Sixties City presents a wide-ranging series of articles on all aspects of the Sixties, penned by the creator of the iconic 60s music paper  Mersey Beat

Sixties City Lynne Randell

Lynne was born in Liverpool in 1950 and at the age of two was singing on a Liverpool train, which impressed a passenger so much he gave her two shillings to sing another song! She was five when her family relocated to Australia and settled in the Melbourne suburb of Murrumbeena. Lynne formed a band while she was still at Mordialloc School and also began serving an apprenticeship with the celebrity hairdresser, Lillian Frank. She recalled:
" I was going to be a famous hairdresser. It was always a famous something. To be a hairdresser of any note in Melbourne you had to work at Lillian and Antonio's in the city. I would do the apprenticeship, win the awards, and then I wanted to go work for Alexander of Paris ".

Gary Spry, manager of a group called The Flies, asked Carole West, their publicist to arrange for a TV channel to film the members of the group having their hair done at a woman's salon. Frank suggested that Lynn should sing with the group during the filming and Spry was so impressed with her voice that he booked her to appear regularly at his club Pinocchio's. Carol West then became her manager and held a 15th birthday party for her during which Lynne sang 'House of The Rising Sun'. Disc jockey Stan Rolfe was a guest at the party and was impressed by Lynne's voice, asking her to record a demo, which led to her contract with EMI Records.

Her debut single was 'I'll Come Running Over', issued in February 1965, and Lynne was then taken to Sydney to become a regular on the pop show 'The Go!! Show'. She recorded two more hits that year and in 1966 signed to CBS Records - at the time she was known as 'Australia's First Teen Star'. More hits followed rapidly, including 'Heart', 'That's What Love Is Made Of' and 'Going Out Of My Head'. Her success led her to tour internationally, and she starred in 'The Ed Sullivan Show' in 1966. Lynn was also to return to Liverpool that year, where she performed at the Cavern.

In 1967 she signed to Epic Records in America and had an international hit with 'Ciao Baby'. Lynne was to tour with The Monkees (and had a short relationship with Davy Jones), with Jimi Hendrix and Ike & Tina Turner also on the bill. Around this time she began to worry about her weight, recalling:
" When you're running around the stage you don't want to be bursting out of the seams of your pants, which was starting to happen. It was a bad look. I was uncomfortable with the weight I'd gained. All these girls copied how I dressed. Once I went into the city without make-up on and got into a real lot of trouble with Carol ".

When she returned to Australia, Lynne became addicted to slimming pills but she was also to have another Australian hit following the success of 'Ciao Baby' (which reached No.6 in the charts) with 'That's A Hoe Down'. She parted company with her manager and went to live in Los Angeles in February 1968, although she continued to take the slimming pills. She said:
" I was 18 and I was going to be thin. It took me four years to use the word 'addicted'. But whenever I didn't have them I'd have to go to sleep. I couldn't get up. The energy wouldn't come back. I lost heaps of weight and everyone said 'Don't you look fabulous' but I was running myself down so badly ".

She married record company executive Abe Hoch, who she had met at los Angeles club 'The Troubadour', the following year and 1969 saw the release of Lynne's final single 'I Love My Dog' on Capitol Records. For a time she became a music journalist for Go-Set magazine, interviewing artists such as Jim Morrison, and in 1972 gave birth to a son, Jamieson. The family moved to London in 1976, where Lynne's addiction continued. She recalled:
" I'd go to doctors in Harley Street. You'd pay and they'd shovel the pills out of a shoebox with a lolly scoop and put them in a tin".

She used to hold lavish parties with guests who included George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Elton John and Dusty Springfield. However, by the end of the decade the addiction had begun to dominate her life and affected her marriage to the extent that the couple divorced and Lynne returned to Melbourne in 1980 where she worked as a PA to Ian Meldrum, a well-known Australian music industry figure. She began to appear in revival tours, but her reliance on pills caused her to make her addiction public in 2004.

Her body was found at her home in Toorak, Melbourne on 8th June 2007, although there were no suspicious circumstances; she had suffered from ill health for a long time. She was 57 years old. Sadly, her only child Jamieson Hoch died of a brain haemorrhage the following month on 24th July.
Sixties City Lynne Randell

Lynne's wedding - 'Go-Set' artcle January 10th 1970

Mersey Beat Magazine Bill Harry attended the Liverpool College of Art with Stuart Sutcliffe and John Lennon and made the arrangements for Brian Epstein to visit The Cavern, where he saw The Beatles for the first time. Bill was a member of 'The Dissenters' and the founder and editor of 'Mersey Beat', the iconic weekly music newspaper that documented the early Sixties music scene in the Liverpool area and is possibly best known for being the first periodical to feature a local band called 'The Beatles'. He has worked as a high powered publicist, doing PR for acts such as Suzi Quatro, Free, The Arrows and Hot Chocolate and has managed press campaigns for record labels such as CBS, EMI, Polydor. Bill is the critically acclaimed author of a large number of books about The Beatles and the 60s era including 'The Beatles Who's Who', 'The Best Years of the Beatles' and the Fab Four's 'Encyclopedia' series. He has appeared on 'Good Morning America' and has received a Gold Award from the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors.

Article Text Bill Harry               Original Graphics SixtiesCity     Other individual owner copyrights may apply to Photographic Images

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