Donald's Encyclopedia of Popular Music
(b 23 June '40, Warburton, Nr. Melbourne, Australia) Raunchy, soul- edged country singer who enjoyed some notable success throughout the '70s. Won national talent contest at 16, landed own TV series, opened shows for Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr; they suggested she try her luck in the USA; she made the move '59. Appeared on Don McNeill's Breakfast Club daily TV show, signed to Columbia and released a couple of pop albums '62-3. Guested on Jack Benny Show, became regular on Mitch Miller's Sing Along With Mitch and was offered movie contract with 20th Century Fox. She married and returned to Australia '64, then decided to give America another go, relocating to Nashville '68: signed to Dial for a minor country hit; switched to Dot and built a following with distinctive country-soul styling; having had 16 hits in the Billboard country chart '68-75 (nine in top 40, all on Dot) she returned to Australia to great fanfare '75; she had two more minor entries '81 on Kari.