|MILESAGO: Australasian Music & Popular Culture 1964-1975||Groups & Solo Artists|
LAURIE ALLEN / LAURIE ALLEN & THE REVUE
John Adolphus (guitar)
Laurie Allen (vocals, guitar, organ)
Lawrie Byrnes (drums)
Ron Cameron (drums
Harry Herni (guitar)
Colleen Hewett (vocals)
Glenys Hewett (vocals)
Michelle Kennedy (vocals)
Barry Rogers (bass) 1967
Manfred Shane (guitar)
Gary Young (drums) 1968
Wayne Duncan (bass) 1968
Phil Manning (guitar) 1967
Vocalist, guitarist and organist Laurie Allen's is best known for his chart-topping partnegsubip with Bobby Bright in the mid-1960s, but Laurie was a veteran of the Austraian rock and pop scene. His first outfit was The Roulettes (1958-59), followed by Malcom Arthur & The Knights (1959-61), The Blue Jays (1962) and then Bobby and Laurie (1965-66), whose story is included in our MILESAGO Bobby & Laurie article.
Laurie's first solo project after Bobby & Laurie's heyday was Dice formed in 1967 and soon renamed Laurie Allen and The Revue. It was modelled on the American soul revues of the early to mid-Sixties (e.g. the famous Stax Revues ca. that were backed by Booker T. & The M.G.s and the Memphis Horns) although Laurie's band evidently had no horn section.
The datings in Who's Who suggests that the group went through a couple of distinct rhythm-section changes. The earlier lineup (ca. 1967) may have been Lawrie Byrnes (drums, ex-Little Gulliver & The Children, Ram Jam Big Band), Barry Rogers (ex-Rondells, bass) and Phil Manning (ex Blue Jays, Bay City Union, guitar). The later (1968?) backline may have been Gary Young (ex-Rondells, drums) and Wayne Duncan (ex-Rondells, bass); another notable player who passed through was guitarist John Adolphus (later of the Hot City Bump Band).
The band gigged mainly around Melbourne and recorded three Singles for Festival during 1967-68. The Revue included some notable members, not least the long-serving Young and Duncan (who had been in Bobby & Laurie's backing group, The Rondells) and it's also notable for being the first major professional outing for sister vocalists Glenys and Colleen Hewett.
After the Revue ended Bobby and Laurie reunited for about two years, until their final split in 1971, after which Laurie joined the short-lived Nite Train in 1971. He continued to write and release country music in the early 70s. He toured as guitarist for boxer-turned-country singer Lionel Rose and released a solo album and single in 1972 on on Col Joye's ATA label. He toured with country legend Slim Whitman in 1973, regularly worked with other artists including Col Joye, wrote songs for Col and other ATA artists, and released a new version of "I Belong With You" on ATA in 1975. In 1976 he wrote the song "Motivatin' Day" for 'Cowboy' Bob Purtell, which earned him a Golden Guitar at the Tamworth Country Music festival.
In 1980 Laurie was seriously injured in a car accident and was hospitalised for several months. Friends and colleagues including Johnny Ashcroft and Mick Hamilton rallied round him and organised a sucessful benefit concert in Sydney. He later joined the country rock / rockabilly Silver Wings Band. Bobby & Laurie reunited in the 1990s and performed at rock dances and on the rock & roll revival circuit. They also appeared in a TV advertisement for a Melbourne furniture store in 1996. Their last performance together was at the Moorabbin Town Hall in early June 2002. They were scheduled to appear as part of the 'Long Way To The Top' concert tour (thanks to their 1964 #1 hit, "I Belong With You") but this was never came to pass due to Laurie's sudden death from a heart attack on 13 June 2002.
SinglesLaurie Allen & The Revue:
"Beautiful Brown Eyes" / "Saved" (Festival FK 1807)
"Any Little Bit" / "Cool Jerk" (Festival FK 2257)
"As Long As I Got You" / "Not Born To A Follow" (Festival FK 2421)
Laurie Allen solo:
"Sunshine In Your Face" / "(High) On A Ferris Wheel" (ATA ATAK-4734)
"I Belong With You" / "Little Country Church" (ATA K-5991)
Laurie Allen & The Revue:
Any Little Bit (Festival FX 11533)
"Any Little Bit" / "Cool Jerk" // "As Long As I Got You" / "Not Born To A Follow"
"Any Little Bit" was also included on the 1968 Festival compilation Australian Show Case 68
References / Links
Encyclopedia of Australian Rock & Pop (Allen & Unwin, 1999)
Australian Encyclopedia of Rock (Outback Press, 1978)
Dreams, Fantasies & Nightmares: Australia (Borderline Books)