Broome album immortalised
An album created by five legendary Broome musicians has been immortalised as a national treasure.
The Kuckles formed in the 1970s featuring the late Jimmy Chi on vocals, guitarists and vocalists Michael Manolis and Stephen Pigram, bass guitarist Patrick Bin Amat and drummer Garry Gower.
Their subsequent album — Brand New Day — Milliya Rumarra — was one of 10 recordings to be inducted into the National Film and Sound Archive Hall of Fame for 2017.
Mr Pigram said it was the first recording ever made by a Broome band of original music that was actually put on a cassette.
“People had been recorded before but it was all cover music,” he said.
“We put it together at the ABC in Adelaide in October 1981 as a live recording, direct to eight-track tape.
“We took the master tape and made a couple of hundred cassette copies with a black and white cover design by Geoff Buchan and the Broome Arts Group.
“We hand-coloured it with pencil, to make it saleable, then walked around town and sold it for about $10 each,” he added.
Mr Bin Amat said the recording was part of an audition in order for the band to perform in Germany at Cologne in March 1982, unfortunately the master copy was lost on that same trip.
“It was a mashing together of Broome culture, reflecting Aboriginal and pearling heritage — there was a little bit of political stuff as well,” he said.
“We were playing music before that anyway, at the Roebuck Bay Hotel as teenagers for four or five years but Jimmy galvanised us into a proper playing band. He said, ‘come on, fill these forms and we’ll all go down (to Centre for Aboriginal Studies and Music, Adelaide)’. I think he’d have loved it (being included in the list), he was really responsible for getting the group motivated rather than just slogging away in the pubs.”
Other beloved sounds of Australia to be immortalised include the song Our Don Bradman, by Len Maurice, the Play School theme, Frank Ifield’s I Remember You, and the Louie the Fly Mortein jingle, written by author Bryce Courtenay and recorded by Kingswood Country actor Ross Higgins.
Modern classics such as Love Is In the Air by John Paul Young, Don’t Change by INXS and Kasey Chambers’ Not Pretty Enough also made the list.
Mr Pigram said he could see a humorous side of being included in this year’s archiving alongside the famous Mortein advert because Louie the Fly was a nickname for the Father Benedictus character in Bran Nue Dae.
“It was the beginning of Broome’s original music history and its an honour to recognised in the national sound archives,” he said.
The hand-coloured case of a Kuckles' Brand New Day tape.
Michael Manolis, Stephen Pigram and Patrick Bin Amat.