John Farnham biography
John Peter Farnham, AO, formerly billed as Johnny Farnham (born 1 July 1949), is an Australian pop singer. As Johnny Farnham he was a teen pop idol from 1964 to 1979, and has since forged a career as an adult contemporary singer. His career has mostly been as a solo artist although he briefly replaced Glenn Shorrock as lead singer of Little River Band during 1982-1985. In September 1986 his solo single, "You're the Voice" peaked at No. 1 on the Australian singles charts. The associated album, Whispering Jack, held the No. 1 position for a total of 25 weeks, Both the single and the album had Top Ten success internationally including No. 1 in Sweden.
Domestically he has remained one of Australia's best-known performers with a career spanning over 40 years,
Farnham has been recognised by honours and awards including 1987 Australian of the Year, 1996 Officer of the Order of Australia, and 19 Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) Awards including his 2003 induction into the Hall of Fame. From 1969 he was voted by TV Week readers as the 'King of Pop' for five consecutive years. Aside from his recording career, Farnham performed on stage with lead roles in Australian productions of Charlie Girl, Pippin and 1992's Jesus Christ Superstar. Australian rock historian, Ian McFarlane described him as "the most successful solo artist in the history of Australian rock and pop ... Farnham has retained an affable sense of humour and a simple, unpretentious 'everyman' charm which also makes him one of the most respected celebrities in Australian entertainment history."
Early lifeJohn Peter Farnham was born in Dagenham, England, on 1 July 1949, to John Farnham Snr and Rose Pemberton. His sisters are Jean and Jaquiline (Jackie), and his younger brother is Steven. He attended school at Yarraman State School, Lyndale Primary School and Lyndale High School.
1964-67: The Mavericks to Strings UnlimitedJohnny Farnham performed with local band The Mavericks on weekends, while still attending school, from 1964. The band had a five song repertoire. On 29 April 1967, Strings Unlimited performed as a backing band for pop singer Bev Harrell in Cohuna. Harrell's boyfriend/manager, Darryl Sambell, was impressed with Farnham's vocals and offered to become his manager. Initially performing in Sambell's home town of Adelaide, Farnham recorded an advertising jingle "Susan Jones" for Ansett ANA and was offered a solo record contract with EMI.
1967-79: Teen pop idolFarnham's first commercially successful recording was a novelty song entitled "Sadie (The Cleaning Lady)", Sambell had disliked it as the lyrics were so persistent. By arrangement with Sambell, Melbourne radio DJ Stan Rofe pretended that he disliked "Sadie" before playing it. Rofe was also a writer for Go-Set, a teen-oriented pop magazine, another writer for the magazine, Ian "Molly" Meldrum, praised Farnham's efforts. Go-Set ran a pop poll to determine the 'King of Pop' which was first won by Normie Rowe for 1967-1968. Farnham's 1968 singles were "Underneath the Arches" and "I Don't Want to Love You", each peaked at #6. In 1969, Farnham released his album Everybody Oughta Sing a Song which peaked at No. 12 on the Australian albums charts. His next single was a cover of Harry Nilsson's "One"; Farnham's version peaked at #4. When television guide, TV Week sponsored the 'King of Pop' awards, readers would forward their votes from coupons, Farnham won the most popular male award and was crowned 'King of Pop' five consecutive times from 1969-1973. He recorded a cover of the B J Thomas hit "Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head" which became his second No. 1 hit in December 1969 and remained at top spot for seven weeks into January 1970.
Biography from , the free encyclopedia.
It may not have been reviewed by a professional editor, and recent changes may not show up straight away. See the latest version of this article. Used under licence. Subject to disclaimers.