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Frankie Davidson

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Frankie Davidson
Francis Joseph Davidson

(1934-01-12)12 January 1934
Died22 July 2022(2022-07-22) (aged 88)
Occupation(s)Singer, actor
Years active1959–2001

Francis Joseph Davidson OAM (12 January 1934 − 22 July 2022)[1] was an Australian entertainer who had several hit records in the 1960s, appeared on many TV variety shows, and acted in several Australian television police dramas, including Matlock Police and Bluey, as well as guest roles in soap operas including A Country Practice, E Street and Home and Away and a small role in film Muriel's Wedding.


Davidson was born in Black Rock, a suburb of Melbourne, Victoria.

While undergoing compulsory National Service training, he sang to entertain fellow recruits,[2] and was an early adopter of the rock 'n' roll idiom. In 1959 he signed to W&G Records, and in 1960 found success with his single I Care for You.[3]

His next success was a comedy song "Yabba Dabba Doo" (referencing the Flintstones catchphrase) in 1961, followed by "Have You Ever Been to See Kings Cross" in 1962, a humorous ditty sung at breakneck speed in Australian vernacular, which became a best-seller. Other comic songs followed: "Hector the Trash Collector", a spoof on John Farnham's hit "Sadie (The Cleaning Lady)", and "50 Million Blowflies Can't Be Wrong". In 1963, he won first prize in Export Talent, an Australia's Got Talenttype contest, which sent him to England, giving him valuable overseas exposure and experience. He returned to Australia in 1965, but over the next five years he spent much time performing in Europe and America, where he appeared on The Dick Clark Show. In 1970, he made two further comic songs in a country and western vein: "Gimme Dat Ding" and "Ball Bearing Bird". He also acted in several Australian TV series, the best-known being Homicide and Matlock Police.[3]

In 1975, he changed labels, to M7 Records (a project of the Macquarie Broadcasting Service, Herald and Weekly Times and ATN-7),[4] for whom he recorded around a dozen singles, including "I Love a Sunburnt Football" in two versions—Australian rules and rugby league—and "I Hope Your Chooks Turn into Emus (and Kick Your Dunny Down)". They also released his album, A Generation of Children's Hits,[3] which included covers of "The Candy Man", "Rubber Duckie", "Three Little Fishies", "Puff, the Magic Dragon", "All I Want for Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth", "Any Dream Will Do", "The Ugly Duckling" also "Little White Bull" and "What a Mouth", two Tommy Steele classics.

In 1981, he released on Big Aussie BBQ, an album of familiar Australian songs, including the Slim Dusty favourite "Duncan", the traditional songs "Wild Colonial Boy" and "The Man from Snowy River", Peter Allen's "I Still Call Australia Home", and Joe Dolce's irreverent "Shaddap You Face".


Charting albums[edit]

List of albums, with selected chart positions
Title Album details Peak chart
Frankie Davidson
  • Released: July 1973
  • Format: LP
  • Label: M7 (MLF 018)

Charting singles[edit]

List of singles, with selected chart positions
Year Title Peak chart
1970 "Gimme Dat Ding" 21
1971 "The Ball-Bearing Bird" 55
1973 "I Love a Sunburnt Football" 79
1981 "The Australian Barbecue Song" 53



Year Title Role Type
1976 Caddie Bar useful (uncredited) Feature film
1982 Save the Lady Blue Feature film
1994 Muriel's Wedding Sergeant Feature film
2001 The Finder Ted Sterling TV movie


Year Title Role Role
1968 Contrabandits Shepherd TV series
1969 Woobinda, Animal Doctor Towtruck Driver TV series
1970 The Link Men Frank TV series
1970 The Rovers Mechanic TV series
1970 Dynasty Athol McCauley TV series
1974 Matlock Police Bill Thomas TV series
1975 Armchair Theatre Bruce TV series
1968-74 Homicide Dave Tate / Ron Peterson TV series
1976 Alvin Purple Chassa TV series
1977 Bluey Fred Barnett TV series
1983 A Country Practice 'Burrigan Bert' TV series
1989 E Street Fred TV series
1990 Rafferty's Rules Eric Graham TV series
1991 Home and Away Jake Wood TV series
1998 All Saints Stan Humphries TV series
1999 Farscape Newsstand Guy TV series
2000 Water Rats Boat Owner TV series


Mo Awards[edit]

The Australian Entertainment Mo Awards (commonly known informally as the Mo Awards), were annual Australian entertainment industry awards. They recognise achievements in live entertainment in Australia from 1975 to 2016. Frankie Davidson won one award in that time.[6]

Year Nominee / work Award Result (wins only)
1976 Frankie Davidson Most Versatile Act of the Year Won


  1. ^ Frankie Davidson Dies Aged 88
  2. ^ "Listen Here". The Australian Women's Weekly. 13 July 1960.
  3. ^ a b c Noel McGrath (1978). Australian Encyclopedia of Rock. Outback Press. ISBN 086888216X. Retrieved 21 May 2019. A "zac" was a six penny piece, worth about a dollar in today's money.
  4. ^ Michael De Looper. "M7, 7 Records and Powderworks 1970–1987" (PDF). Retrieved 23 May 2019.
  5. ^ a b Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 83. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  6. ^ "MO Award Winners". Mo Awards. Retrieved 14 March 2022.

External links[edit]