• Johnny O'Keefe and Australian rock'n'roll at Perth Capitol Theatre
  • Johnny O'Keefe and Australian rock'n'roll at Perth Capitol Theatre
    Written by Anonymous
    Mon Jul 06, 2009 6:15 am



    5.45 & 8.30 p.m.

    House lights out. When lights are completely dimmed 20th Century Fox Fanfare is to be played over the P.A. System. At the same time 2 spotlights are to rove over the front curtain in a similar opening to the 20th Century Fox films.

    Then V/O stage microphone

    'Good evening ladies and gentlemen - the Lions Club of Perth is
    Proud to present 'The Johnny O'Keefe Show'

    On the words 'O'Keefe Show' the guitarist with the Midniters starts introduction to 'Raunchy' and the curtain goes up simultaneously.

    The Midniters play 12 bars of 'Raunchy' then V/O introduces Gary Carvolth as host for this evening's performance. Gary enters from prompt side of stage, stage lighting is dimmed."

    In September 1963, Johnny O'Keefe was 28 years old and had sat on the throne as Australia's King of Rock'n'Roll for more than six years with twenty one hit records to his credit. He would see another two chart entries by years end and incredibly two more in the first half of 1964. O'Keefe was at his peak.

    'Gary enters prompt side.
    All stage lights are turned off with the exception of spotlight.
    Gary introduces J.O.K.
    He enters O/P side, spotlight to pick him up at tabs.
    J.O.K sings quite a few numbers and during his act no lights are to be turned on with the exception of the spot light.
    Separate spotlight cues will be given supplementary to this information.'

    O'Keefe's performance was breathtaking. He employed all the devices and professional tricks he had learn through hundreds of stage and concert performances, and in many cases pioneered on television. As he adopted his customary three-quarter stance to the microphone, his attention to dress and presentation, from reflective patent leather shoes and cufflinks to his crimson lined dress suit, his impact on the audience was immediate.

    Johnny O'Keefe had given Australian teenagers their first taste of real rock'n'roll on the nationally televised dance party 'Six O'Clock Rock' when he replaced Ricki Merriman as host early in 1959. After his final appearance in June 1962 and the shows demise three months later, he enjoyed further TV successes hosting 'Sing Sing Sing', 'The Johnny O'Keefe Show' and 'Where The Action Is'.


    Both the 5.45 and 8.30 p.m. shows at Perth's Capitol Theatre on Friday September 13, 1963 pre-sold in sufficient numbers to justify the additional extra shows to go ahead on Thursday the 12th.

    Also on the bill were Dig Richards who closed the first half of the show, Barry Stanton who opened the second half, Robyn Alvarez, Rod Dunbar with Western Australian acts Peter Anderson & the Midniters and Jan Horrigan. O'Keefe's band the Dee Jays also had featured spots as well as providing backing for the Sydney performers. The running sheet demonstrated the tight schedule afforded the support acts so that the shows would run to time and to allow J.O.K. the flexibility to make his most dramatic impact with his closing encore of 'Shout'.

    September 1963 and Johnny O'Keefe is the idol of every teenager in the country.

    In the middle of the following year the Beatles toured Australia.
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