Marty Rhone

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Marty Rhone
Birth name Karel Lawrence van Rhoon
Born (1948-05-07) 7 May 1948 (age 68)
Soerabaja, East Java, Dutch East Indies
Origin Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Genres Pop
Occupation(s) Singer-songwriter, actor, manager
Instruments Vocals
Years active 1965–present
Labels Spin, Spiral, M7, Festival
Associated acts The Soul Agents

Marty Rhone (born Karel Lawrence van Rhoon, 7 May 1948, Soerabaja, Dutch East Indies) is a pop singer-songwriter, actor and talent manager. In July 1975 his single, "Denim and Lace", peaked at No. 2 on the Australian Kent Music Report Singles Chart. He had another hit in June 1977 with "Mean Pair of Jeans", which reached No. 11. As an actor he appeared on the Australian stage in Godspell (1972–73); on TV in Number 96 (1974) and Class of '75 (1975); and in the London theatre production of The King and I (1979–80) alongside Yul Brynner. From late 1987 to August 1990, he was the business manager of a trio of brothers, the Australian boxing champions: Dean (heavyweight class), Guy (light heavyweight) and Troy Waters (junior middleweight).


Marty Rhone was born as Karel (or Karl) Lawrence van Rhoon on 7 May 1948 in Soerabaja, Dutch East Indies (later named Surabaya, Indonesia).[A] His father was Eddy Emile van Rhoon (born Soerakarta, Central Java, 1 July 1917), a clerk and former flying navigator in the Dutch East Indies navy during World War II.[1][2] His mother was Judith Olive (née Bagshaw, born Sydney, 1 January 1929).[1][3] She was a singer and actress, who met Eddy through the Sydney jazz scene; he was a visiting pianist while on leave.[2] The couple married in 1947 and Judith accompanied Eddy to Soerabaja.[2] The family migrated to Australia on 21 April 1950 and briefly lived in Sydney and Brisbane, and then moved to Darwin.[1][2] Eddy worked as a Communications Officer for the Department of Civil Aviation; he was stationed in Darwin from March 1951 until July 1957.[1] The family remained in Darwin until mid-1960, by which time Rhone had a younger sister, Kymn Dale (born 1958) and brother, Martin Richard (born 1960).[2]

Rhone was taught piano by his father but he preferred singing.[2] In August 1959, aged 11, he first performed publicly at Darwin's Mitchell Street Town Hall in Around the World in 80 Minutes – a charity variety concert – alongside his father on piano and his mother.[2][4] After he finished primary school, the family moved to Sydney, where he attended Crows Nest Boys High School.[2] In mid-1961 he appeared on a talent quest segment of ATN7-TV series, Tarax Show, and was offered a singing spot on a children's show, Kaper Kabaret.[2] In late 1965 he formed a band, The Blue Feelings, and they auditioned for an appearance on Saturday Date, a teen music show.[5][6][7] After the audition Spin Records owner, Nat Kipner, signed Rhone to a recording contract and the label issued his debut single, "Nature Boy", in February the following year.[5] For his next two singles, "Thirteen Women" (April) and "I Want You Back Again", Rhone was backed by Spin Records label mates, The Soul Agents, a beat pop group.[5] They had formed in 1964 and by 1966 consisted of Jerry Darmic on bass guitar, Roger Felice-Andrews on drums, John Green on guitar and Barry Kelly on organ.[5]

Rhone's fourth single, "She Is Mine", included the self-penned B-side, "Village Tapestry",[8] which appeared in September.[5] None of these singles charted on the Go-Set National Top 40, however Australian musicologist, Ian McFarlane, described "Village Tapestry" as being "highly regarded among 1960s aficionados".[5] In Iain McIntyre's book, Tomorrow Is Today: Australia in the Psychedelic Era, 1966-1970 (2006), the track was listed by Ian D. Marks as one of the 'Top 7 Proto-Psychedelic Australian Tracks from 1966'.[9] Marks described it as "completely out of left field. With a gentle, almost medieval lilt, autoharps a-strumming and a charming spoken word verse—there was nothing like this released in Australia at the time. Melodic, evocative and delicate".[9] During 1966 Marty Rhone and The Soul Agents supported The Rolling Stones on the United Kingdom rock group's tour of Australia.[6][7] They also performed on the bill of the P.J. Proby Show at the Sydney Stadium with Wayne Fontana, Eden Kane and The Bee Gees appearing.[6][7]

Rhone moved to Melbourne and issued five more singles on Spin Records but had "limited success".[5][6][7] By March 1970 Rhone was conscripted for National Service until 1972.[5][6] During his service he attended the Royal Military College, Duntroon, as a member of their band, for 18 months.[10] From April 1972 to July 1973 he acted in the Australian stage version of Godspell at The Richbrooke, Sydney with Rod Dunbar, Peita Toppano and John Waters.[5][11][12] The Australian cast soundtrack album was issued as Godspell: a Musical Based on the Gospel According to St. Matthew on His Master's Voice.[11] He attended the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and in July 1973 he released a new single, "Goodbye in May".[5]

He composed the music for Ruzzante Returns from the Wars, which starred Ivar Kants and ran at the Parade Theatre, Kensington from May to June 1974 as a one-act play.[13] It is based on the text of Angelo Beolco's Il Parlamento de Ruzante, originally written in Italy during the mid-16th century.[13] As a double bill at the same venue, Rhone performed the music he had composed for La Mandragola, a satirical play by another 16th century Italian, Niccolò Machiavelli.[14] It had roles by Reg Gillam, Pamela Stephenson and Ingrid Mason.[14] Rhone followed with appearances on TV soap operas, Number 96 (1974) and Class of '75 (1975).[5][6]

By mid-1975 Rhone had signed with M7 Records and issued his next single, "Denim and Lace", which peaked at No. 2 on the Australian Kent Music Report Singles Chart.[5][15] It was promoted on the Class of '75 soundtrack album.[16] It was co-written by L Lister (aka Jack Aranda) and F Lyons (aka Shad Lyons).[16][17] Lister and Lyons also produced Rhone's debut album, Denim and Lace, recording at Alberts Studio 139.[16] At the end of the year "Denim and Lace" was the second highest selling single in Australia.[5] His next single, "Star Song", reached the Top 50, the next two were less successful, while the last one for the year, "On the Loose" reached the Top 40.[15] Of the four singles, "On the Loose (Again)" – co-written by Brian Dawe and Steve Groves (ex-Tin Tin)[18] – was used by Rhone to win the 1976 Australian Popular Song Festival.[5] In June 1977 he had another hit with "Mean Pair of Jeans", which reached No. 11.[5][15] In July that year he issued his second album, Marty Rhone.[5]

In July 1978 Rhone relocated to London. In June the following year he took the role of Lun Tha in the London Palladium presentation of The King and I alongside Yul Brynner and Virginia McKenna.[19] By September 1981 he had returned to Sydney.[20] In 1987 Rhone became a business manager for a trio of brothers, the Australian boxers: Dean, Guy and Troy Waters.[19] In May 1988 Festival Records issued a ten-volume album series, Festival File, including Village Tapestry: The Festival File Volume 9 by Marty Rhone and The Soul Agents.[21] Stuart Coupe reviewed the collection for The Canberra Times, "Never a big pop star, Marty Rhone will be remembered for a number of outstanding singles, a number of which were very advanced in style and production".[21]

In December 1988 Rhone organised the "Battle on the Beach" for January 1989 with Dean Waters, as Australian heavyweight champion, to fight New Zealand's title holder; and Guy, who had been stripped of his Australian light heavyweight title, due to fight another New Zealand champion.[22][23][24] Meanwhile, Troy was waiting for an opportunity at the world IBF junior middleweight title in February.[22][23][24] From October 1988 to March 1993 Rhone promoted at least 16 boxing events.[25] However, by August 1990 the Waters brothers had walked out, he complained "I've made a three-year investment in three fighters and they want to leave when two are on the brink of world titles ... I will demand substantial compensation in court and a seven-figure sum is a possibility".[26]

From 2007 Rhone has performed a repertoire of tracks by Cliff Richard; a gig at the Crown Casino, Melbourne, in late 2008 was filmed and broadcast in February the next year as Marty Rhone: A Tribute to Cliff Richard and The Shadows.[27][28] From April to July 2009 he continued the Richard tributes with The Dream Tour, which had Dean Bourne as US singer Roy Orbison;[29] then in May 2011 on the Cliff & Dusty presentation he performed with Sheena Crouch as UK pop singer Dusty Springfield;[30] and in June 2012 with his own "musical theatre fantasy" covering Richard's and The Beatles' material in Cliff Joins The Beatles.[27]

Personal life[edit]

In January 1976 Marty Rhone married Rosa Merola; the couple have two sons.[2]



List of albums.
Title Album details
Denim and Lace
  • Released: 1975
  • Label: M7 Records (MLF 127)
  • Formats: LP
Marty Rhone
  • Released: July 1977
  • Label: M7 Records (MLF 171)
  • Formats: LP
Village Tapestry: The Festival File Volume 9
Born to Rock
First Love
  • Released: 1 October 2010
  • Label: The Can
  • Formats: Music download
The Long and Winding Road
  • Released: 11 May 2012
  • Label: Marty Rhone
  • Formats: Music download


List of singles, with selected chart positions, showing year released and album name
Title Year Peak chart positions Album
"Nature Boy" 1966 Village Tapestry: The Festival File Volume 9
"Thirteen Women"
"I Want You Back Again"
"She Is Mine" / "Village Tapestry" 72
"No No No No" 1967 60
"Green Mansions"
"She's Coming Home" 1968 99
"Ruby with the Red Hair" 1969 73 Non-album single
"So You Want to Be a Pop Singer?" 1970 Village Tapestry: The Festival File Volume 9
"Goodbye in May" 1973 Non-album single
"Denim and Lace" 1975 2 Denim and Lace
"Star Song" 1976 44
"Take Away" 99
"Things We Did Last Night" Marty Rhone
"On the Loose (Again)" 33
"Mean Pair of Jeans" 1977 10
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.


  1. ^For name as Karel Lawrence van Rhoon and birth date as 7 May 1948 see National Archives of Australia, Australian Netherlands Migration Agreement, item No. A997, 1949/1668,[3] and item with barcode 950972.[1] For birthplace as Surabaya, former Netherlands East Indies see Summers.[2] For name as Karl Lawrence Van-Rhoon see Australasian Performing Right Association.[8] Other sources give first name as Carl.[5][6][7]


  1. ^ a b c d e "E40, VAN RHOON, EDDY EMILE 165180: Digital copy of item with barcode 950972". National Archives of Australia (Government of Australia). 20 March 2009. pp. 1–19. Retrieved 9 June 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Summers, Sue (February 2007). "Marty Rhone: Entertainer and Singer". Dutch Australians at a Glance, Curtin University. Retrieved 9 June 2013. 
  3. ^ a b "Item details for: A997, 1949/1668". RecordSearch. National Archives of Australia (Government of Australia). 11 September 2009. Retrieved 9 June 2013. VAN RHOON Eddy Emile born 1 July 1917; nationality Dutch; VAN RHOON (aka BAGSHAW) Judith Olive born 1 January 1929; VAN RHOON Karel Lawrence born 7 May 1948 
  4. ^ "1959". Darwin Theatre Company. Archived from the original on 23 June 2004. Retrieved 9 June 2013. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q McFarlane, 'Marty Rhone' entry at the Wayback Machine (archived 28 August 2004). Archived from the original on 28 August 2004. Retrieved 9 June 2013.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g Nimmervoll, Ed; Felice, Roger. "Marty Rhone and the Soul Agents". Howlspace. White Room Electronic Publishing Pty Ltd. Retrieved 12 June 2013. 
  7. ^ a b c d e Kimball, Duncan (2002). "Marty Rhone and The Soul Agents". Milesago: Australasian Music and Popular Culture 1964–1975. Ice Productions. Retrieved 9 June 2013. 
  8. ^ a b "'Village Tapestry' at APRA search engine". Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA). Retrieved 9 June 2013. 
  9. ^ a b Marks, Ian D (2006). "Part One 1966 – The Music". In Iain McIntyre. Tomorrow Is Today: Australia in the Psychedelic Era, 1966–1970. Wakefield Press. p. 15. ISBN 978-1-86254-697-4. Retrieved 10 June 2013. 
  10. ^ "Pop Star at Display". The Canberra Times. Fairfax Media. 28 July 1970. p. 7. Pop Star at Display: Australian pop star Marty Rhone will sing two Negro spiritual songs during a marching and musical display by the Royal Military College Band today ... Marty Rhone, a national serviceman, arrived in Canberra this month to begin an 18 month course ... 
  11. ^ a b Schwartz, Stephen; Dunbar, Rod (1972), Godspell a musical based on the Gospel according to St. Matthew, His Master's Voice. National Library of Australia, retrieved 10 June 2013, A recording from the Australian stage production with Rod Dunbar, Peita Toppano, Marty Rhone and others .
  12. ^ "Event: Godspell". AusStage. Retrieved 10 June 2013. 
  13. ^ a b "Event: Ruzzante Returns from the Wars". AusStage. Retrieved 10 June 2013. 
  14. ^ a b La Mandragola, Parade Theatre, Kensington, NSW, 3 May 1974 [Event description], National Library of Australia, 1974, retrieved 10 June 2013 
  15. ^ a b c d Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, New South Wales: 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.
  16. ^ a b c Dennis W. Nicholson (ed.). "Class of '75". Australian Soundtracks. Retrieved 10 June 2013. 
  17. ^ "'Denim and Lace' at APRA search engine". Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA). Retrieved 10 June 2013. 
  18. ^ "'On the Loose (Again)' at APRA search engine". Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA). Retrieved 9 June 2013. 
  19. ^ a b MacKenzie, Vicki (11 April 1979). "The Luck of a Young Lover". The Australian Women's Weekly. National Library of Australia. p. 11. Retrieved 10 June 2013. 
  20. ^ Smith, Pete (23 September 1981). "Pete Smith". The Australian Women's Weekly. National Library of Australia. p. 156. Retrieved 10 June 2013. 
  21. ^ a b Coupe, Stuart (29 May 1988). "Music: New Release a Festival of Australian Memories". The Canberra Times. National Library of Australia. p. 18. Retrieved 10 June 2013. 
  22. ^ a b Hird, Herb (17 November 1988). "A Glimpse of Malice". The Canberra Times. National Library of Australia. Australian Associated Press (AAP). p. 18. Retrieved 10 June 2013. 
  23. ^ a b "Waters to fight Kiwis". Canberra Times. National Library of Australia. 24 December 1988. p. 30. Retrieved 11 June 2013. 
  24. ^ a b According to BoxRec the career statistics for the three brothers are:
  25. ^ "Marty Rhone – Promoter". BoxRec. Retrieved 11 June 2013. 
  26. ^ "Names in the Game". The Associated Press. 29 August 1990. 
  27. ^ a b Dwyer, Michael (29 May 2012). "Winter of Discontent Meets Summer Holiday". The Age. Retrieved 11 June 2013. 
  28. ^ "Marty Rhone: A Tribute to Cliff Richard and The Shadows". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 8 February 2009. Retrieved 10 June 2013. 
  29. ^ Maiorana, Ben (30 June 2009). "Culture – Music: Hit Tour Reaches Its Climax in Brisbane" (Press release). Maiorana Marketing. Retrieved 12 June 2013. 
  30. ^ Xiberras, Paula (28 May 2011). "Cliff and Dusty". Tasmanian Times. Retrieved 12 June 2013. 
  31. ^ Kent, David (2005). Australian Chart Book 1940–1969. Turramurra, New South Wales: Australian Chart Book Pty Ltd. ISBN 0-64644-439-5.  Note: Chart positions back calculated by Kent in 2005.

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