Bobby & Laurie

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Bobby & Laurie
Also known asLaurie Allen and Bobby Bright
OriginMelbourne, Victoria, Australia
GenresBeat pop
Years active
  • 1964 (1964)–1967 (1967)
  • 1969 (1969)–1971 (1971)
Labels
Associated acts
  • The Roulettes
  • the Rondells
Past members
  • Laurie Allen
  • Bobby Bright

Bobby & Laurie were an Australian beat pop duo of the 1960s, with Laurie Allen on vocals, guitar and keyboards and Bobby Bright (born in England, 3 February 1945) on vocals and guitar. Their regular backing band were the Rondells. Their contemporaries were Billy Thorpe & the Aztecs, Ray Brown & the Whispers, the Easybeats and Normie Rowe. The duo's most popular singles were, "I Belong with You" (1964) and "Hitch Hiker" (1966). Their debut album, Bobby and Laurie (1965), was the first for independent label, Go!! Records. The duo disbanded in 1967 to pursue solo careers and briefly reformed from 1969 to 1971. Laurie Allen died in June 2002, after a heart attack.

History[edit]

Laurie Allen's first group was in Melbourne in the mid-1950s, the Three Jays.[1] He followed with stints in the Lories (c.1958) and then the Roulettes (1958–59), a long-running Melbourne revue band.[1] From 1959 to 1961, he was lead guitarist for Malcolm Arthur & the Knights,[1][2] and in 1962 he was lead singer and organist of a previously instrumental group, the Blue Jays. At the end of 1963, the Blue Jays became the Fabulous Blue Jays, the backing band for singer, Tony Worsley. Allen then rejoined the Roulettes.

Bobby Bright (born in England, 3 February 1945)[3] had previously worked as a solo artist in Adelaide. He later moved to Melbourne and released two solo singles on the W&G Records label in 1963, "Girls Never Notice Me" and "Defeated by His Heart", before joining the Roulettes later in that year.[1][2]

One of the other Roulettes was Ron Blackmore who moved into band management. Allen and Bright left the group and performed separately as soloists under Blackmore's management. On 11 March 1964, Allen made his first solo TV appearance, on Graham Kennedy's In Melbourne Tonight. Later in that year, the two appeared on The Go!! Show and soon they created a duo, originally billed as Laurie Allen and Bobby Bright.[4] They became regulars on the TV show,[2][4] alongside the Strangers, and were paid £ 50 per appearance.

Bobby & Laurie issued the first single on Go!! Records, "I Belong with You", in August 1964.[1] The label was established in association with the similarly named TV show. The single was produced by English-born producer, Roger Savage, who had arrived in Australia from London where he had worked with the Rolling Stones and Dusty Springfield.[1] "I Belong with You" reached number one on the local Melbourne charts, for two weeks and won Allen an Australian Record Award for Best Composition in 1965.

Bobby & Laurie worked with a Blackmore-managed backing band, the Rondells (previously named, the Lincolns and then the Silhouettes), which had an initial line-up of Bernie O'Brien on lead guitar, John Sullivan on rhythm guitar, Dennis Tucker on bass guitar and Dennis Collins on drums.[2] The duo toured Australia, supported by a new line-up of the Rondells, with Sullivan joined by Roger Treble on lead guitar (ex-Silhouettes, Lincolns), Wayne Duncan on bass guitar (ex-Lincolns) and Gary Young on drums (ex-Silhouettes, Lincolns).[2] The duo performed as Tweedledum and Tweedledee in a Christmas pantomime of Alice in Wonderland at Melbourne's Tivoli Theatre, in December 1964.

In early 1965 the pair appeared on TV music show, Teen Scene, on Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), where they were famously dragged off the stage by screaming female fans. They appeared in the premiere episode of Channel 0's new children's program the Magic Circle Club on 23 January, playing characters Twoddle and Boddle. They released three more singles on the Go label during 1965, "Someone" (which reached No.3 in Melbourne), "Judy Green" and "Crazy Country Hop" (which reached No. 25). In May of that year they supported a national tour by the Dave Clark Five, the Seekers and Tommy Quickly. Later in the year they supported American, P. J. Proby on his national tour.

In 1966 the duo switched to the Albert Productions label, for the singles, "Sweet and Tender Romance" (February) and their version of Roger Miller's "Hitch Hiker" (March). which gave them a national number-one hit for five weeks in May and June. At about this time they also changed management from Blackmore to Mal Fisher. On the strength of "Hitch Hiker", the ABC gave them their own television show, It's A Gas, which was later rebadged as Dig We Must. The name change was designed to attract a more sophisticated 'adult' market, but lost the duo much of their 'teen' appeal which led to friction between the two singers.

After recording their last album Exposaic, the pair officially split in early 1967 after just three years as Australia's chart-topping stars.

Solo careers[edit]

After the break-up, Allen continued performing as a soul revue act initially called 'Dice', which he later renamed The 'Laurie Allen Revue'.

Bright worked in cabaret as well as some acting parts, including an appearance on television cop-show Homicide. In 1968, he became a disc-jockey at Melbourne radio station 3XY. The pair reunited on the radio program in February 1968 and shortly after made a return to the charts with a country music styled song Carroll County Accident. This was followed by Looking Through The Eyes of Love, but they had split again by late 1971. In 1973, Bright performed as the Doctor in the Melbourne stage production of Tommy.

In the intervening years, the pair performed occasionally as Bobby & Laurie until their final "Don't Let The Music Die" concert on 1 June 2002 at the Kingston City Hall. On 13 June 2002, Allen died suddenly from a heart attack.

Partial discography[edit]

Singles[edit]

Year Single Chart Positions
AUS
1965 "I Belong With You" 9
"Someone" 20
"Judy Green" 28
"Crazy Country Hop" 54
1966 "Sweet And Tender Romance" 49
"Hitch Hiker" 1
"High Noon" 14
"First Street Blues" (with The Rondells) 46
1969 "Carroll County Accident" 30
1970 "Through The Eyes of Love" 13

Albums[edit]

  • Bobby And Laurie – 1965
  • Hitch Hiker – 1966
  • Exposaic – 1966

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f Kimball, Duncan (2005). "Bobby & Laurie". Milesago: Australasian Music and Popular Culture 1964–1975. Ice Productions. Archived from the original on 16 March 2010. Retrieved 10 November 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d e McFarlane, Ian (2017). "Encyclopedia entry for 'Bobby and Laurie'". The Encyclopedia of Australian Rock and Pop. Jenkins, Jeff (Foreword) (2nd ed.). Gisborne, VIC: Third Stone Press. p. 56. ISBN 978-0-9953856-0-3.
  3. ^ https://www.secondhandsongs/artist/89214. Missing or empty |title= (help)[permanent dead link]
  4. ^ a b Nimmervoll, Ed. "Bobby and Laurie". Howlspace – The Living History of Our Music. White Room Electronic Publishing Pty Ltd (Ed Nimmervoll). Archived from the original on 20 March 2012. Retrieved 19 November 2019 – via Trove (National Library of Australia).