy's personality, Ray Brown and the Whispers' recordings were far more consistent but when it counted Ray didn't have Billy's resiliance to see him through.
Ray Brown and the Whispers burst onto the charts in May 1965 with '20 Miles', originally recorded by Chubby Checker without charting in Australia. The Whispers' treatment of the song was quite different, and in keeping with the times. It was a No.1 hit at home in Sydney. The next two singles released where Sydney No.1s as well - 'Pride' (YouTube) and 'Fool Fool Fool' - and top ten nationally, as were 'In The Midnight Hour' and 'Tennessee Waltz'.
1966 was set up to be another big year for Ray. He decided to take control of his career, and fought a management contract which he'd signed when he was under 21. It cost him his career momentum, and the original Whispers. He was forced to form the New Whispers, lost time, focus, and some of his initial appeal to fans. But he had control.
Ray ended up in America, having scored a contract with Capital Records. Nothing that had happened in Australia mattered now. Ray was put in a studio with a producer, session musicians, 30- piece orchestra and told what to sing. He was totally intimidated by the situation and in no position to argue. $30,000 was spent on 'Just Ray Brown', a solo album which didn't even chart in Australia.
His two year experience in America bought back a very different Ray Brown. In 1970, now sporting shoulder length hair, he formed group Moonstone, attempting to fuse country music, rock and eastern influences. The instrumentation included pedal steel guitar and sitar. Moonstone recorded one album. After another year in America, Ray returned to form One Ton Gypsy, an ambitious eight piece jazz-rock featuring Ray and two other vocalists. A live fixture for two years, One Ton Gypsy were never released on record.
Ray released a solo single, 'Steel Guitar', in November 1973, continued to perform solo, and travelled the outback absorbing aboriginal culture. With a new Whispers he was playing rock and roll revival shows when he died suddenly in August 1996, of a heart attack
Saturday, October 29, 2011
Friday, October 28, 2011
Overture/Friends For Life/Interlude/Espana/Interlude #2/Scarlett O'Hara/Lara Theme/Glory/Georgia On My Mind/Sweet Georgia Brown/I Still Call Australia Home/Australian Dream/Waltzing Matilda
The Australian Dream was created after Peter Bartels, chairman of the 1996 Prime Minister's Olympic Dinner Committee expressed his thoughts (Oh what a well of creativity Peter) and briefed artistic director Ted Dunn (weren't you lucky Peter) with a simple statement. Seeing we have the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra could we reflect on the Barcelona Olympic Games then bridge to the up coming Atlanta Olympic Games, and finally to Australia including the announcement of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. Well that is what we have ended up with here our little salute to all three Olympics. It's the kind of thing your mum and dad would have bought when you were a teenager listening to Thorpie or Black Sabbath but this is 1996 you're the Mums and Dad's and in some cases the Granparents so did you buy it ? My one beef with this CD is that there is no real track listing order and there are more songs than are named on the CD so I did my best with what I had you may be able to do better.