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Denis Tucker's Musical Journey

Updated: Jul 17, 2023


Bass player/singer, Denis Tucker has had an incredible journey playing music. He has hung out with some of the world’s greatest musical legends including Roger Miller, Ike & Tina Turner and Bill Haley & the Comets. He has played traditional country music with Boxcar Willie and has backed rock’n’roll great Chuck Berry and UK rockers Brian Poole and Eden Kane. In a career that has spanned 60 years, he has been part of some great Australian bands including the Blue Jays, the Rondells, the Tamlas and Jigsaw. He still plays music to this day and does not show any signs of giving it away any time soon.

There was a great deal of excitement on June 27th, 1944 when Denis was born in the front room of his family’s Port Melbourne home. He was the first Tucker boy to be born in the family for more than 30 years. The family moved to Maidstone, in Melbourne’s western suburbs when he 8 years old and that is where he grew up and started his musical career.

According to his mother, Denis could sing before he could talk and when he was 10, she bought him his first guitar. He joined the Banjo Club and started picking out some basic tunes for 5 shillings (50 cents) a lesson. When Denis was 12 years old his mother took him into radio station 3DB one Sunday morning for ‘Dick Cranbourne’s Hillbilly Hour’. The radio show featured live country music and encouraged young people to sing and play music, live on air. Denis joined his first rock’n’roll group, the Hi-Beats when he was 14 and became part of the Hillbilly Hour Showband every Sunday morning, singing, playing guitar and backing a wide variety of country music acts. This band was a good training ground for young musicians, many of whom went on to life long careers in music. Other members in this band included Laurie Allen (Bobby & Laurie), Graeme Trottman (the Playboys), Ray Eames (the Blue Jays) and Noel Tresider (the Premiers). Denis recalls,

“Our job was to back all these hillbillies that turned up and played wrong chords and stuff. It was a lot of fun and it was a big learning curve. You learnt to listen.”

As a youngster Denis always wanted to be a drummer, but his mother rejected that idea and bought him a guitar instead. There were six children in the Tucker family and the noise created by one of the kids playing drums would have been difficult to cope with. One day Denis heard a piece of music that made him decide then and there which instrument he wanted to play. He recalls,

“I heard the Shadows do ‘Quartermasters Stores’ and this instrument went dum dum dum dum dum, and I thought, ‘Jesus, what’s that sound? Oh yeah, that’s one of those new electric basses.’ So Denis, who really wanted to become a drummer, found the bridge in between the guitar and the drums. So that’s why I wanted to be a bass player. Straight away, all of a sudden, I knew what I wanted to do.”

During 1963 Denis joined the Blue Jays replacing Ray Houston. The other members of the band when he joined were Bobby Johnson on drums, Doug Flower on rhythm guitar, Scotsman Alan Easterbrook on saxophone, Ray ‘Screamy’ Eames on lead guitar and Laurie Allen on piano and vocals. Denis played on his first recording session with the Blue Jays in December 1963 backing country singer Kenny Arnott on his single, The Rebel Johnny Yuma/The Prisoner Song released on the Crest label. The Blue Jays were a popular band in Melbourne at that time and were playing six nights a week at various dances run by dance promoter Ivan Dayman. Dayman had a network of dances around Melbourne and had moved to Brisbane and taken a lease out on the Cloudland Ballroom, which he used as his headquarters to further develop his dance circuit. He wanted the Blue Jays to relocate to Brisbane and take on popular local singer Tony Worsley as their permanent front man and singer.

When the band were told of this plan, however, Laurie Allen said that he was not going to have any part of it and he left the band. Denis had started a Fitting & Turning apprenticeship, which he did not want to break, so he also decided to quit the band. Denis trained up Royce Nicholas, an enthusiastic young musician to take his place. Denis stayed in Melbourne and completed his trade qualifications and started playing in a modern jazz band, which he enjoyed.

Dennis Collins, John Sullivan, Bernie O'Brien, Denis Tucker

The Rondells started playing at dances around Melbourne and developed their own unique sound, but they thought they needed to add a lead singer to the group. Ian McCausland was the first singer the band backed on a regular basis. Denis then approached Normie Rowe at one of the Sunday concerts at Festival Hall and asked if he was interested in joining the Rondells as their singer. But Normie said he had already signed with Ivan Dayman, and the Playboys were going to be his permanent backing band. The following Sunday, Denis was in at 3DB and was chatting with his friend Laurie Allen. Allen said he had just started singing Everly Brothers songs with Bobby Bright and everyone seemed to like it, so they were going to form a new act performing as a duo. Denis recalls,

“The following Sunday I was in at 3DB and Bobby & Laurie were doing a thing and I said, ‘Do you want a band?’ Just like that, and that’s where Bobby & Laurie & the Rondells started.”

Bobby & Laurie were among the first performers to appear on a new TV show in October 1964 called the ‘Go!! Show’, which featured the best singers on the Melbourne dance circuit. A new record label, Go!! Records was formed out of the TV show’s success and Bobby & Laurie were the first act to be signed to the new label. The company wanted the Strangers, the shows resident group to back them on their first recording session, but the duo were not in favour of this idea and asked that the Rondells back them.

The recording session was booked for January 1965, a standard 3-hour session with recently arrived English producer Roger Savage, who had worked with the Rolling Stones and Dusty Springfield in the UK. Among the four songs recorded at this session was I Belong With You, a song Laurie Allen had written initially as a country ballad. But given a more up-tempo foot stomping treatment, it was transformed into an instantly likable pop beat classic. The song topped the Melbourne charts within weeks of its release in March and made at least Top 5 in the other States.


The Rondells also signed to the Go!! Label. At their first recording session they recorded the Chuck Berry penned, Talkin’ ‘Bout You. When they had finished recording the song and it was played back in the studio, Ron Tudor was so excited with the finished recording that he said, “I’m going to get this on the radio!” When the session was completed, the group left the studio and were driving home when they received a pleasant surprise. Ron Gilbee recalls,

“We were driving home near Albert Park Lake and turned on the radio. We all said, “Shit, that’s us.” I don’t know how he did it, but 3KZ were playing ‘Talkin’ ‘Bout You’, it wasn’t even a record yet.”

The single was issued in May 1965 and made it to No.31 on the Melbourne charts, but deserved a higher placing. The follow-up single, She’ll Never Know/I’ll Be Gone, both written by Bernie O’Brien, was released in October 1965. Go!! later released an EP which contained both sides of the second single and two more Bernie O’Brien compositions. The Rondells also backed Bobby & Laurie on all of their Go!! 45s and LP, as well as backing other Go!! Label artists including Terry Dean.

Bobby & Laurie & the Rondells were causing such a huge impact at live concerts and with record sales going through the roof, it was decided they needed to start touring to capitalise on their popularity. Ron Gilbee had a secure job at the State Bank and did not want to give up his day job, so touring was not an option for him. He left and was replaced by John Sullivan.

A 1949 long wheel-base Ford bus, formerly used by the Cobb & Co bus line, was purchased for touring. But the vehicle needed quite a few modifications to make it suitable as a touring bus. Denis, with the help of Dennis Collins, removed all of the seats from the back and left enough seats in the front section to seat 12 people. Then they installed double bunk beds to sleep 8 people as well as stack all the gear. Denis recalls,

“We travelled all over NSW and Victoria in that bus and at times it was pretty boring because it was a 1949 Ford bus and going up hills it was like the slow boat to China. Dennis Collins at one stage said, ‘I can walk faster than this’ and he stepped off the step, but the bus was still doing about 40 mph. He rolled down the hill. He didn’t hurt himself, but he could have.”

As well as Bobby & Laurie and the four members of the Rondells, other people who travelled on that bus included some other up and coming pop stars including Terry Dean, Billy Adams and MPD Ltd. On one tour they picked up a young Sydney band, called the Easybeats, as an additional act on the show. Denis recalls seeing George Young and Stevie Wright working on songs during sound checks. On one memorable trip they had a show in Orange in the central west region of NSW. But they never got there. Denis recalls,

“Bernie O’Brien looked at the map and said, ‘If we go this way it will be 80 miles shorter.’ No it wasn’t. We didn’t get there because we ended up in the hills somewhere in the Blue Mountains with a two thousand-foot drop right next to the dirt road. It went from tar to dirt and for some corners we had to back the bus up to get around the corners, so we didn’t go over the edge.”

Danny Finlay, Mike Brady and Pete Watson from MPD Ltd were on that tour as well. No one had any food or money and of course there are no shops going up a dirt road somewhere in the Blue Mountains. Their road manager had all the money and he had driven ahead to put up posters, book the hall and visit the local radio station to publicise the show. Denis recalls,

“We came into this little town and there was one light on. It was a local store and a bloke was doing a stock take or something. Danny Finlay and I managed to get a loaf of bread, an uncut tin loaf and a cucumber. So Danny and I had cucumber sandwiches. If you ever talk to Danny Finlay, he, like me, will see a cucumber and remember that trip and remember how hungry we were.”

Even though travelling on that bus was not fun, everyone enjoyed the shows and the excitement of the teenagers and the wild scenes and mayhem they caused. But the small amount of financial reward they were getting compared with the amount of money that was being generated from every show was increasingly frustrating Denis and some of the other members of the Rondells. They approached their manager, Ron Blackmore and he was definitely not in favour of increasing their wages. So Denis, Bernie O’Brien and Dennis Collins decided to leave the Rondells and form a new group called the Threedells. There was no shortage of work for the group and they started playing at dances around Melbourne.

Denis had only been with the Threedells for a short time when he got a call from his old mate Ron Gilbee. Ron had joined the Tamlas, a well-known group who were backing a singer Ron worked with at the State Bank. By day he was Mervyn Bonson, bank teller, but by night he was Merv Benton, singer and recording star. Girls swooned over him and any dance advertising his presence would be assured of a good turn up. The very cool and clean-cut Merv Benton started singing at dances around Melbourne in the early 60s and he soon built up a strong following of local fans. In early 1964 he signed to W&G Records and his debut single, a cover of Elvis Presley’s Baby Let’s Play House, was the first in a string of Top 40 singles, many with a strong Rock-a-billy flavour. The line-up of the Tamlas when Denis joined were Denis Tucker on bass, Ron Gilbee on rhythm guitar, Les Stacpool on lead guitar and Eddie Chappell on drums.



Merv’s career peaked during 1965 and each single he released found chart success with his May 1965 release, I Got Burned/Cincinatti Fireball being his most successful. The single reached Top 3 in Melbourne and Top 5 in Brisbane and Adelaide. Disappointingly, Merv was unable to break through into the Sydney charts. As Merv’s popularity grew, the need for touring increased. Ron Gilbee recalls that on tour Merv liked to play some practical jokes, “One of his favourite tricks when we were touring was to unscrew the ‘Ladies’ toilet sign off the door of the ladies toilet and swap it with the ‘Men’s’ sign.” Then everyone would stand outside the toilets watching the mayhem it caused. On another tour, things did not go well for Merv, when he bought a new sports car and drove it to a show outside Melbourne.

“He bought a new little sports car and he wanted someone to drive up to some place with him. So the guys took their cars and I went with Merv. Half way up it heated up, so he got out and pulled the radiator cap off and scolded himself all over his arms with the boiling water out of the radiator. He wasn’t happy with it.”

Benton enjoyed an incredible run of 12 Top 40 singles in Melbourne. W&G also issued 6 EPs and 3 albums, which is a good indication of his popularity. It appeared that the young singer’s career was going from strength to strength, but in August 1967, everyone was shocked at the news that he was suffering throat problems and would need to take a lengthy break to recover. But Denis’ version of why Merv stopped singing is different from the one that was reported.

“Merv had to stop singing for 9 months to get out of his contract. He developed the voice thing because he wanted to have a relationship with a girl. His manager said, ‘No, no, that’s not in the contract. I want you to be single so that you’re available for all of these girls who come and drool over you.’ So that’s when he stopped singing.”


The break in Merv’s career also meant that the Tamlas were out of work and the band members needed to make some long-term alternative arrangements. Denis had already discussed forming a Shadows' tribute band with Ron Gilbee. So when it was confirmed that Merv had stopped singing, they went around to their friend Ray ‘Screamy’ Eames' place at around 2 o’clock in the morning and asked him did he wanted to join their new band. Ray was playing with Pete Watson’s Rockhouse at the time but he agreed to join them. Ollie Fenton who was the drummer in that same band with Ray, also came on board. Allen ‘Ollie’ Fenton had formerly played in the Phantoms and was part of this group when they supported the Beatles on their 1964 Australian tour.

The name Jigsaw came from a 1967 Shadows album. The crisp lead guitar playing of Ray Eames gave the group a convincing Shadows tribute band sound and when they added the Shadows trademark dance steps to their stage act, the transformation was complete. They played the Melbourne pub circuit where the Shadows instrumental sound still had a strong following. Denis explains his interest in wanting to play Shadows music,

“If you were a musician back in those days and you wanted to be a real musician, you played the Shadows stuff. Anyone could play the Mersey beat stuff, it was like Cowboy music, pretty simplistic. To be a good instrumentalist you had to be a Hank B. Marvin or Jet Harris.”

John Calderwood, Eddie Chappell, Denis Tucker, Ray Eames

In 1968 Jigsaw were asked to join a Government sponsored tour of Vietnam to entertain Australian and American troops. The other entertainers on the tour were Pat Carroll, Yvonne Barrett, Johnny Chester and compere/comedian Jack Perry, who was part of the clown duo Zig & Zag. The troupe performed nine shows for Australian soldiers and nine shows for American troops, touring all over Vietnam. 1968 was a fairly volatile period in the Vietnam conflict. In early 1968 the Tet Offensive took place, which was a co-ordinated series of surprise attacks on more than 100 cities and outposts in South Vietnam by the Vietcong. It was a dangerous time to send a group of young Australian entertainers into a war zone. Denis recalls,

“There was a 9 o’clock curfew when you didn’t walk the streets. I did it once during the day with ‘Screamy’ Eames and an escort officer, it was pretty frightening. It was like rush hour in Melbourne, except they were all Vietnamese people. You could have been stabbed, shot or whatever.”

As scary as walking the streets of Siagon was, it was not as bad as one time the American pilot let Denis take over the controls of the Chinook helicopter.

“I went up to have a look at the cockpit and sat in the co-pilot’s seat with the pilot. He said, ‘How would you like to fly this plane?’ This is a war zone and he’s teaching me to fly a helicopter, a bloody big one, across a battle zone in Vietnam. The only thing he told me was, ‘Don’t touch the red button. Makes it hover.’ So that was pretty exciting and when the mob in the back found out that Denis the drunk was driving the bus, they were a bit upset.”

During the Vietnam trip, Johnny Chester backed by Jigsaw seemed to work so well that when they returned to Australia it was decided that they should continue working together. Johnny Chester was one of Melbourne’s first and most popular rock’n’roll singers of the early 60s. Backed by the Chessmen, he enjoyed a successful run of local hit singles. In 1964 his selection to support the Beatles on their Australian tour was a big boost to his career. By the late 60s his career had reached a low point, he had moved more into country music and was playing drums in a pub band and working as a DJ on 3UZ. Ray Eames departed soon after they started working with Chester and John Calderwood took his place. Drummer Ollie Fenton was tragically killed in a work related accident operating a backhoe, working on the construction of Melbourne’s South-Eastern Freeway. Eddie Chappell was bought to replace him.


In 1970, Jigsaw signed with Ron Tudor’s Fable Records and scored a national No.1 hit with a cover of UK band Christie’s Yellow River. The early recording line-up for Jigsaw were Denis Tucker (bass), Ron Gilbee (rhythm guitar), John Calderwood (lead guitar) and Eddie Chappell (drums). Jigsaw’s success with records continued for the next two years with How Do You Do? (No.11 August 1974), Mademoiselle Nanette (No.20, November 1972), and A Rose Has To Die (No.9, August 1974). Denis was comfortable working in the studio with Ron Tudor (who recently celebrated his 96th birthday) having previously worked with him on Go!! and W&G recordings. He recalls Ron pulling him aside at the first Jigsaw recording session and giving him some very useful advice,

”He basically took me aside and said, ‘You’re diction is a bit lazy, you’ve got to actually say the words and dictate the words so that people know what you’re singing about.’ I never forgot anything he ever taught me because he knew a lot about the music industry.”

Working with Jigsaw caused a resurgence in Johnny Chester’s career. He enjoyed a number of hit singles in the early 70s including Gwen (Congratulations) (No.26, October 1971), Shame & Scandal (No.12, February 1972) and She’s My Kind Of Woman (No.17, June 1974). Denis recalls the time they were on tour somewhere in NSW and they stopped in a small town. It was a few weeks before Mother’s Day and Chester went into a gift store and came back with a small trophy with the inscription, ‘The World’s Greatest Mum’. This was the inspiration for the much-loved song John wrote, World’s Greatest Mum, which became a Top 10 hit in August 1973. As pleased as Chester was with achieving all these hit records, it was quite unusual that his backing band was achieving better sales than he was. It is probably the only time that a backing band’s records outsold the records of the singer they were backing.



By 1973, the heavy work schedule of Jigsaw caused Ron Gilbee to depart. Ron was still working at the State Bank during the day and with the huge record sales came an increased demand for the band to tour interstate. Barry Roy came in to replace him. Not only were Jigsaw achieving outstanding record sales, they were a great live act. Denis recalls,

“Jigsaw were one of the best pub bands in Melbourne. We had four singers and we did everything, we were a pretty versatile band. I did the Roy Orbison stuff, Eddie Chappell did the Chuck Berry stuff and Ron did anything you could do in front of a microphone. When Barry Roy joined we had two lead guitar players so they could play double lead guitar solos each side of the stage.”

One of the highlights of Jigsaw’s career occurred in October 1974 when they were chosen as one of the acts to play at the opening of the Sydney Opera House. Thousands of people lined the foreshore to watch the band perform aboard a floating pontoon in Sydney Harbour. Then they travelled on a harbour launch to the other side of the bay to play a concert in Hyde Park.

Denis left Jigsaw in 1976 and joined country/bluegrass band Saltbush. Bernie O’Brien who Denis had worked with in the Rondells was also a member of this band. Others bands Denis was a part of during the 80s included Cash Bachman & the Players (1981), Hotspur (1982) and BJ MacKay & the Southern Hotshots (1983). Denis gave up working as a tradesman in 1985 and went into warehousing. He worked for Festival Records for a while then became warehouse manager for Col Millington’s Rich River Records.


In 1986 he recorded a self-titled album for this label. The album, recorded at Col Millington’s home studio, was aimed at people in the 40 plus age group and the songs chosen were ones that had a wide appeal including San Antonio Rose, C’mon Everybody and Lavender Blue. Another stand out track is The Gooey Gooey Duck Song, a novelty song Johnny Chester used to perform with Jigsaw. The album was promoted as a TV Special on every country TV station around Australia. Denis and Col would sit together at night after the ads had gone to air and take orders over the phone, then mail the order out the next day. The album was entered in the country Music Awards in Tamworth and made it to the final five.

When Denis performed a show at the Kevington Hotel in North Eastern Victoria in 1995, his life took an unexpected turn. He met local resident Irene Poole and the two hit it off immediately. Soon after, Denis moved into Irene’s a 50-acre farm and he became a farmer. The move inspired Denis to have a splurge of creative songwriting and his song The High Country, was included on an album he released in 2000 called ‘Menage’. The CD was recorded on a 4-track home studio and Denis wrote all the songs and played all the instruments. The songs cover a variety of styles including, Pop (The Magic In Me), Rock’n’Roll (Come On Baby), Surfing Instrumental (Bells Beach Or Bust) and Country (Looking For Gold). Denis got some recognition as a songwriter when he entered two songs in the Country Music Association in Bendigo in 2000. The High Country got third in its category and Looking At Me was first in its category.



Denis has been a volunteer fireman with the Jamieson CFA for the past 20 years. He performs shows at the local retirement village and sings to terminally ill patients at the Mansfield Hospital, which gives him a great deal of personal satisfaction. Denis says,

“I was born with a gift to play music, if I can use that gift to make some poor soul happier, then I’ll do it. It’s not much fun being bed ridden, I’ll go and sit on their bed and sing to them. All of a sudden they go from being a confused soul to a clapping, smiling person.”

At the 2009 Australia Day Awards Denis was awarded Citizen of the Year for the Mansfield Shire for all the charity and volunteer work he has done in the community. At the beginning of last year he played at a fundraising concert with Normie Rowe to raise money for a courtesy bus for the Jamieson Primary School.


Denis has been married twice and has five children from each of these marriages. He has had some tragedies in his life, losing a daughter at 17 and a grandchild at 3. Sadly he lost his partner of over 25 years, Irene, 12 months ago. Reflecting on the tough times Denis said,

“The journey has been a lesson. Anything that kicks you in the face is a lesson. You actually take it on so you can help someone who is going through the same problem. That’s what life’s all about, a learning curve. You’re gonna have the kicks in the face and you’re gonna have the smiles.”

Denis’ musical journey continues to this day and he still gets a great deal of pleasure playing music and making people happy. Few people can claim a career in music spanning 60 years; he has entertained many people in that time and has some great memories. Thanks for sharing your memories with me Denis.

“I’ve been playing music for 60 odd years. Continual music I’ve been playing and giving of the gift. I’ve had a great time doing what I do, I’ve met a lot of beautiful people and I’ve had a lot of good times. I’m passionate about music, it was what I was put on the planet to do and that’s what I’m still doing.”



In March 2023, Denis was awarded Life Governorship of Mansfield District Hospital “in recognition of his exceptional service and contribution” to this institution. Denis has performed concerts, birthdays and special services for the last 25 years and his visits are welcomed and appreciated by staff and residents alike.


Discography

With the Blue Jays backing Kenny Arnott

The Rebel Johnny Yuma/The Prisoner Song Crest CRS-7 12/63

With the Rondells

Talkin’ ‘Bout You/Baby Don’t Hide Go!! G 5005 05/65

She’ll Never Know/I’ll Be Gone Go!! G 5012 10/65

The Rondells EP Go!! GEPO 1003 1966

She’ll Never Know, Carol Ann/I’ll Be Gone, Watcha Gonna Do

With Bobby & Laurie & the Rondells

I Belong With You/Trouble In Mind Go!! G 5001 03/65

Someone/You Are Gone Go!! G 5003 06/65

Judy Green/Mojo Queen Go!! G 5011 09/65

Crazy Country Hop/It Ain’t Fair Go!! G 5018 12/65

I Belong With You EP Go!! GEPO 1001 1965

I Belong With You, Glory Of Love/Hold Me, Goodnight Irene

Bobby & Laurie LP Go!! GLP 3001 1965

Judy Green, I’m Not A Bad Guy, Mojo Queen, Lucky Me, She Don’t Know, Crazy Country Hop, I Belong To You/ Ridin’ Hood, I Won’t Be Back, Give All Your Lovin’ To Me, I’ll Come Running To You, It Ain’t Fair

With Terry Dean backed by the Rondells

Stagger Lee/It’s You Go!! G 5004 06/65

With the Tamlas

Bald Headed Lena/I’m Shaking W&G S 8086 07/67

With the Merv Benton & the Tamlas

Shimmy Shimmy ‘65/Baby Let’s Play House W&G S 2491 11/65

We Got Love/Sell My Soul W&G S 2518 01/66

You’ve Got What It Takes/Shake Rattle & Roll W&G S 2545 02/66

Worryin’ Kind/Big Jack W&G S 2601 05/66

I’ll Go Crazy/It Hurts Me W&G S 8015 10/66

King Of Love/Who’ll Be Next In Line W&G S 8039 12/66

Bonaparte’s Retreat/Do It Again A Little Bit Slower W&G S 8072 05/67

Too Many Fish In The Sea/You Don’t Have To Be So Nice W&G S 8101 08/67

Lovin’ Up A Storm/Come On Up W&G S 8133 12/67

With Jigsaw

To Love Means To Be Free/Marilyn Jones Fable FB 010 05/70

Yellow River/Baby Give Me A Smile Fable FB 018 07/70

Albert The Albtross/There’s A Sign Girl Fable FB 015 03/71

So I Tell You/Sweet Little Rock & Roller Fable FB 079 09/71

How Do You Do?/Like Ya Brother Fable FB 105 02/72

Mademoiselle Ninette/Mystery Man Fable FB 137 08/72

Singalong/Sylvania Fable FB 175 04/73

Clap Your Hands/Marilyn Jones Fable FB 192 08/73

Sunday Girl/You Fable FB 205 01/74

A Rose has To Die/Music Man Fable FB 218 06/74

Light Up The World/Take Me Daddy Fable FB 232 12/74

Teach Me How To Rock/ N Roll/You Fable FB 300 11/75

Every Day, Every Night/Music Man Fable FB 300 01/77


Jigsaw EP Fable FBEP 162 01/73

Mademoiselle Ninette, To Love Means To Be Free/How Do You Do?, Yellow River


Best Of Jigsaw LP Fable FBSA 043 1974

How Do You Do?, Sunday Girl, So I Tell You, Belinda Love, Sind Along, Clap Your Hands/Yellow River, Every Day Every Night, To Love Means To Be Free, Mademoiselle, Sweet Little Rock And Roller, Music Man.

With Johnny Chester & Jigsaw

If Only I Could Leave You/Three Jobs Down Fable FB-012 03/70

Kaw-Liga/Billy’s Coming Home For Christmas Fable FB-040 12/70

Glory Glory (I’ll Be Back To See The Storey Bridge)/Heaven Help The Man

Fable FB-052 03/71

Gwen(Congratulations)/A Lonely Man Like Me Fable FB-076 10/71

Shame & Scandal(In The Family)/Billy’s Gone Home For Christmas

Fable FB-099 12/71

Ready Mix Revenge/Any Time At All Fable FB-125 05/72

Midnight Bus/Highway 31 Fable FB-140 09/72

World’s Greatest Mum/Three Jobs Down Fable FB-180 08/73

Let’s Build A Love Together/Glory Glory (I’ll Be Back To See The Storey Bridge)

Fable FB-200 10/73

She’s My Kind Of Woman/(Baby Won’t You) Send Your Sweet Lovin’ To Me

Fable FB-211 03/74

My Special Angel/Nowhere In Particular Fable FB-226 08/74

Sally On Sunday/Once I Was A Truck Drivin’ Man Fable FB-239 02/75


Johnny Chester EP Fable FBEP-165 01/73

Midnight Bus, Gwen(Congratulations)/Shame & Scandal(In The Family), Highway 31


My Ding-A-Ling EP Fable FBEP-216 07/74

My Ding-A-Ling, Mother-In-Law/ I Couldn’t Spell, You’re Always Welcome At Our House

Johnny Chester & Jigsaw LP Fable FBSA 013 1971

Johnny Chester: Gwen (Congratulations), Glory Glory, Take Me To The Mountains, Kawliga, Let Me Bring You Up, A Lonely Man Like Me, Shame & Scandal/Jigsaw: So I Tell You, Yellow River, Sweet Little Rock And Roller, There’s A Sign Girl, Get It, Albert The Albatross, Baby Give Me A Smile.


Going Places Just For Fun LP Fable FBSA 025 11/72

Midnight Bus, Linda Lou, Mother-In-Law, Ready Mix Revenge, Only When You’re Lonely, Anytime At All, I Couldn’t Spell, You’re Always Welcome At Our House/How Do You Do?, Man We Was Lonely, To Love Means To Be Free, Sylvania, Belinda Love, Mystery Man, Mademoiselle Ninette.

Solo

Dennis Tucker LP Rich River Records 1976

Whiskey & Women, Blue Blue Day, Lavender Blue, I Feel Fine, Your Cheatin’ Heart, Diane, San Antonio Rose/Here We Go Again, Wings Of A Dove, You Won’t See Me, Gotta Travel On, C’mon Everybody, The Only Lonely One, The Gooey Gooey Duck Song

Menage CD Saltwater Music 2000

Looking For Gold-Midnight By The Firelight, Please Show Me The Way, Bells Beach Or Bust, The Magic In Me, Looking At Me, Everyday You make Me Cry, Howqua, If I Fell In Love With You, Come On Baby, Missing You, The High Country, The Magic In Me (Slow), Did You Feel t Too, Lake Eildon (Just A River), Gooey Duck Song.

Re-issues:

All the Bobby & Laurie & the Rondells Go!! Label tracks are available on the 4 CD box set – Go!! Records The Complete Collection

Aztec Records AVSCD100, 2018

Merv Benton & the Tamlas are available on 2 CDs: Greatest Hits 1964-1967, Canetoad CTCD-031 and Shakin’ Fever, Canetoad CTCD-032

26 Jigsaw tracks are available as downloads from Amazon under the name Australia’s Own Jigsaw

Thank you:

Wonita Harris for all your help and assistance and for the many photos and newspaper clippings you sent.

Col Millington for sending me a digital version of the ‘Denis Tucker’ album


Sources:

Graeme Brown – Sunshine Secrets, Moonlight 2019

Dennis Collins – Interview: 22nd April, 2020

Cat 45.com – Johnny Chester Disography

Ron Gilbee – Interview: 10th April, 2020

Laurieallen.net – Memories of Laurie

Ian McFarlane – Encyclopedia of Australian Rock & Pop 2nd Edition, Third Stone Press, 2017

David McLean – Bobby & Laurie CD booklet, Canetoad, 1998 Milesago

Denis Tucker – Interview: February 26th, 2020

Chris Spencer – The Australian Rock Disography 1956 – 1969, Moonlight Publications, 1998

Chris Spencer – The Australian Rock Disography 1970 – 1979, Moonlight Publications, 1998

Chris Spencer, Zbig Nowara & Paul McHenry - Who’s Who Of Australian Rock, 5th Edition, Five Mile Press, 2002

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