April Byron

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

April Byron
April Byron 1982
April Byron 1982
Background information
Birth nameApril Elizabeth Dove Potts
Born (1947-03-22) 22 March 1947 (age 74)
Warburton, Victoria, Australia
GenresRock, pop
Occupation(s)Singer, songwriter
InstrumentsVocals, keyboard
Years active1960–present
LabelsFestival, Leedon, CBS/ARC, Down Under Label
Associated actsThe Bee Gees
Websitewww.aprilbyron.com

April Elizabeth Dove Potts (born 22 March 1947, in Warburton, Victoria, Australia), professionally April Byron, is an Australian pop singer and songwriter. She was the first chart-topping female artist to collaborate with the Bee Gees (April's 1966 single 'He's a Thief/A Long Time Ago').[1]

Early life and career[edit]

April attended St. Peters Collegiate Girls School in Adelaide, South Australia. Her earliest employers/mentors include Rupert Murdoch ('Seventeeners', 'Sing Sing Sing', 'Studio A'), Clyde Packer ('Woodie's Teen Time', 'Bandstand'), producer/songwriter Nat Kipner, and Australian rock legend Johnny O'Keefe.[citation needed] Her then business managers were Ron Tremaine and his wife Patricia Tremaine (née Morris, Miss South Australia 1959). April relocated to Melbourne in 1963 to play the Ivan Dayman dance circuit, including Festival Hall and the Palais St. Kilda, with other Australian teenage pop singers including Normie Rowe, Olivia Newton-John and Bobby and Laurie. Due to a resemblance to Elizabeth Taylor, April was sometimes referred to as 'Australia's Liz Taylor'.[2][3] April's first recording on Festival's Leedon Label, 'Make the World Go Away', won the 3UZ (Melbourne) Golden Sound Award 1963–64 for best-produced song in Australia.[citation needed] April was also awarded the 5KA (Adelaide) Best Female Artist Award 1964–65.[citation needed] During this time, April's image appeared under Coca-Cola bottle caps in Australia.[4]

Australian music career[edit]

AprilByronAwards.png

In 1964, Everybody's Magazine's headline read 'Oh, to be in Melbourne, Now that April's There' – mentioning April's Golden Sound Award and focusing the Australian pop industry on Melbourne. April's award plus The Go!! Show, where April was resident female star of the first season, set the cornerstone for the second wave of pop/rock in Australia that began in Melbourne at that time and produced the next Australian 'king of pop', Normie Rowe.[4] April was touted as being "second only to The Beatles"[2] when her cover of 'Make the World Go Away' stayed near the top of the charts for many weeks in several States, while the Beatles occupied the top four or five spots.

April's manager at this time was Horrie Dargie, head of DYT Productions, which produced The Go!! Show. After the first season of The Go!! Show, April was let go by DYT Productions due to her being 16 years old, pregnant, and unmarried.[2] Her pregnancy was shrouded in secrecy and termed a ‘mystery illness’ in the music columns of the time period.[3] According to Australian music historian Bill Casey, the pregnancy derailed April's pop career and it "never really regained momentum."[3]

April moved to Sydney, where she and her family were supported by promoter Ivan Dayman, and later the Jacobsen Agency. After her daughter (Cinderella) was born, April joined Johnny O'Keefe, Dinah Lee, and Max Merritt and the Meteors on the Johnny O'Keefe/Jacobsen Agency train tour of New South Wales and Queensland.[5] In Sydney, April played the RSL and Leagues clubs, the Motor Club and other major venues, television shows (Don Lane Show, Studio A, Paul Hogan Show, etc.) and performed with Helen Reddy, Dudley Moore, Peter Allen, John Rowles, young guitarist Rick Springfield, and toured with the Mills Brothers. It was during this time in Sydney that April first collaborated with the Bee Gees, Nat Kipner, and Ossie Byrne at the St. Clair Studio, Hurstville.[1][3][6] In 1969, April toured New South Wales and Queensland with Johnny Farnham and later played venues in Brisbane and the Gold Coast with The Masters Apprentices. April's second daughter, Candy, was born in October 1969.

During the 1970s April was awarded Queensland Entertainer of the Year 1974–75.[7] In 1977, April joined Johnny O'Keefe and the cast of "The Return of J.O.K and the Good Ol' Days of Rock n' Roll" at the St. George's Leagues Club.[8]

Work with the Bee Gees[edit]

April Byron and Barry Gibb

In 1965–66, when April was the current recipient of the 5KA Best Female Artist Award and Barry Gibb was the current 5KA Songwriter of the Year Award recipient (his first songwriting award),[citation needed] April collaborated on a single with the Bee Gees, then also in their teens. The single, 'A Long Time Ago/He's a Thief',[9] began the Gibb's succession of collaborations with female singers, which later included Samantha Sang, Barbra Streisand, Dionne Warwick, Dolly Parton, and Celine Dion.

In 1982, April again collaborated with the Bee Gees at their Middle Ear Studio in Miami Beach, FL. April was given songs by the Bee Gees ('Falling in Love With You' and 'Don't Forget to Remember Me') which she recorded in Music City, Nashville, TN, but were never released.[10]

Move to the United States[edit]

April left Australia with her family in 1978 to pursue a film career in the US.

April Byron in 1978.
April Byron, 1978.

April continued her singing career, touring the US, playing the Stardust Hotel (Las Vegas), the Sheraton Resort Hotel (Miami Beach), and the Bourbon Street Blues and Boogie Bar (Nashville), among other venues.

Personal life[edit]

April has two daughters, Cinderella Abrams (née Potts) and Candy Potts, and four grandchildren – Ashenputtel (Ashlee) Abrams, Melanie Abrams, Emmalee Rainbow, and Kingsley Knecht.

April's first daughter Cinderella (stage name Cindy Byron), at age 9, became one of the youngest stars of the 1970s Australian nationwide children's television series Happy Go 'Round (QTQ-9 Brisbane, Queensland).[citation needed]

April's second daughter Candy appeared in 13 episodes of VH1's reality show 'Saddle Ranch' in 2011–12.[11][12]

April resides in Beverly Hills, CA, managing the entertainment careers of daughter Candy and granddaughters Ashenputtel,[13] Melanie, and Emmalee Rainbow. Emmalee is a young prodigy Chef and former star of Man Vs. Child Chef Showdown on FYI network.[14]

Discography[edit]

  • Make the World Go Away / He's My Bobby – 1964
  • What's A Girl to Do / Listen Closely – 1965
  • He's a Thief / A Long Time Ago – 1966
  • See You Sam / You Go Ahead Baby – 1967

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Gibb Songs – 1966".
  2. ^ a b c Butler, Chris (1977). "A Star Reappears in April". The Daily Telegraph.
  3. ^ a b c d Casey, Bill. "The Down Under Label 1966". Hurstville City Library Museum Gallery. Archived from the original on 3 November 2013.
  4. ^ a b "Oh to be in Melbourne, now that April's there!". Everybody's. 12 August 1964.
  5. ^ "April Faces Up to June". The Daily Telegraph. 29 June 1977.
  6. ^ "Hurstville City Council – The St. Clair Studio". Archived from the original on 17 March 2011.
  7. ^ Hampson, Frank (1974). "At Five April Knew What She Wanted". Gold Coast Bulletin.
  8. ^ "April Faces Up to July". The Daily Telegraph. July 1977.
  9. ^ "A Long Time Ago/He's a Thief".
  10. ^ Mon Hughes, Andrew (2002). Tales of the Brothers Gibb.
  11. ^ "Saddle Ranch".
  12. ^ "Candy Potts". Archived from the original on 18 August 2018. Retrieved 1 October 2019.
  13. ^ "Ashlee Abrams".
  14. ^ "Emmalee Rainbow Abrams".