Years: 1969 - 1976
Styles: Beat, Country, Pop Rock
Alex Smith - Bass Guitar (in band: 1969)
Malcolm Billdream - Washboard (in band: 1969)
Graham Coop - Guitar (in band: 1969)
Francis Butler - Autoharp , Guitar, Kazoo, Vocals (in band: 1969-1976)
Paul Wylde - Keyboards
Keith Longman - Drums, Vocals (in band: 1970 - ????)
Brian Bethell - Bass Guitar, Vocals (in band: 1970 -1973)
Peter Knox - Vocals (in band: 1971-1973)
Dave Ovendon - Drums, Vocals (in band: 1972-1973)
Peter Jarman - Drums (in band: 1973)
Ray Ferguson - Flute, Guitar, Kazoo, Vocals (in band: 1973 - ????)
Terry Stacey - Bass Guitar, Kazoo, Vocals (in band: 1973 - ????)
John McInerney - Drums (in band: Nov, 1973 - ????)
The 69'ers were a classic early Aussie "party" band. They played an eclectic, good-time mix of styles that combined rock'n'roll, country blues, vaudeville, jugband/kazoo/ washboard music and western swing.
The 69'ers were originally formed as an acoustic jug band. Founding member Francis Butler, (lead vocals, guitar, harmonica, kazoo). The first line-up, along with Francis, included bassist Alex Smith , washboard player Malcolm Billdream and guitarist Graham Coop. They first drew attention to themselves in a rock band contest in mid-1969. By this time the band had acquired Paul Wylde on keyboard.
They issued a second single a year later, in December 1971, "Morning Blues/Push Bike Hood". Both tracks had been taken from their debut album for Du Monde, "The 69'ers Album". This album was produced by Martin Erdman and included four band originals and a diverse range of covers.
In April 1973 Brian Bethell, Peter Knox and Dave Ovendon removed founding member and leader Francis Butler from the band and, adding guitarist Tony Burkys , renamed themselves Peter Knox's New Improved 69ers.
Francis Butler responded by forming another version of The 69'ers, which initially operated under the name of Francis Butler's Original 69'ers. This line-up was made up of Ray Ferguson, Terry Stacey and Peter Jarman. Drummer John `Ernie' McInerney replaced Peter Jarman in November 1973.
In April 1974, The 69'ers, led by Francis Butler with Ray Ferguson, Terry Stacey and Ernie McInerney performed at Sunbury '74. A live album called simply "Francis Butler's 69'ers Live", was released around this time. Recorded at Sunbury '73 with the Butler, Knox, Bethell and Ovenden lineup the album cover only featured Francis photo and there were no lineup credits.
The 69'ers finally broke up in February 1976
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