Matt Flinders (born Sylvan Louis Bonett in Alexandria, Egypt) is a singer who rose to prominence in the late 1960s in Australia.
Sylvan Louis Bonett was born in Egypt of mixed (French, English, Italian) parentage. His family moved to England in 1950, then to Australia in 1951. Bonett performed his National Service with the Royal Australian Air Force at Point Cook, Victoria in the mid-fifties, after which he began singing and playing guitar in Melbourne (during this time he performed under the name Louis Bonett). He began playing double bass with some musical groups, touring Japan and Australia. In the early 1960s he returned to England, formed a musical group, and worked in London for four years. When he returned to Australia, he led the band (as well as singing and playing the double bass) at the Chevron Hotel in Melbourne. During that time he performed several singing commercials that were used on Australian radio and television stations; they came to the attention of Ron Tudor of Astor Records, who offered him a recording contract. Tudor suggested a name change to something which DJs would more easily remember and pronounce correctly. Flinders' first recording for Astor was Something Is Happening, which peaked at #14 on the charts. The following hear his song Picking Up Pebbles was released; it rose to the top of the chart. After that time his songs were released on Tudor's own record label, "Fable". He also began working with ABC to present shows on both radio and television. One year his television program won an award.
Other family members
Born to a music loving family, Flinders' brothers also enjoyed the limelight of musical careers. Roland Bonet (died 2002) was a popular performer and dance band leader in Melbourne; Arnold, the eldest, performed many roles as an operatic bass baritone for the National Theatre Opera and the ABC and received an award from the Italian Opera Festival Organisation in 1961, before a career change to the corporate world. In 1965 the youngest brother, Chris, was recruited in Sydney by Dave Guard (who had left the popular US singing group The Kingston Trio in 1961). He then starred in a national TV series ("Dave's Place") for ABC, and later spent two decades as a singer and bass guitarist with rock and pop bands in Australia, London, the United States and at Club Med resorts in France, Switzerland and the Caribbean.
Flinders had two top ten singles in Australia: Picking up Pebbles (1969) which reached No.1 in Melbourne and Butterfly (1971). He has received several recording awards and professional accolades for his talent, both as a performer and professional musician.