Mississippi (band)

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This article is about the Australian rock group Mississippi. For other uses of Mississippi, see Mississippi (disambiguation).
Also known as Allison Gros, Drummond
Origin Adelaide, South Australia Melbourne, Australia
Genres Rock, folk rock
Years active 1970–1975
Labels Fable, Bootleg
Associated acts Little River Band
Past members Graeham Goble
Russ Johnson
Harvey James
John Mower
Beeb Birtles
Colin Deluca
Ted van Zyl
Peter Martin
Derek Pellicci
Andre Santos
Kerryn Tolhurst
Charlie Tumahai

Mississippi was an Australian band (1972–1975), which featured some big names in Australian rock music including Graeham Goble, Beeb Birtles and Kerryn Tolhurst. The band started as Allison Gros in Adelaide, South Australia in 1970 and moved to Melbourne in 1971 where they recorded as Allison Gros, Drummond and in 1972 became Mississippi which eventually evolved into Little River Band by 1975.[1]


1970-1972: Allison Gros and Drummond[edit]

"Allison Gross" is a traditional English folk ballad[2] with the most widely recognised version recorded by Steeleye Span on their 1973 album Parcel of Rogues. The Adelaide based folk-rock band Allison Gros is believed to be named after this folk ballad and consisted of Graeham Goble (vocals, guitar), Russ Johnson (vocals, guitar) and John Mower (vocals, guitar).[1] They recorded one single on independent label Gamba "Naturally" released in 1970. The band moved to Melbourne in 1971 and signed to the Fable Records label and released two singles; "If I Ask You" and "All the Days". Under the pseudonym Drummond they recorded a 'chipmunk' version of the 1950s rock song "Daddy Cool", which spent 7 weeks at the top of the Australian national charts from September 1971.[3] The success of their single rode largely on the back of the success of Australian band Daddy Cool, who had scored a number one hit for 10 weeks with "Eagle Rock", which Drummond's single replaced at #1.[3]

1972-1975: Mississippi[edit]

In 1972, the band became known as Mississippi and released a self-titled debut LP (AUS chart position #21), which featured the single "Kings of the World" (AUS chart position #7, 1972) on the Bootleg label, a label recently set up by Brian Cadd. In late 1972, Mississippi were joined by Beeb Birtles on bass and vocals and Derek Pellicci on drums. Birtles had been bassist with popular Australian band Zoot.

1973 saw several changes in line-up, a new single release "Early Morning" (AUS chart position #56, 1973) and supporting the Jackson Five Australian tour in October of that year.

In 1974 they appeared at the Sunbury music festival and released another single "Will I?" (AUS chart position #26, 1974). They did a tour of the UK in 1974, and after a disastrous tour, broke up. In London band members met up with former Masters Apprentices bassist Glenn Wheatley who agreed to become their manager, should they decide go back to Australia. Wheatley was eager to return to Australia after spending some time working in the USA & the UK. In the UK, they also met up with Glenn Shorrock (ex-Twilights) who had also been in the UK for several years, without seeing much success and also wished to return home. From this nucleus, the Little River Band was born.

In 1975, they returned to Australia and reformed, with the addition of Glenn Shorrock, firstly under the name Mississippi. After a few months of touring, on the way to a gig in Geelong, Victoria one day, they changed their name to the Little River Band, which they took from a signpost along the road. Under the guidance of producer Glenn Wheatley, they became one of Australia's most successful bands to make it big in the USA.



  • Mississippi (1972)


Year Single Chart Positions
1972 "Kings of the World" 7
"Mr. Moondog" -
1973 "Early Morning" 56
1974 "Will I" 26
1975 "When You're Old" -


  1. ^ a b "Mississippi". Milesago. Retrieved 2008-05-14. 
  2. ^ Francis James Child, The English and Scottish Popular Ballads, "Allison Gross"
  3. ^ a b Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970-1992. St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.  Note: Used for Australian Singles and Albums charting from 1970 until ARIA created their own charts in mid-1988.

Chart info from "Australian Chart Book" by David Kent * [1]

External links[edit]