Years: 1070 - 1975
Styles: Blues Rock, Country, Pop Rock, Pub Rock, Rock and Roll
Ross Hannaford - Bass Guitar, Lead guitar, Vocals (in band: 1970 – 1972; 1974 – 1975; 2005 – 2016)
Wayne Duncan - Bass Guitar, Vocals (in band: 1970 – 1972; 1974 – 1975; 2005 – 2016)
Ross Wilson - Guitar, Harmonica, Lead vocals (in band: 1970 – 1972; 1974 – 1975; 2005 – present)
Gary Young - Drums, Vocals (in band: 1970 – 1972; 1974 – 1975; 2005 – present)
Jeremy Noone - Keyboards, Piano, Tenor saxophone (in band: 1971 – 1972)
Ian Winter - Rhythm guitar (in band: 1972)
Gunther Gorman - Guitar (in band: 1975)
Wayne Burt - Guitar (in band: 1975)
Daddy Cool is an Australian rock band formed in Melbourne in 1970 with the original line-up of Wayne Duncan (bass, vocals), Ross Hannaford (lead guitar, bass, vocals), Ross Wilson (lead vocals, rhythm guitar, harmonica) and Gary Young (drums, vocals) . Their debut single "Eagle Rock" was released in May 1971 and stayed at number 1 on the Australian singles chart for ten weeks. Their debut July 1971 LP Daddy Who? Daddy Cool also reached number 1 and became the first Australian album to sell more than 100,000 copies.
Daddy Cool's music featured 1950s Doo-wop style rock cover versions and originals which were mostly written by Wilson. On stage they provided a danceable sound which was accessible and fun. Their second album was Sex, Dope, Rock'n'Roll: Teenage Heaven from January 1972 and reached the Top Ten. Breaking up in August 1972, Daddy Cool briefly reformed during 1974–1975 before disbanding again, they reformed with the band's original line-up in 2005. Their iconic status was confirmed when they were inducted into the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) Hall of Fame on 16 August 2006.
Ross Hannaford (guitar, bass, vocals) and Ross Wilson (guitar, vocals, harmonica) formed pop / R&B Melbourne-based group The Pink Finks in 1965 while they were still attending highschool in the south eastern Melbourne suburb of Beaumaris, Victoria, they later attended the senior campus of Sandringham College. In 1967 they formed The Party Machine, which had a more radical sound (influenced by Frank Zappa and Howlin' Wolf), the band included Mike Rudd (later in Spectrum) on bass guitar.
Wayne Duncan (bass, vocals) and Gary Young (drums, vocals) were the rhythm section of many bands particularly instrumentals since the 1950s. One of these was The Rondells which were also the backing band for Bobby & Laurie a popular singing duo with their number 1 hit "Hitch Hiker" from 1966.
Young and Wilson met in 1969 whilst both were working in a book warehouse, each had previous band mates who were interested in forming a new group. Wilson, Hannaford, Young and Duncan formed Sons of the Vegetal Mother later that year, this band had a more experimental Progressive rock sound.
As a side project from Sons of the Vegetal Mother, four of its members (Duncan, Hannaford, Wilson and Young) formed Daddy Cool in 1970. All shared a love of 1950s music and initially played covers of songs from their record collections. One of these was "Daddy Cool" (written by Bob Crewe and Frank Slay) performed in 1957 by US Doo-wop band The Rays as the B side to their single "Silhouettes". Daddy Cool became a popular live fixture in Melbourne. Their early 1971 appearance at the Myponga Festival in South Australia upstaged their parent group, Sons of the Vegetal Mother, which subsequently dissolved.
One-time child guitar prodigy Robie Porter (formerly known as Rob EG), had recently returned to Australia and established himself as record producer, purchasing a share of Melbourne independent label Sparmac Records. He saw the band's performance at a 7 May 1971 gig in Melbourne and immediately signed them to his label. The single "Eagle Rock" was released before the end of May and quickly went to number 1 on the Australian charts where it stayed for a record ten weeks. The track written by Wilson, produced by Porter, was, ironically, replaced at #1 by a novelty version of a song from Daddy Cool's own setlist—the single "Daddy Cool", performed in Chipmunks style by the studio band Drummond. Drummond (aka Mississippi), which included Graeham Goble (later in Little River Band), had performed it in tribute of Daddy Cool.
Daddy Cool's debut album, Daddy Who? Daddy Cool, sold an unprecedented 60,000 copies within a month of its release in July 1971, and became the first Australian album to sell more than 100,000 copies. According to Wilson, the sales required for a gold album in Australia in the early 1970s had been 10,000 copies and was altered to 15000 and then 20000. The band toured Australia with Spectrum (led by former bandmate Mike Rudd) on the Aquarius Tour.
Their second single "Come Back Again", also written by Wilson, was released in September 1971 and reached #3. Also in September, Jeremy Kellock (aka Jeremy/Jerry Noone) (saxophone, keyboards (ex-Sons of the Vegetal Mother, Company Caine) joined the touring lineup of the band.
In November, Daddy Cool aka D.C.E.P., a five-track EP was released and reached number 12. Each group member sang a track, the most widely played was "Lollipop" with vocals by Wilson. An edited version of the song "Hi Honey Ho", their third single, written by Wilson, was released in December and reached #16.
Wilson experimented more with his song writing on Sex, Dope, Rock'n'Roll: Teenage Heaven, Daddy Cool's second album. Produced by Porter again, it was released on Sparmac Records in January 1972 and incorporated more progressive material similar to Sons of the Vegetal Mother's music. Two of the tracks were 1950s covers "Baby Let Me Bang Your Box" and "Sixty Minute Man" and together with the album title provoked concern in media reports. It reached #15 on the national album charts, and was released in USA as Teenage Heaven.
By February 1972, Noone had left, feeling that he was not fully involved in the spirit of the group. He was replaced in March by Ian "Willy" Winter (ex-Carson) on rhythm guitar who was recruited to enable Ross Wilson to concentrate on singing. The band undertook a third US tour from March–June 1972 and recorded several tracks including "Teenage Blues", "At The Rockhouse" and "Rock'n'Roll Lady" at Warner Bros. studios in L.A. "I'll Never Smile Again" was released in July and reached #16, but by this time tensions were growing within the band and Wilson in particular was tiring of the difficulty of presenting the more progressive material he wanted to perform within the confines of the group's entrenched "good time" image. They announced their break-up soon after their return from the USA and performed their last gig at the Much More Ballroom on 13 August 1972.
Ian Winter returned to Carson, they produced Blown in 1972 and disbanded before On the Air was released in 1973. In 1977, he rejoined Wilson in Mondo Rock. Duncan and Young formed their own boogie band, Gary Young's Hot Dog in September 1972, they released two singles in 1973 "Rock-a-Billy Beating Boogie Band" and "The Saga of the Three Little Pigs". Hannaford and Wilson, who were constrained by the Daddy Cool image, formed Mighty Kong in May 1973 to play more serious music, they released one album All I Wanna Do is Rock before disbanding in December.
Both Mighty Kong and Gary Young's Hot Dog had disbanded, and by early 1974 a reformed Daddy Cool (Duncan, Hannaford, Wilson and Young) played at the Sunbury Pop Festival which included a fledgling Skyhooks and UK band Queen – the latter two were both booed off stage. In June / July, Wilson took time off from Daddy Cool to produce the recording of Skyhooks' debut album Living in the Seventies for Mushroom Records. Besides compilations, Daddy Cool provided three new singles: "All I Wanna Do is Rock (part 1)", "The Boogie Man" released in 1974 on Wizard Records. After they performed at the last Sunbury Pop Festival in 1975, Gunther Gorman joined on guitar. When Duncan was injured in a car accident, Hannaford switched to bass and guitarist Wayne Burt (later of Jo Jo Zep) was brought in. By September 1975 the band played their final show in Prahran's Reefer Cabaret.
The band reformed in February 2005 to play at a 27 February 2005 benefit concert for victims of the 2004 tsunami at the Myer Music Bowl in Melbourne. A new Daddy Cool recording, "The Christmas Bug", was released for charity.
In 2006 Aztec Music released The Complete Daddy Cool, a double DVD collection, featuring the complete video of the 2005 Tsunami Benefit performance and a 90-minute documentary on the band. The set also features Bob Weis' 1972 documentary, a "Making Of ..." feature on Weis' film, a 13-minute feature "Hanna On Lead", and nearly 50 minutes of film clips and TV appearances. A new Daddy Cool album, The New Cool was released in 2006 on Liberation Records. This was their first album of new material since 1972; it also included the songs recorded in 1994 as part of the ill-fated DC / Skyhooks dual tour.
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