Way back when, Wednesdays

Girl with a guitar

Some of our readers may remember watching Franci Chamings on the  Adelaide show for children called Young 7.   Young 7 screened at 9am on ADS Channel 7 in the mornings during the 1970s.

Franci Chamings edit symon


In the edition dated 17 November 1971, the North East Leader, a Messenger Newspaper reported on a local girl from Dernancourt who had been singing on Adelaide television. As stated in the article, Franci performed on the children’s program The Super Duper Flying Fun Show and The Tonight Show hosted by radio identity and former footballer Barry Ion.

After gaining a following on a children’s television show, Singer/songwriter Franci also performed live on stage such as at her Family with Franci Chamings concert in 1975.

Franci did go on to make recordings. She recorded the 45rpm single For You (B side: Why) with Pussycat Records, Australia.

In 1976 she made the vinyl LP album for young children entitled Favourite Nursery Rhymes and Actions Songs at Slater Sound in Adelaide. The album featured a collection of traditional children’s rhymes. Maybe you have it in your childhood record collection!  http://www.45cat.com/record/nc168385au

Favourite nursery rhymes

Image taken from:  http://www.tvmem.com/OZST/tv/D/DUDLEYDO/DUDLEYDO.html



Sammy the Seagull

Sammy the Seagull also appeared on Young 7.  He is pictured here with young Gavin Swindler and Suzanne Fox at Christies Beach.  Photograph B 70869/14138.  https://collections.slsa.sa.gov.au/resource/B+70869/1413




Way back when, Wednesdays

R.O.C.K. in the T.T.P

Have you heard of Johnny Cougar? Tea Tree Plaza advertised the forthcoming appearance of pop star ‘cool cat Johnny Cougar’, on page 18 of the Leader Messenger dated 9 August 1978.

Johnny Cougar

Johnny Cougar and John Cougar were stage names used by Indiana born heartland rock musician and singer-songwriter John Mellencamp, early in his career from 1976 to 1982. Believe it; at the age of 26, John Mellencamp visited Tea Tree Plaza, before he rose to fame internationally. Let us know if you went to Tea Tree Plaza to see him or if you attended the Grease themed ball in Adelaide!

John’s professional music career began in 1976 when he secured a recording contract with MCA Records. The company released his first album, The Chestnut Street Incident, which featured some original compositions and cover versions.

John’s manager insisted that he change his name to Johnny Cougar in the belief that it would be too hard to sell a record by anybody who had a surname like Mellencamp, which reflected John’s German heritage. Eventually John would become successful enough to insist on using his real name.  http://www.mellencamp.com/about.html

During an interview in 2005 John Mellencamp revealed “That (name) was put on me by some manager. I went to New York and everybody said, ‘You sound like a hillbilly.’ And I said, ‘Well, I am.’ So that’s where he came up with that name. I was totally unaware of it until it showed up on the album jacket. When I objected to it, he said, ‘Well, either you’re going to go for it, or we’re not going to put the record out.’ So that was what I had to do… but I thought the name was pretty silly.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Mellencamp


Unfortunately, The Chestnut Street Incident was not a commercial success. MCA Records ended their association with John but supported by Billy Gaff, (who also managed Rod Stewart) he secured a contract with the small Riva Records label. On the advice of his new manager, John moved to England to record his new album A Biography in 1978. He then went on tour to promote it. John had a top ten hit in Australia at this time with I need a Lover. His album A Biography peaked at 19 on the Australian music charts but it was not released in America.


John recorded his successful self-titled album in 1979, Nothin’ Matters and What If It Did in 1980 and American Fool in 1982, under the name John Cougar.  I Need a Lover was included on John Cougar and made it to number 28 on the Billboard Hot 100 in late 1979. US charts. He released Uh-Huh in 1983, Scarecrow in 1985, The Lonesome Jubilee in 1987 and Big Daddy in 1989 using the name John Cougar Mellencamp. John finally dropped the Cougar part of his name with the release of Whenever We Wanted in 1991.


Way back when, Wednesdays

Tea Tree Plaza rocks!

You might know that Westfield Tea Tree Plaza has hosted concerts by contestants from The X Factor, which have attracted thousands of spectators. It seems that our shopping hub has a long tradition of embracing popular music and bringing in the crowds.


On Wednesday 9 December 1970, the Leader Messenger included a special Christmas insert advertising Tea Tree Plaza. Top news was that pop/rock band The Masters Apprentices were to appear at the Plaza on 19 December.  For anybody who does not belong to the Baby Boomer generation, the iconic Masters Apprentices was founded in Adelaide in 1965 and disbanded in 1972.  During this time, the band’s membership changed.  However it is generally known for being fronted by vocalist Jim Keays and for launching the career of bass guitarist Glen Wheatly (who later became a well known music producer, entrepreneur and manager).


The Masters Apprentices embraced psychedelia and bubblegum pop in their music, before evolving into a progressive hard rock band in the early 1970s. The band had several chart hits in Australia including the singles Undecided, Living in a Child’s Dream, 5:10 Man, Think About Tomorrow Today, Turn Up Your Radio and Because I Love You. If you are not familiar with their songs, you might have heard the instrumental music from Because I love you, as it is featured as background music in a recent advertisement for Australian Super.

The Masters Apprentices was inducted into the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) Hall of Fame in 1998.



Your Friendly Neighbourhood Librarian...Ready to ROCK!!!

Your Friendly Neighbourhood Librarian…Ready to ROCK!!!

Heavy Metal Legends Iron Maiden, a band I have loved since the age of 13, hit Adelaide last Thursday as part of their Book of Souls world tour and I had to go.

One of the first of what came to be called the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, Iron Maiden served as inspiration for many metal acts that followed, including Metallica. With a musical style that is almost like classical music that you can lose yourself in, and with lyrical content drawn from history, politics, social issues and literature, they are what I like to call the ‘thinking mans’ metal band. (You know, I once aced a history test by memorising the lyrics to their song Alexander the Great!)

The show opened with the haunting acapella intro of If Eternity Should Fail with the band joining Dickinson on stage in an explosion of pyros and sound. The 15 song set drew heavily from the new album and included the beautiful Tears of a Clown, dedicated to the late Robin Williams. My only disappointment was that the incredible album closer Empire of the Clouds was not included.
Of the “legacy” songs (not “old” according to Dickinson), concert standards The Trooper (about the charge of the Light Brigade in the Crimean War), Fear of the Dark, Iron Maiden, Blood Brothers and Number of the Beast were all included but fan favourites Run to the Hills and Two Minutes to Midnight were dropped. In their place was a lesser known Children of the Damned and Egyptian-inspired Powerslave which was a great surprise and fit well with the theme of Book of Souls. For me however, the highlight of the whole night was the song they chose to close with: Wasted Years. This is my absolute favourite song and one that I never thought to hear played live as it rarely makes it into the set.

Heavy Metal Legends in Action

Heavy Metal Legends in Action

With more energy than most bands half their age, Maiden actually perform on stage with costumes, pyros and a giant ‘Eddie’ (the band mascot).  The show was everything I had hoped for and short of backing off from a couple of high notes, one would never have guessed that singer Bruce Dickinsen was being treated for cancer in his mouth this time last year!

At one point, the singer halted a song to berate a fan who was getting out of control (security would remove him from the arena). Dickinson went on to apologise reminding people that Iron Maiden is about the love of music, not getting wasted, and that a joint love of music made the fans and the band family.

(Now I have to get my hair cut…I promised my mum…)

Not familiar with the work of Iron Maiden? Why not have a listen to one of their many albums, or check out the live DVD from the Final Frontier or Somewhere Back In Time world tours, documentaries on the band and the New Wave of Metal, or read about their almost 40 year history.

Love in the 90s

While going through the compactus in the Community History Room I found these old cassette tapes which took me instantly back to the 1990s. A well selected mix tape was a vital part of any 90s courtship. The songs were carefully chosen to express how you wanted the person to see you but also how you wanted to relate to the person.

The mix tape was a maze of subtexts layered with meanings but a well trained eye could read the meaning behind the tape well before they even listened to the songs. A 60 minute tape meant “I ‘like’ like you”. A 90 minute tape meant “I think I love you” and a 3 pack of 90 minute tapes was essentially a marriage proposal.

My mix tapes always had a Cure song (to show that I was “dark”), a Smiths song (to show that I was “clever”) and a Kylie Minogue song (to show that I was “fun” and open to irony).

What would have been on your mix tape?

Like, love and marriage.

Like, love and marriage.

RIP Robert Bernard Sherman

Robert Sherman

Robert Sherman

You may not know the name, but you most certainly know the music. Robert B. Sherman (working in conjunction with his brother Richard) was responsible for the scores of many of the most famous Disney musicals.

His writing credits include such classics as Mary Poppins (1964), The Jungle Book (1967), Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968), The Aristocats (1970), Bedknobs and Broomsticks (1971) and The Tigger Movie (2000), just to name a few.
In addition to his film credits, Sherman also wrote “It’s a small world (after all)” for the Disney theme park.
His work was nominated for nine Academy Awards including a win for Best Original Song (Chim Chim Cher-ee) and Best Music Score (Mary Poppins) as well as a Grammy Award for the Mary Poppins soundtrack.
The Sherman Brothers recieved a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1976.
Robert Sherman died in London on March 5th, 2012.
Why not borrow Mary Poppins, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, or any of his other works and relive the music and the memories.

Soundwave is coming!

This Saturday will see punk, heavy metal and rock music fans (including a few librarians) descending on Adelaide for Soundwave Festival. Held in Bonython Park, this year’s lineup is led by legendary rock band Iron Maiden.

You can do your research on the band before seeing them in concert, with the DVD Iron Maiden and the new wave of British heavy metal, or listen to some of the other bands that will perform on the day. The Library CD collection contains titles by Queens of the Stone Age, 30 Seconds to Mars, New Found Glory, Slash, Coheed and Cambria and more.

It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas!

With Christmas not far away and shops already displaying tinsel and baubles, we thought we would get in the festive mood by updating our Christmas music collection.    You can now sing along with your favourite artists as you begin preparing the Christmas pudding!

Try some of these CDs:
Christmas around the World by Andre Rieu
Christmas by Chris Isaak
Christmas by Hillsong
It’s a Hi-5 Christmas by Hi-5
So fresh: songs for Christmas by various artists
Disney Channel Christmas hits

To find out what else is available, search the Library catalogue .