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Good times and good tracks, the inspirations behind our artists

We like to think we know our Apia Good Times Tour artists pretty well – Brian Cadd, Marcia Hines, Russell Morris, Leo Sayer and John Paul Young have been entertaining us for years.

But recently we caught up with this year’s music legends to dig a little deeper into the Good Times from their own lives, and find out a little more about the music that inspires them. We bet you can’t guess who puts John Coltrane in their favourite albums list, or who describes little known Melbourne rock outfit The Red Onion Jazz Band as their first musical influence!

Life and career highlights

Self-described country rock singer-songwriter Brian Cadd has been a staple of Australian entertainment for over 50 years. As well as winning the Battle of the Sounds in his early days with The Groop, and being inducted into the Aria Hall of Fame in 2007, Cadd reflects on his time performing on Los Angeles-based late-night show Midnight Special in 1974 as one of his best career moments.

“No Australian had ever been on it, and being there with Wolfman Jack, well it was just more than I could handle!”

For Marcia Hines being awarded the Queen of Pop for the first time was a standout moment in her life and career. Voted by the Australian public through TV Week, for her it meant that Australia had accepted her as their own.

Hines also pays credit to her daughter Deni and the experience of being a parent, she says “it teaches you something about yourself. You find a selflessness that you didn’t know existed.”

The Countdown era had a big impact on many of our artists too. John Paul Young recalls how magical it was to be in the business at the time. “It was just amazing. It reached every corner of the country and was around about the same time when colour tv was coming in; everything just happened at once.”

Favourite ever albums

Despite being most well-known for his psychedelic rock hit The Real Thing, singer-songwriter Russell Morris doesn’t pick a classic rock’n’roll record when asked about his favourite albums.

He says, “the first album that I bought, that made me decide I wanted to go into music, was the very, very first self-titled album by The Rolling Stones. It was a rhythm-and-blues and roots album, and that’s the style of music that I love the most.”

Similarly, Leo Sayer selects what he considers some strange choices as iconic albums. One of these was anything from the back catalogue of John Coltrane. He says, “I was so inspired in my singing by listening to his saxophone.”

Sargent Pepper by The Beatles was a favourite amongst our artists too, with both Cadd and Hines including it in their top three.

Cadd says, “it has to be everyone’s favourite album, for musicians and particularly writers it was so incredibly unique. We were struggling at the time with our nursery rhyme-like songs and then that arrived. It was such a momentous album.”

Musical influences

Leo Sayer lights up when he speaks about the influence of blues and folk singer-songwriters, like Bob Dylan and Van Morrison, on his own music. “The lyrics on some of those albums could just go forever. I’m a lyric writer as well as a songwriter and so to me the people who could do that so well were my inspiration.”

On a completely different note, Aussie music legend Russell Morris lists the obscure Red Onion Jazz Band as a driving influence for him in the early days.

“Strangely enough they were one of the very first for me. They were originally a jazz band from Melbourne who later morphed into one of the greatest rock bands Australia’s had – The Loved Ones.”

John Paul Young admits he was “totally gone” once the phenomenon that was The Beatles hit but in earlier years he loved acts like Burl Ives and Bill Haley & His Comets.

For Marcia Hines, the prospect of shortlisting influential artists was just a little overwhelming. “Of all time,” she says. “Oh my, that’s a hard one. There’s too many to mention, my musical taste is just too eclectic!”

Apia Good Times Tour

Those were just a few snippets from our 2018 artists but you can see a whole lot more incredible moments in the making at one of the upcoming Apia Good Times Tour shows. Visit to find out more and join us in celebrating the Good Times at a concert near you!

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