Matt Flinders

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Matt Flinders
Birth nameSylvan Louis Bonett
Also known asLouis Bonett
Bornc. 1937
Alexandria, Egypt
OriginMelbourne, Victoria, Australia
Occupation(s)
  • Musician
  • TV presenter
  • radio presenter
Instruments
Labels

Matt Flinders (born Sylvan Louis Bonett c. 1937, Alexandria, Egypt) is a former singer and TV presenter who rose to prominence in the late 1960s in Australia. He had top 5 hit singles with his cover versions of "Picking Up Pebbles" (1969) and "Butterfly" (1971). He hosted his own variety shows, The Matt Flinders Show (1972) and Matt Flinders and Friends (1973) on ABC-TV.

Biography[edit]

Matt Flinders was born c. 1937 as Sylvan Louis Bonett in Egypt of mixed (French, English, Italian) descent.[1][2] With his parents and siblings he moved to the United Kingdom in 1950, then to Australia in 1951. Bonett undertook National Service with the Royal Australian Air Force at Point Cook, Victoria in the mid-1950s. He then began singing and playing guitar in Melbourne under the name, Louis Bonett.[2] He played double bass with musical groups, which toured Japan and Australia. In the early 1960s he returned to England, formed another musical group, and worked in London for four years.

When Flinders returned to Australia in the mid-1960s, he led the house band, as well as singing and playing double bass, at the Chevron Hotel, Melbourne. During that time he sang ads for Australian radio and TV. These came to the attention of Ron Tudor of Astor Records, who signed Flinders to a recording contract. Tudor suggested a name change so that DJs would remember and pronounce it correctly – he chose Matt Flinders for the explorer of a similar name.[1][2]

Flinders' first recording for Astor was a cover version of Herman's Hermits' track "Something Is Happening".[3] His second single, "Picking Up Pebbles", was a cover version of a 1968 track by UK artist Johnny Curtis (a.k.a. Bobby Kerr), which was released by Flinders in late 1969.[1][4][5] It peaked at No. 4 on the Go-Set National Top 40 singles chart.[6]

Flinders' later recorded material appeared on Tudor's own label, Fable Records. He had another No. 4 hit with his version of Danyel Gérard's "Butterfly" (late 1971).[7] Gérard's own version of "Butterfly" reached No. 11 on the same chart.[8] Late in 1972 he issued another single, "You", which was written by Flinders and reached the top 40.[9][10]

Flinders began working as a presenter for Australian Broadcasting Corporation to present shows on both radio and TV. His TV variety shows were The Matt Flinders Show, with 13 weekly episodes from June 1972,[2] and Matt Flinders and Friends in 1973.[11] One year his television program won an award.[12]

Private life[edit]

After Matt Flinders had retired from the entertainment industry he worked as a civil celebrant (as Sylvan Bonett) with his wife, Coralie, in Adelaide.

Three of Flinders' brothers also had musical careers. Arnold Lloyd Bonett (c. 1930–2016),[13] the eldest, performed as an operatic bass baritone at the National Theatre, Melbourne and for the ABC – he received an award from the Italian Opera Festival Organisation in 1961; before he made a career change to the corporate world. Roland Bonett (c. 1934–2002)[13] was a popular performer and dance band leader in Melbourne.

In 1965 the youngest brother, Christian ("Chris") Bonett, was recruited in Sydney by Dave Guard (who had left a US singing group, the Kingston Trio, in 1961).[14] Chris also appeared on Guard's national TV series, Dave's Place (mid-1965) for ABC in the house band on electric bass guitar and vocals with Guard on vocals, electric and acoustic guitars, banjo and tambourine and Len Young on drums; they were joined by alternate female lead vocalists: Frances Stone, Kerrilee Male or Norma Shirlee Stoneman.[14][15] He worked for two decades as a singer and bass guitarist with rock and pop bands in Australia, UK and US.[14] He worked at Club Med resorts in France, Switzerland and the Caribbean. Chris was later a computer programmer for a farm cooperative in Kansas City, Missouri.[14]

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

  • The Matt Flinders Album (1971) – Fable Records (FBSA-101)[16]
  • Matt Flinders on TV (by Matt Flinders and Friends) (1972) – Fable Records (FBSA-020)[16][17]

Singles[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Picking Up Pebbles". Where Did They Get That Song?. PopArchives (Lyn Nuttall). Retrieved 8 December 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d Musgrove, Nan (28 June 1972). "Two Centuries Later, Another Matt Flinders". The Australian Women's Weekly. 40 (4). p. 25. Retrieved 8 December 2017 – via National Library of Australia. Note: includes a colour photo of Flinders with regular guest, Mary Jane Boyd. Last name spelled as Bonnet.
  3. ^ "'Something Is Happening' at APRA search engine". Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA). Retrieved 8 December 2017. Note: For additional work user may have to select 'Search again' and then 'Enter a title:' or 'Performer:'
  4. ^ Nimmervoll, Ed (11 October 1969). "National Top 40". Go-Set. Waverley Press. Retrieved 8 December 2017.
  5. ^ "Matt Flinders – Picking up Pebbles". Archived from the original on 25 December 2005. Retrieved 16 December 2007.
  6. ^ a b Nimmervoll, Ed (10 January 1970). "National Top 40". Go-Set. Waverley Press. Retrieved 8 December 2017.
  7. ^ a b Nimmervoll, Ed (15 January 1972). "National Top 40". Go-Set. Waverley Press. Retrieved 8 December 2017.
  8. ^ Nimmervoll, Ed (4 December 1971). "National Top 40". Go-Set. Waverley Press. Retrieved 8 December 2017.
  9. ^ a b Nimmervoll, Ed (23 September 1972). "National Top 40". Go-Set. Waverley Press. Retrieved 9 December 2017.
  10. ^ "'You' at APRA search engine". Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA). Retrieved 9 December 2017. Note: For additional work user may have to select 'Search again' and then 'Enter a title:' or 'Performer:'
  11. ^ "Films for the Week". The Canberra Times. 46 (13, 154). 19 June 1972. p. 13. Retrieved 8 December 2017 – via National Library of Australia.
  12. ^ "Matt Flinders". Matt Flinders Official Website. Archived from the original on 25 December 2005. Retrieved 16 December 2007.
  13. ^ a b "The Ryerson Index". Ryerson Index Inc. Retrieved 8 December 2017.. Note: User must add 'Bonett' into the Surname search parameter
  14. ^ a b c d Bradshaw, Ken. "The Dave's Place Group". LazyKa.com. Retrieved 9 December 2017.
  15. ^ J. H. (20 July 1965). "Leisure TV Drama Music Art Books Radio The Arts: Good for Ohio, Better for Australia". The Canberra Times. 39 (11, 212). p. 9. Retrieved 9 December 2017 – via National Library of Australia.
  16. ^ a b c d Kimball, Duncan (2002). "Record Labels – Fable Records". Milesago: Australasian Music and Popular Culture 1964–1975. Ice Productions. Archived from the original on 7 March 2008. Retrieved 8 December 2017.
  17. ^ Dennis W. Nicholson (ed.). "Matt Flinders and Friends". Australian Soundtracks. Archived from the original on 7 May 2010. Retrieved 8 December 2017.
  18. ^ a b c Kimball, Duncan (2002). "Record Labels – Astor Records". Milesago: Australasian Music and Popular Culture 1964–1975. Ice Productions. Archived from the original on 7 March 2008. Retrieved 8 December 2017.
  19. ^ Nimmervoll, Ed (18 April 1970). "National Top 40". Go-Set. Waverley Press. Retrieved 9 December 2017.
  20. ^ Nimmervoll, Ed (16 January 1971). "National Top 60". Go-Set. Waverley Press. Retrieved 9 December 2017.
  21. ^ Nimmervoll, Ed (3 July 1971). "National Top 60". Go-Set. Waverley Press. Retrieved 9 December 2017.