I first conceived the idea for this book back in 1991. At that time my idea was to produce something which would help young people interested in music know what to look for in building their own collections. I started collecting records in 1959 (my 1st purchase ~ Shout! by Johnny O'Keefe on Leedon 45) but I had an interest in music long before that. I came from a very musical family - all my uncles and aunts played either piano, guitar, bass or drums - 3 of them professionally. My mother played piano and my dad, the harmonica.
I started tapping out rhythms at the age of 4 and after years of encouragement, many hours of being accompanied by my mother on piano, 3 years of study with one of Sydney's top jazz drummers (Bobby Bell from the Trocadero) plus 3 years of playing in the National Youth Symphony Orchestra, by age 14 I was ready to play in professional bands, and I've been playing ever since (I'm now 66). All that time I've been absorbing the various styles of music and I can still remember when I first heard Rock Around The Clock on the radio (on Sydney's 2KY ca. 1955) - I thought WOW! - this is the kind of music I like! And so when it came to writing about music I remembered all the songs from when I was growing up, some of which were being played again by new Artists. One of the things I really wanted to do was acknowledge the original versions by the original Artists. In doing this I found through my research that many of today's Popular Songs were originally recorded much earlier in the 20th Century. Eventually I had so many entries from the 20's, 30's & 40's I thought - "to hell with it - I might as well do the whole Century & get it over and done with!" Fifteen years later, in 2006, I had finished! Never in my wildest dreams did I think it would take so long to complete (and had I known before-hand, I doubt I would have taken on the task). During all this time, I have had the love and support of my wife, Jenny, who put up with all the records in our house, the music playing, the bands rehearsing, people coming and going, plus years of me typing away in the computer room. My two daughters, Cathy and Tania, and my son, Greg, have all helped me in one way or another - Cathy with Publicity, arranging business contacts, including a Computer whiz to put all the material into a Web-Site. Tania helped transfer all the information on to a modern computer program, plus all the various Sorts needed for Editing purposes (at least a dozen!). Greg has on more than one occasion lent his technical expertise to get me out of a jam with the computer & he has literally performed miracles with the Computer Programs to make them do what he wants. It was meant to be for me to have three such talented kids (they're now in their 30's but they're still my kids) who were able to pool their talents to help see this project through - frankly, it could not have been accomplished without them. My wife, Jenny, also helped with the Editing as did my Grand-Daughter, Kerri-anne who, along with my Grand-son James kept me up-to-date with the latest songs (my Grand-sons Jack, Darcy & Cyrus were too little). Finally I would like to thank Ryan O'Connell & Tim Gilbert from Go Multimedia for their expertise & dedication to this project & for designing the Platter-Saurus logo; Virginia Smith from Typesmiths who has always been there to give me cheerful advice, direction & encouragement & also Gordon & Andrew from On-Trak Graphics who printed the Book & designed the front & back Covers. They have all taken ownership of the challenge & exceeded my expectations - thanks guys & gals for taking it on & doing such a splendid job.
There have been many people whose brains I have picked, whose skills I have utilised and whose collections I have borrowed and these people are individually acknowledged next to each Musical Category which was their area of expertise. I would like to acknowledge here the overwhelming generosity of my fellow Australian collectors who all unstintingly shared their knowledge and treasured items from their collections, even before I had decided to write a book. My thanks go to you all. Also to the overseas collectors I have grown to know over the years - I have received the same warm acceptance & co-operation, which is all the more remarkable considering they have never met me in person or even heard my voice, but still wanted to share their knowledge and their collections simply because they wanted to - when I reflect on their friendship and trust, I feel truly humbled. Finally I would like to acknowledge the help & co-operation of people in the Media, notably Bob Rogers & the staff of Radio 2CH, Sydney; John Laws & his staff at 2UE, Sydney; the Record Library staff at ABC Radio, Sydney plus Nick Erby with his CMR program broadcast on 2SM in Sydney & Mark Lamarr at BBC2, London for his Shake Rattle & Roll program, from all of whom I have gained much valuable information.
WHAT THIS BOOK IS
I have tried to bring together in one Volume as many of the Popular Tunes from the 20th Century (plus a few from the 21st Century, as well as a selection from the 19th Century - altogether 135 years of recorded music!) as I was able. I identified 24 different musical categories - there probably could have been twice this but I decided early on what main categories I wanted to use. These ranged from Rockabilly to Soul and from Orchestral to Popular Jazz. This was never meant to be a fully comprehensive book showing every tune that ever existed. Not all songs have the necessary lasting value and not every record retains its collectibility and appeal to the average collector.
In order to make this Volume manageable and readable, it was necessary to constantly decide a record's worth within the confines of the original concept. I would play tracks from an LP or a CD and decide which I felt satisfied the criteria and which could be safely left out. If I have left out one of your favourite tracks, I do apologise - perhaps it just didn't come under my radar, after all, no one person can know everything about all styles of music. In recourse you can either write or eMail me with a request to include your favourites in the next Edition (please include details of Artist, Label and preferably, send a tape) or you can go to your own personal version of the web-site and simply add them. The web-site allows you to play with the information as you wish, effectively customising the information to suit your own collection. However, permanent changes to the main data-base have to be submitted for consideration.
Although many people trace Rap Music back to James Brown, in 1991 it had not yet made its mark as a Musical Genre (at least in Australia). When Rap did become popular world-wide later in the 90's, all my Musical Categories had already been chosen. I decided to include Rap under the general heading of Disco since the basic rhythms were similar. Again, Rap afficienados might not find all their favourite songs in this Volume as I have had to be selective in choosing songs from each Genre which have a more general appeal. Again, individual collectors are free to customise their web-site and I'm sure you'll have many hours of fun doing this.
Similarly the term Rhythm and Blues has undergone a transformation in recent years but in this book, Rhythm n' Blues refers to the music of the 40's and 50's as well as music which can be identified with that era. Modern Rhythm and Blues songs are more likely to be found in the Disco, Soul or even Girl Group categories. There are now over 20,000 entries in the Rhythm n' Blues section and I have been asked why there are so many Rn'B songs listed compared to other categories. The reason for this is Rhythm n'Blues music has been recorded since the 1920's, with little change until the 1980's. Rock music has been divided into three categories: Rock, Rock & Roll and Rockabilly - if you were to combine thse categories, they would match the number for Rhythm n' Blues.
In this book I have tried to categorise, to the best of my ability, according to the sound and beat of the song. This may not always tally with "popular" usages of some musical terms. In the Blues category I have tried to include only those songs which, to me, fit into the original Blues idiom and not just some slow song with a bluesy feel or the word "Blues" in the title. At times this was a big ask, but if the song you're looking for is not in the Blues section, try Rhythm n' Blues or look it up in the Song Titles area which will give you the category I selected for that song.
WHAT THIS BOOK IS NOT
The book does not pretend to have every Rockabilly record ever made or every Jazz artist who ever recorded or every version of every song. Also this is not meant to be a catalogue of every song by a particular Artist or every record produced by a particular Record Company. There are already books in existence which cover that sort of material far better than I could. I wrote this book with the Collector in mind who genuinely appreciates music. This book lists the best tracks to look for, interesting items for the collector, plus Original and Definitive versions of a tune, which are marked with symbols in the book and on the Web-Site. Many songs are known by more than one Title and I have done my best to include all the Aliases I am aware of, and I have cross-referenced them. I have done something similar with Artists and Groups known under more than one name. I have tried to keep Comments to a minimum, but where I think some snippet of information worth-while, I have included it. While every effort has been made to ensure accuracy of information, I am expecting to make a lot of corrections in future Editions. Some information is lost in the mists of time or known by only a few. In doing my research I found that some information you find is contradictory and some information is just plain wrong. In some cases I have spent many hours following a trail of information and sometimes I was happy with the result and other times I felt that the result was still inconclusive. I will continue to do research into information contained in this book as well as seek out new information but the decision was made that I either put the book out now or wait maybe another 15 years until I've hunted down every clue possible. I felt it was more important to go with the book now, with a high degree of accuracy, and appeal to my fellow collectors to help fill in the gaps. My research also took me through Top 40 Lists from the U.S., Britain and Australia and the bulk of these are represented. Due to the number of catalogues and internet sites giving details of prices, record catalogue numbers, dates recorded and the like, I decided not to include that information in this book. Once you know the Title and the Artist, the rest is fairly readily available. Basically, this is a Reference work - there are plenty of books about music which give details on the Artists plus photographs, and to include that material here would have only added to the bulk of the book, and it's price, which I have tried to keep to a fair and manageable level. The best way to look at it is that I have spent 15 years seeking out the best of popular music from the 20th Century to present to you now in this book. Although there will be revised editions from time to time, I think I’ll leave it to someone else to write a similar book about 21st Century music.
This book is now yours to enjoy - please do that and - Happy Hunting!
BLUES - Steve Moore, Phillipa Corbett (Moloney), Bill Oates, Brett Thomas, Frank Astri, Tim Crozier
COUNTRY - Bob Plummer from 2RDJ in Sydney, ably assisted by his wife Jill, & Barbara Morison from 2SER in Sydney, Larry Stellar, Hiini Northcroft, ex-patriot Kiwi (he never really left - he brought New Zealand with him).
COUNTRY ROCK - KICK-AM radio (now CMR with Nick Erby on 2SM 1269 Sydney)
DISCO/RAP - Kerri-anne Pendergast & James Pendergast who kept me up-to-date with the latest in teenage music
DOO WOP - Steve Moore, Phillipa Corbett (Moloney), Willem Duikers, William J. Proctor, Tim Crozier
GOSPEL - Phillipa Corbett (Moloney), Willem Duikers, William J. Proctor
GROUP VOCALS - Dennis Van der Hoek, Willem Duikers, William J. Proctor
FEMALE VOCALS, MALE VOCALS, ROCK & ROLL - Robert Williams, Tim Nicholls, Des Brady, Earl Mitchell, Graham Kemp, Malcolm Rubello, Ron Smith (sadly now deceased – I would like to especially acknowledge the major contribution Ron made to cataloging Australian label record issues – his extensive research has helped immensely in the compilation of this Book, unfortunately too late for Ron to see), Fred Dyer, David Webb, Steve Moore, Mick Jenkins, John Gambrill, George Crotty, Bill Oates, Larry Stellar, Lady J. Koda (wife of the late Cub Koda), Billy Neeves
GIRL GROUPS - David Mulligan, Bill Dann (see LINKS)
INSTRUMENTALS - Ron Smith (deceased), Fred Dyer
NOVELTY - Bill Dann (see LINKS)
ORCHESTRAL - Joyce Maguire, who introduced me to the art of Opera & Jenny Stace, who through her singing opened my mind to the world of Operetta
POPULAR JAZZ - Bill Oates
RHYTHM n' BLUES - Robert Williams, Phillipa Corbett (Moloney), Steve Moore, Frank Astri, William J. Proctor, Larry Stellar, Lady J. Koda (wife of the late Cub Koda), Brett Thomas, Victor Duval, Tim Crozier
ROCK - Greg Stace (my son, who introduced me to the best of Heavy Metal), Frank Astri, Greg Pickering, Adam Russell, Kia Davoodi
ROCKABILLY - Steve Moore, without whose valuable input this book would have been finished 6 months earlier! Lady J. Koda (wife of the late Cub Koda), Billy Neeves,
SOUL - Phillipa Corbett (Moloney) - thanks Pippa! Bas Mollenkramer for his expert knowledge on South Africa's Soul Group "The Flames" & Victor Duval (who also contributed valuable information about this iconic group), Tim Crozier
SURF INSTRUMENTALS/SURF VOCALS - Steve McParland (author of Surf Music)
I would also like to thank Chris Spencer for his work in compiling the Australian Rock Discography & his work with Zbig Nowara & Paul McHenry on the Who’s Who Of Australian Rock; Noel McGrath for his Australian Encyclopaedia Of Rock; Jim Barnes, Stephen Scanes & Fred Dyer for their Australian book “Top 40 Research” & finally Eric Watson for his book on Country Music in Australia. Also I would like to thank Earl Mitchell for taking on the challenge of checking through the Book for any Australian releases I might not have been aware of - this is a monumental task which frankly, only Earl could do given that he has done a lot of research & developed his own catalogue identifying Australian releases, including their matrix & catalogue numbers. He has been kind enough to share this knowledge for the good of all Collectors. Many thanks for your efforts, Earl.
I am also indebted to the following Music Web-Sites: Terry Gordon's Rockin' Country Style, Dick Rosemont's The Originals Projects web-site, Tapio Vaisenan's Eddie Cochran Connection, Jim Barnes & Stephen Scanes' Top 40 Research, Chris Spencer's Moonlight web-site, Bill Dann's Novelty Nirvana web-site, Times Square Records web-site, BBC Radio 2 Mark Lamarr's Shake, Rattle & Roll web-site, Class Act Classic Movie Musicals web-site, Rage web-site, Arnold Rypens' The Originals web-site, Second Hand Songs web-site, Stefan Wirz's American Music web-site, Warner Chappell Music, Elvis Presley The Originals web-site, MusicAustralia web-site, Bas Mollenkramer's The Flames web-site, Allmusic web-site, Cab Calloway Collector's 78 r.p.m. web-site, Bobby Poe's Pop Music Survey, PopArchives web-site, The First Wave Australian Pop & Rock Recordings, Look What I Have Found Compilations web-site, Global Dog Productions, Both Sides Now web-site, Epinions.com, Unknown Soul and R&B Originals, Yahoo Music, Wikipedia & Google. I hope that those individuals can now benefit from the information contained on www.plattersaurus.com
Bill Stace for Platter-Saurus