cream of the crate #7: various artists – live at the station hotel



cream of the crate #14: johnny o’keefe – 20th anniversary albumkok


 This review was originally posted on the first Toorak Times web site which was abandoned for its current site in March 2017. The old site will be permanently closed in 2020 and these reviews are being re-published in order to preserve them on the current Toorak Times/Tagg site. 

“You can boo me and you can make fun of me, but you all paid your money to see me because you love me” -[JOK] "His unique style made him the star he was, and his recordings alone are testament to an outstanding career." [Australian Music History]

This is number fourteen in the series of albums I’m featuring as part of an on-going retrospective of vinyl albums in my collection that I believe have significant musical value.

I believe it is quite appropriate that I start 2013 [remember this is a re-post article] with an album by not ‘just’ an Australian artist, but some would claim, THE Australian Artist – the original ‘WILD ONE‘ – Johnny O’Keefe.

Now this is one of the few records that I have in my collection and that I have identified as being worthy for discussion in ‘The Cream of The Crate”, that I have not had since new. I purchased it from a second-hand shop in the early 1980’s and in my mind even though I actually have Johnny O’Keefe releases from the early 1960’s, this IS the one for a retrospective review because it is so comprehensive.

cream of the crate #14: johnny o’keefe – 20th anniversary album
The vinyl album label [CLICK to enlarge]

Bought out in 1972 under the title of the “20TH Anniversary Album” (FL 263/4), it represents a broad range of styles and a good range of years in terms of releases. It includes J.O’K’s first recording, ‘(You Hit The Wrong Note) Billy Goat (recorded 1957 on Festival – FS 1502), through to his 1971 release of “Keep On Smiling” (Festival – FK 4482).


Along the way we are treated to what might be called the J.O’K songbook. This album really is a celebration of the music of Australia’s first homegrown Rock and Roll singer! I don’t think it is overboard to actually call him our first homegrown Rock and Roll hero!

cream of the crate #14: johnny o’keefe – 20th anniversary album
Rear album cover [CLICK to enlarge]


Track Listing

Record 1side 1.
Shout (Part 1)/(Part 2)/I’m Counting On You/Jubilee/Ready For You/I Thank You/Wild One/Move Baby Move

side 2.
She’s My Baby/Cry Cry Baby/Ooh Poo Pah Doo (Part 2)/Tutti Frutti/It’s Too Late/(You Hit The Wrong Note) Billy Goat/Be Careful Of The Stones That You Throw/Come On And Take My Hand

Record 2side 1.
Rock ‘N Roll Will Stand/Shake Baby Shake/She Wears My Ring/Keep On Smiling/Right Now/Own True Self/Quarter To Three/Don’t You Know

side 2.
You’ll Never Cherish A Love So True/Confessions Of A Lonely Man/ Come On (Part 1)/(Part 2)/My Heart Belongs To Only You/Dangling On A String/That’ll Be All Right/Sing

The story of J.O”K is legendary, complex, rich with the vagaries of the rock and roll scene, and historic in terms of, he was the first! Also known as “The Wild One“, it was a persona very much at home within him whether on stage, or off stage. Yet that persona allowed him to generate and focus amazing energy and ‘presence’!

The Wild One

As I have commented with previous artists lives on “Cream of The Crate“, stories such as this man’s have been told by people far more in the ‘know’ than I am, and all I could do would be to replicate what has already been written.

Suffice to say, his story is beautifully summarized on the Johnny O’Keefe web site, and I encourage you to click on his name to be taken to that page.

Here is a small piece of what they say about J.O’K.
Following a couple of years performing at local dances and live radio shows for free, John’s first paid engagement as a singer was for Bathurst (NSW) radio station 2BS for which he was paid 17 pounds. 2BS and its sister FM station B-Rock still broadcast successfully in 2008 and recently added the new Jet/Iggy Pop recording of “Wild One” to their FM playlist.

After hearing Bill Haley’s “Rock Around The Clock” in the film Blackboard Jungle in 1955. J O’K and sax player Dave Owen formed Australia’s first rock ‘n’ roll band in 1956, named Johnny O’Keefe and The Dee Jays.

Although there were a couple of early line up changes the mainstays of The Dee Jays were Dave Owen, Keith Williams, John Greenan, Lou Casch and of course drummer Johnny “Catfish” Purser. I (Bruce Powell) became mates with “Catfish “during my years at Festival in the early 1970’s.

Aside from still playing with The Dee Jays he was also our stationery representative and sold me a lot of pens and pencils. It should be noted of course that Dave Owen, John Greenan, J O’K and Disc Jockey Tony Withers wrote “Wild One” and the rest is history.”

cream of the crate #14: johnny o’keefe – 20th anniversary album
Gatefold Album – 20th anniversary celebrations & Left to right: Ray brown, John Laws, Col Joye, JO’K, Dig Richards, Lucky Starr, Digger Revell [CLICK to enlarge]


The album is available second hand today and a fast trek through the net reveals it can be purchased for as little as $10.00 up to $40.00 – depending upon it’s condition.

I don’t find it hard to sit and listen all these years later, to J.O’K belt out tracks, which have become standards. “Shout” – both Parts 1 and 2 will always be synonymous in my ind with the great man.

His voice is not the voice of a balladeer – it is the rough, powerful and emotional voice of a R&R singer with the edge of a fire and brimstone preacher. When he cries, “I wanna make you SHOUT!….” – it’s hard not to sing along with him.

We all want to shout! We all want to rock that Stadium! Yet, his voice was often bought back to a more gentle, almost reverend quality with tracks such as, “She Wears My Ring”. This is a love ballad that I would find it hard to imagine anyone singing with more passion and emotion.

She Wears My Ring

And so the tracks just roll on and on in an almost endless carnival of musical redemption, of rock and roll salvation, of a tortured soul whose singing was as much a cry of pain, as passion.

His like will never come this way again, because it was not just that he was larger than life, not just that he could really rock the joint – it is because he did it first. Like the first love in our lives, there may be better, there may be more passionate that follow – but the first is very, very special.

So Tough

So we should remember Johnny O’Keefe as a man whose desire to sing rock and roll was only part of a story. It’s also a story that tells of the strengths and weaknesses of the man and, of wonderful timing and bad timing.

It is the story of a man who celebrated life through his passion, a passion to make music – and by god, did he succeed!

This is what I believe to be the complete discography of J.O’K’s releases. It isn’t until you see it set out like this that you realise just how amazingly prolific his work rate was!



1 J. O’KEEFE SHOW (Leedon LL 30739) 1963
2 TWIST (Leedon LL 30747) 1963
3 COME ON (Leedon LL 30805) 1963
4 J O’K ON CAMERA (Leedon LL 30905) 1963
5 ABOUT LOVE (Leedon LL 30989) 1963
6 THE BEST OF (Leedon LL 31103) 1963
7 J O’K (Calendar R 91241) 196?
8 KING OF ROCK (Calendar L 15163) 196?
9 SHAKE BABY SHAKE (Leedon LL 31199) 1964
10 SHOUT (Leedon LL 31200) 1964
11 J O’K SOUND (Leedon LL 31292) 1964
12 J O’K STORY (dbl) (Leedon LL 31505/6) 1964
14 J O’K BALLADS (Leedon LL 32087) 1966
15 WHERE THE ACTION IS (Leedon LL 32285) 1966
16 MY HEARTS BELONGS TO GO (Universal U 594) 1967
17 WHERE THE ACTION IS (Calendar R 66-672) 1968
18 SHE’S MY BABY (reissue) (Leedon LL 33541) 1969
19 COLLECTOR’S ITEMS FROM THE 1950s (Festival FL 33607) 1970
20 THE GREAT J O’K (Universal ) 1970
21 20TH ANNIVERSARY ALBUM (dbl) (Festival CL 45137/8) 1972
22 JOHNNY B. GOODE (Festival CL 35049) 1973
23 WILD ONE ROCKS AGAIN (Summit SRA 250 038) 1973
24 JOHNNY O’KEEFE LIVE (Summit SRA 250 125) 1974
25 JOHNNY B. GOODE (featuring Mockingbird) (Festival CL 35147) 1974
26 PEPPERMINT TWIST (Festival L 25197) 1975



1 TAKE MY HAND (Leedon LX 10121) 1963
2 SHOUT (Leedon LX 10135) 1963
3 I’M COUNTING ON YOU (Leedon LX 10408) 1963
4 RIGHT NOW (Leedon LX 10421) 1964
5 TWISTIN’ WITH J O’K (Leedon LX 10422) 1964
6 MORE TWISTIN’ WITH J O’K (Leedon LX 10433) 1964
7 SING (Leedon LX 10528) 1964
8 TWISTIN’ TIME (Leedon LX 10529) 1964
9 I THANK YOU (Leedon LX 10628) 1964
10 MOVE BABY MOVE (Leedon LX 10719) 1964
11 SO TOUGH (Leedon LX 10730) 1964
12 JUST A CLOSER WALK WITH THEE (Leedon LX 10762) 1964
13 SING SING SING A J O’K SONG (Leedon LX 10766) 1964
15 DON’T BE CRUEL (Leedon LX 10788) 196?
16 MY HEART BELONGS TO YOU (Leedon LX 10806) 196?
17 GIRL NEEDS TO LOVE AND BE LOVED (Leedon LX 10807) 196?
18 SHE WEARS MY RING (Leedon LX 10823) 196?
19 THE NEW SHOUT (Leedon LX 10843) 196?
20 ROCK! ROCK! ROCK! (Leedon LX 10886) 196?
21 ROCK ‘N’ ROLL WILL STAND (Leedon LX 10920) 196?
22 LET’S GO, LET’S GO, LET’S GO (Leedon LX 10933) 196?
24 SUN’S GONNA SHINE TOMORROW (Leedon LX 11206) 196?
25 J O’K (Leedon LX 11208) 196?
26 SHE WEARS MY RING (Leedon LX 11215) 196?
27 BUZZ BUZZ BUZZ (Leedon LX 11271) 196?
28 SHE’S MY BABY (Leedon LX 11629) 196?
29 WHOLE LOTTA SHAKIN’ GOING ON (Festival FX 11629) 196?
30 OOH POO PAH DOO (Festival FX 11787) 196?
31 CONFESSIONS OF A LONELY MAN (Festival FX 11792) 19??


(1963 – 1975)
I Thank You/Heaven Sent (Leedon LK 298) 1963 –
2 Move Baby Move/You’ll Never Cherish A Love Like Mine (Leedon LK 378) 1963 –
3 Shake Baby Shake/Good Luck Charm (Leedon LK 454) 1963 –
4 Twist It Up/Twist And Shout (Leedon LK 493) 1963 –
5 She Wears My Ring/Let’s Love Tonight (Leedon LK 574) 1964 –
6 Shout (Parts 1 & 2)/Come On And Take My Hand (Leedon LK 636) 1964 –
7 Rock ‘n’ Roll Will Stand/Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow (Leedon LK 770) 1964 –
8 Cry Cry Baby/Nobody Love Me (Leedon LK 886) 1965 –
9 Sun’s Gonna Shine/Mansion Over The Hilltop (Leedon LK 1293) 1966 –
10 Be Careful Of Stones/My Heart Belongs To You (Leedon LK 1416) 1966 –
11 Hey Girl/Don’t Be Cruel (Leedon LK 1533) 1966 –
12 Ooh Poo Pah Doo/Ecstasy (Leedon LK 1653) 1967 –
13 Buzz Buzz Buzz/Where The Action Is (Leedon LK 1716) 1967 –
14 Just A Closer Walk With Thee/Why Do They Doubt Our Love? (Leedon LK 1974) 1967 –
15 She’s My Baby/She Wears My Ring (Festival LK 3220) 1969 –
16 Come On And Take My Hand/Right Now (Festival FK 3355) 1969 –
17 Confessions Of A Lonely Man/To Love Somebody (Festival FK 3493) 1970
18 I’m Counting On You/I Am Blessed (Festival FK 4098) 1971 –
19 Dangling On A String/Keep On Smiling (Festival FK 4482) 1971 –
20 So Tough/Holly Holy (Festival FK 4774) 1972
21 High Rollin’ Man/My Lady By The River (Festival FK 4917) 1972
22 Mockingbird/Soulshake (Festival FK 5177) 1974
23 Rock ‘n’ Roll Music/Mary Lee (Festival K 5392) 1974
24 Saturday Night/Over And Over (Festival K 5583) 1974
25 On The Road/Rock ‘n’ Roll Boogie (Festival K 5795) 1975
26 Full Blooded Natural Man/Taste The Wine (Festival K 8114) 1975


JOK’s performances on film and televison never fully captured the enrgy and passion that the audiences were exposed to.

I have done my best to find clips that try to do that.



Sing Sing Sing


She’s My Baby