Fame can be fleeting, big hopes and even bigger dreams evaporate with the hype when a promise of notoriety instead becomes a one hit wonder, but the opposite has also been the reality for a few of our home grown music stars. Let’s take a look at how some of our hit makers have risen, or not, to become and stay household names for better or worse, and we’ll check out some that also had their chance at the top, even if just for the blink of an eye!
So, what really happens to some pop stars when their music fails to continue to turn over the cash register? Some become judges on reality TV shows, some appear as contestants on reality TV shows, and, some try both!! Mark Holden fits the bill nicely here. Remember his string of love songs, ‘I Wanna Make You My Lady’, ‘Last Romance’ and ‘Let’s Go Dancing’ in the seventies? I do!! Ask your mum if you don’t. Classic, good looking boy next door”¦”¦”¦.. Well, times change and who could forget Mark’s stint as a judge on Australian Idol and his much anticipated ‘Touchdowns’. Not so bad, fast forward 2014 and ‘Dancing with the Stars’ clangers with his weird and inappropriate scary clown routine and bizarre parody of Russian leader Vladimir Putin. These days he works as a lawyer, let’s hope he scores a few touchdowns for his clients instead of the scores of one, he received on DWTS judges!
Cue, very cute young girl, blonde curls and a big voice. Given the opportunity to sing at the opening ceremony of the Sydney Olympics in 2000, Nikki Webster was seemingly assured of being the next big thing. At the age of thirteen, she had released two successful singles including ‘Strawberry Kisses’ and ‘Something More Beautiful’, scored a lead role in a stage production of ‘Wizard of Oz’ and had her own clothing label. At eighteen and no longer the cute little girl any longer, she broke the girl next door image by posing for men’s magazine FHM for which she was widely criticised. She hasn’t stopped working but these days her big role is mother to nine month old Skylah along with running a dance school and talent agency.
Soapie Stars Become Singers
One of our biggest music exports Kylie Minogue started her career as a child actress, but her best known acting role is probably as Charlene on long running soapie ‘Neighbours’. Her first single ‘Locomotion’ spent seven weeks at the top of the music charts and was the highest selling single of the eighties. Her star has never faded, with an OBE from the Queen for services to music in 2008, she holds numerous other accolades, not the least being inducted into the Aria Hall of Fame in 2011. Her diagnosis of breast cancer in 2005 did little to slow her down, using her fame to raise awareness of this dreadful disease. At the age of forty six, she continues to produce hit after hit with sell out concerts all around the world.
Kylie’s co-star and other half of team Charlene and Scott was Jason Donovan. Whilst he hasn’t had the success of his TV wife, he had a hit album in 1989 with ‘Ten Good Reasons’. You may think that he had disappeared into obscurity like so many others, but these days his career is alive and well, more recently touring the UK in a production of ‘Pricilla, Queen of the Desert’.
Adapting with the Times
Many may not realise that Johnny Young, synonymous with the Young Talent Time juggernaut of the seventies and eighties, was himself a bone fide pop star in the sixties. In fact, for three years he was one of Australia’s top performers, with the second biggest selling single of the sixties, edged out only, by his mate Normie Rowe. He then attempted to break into the UK music scene and when that fizzled out, turned his hand to song writing, TV presenting, record and television producing, also working as a DJ and long term radio breakfast host. He is best remembered though, as the ever smiling face of Young Talent Time, guiding young hopefuls on their own path to stardom. Tina Arena and Danni Minogue, just two of the stars to emerge from the show. He has also established a successful talent school in Perth, known as the Johnny Young Talent School. He was inducted into the TV Week Logie Awards Hall of Fame in 1990 and is the only person to be inducted to both the Logie and Aria Hall of Fame, receiving the latest honour in 2010. He still performs on stage occasionally with industry stalwarts such as Normie Rowe, Colleen Hewett and Marcie Jones.
One Hit Wonders
Our reminiscing would not be complete without mentioning those that gave it their all, but unfortunately, were little more than a flash in the pan! The seventies brought us ‘The Ferrets’ with ‘Don’t Fall in Love’, ‘The Meteors’ and ‘Slipping Away’. The eighties, my favourite music decade of all time, completely memorable with such gems as ‘Space Invaders’ by ‘Player’, ‘They won’t let my girlfriend talk to me’ by ‘Jimmy and the boys’ and ‘The Dynamic Hepnotics’ with ‘Soul Kind of Feeling’, true eighties funk! Legendary one time hit makers from the nineties include ‘Wedding Parties, Anything’ with ‘Father’s Day’, ‘Peter Blakely’ and ‘Crying in the Chapel’ and one which may invade your brain for days to come, ‘Joe Dolce’ with the irritating but unforgettable, ‘Shaddup Your Face’.
Whether enduring, or here today, gone tomorrow, music is part of our lives and we would be all the poorer for not having it around.
What or who is your favourite Aussie band or artist?
How many one hit wonders did you miss after they were gone?