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Ross Wilson

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Biography

Ross "The Boss" Wilson inhabits a venerable place in Australia's rock pantheon alongside the likes of John Farnham, Jimmy Barnes, and Billy Thorpe during a career that has spanned four decades. Starting with the R&B outfit the Pink Fink in 1965, he then fronted the Party Machine until 1969 before travelling to the U.K. to join the ailing band Procession. He returned to Australia in 1970 and joined Sons of the Vegetal Mother which soon transformed into the highly successful Daddy Cool. The band's debut, Daddy Who? Daddy Cool!, and the Wilson-penned single "Eagle Rock" both reached number one on the national Australian charts.

Wilson broke up Daddy Cool in August 1972 to form a new band, Mighty Kong. He then performed as Cousin Kevin in the Australian production of the Who's Tommy along with other Australian performers including Billy Thorpe, Daryl Braithwaite, and Colleen Hewett. Mighty Kong broke up in December 1973 and Wilson reformed Daddy Cool in January 1974; this time the band lasted until September 1975. Wilson began producing other acts, including albums for groundbreaking fellow Australian rockers the Skyhooks. His work on Living in the 70s, Ego is Not a Dirty Word, and Straight in a Gay Gay World sealed his reputation and he served as producer for albums by Company Caine, Ray Burgess, Jo Jo Zep and the Falcons, Gary Young, the Dynamic Hypnotics, the Johnnys, as well as the Street Hero soundtrack.

Teaming up with Little River Band manager Glenn Wheatley, Wilson set up his own record label, Oz Records, which successfully released music by his band Mondo Rock, as well as the Sports, Jo Jo Zep and the Falcons, Stiletto, and Mark Gillespie. His solo career was launched with the single "Living in the Land of Oz" in August 1976. The track was featured in the film Oz and later appeared on the Various Artists album Building Bridges in 1989.

Wilson's band Mondo Rock went on to become one of the most popular Australian acts of the '80s, and during this time, he also performed with a side project called Rockhouse. In 1983 he wrote and produced the hit single "Bop Girl" for his wife Pat Wilson which peaked at number two on the national charts. In 1988, Wilson was inducted into the Australian Record Industry Association's (ARIA) Hall of Fame. After more than 20 years in the business, Wilson released his debut solo album, Dark Side of the Man, in July 1989. The album peaked at number 24 nationally and the most successful single was "Bed of Nails" which peaked at number 24.

Working again with Mondo Rock, their 1990 album Why Fight It? wasn't as successful as their previous work and Wilson broke up the band to work with new project RAW in 1991. The band toured until it dissolved in 1993. Wilson then released a cover of Spencer P. Jones "The World's Got Everything in It" for the Various Artists album Earth Music in June 1994. He continued to produce and appeared with the Angels during their 1997 Lounge Lizards Tour.

Top Songs

Born:

18 November 1947 in Australia

Genre
Years Active:

'70s, '80s, '90s

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