Music of Australia & New Guinea

Australia has two major musical legacies. One is the predictable, corny British colonial fare: Scottish, English, Irish, and Welsh traditional music and all the usual imports, from country to classical. Rolf Harris is the homegrown superstar who digested it all and regurgitated it as original novelty songs, most of which are worthy of Tiny Tim, Arthur Godfrey, and the Wiggles. Better still is the unique, fascinating sound of the aboriginals.

The best exotic pop from Down Under features the sounds of the wild habitats of tribal Arnhem Land. Although as "out there" as Tibetan music, only a handful of these utterly strange records received widespread publication. Aboriginal music has deep, wonderous texture. The continuously sonorous didjeridu sets the tempo but serves as a drone, while stick percussion guides the dancers. Ritual chants, wailing, and guttural evocations join gourds and bits of bark in the surreal soundscape. Inscrutably odd, this timeless, "ambient" music of the outback reflects an ancient tradition that nevertheless seems ever on the move.

The Australian Trust Territory of New Guinea represents a giant collection of people over a vast area. The music and language is as varied as can be. Everything about New Guinea (famed for cannibalism) is very weird, and the "primitive" music is no exception. Instruments range from those with familiar counterparts to the positively unique.

Australian/New Guinean LPs

6Adelaide Wind Quartet; EMI/His Master's Voice OASD-7565 (George Dreyfus' "Sextet for Didjeridu & Wind Quintet" features George Wimunguj on didjeridu)
8Australia--Songs of the Aborigines; ALBATROS--Italy (Lyrichord LLST-7331; recorded by W. Laade)
9The Bamboos: Step It Up; Ubiquity/Tru Thoughts URLP-187; 2006 (Australian neo-funk; some cuts issued earlier as singles)
3Norman Chinner & the ABC Adelaide Chorus: Christmas in Australia; Capitol of the World T-100167
5William Clauson: Australia--Waltzing Matilda & Other Australian Songs; Monitor MFS-424 (folk; electronic stereo)
8Prof. A.P. Elkin, rec.: Tribal Music of Australia; Folkways P-439; (c)1953 (rec. in Arnhem Land, University of Sydney Expedition)
8Prof. A.P. Elkin, rec.: Arnhem Land; EMI Australia (Authentic Australian Aboriginals!; Capitol of the World T-10086)
6Prof. A.P. Elkin, rec.: Arnhem Land Volume 2; EMI Australia OALP-7505 (Corroboree!; Capitol of the World T-10037)
5Prof. A.P. Elkin, rec.: Arnhem Land Volume 3; EMI Australia OALP-7516
8Steven Feld, rec.: Music of the Kaluli; Institute of Papua New Guinea Studies IPNGS 001; 1981/1977 (strange, psychedelic singing; 1 jaw-harp cut)
6R.A. Gould (rec.): Songs of the Western Australian Desert Aborigines; Asch Mankind Series AHM-4120; 1969 (like Folkways)
6John Greenway: Australian Folksongs & Ballads; Folkways FW-8718; 1959
8Rolf Harris: The Original [Tie Me Kangaroo Down Sport &] Sun Arise; Columbia/Epic BN-26053; 1963 (with Johnnie Spence)
8Rolf Harris: Tie Me Kangaroo Down Sport; Capitol T-6046 (with Johnnie Spence; Canadian; all but 3 on Epic LP)
7Rolf Harris: Join Rolf Harris Singing "The Court of King Caractacus" & Other Fun Songs; Columbia/Epic BN-26110 (Mort Garson chief musical director)
7Rolf Harris: Instant Music!; Interfusion SITFL-934414 (Australian; UK recording featuring Bernard Ebbinghouse arrangements & a chorus of kids)
7Rolf Harris in Many Moods; EMI/Columbia SCX-6539; 1973/1971-3
7The Rolf Harris Album; Universal Summit SRA250.129; 1973 (Australia)
8Rolf Harris: She'll Be Right; Universal Summit SRA250.170; 1973/1971-3 (Australia; reissues 3 songs but most notable for title track--1973 Aussie rap!)
6Rolf Harris: Mirrored Image; EMI 3158; 1976
7Rolf Harris: The Boy from Bassendean; Interfusion L-36847; 1978?/1971-8 (Australian, lic. UK; 1/2 reissues Instant Music!)
8Rolf Harris: There's a Party on with Rolf Harris; EMI/Columbia SOEX-9830 (live)
8Rolf Harris: All Together Now with Rolf Harris; EMI/Columbia SOEX-9609; 1965 (compilation; also on MFP 5257; all but 3 on "Join Rolf Harris Singing...")
7Rolf Harris: The Party's On Again with Rolf Harris; EMI/Columbia SOEX-9943 (live)
8Rolf Harris: The Best of; EMI/Star Line SRS-5020; 1969?/1963-69 (U.K. compilation)
7Rolf Harris: RH Positive; EMI/Axis 6022 (compilation; partly live; Australian)
7Rolf Harris--The Man with the Microphone; EMI/Columbia SCXO-6002/33OSX-6002 (live)
8Rolf Harris: BBC Television's Rolf Harris Show; EMI/Columbia SX-6216 (live)
7Rolf Harris Live at the Talk of the Town; EMI/Columbia SCX-6313/SX-6313; 1969/1968 (live)
8Rolf Harris at the Arctic Club; EMI/Columbia 33OSX-7675 (live in Vancouver)
8Rolf Harris at the Cave; CApitol T-6193; 1966 (Canada; live in Vancouver)
7Institute of Papua, New Guinea: Traditional Music of Papua & New Guinea; Lyrichord LLST-7370; 1976 (Gizra & Bine people; some mouth harp)
7A.L. Lloyd: Australian Bush Songs; Riverside RLP-12-606 (folk)
6John McCallum (narrator) w/Eric Jupp: Adventures with Skippy the Bush Kangaroo; EMI PMEO-9722 (kids TV show)
6The Sandro Merlini Quintet: A Lovely Way to Spend an Evening; Sunway 9915 (c. 1967; cruise-ship lounge act; Australian/Italian/exotica)
7Uncredited: An Introduction to Music of New Guinea; Prestige International INT-25013 (edited by Ray Sheridan, in assoc. w/Wattle Recordings, Aus.)
7Uncredited: Songs of Aboriginal Australia & Torres Strait; Ethnic Folkways FE-4102; 1964/1954-69 (recorded by Geoffrey N. & Alix O'Grady)
8Various: Heading in the Right Direction--Soul Jazz from Australia 1973-1977; Ubiquity URLP-023; 1995 (soul jazz/Australia/mod funk/space funk; partly live)

Maori/New Zealand LPs

7Maori Songs of New Zealand; Ethnic Folkways P-433; (c)1952 (recorded by New Zealand Broadcasting Service)
7Mary and the Maoris [at Nassau Beach Hotel]; The Gramophone Co. SSLX-331; 1969 (UK; Maori, lounge act, funk-soul!)

Partly Maori/New Zealand LPs

8Kuulei Clark Presents Hula Gems--Aloha Pumehana Serenaders; Poki SP-9013; 1976 (Hawaiian/two Maori songs)

Australian 45s & EPs

5Captain Australia & his Mates Down Under: Skylab Fragment/mono; Atlantic/Big Tree BT-17001; 1979 (disco novelty)
6Jimmy Dale & the Jimmys: Kangi--The Kangaroo (His Xmas Hula Hoop)/Three Little Froggies; Action XN-211 (Australia/Christmas; NJ address but both sides "Down Under" songs)
9Rolf Harris: Tie Me Kangaroo Down Sport/Nick Teen & Al. K. Hall; 20th Fox 207 (original versions!; more folk-y than the Columbia/EMI remake)
8Rolf Harris: The Big Black Hat/Lost Little Boy; 20th Fox 230 (w/whistling)
7Rolf Harris: The Court of King Caractacus/Two Buffalos; Columbia/Epic 5-9682
8Rolf Harris: Wild Colonial Boy/The Thing; Columbia/Epic 5-9750 (non-LP B-side)
6Lionel Long/aborigines/kookaburra chorus: Australia EP; Viking VSP-15 (7 cuts w/booklet)

Maori/New Zealand 45s & EPs

Leah Clubb with the Amorangi Boys of Rotorua: Echoes of Maoriland; Kiki EA-27
7Leah Clubb with the Amorangi Boys of Rotorua: Waikaremoana in Song & Storyv EP; Kiki EA-30 (spoken w/music; The Song--Waikaremoana/The Legend of Waikaremoana--narrated by Alby Bennett)
Leah Clubb with the Amorangi Boys of Rotorua: Pania of the Reef; Kiki EA-31 (spoken w/music; narrated by Alby Bennett)
8[The Voices & Instruments of] Rod Derret: Bongo Train/The Kiwi Train; (bongo/beatnik/New Zealand; B-side live/narrated)

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