Linda George (Australian singer)
|Born||1951 (age 65–66)|
|Genres||pop, jazz fusion, soul|
|Labels||EMI, Columbia, Image, Full Moon|
|Associated acts||Nova Express, Paul McKay|
Linda George (born 1951) is an English-born Australian pop, jazz fusion and soul singer from the 1970s. In 1973, George performed the role of Acid Queen for the Australian stage performance of The Who's rock opera, Tommy. She won the TV Week King of Pop award for "Best New Female Artist". Her cover version of "Neither One of Us", peaked at No.;12 on the Australian Singles Chart and her 1974 single "Mama's Little Girl" reached the Top Ten. From 1972 to 1998, George also worked as a session singer and later became a music teacher. Her last CD recorded in the late 90's will be available in 2012.
Linda George was born in 1951 in the United Kingdom and emigrated with her family to Australia in 1964 where they settled in Adelaide, South Australia in the Satellite migrant town of Elizabeth. By 1968, George had already worked professionally as a duo and moved to Melbourne to find more musical experiences. George had joined her first band Nova Express, a jazz fusion group similar in repertoire to United States acts Chicago and Blood Sweat and Tears. With George as lead singer, the band included Peter Walsh on organ, Craig Forbes on drums, Ian Hellings on trumpet, Dave Clark on saxophone, the legendary jazz bass player Derek Capewell on bass guitar, (after they lost their original bass player, Ray Greenhorn to the draft for Vietnam) Ken Schroder on alto and baritone saxophone, Geoff Schroder on tenor saxophone, Peter Walsh on organ and Ken White on guitar. A later member was Graham Morgan on drums.
Early in 1969, the band's first and only single, a cover version of "Take Another Little Piece of My Heart" (originally recorded by Erma Franklin, then Janis Joplin), was released on the EMI label imprint Columbia, the B side featured a Ken White original 'Around the block' which reached No. 28 in Melbourne. They won the Victorian state final of the 1970 Hoadley's Battle of the Sounds ahead of Zoot, though they finished behind The Flying Circus, Zoot and Autumn at the national finals in August. George left Nova Express later that year for a solo career, including performing with The Marlboro Big Band, The Barry Veith Big Band, Opus Big Band, and Brian May and the ABC Show Band on a tour of Vietnam which included Derek Capewell on bass, Garry Hyde on drums and Melbourne musical stalwarts.
In 1971, George teamed again with Ken Schroder in his band called 'Plant'. This band featured Schroder on saxes and Steve Miller on trombone along with David Alardyce on piano and Colin Deluka on bass plus the Tasmanian drummer Eric Johnson. She worked with this band until 1973 when Ken Schroder left the band to travel abroad, and she joined Image records as a solo artist.
In 1973, Linda George signed with independent label, Image Records, and released her first solo single "Let's Fly Away" in May. In March 1973, she took the role of Acid Queen in the Australian stage production of The Who's rock opera Tommy. Her fellow cast included Daryl Braithwaite, Colleen Hewett, Billy Thorpe, Ross Wilson, Jim Keays, Doug Parkinson, Broderick Smith, Wendy Saddington, Bobby Bright and The Who's own Keith Moon (as Uncle Ernie for the Melbourne show only). It was later televised by the Seven Network and received a TV award for the year's most outstanding creative effort. For the Sydney show, Australian music commentator Ian "Molly" Meldrum replaced Moon. George won the TV Week King of Pop award for "Best New Female Artist" (1973).
The raised exposure helped promote her second single in July, her cover version of the Gladys Knight & the Pips US hit "Neither One of Us", arranged by the Australian music writer and pianist Peter Jones, which peaked at No. 12 on Go-Set's National Top 40 singles chart. George's follow up single, a remake of Ruby and the Romantics 1963 hit "Our Day Will Come" with a co-production between Peter Jones music arranger and Image records., reached the Top 40 in February 1974.
Her debut LP album, Linda, appeared in August on Image Records. Session musicians were used and US record producer Jack Richardson (Alice Cooper, The Guess Who, Poco and Bob Seger) was brought to Australia by label boss, John McDonald, The first single from Linda was her biggest hit and became her signature song, "Mama's Little Girl" (previously by Dusty Springfield), which went to No. 8 on the Australian Kent Music Report Singles Chart. The second single, "Give It Love", did not reach the top 40. Linda peaked at No. 32 on the Australian Kent Music Report Albums Chart and stayed in the top 100 for five months. George won awards for "Best Female Vocalist" and "Best Female Single".
She appeared both in the 1973 and at the 1975 Sunbury Pop Festival in January. Richardson also produced her second album, Step by Step, which was released in December. It featured a tougher rock sound compared to the previous album's soul and pop sound. After the first album Linda she parted ways with her management company. To promote it she formed the Linda George Band which performed throughout 1976 to positive reviews. The album's first single "Shoo Be Doo Be Doo Dah Day" charted reasonably well in former hometown Adelaide, but public reaction in the rest of Australia was lukewarm. The album peaked in the Top 40. A third single, the title track, was released in May 1976 but failed to make the charts. George then released a non-album single "Sitting in Limbo" in November 1978, a cover of the Jimmy Cliff song, it also did not chart. George left Image to continue working as a session singer and raise her children. Throughout this time George continued to be in demand for live television performances throughout Australia, and occasional solo performance shows.Peter Faiman produced an iconic segment with George in the "Paul Hogan" show and she featured regularly on the 'Naked Vicar show', and Don Lane and Bert Newton shows.
Session singer and beyond
Linda George had already provided backing vocals on releases by her contemporaries, including Brian Cadd, Madder Lake, Daryl Braithwaite, Normie Rowe, Jo Jo Zep, John Farnham, and Kerrie Biddell as well as many others. Throughout this time George worked with various ensembles.From early 1979 to 1981 she worked with the Paul Mckay Sound.
During 1979, George performed backing vocals on Mike Brady's album Invisible Man. Brady had just had a No. 1 hit with "Up There Cazaly" and set up his own label, Full Moon Records. George signed to his label and returned to the studio with new material. Her first single in four years was a duet with Melbourne singer Paul McKay, "Love Is Enough" released in April 1980, which reached No.;23 locally. Her next single was the up tempo, "Telephone Lines", in 1981, but it was not a chart success. While resuming her session work, George also spent much of the 1980s singing with her own ensembles, the Linda George Band, the line-up often included David Allardice on piano an early alliance revisited. Later i 1982 she joined with Jeremy Alsop, David Jones and Mark chew in the band voice and worked locally.During this time she represented Australia in the Tokyo for the Yamaha music festival.
By 1986, George was a featured member of WJAZ, the Melbourne-based band which featured three singers, Penny Dyer on vocals along with Lindsay Field, Alex Pertout on percussion, Colin Hopkins on keyboards, Peter Blick on drums, Ron Pierce on guitar and Steve Hadley on bass.They performed regularly at the Limerick Arms to an enthusiastic fan base. WJAZ continued through to 1993 in various line ups. A later line-up of WJAZ was George, Dyer and Pertout, with Craig Newman and Colin Hopkins.
During the early 1990s, George toured to Russia with two of her seven brothers, in an ensemble that included Colin Hopkins from Melbourne and George Grifsas from Adelaide, working for the [Freedom from Hunger] campaign. Back in Melbourne, she created a venue, Music on Q, for local original artists. She recorded an album, Circle Dance, with Hopkins and Pertout which was released in 1996 as a limited edition CD. Whilst raising three daughters she continued to teach at Various schools and colleges throughout Melbourne and also ran a private practice. Her focus was and is on encouraging the individuals voice to emerge, to promote healthy voice habits, and to cultivate the love of originality, improvising and composition in her students.
George became a full-time teacher, after gaining a B.A and a dip ed and taught voice for the Victorian College of the Arts and other schools and institutions as a sessional teacher. In 2001 with Steve Vertigan she published, The Greatest Ever Improve Your Singing Book for Contemporary Vocalists, which included 2 CDs with practice tracks. and is a basic book for singers of all levels.
Linda continued to sing occasionally with her own trio but went on to teach in schools full-time both private and public, and recently retired from full-time teaching in schools. Linda retired as the head of music at Pascoe Vale Girls College in 2012. She now teaches privately in Melbourne.
- George, Linda; Vertigan, Steve (2001). The Greatest Ever Improve Your Singing Book for Contemporary Vocalists. Fitzroy, Vic: Encore Music Distributors (Australia). Note: Includes a score and two sound discs, which contain practice tracks.
|Year||Album details||AUS chart
|1975||Step by Step
|"—" denotes releases that did not chart.|
|Year||Title||Peak chart positions||Album|
|1972||"Let's Fly Away"||—||—||'Non-album single'|
|1973||"Neither One of Us (Wants to Be the First to Say Goodbye)"||12||13|
|"Our Day Will Come"||38||45|
|1974||"Mama's Little Girl"||8||8||Linda|
|"Give It Love"||—||91|
|1975||"Shoo Be Doo Be Doo Da Day"||—||85||Step by Step|
|1976||"Step by Step"||—||—|
|"Sitting in Limbo"||—||—||' Non-album single'|
|1980||"Love Is Enough" (duet with Paul McKay)||—||42|
|1982||"Face to Face"||—||—|
|"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released in that country.|
- McFarlane, Ian (1999). "Whammo Homepage". Encyclopedia of Australian Rock and Pop. St Leonards, NSW: Allen & Unwin. ISBN 1-86508-072-1. Archived from the original on 5 April 2004. Retrieved 9 April 2011. Note: Archived [on-line] copy has limited functionality.
- Spencer, Chris; Zbig Nowara, Paul McHenry with notes by Ed Nimmervoll (2002) . The Who's Who of Australian Rock. Noble Park, Vic: Five Mile Press. ISBN 1-86503-891-1. Note: [on-line] version of The Who's Who of Australian Rock was established at White Room Electronic Publishing Pty Ltd in 2007 and was expanded from the 2002 edition. As from, September 2010 the [on-line] version shows an 'Internal Service Error' and was no longer available.
- McFarlane, 'Linda George' entry. Archived from the original on 3 August 2004. Retrieved 6 May 2011.
- Robbins, Michael (2002). Duncan Kimball, ed. "Linda George". Milesago: Australasian Music and Popular Culture 1964–1975. Ice Productions. Retrieved 6 May 2011.
- "Nova Express – "Take Another Little Piece of My Heart"". Where Did They Get That Song?. PopArchives (Lyn Nuttall). Retrieved 6 May 2011.
- Stacey, Terence J. (2002). Duncan Kimball, ed. "Hoadley's National Battle of the Sounds". Milesago: Australasian Music and Popular Culture 1964–1975. Ice Productions. Retrieved 6 May 2011.
- "Search results for "Linda George"". Go-Set. Waverley Press. Retrieved 6 May 2011. Note: Go-Set published its national charts from October 1966 until August 1974.
- Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book Ltd. ISBN 0-646-11917-6. Note: Used for Australian Singles and Albums charting from 1974 until Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) created their own charts in mid-1988. In 1992, Kent back calculated chart positions for 1970–1974.
- Guest, Thomas J (1991). Thirty Years of Hits 1960–1990 – Melbourne Top 40 Research. Collingwood, Vic: M J Maloney. ISBN 0-646-04633-0.
- "Alex Pertout's Biography". Alex Pertout. Retrieved 7 May 2011.
- "The greatest ever improve your singing book for contemporary vocalists (music) / Linda George & Steve Vertigan". Music Australia. National Library of Australia. 18 November 2010. Retrieved 8 May 2011.
- "Who's Who of Australian Rock / Compiled by Chris Spencer, Zbig Nowara & Paul McHenry". catalogue. National Library of Australia. Retrieved 6 May 2011.