|MILESAGO: Australasian Music & Popular Culture 1964-1975||Record Labels|
CREST RECORD CO.
Category: Australian independent label
Location: Melbourne, Vic.
Owner: Marcus Herman
Melbourne's Crest Records (no relation to the American label of the same name) operated from around 1961 into the mid-1970s. Crest's releases cover a wide range of music including pop, folk, jazz, Jewish traditional and liturgical music and novelty titles. Catalogue numbers indicate that there are more Crest titles to be identified, but since many of its releases are evidently outside the pop-rock genre boundary they are not listed in the major pop discographies.
Label owner Marcus Herman began his career in the 1940s, running the Marco recording studio from his parents' Glen Iris home. In the 1950s Herman and Robert 'King' Crawford established the Planet label and its subsidiary Galaxy (which also released titles licenced from the American Embassy and Oriole labels). Planet/Galaxy recorded many prominent Melbourne acts of the period and has the distinction of issuing Australia's first rock'n'roll recording, by the Henri Bource All Stars. Around 1960 Planet was taken over by another company which turned out to be in dire financial straits, and tragically they bulk-erased all the Planet masters and sold them for a pittance as blank tape!
Herman established a new label, Crest Records, after the closure of Planet, with established branches in four states. Crest releases included jazz, folk, country and light classics, as well as distributing many import labels. Herman also produced the successful 3XY "Jazz as You Like It" lunchtime concerts in the Melbourne Town Hall, compered by Mike Walsh, featured artists like Judy Jacques & The Yarra Yarra New Orleans Jazz Band and the John Hawes Jazz Band. Herman recorded a live album by the Yarra Yarra New Orleans Jazz Band at one of these performances. These recordings were originally released on Crest ca. 1962 on two EPs and on LP, and the LP version was reissued on CD in 2007.
One of Crest's first 7" single releases (October 1961) was by renowned Melbourne band The Blue Jays, which became famous in the mid-1960s as The Fabulous Blue Jays, the backing group for vocalist Tony Worsley. The third single, also by The Blue Jays, featured vocals by Laurie Allen (of Bobby & Laurie fame) who was a member of the band at the time.
Other early Crest singles were by Malcolm Arthur & The Knights, one of Melbourne's first rock'n'roll bands, and singer Kenny Arnott, both of whom had previously recorded for Planet.
Vin De Araugo (aka Vin De Rouge) is a Melbourne tenor who appeared on Melbourne radio and Graham Kennedy's IMT in the early Sixties. He recorded an EP of Mother's Day songs on Crest, released in 1962. One of these songs was played on ABC local radio in Melbourne in 2007 and was heard by Kelvin Fahey of Hardrush Records; this led to a CD release that compiled Vin's four Crest recordings, five tracks lifted from a custom EP he had made at W&G Studios in the early Sxities, plus several tracks sourced from family tape recordings.
Mary Ann (born Mary Zulian) was born in January 1958 and is now known as Mary Ann Leyden. She made regular radio and TV appearances in her heyday and worked on the Queensland club and hotel circuit after moving there in 1980.
The Moonshiners was a Melbourne-based folk group that worked between 1963-66 which included renowned folkie Brendan "Mook" Hanley. The band, which was heavily influenced by Peter, Paul & Mary and took over the Melbourne residency vacated by The Seekers when they left for England. Hanley went on to record two albums of "bawdy" songs for Crest; the first was released in 1967 and the second in 1970.
The Leprechauns was a teenage band from Melbourne. The song "Rain", the B-side of their only single, was included on the bootleg compilation It's A Kave In. The identity of "Mimo" who is credited on the A-side of the single, is yet to be determined.
The Frantics was a Melbourne four-piece pop group whose 1967 Crest single is believed to be their only studio recording. The 'A' side is a "catchy pop-punk offering" (Joyson), which was also included on It's A Kave In.
The multi-talented Frank Howson was a singer, film scriptwriter and composer of theatre music. As a songwriter, his work has been recorded by The Ferrets, Brenda Kristian, Little River Band, Reg Livermore, The Metronomers and John Paul Young. He also co-managed the IC label, which operated out of Germany. He was a principal cast member of the original Australian stage production of Jesus Christ Superstar. He recorded an album in 1973 for Albert Productions but it was reportedly scrapped before release; ten years later he suffered a similar fate when Juke records went bankrupt prior to the release of his second album, The Boy Who Dared To Dream! He later recorded a few more singles, mostly on the IC label.
|CRS-7-001||Oct. 1961||The Blue Jays||
"Everybody Loves Saturday Night"
|CRS-7-002||1962||Malcolm Arthur & The Knights||"Please Understand" (Arthur)
"Cross My Heart" (Arthur)
|CRS-7-003||1962||Laurie Allen with The Blue Jays||"Wolfman"
"Kept A Broken Heart In Broken Hill"
|CRS-7-004||Dec. 1964||Kenny Arnott|| "The Rebel
"The Prisoner Song"
|Produced by Kenny Arnott & Laurie Allen
Backing by The Blue Jays
|CRS-7-006||1964||Colin James & The Lonely Ones||"Letter Of Goodbye"
"Eighty Thousand Angels"
|CRS-7-007||1964||The Johnny Hawes Band||"White Christmas"
"Rudolf The Red-Nosed Reindeer"
|CRS-7-009*||1964||The Johnny Hawes Band||"All Right, OK, You Win"
"All My Loving"
|CRS-7-009*||1963||Mary Ann (Mary Zulian)||"Crack Of Dawn" (Jacobs)
"Sitting In The Apple Tree" (Doug Trevor)
|CRS7-010||1964||The Moonshiners||"Diet Ale"
|CRS-7-011*||1964||The Martells||"Yes I Do"
"Farmer John B"
|CRS-7-011*||1964||Mary Ann||"The Prince, The Cowboy And You" (Weartherly)
"Sunday. Monday, Tuesday" (Morris)
|CRS-7-012||1964||Des Kelly & The Wilcats||"Ned Kelly Blues"
|CRS-7-013||1964||Mick Ellis & The Diamonds||"Don't Care Too Much"
|CRS-7-014||1964||The Centones||"Just For You"
"End Of The Day"
|CP-7-15||196?||Mimo with The Leprechauns||"There's A Trick In Pickin' A Chick Chick Chicken Today"
|CP-7-17||1967||The Frantics||"Familiar Faces And Forgotten Dreams"
"Don't Play That Song"
|SCP7-015||1967?||Sandy Watsford||"Brightest Rainbow"
|-||1962||Vin De Rouge (Vin De Araugo)||To Mother With Love|
|CRT-7-EP-006||1962||Yarra Yarra New Orleans Jazz Band||The Yarra Yarra New Orleans Jazz Band with Judy Jaques, Vol. 1|
|CRT-7-EP-008||1962||Yarra Yarra New Orleans Jazz Band||The Yarra Yarra New Orleans Jazz Band with Judy Jaques, Vol. 2|
|CRT-7-EP-043||1964?||Colin James & The Lonely Ones||?|
|CRT-12-002||1962||The Blue Jays||The Arthur Murray Twist Party featuring The Blue Jays Big Dance Beat||-|
|CRT-12-005||1962?||The Yarra Yarra New Orleans Jazz Band with Judy Jaques||Jazz As You Like It At City Hall||Recorded and produced by Marcus Herman|
Seven Bawdy Ladies
Aboard The Good Ship Venus
|CRT-12-037||1978?||Frank Howson||The Boy Who Dared To Dream: A Music Fantasy||Book, lyrics and narration by Frank Howson, music by Barry Ferrier
Vocals by Barry Ferrier, Tom Dysart, Brenda Kristen, Robin Ramsay, John Waters, Bill Binks, Trevor White
|CRT-12-SLP-038||1978?||Wally Cook||Calling The Tune: The Wally Cook Square Dance Special||-|
|CP-12-7||197?||Abraham Adler||Songs of Ghetto and Revolt||Jewish folk music|
|CP-12-42||197?||Michael Naor||Cantor Michael Naor||Jewish liturgical music|
|CRT-038||198?||Sue Barker||Sue Barker||Crest International|
References / Links
Thanks to Paul McHenry for additional information.
Chris Spencer, Zbig Nowara & Paul McHenry
Who's Who of Australian Rock (Five Mile Press, 2002)
Dreams, Fantasies & Nightmares: Australia (Borderline Books, 1999)
Rate Your Music: Crest Records
Planet Records discography
Bonnie's Laurie Allen Tribute Site
Vin De Araugo official website
Tony Fenelon official website