Tuesday, May 18, 2010

#184: (You Hit The Wrong Note) Billy Goat

Ain't that a thing of beauty? Damn straight it is.  I personally think it's one of the best such programmes that I've seen in many a year.  It's perfectly white and has been stored in a book since the show happened, sometime in the early 1960s.  The only flaw in the programme is two small tape marks to the back cover where it was stuck down.

Now, how do I know it's been stored for that long?  Because I just bought the book it came in.

I like doing the auction circuit if only because you never know what you're going to get. Yesterday I did an on-line auction when a lot came up that consisted of photographs and ‘paraphernalia’. I expected that the latter part of the description meant items like the Dark Tan press kit, so I was happy with that. I logged on, sat back and got ready to bid.

I had a limit and that quickly passed. I had no idea what was in the lot but my curiosity was piqued by the high bids placed, so I increased mine and won the lot. Once I got it home I realised what I’d done – I’d bought a lot that had once belonged to an Adelaide based promoter who operated in the late 1950s through to the 1970s. Great stuff indeed. The collection appears to be from a promoter named James ‘Jim’ Berry. I can’t find any information about him on the internet – no great surprise – but I did locate the other name which is prominent on the documents – Ivan Dayman.

Ivan Dayman should be a name that many Australian music historians recognise without me saying anymore. Dayman was a South Australian promoter who, after moving to Queensland, ended up forming, and running, the Sunshine label, which boasted a roster including Normie Rowe, Mike Furber & The Bowery Boys, The Purple Hearts, Tony Worsley & The Fabulous Blue Jays, The Atlantics, Ricky & Tammy, Running Jumping Standing Still, Bill & Boyd and the stunningly named Rev. Black & The Rockin' Vicars amongst others.

According to the Milesago web-site, “The late Ivan Dayman played a major role in the Australian music industry in the mid-1960s. He's often mentioned in connection with the pop artists he recorded, managed and promoted, but there is very little factual information about the man who was one of Australia's most successful pop impresarios in the booming Australian pop industry of the mid-60s. What follows is a compendium of the various scraps of information, claim and fable that we have been able to locate.

“It's fair to say that Dayman is a controversial figure, and he has been criticised for his management style. The late Dean Mittelhauser, for example, blamed Dayman for splitting the singer from his original band, The Bowery Boys, and grooming him as a Normie Rowe clone/successor.

(Not Jim Berry or Ivan Dayman, actually it's a signed photo of the late Mike Furber)

“Certainly, Dayman exerted a considerable degree of control over his clients, since he was typically managing them, booking them and producing their recordings, regularly sending his artists off on package tours which included gigs at his various venues. He promoted a string of Australian artists, many of them originally from Brisbane, the rest predominantly from Melbourne and there's no question that under his patronage Normie Rowe, Tony Worsley and Mike Furber became major national pop stars.”

Dayman was also a country wide promoter and he had a hand in this Johnny O’Keefe tour. Incredibly, along with the programme, the book also had three original flyers from the tour, a definite prize indeed, so cast your peepers on those.

The book had several dozen interesting items inside of it, including correspondence dating back to 1964, running sheets for various shows, programmes going back to the late 1950s (including one signed by no less a luminary than Ernie Sigley) and a pile of promotional photos of artists and bands that you’ve either never heard of or have shut out of your mind since they vanished into the haze. Over the next few weeks I’ll scan stuff at random and post it here for people to see.

Then I’ll sell it all on eBay. As you do.

More to come.

Mind you, just who the hell is this guy? This photo and signature were in the book as well, it looks like a dude who's name might be Ronnie Fletcher, but I'm not sure. Anyone?


Anonymous said...

Ronnie Fletcher was a Victorian rock and roll singer of the very early 1960's. He was one of Ivan Dayman's stable of artists in the Victorian arm of his organisation along with the Planets, Thunderbirds, Billy Owens, Sapphires, Margie Mills, Moontones,PLanetones etc.

Peter Millen

Anonymous said...

Ron Fletcher turned from being a performer to manager. He worked with DYT Productions and later was personal manager of The Strangers (probably Austalia's highest paid group in the 60's and )for many years. He later formed a cabaret/comedy style group "The Light Brigade" who were very popular on the VFL footy club social club circuit.
Roberto Cooko

Anonymous said...

Margie Mills born in Scotland popular singer in the 1960's on various variety TV shows was Melbourne Australian based. Later on she left Australia for the U. S. A. Eventually Margie settled in New York where she kept up her singing and making TV appearances and singing at various high profile hotels and also cutting new records
Unfortunately Margie Mills passed away in 2004 in New York aged 64yrs. with a brain haemorphge Margie Mills is sorely missed by her friends and family and of course her
Number One Fan and friend, me, Kaye