Saturday, 11 October 2008

ABC1 remembers The Wild One

johnnyokeefe Next month, ABC1 presents a revealing documentary profiling the life of Australia's first rock 'n' roll star Johnny O'Keefe.

With a career starting in the early-'50s, O'Keefe became a national identity as a performer, and later host, on one of Australia's first rock music shows, ABC's Six O'Clock Rock, from 1959 to 1962.

johnnyokeefe_singsingsing After Six O'Clock Rock, O'Keefe went to host the Seven Network's The Johnny O'Keefe Show, later re-named Sing Sing Sing, and the 0-10 Network's Where The Action Is.

Amidst a recording career that produced over 50 singles and 100 albums, O'Keefe survived a near-fatal car crash and several nervous breakdowns before staging a comeback in the '70s.  He was honoured in an episode of the original This Is Your Life in 1975, and made a guest appearance on Sounds only days before he passed away in October 1978 at the age of 43.

The life of Johnny O'Keefe was later dramatised in a TV mini-series Shout! and in more recent years his life story was also adapted to a stage spectacular.  In 1988, he was posthumously inducted into the ARIA's Hall of Fame.

Johnny O'Keefe: The Wild One.  Thursday 6 November, 9.30pm.  ABC1

Biographical information: Johnny O'Keefe Website, Wikipedia

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