Australia Rock







Australia Rock



Rock Music in Australia

Rock music was born in the 1950’s and has proliferated fast throughout the world since then. Australia was one of the many countries that adapted and embraced its rather interesting culture.


Rock music started gaining popularity in Australia during the mid 50’s and 60’s. By 1970’s Australia already has its own rock bands, which have strong American and British influence.


It wasn’t until the 80’s when Australian rock, also known as Oz Rock, started to develop its own rock sound that is distinctively Australian.


It is also during this decade when Australian rock bands broke through the international music scene.



American rock music was brought to Australia by Lee Gordon, when he arrived in the country in 1953. Gordon is the American entrepreneur who made Johnnie Ray known in the Australian music scene.

Australia Rock

Other music influences brought by this music mogul are Artie Shaw, Bill Haley and the Comets, Buddy Holly and The Crickets, Chuck Berry, Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, and a lot more.


Mr. Gordon not only brought on influence to Australia but also helped in the development of Australian local talents. Although he’s an American, Mr. Gordon didn’t ignore local talents.


He cultivated and motivated them by giving them a chance to shine on the stage as support performers in the many concerts he organized in Australia.


One beneficiary of Lee Gordon’s local talent promotion was Johnny O’Keefe. O’Keefe started to get noticed by the public after several appearances in Mr. Gordon’s Bill Haley Tour. Johnny O’Keefe soon after became one of Australia’s rock icons.


He was the first Australian artist to be included in the Australian Top 40, with his single, Wild One.


He was also the first Australian to get a contract with an international label, the US Liberty. Another first for him is being the first rock and roll star who hosted a radio program—the Rockville Junction aired on ABC Radio.

Other Australian rockers who gained more or less the same popularity are Alan Dale and the Houserockers, Col Joye and The Joy Boys, Dig Richards and the R’Jays, Digger Revell and the Denvermen, and Ray Hoff and The Offbeats, just to name a few.


The biggest British influence on Australian rock music scene was the world-famous Beatles. The Beatles always got wild and worshipping receptions in every tour they had in Australia, as well as in New Zealand, during the 60’s.

Australia Lee Gordon

The Australian tour of the famous band in 1964 gathered around 300,000 fans in the city of Adelaide. The audience size is more than a quarter of the city’s population during that time!



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