Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Col Joye and the Joyboys

Colin Jacobson was born in 1939 in Sydney. He left school at 14 and became a salesperson for a jeweler. In 1957, just as Rock’n’roll was starting he joined his brother Kevin's jazz band, the KJ Quintet. Kevin played piano and Colin sang and played rhythm guitar. The Jacobson brothers became one of the first Sydney acts to play Rock’n’roll. After they won a place on the bill at a local concert, the boys felt they needed change of name. According to legend Colin changed his name to Col Joye after consulting a clairvoyant and the group became Col Joye and the Joyboys. They were a very popular live act in Sydney and took every opportunity to emulate their American heroes. Younger brother, Keith built the group electric guitars and amplifiers that were not available in Australian music stores and Col became famous for his unique 'horned' guitar. For effect band members painted their shoes white before each performance and they appeared everywhere. The band organized their own gigs which would give them very valuable experience for later in their careers. Eventually they got a recording contract with Festival Records in 1959 and released three singles in that year. 'Stagger Lee” (Lloyd Price), 'Bye Bye Baby (Goodbye),” and “Oh Yeah Uh Huy.”

Not only did these songs raise to the top of the Australia charts, they also had success in the US. This established Col and his brothers as credible rockers, down under, and many consider him to be the first Australian Rock’n’roller. The hits kept coming until 1964, nothing outstanding but Col and the Joyboys were professionals catering for a domestic market.

Often their records included vocals from other Australian acts including: the Bradley Sisters, the Graduates, the Sapphires and the Delltones. The Joy Boys scored instrumental hits on their own and later Col Joye enjoyed a series of number one hits as a solo artist.

Changes to popular musical tastes meant Col took a back seat but in 1973 after he had another hit with Heaven Is My Woman's Love.

Brother Kevin saw a window of opportunity in developing television and arranged for Channel Nine’s Bandstand (compared by Brian Henderson) to exclusively feature Col and the Joyboys. Col’s was gentle, wholesome and mannerly and perfect for the program and appeared regularly over the fourteen years, the program ran (1958 until 1972). 'Bandstand' cast Col in the boy next door Mr. Nice Guy role, like a Pat Boone or Ricky Nelson rather than as an Elvis Presley or Jerry Lee Lewis, that position had been filled by Australia very own wild child, Johnnie O’Keefe.

Behind the scenes Col and his Kevin put their early experiences together and launched Jacobsen Entertainment working with artists like the Gibb brothers, Judy Stone and Little Pattie.

The company became very successful as music publishers and set up the ATA label. They remain promoters and a talent agency. Col decided to retire from performing after a near fatal accident left him with series head injuries. Fortunately he made a full recovery and made a comeback to live entertainment when he participated in the Long way to the top, national tour (2002). He still makes records.

Worth a listen:
Bye Bye Baby (Goodbye) (1959)
Stagger Lee (1959)
Oh Yeah Uh Huy (1959)
Heaven Is My Woman's Love (1973)

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