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History of Australian Music

  • 50's Rockabilly/Rock 'n' Roll

    50's Rockabilly/Rock 'n' Roll
    Rockabilly is one of the earliest forms of rock music. The genre dates back to the early 50’s where it was made popular by many artists in America. It was popularized by its unique mixture of country, bluegrass. rhythm and blues music.

    It was around this time when Australia was exposed to Rock and Roll music.
  • Rock 'n' Roll in Australia

    Rock 'n' Roll in Australia
    In the mid 1950’s, American Rockabilly and Rock ‘n’ roll was introduced to Australia, by many local musicians performing the music genre. It was around this time when the youth of Australia had their first glance at rock ‘n’ roll through films, records and television. It was films like Rock Around the Clock that introduced the music genre’s rebellious attitude.
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    History of Australian Music

  • Johnny O'Keefe

    Johnny O'Keefe
    Johnny O’Keefe started his music career in early 1953, when he was primarily a Jazz musician. He sang with the quintet of jazz accordionist Gus Merzi at charity dances. During this time, O’Keefe was being tutored to play piano by Merzi as he recognised O’Keefe’s potential. O’Keefe started performing regularly at the Bondi Auditorium.
  • Johnny O'Keefe's exposure to Rock 'n' Roll

    Johnny O'Keefe's exposure to Rock 'n' Roll
    In June 1955, O’Keefe viewed a screening of “Blackboard Jungle” where he heard the Bill Haley’s song “Rock Around the Clock”. It immediately inspired him to become a Rock ‘n Roll singer. From then on O’Keefe Became one of Australia’s first rock artists.
  • O'Keefe's Hits and influences

    O'Keefe's Hits and influences
    Many consider that his biggest hit “Wild One”, released in 1958 is Australia’s first rock song. During this time he also released “Shout”.
    Johnny’s primary influence was an American singer Johnnie Ray. He had idolised Ray’s stage presence and even imitated it during his early performances. As O’Keefe was raised by a very musical family, he was also influenced by his parent's musical abilities. With his growing popularity, O’Keefe continued performing for decades.
  • The Delltones

    The Delltones were a popular Australian rock and roll band. The rock act formed in 1958. The four original band members are Brian Perkins, Noel Widerberg, Ian ‘Peewee’ Wilson and Warren Lucas. They have been performing for decades and their most successful singles and top hits were made and recorded in the 1960’s.
  • 60's Rock and Surf music

    60's Rock and Surf music
    The popularity of 50's Rock 'n' Roll music inspired various bands in the 60's. Bands like The Easybeats and Billy Thorpe & the Aztecs were made famous because of their unique sound. It was also during that time when Australia was introduced to Surf music
  • Billy Thorpe & The Aztecs

    Billy Thorpe & The Aztecs
    The Aztecs were a surf rock band who originally formed in Sydney in 1963. Similar to The Easybeats, they gained popularity with their “British invasion” sound. Unfortunately the band split apart in 1967. Their biggest hit was 1964’s “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” which came in at number one the Australian charts in 1965. The band was primarily an instrumental band, but as soon as the singer Billy Thorpe joined, the music was then influenced by the “British Invasion bands”.
  • The Easybeats

    The Easybeats
    Formed in late 1964, The Easybeats are considered as one of the most influential Australian rock bands. At the time they were actually echoing the success of the Beatles in England. The band consisted of lead singer Stevie Wright, drummer Gordon "Snowy" Fleet, rhythm guitarist George Young was, lead guitarist Harry Vanda and bassist Dick Diamonde. All members migrated from Europe to Australia due to post-war migration.
  • The Easybeats

    The Easybeats
    The Band formed in Sydney in late 1964. They were all influenced by the “British Invasion” with bands such as The Beatles. The band had become popular throughout the local scene and later got signed to EMI. In 1966 they released various hits such as "For My Woman" and "She's So Fine" boosted their popularity. They eventually relocated to London. Since then, they have appeared in many TV programs, including a Coca-cola special.
  • The Easybeats' "Friday On My Mind"

    The Easybeats' "Friday On My Mind"
    In 17 November 1966, The Easybeats released their first international hit which was “Friday On My mind” which eventually ended up selling over one million copies worldwide.
  • 70's Hard Rock

    70's Hard Rock
    With the establishment of ‘Countdown’ and “Double J” (Now Triple J) Australian Rock and Roll music has drastically changed the sound, introducing bands Such as ACDC and Rose Tattoo.
  • ACDC

    ACDC
    The Band was formed by Angus Young and Malcolm Young. Since their formation in 1973, ACDC has become arguably the best band to come out of Australia. In 1974 Mark Evans, was the lead vocals for the band, but was later fired because of creative differences. The band hired Bon Scott, who is known to be their best singer and recorded their first record High Voltage in 1975. Bon Scott later died and was replaced by Brian Johnson
  • Rose Tattoo

    Rose Tattoo
    Formed in 1976, Rose Tattoo is one of the heaviest sounding bands during this era. With a Hard rock and Blues Rock influences, they were unique compared to others. They had hits such as "Bad Boy for Love", "Rock 'n' Roll Outlaw", "Nice Boys", "We Can't Be Beaten" and "Scarred for Life". They differ from many bands during this time as they had strong heavy blues lyrics and a strong emphasis on slide guitar. Their self-title album released in 1978 reached top 40 on the Australian Music Report
  • ACDC's Influences and Hits

    ACDC's Influences and Hits
    The Young Brothers were influenced by Chuck Berry and various other blues artists. In 1979 ACDC had released their first international hit "Highway To Hell". The record contained some of their biggest hits, such as "Walk All Over You", "Shut Down In Flames" and of course "Highway To Hell". Unfortunately, shortly after the record was released, Bon Scott had died.
  • 80's Music

    Indie, punk, post-punk and early Australian electronica was introduced during this decade. Bands like INXS and Midnight oil really made an impact in Australian music.
  • Midnight Oil

    Midnight Oil were an Australian Alternative rock band formed in 1976, but like INXS gained their popularity during the early 80’s with the release of “10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1”. The band disbanded in 2002 so that the lead singer Peter Garrett could focus on his political career. Since then, the band has had a few one off reunions.
  • Midnight Oil Influences

    Midnight oil was influenced by bands such as Creedence Clearwater Revival, Led Zeppelin and cream, but when Garrett joined he influenced the band members by introducing them to many progressive rock bands.
    The band had influenced the decade with their activist songs
  • INXS

    INXS were a rock band formed in 1977 but gained most of their popularity during the early 80’s. The band continued for decades up until 2012 when they had broken up. In 1997 INXS singer Michael Hutchense died and the band went on hiatus until the early 2000’s. The band eventually found a new singer in J.D. Fortune in 2005. One of INXS’ well-known hits is their 1984 release “Original Sin” which was featured on their sixth album “The Swing”.
  • 90's Alternative

    During the 1990’s alternative rock had become mainstream around the world. Grunge acts like Nirvana had influenced many bands in Australia during that time.
  • Silverchair

    Formed in Newcastle in 1992, Silverchair are one of Australia’s well known alternative rock acts. Originally named “Innocent Criminals” the band consists of Ben Gillies on drums, Chris Joannou on bass guitar and Daniel Johns on vocals and guitars. In 1994 the band won a national demo competition conducted by SBS TV show Nomad and ABC radio station, Triple J which lead the band to getting their first big break. Since then they have been a successful Australian and international music act.
  • Silverchair Influences and Hits

    Before getting signed to a record label, Silverchair played covers of songs by Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and Deep purple. These bands were their primary influences.
    With the bands growing popularity, their album "Freak Show", released in February 3 1997 sold over 1.5 million copies. The album contained hits such as 'Freak' and 'Abuse me'.
  • The Living End

    The living end is a Punk rock band formed in 1994. The band consists of Chris Cheney (vocals, guitar), Scott Owen (double bass, vocals) and Andy Strachan (drums). The band gained popularity in 1997 after the release of their double A-sided single, "Second Solution”, "Prisoner of Society", which ended up at number 4 on the ARIA Singles Chart.
  • The Living End Influences

    The lead singer Chris Cheney was influenced by Rockabilly band "Straycats". He was also a big fan of bands such as the clash. They differ from most bands as they are heavily influenced by Rockabilly hence the look and the music. They incorporate punk and rockabilly together, which creates their original sound
  • Jet

    A band heavily influenced by 1960’s acts such as the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, Jet have definitely put an impact in Australian music since forming in 2001.The band has a mixture of characteristics such as hard rock, blues rock and punk. The band was formed in 2001 while they were still attending St Bede's College Mentone in Melbourne. They had their first big international hit “Are You Gonna Be My girl” which was released in August 25, 2003. The band sadly split in 2012
  • Parkway Drive

    Parkway drive is a Metalcore band formed in 2002. The metal act was originally from Byron Bay. The Band consists of Winston McCall (lead vocals), Jeff Ling (Lead Guitar), Luke Kilpatrick (Guitar), Jia O'Connor (bass) and Ben Gordon (drums). The band's sound consists of screamed vocals, Heavy guitar riffs and hardcore punk breakdowns.
  • Parkway Drive Influences and Hits

    Some of the bands influences are In Flames, Unearth, Evergreen Terrace, Bleeding Through and Killswitch Engage.Their third studio album “Deep Blue” released in 29 June 2010 sold over 35,000 records. Since forming in 2002, Parkway has really influened the 'Metalcore' scene.
  • Gotye

    Wouter "Wally" De Backer known as Gotye is a Grammy award winning multi- instrumentalist, who earned his popularity with his big hit song “somebody that I used to know” which was released in July 5th 2011. Gotye was born on the 21st May 1980. When he was two his parents migrated to Australia form Bruges, Belgium. After years in the ‘indie’ scene, Gotye finally made it with his music in 2011. It seems that his music is Indie rock and alternative rock. Gotye is now considered influential.
  • Northlane

    With only two studio albums, Northlane is one of the fastest growing Australian Progressive metalcore bands. Forming in 2009, the band already has 2 albums and a large fan base. Their biggest hit at the moment is “Quantum flux” which was released in 4th of March 2013. They have not made any major achievements, but they are already known internationally.