After more than 50 years four tracks by the Mildura sixties pop and Ballerina dance band The Rhythm Rockets ae to be issued on the original Melbourne label GO Records.
Recorded in Melbourne studios in 1966, the six piece local group were recorded by Ron Tudor after the Mildura Group had won a heat of the Hoadleys Battle of the Sounds and also performed in Melbourne.
The group got to join the GO records label which from1964 had released countless hits by the Henchmen, Bobby and Laurie, M.P.D Limited, The Rondells, Terry Dean, The Cherokees, Billy Adams, Betty McQuade, the late Yvonne Barrett (who performed with the Rockets at the Ballerina in 1966) and a host of other popular Melbourne dance and TV rock and rollers,
In early August GO records will be re-released through Aztec records.
The four CD set features all 130 tracks which were recorded for GO records, including all the singles releases along with tracks from several EP’s released and other located masters.
The four CD set will also contain two booklets setting out information on the performers featured,
The CD set has been put together from located masters, along with digitally treated other material and has taken Aussie pop man and artist Gil Mathews, taking several months of both restoring then tracks to original condition and collecting information from the artists who performed 50 years ago.
Amazingly all the Mildura Rhythm Rockets are still alive with singers Geoff Evans (who also played rhythm guitar) and Col Avery still performing on a regular basis.
Lead guitarist Bill Tyers has a recording studio in Queensland and still plays professionally, while Peter McWilliams (bass) and Geoff Waters (drums) lead a quieter musical life. Sadly the wife of Mr McWilliams, Heather Willliams, passed away this wee t the very time of the GO announcement.
While a crowd favorite at the Ballerina Neil Warhurst, who played a mean Boots Randolph kind of sax, went to Melbourne for the recording sessions, but did not to get to play on the sessions because the producer did not want a Bill Haley rockabilly swing to the pop style numbers.
Today Mildura’s locally owned radio station 1611AM still plays the Rockets with songs like “On Whom Her Favour Falls, “ Just You Wait and See” and two others.
The label put out two singles by the Rhythm Rockets but lost interest because the group was too busy working Mildura’s Ballerina Ballroom and other local dances and private gigs and did not commit to Victorian country or national touring.