Grace Knight

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Grace Knight
Birth name Grace Ethel Knight
Born (1955-12-23) 23 December 1955 (age 58)
Manchester, England, United Kingdom
Genres Indie pop, new wave, jazz
Occupations Musician, singer-songwriter
Instruments Voice
Years active 1976–present
Labels CBS, Mercury, Polygram, Universal, MGM, Sony, Columbia, Deluxe
Associated acts Eurogliders, Tania Bowra Band
Website graceknight.com.au

Grace Ethel Knight (born 23 December 1955, Manchester)[1][2] is an English-born, Australian vocalist, saxophone player and songwriter. She was a mainstay of Indie pop group Eurogliders during the 1980s which formed in Perth.[3][4] Knight later became a solo jazz singer and musician based in Sydney.[5] In 1984, Eurogliders released an Australian top ten album, This Island,[6] which spawned their #2 hit single, "Heaven (Must Be There)".[6] "Heaven" also peaked at #21 on the United States, Billboard Mainstream Rock charts and appeared on the Hot 100.[7][8] The song, written by Euroglider's guitarist, Bernie Lynch,[9] and vocals by Knight, was their only hit in United States.[10] Knight and Lynch married in 1985 but separated soon after.[3][5] Another Australian top ten album, Absolutely,[6] followed for Eurogliders in 1985, which provided three further local top ten singles, "We Will Together", "The City of Soul" and "Can't Wait to See You".[6]

Since Eurogliders disbanded in 1989, Knight has had a successful career as a jazz singer.[3][5] Knight made a cameo appearance in the 1990 TV series Come In Spinner and sang on its soundtrack, Come in Spinner, recorded with jazz artist Vince Jones,[5] which peaked at #4 on the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) albums charts.[11] This launched a new career for Knight, with her first solo album, Stormy Weather,[5] which peaked at #16 in 1991.[11] Other solo albums followed,[5] Gracious in 1993, Live in 1996 and Zeitgeist in 2000. Eurogliders briefly reformed with Lynch and Knight in 2005 to release two additional albums by 2007, Knight returned to her solo career and released Willow in 2008.

Biography[edit]

Grace Knight was born in 1955 in the UK, and performed as a cabaret singer in folk clubs from 1976.[12] She competed in a semi-final of a national talent quest as a duo and consequently travelled to Dubai to perform, where she met Martha Reeves and the Vandellas.[13] In 1977, she obtained a gig on a cruise ship to Perth, Western Australia,[12] her set included covering Harry Nilsson's A Little Touch of Schmilsson in the Night and performed twice a night for six weeks.[13]

Eurogliders (1980–1989)[edit]

Main article: Eurogliders

Knight relocated to Perth, Western Australia in 1977, where she performed in a number of local bands.[13] She met guitarist and singer, Bernie Lynch, who fronted a new wave band, The Stockings, in the late 1970s.[3] They became domestic partners and together formed the band, Living Single, in 1980 with Crispin Akerman on guitar, Don Meharry on bass guitar, Guy Slingerland on drums and Amanda Vincent on keyboards.[4][14] By 1981, drummer John Bennetts replaced Slingerland and the band changed their name to Eurogliders; domestically, Knight and Lynch had separated.[3][4][14] Eurogliders' second album, This Island, was released in May 1984 and peaked at #4 on the Australian Kent Music Report albums chart.[6] The single, "Heaven (Must Be There)", written by Lynch,[9] also released in May, reached #2 on the Australian singles charts,[6] and #65 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart and #21 on its Mainstream Rock Tracks chart.[7][8] The album peaked at #140 on the Billboard 200 chart.[15][16]

At the height of the band's success, Knight and Lynch reconciled their relationship and were married in 1985 but the union was short-lived. Despite their marital separation, they stayed together in the band for another four years. In Australia, "Heaven" was followed by three more top 10 hits.[6] Between 1984 and 1986, Eurogliders toured Australia, the USA, Canada, Puerto Rico, Japan and New Zealand.[14] Further albums followed, but late in 1989, the Eurogliders disbanded.[3][14]

Solo career (1990–current)[edit]

After Eurogliders disbanded in 1989, Knight initially sang backing vocals in the Tania Bowra Band.[5] She made a cameo appearance as Lola, a 1940s night club singer,[13] in the 1990 TV series Come In Spinner and sang on its soundtrack, Come in Spinner, recorded with jazz artist Vince Jones, which peaked at #4 on the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) albums charts.[11] The soundtrack featured jazz standards with half the tracks having lead vocals by Jones, including a single, "I've Got You Under My Skin";[5] two singles with lead vocals by Knight were also released, "The Man I Love" and "Sophisticated Lady".[5] This launched a new career for Knight as a jazz singer, her first solo album, Stormy Weather, produced by Larry Muhoberac was released in October 1991, which peaked at #16.[11] Her debut solo single, "Fever", was released in September, which did not peak into the top 50 singles charts.[11] At the 1992 ARIA Music Awards, Stormy Weather was nominated for "Best Adult Contemporary Album" and Peter Cobbin was nominated for "Engineer of the Year" for his work on four of its tracks.[17][18]

Knight's second solo album, Gracious appeared in November 1993.[5] It contained "big, brassy and busy arrangements of standards" and included work by 43 session musicians.[5] The album did not peak into the ARIA top 50,[11] but was nominated for "Best Adult Contemporary Album" in 1994.[17][19] Other solo albums followed with, Live in 1996 and Zeitgeist in 2000.

In November 2002, women of Marin County, California spelled out the words "No War" with their nude bodies,[20] they were protesting against the proposed invasion of Iraq by a coalition which included Australian troops.[20] This inspired Knight to organise a similar protest in a paddock outside her hometown of Federal near Byron Bay on 8 February 2003.[21][22] Knight justified the protest:

These women came here today because they feel they are being lied to by our Government and they feel their dissent is not being heard [...] We want to let John Howard know that we are not happy and if it takes lying naked in a paddock to get the message across so be it[23]

—Grace Knight, 9 February 2003

Knight indicated that she had been writing lyrics for a forthcoming album with Lynch, when her frustration at the Howard Government's plans to invade Iraq interrupted her concentration.[23] Knight rallied female friends via chain e-mails, needing 67 women for the wording of "No War" ultimately 750 showed up.[23]

Eurogliders reformed in October 2005, with Grace Knight and Bernie Lynch using session musicians and they released their fifth studio album, simply called Eurogliders but the album did not peak into the ARIA top 50 charts.[24] Eurogliders started touring again in April 2006 and performed on the Countdown Spectacular during June to August, which was a nostalgic tour of Australian bands from the 1970s and 1980s, as featured on the pop television show Countdown with its host Ian "Molly" Meldrum. The Eurogliders' sixth album Blue Kiss was recorded during the same sessions as the previous and was released in 2007, it also had no top 50 charting.[24]

Knight returned to her solo career and released Willow in April 2008, which was nominated for "Best Jazz Album" at the 2008 ARIA Music Awards.[17][25] On 17 July 2009, Knight performed at the Press Gallery Mid-Winter Ball attended by federal politicians, including Australian Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, and by Canberra journalists.[26][27] Patrons of the function paid up to $20,000 each and raised $250,000 for various charities.[26]

Keep Cool Fool was released by ABC Music on 20 April 2012.

Personal life[edit]

Knight's 1977 gig on a cruise ship from London, UK, was to visit her sister, who was living in Perth, Western Australia. Her sister introduced Knight to future bandmate, domestic partner and husband, Bernie Lynch. Knight separated from Lynch in 1986 and has been married two further times. She has a son, Jackie Knight born in 1987.

Bibliography[edit]

Discography[edit]

See also: Eurogliders

Albums[edit]

with Vince Jones

  • Come in Spinner — ABC Contemporary Music 838 984-2 (11 December 1989)AUS #4

solo

  • Stormy WeatherSony BMG 469029 2 (23 September 1991) AUS #16
  • Gracious — Dino Music DIN 286D (November 1993) AUS #90
  • Live — ABC Jazz/EMI 4835832 Classics (22 February 1996)
  • Zeitgeist — Mirage/MGM Distribution 301001 (17 July 2000)
  • Willow — ABC Classics 4766306 (5 April 2008)
  • Keep Cool Fool — ABC Music 2799478 (20 April 2012)

Singles[edit]

Year Title Peak chart positions Album
AUS
[24]
1990 "The Man I Love" Come in Spinner
"Sophisticated Lady"
1991 "Fever" 64 Stormy Weather
"Stormy Weather"
1993 "Ability to Swing" Gracious
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released in that country.

DVDs[edit]

  • Grace Knight: Live At The BasementWarner Music (November 2001)

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Knight, Grace (2010). Pink Suit for a Blue Day. Chatswood, NSW: New Holland Publishers. ISBN 978-1-92165-594-4. Retrieved 25 September 2013. 
  2. ^ Arnold, John; John Hay; Kerry Kilner; Terence O'Neill (2007). The Bibliography of Australian Literature 3. Kew, Vic: Australian Scholarly Publishing. p. 85. ISBN 978-0-7022-3598-6. Retrieved 5 July 2009.  NOTE: On-line version has limited access
  3. ^ a b c d e f McFarlane, Ian (1999). "Encyclopedia entry for 'Eurogliders'". Encyclopedia of Australian Rock and Pop. St Leonards, NSW: Allen & Unwin. ISBN 1-86508-072-1. Retrieved 26 June 2009. 
  4. ^ a b c Holmgren, Magnus; Warnqvist, Stefan; Francois, Ron; Meharry, Don. "Eurogliders". Australian Rock Database. Passagen.se (Magnus Holmgrem). Archived from the original on 27 November 2013. Retrieved 9 March 2014. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k McFarlane, Ian (1999). "Encyclopedia entry for 'Grace Knight'". Encyclopedia of Australian Rock and Pop. St Leonards, NSW: Allen & Unwin. ISBN 1-86508-072-1. Retrieved 26 June 2009. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.  NOTE: Used for Australian Singles and Albums charting from 1970 until ARIA created their own charts in mid-1988.
  7. ^ a b "Artist Single Chart History: Eurogliders". Billboard (magazine). Neilson Business Media. Retrieved 17 June 2009. 
  8. ^ a b "Eurogliders > Charts & Awards - Billboard Singles". allmusic. Macrovision. Retrieved 17 June 2009. 
  9. ^ a b ""Heaven Must Be There" at APRA search engine". Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA). Retrieved 26 June 2009. 
  10. ^ Sutton, Michael. "Eurogliders > Biography". allmusic. Macrovision. Retrieved 29 June 2009. 
  11. ^ a b c d e f "Discography Grace Knight". australian-charts.com. Retrieved 19 June 2009. 
  12. ^ a b "Grace Knight bio". Grace Knight. Retrieved 27 June 2009. 
  13. ^ a b c d Knight, Grace. "Innerview". yoni.com. Archived from the original on 18 December 2007. Retrieved 29 June 2009. 
  14. ^ a b c d "eurogliders". Australian Jazz Agency. Retrieved 2008-10-29. 
  15. ^ "Artist Album Chart History: Eurogliders". Billboard. Neilson Business Media. Retrieved 17 June 2009. 
  16. ^ "Eurogliders > Charts & Awards - Billboard Albums". allmusic. Macrovision. Retrieved 17 June 2009. 
  17. ^ a b c "ARIA Awards 2008: History: Winners by Artist search result for Grace Knight". Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA). Retrieved 27 June 2009. 
  18. ^ "ARIA Awards - History: Winners by Year 1992: 6th Annual ARIA Awards". Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA). Retrieved 27 June 2009. 
  19. ^ "ARIA Awards - History: Winners by Year 1994: 8th Annual ARIA Awards". Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA). Retrieved 27 June 2009. 
  20. ^ a b Garofoli, Joe (12 January 2003). "A Cheeky Protest: Bay Area Anti-War Activists Go Nude in Surge of Creative Vigils". San Francisco Chronicle (CommonDreams.org). Retrieved 30 June 2009. 
  21. ^ Kingston, Margo (4 February 2003). "Disrobe to disarm". The Sydney Morning Herald (Fairfax Media). Retrieved 30 June 2009. 
  22. ^ "All Nudes is Good News". The Northern Rivers Echo (TAOW P/L). Retrieved 5 July 2009. 
  23. ^ a b c Browne, Rachel (30 June 2009). "Anti-war feelings laid bare in a stark message to Howard". The Sydney Morning Herald (Fairfax Media). 
  24. ^ a b c "Discography Eurogliders". australian-charts.com. Retrieved 19 June 2009.  NOTE: Information supplied by ARIA shows that Eurogliders has no Top 50 charting albums or singles since they started their charts in mid-1988.
  25. ^ "2008: 22nd Annual ARIA Awards". Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA). Retrieved 27 June 2009. 
  26. ^ a b Nordfeldt, Geraldine (19 June 2009). "Fair dinkum, we're crossing the party line" (PDF). The Canberra Times (Fairfax Media). p. 2. Retrieved 25 July 2009. [dead link]
  27. ^ "Now, dinner with Oz PM for 20,000 dollars". Thaindian News (Indians in Thailand). 17 June 2009. Retrieved 27 June 2009.