Pop Music MakersTo Culture
Following the popular and rock music craze which swept across the world from America in the 1950s, catchy, accessible music that could be enjoyed by all has been the mainstay of musical culture in Australia. Local bands and singers such as the Bee Gees and the Easybeats would enjoy international success early on, proving Australia’s place as leaders in popular music.
It is important to note the role of migration in Australian pop music. The Easybeats met whilst staying temporarily in Villawood Immigration Centre and The Gibb brothers, John Farnham and Olivia Newtown John all emigrated to Australian from England and went on to forge successful pop music careers both locally and internationally. As a State with a specifically coastal focus, it seems fitting that home-grown talent would have its roots in beach culture. Discovered on Bronte Beach in 1963, Little Pattie would be one of our first pop singers, who had a hit with ‘He's My Blonde Headed Stompie Wompie Real Gone Surfer Boy’.
As Australian television soaps Neighbours and Home and Away would gain significant popularity at home and overseas in the 1980s, pop music would begin an association with television as local actors began to cross over into pop music with mixed success. Notable local singers who would launch their careers this way include Delta Goodrem and Natalie Imbruglia who have gone to garner internationally successful careers. The relationship between pop music and television would continue with the locally produced show Australian Idol launching in 2003 to provide a platform for singers to launch their careers, with successful graduates including Shannon Noll and Damien Leith.
As a genre, pop music is a term applied to a number of diverse musical styles and as such any music which has proved popular becomes pop music. This has resulted in more alternative local singer-songwriters such as Tim Freedman of The Whitlams and Ben Lee considered as recent examples of successful pop music singers. With significant industry support and a healthy local pop music community, New South Wales continues to produce world class pop music singers.