|Birth name||Richard Ernest May|
|Born||22 November 1943|
Onehunga, Auckland, New Zealand
|Died||1 June 1988 44) (aged|
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Richard Ernest May (22 November 1943 –1 June 1988) was a New Zealand-born jazz singer and musician, best known for singing cover versions of numerous pop songs or jazz standards. He moved to Australia in 1962 where he worked mainly in theatre and cabaret and had TV appearances on The Don Lane Show , The Midday Show and Hey Hey It's Saturday , as well as hosting his own show, Ten on the Town (1966).
The Don Lane Show was an Australian talk show television series aired on Nine Network in 1975 until 10 November 1983. Don Lane co-hosted the show with Bert Newton.
Hey Hey It's Saturday was a long-running variety television program on Australian television. It initially ran for 27 years on the Nine Network from 9 October 1971 to 20 November 1999. Its host throughout its entire run was Daryl Somers, who later also became executive producer of the program. The original producer, Gavin Disney, left the program in the 1980s and Somers then jointly formed his own production company, Somers Carroll Productions, with on-screen partner Ernie Carroll, the performer of Somers' puppet sidekick Ossie Ostrich.
May was born as Richard Ernest May in New Zealand in Onehunga, Auckland of Māori descent.His father, Keith May, was a jazz band leader and played alto saxophone. May grew up with siblings and from the age of 15 he performed at Picasso, a café, night club in Auckland. Apart from vocals, May played drums and piano but generally worked as a variety entertainer. He would introduce unconventional vocalisations, improvisation and the spoken-word into performance.
Onehunga is a suburb of Auckland in New Zealand and the location of the Port of Onehunga, the city's small port on the Manukau Harbour. It is eight kilometres south of the city centre, close to the volcanic cone of Maungakiekie/One Tree Hill. It was formerly governed by Auckland City Council until the merger of all of Auckland's councils into the 'super city' in 2010.
Auckland is a city in the North Island of New Zealand. Auckland is the largest urban area in the country, with an urban population of around 1,628,900. It is located in the Auckland Region—the area governed by Auckland Council—which includes outlying rural areas and the islands of the Hauraki Gulf, resulting in a total population of 1,695,900. A diverse and multicultural city, Auckland is home to the largest Polynesian population in the world. The Māori-language name for Auckland is Tāmaki or Tāmaki-makau-rau, meaning "Tāmaki with a hundred lovers", in reference to the desirability of its fertile land at the hub of waterways in all directions.
The Māori are the indigenous Polynesian people of New Zealand. Māori originated with settlers from eastern Polynesia, who arrived in New Zealand in several waves of canoe voyages some time between 1250 and 1300. Over several centuries in isolation, the Polynesian settlers developed a unique culture, with their own language, a rich mythology, and distinctive crafts and performing arts. Early Māori formed tribal groups based on eastern Polynesian social customs and organisation. Horticulture flourished using plants they introduced; later, a prominent warrior culture emerged.
In 1961 jazz pianist, Ronnie Smith, set up a group to play at the Sorrento Club, Wellington.Smith's group had Tommy Tamati on bass guitar and May joined on drums and backing vocals. May become a regular with the group and sometimes provided lead vocals. Bruno Lawrence, an English-born jazz musician, who was regularly in the audience, often got up to play the drums when May sang lead. The group worked for about a year and toured southern North Island.
Wellington is the capital and second most populous urban area of New Zealand, with 418,500 residents. It is located at the south-western tip of the North Island, between Cook Strait and the Remutaka Range. Wellington is the major population centre of the southern North Island, and is the administrative centre of the Wellington Region, which also includes the Kapiti Coast and Wairarapa. Its latitude is 41°17′S, making it the world's southernmost capital of a sovereign state. Wellington features a temperate maritime climate, and is the world's windiest city by average wind speed.
Bruno Lawrence was a British and New Zealand musician and actor.
At the end of 1961 May returned to Auckland and signed with Harry M. Miller's La Gloria label, which released his debut single in 1961, a cover version of Chubby Checker hit "Let's Twist Again". He followed with "I Could Have Danced All Night" in 1962. During that year he relocated to Sydney and primarily worked in cabaret. He recorded compositions of Nat King Cole and appeared on Australian TV shows The Don Lane Show , Farnham and Byrne (co-hosted by John Farnham and Debra Byrne), and regular appearances on The Midday Show .
Harry Maurice Miller was a New Zealand Australian promoter, publicist and media agent.
Chubby Checker is an American rock 'n roll singer and dancer. He is widely known for popularising many dance styles including the twist dance style, with his 1960 hit cover of Hank Ballard & The Midnighters' R&B hit "The Twist" and the Pony with hit "Pony Time". In September 2008, "The Twist" topped Billboard's list of the most popular singles to have appeared in the Hot 100 since its debut in 1958, an honor it maintained for an August 2013 update of the list. He also popularized the "Limbo Rock" and its trademark limbo dance, as well as various dance styles such as The Fly.
"Let's Twist Again" is a song written by Kal Mann and Dave Appell, and released as a single by Chubby Checker. One of the biggest hit singles of 1961, it reached No.8 on the U.S. Billboard pop chart in August of that year and subsequently reached No.2 in the U.K. in February 1962. The song refers to the Twist dance craze and Checker's 1960 single "The Twist", a two-time U.S. No.1 single.
In 1966 May released another single, "This Little Boy's Gone Rockin'", via RCA (Bluebird Records).From March of that year he hosted the Sydney teen pop music TV series, Ten on the Town, on TEN-10. It ran in direct competition with Bandstand on TCN-9 and Col Joye on ATN-7. Walter Learning of The Canberra Times compared the three shows, which "vie for the younger audience" and found that "Bandstand must win hands down" as Col Joye "has no life" and May's show, "suffers from over effort on the part of all concerned."
Bluebird Records was a record label known for its low-cost releases, primarily of blues and jazz in the 1930s and 1940s. It was founded in 1932 as a lower-priced RCA Victor subsidiary label. Bluebird concentrated on producing and selling music inexpensively. It created what came to be known as the "Bluebird sound", which influenced rhythm and blues and early rock and roll.
TEN is Network 10's Sydney flagship station. It was originally owned and operated by United Telecasters Sydney Limited (UTSL), and began transmission on 5 April 1965 with the highlight of the opening night being the variety special TV Spells Magic.
Colin Frederick Jacobsen AM, better known by his stage name Col Joye, is an Australian pioneer rock singer-songwriter, musician and entrepreneur,, with a career spanning some sixty years. Joye was the first Australian rock and roll singer to have a number one record Australia-wide and experienced a string of chart successes in the early Australian rock and roll scene, that was emerging from the USA and the United Kingdom.
He issued no further recordings until 1973: a double album, with the Julian Lee Orchestra, Fats Enough, on ABC records. In 1974 ABC decided to release a second double album, Just Foolin' Around – A Tribute to Louis Armstrong. In 1983 the first half of this album was re-released on CD, as A Tribute to the Greats. 1981 saw the J&B release an album, Ricky May, while ABC records issued a compilation, The Best of Ricky May on CD. He issued a duet single with Jonathan Coleman, "Built for Comfort (I Ain't Built for Speed)"/"Off the Record", as the Big Boys in 1983. In 1986 RCA released a Christmas album, It's the Christmas Man. Beyond this he concentrated on live cabaret performances and television work. He later appeared regularly on Hey Hey It's Saturday .
Jonathan Harry Coleman is an Australian television presenter, radio announcer, writer, performer of comedy and advertorial spokesperson, he started his media career in Australia in the late 1970s, but has also worked in his native United Kingdom.
In 1988 May received the Benny Award from the Variety Artists Club of New Zealand, the highest honour available to a New Zealand variety entertainer.
On 1 June 1988 Ricky May had a fatal heart attack at the Regent Hotel, Sydney, after getting a standing ovation on the opening night of a new cabaret show.He was pronounced dead on arrival at a hospital. He was 44 years of age. His wife, Colleen Ann May, died on 17 August 2017, aged 75.
Robert Edward "Bob" Brookmeyer was an American jazz valve trombonist, pianist, arranger, and composer. Born in Kansas City, Missouri, Brookmeyer first gained widespread public attention as a member of Gerry Mulligan's quartet from 1954 to 1957. He later worked with Jimmy Giuffre, before rejoining Mulligan's Concert Jazz Band. He garnered 8 Grammy Award nominations during his lifetime.
James Witherspoon was an American jump blues singer.
Robert Mills is an Australian actor, television host and singer-songwriter. He was one of the finalists from the first season of Australian Idol. He co-hosted the late-night quiz show The Mint, and was a regular singer on the game show The Singing Bee both on the Nine Network. Mills took part in the ninth season of Dancing with the Stars and appeared on Celebrity Apprentice. In 2008, Mills won the lead male role of Fiyero in a production of Wicked, and continued the role when it moved around Australia. He has since starred in a number of popular large scale musical theatre productions. In 2012, Mills was announced as the host of Network Ten's revamped Young Talent Time. He began playing teacher Finn Kelly on Neighbours in 2017, and was promoted to the regular cast in 2019.
Patricia "Little Pattie" Thelma Thompson OAM, is an Australian singer who performed as a teenager in 1960s surf pop singer and then in adult contemporary music. Her debut single from November 1963, "He's My Blonde Headed, Stompie Wompie, Real Gone Surfer Boy", achieved #2 chart success in Sydney and peaked at #19 on the national Kent Music Report. She appeared regularly on television variety programs, including Bandstand and toured supporting Col Joye and the Joy Boys. Little Pattie was entertaining troops during the Vietnam War in Nui Dat, Vietnam, as an Australia Forces Sweetheart, when the nearby Battle of Long Tan began on 18 August 1966. In 1994 she received the Vietnam Logistic and Support Medal "in recognition of her services in support of the Australian Armed Forces in operations in Vietnam."
Max Merritt is a New Zealand-born singer-songwriter and guitarist who is renowned as an interpreter of soul music and R&B. As leader of Max Merritt & The Meteors his best known hits are "Slippin' Away", which reached #2 on the 1976 Australian singles charts, and "Hey, Western Union Man" which reached #13. Merritt rose to prominence in New Zealand from 1958 and relocated to Sydney Australia in December 1964. Merritt was acknowledged as one of the best local performers of the 1960s and 1970s and his influence did much to popularise soul music / R&B and rock in New Zealand and Australia.
Daryl Paul Somers, OAM is an Australian television personality and musician, and a triple Gold Logie award-winner. He rose to national fame as the host and executive producer of the long-running comedy-variety program Hey Hey It's Saturday and continued his television celebrity and status as host of the live-performance program Dancing with the Stars.
Kamahl is the stage name of Kandiah Kamalesvaran, an Australian-based singer and recording artist. His highest charting local single, ""Sounds of Goodbye" (1969), reached the top 10 on the Kent Music Report singles chart. While another single, "The Elephant Song" (1975), peaked at number one in both the Netherlands and Belgium. Generally his repertoire comprises pop and adult contemporary music.
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Bandstand is an Australian live pop music, variety television program screened from November 1958 to June 1972. It featured both local and international music artists, produced in-house at the studios of TCN-9 in Willoughby, New South Wales, it eventually became a national program as the Nine Network expanded into other Australian cities in the early 1960s. It evolved from an earlier series, Accent on Youth, which in turn followed on from TV Disc Jockey. The host of Bandstand for its entire tenure was radio presenter and television newsreader Brian Henderson.
Hayden Tee is a New Zealand actor, singer, and makeup artist. He has played varied roles in musical theatre, concert and cabaret. He is based in the United States but has also performed in New Zealand, the UK, South Korea, Taiwan and Australia.
Judith Anne Stone AM is an Australian pop and country music singer. For much of the 1960s she was a regular performer on Bandstand, a pop music TV show, hosted by Brian Henderson. Stone's top 20 singles on the national charts are "I'll Step Down", "4,003,221 Tears from Now", "Born a Woman" and "Would You Lay with Me". On the Queen's Birthday Honours List of June 2006, Stone was awarded a Member of the Order of Australia, with the citation, "For service to the community as an entertainer at fundraising events for a range of charitable organisations, and as a singer."
William Victor Simms, known as Vic Simms and Vicki Simms, is an Australian singer and songwriter. He is from La Perouse, New South Wales, and is a Bidjigal man.
Cathy Wayne was the stage name of Australian entertainer Catherine Anne Warnes who was killed during the Vietnam War at a United States Marine base. Wayne had just finished a song at a Non-commissioned officer's club near Da Nang in South Vietnam. She was shot by a bullet fired from a .22 pistol, fitted with a silencer, which had been stolen at the base. Wayne was the first Australian woman killed during the Vietnam War.
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Ricky May, 44, a leading Australian jazz singer. The New Zealand-born performer was stricken with what appeared to be a heart attack Wednesday minutes after being given a standing ovation at the opening night of his new show at the Regent Hotel in Sydney. He was pronounced dead on arrival at a hospital