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The Rock-itt : September 2011
Although Johnny O’Keefe was short in physical stature he made up for it in his dynamic and explosive ability to take a song and virtually blow his audience out of the ball park. He was one of those Rock entertainers who could reach his audience and have them up shouting and gyrating, bringing out the sweat and tears that emotion brings with it. If his ability to deliver on stage wasn’t enough, his writing prowess was just as apt. Johnny soon became known as the fifties and early sixties face of Rock and Roll and to coin a phrase ”Leader of the Pack”. Johnny and his legion of young rockers such as Lonnie Lee, Johnny Rebb, Johnny Devlin and The Devils, Col Joye and The Joyboys, The Deltones, and Dig Richards to name a few, had the Australian music scene hoppin’ and boppin’ all over the place. The American artists brought in from overseas and who dominated the local Australian scene, were soon taking a back seat as our own home grown artists lead by the King himself, JO’K, began to emerge as the stars who stole the show. There was nothing better to get down to the old barn (Sydney Boxing Stadium) at Rushcutters Bay on a Sunday afternoon and watch a rock show with JO’K and the Aussie supporting acts. The atmosphere that I can remember was electric and on one occasion JO’K did his impression of the famous rock song, “Shout” backed by the original “ Deltones” with Noel W eiderberg as their lead vocals. Unfortunately Noel died in a car crash not that long afterwards. I used to see him getting around in an MGA sports car when the Deltones first broke onto the music scene. “ Shout”” had the audience in raptures and going absolutely crazy as Johnny belted it out and giving the best rendition of the song that I have ever heard or seen by anyone since, and that’s including the Beatles. So now as in America, England, Canada, Sweden, France and anywhere there were stadiums to hold crowds, Rock and Roll concerts were staged. Help us to keep The Rock-itt magazine out there by advertising in our pages. The cost is very affordable and the results are impressive. Call Pete on: Ph: 9975 1105 or 0438751101 or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Let’s keep ROCKIN’ around the Beaches Johnny O’Keefe with the Deltones Johnny’s TV shows paved the way Johnny’s live shows were always memorable A monument to a great music pioneer