Roma Writer's Group
The Works of David Bowden
The Nasho Letter
44 Miscamble Street,
GPO Box 1450,
Re: "The Nasho Years 1951-1972"
My brother, Lloyd, and I lived on a property near Muckadilla in South Western Queensland between 1951 and 1972. I was born in 1943. This made me too young to be eligible for compulsory National Service and too old to be in the draft for Service in Viet Nam. However Lloyd was born on 1946 and eligible for the draft. His birthdate of July 1st was not drawn - much to the relief of our mother.
It is a little strange writing about this now. Just hope the reader can appreciate how important music was to Lloyd and I. Our property was five miles of dirt road and five gates from Muckadilla and a further twenty-seven miles to Roma the largest town nearby. So radio was our contact with the outside world.
Picture a highset homestead with a massive verandah on the front. Lloyd and I slept in single wooden beds on the verandah. Now we were only about ten feet apart yet we both had Phillips portable radios powered by batteries. We nearly always listened to Radio 4ZR at Roma. At night times we would tune into Radio 2ue in Sydney and listen to John Laws (Long John is on) was his catch cry. He appears to have matured since.
The early 1950's had us Listening to the "Hillbillies" early in the morning from 6am to 6.45. A young Slim Dusty, Tex Morton, Chad Morgan and the like all had us comparing them to the American Country singers.
Big bands and crooners made up the bulk of music air time. The ladies such as Doris Day were few in numbers and easy to listen to at the time. The odd British singer came and went without too much acclaim. I remember one year Tommy Steele had a comedy song called, "The little white Bull." That year a Mr. Thrupp had a near white Shorthorn Bull in the Grand Parade at the Roma Show. Apparently he was not really impressed when the Ring Announcer played, "The Little White Bull" as he entered the ring.
Lloyd and I were in Toowoomba at Downlands College when the Rock"n'Roll era started. Bill Hayley and the Comets produced a legion of young blokes with longer than usual haircuts with carefully trained "Duck Tails" fashioned at the back by combing longish hair over an index finger from the left and the right. This left a furrow down the back of the head held in place by Brylcream. Naturally the priests and brothers at Downlands did not appreciate this and they were banned during school term and crept back at holidays.
Elvis and "Rock Around the Clock" had three attempts to be shown at the College picture night. First night we only saw the credits and were sent back to the dormitories. Apparently the priest showing the Movie took exception to the young blokes arriving in fluorescent socks, stove pipe trousers and bright coloured shirts and jackets. The loud singing along with Elvis had the second attempt stopped. Third time lucky- the priest finally let it go through when he realised this was the way of young people then.
The example of the likes of Normie Rowe in National Service for Australia and Elvis Presley for America impressed me and probably heaps of others. There had been a stronger development of Australian Music. Johnny O'Keefe, Col Joye, Little Patty and others. Male and female seemed to take to the new sounds well. The public accepted both well too. The Troops also when they travelled overseas to entertain.
To me the old "Hillbilly Singers" took the transition well. The use of only three chords and a story became better with the use of more instruments in backing groups. The Country and Western style of to-day was developed in this period.
Music development was probably more influenced by British Singers and bands in this period. To me the British experimented more with all styles of musical instruments and introduced sounds from Eastern cultures.
The Beatles from Liverpool and the Mersey sound from other British bands made us more aware of different music and lyrics. Fashion in clothes and hair styles came from the British. Their styles also were influenced by their exposure to working in European countries.
Around the world and in every country disc jockeys developed personal unique styles still talked about to-day. If the music of the fifties, sixties and early seventies influenced the "Baby Boomers,"\ then the decisions by disc jockeys to play certain artists shaped the new generation of youth.
We can now look back on thirty years following "The Nasho Years 1951 - 1972." To this bloke for Muckadilla, comes the observation, "We have done very Well !!"(Ends)