Australian Music I grew up with: 1976 – 1979

In 1976 Sherbet dominated the Australian charts – they had three songs in the top Australian hits from that years with the single HOWZAT reaching number 4. Howzat is a commonly used to “appeal” in cricket. The album Howzat spent two weeks at number 1 in the Australian charts in 1976.

Top 10 Australian Hits that year were:

  1. Howzat – Sherbet
  2. Jump In My Car – Ted Mulry Gang
  3. Slipping Away – Max Merritt & The Meteors
  4. Darktown Strutters Ball – Ted Mulry Gang
  5. I Hate The Music – John Paul Young
  6. I Just Don’t Know What To Do With Myself – Marcia Hines
  7. Happy Days – Silver Studs
  8. Every Little Bit Hurts – Shirley
  9. Child’s Play – Sherbet
  10. Matter Of Time – Sherbet

So here is Howzat…

Marcia Hines came to Australia in the late sixties from America. She became Australia’s Queen of Pop various times. In 1973-1974 Marcia played Mary Magdalene in Australia’s production of Jesus Christ Superstar with Trevor White, Jon English, Doug Parkinson, Stevie Wright and John Paul Young.

Jon English who played Judas in the Australian version of Jesus Christ Superstar was another favourite of mine. His album and single, both titled ‘Hollywood Seven’ were released  in 1976. The single reached 13 in the Australian charts.

There were a couple of bands around that were shaking the dirt in Aussie land – they sure came top of my list.

The Angels formed in Adelaide in 1970 and in April 1976 released the following song…

In 1973 Angus and Malcolm Young formed the band AC/DC, and 1976 was a pretty good year for music if you were a fan – I was !!!!! They released four singles:

1. T.N.T.

2. It’s a Long Way to the Top

3. Jailbreak

4. Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap

In 1977 these were the top selling Australian singles:

  1. I just want to be your everything – Andy Gibb
  2. I Go to Rio – Peter Allen
  3. Don’t fall in love – Ferrets
  4. Help is on its way – Little River Band

I was lucky enough to see both Marcia Hines and The Little River Band in concert at the Sydney Opera House – where the acoustics make it almost unnecessary to have microphones.

Sadly, Andy Gibb was to die early.

Two New Zealand bands also went into the charts that year.

At number six was SPlIT ENZ  with My Mistake, and DRAGON held the number 18 spot with April Sun in Cuba.

So in honour of the tradition of claiming all things New Zealand as Australian I shall include both bands here…well they did spend a LOT of time living/working in Oz guys…hehehe

I spent many a weekend watching Split Enz performing, when they first arrived in Australia, at hotels on Coogee Beach, mainly at the Oceanic.

Dragon performed there quite a bit as well – so I can’t help myself…

And on we go to 1978…the year I turned 20…went to Bali, and fell in love with a surfer named Peter…

  • Only the big boy was mine…So what were the top Aussie songs for that year ?
  1. You’re the One that I Want – Olivia Newton-John & John Travolta
  2. Stayin’ Alive – Bee Gees
  3. Emotion – Samantha Sang
  4. Are You Old Enough – Dragon
  5. How Deep is Your Love – Bee Gees
  6. Love is in the Air – John Paul Young

And no Aussie music post of the 70’s could not have this guy in it…

Cold Chisel also released their first album in 1978. The first single from this album was Khe Sanh. It was remixed and then included on the US version of the album East in 1981. “Khe Sanh” was named the greatest Australian song of all time in a mid-2007 countdown on the Max channel.

Khe Sanh lyrics

I left my heart to the sappers round Khe Sanh
And my soul was sold with my cigarettes to the blackmarket man
I’ve had the Vietnam cold turkey
From the ocean to the Silver City
And it’s only other vets could understand

About the long forgotten dockside guarantees
How there were no V-dayheroes in 1973
How we sailed into Sydney Harbour
Saw an old friend but couldn’t kiss her
She was lined, and I was home to the lucky land

And she was like so many more from that time on
Their lives were all so empty, till they found their chosen one
And their legs were often open
But their minds were always closed
And their hearts were held in fast suburban chains
And the legal pads were yellow, hours long, paypacket lean
And the telex writers clattered where the gunships once had been
But the car parks made me jumpy
And I never stopped the dreams
Or the growing need for speed and novacaine

So I worked across the country end to end
Tried to find a place to settle down, where my mixed up life could mend
Held a job on an oil-rig
Flying choppers when I could
But the nightlife nearly drove me round the bend

And I’ve travelled round the world from year to year
And each one found me aimless, one more year the worse for wear
And I’ve been back to South East Asia
But the answer sure ain’t there
But I’m drifting north, to check things out again

You know the last plane out of Sydney’s almost gone
Only seven flying hours, and I’ll be landing in Hong Kong
There ain’t nothing like the kisses
From a jaded Chinese princess
I’m gonna hit some Hong Kong mattress all night long

Well the last plane out of Sydney’s almost gone
Yeah the last plane out of Sydney’s almost gone
And it’s really got me worried
I’m goin’ nowhere and I’m in a hurry
And the last plane out of Sydney’s almost gone

In 1979 two of the top three Australian chart hits were – believe it or not sports anthems. And the number two Australian song was another Kiwi band Mi-Sex. I know – but it makes sense to Australians…hehe

  1. Up There Cazaly – The Two-Man Band
  2. Computer Games – Mi-Sex
  3. C’mon Aussie C’mon – The Mojo Singers

Up There Cazaly was the anthem for Australian Rules football.

Of course as we started with a ‘cricket’ song it seems only right to end with one…

And Cold Chisel (fast becoming my favourite Aussie band) released this classic

That’ll do people…that’ll do.

Australian Music I grew up with: 1970 – 1975.


  1. Never heard of most of these, but I am a fan of Little River Band, Split Enz, and of course the Bee Gees. Neil and Tim Finn are such fabulous songwriters. They should have been even bigger than they were in the States. Crowded House recorded some of the best songs by a rock group ever.

    Blogging from A to Z


  2. Again I don’t recognize many. I didn’t know that AC/DC have been around since ’76. I saw them a few years ago in Boston and loved the show. They have so many great songs.


    1. The things you learn – AC/DC, is just one of the Aussie bands still doing it…we Australians are a bit like the Little Engine ‘I think I can, I think I can’, only we say – do it again, do it again, do it again…


  3. Pirates sure have a lot of similarities. 🙂 Music has always been a major part of my life, and I can remember past times, both good and bad, by what songs were playing at the time. Great post Jo, loved it!


    1. I remember my past by a couple of things, house I was living in at the time, and the music that was playing…well, what I can remember that is after living a debauched lifestyle…hehehe


  4. I cant WAIT to sit down and devour all the music here!! What FUN!! Thank you, Jo!! Cooking up a storm and wishing I could share some yummy Thanksgiving pie with you…and a great big thankful hug!!:) I am soOo very thankful for you, my dear, dear Jo. lovelovelove from me.


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