arts & cultureCairns QueenslandEFFINCUEfar north Queensland


I get to hear a lot of music, so my likes are broad and a bit crazy. People often ask me to name my favourite, or least favourite tunes. So here’s my top ten, in no particular order.

Shake Rattle & Roll – Big Joe Turner

Later covered by Bill Haley. Joe had great talent and this was one of the sign-posts along the road to rock and roll.

Leaps And Bounds – Paul Kelly

The clock on the silo is still there – even if it doesn’t tell time anymore. A timeless song from Paul’s Gossip album, always takes me to Melbourne in winter.

Coyote – Joni Mitchell.

Possibly inspired by touring with Bob Dylan, people from different sets of circumstances find each other. From Hejira  (1976) with great fretless bass from Jaco Pastorius.

Talkin’ New York – Bob Dylan

Brand new to New York, this 1962 live recording from Gerde’s Folk City describes his early days in the big smoke – a rambling laugh out loud classic.

The Bangles – Walk Like and Egyptian

Great pop writing, full of hooks and catchy lyrics. The Bangles deliver the goods and start an 80s dance craze

Soul Makossa – Manu Dibango

Early 70s hit, one of the first African tunes played on Australian radio, from Cameroon-born funkster. The song found its way to an Indian grocery store in New York, from there to radio station WBLS and soon was an international hit. A must have for long distance drives.

Shams-ud-Doha – Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan

Nusrat was the modern day great of Qawwali, a style of devotional music with its roots in the Sufi branch of Islam. One of the first stars of the 1980s boom in “world” music, but there’s much more to the great Nusrat than his international releases. The magical first time I heard him was this from the  Shahen Shah album.

Up a Lazy River – Louis Armstrong Newport Jazz 1958

Hoagy Carmichael was a master song-writer. His 1930 composition “Up a Lazy River” became a jazz standard. Louis Armstrong’s live take on it soars above the hundreds of covers of this song. Here Louis and His All-Stars work their magic at the 1958 Newport Jazz Festival.

Dark Was The Night, Cold Was The Ground – Blind Willie Johnson

Haunting gospel-blues recorded in 1927. Willie hums over his self-taught bottle-neck slide, no lyrics, but you get what he was going through. One of 27 songs launched into space on the Voyager mission in 1977 to represent the diversity of life on planet Earth — it was chosen to express and explain the human feeling of loneliness.

Whispering Bells – The Del Vikings

I can’t be certain, now, of my earliest musical memories. My uncle’s jazz collection, and hearing 50s pop songs coming out of a bakelite radio. The Del Vikings were great exponents of 50s vocal harmony, one of the few one of the few racially integrated groups of the time.

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  1. G’day Richard, favourite songs…many.
    1. The Beatles, ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’ from 1967. An amazing song and sound, so reminiscent of the brave new world of 1967.
    2. The Jimi Hendrix Experience, ‘Purple Haze, Hey Joe/ Red House/ Voodoo Chile (slight Return)/ Castles Made of Sand’.. What can I say…Hendrix… Yeah!.
    3. David Bowie, ‘Ashes to Ashes’, from near to the end of my school life. An ‘interesting’ time.
    3. Boston, ‘More Than a Feeling’, I’ve always been impressed by the production on that track!
    4. Gerry Rafferty, ‘Baker Street’, It always brings the mind innocent and carefree childhood days from the mid 1970’s.
    That’ll do for now. More later perhaps. Thanks Richard. Regards, Felix in Ingham.

  2. Richard – best afternoon radio ever. How about Let the Canefields burn by Graeme Connors for a top song from NQ – thanks Tony Gordonvale.

  3. Hi Richardd,

    Don’t want to be naff, but love Jimmy Barnes’ Working Class Man. It was even filmed in Effen Cue.

  4. deeper water paul kelly, i listen to the song as fathers to son its stir emotion. bow river live great band song. acdc highway to hell. because i seen a tv news grab of 80 yo mum of bon scott.and she said thats her favourite. i like all aus rock , cheesey love songs too, i liked to crack a cold one sit back listen to you.. ha ha..

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