Australia’s King of Pop!

Written by on 6 October 2020

Between 1971 and 1975, Jamie Redfern was one of Australia’s most popular solo artists as he released multiple singles and albums, starred in a short movie, was on Young Talent Time and featured on their early albums, done national and international tours and was on the cover of TV Week no less than five times.

1971 was a massive year, Young Talent Time was a hit, Jamie released a single (“Little White Cloud”) and an album (“When You Wish upon a Star”) as well as winning ‘Outstanding Newcomer’ at the 1971 TV Week King of Pop Awards and he met Liberace who would change his life months later.

More success came from the release of the single “When You Wish Upon A Star” that peaked at No. 31 on the chart giving him a then tally of two singles that made the Top 50.

Jamie’s time on Young Talent Time came to an end after filming the short film “Caravan Holiday” and a TV special for Channel O as he started performing with Liberace in United States, his adventures in the United States included high record sales, meeting many famous people along the way, getting the attention of Elvis and he appeared on the David Frost Show and The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.

Jamie returned home during 1972 and Channel O recorded the Jamie Redfern Show which also featured Johnny Farnham and the Young Talent Team performing live on stage, the same team he was part of just months earlier.

Jamie won another King of Pop awards award by winning “Most Popular Australian Album” for “When You Wish upon a Star” at the 1972 awards.

His second album “Sitting on Top of the World” was released in 1972 and it was a hit as it peaked at No. 16  on the chart while the single   “Rainbow on the River”/”We’ll Meet Again” peaked at No. 8 after its release in November 1972.

Jamie sort of returned to Young Talent Time in 1973 as he contributed the song “Waltzing Matilda” on the Young Talent Time album “Johnny Young, The Young Talent Team and Jamie Redfern Sing the Hits!”.

His next single “Venus” peaked at No. 8 and gave him his second No. 8 peaking single in a row but there was more success to come for Jamie.

Jamie as well as Debra Byrne in 1974 brought Young Talent Time perhaps its greatest triumph as they were voted King and Queen of Pop at the 1974 King of Pop Awards, Jamie’s win was significant as it ended reign of Johnny Farnham that started in 1969.

“Hitch a Ride on a Smile” was released in March 1974 and reached No. 28, some fans think that the rendition on the Ernie Sigley show is superior to what was recorded.

The last single from the 1971-75 timeframe was “Jenny” and it was released in October of ’74 but did not chart which is surprising as it is catchy.

The year closed with Jamie being cast as Buttons for “Cinderella on Ice” and that performance was broadcast on Channel Nine (TCN9), fellow original Young Talent Team member Rod Kirkham played Prince Charming.

The compilation album “Jamie Redfern’s Golden Hits” was released in 1975 but it did not chart and Jamie’s recording output came to a halt just a year after his triumph at the TV Week King of Pop Awards.

Jamie continued to perform at a steady pace over the years and also continued to appear as a guest through the 1970’s and 1980’s on Young Talent Time singing songs like “Matter of Trust”.

He appeared on shows in the 90’s like Hey Hey It’s Saturday and Burke’s Backyard when viewers got a good look at his garden which looked really good too.

Jamie is one of those performers who got to perform with the original Wiggles as he combined with them to sing “Hot Poppin’ Popcorn” which of course was a very successful release and it is a shame a couple of more weren’t made.

He was usually seen in the chat room of etaRadio when Songs of YTT was broadcast every Sunday and he appeared in the first episode of Young Talent Time 2012 as well as hosting his own show on the Aurora channel plus he has just recently added material on his YouTube channel.

Many fans believe that Jamie Redfern’s contributions to Australian music have been underestimated and not given the attention they’ve deserved and perhaps by reading this story, things will be different.

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