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Lonnie Lees launches new CD 'Back to Base X'
At The Camelot in Marrickville on August 9th
About Lonnie Lee
Lonnie was born in 1940 to parents who lived on a sheep property called 'Bleak House' a few miles from a small railway siding called Rowena in North West NSW between Moree and Walgett.
In Sydney in May 1956 he entered a talent contest singing Elvis' first hit, 'Heartbreak Hotel' and as far as we know it was the first time an Elvis song was sung on Australian radio. A few months later he won the title Australia's Elvis Presley when the MGM movie company found that not too many people in Australia knew who Elvis was, so they wanted to promote his name for the movie, Love me Tender.
By this time Lonnie had his own rockabilly combo which we also understand was the first pro rockabilly band in Australia. Following this successful adventure into music, he had a car accident which took him by parental control back to the country, as his conservative parents thought this new R and R was "evil".
A few months after his return to Sydney, Australia's first TV show, ABC TV's 'Six O'Clock Rock' had started and other than its compere Johnny O'Keefe, Lonnie became it's most frequent flyer. His popularity had him at one stage, edge out O'Keefe as Australia's most popular TV star. He was also voted the second most popular star of TCN9's Bandstand.
In 1966 after many top selling records, main event live shows and helping to promote new stars like Normie Rowe and John Rowles, he felt he had done all he could do here in Australia so decided to leave for Europe where he was not known.
Phil Manning and Matt Taylor of the Aussie Blues Supergroup , 'Chain' actually wrote and released a song recently titled, 'Saturday night at the Trocadero watching Lonnie Lee'.
He still writes and records and some of his new songs are fixed on radio playlists across Australia. Starlite Records are also releasing songs from his archives and already there are already 5 volumes of his Definitive Original Collection from 1959 on best seller lists.
His current 2019 regular show is 'Hits and Memories' features most of his own Gold Hits of yesteryear as well as tributes to the biggest stars of country and the Top 40 charts of the late 50's and early 60's. He also has another show where he offers a tribute to Johnnie Ray the biggest pop star prior to Elvis in a big band swing show called CRY! (http://www.thecryshow.com) and he previews some of the songs the young Elvis sang for Sun Records in The Hillbilly Cat Show. (http://thehillbillycatshow.com). Another show is, The Roots of Aussie Rock Show (http://www.therootsofaussierockshow.com). He tells a brief story of the history and sings the hit songs of his friends and peers of that time, 1957 to 1962. His permanent band, The Leemen provide the musical and vocal backings.
In Jun 2019 He released another album on CD, USB and MP3 download. It was called, 'Back to Base X' and features 6 of his own new songs as well as songs from Otis Blackwell who wrote Don't be Cruel and many for Elvis and Jerry Lee and John Marascalco who wrote Rip It Up and many for Elvis and Little Richard. Favourite audience songs from his shows make up the 15 songs tracklist. He and his band will be featuring CD Launches across Australia over the next few months.
No matter what the format, you must not miss this exciting and unique performer. He is a true legend of Australian popular music.
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