Mike Brady (musician)
2 April 1948 |
Mike Brady AM (born Michael Brady, on 28 February 1948) is an Australian musician most commonly associated with the Australian rules football anthems "Up There Cazaly", referring to 1920s and 30s St Kilda player Roy Cazaly and "One Day in September". "Up There Cazaly" topped the Australian singles charts in September 1979 and briefly held the record as best-selling Australian single. Both songs have become synonymous with Australian rules football and are traditionally sung on AFL Grand Final day in September.
Early life and career
Brady was born in England in 1948 and migrated to Australia in the 1950s with his family. His first job was at the Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation factory in Port Melbourne, Victoria, as a sheet metal worker. He started performing when he was 15 and he was one-third of the 1960s pop act MPD Ltd. (which stood for Mike, Pete and Danny) which had hits in Australia including "Little Boy Sad" and "Lonely Boy". The band toured Australia and the U.K. Brady also toured Vietnam entertaining troops, with a different band which included Wayne Duncan, Gary Howard and country brother and sister act Ricki and Tammy. After the break-up of MPD Ltd., Brady continued to record occasionally and had a top 10 hit with "Sympathy".
Up There Cazaly
Brady started working as a jingle writer and was very successful. He also started his own record company called "Full Moon Records" and a publishing company called "Remix Publishing".
In 1979, the Seven Network approached Brady to write a jingle to promote the Victorian Football League (VFL). The Mojo Singers had reached the top of the Australian charts with the single "C'mon Aussie C'mon" which had been written to promote World Series Cricket shown on Channel Nine and Seven was looking for a jingle to promote its Australian Rules broadcasts.
Brady wrote "Up There Cazaly", named after a phrase used by team mates to encourage Cazaly to take his spectacular marks and had since been used by Australian troops in World War II. He worked with Pete Sullivan on recording the jingle.
The popularity of the jingle led to the release of the song credited to the Two-Man Band. It reached #1 on the Australian charts in September 1979 and was the most popular single recorded by an Australian artist that year. It sold 250,000 copies making it the most popular single ever released by an Australian artist in Australia at that time.
Brady had established recording studios in Melbourne, Australia. In July 1980, in Brady's studios, Joe Dolce and his group the Joe Dolce Music Theatre recorded the song "Shaddap You Face", which had been a success in Dolce's cabaret show. Dolce took the song to Mushroom Records and Festival Records but neither label was interested. Dolce went back to Brady who agreed to finance the record.
By November 1980 the song had topped the Australian charts and became the (then) best selling Australian song in Australia ever. Elton John had made a bid for the rights but had been knocked back. By February 1981 "Shaddup You Face" had reached the top of the United Kingdom charts and was becoming an international hit in Europe and the United States. The song would sell four million copies worldwide. Elton John had persuaded Andrew Sachs of Fawlty Towers to record a version but it failed to chart. In 1982 Brady wrote "You're here to win" as the theme song for the XII Commonwealth Games in Brisbane, Australia.
Since then Brady has continued to work in advertising, writing jingles such as "Dodo, Dodo, internet that flies" for Dodo Internet and "Lucky you're with AAMI". He continued to write material for the VFL. In the early 1980s he reworked "Up There Cazaly" into a theme song for the Sydney Swans' relocation into Sydney. He wrote "One Day in September" about the VFL grand final and recorded versions of many of the VFL team's theme songs for an album in 1987. Brady also co-wrote and produced another popular AFL (Australian Football League) jingle, "That's What I Like About Football", sung by Greg Champion. "Up There Cazaly" was reworked in 1999 with Haley White for its 20th anniversary but failed to make the same impact. It was reworked as "Up There Australia" to show support for Australian troops in the War of Iraq in 2003.
Brady has written songs for popular Australian artists such as John Farnham and Tina Arena and produced albums by Arena and Colleen Hewett. He also wrote the song "Courage in their Eyes" for the Seven Network's Olympics coverage.
In addition to his jingle writing and performing, Brady also works at Melbourne radio station, 3AW He is the host of Mike to Midnight, Saturday nights from 6pm until Midnight, during the non-football months and occasionally fills in on other 3AW programs such as Nightline.
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In 1982 "Up There Cazaly" was rewritten and released as "Up There Old England" by Cliff Portwood and members of the 1966 FIFA World Cup team. Cliff Portwood was a long-time friend of Mike Brady and had permission to use this song along with Peter Sullivan, Cliff's pianist in Australia for the World Cup in 1982. Mike flew to England to help Cliff record the song, but unfortunately it was never released, due to the B side of the song having a portion of "Land Of Hope Glory" on it, creating a minor licensing issue just as it was getting major airtime on the radio.
In the 2013 Queens Birthday Honours List, Mike Brady was made a member of the Order of Australia (AM) "For significant service to the community, and to music as a composer and performer".
Community and charity work
Brady is a board member on the Prostate Cancer Foundation Australia Victorian Board and has performed at many Men's health events. He has been a board director of Variety Victoria and is a Life Member of the organisation.
Brady is a patron of the Bali Children Foundation and the Australian Huntington's Disease Association (Vic), and is involved with the Bluearth Foundation, Melbourne Legacy and the Yooralla Society. He is also an Australia Day ambassador.
Currently Brady lives in Melbourne, Australia. He has four children: Christian, Ben, Daisy and Michael.
Like many people, Brady has experienced highs and lows in his business life. In the 1980s and 1990s, he ventured into property development, hotels, timber milling and restaurants and lost a large amount of money. Since then he has fought back to financial success.
- Brady gets up there into the honours | The Australian 10 June 2013. Retrieved 11 June 2013
- "Settling the score" by Denis Brown, Melbourne Age 16 June 2005
- Mike Brady: Profile | 3AW website. Retrieved 11 June 2013
- Queen's Birthday Honours List 2013 | Herald Sun 10 June 2013. Retrieved 10 June 2013
- Jingle writer takes charity seriously | The Age 10 June 2013. Retrieved 10 June 2013
- Variety Life Members | Variety Victoria. Retrieved 10 June 2013
- "Mike Brady" article, WebsterWorld Encyclopaedia of Australia 2004 page 96
- "Footy anthem boost for troops" Melbourne Age 3 April 2003
- Book review of Up There Mike Brady
- "Whats a matter you, hey" Melbourne Age 24 July 2005
- 3AW personalities Mike Brady
- Shock Records information on 1999 version of "Up There Cazaly"
- Oz Net Music Charts Top Hits of 1979
- Australia Day ambassador page on Mike Brady
- Noel Delbridge Up There, Mike Brady, Coulomb Communications Port Melbourne Victoria ISBN 0-9580737-4-0