Since 1964 John Farnham has been keeping the “voice” alive 11



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What a career John Farnham has had. Sure, he might be on his third or fourth “retirement” tour, but the fact of the matter is that he draws a crowd and still makes the record sales. It’s hard to believe that he’s been entertaining audiences since 1964.

Originally from the UK, his family moved to Melbourne, Australia when he was just ten-years-old. He left school to take up a plumbing apprenticeship but luckily for his legions of fans he good a break from that for two years to try his hand at music.

First performing in The Mavericks on the weekends while he was still in school, Johnny took the opportunity to become the singer for Strings Unlimited in 1965. It was making it to the state finals of the Hoadley’s Battle of the Sounds in 1966 that got him the attention of bookers and talent agents. In 1967 he had his first commercial hit with the novelty song Sadie (The Cleaning Lady). At first, there was resistance to playing the song on the radio, but once it broke, it became the highest selling single by an Australia in over a decade.

Sadie was only the start for Johnny as he became a hit machine and became a teen pop idol. When music wasn’t enough Johnny turned to stage and television to conquer as well. Johnny joined forces with Colleen Hewett on the stage musical Pippin in 1973 to 1974. They also co-hosted the children’s television series It’s Magic. Johnny also became part of Australian television history when he hosted the first colour episode of Countdown in 1975 and got to introduce the now iconic Skyhooks performance of Horror Movie.

John continued to reinvent himself throughout the late 70s and the whole of the 80s. Who could forget the Whispering Jack stage of his career? But the one thing that John has always done is entertain the thousands of people that come to see him perform.

Have you had the pleasure of seeing John Farnham in concert? What is your favourite song of his?

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  1. His concerts are great – he is so natural on stage and his voice is tremendous. I was at University when I saw him in concert for the first time and he chatted away to students – he was so friendly. I love most of his songs too hard to pick one so here goes, Burn for Me, The voice, any songs off the Whispering Jack album. Many more cannot think of them.

  2. Johnny Farnham has been a favourite of mine since he began, I saw Johnny perform at the Opera House . My favourite song is Age of Reason.

  3. I’ve seen all of John Farnham SYdney concerts since 1980. I was not a real fan until I saw him live. He’s the absolute ultimate performer who enjoys his work and it’s contagious. I have taken all four of my children to see him at different times and they are also huge fans now. I would love to meet him and tell him how much my family have enjoyed his music.

  4. I ha seen every tour /concert /festival John has done sine 1988….I travel interstate & try & see every show of every tour…he is incredibly giving when it comes to his fans & is a great bloke….HE IS THE VOICE

  5. The best concert was on the River Stage at Expo 1988,he could get to the stage because of the huge crowd so had to come via the Brisbane River it was a concert to remember which my 2 daughters went to at age 10 and 7 they still talk about it

  6. Have seen John I think about 13 times in concert, first saw him at the raindrop fountain at Roselands when I was 14, stretched out and touched his hand, and have loved him ever since, he has the most amazing voice, one of my very favourite songs I saw him sing was when the war is over and Help, when I saw him sing that for the first time, and another from way back was Looking through a tear!!!
    Of course he has many others I love too😀😀😀👍👍👍

  7. Took my teenage children to 3 of his concerts- we are all huge fans of John Farnham- he is just magical, and so down to earth- love him.

  8. I still have the 45 record of Sadie and saw John sing it live at the Hobart Mardi Gras in 1967 or1968 can’t remember which year. I was very close to him and my girlfriend was the go-go dancer standing next to him. When he did the Whispering Jack tour I had to convince my sons to they didn’t discover John.but I had all those years ago we had the lesson of seeing him in the Airlie Beach Sports Hall with about 500 other people on that tour and the next morning I was lucky enough to help him and his manager check of the resort.

    I have seen him in endless concerts, have taken my boys to endless concerts, I have VHS of Whispering Jack and the Chain Reaction tour and I have so many CD’sof Johns. One night at one of the concerts when I was with my boys one of my workmates saw me and hung a sign over my desk for the Monday morning which said “Bopping Momma”.

    John is the most most natural musician I have ever seen. The most magical performance I have ever seen was a cappella version of a Stevie Wonder song that John and the band did at the end of one of the show called “Loves in Need”. Magical stuff , gave me goose bumps.

    I. Sing just about all of Johns songs at karaoke and if I don’t put them down to sing people request them so. I must be doing alright! HE IS THE BEST OF ALL TIME

  9. John Farnham lived a street away from me in Oakwood Park in the 60’s I use to see him often, he then started a band with school friends At the time my dad was hall keeper at the Lyndale hall and one night John asked dad if the could practise when the main band was resting, We heard how good they were and booked them to play at my brothers 21st party this was Jan 1965. This was his first paid gig. Then a few years later my husband was working as a plumber at Dandenong and had John as his apprentice until he left to start his career.

  10. Have been to four of his concerts, a true performer. Love the digs he has at his mother in law , he must have a great relationship with her.. love all his songs especially HELP.

  11. John Farnham is an awesome performer and singer too and so is his band i love to sing John Farnham songs all the time and i sing them when i do Karaoke my favourite John Farnham song is Reasons you’re the voice age of reason Burn for you two strong hearts and lots of his songs

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