Before things get too serious here at Rock On Vinyl, I thought it might be fun to post a song / album at the end of each month, that could be categorized as being either Weird, Obscure, Crazy or just plain Korny.
The flyer itself was a promotional handout advertising the 'Fabulous Fabian' Australian Tour, and designed to entice teenage entrepreneurs to organise at least 30 of their friends to sign up for tickets to the show, and in return pay them £2/2/- for their organisational work. How smart was that !
Anyhow, what really caught my eye was the list of support artists that were billed on the show with the American heart throb Fabian:
Col Joy & The Joy Boys, Johnny O'Keefe & The D.J's, Johnny Devlin & The Devils, Dig Richards and The Crescents.
|Australian 'Fabian Tour' Program|
Now finding this priceless piece of Aussie music trivia got me thinking about how Leedon records was formed, and so the research started.
Leedon was established in 1958 by legendary American jazz promoter Lee Gordon and was co-owned by his partner Johnny O'Keefe. Lee Gordon who was famous for bringing Frank Sinatra to Australia for a concert tour, and later managing Australia’s first Rock’n’Roll act Johnny O’Keefe and staging “Big Shows” around the country. Leedon Records, the Australian record label was active from 1958 to 1969. The original "LS" series was inaugurated in 1958 with "The Shake" by The Mark IV and most of the early LS releases were tracks licenced from overseas labels by American artists such as Duane Eddy, Dion & The Belmonts, Dick Dale and Little Junior Parker.
Among the earliest Australian Leedon releases were "Rock On" by Johnny Rebb (September 1959) and Lee Gordon's own "Get The Message"
|Leedon Red label|
The first series (red label) was mainly for distribution of US material although it recorded Australian acts. Around 1961 the label became a purely local label co-operated by Johnny O’Keefe until Lee Gordon passed away in 1963.
O’Keefe took control of the label and recorded and produced local acts as well as his own releases and lasted until the death of Johnny O’Keefe in 1978. Leedon records was an independent label until 1960 when it was distributed by Festival, then became part of the Festival family in 1962.
Now, to top off this amazing find, I recently came across a copy of Johnny O'Keefe's 1959 hit single "Shout" at a flee market, and it features the famous LS series label in all its glory (see below). Boy, did I feel like 'Shouting' when I found this gem.
It is also worth noting that while researching the various artists listed on this flyer, I discovered that Dig Richards may not have actually performed as advertised. As reported by the Australian Women's Weekly, he was laid up in hospital recovering from a car accident, and the photo of Fabian visiting him seems to indicate this fact (see right).
In honour of this wonderful historical find, I have decided to post some of the singles that the supporting artists on the 'Fabulous Fabian Tour' released at that time, and probably sang while on tour. (Thanks must go to Deutros, from whom I acquired some of the singles included in this post, marked with *)
So this month's WOCK on Vinyl is truley a piece of 'Obscure' Aussie Rock history which I just had to share with you.
Now, how many of you would like to buy tickets to this wonderful show? There's still 30 tickets available and I'm keen to get my £2/2/-
01 Fabian - Tiger
02 Col Joye & The Joye Boys - Sixteen Candles*
03 Col Joye & The Joye Boys - Stagger Lee *
04 Johnny Devlin - Doreen
05 Johnny Devlin - Wild One
06 Dig Richards - I Wanna Love You *
07 The Crescents - Mr Blue *
08 The Crescents - When You Wish Upon A Star *
09 Johnny O'Keefe - Swanee River
10 Johnny O'Keefe - Shout (Parts 1 & 2)
Lee Gordon Presents (54Mb) New Link 04/05/2021