This was the band that supported a tour by Little Richard and his band. Casch's contribution to O'Keefe's sound, both live and on record, was considerable.
He was born in Ambon in , grew up in Aceh and Jakarta , began playing guitar at an early age, and became a dedicated jazz musician. He was introduced to O'Keefe by Keith Williams, whom he had known from a jazz trio in which they played. At their first meeting O'Keefe played Casch a selection of rock'n'roll records and asked him to imitate the guitar playing, which he was easily able to do. Impressed, O'Keefe offered him the job and handed him a pile of records, saying "Here, learn these.
The dance is on Saturday night. Their first performance was at Stones Cabaret in the beach side suburb of Coogee , and by early they were playing four dances a week and also performing on Saturdays in the interval between films at the Embassy Theatre, Manly.
O'Keefe and the Dee Jays quickly attracted a strong local following, due in large measure to O'Keefe's magnetic personality and his dynamic stage performances. O'Keefe's 'trademark' was his flamboyant stage attire, which included gold lame jackets and brightly coloured suits trimmed with fake fur. Many of these outfits were made for him by Sydney 'showbiz' costumier Len Taylor , although one famous red suit trimmed with leopard-print velvet cuffs and lapels now in the collection of the Powerhouse Museum , Sydney was reputedly made by his mother Thelma.
At the time Casch joined the band, they were promoting their own dances at local venues such as the Balmain Workingmen's Institute and Stone's Cabaret. The enterprising O'Keefe was involved in every aspect of the group's career including hiring the halls, placing ads in the local newspapers and putting up posters. At the time, rock 'n' roll and its followers in Sydney often found themselves at odds with non-aficionados. According to Lou Casch, on one occasion, while O'Keefe and the Dee Jays played at an upstairs dance venue in Newtown , an "Italian wedding" reception was also taking place downstairs.
Some of the dance patrons came to blows with wedding guests in the men's toilets, and within minutes the fight had erupted into a full-scale riot that spilled out into the street, with police eventually calling in the Navy Shore Patrol to help restore order. Taylor, however, failed to act on Haley's advice, so O'Keefe then famously took matters into his own hands and began telling the local press that he had in fact been signed to Festival.
Anxious not to lose face, Taylor auditioned O'Keefe and signed him to the label. By this time O'Keefe had become a close friend of the music concert promoter, Lee Gordon , and their popularity really took off when O'Keefe and the Dee Jays were installed as the featured support act for Gordon's famous "Big Show" concert bills at the Sydney Stadium.
These "Big Show" concerts were landmarks in Australian popular entertainment, being among the first tours to feature leading overseas rock'n'roll stars, including Little Richard , Bo Diddley , Buddy Holly and Jerry Lee Lewis ; Gordon also toured many top jazz acts of the day, including the first visits to Australia by black jazz artists such as Louis Armstrong.
When Gene Vincent and his band were stranded in Honolulu on their way to Australia, Gordon contacted O'Keefe and asked him to fill in for Vincent for the first night of the tour in Wollongong. During this period The Dee Jays also acted as the backing band for many of the international acts that Gordon toured, since they were at the time the only rock'n'roll band in the country who could read music.
Their skill and energy and O'Keefe's frantic performances also saw them upstage many of the visiting performers. Casch recalled that he actually played behind Jerry Lee Lewis , whose own backing musicians were so daunted by the Dee Jays' performance that they got too drunk to play. This became his first hit in March , peaking at No. Although it was claimed that it was recorded live at the Stadium, it was in fact a studio recording, overdubbed with the sound of a real Stadium audience.
They had three children, but their relationship eventually concluded due to the pressure of O'Keefe's career demands and they were divorced in Miller organised a two-month tour. O'Keefe took the staid NZ music scene by storm, although he was banned from playing at some halls and faced problems getting airplay. O'Keefe also toyed with the local press, playing on Lou Casch's exotic appearance by telling journalists that Casch was the son of an Arrernte Aboriginal chieftain from Ayers Rock Uluru and that Casch's hand-built guitar was made from mulga wood.
In February O'Keefe returned to the U. About 20 kilometres north of Kempsey , the Plymouth ploughed into a gravel truck. Aside from still playing with The Dee Jays he was also our stationery representative and sold me a lot of pens and pencils.
Yet, his voice was often bought back to a more gentle, almost reverent quality with tracks such as, She Wears My Ring. This is a love ballad that I would find it hard to imagine anyone singing with more passion and emotion, let alone the fiery wild one. And so the tracks just roll on and on in an almost endless carnival of musical redemption, of rock and roll salvation, of a tortured soul whose singing was as much a cry of pain, as it was passion.
His like will never come this way again, because it was not just that he was larger than life, not just that he could really rock the joint — it is because he did it first and he was ours! Like the first love in our lives, there may be better, there may be more passionate that follow — but the first is very, very special.
So Tough. It is the story of a man who celebrated life through his passion, a passion to make music — and by god, did he succeed! His wife survived him, as did the daughter and two sons of his first marriage.
The Australian Variety Artists Association named an award after him. This is what I believe to be the complete discography of J. Log in to leave a comment. Record 1 — side 1. Record 2 — side 1. The Wild One. Here is a small piece of what they say about J. Aside from still playing with The Dee Jays he was also our stationery representative and sold me a lot of pens and pencils.
We all want to shout! We all want to rock that Stadium! This is a love ballad that I would find it hard to imagine anyone singing with more passion and emotion. She Wears My Ring. And so the tracks just roll on and on in an almost endless carnival of musical redemption, of rock and roll salvation, of a tortured soul whose singing was as much a cry of pain, as passion.
His like will never come this way again, because it was not just that he was larger than life, not just that he could really rock the joint — it is because he did it first. Like the first love in our lives, there may be better, there may be more passionate that follow — but the first is very, very special. It is the story of a man who celebrated life through his passion, a passion to make music — and by god, did he succeed!
This is what I believe to be the complete discography of J. Sing Sing Sing. Sleeve Grading see all. Guaranteed Delivery see all. No preference. Condition see all. Brand new. Like new. Very good. Please provide a valid price range. Item location see all. Australia Only. Delivery options see all. Free postage. Show only see all.John Michael O'Keefe, known as Johnny O'Keefe (19 January – 6 October ) was an Australian rock and roll singer whose career began in the s. Some of his hits include "Wild One" (), "Shout!" and "She's My Baby". In his twenty-year career, O'Keefe released over 50 singles, 50 EP's and albums.