Yvonne Barrett

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Yvonne Frances Barrett (1946 – 2 September 1985) was an Australian-born pop singer who made the Top 40 charts in Melbourne and Sydney and was nationally known for her television appearances appearances.

Career[edit]

From Braybrook in Melbourne, Victoria Yvonne began her performing career early, commencing ballet lessons at the age of two and a half. As a young girl she was a member of Swallows Juniors the famous children's show on HSV7 that was a precursor to Young Talent Time. This led to appearances in stage shows such as Sound of Music and Carnival. She took singing lessons in her mid-teens and was able to pass an audition for Australia's national pop music TV program. The Go! Show. She soon became a regular on this show doing songs like "Off & Running", "I Walk Alone" and The Toys "A Lovers Concerto". Signed to Go records, a record label spin-off from the show, Yvonne achieved her most chart success in 1965-66 with her version of the Tony Hatch song, "You're The One" b/w " Little People". In December 1965, Barrett along with Australian television personalities Ian Turpie, Tommy Hanlon Jr. and Pat Carroll (singer)performed during Christmas in a tour for Australian troops in Vietnam.

1970 saw her voted a runner-up in the Go-Set magazine national Pop Poll. Although not achieving further chart success she retained considerable popularity through her live appearances, and on national TV shows, such as Uptight and Happening 70-72 doing songs such as, "Always Something There To Remind Me" and Rare Earth's, "Get Ready". In 1970 she released the single Lu (a Laura Nyro song) which featured her big voice with a brassy jazz-rock, Blood Sweat & Tears style arrangement. During the 1970s she moved into session work and club appearances, and was a regular on Mary Hardy's Penthouse Club on HSV7. In the 1980s Yvonne Barrett moved from Perth to Sydney and began working as a waitress.

Death[edit]

On 3 September 1985, Yvonne Barrett was found murdered at her unit in the inner western Sydney suburb of Birchgrove. During police investigations and evidence submitted at Barrett's murder trial in the New South Wales Supreme Court, it was determined that Yvonne Barrett had been strangled by her estranged husband, Hoang Van Truong. Truong had recently returned from New Zealand and had spent the night with Barrett. He was asked to leave the following morning. He failed to comply with her request and proceeded to assault Barrett over the head with a bottle before strangling her with his belt. He then proceeded to take a number of Serapax tablets and cut his wrists. Truong, a Vietnam War veteran, was found guilty of murder in 1986. He was sentenced to life imprisonment without a non-parole period by Justice Finlay of the New South Wales Supreme Court. In handing down his sentence on 5 August 1986 Justice Findlay rejected a submission by the Senior Public Defendant Mr Bill Hosking QC, that Truong was "suffering from a disease of the mind that impaired his responsibility for the crime". Mr Hosking had claimed that Truong's war service, tragic life and "ingestion of marijuana at the time of this offence had occurred" had diminished his responsibilities. Truong had met Barrett at a nightclub in Perth and subsequently married in December 1983. The couple separated in 1984. [1]

Yvonne Barrett's funeral service was held at Christ The King, Catholic Church in Churchill Avenue, Braybrook, Victoria. It was well attended including Australian show business celebrities Bert & Pattie Newton (who was a close friend of Yvonne's) Pattie Newton posted a condolence notice in the Melbourne Age newspaper stating that "What wonderful times to remember of growing up together".

Yvonne Barrett was buried at the Altona Memorial Park, Victoria.[2]

  1. ^ "Veteran gets life for murdering wife". Sydney Morning Herald. 6 August 1986. 
  2. ^ http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=63228709 |Yvonne Barrett's Find A Grave listing

Discography & Chart Positions[edit]

45 rpm Singles[edit]

  • Oct 1965 Little People* / You're The One** (Go!! Records)

(Australia #58 - 10 Weeks) (Melbourne* #28) (Sydney* #3)

  • July 1966 Send Her Away / Won't Someone Say (Go!! Records)
  • Oct 1966 Don't Bother Callin' / I'm Taking Him Back (Go!! Records)(

Compilation Albums - 33 rpm LP's & CD[edit]

  • Go ! Hitmakers Vol 1 (Various artists LP) - Little People (one track only)
  • Go ! Hitmakers Vol 2 (Various artists LP) - You're The One (one track only)
  • Go ! Hitmakers Vol 3 (Various artists LP Various artists) - Send Her Away (one track only)
  • Go-Set Pop Poll Awards 1970 (Various artists LP) - Picture Me Gone & Lu (two tracks)
  • Girls,Girls,Girls Vol 1 (Various artists LP & CD) - Send Her Away (one track only)

References[edit]

  • The Encyclopedia of Australian Rock and Pop - Ian McFarlane - Allen & Unwin, Sydney - 1999 - ISBN 1-86508-072-1
  • Noel McGrath's Australian Encyclopedia of Rock & Pop - Rigby Publishers - 1978 - ISBN 0-7270-1909-0
  • The Who's Who of Australian Rock - Chris Spencer - Moonlight Publishing - ISBN 0-86788-668-4
  • An Australian Rock Discography 1960-1989 - Chris Spencer - Moonlight Publishers - 1990 - ISBN 0-7316-8343-9
  • The Various Artists in Australia - Chris Spencer - Moonlight Publishing - 1990 - ISBN 0-7316-8348-X
  • Gavin Ryan's Chart Books
  • Go-Set Pop Poll LP cover
  • David Kent's Australian Chart Book 1940-1969

External links[edit]