Tuesday, September 22, 2009


In 1984 English actor Nigel Planer in character as Neil Pye from the TV show The Young Ones reached #2 in the UK charts with a version of Traffic’s “Hole In My Shoe”.

The TV show cast members had another hit in 1986 with their comedy version of "Living Doll" which was a Cliff Richard hit from yesteryear. Cliff generously allowed them to use the track as well as appear in the clip. Both songs were for charity and both sold well in Oz. In fact the "Living Doll" track was so popular it was released as an extended 12" mix and made it to #1 for many weeks.

Neil's hit song
Hole In My Shoewas backed with a remix called "The Paranoid Remix". For this download I have joined both versions to make a "complete" new version of this track.

Wow man, like totally enjoy!



Ted Gardestad (b: 1956 d: 1997) was a Swedish singer, songwriter and musician. He had been helped along the way by the members of Abba and their production team at Polar Music. It was Ted’s 1978 album Blue Virgin Isles which got him first recognised in Oz. It contained the hit “Take Me Back To Hollywood”. Although there was no Abba involvement on the album Ted does thank Stig Anderson, ABBA and the Polar family in the credits.

Molly Meldrum flogged “Take Me Back To Hollywood” relentlessly on Countdown and eventually it became a hit. The track contains an interesting Oz connection. The backing choir contains Oz singer Vanetta Fields who is widely known as a singer in the backing group of John Farnham. Vanetta cut her musical teeth in the 1960s being a member of Ike and Tina Turner’s backing singers The Ikettes.

The album Blue Virgin Isles was recorded in Hollywood and Stockholm and many international artists were used as backing vocalists. David Cassidy, John Mayall and Dr. John were just some...

Here for download is an extended 5:20 min Tom Mix 12" of Ted's big hit Take Me Back To Hollywood taken from the 8 CD box set pictured above which went on sale in 2009.

It is in a zip file with a password: http://tommixmusic2.blogspot.com/


Friday, September 18, 2009


Another song that was a hit in Oz was a piece favoured by Kenny Everett on his TV show which was on at 6 pm on the ABC. "The Lone Ranger" had an intriguing introduction that was used in many episodes when they needed a 15 second link between segments. The opening line which sounded like some kind of Indian tribal chant was in reality a cleverly disguised reading of the name of the highest peak in New Zealand: Taumata-whaka-tangi-hanga-kuayuwo-tamate-aturi-pukaku-piki-maunga-horonuku-pokaiawhen-uaka-tana-tahu-mataku-atanganu-akawa-miki-tora.

Quantum Jump was a quirky studio group put together by Rupert Hine in 1973 - Rupert is in the centre of the group picture above. After the release of 2 albums the band called it quits when they didn't have much commercial success. Then when
"The Lone Ranger" single took off they went back and put together some more tracks on a third "Best of" album.

"The Lone Ranger" single released in 1976 was a bit of a sleeper in the UK but for us here in Oz we got in early on the action. The song was banned too in some places around the world because it implied Tonto and the Texas Ranger were more than just good friends...but in Oz they had an edited "safe" version which was distributed to various radio stations.

There were 2 original mixes of the song. Their length was roughly the same (about 3 mins) but the 12" mix on blue vinyl had a few dubbed sections and backwards parts on the end.

Here for download is a Tom Mix remix 12" using both original versions with some clever editing and sampling. Enjoy the new 5:20 min version!


Sunday, September 13, 2009


The Bell Stars were a UK group of ladies who hit the big time in the 1980s. Originally the group was called The Bodysnatchers. One of their early hits was "Iko Iko" and another was "The Clapping Song" which was a traditional rhyme turned into pop. It made it to #4 in Oz. This track was also a minor hit for Garry Glitter in the early 1970s and a major hit for Shirley Ellis in 1965.


"Hiawatha" (Stiff Records) 1981 - UK
"Slick Trick" (Stiff Records) 1981 - UK
"Another Latin Love Song EP" (Stiff Records) 1982 - UK
"Iko Iko" (Stiff Records) 1982 - UK # 35
"The Clapping Song" (Stiff Records) 1982 - UK # 11, AUS # 4
"Mockingbird" (Stiff Records) 1982 - UK # 51
"Sign of The Times" (Stiff Records) 1983 - UK # 3, AUS # 45
"Sweet Memory" (Stiff Records) 1983 - UK # 22
"Indian Summer" (Stiff Records) 1983 - UK # 52
"The Entertainer" (Stiff Records) 1983
"80's Romance" (Stiff Records) 1984 - UK # 71
"World Domination" (Stiff Records) 1986 - UK, US Dance # 5
"Iko Iko" (Stiff Records) 1989 - US # 14, AUS # 7

"Iko Iko" was released again in 1989 and included in the soundtrack of the movie "Rain Man". There was also an extended vinyl version which was remixed with a new "bonus beats" drum and bass line. It is this version I have used for this download.

Friday, September 11, 2009


Lee Kosmin was a North Londoner who in the 1970s was touring the UK pub circuit with his band The Lee Kosmin Band and having the occasional single released. He is still available for bookings in London as I write. These days I think he sings as a duo with a female singing partner.

Lee Kosmin as a solo artist had a cool number in the Oz charts in 1981-2. It was a track that took the mickey out of all those house parties where young singles met to booze, hook up and etc....the best line in the lyrics involves the word "cliché". Oh, and also listen for the kettle boiling in the kitchen!

The song "Getting So Exciting" is reminiscent of Joe Jackson's style, where the singer seems to merely observe and report.

Here for download is the original single of "Getting So Exciting":



Carlo Paul Santanna (born 29 June 1949, near Rome, Italy) is a noted guitar player/singer whose credits include being in the UK pop group "Paper Lace" that won the UK talent show Opportunity Knocks in 1974 and had 4 sizeable hits in Oz and around the world. Their 4 hits were: "Billy, Don't Be A Hero", "The Night Chicago Died", "The Black-Eyed Boys" and a remake of "Hitchin' A Ride". Nottingham's pop group Paper Lace started out being called Music Box in 1969.

Carlo Santanna's one and only Oz hit "Hold My Hand (Aria)" came out in 1976 on the Philips label. It was written by
3 people: Sergio Bardotti, Dario Baldan-Bembo and Thumpston. Sergio and Dario were well known Italian writers/singers whose original song called "Aria" was translated into English by Thumpston.

According to a visiting contributor John McKenzie, all vocals were done by Carlo. Carlo is nowadays John's manager and still in the music business. Thanks for the information John.

Not long after Carlo's version came out, jazz muso Acker Bilk (born: Bernard Stanley Bilk) produced an instrumental version just called "Aria" and it was credited to Acker Bilk his Clarinet and Strings, it was released on the Astor label. It reached #5 in the UK.

Not long after the Bilk version was out another was released by Roger Whittaker called "Here We Stand (Aria)" - same song, different name and less orchestration. It was on his RCA album Reflections Of Love.

Norman Newell then penned new English lyrics to the song for Shirley Bassey and the title became “Born To Lose”. She started using the song in 1977 on tour in Japan.

The Italian singer Ornella Vanoni has later also sung “Aria” in English, but with different English lyrics penned by Ben Raleigh.

Since it was released to the English speaking world the song just keeps on evolving. Here for download is the Carlo Santanna version of "Hold My Hand (Aria)" that kicked it off:


Saturday, September 5, 2009


"Just So Lonely" by USA group Get Wet is a well remembered top 40 hit from 1981.

The song briefly charted in the USA top 40 and then sank into oblivion but in Oz "Just So Lonely" spent over 5 months (23 weeks) on the singles charts, peaking at #15. The song was produced by the legendary Phil Ramone.

This retro-flavoured gem draws comparisons to the sound of '60s girl groups such as The Crystals or The Dixie Cups but with a new-wave twist. The Get Wet self-titled album went largely unnoticed outside Australia and the follow-up single a cover of Connie Francis' million-selling smash, "Where The Boys Are" briefly charted in Oz and flopped in most foreign markets.

The original single of “Just So Lonely” was 3 minutes long and the album version had a different ending that made it slightly longer. By using both versions from CD copies and adding a completely new drum track I have made a new 5:30 min version that still packs a wallop!

By the way if the drumming on the original single sounds familiar that's because it was done by Liberty Devitto, the drummer from Billy Joel's backing band.

Band members:

Sherri Beachfront (surname is really Lewis) - lead vocals.

Zecca Esquibel - piano, electric keyboards.

Louie LePore - guitar.

Doug Stegmeyer - bass.

Liberty Devitto - drums.

Arno Hecht - sax.

Here for download is the Tom Mix 12" version of "Just So Lonely":


Friday, September 4, 2009


Billy Swan (born Billy Lance Swan May 12th 1942 Cape Girardeau Missouri) is an American pop and country singer whose big 1974 hit “I Can Help” is still played on radio across the world today. The organ used on this track was a wedding present from Kris Kristofferson and Rita Coolidge. Billy did the song in just one take with no overdubs….pretty good, eh!

One of his following tracks “Just Want To Taste Your Wine” was a hit in early 1976 here in Oz but it hardly gets a run on radio these days. I don’t think anyone in Oz has ever put it on a compilation CD although it has appeared on Billy’s Greatest Hits CD in America. Just Want To Taste Your Wine features backing by The Jordanaires, the same crew that once backed Elvis.

After his time in the spotlight Billy became a backing singer and session muso.

Here for download is an extended 4 minute Tom Mix version of “Just Want To Taste Your Wine” from a CD copy: