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Kenn Brodziak, OBE (1913 – 3 June 1999) was a leading Australian entrepreneur, who was a theatre and concert promoter, producer and artist manager whose career lasted from the 1940s until his retirement in 1980.
Melbourne-born Brodziac, started his career in 1945, as an assistant producer on the local vaudeville circuit and over his long career, (via his Melbourne-based company Aztec Services) arranged Australian concerts and tours by a wide range of acts, both locally and internationally including: Winifred Atwell, Gene Pitney, Marlene Dietrich, The Kinks, Sophie Tucker, Normie Rowe, Carol Channing, The Seekers, The Easybeats, Pat Boone, Fabian, Sid James, Cilla Black, The Dave Clark Five, Duane Eddy, Robert Morley, Bob Dylan, Lonnie Donegan, Cliff Richard, Dave Brubeck, Marcel Marceau, Eartha Kitt and Jack Benny. Bringing the BBC's Black and White Minstrel Show for a proposed 6-month tour of both Australia and New Zealand was an unprecedented success, held over for three years from 1962 to 1965, and breaking every box office record in both countries, a record which still stands.
Brodziak's most celebrated achievement in this area was arranging The Beatles 16-day Australian tour of 1964. Brodziak had seen the Beatles perform during a talent-scouting trip to Britain in 1963, and agreed to handle and promote the group's Australian tour just prior to the explosion of Beatlemania in Australia, for Stadiums Limited which owned most of the large capital city venues including the Brisbane Festival Hall, the Melbourne Festival Hall, the Centennial Hall in Adelaide and the Sydney Stadium. By the time the Beatles actually arrived in Australia in the summer of 1964, they had gone from unknowns to superstars, having already scored twelve hits on the Australian pop charts. The tour was a runaway success, bringing Brodziak a level of fame in Australia he had never before experienced. In 1998, Brodziak acknowledged that, in spite of his many other achievements, bringing the Fab Four to Australia was probably the single most memorable moment of his career:
"It used to annoy me that people only knew me for bringing The Beatles here. Now I realise what a landmark moment that was. There will never be another group like them."
Though he would continue to book concerts, later in his career Brodziak also concentrated on producing stage shows. These shows included the successful Australian productions of The Boys In The Band, Godspell, Pippin, Hair and A Chorus Line. After retiring in 1980, Brodziak concentrated on adding to and developing his extensive collection of showbiz memorabilia.
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