The gold suit, tailored by Len Taylor, Sydney, American Clothes Stylist, in the late 1950s, is only marginally less flashy than Johnny’s red suit. or by his nickname, "The Wild One", O'Keefe was the first Australian rock'n'roll performer to tour the United States, and the first Australian artist to make the newly-introduced local Top 40 charts, and he remains Australia's most successful chart performer, with twenty-nine Top 40 hits to his credit in Australia between 1959 and 1974.Johnny O'Keefe was the younger brother of Australian jurist Barry O'Keefe (a former head of the New South Wales ICAC) and the uncle of comedian and TV presenter Andrew O'Keefe. It fared well against stiff competition from the better-known James Taylor-Carly Simon version, which was rush-released in Australia to compete with it, but many of O'Keefe's supporters claim that O'Keefe's version was deliberately ignored by some commercial radio stations, in favour of its US rival.In August 1974 O'Keefe put together a package tour called "The Good Old Days of Rock'n'Roll" which featured many of his old friends including Johnny Devlin, Lonnie Lee, Jade Hurley, Barry Stanton, Tony Brady and Laurel Lea. "Their first performance was at Stones Cabaret in the beach side suburb of Coogee, and by early 1957 they were playing four dances a week and also performing on Saturdays in the interval between films at the Embassy Theatre, Manly. His workload was hectic, and his passionate personality made his moods swing unpredictably. Haley was impressed by O'Keefe, giving him a song to record ("You Hit The Wrong Note, Billy Goat") and recommending him to Ken Taylor, A&R manager of leading local record company Festival Records. Johnny’s wardrobe on TV was conspicuously less flashy than his live performance outfits. PeopleFinders is the best people search for background checks, arrest records, and public records. According to Lou Casch, they backed acts including Chuck Berry, The Everly Brothers, Fabian, Tab Hunter, Jimmie Rodgers and Ricky Nelson, and on his 1960 tour, Nelson was booed by fans of O'Keefe's whom he had reputedly planted in the audience. Industry: Human Resources, Osteopathic Physician's Office Doing business as: CATALINA POINTE ARTHRITIS & RHEUMATOLOGY SPECIALISTS, PC Catalina Pointe Arthritis. He realised immediately that this was the style of music he wanted to perform, and from this point on he dedicated himself single-mindedly to becoming a rock 'n' roll singer and a star.Although he was perhaps an unlikely candidate for stardom, he pursued it relentlessly for the next two decades and it is a tribute to his tenacity that, in large measure, his dream was achieved: by 1960 he had become the most popular and successful singer in Australia and a major TV star. In early 1959 ABC hired Johnny O'Keefe & The Dee Jays as the resident band for its new one-hour live television show Six O'Clock Rock which featured local artists. A strong early musical influence was the American singer Johnnie Ray, who toured Australia to great acclaim in the 1950s and O'Keefe began his singing career as a Ray impersonator.During this period he met and became good friends with Alan Dale, also an aspiring singer, who was then employed at the O'Keefe's furniture business. Being unable to read or memorise the script, the young O'Keefe improvised his part.The young O'Keefe was intelligent and perceptive, with a great sense of humour, although his school grades fluctuated due to his misbehaviour and the fact that he was easily distracted; Sydney radio personality Gary O'Callaghan, who was a classmate, later recalled that O'Keefe was often in trouble. They had three children, but their relationship eventually collapsed under the pressure of O'Keefe's career demands and mental health problems, and they were divorced in 1966. 1966) Daughter: Victoria O'Keefe (musician) Son: John O'Keefe, Jr. O'Keefe became a regular singer with the Merzi quintet and performed with them every Sunday at the charity shows they performed at the Bondi Auditorium. Long, messy hair, smart-mouthed and raw, the Mersey Beat phenomenon did not impress O’Keefe. At that time the NZBC had a monopoly on radio, they had only one J.O'K. His drug and alcohol use escalated, he suffered a series of highly-publicised breakdowns, and he was involved in driving offences and a charge of possession of marijuana ca. He was also a keen swimmer, surfer and sailor and often sailed with the Vaucluse Juniors sailing club.He matriculated in 1951, gaining an 'A' in French and a 'B' in English, mathematics, physics and economics. His second Leedon single was a cover of The Isley Brothers' "Shout!" census data research online uses ads from selected third party sponsors in order to provide this free service. Your email address will not be published. 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