A.N.Z.A.C. Day: Monday, 25th April, 1977

We left for the Illawarra Golf Club, which is situated on the Princes Highway between Sydney and Wollongong, at 3.00 p.m. Although Sydney experienced a maximum of twenty-six degrees Celsius, it was extremely cold down there. The wind blew and the sun was low to the horizon.

On the par 5 first, I carded a bogey after having hit both of my approach shots from behind trees. In spite of this I was still pin-high in three, only to then three putt. My four iron, on the par 3 second, left me twenty metres short of the green, however, I struck the ball cleanly with my sand iron and it rolled up the green, hit the pin and followed it down into the hole for a birdie.

The excitement of being even with par after two holes proved to be too much for me, for on the par 4 third, alongside the highway, I sprayed the ball all over the place and nearly hit a passing car. I had to ignominiously cross the road to retrieve it. A chap, who was a member of the group in front of us, actually had his ball stolen by a crow!

“Little Ben” ($1.60 and $0.55) won the last at Randwick, with “Butch Cassidy” ($2.10) and “Leica Lover” ($0.60) filling the minor placings. Among those to finish behind this trio were “Bold Mayo” and “Duke Ellington” — minus his piano! The trifecta paid approximately two thousand two hundred dollars for the investment of one dollar. The N.S.W. T.A.B., which is owned by the government, opened its first branch, in Manly, in 1964.

Eastern Suburbs thrashed Manly-Warringah by twenty points to nil at the Sydney Cricket Ground and the latter now sits in seventh place on the ladder in the Sydney premiership. The first “League-a-thon” at the S.C.G. has not been a success with an aggregate attendance of only sixty-six thousand at the six games over the three days.

Today is a public holiday to commemorate the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps and those who have fallen in war.

At half past seven: “The Dick Emery Show”; 8.00: “Love Thy Neighbour”; 8.30: Episode 14 of “Rich Man, Poor Man: Book 2”.

Tuesday, 26th April, 1977

This morning was a sunny and chilly one.

“Willesee”, at 7.oo p.m., devotes a portion of its thirty minutes to the severe strike, in Victoria, which is crippling the supply of petrol to the public. It is followed by the American comedy series, “Good Times”, which is also on Channel Seven. In this evening’s edition J.J., played by the exceptionally thin Jimmie Walker, learns that his fiancee is addicted to drugs.

“Holiday”, on Channel Two, at 8.00, looks at how one can holiday on a farm at Adaminaby; ski at Coronet Peak on New Zealand’s South Island; as well as the ins and outs of duty free shopping.

Later tonight, Vincent Price stars as Dr. Phibes, in the movie of that name.

Phil Phillips

Philip Baptiste was born in Lake Charles, Louisiana, in March of 1926. Philip sang gospel in a group called The Gateway Quartet and worked as a pageboy in a hotel.

Having changed his name to Phil Phillips, he recorded “Sea Of Love”, in 1959. Phil dubbed the vocalists, who supported him on the record, The Twilights, and witnessed the single climb Billboard’s Hot 100 pop chart to peak at No.2. It also entered Billboard’s rhythm and blues chart, where it afforded him a No.1 hit.


Regardless, Phil Phillips was to receive little or no payment for the single’s success. He, therefore, turned his back on the recording industry although he did become a disc jockey, in Louisiana.

“Sea Of Love” was revived by Del Shannon, in 1981, and, in 1984-’85, the essentially British group, The Honeydrippers, experienced international success when it, too, revived the song. The Honeydrippers had as its nucleus two former members of Led Zeppelin, Robert Plant and Jimmy Page, as well as Jeff Beck, who, like Jimmy Page, had been a member of The Yardbirds, in the 1960s, before branching out on a solo career.

If you have seen the film, ‘Sea Of Love’, from 1989, you might recall that Al Pacino’s character repeatedly plays a 45 of Phil Phillips’ recording. Personally, I was focusing more on Ellen Barkin’s portrayal.

I have listed Phil Phillips’ recording of “Sea Of Love” on the list of my favourite recordings. This list is located in the suggested playlists.

U.S. Energy Crisis: Wednesday, 27th April, 1977

Sydney received fifteen millimetres of rain overnight; the city’s first worthwhile fall in fifty-one days.

The edition of “Behind The News”, which screened from 10.00 a.m. on ABC-TV, includes segments on the U.S. Energy Crisis, ‘Heart Week’, and a ‘dry’ suit — as opposed to a wetsuit — the invention of a resident of Hobart.

Pull Your Socks Up!: Thursday, 28th April, 1977

Tiki and I arose at half past six. I was taking my dirty socks to the laundry when I stopped off at the toilet and thinking that they were a used tissue, threw them into the bowl!

The morning was beautifully sunny but the temperature was a cool eleven degrees Celsius as we drove to work.

It cost me eighty cents for a single red rose at the new florist, Shire, on President Avenue, in Caringbah.

“Australia’s National Parks”, features Bob Raymond taking the viewer to those in the Northern Territory, which includes a visit to the Olgas and Ayers Rock. At half past eight and also on Channel Seven there is another programme in the series, “Policewoman”. Tiki lay sound asleep on my lap for more than half an hour and the dead weight of her head and shoulders meant that my legs were numb by the time she awoke.

Charles Boyer

Charles Boyer was a suave French actor who was born in August of 1899 and died, in Phoenix, Arizona, in that same month, in 1978, at the age of seventy-eight.

Charles appeared in more than eighty films between 1920 and 1976. Many of these had him cast opposite some of the world’s leading actresses. I best remember him in ‘Gaslight’, from 1944.

Even more memorable to me was his part in the television series, ‘The Rogues’, in which he appeared with David Niven, Gig Young, Robert Coote and Gladys Cooper; in the mid-1960s.

Each time I watch the much more recent British series, ‘Hustle’, I remark to Tiki, “This reminds me of ‘The Rogues’!” She must be tired of me saying it.

Anyway, in what must have been 1965, in Australia, Charles Boyer released the single, “Where Does Love Go”, on the Stateside label. I was enamoured of it from the first time I heard it, as were quite a few others for it rose to No.2 on the chart, having entered it in January of 1966.


It should go without saying but you can find “Where Does Love Go” on the list of my favourite recordings, located in the suggested playlists.

‘Red’ Adair To The Rescue: Saturday, 30th April, 1977

The Western Suburbs ‘Magpies’ defeated Canterbury-Bankstown by eight points to five, this afternoon.

We walked to restaurant, Brandys’, at Sylvania Waters, where Tiki embarrassingly told the waitress that I am on a diet, designed to lower my cholesterol. The manager appeared and obligingly said that he would do what he could.

As an entree I was served thinly sliced smoked salmon draped over a lettuce leaf, with a few capers spaced around it at intervals. Tiki, in the meantime enjoyed a prawn cocktail.

Tiki’s main course consisted of fried barramundi served with baked tomato and zucchini while mine was a dish which contained veal, accompanied by some lightly cooked tomato and zucchini.

Dessert, for me, was strawberries with passionfruit. Tiki, of course, fared far better as her pears, in ice-cream, were literally smothered in a chocolate topping.

The bill, with us each having had an orange juice and a coffee, came to twenty-four dollars, which we thought was a little excessive although the restaurant did possess a pleasant ambience.

After walking home in the cold, beneath a cloudless sky, I learned that “Stanley Rio” ( paying $1.40 on the tote for the win and $0.55 for the place; per a unit of twenty-five cents) had won the pacers’ final of the Inter-dominion, at Brisbane’s Albion Park; in a time that has set a new record. He is the first “Enzedder” to win the event on Australian soil since the outstanding “Cardigan Bay”, in 1963.

American “Red” Adair has plugged the blow-out in the oilwell in the North Sea. Tragically, almost thirty million litres of oil had already leaked from the well before he was able to do so.

Willie Mae ‘Big Mama’ Thornton

Until a decade or so ago I had believed that Elvis Presley’s incredibly successful recording of “Hound Dog” was the original. It was then that I came across Willie Mae ‘Big Mama’ Thornton’s recording of this number, and realised that it was not!

Willie Mae, a rhythm and blues singer and songwriter, was born in Montgomery, Alabama, in December of 1926. Her mother sang in the Baptist Church where her father was the minister.

Following the death of her mother, Willie Mae moved to live in Houston, Texas, in 1948. It was there, three years later, that she began her career as a recording artist when she was signed to Peacock Records.

The prolific composers, Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, afforded Willie Mae the opportunity to record “Hound Dog”. The single spent seven weeks atop the rhythm and blues charts, in 1953, although she was reportedly to see little of the royalties from its success.

Among Willie Mae’s other recordings was the self-penned “Ball N’ Chain”. It was revived by Janis Joplin, in the 1960s.


Willie Mae witnessed the self-inflicted death of blues singer, Johnny Ace, in 1954. Johnny had been playing Russian roulette, with the revolver’s cylinder containing just a single bullet.

Her career began to wane from the late 1950s and she moved to live in San Francisco. Willie Mae’s recordings became intermittent and she earned a living from touring, singing in clubs and at blues festivals. She remained active until her death, from a heart attack, in Los Angeles, in July of 1984, at the age of fifty-seven.

Jerry Leiber died last month (August of 2011) at the age of seventy-eight.


A Serious Laugh: Tuesday, 1st March, 1977

The first day of autumn is as bad as the last day of summer! Torrential rain has drenched Sydney, with two inches falling in one period of fifteen minutes. Although the maximum was nineteen degrees Celsius, this evening it has fallen to fifteen, which is eight degrees below the seasonal average. The rain continues to fall.

“The Dick Emery Show” screened on Channel Seven, from 7.30 p.m., followed by “Love Thy Neighbour”, at eight o’clock. Bill Collins introduced the film, “The Heist” (1971), from half past eight. It is set in Hamburg and stars Warren Beatty, Goldie Hawn, Gert Frobe and Scott Brady ( I laughed when his character drank L.S.D. and died. Not because I’m a sadist but because his acting, at that moment, triggered amusement in me).

Australia won the Second and final Test, at Eden Park, in Auckland, by ten wickets and the series by one win to nil.