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About Johnny Chester
b. 26 December 1941, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Chester learnt the drums and the guitar before deciding to be a singer, organizing his own dances, in Melbourne’s northern suburbs in 1959. He soon formed a band, the Chessmen, to back him at these dances. He was noticed by a popular disc jockey who introduced him to the A&R manager of Melbourne’s W&G records. The label recorded him with the backing of the rock ‘n’ roll combo the Thunderbirds and a series of 10 hit singles followed, establishing him as a teen idol, in Melbourne. By 1964 he had achieved the aim of all the other local acts by supporting the Beatles’ tour of that year. In 1965 he moved into radio and television work, and during the late 60s began recording country songs, in the style of Conway Twitty and Billy ‘Crash’ Craddock. His recording career extended into the 80s and he was voted top country male vocalist from 1981-83.
- Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
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