Allison and Johnny’s Three Peat
Written by Ryan Stevenson on 15 September 2020
From 1967 to 1978, readers of TV Week voted for the King of Pop and Best Female Artist (later Queen of Pop) at the TV Week King of Pop Awards and from 1969 to 1971 they picked the same two artists.
Allison Durbin was born in New Zealand on May 24 1950, she came out to Australia in 1966 with the Mike Perjanik Group before going solo and she then built up her popularity in Australia while retaining a presence in New Zealand.
Johnny Farnham was born in the United Kingdom on July 1 1949 and came to Australia in 1959 before going on to sing with The Mavericks and Strings Unlimited before going solo in 1967.
Both artists recorded a lot of music during their King and Queen of Pop reign with Allison releasing the albums “I Have Loved Me A Man” and “Soft & Soulful” by 1969.
John had released the hit single “One” in 1969 and it had peaked at No. 4 on the charts, he had also released “Comic Conversation” in 1970 with the song reaching the Top Ten in four Australian states.
Another hit for John in 1970 was “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head” which nationally peaked at No. 1 and it was his only No. 1 hit for the period of 1969 to 1971.
Allison released “Holy Man” as a single from the album “Soul & Soulful” in 1970 and it has been one of Allison’s best remembered songs.
Allison’s “Put Your Hand In The Hand” was released in 1971 and it was another success for Allison with the single peaking at No. 11 in Sydney and No. 12 in Melbourne.
In August 1971, Allison and John’s combined to release an album called “Together” and it had peaked at No. 22 with the single “Baby, Without You” peaking at No. 27 on the Kent Music Report singles chart with Go-Set’s chart giving it a peak of No. 16.
Johnny Farnham was voted King of Pop in 1972 though Allison could not make it four in a row with Colleen Hewitt being voted in as the new Queen of Pop.
Allison released “Amerikan Music” in that year and peaked at No. 10 in Victoria, No. 13 in NSW and No. 32 in Tasmania.
Johnny was voted King of Pop again in 1973 before Jamie Redfern was crowned King of Pop in 1974, Johnny’s career fell into a slump in the mid to late 1970’s but was on the way back in 1980 and by 1986 he was back at the top where he has been ever since.
Allison continued to release music through the decades including going from pop to country and she appeared on shows like Good Morning Australia where Bert Newton in 1994 recited that she had two platinum albums, five gold records, the three Queen of Pop (Best Female Artist) Awards and various other awards.
That is the story of the King and the Queen of Pop who dominated the late sixties to the early seventies.