|Birth name||Lynne Randall|
14 December 1949|
|Died||8 June 2007
|Occupation(s)||singer, personal assistant|
|Labels||HMV, CBS, Epic, Raven|
Lynne Randell (born Lynne Randall, 14 December 1949 – 8 June 2007) was an English Australian pop singer. For three years in the mid-1960s she was Australia's most popular female performer and had hits with "Heart" and "Goin' Out of My Head" in 1966, and "Ciao Baby" in 1967. In 1967, Randell toured the United States with The Monkees and performed on-stage with support act Jimi Hendrix. She wrote for teen magazine, Go-Set and television programme guide, TV Week. While on the US tour, Randell became addicted to methamphetamine, an addiction which she battled for most of her life.
Lynne Randell was born as Lynne Randall in Liverpool, England in 1949 and had started primary school. When five years old, her family migrated to Australia and settled in the Melbourne suburb of Murrumbeena. She later attended Mordialloc High School in the same year as future footballer Rex Hunt. She completed Form Three and won a talent quest at a school fete – the prize was a one-week engagement at Lorne on the Victorian surf coast. At the age of 14, Randell started working for celebrity hairdresser Lillian Frank on a trial basis and promptly asked for annual holidays to fulfil her singing gig. Frank required proof:
"Vell, if you're such a singer then sing for me and I will decide." The dryers were turned off ... I stood there and sang. At the end, everyone applauded and Lillian said, "That's very good dah-ling, you can have your holidays."
At the Lorne Life Saving Club she sang with a band, The Spinning Wheels, and met a surfie-roadie and university student, Ian Meldrum, with whom she formed a lifelong friendship. Meldrum became a pop music commentator, writing for teen magazine, Go-Set, hosting television music series, Countdown, and providing opinions in various media.
Randell was 'discovered' whilst working as a 14-year-old apprentice hairdresser for Lilian and Antonio Frank. One of Frank's regular customers was publicist, Carol West. Garry Spry, the manager of Australian mod group The Flies, employed West to organise a publicity shoot for TV and press to display his band having their long hair done at a women's hair salon. During the shoot, The Flies lead singer, Ronnie Burns sang with his guitar and Frank suggested her young apprentice should sing along. Spry was so impressed by her voice he offered her a job at his discothèque, Pinocchios, and West became her manager. For Randell's 15th birthday on 14 December 1964, West held a party in Malvern and invited local radio DJs including Stan Rofe. The Spinning Wheels backed Randell as she sang "House of the Rising Sun" and John Lee Hooker's "Boom Boom". She cut a demo in a dining room and Rofe played it on his radio show.
Randell left school and was signed to EMI in 1965, her first single "I'll Come Running Over" (cover of a Lulu song) was released in February on its HMV label and became a No. 11 hit in Melbourne. She appeared on television to promote her single including Bandstand, Saturday Date and Sing Sing Sing. The first single was followed by "A Love Like You" (No. 27 in Melbourne) and "Forever". She had regular appearances on TV's The Go!! Show alongside contemporaries The Easybeats and Olivia Newton-John. Randell also appeared on another TV series, Kommotion with fellow pop artists including Burns (now a solo artist) and also featured performers miming to overseas artists' hits: Meldrum, for example, mimed to "Winchester Cathedral" by The New Vaudeville Band. Randell signed a new contract with CBS Records to release two further singles "Heart" and "Goin' Out of My Head" which both became Top 20 hits in Melbourne.
Randell worked the dance scene and discothèques, usually backed by The Spinning Wheels, with her trendsetting clothes and mod style carefully orchestrated by manager, West.
She just had a look ... I was told she had a good voice ... She's got a look that we try to make all the kids follow—whatever it happens to be: bell-bottom pants, backless dresses, striped tops—she's started quite a few fashion trends in Melbourne.—Carol West
Randell was marketed as Australia's Miss Mod and became the most popular female performer in the mid-1960s. Teen magazine, Go-Set, had separate columns written by Meldrum and Rofe, it also ran a pop poll, with Randell voted 'Most Popular Female Vocal' in October 1966. "Goin' Out of My Head" peaked at No. 16 on the Go-Set National Top 40 in November.
On the back of her Australian success, Randell went to the United Kingdom and performed at Liverpool's Cavern Club. By 1967, she was in the United States, where she met The Monkees and had a brief relationship with Davy Jones. She toured with them as part of a bill which also featured Jimi Hendrix and Ike & Tina Turner. Randell wrote in Go-Set and television programme guide, TV Week, of her experiences while touring the US. Her next single, "Ciao Baby" written by Larry Weiss and Scott English, was recorded in New York and released on CBS Records in Australia. It reached No. 6 on Go-Set's Top 40 in June 1967. Epic Records also released it in the US, Randell shot a colour video for "Ciao Baby" which is believed to be the first by an Australian artist. The Australian B-side, "Stranger in My Arms" was released in the UK as the A-side. While touring the US, Randell became addicted to methamphetamine tablets which were sold legally as slimming pills. She developed a long term addiction which subsequently damaged her brain, nervous system and adrenal glands.
Her next single "That's a Hoe Down" / "I Need You Boy" appeared in 1967 and she won another 'Most Popular Female Vocal' from Go-Set pop poll in October. Randell moved to Los Angeles in 1968 and released "An Open Letter". However, she had health problems with glandular fever and then peritonitis. Her last single, "I Love My Dog" was released in 1969 on Capitol Records.
Randell married Abe Hoch, an Atlantic Records company executive, in 1969. She provided a weekly column for Go-Set as their US correspondent – their home was the US office for Go-Set Publications – during 1970 and 1971. In 1972, their son Jamieson Hoch was born. Abe Hoch later became head of Swan Song Records and they moved to London in 1976 where Randell had further health problems related to her methamphetamine addiction and prescriptions by doctors. This caused difficulties for their marriage and led to their divorce by the late 1970s.
Later career and death
After the end of her marriage, Randell returned to Australia in 1980, she worked as a personal assistant to Meldrum, then compère of Countdown, until 1986. Randell worked for Seymour Stein of Sire Records as his personal assistant in New York during the late 1980s, living close to her son Jamieson. Randell moved back to Melbourne in the 1990s and made occasional appearances in oldies concerts.
Randell went public about her methamphetamine addiction in 2004 in an interview with Peter Wilmoth of The Age. She indicated that her adrenal glands were atrophied to about 30% function. Randell was found dead at her home in Toorak, Melbourne on 8 June 2007. Police said that there were "no suspicious circumstances". She left notes and gifts for family and friends. Her father had died three years earlier, she was survived by her mother, brothers, sister, son (Jamieson) and two grandchildren.
Jamieson Hoch, 35, died of a brain haemorrhage on 24 July 2007 only days after he joined mourners at St Kilda beach where he spoke about his mother and scattered her ashes in the water.
- Dynamic Lynne Randell – (Raven Records, 1986)
- CBS Presents Lynne Randell – (CBS, 1966)
- Ciao Baby – (CBS, 1967)
|1965||"I'll Come Running Over"||31|
|"A Love Like You"||47|
|"Goin' Out of My Head"||34|
|"That's a Hoedown"||55|
|1968||"An Open Letter"||-|
|1969||"I Love My Dog"||-|
- Jenkins, Jeff; Meldrum, Ian (2007). "Chapter 8 – Lynne Randell – Australia's Miss Mod". Molly Meldrum presents 50 years of rock in Australia. Melbourne: Wilkinson Publishing. pp. 42–60. ISBN 978-1-921332-11-1.
- McFarlane, Ian (1999). "Whammo Homepage". Encyclopedia of Australian Rock and Pop. St Leonards, NSW: Allen & Unwin. ISBN 1-86508-072-1. Retrieved 21 August 2010. Note: Archived [on-line] copy has limited functionality.
- Noel McGrath's Australian Encyclopedia of Rock & Pop - Rigby Publishers - 1978
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- Kent, David Martin (September 2002). "The place of Go-Set in rock and pop music culture in Australia, 1966 to 1974" (Portable Document Format (PDF)). Canberra, ACT: University of Canberra. pp. 57–58, 62, 67, 131, 219, 231–232, 255–258. NOTE: This PDF is 282 pages.
- Nimmervoll, Ed (9 November 1966). "Go-Set's National Top 40". Go-Set (Waverley Press). Retrieved 21 August 2010.
- ""Ciao Baby" – Lynne Randell (1967)". Sources of Australian Pop Records from the 50s, 60s and 70s. Pop Archives. Retrieved 24 August 2010.
- Nimmervoll, Ed (7 June 1967). "Go-Set's National Top 40". Go-Set (Waverley Press). Retrieved 21 August 2010.
- "60s pop star Lynne Randell dies". ABC News Online (Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC)). 9 June 2007. Retrieved 23 August 2010.
- Wilmoth, Peter (24 February 2004). "The amazing shrinking teenage pop star". The Age (Fairfax Media). Retrieved 23 August 2010.
- Money, Lawrence; Carbone, Suzanne (27 July 2007). "Song sung blue: pop queen's son dies too". The Age (Fairfax Media). Retrieved 23 August 2010.
- "Who's who of Australian rock / compiled by Chris Spencer, Zbig Nowara & Paul McHenry". catalogue. National Library of Australia. Retrieved 21 August 2010.