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THE OSMAN: Swanee, Darren Rolling Keys and more

This week’s program, Ossie And Friends (Lake Macquarie FM 97.3 Wednesday 6pm till 9pm) is proudly sponsored by VIBES Australia which is held at The Coast Hotel at Budgewoi each Thursday Night.

We have a very special program tonight, “live” in the studio as guest co-presenter is local muso, Darren Rolling Keys and on the phone we will have the magnificent SWANEE (John Swan), proudly brought to you and supported by our sponsor, Music Solutions Warners Bay.

JOHN SWAN, AKA SWANEE, is a bit of a legend in the Aussie Music Industry. SWANEE was born in Glasgow, Scotland and came to this Country as a youngster. He migrated to Australia with his family in 1961. When his mother remarried in the mid-1960s, he kept his surname SWAN, his siblings used the surname BARNES as they came along.

John Swan joined his first professional band, Happiness, as a drummer when he was fourteen. When he was seventeen, he enlisted in the Australian Army. In early 1974 he was the drummer with the “James Wright Band”, moving on to Jim Keays’ Southern Cross for a short time. By late 1974 he was playing in Adelaide band Fraternity. Brother JIMMY BARNES had replaced Bon Scott as Fraternity’s singer but Barnes’ stay was brief before he left to join Cold Chisel, and John took over on vocals. Swan also appeared live with Cold Chisel from time to time, providing backing vocals and percussion.

After Fraternity, Swan became the vocalist with Feather in 1977. This band had been known as Blackfeather in the early 1970s, but by 1977 no original members were left so the name was shortened. Feather recorded one single with Swan, “Girl Trouble”, before he left in 1978 to establish himself as a solo artist.

Under the name “SWANEE”, by which he was already known, he released his first solo single “Crazy Dreams” in 1979. An album, Into the Night, and several other singles followed but met with little commercial success. In late 1981, however, his version of “If I Were a Carpenter” became a national hit. The single was a precursor to the 1982 album This Time is Different that spawned another two hits, “Temporary Heartache” and “Lady What’s Your Name”, propelling SWANEE to national fame.

In 1986 SWANEE featured in an advertising campaign for West End Draught, a South Australian beer. The brewer provided financial support to Swanee’s tours and he in turn appeared in the company’s TV commercials. The following year he replaced Angry Anderson as lead singer of The Party Boys. Swan’s tenure with the band proved to be the group’s most successful period. A cover of the John Kongos hit “He’s Gonna Step on You Again” was a No. 1 hit and was followed up by a version of Argent’s “Hold Your Head Up” that also went Top 10. The band’s self-titled album made the Top 5. Swan’s deal with the band was originally only meant he would only stay long enough to record the album and complete a tour supporting it, but after being briefly replaced by Graham Bonnet he returned to the Party Boys line-up, and stayed until 1989 before going solo again.

In July 2014 Swanee released the album One Day at a Time (MGM Distribution), which is entirely his work in collaboration with Darren Mullan of Adelaide Recording Studio fame, and Tony Minniecon on ‘Rescue Me’.

Surviving the test of time, SWANEE has remained one of Australia’s best-known live acts. You can hear a chat with John tonight on Ossie And Friends as well as hear some old hits plus tracks from his latest album and see SWANEE perform “live” at The Lakes Hotel The Entrance on Thursday Night.

DARREN ROLLING KEYS will be in the studio with us tonight to play some of his originals and covers. Darren will be chatting about his music career and also be somewhat of a co-host. Darren has formed a partnership with SWANEE along with SWANEE’s guitarist TONY McDOWELL and will be performing together as a trio in the near future, including this Thursday Night.

DARREN ROLLING KEYS is an exceptional musician and performer, many of you may have seen Darren perform as he travels vast distances around the Central Coast, Newcastle, Port Stephens and Hunter areas bringing his one-man show to many.

DARREN ROLLING KEYS is a Central Coast singer/songwriter specialising in Classic Rock. As a songwriter Darren draws inspiration from every emotion around him and his originals also reflect his love for his favourite genre. Darren has been playing keyboard since the age of 5 and soon after picked up a guitar, he discovered his incredible soaring voice at the age of 14 and hasn’t stopped singing since. Darren’s vocal range makes him extremely versatile, performing covers such as John Lennon’s Imagine, James Morrison’s You Give Me Something or Eric Clapton Tears In Heaven with his own unique touch to singing Road House Blues by The Doors to Bon Scott’s Long Way To The Top and Daddy Cools Eagle Rock sounding Incredibly like the original artists.

Darren captivates his audience from his first song making heads turn as soon as he starts singing until his last song where his audience want one more song to dance to. He enjoys the banter with his audience and can hold a crowd wherever he plays.

Darren currently has a single out on iTunes, YOU WOULD’VE and is in the process of recording his next one.

Catch a performance from Darren either this Thursday Night at The Lakes Hotel or on Friday Night at The Commercial Hotel, Boolaroo from 6.30pm.

Darren’s visit is brought to you by Cardiff Golf Driving Range Cardiff.

After the 8pm news, we will continue with our requests tonight, via 43908973, 60’s, 70’s or 80’s.

With Aussie Ossie Radio, we have regular weekly programs, including Locals Only on a Monday Night which presents 3 hours of music from bands and artists from the Central Coast/Lake Macquarie/Newcastle areas. Locals’ music is also played throughout the week in various playlists on the station. Some other programs are Pedal To The Metal (Metal Show) 10pm on Thursdays, This Is Australia (60s, 70s, 80’s) 11am on Saturdays, High Noon Country on Sundays at 12noon and Blues and Roots on Sunday Night from 8.30pm
Musos are most welcome to send their music in to have it played on Aussie Ossie Radio and if you are local and would like to come to the Lake Macquarie FM 97.3 studios on a Wednesday Night to be part of that program, simply make contact via the Facebook Pages and we can book you in, We are currently booked out until November, so get in as soon as possible to secure your spot.

For the punter out there, if you are looking for a gig to see this weekend, of course check out the Gig Guide on Newcastle Live. A few bands or artists I can recommend for this week:

VIBES at The Coast Hotel Budgewoi Thursday Night 6.30pm, 3 bands, FREE.

SWANEE, TONY McDOWELL and DARREN ROLLING KEYS, Thursday Therapy at The Lakes Hotel at The Entrance from 8pm, FREE.

DARREN ROLLING KEYS at The Commercial Hotel Boolaroo, Friday, 6.30pm

THE SCREAMING JETS at Belmont 16’s, Friday (it may be sold out)

BRITISH INDIA at The Cambridge Hotel Newcastle, Friday

SECRET SOCIETY at The Iron Horse Inn Cardiff Saturday Night

DOUG PARKINSON Honours Joe Cocker at Lizotte’s Newcastle, Saturday Night.

Check the Newcastle Live Gig Guide and get out and see some live music over the weekend. Come on over and say Hi on Facebook, @ossieandfriends. Until next week, cheers, Ossie


I have been involved with Community Radio for over 20 years and the same with my Youth Work. I currently present a weekly program, Ossie And Friends on Community Radio Station, Lake Macquarie FM 97.3, Wednesdays from 6pm. Another of my projects is my internet radio station, Aussie Ossie Radio. On that station, I play Aussie Music 24/7. Both have Facebook Pages, @ossieandfriends and @aussieossieradio.

Written by Newcastle Live

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