In the past I imported Dinah Lee to Perth mainly from Sydney. She always toured with her own guitarist-musical director. I remember that, as it cost an extra airfare and accommodation. However, because of that she always presented top shows and stirred the crowds up every time. Diana knew what she wanted and was easy to work with. She was very professional and particular. I had great professional respect for Diana. She was, as I recall, a real Lady. I did not know what to expect the first time I contracted her for shows in Perth and thought she would be a rough and ready girl, like her songs and stirring voice. How wrong I was. I remember staging Dinah first in Mandurah, part of the Mandurah Summer Carnival,  in an outdoor picture theatre on the main drag in front of the estuary.

Dinah was great and would work just about anywhere. She was well received at all venues. During her later visits she also appeared for me on the "Channel 9 Tonight Shows" during her visits. I had her working the usual places like cabarets, football clubs, hotels and night clubs.

Dinah Lee was born Diane Marie Jacobs on August 19, 1943 in the small South Island town of Waimate in New Zealand. She was raised by a foster family in Christchurch, when her parents split up, but Dinah always kept in touch with her father. He sold carpet in a department store, but also ran and promoted teen dances in his spare time.
Didnít we all J . One night he asked Diane if she would like to sing some songs at one of the dances, and she jumped at the chance. The crowd loved it and she started singing regularly on Saturday nights.

Her first international tour was the Pan Pacific Promotions "Starlift '64" that played Australia as well. Members of that touring party included the Searchers, Peter and Gordon, Del Shannon, Eden Kane and Dinah Lee. On that tour she played at the Sydney Stadium. Reviews said that she gave the most exciting performance of the night. When "Do The Blue Beat" hit the top of the charts, Dinah was touring on the Peter Posa Farewell Tour. Because "Reet Petite" was doing so well on the Australian charts, Johnny O'Keefe invited Dinah over to appear on his "Sing Sing Sing" show. She rushed to Australia, recorded the show and flew back to meet commitments in Auckland.

Dinah Lee's career never really slowed down in Australia. She became a very popular artist on the club scene. Older and wiser, she successfully sued James Haddleton in the Australian courts for monies owed.

Dinah has released three other singles since her HMV / Viking days. The first in 1972 was on Polydor, "Tell Him"/"You Are The One", the second on Festival in 1976, "It Doesn't Matter Anymore"/"Midnight Blue", and the third in Australia on Laser in 1979, "I Can See Clearly Now"/"Let It Take You".

In 1982, a "Best Of" album was released on Music World. Two excellent CD's have subsequently been released, containing all of her better material.

In 2002 Dinah Lee toured part of a rock revival show called "Long Way To The Top" featuring many Australian and NZ Artists from the 60's. It was made famous by the ABC TV Show that was shown nation-wide and enjoyed record attendances.

Long Way to the Top - Live in Concert

To Show World's Main Website

Opening in Perth and then performing in Melbourne, Canberra, Adelaide, Wollongong, Newcastle, Brisbane, Sydney and then returning to Melbourne more than 160,000 Australians attended the 18 sell out concerts. In 2003 it was still touring additional venues through out Australia.
List of the artists that performed:
Col Joye and the Joyboys, Lucky Starr, Judy Stone, Lonnie Lee, Little Pattie, The Atlantics, Ray Columbus and the Invaders, Dinah Lee, Normie Rowe, The Twilights with Glenn Shorrock, Billy Thorpe and the Original Aztecs, Kevin Borich (of the La De Das) and Max Merritt and the Meteors, Taman Shud, Russell Morris, Axiom featuring Brian Cadd and Glenn Shorrock, Lobby Loyde and the Coloured Balls, Spectrum, Chain, Masters Apprentices, John Paul Young and the All-Star Band, Stevie Wright, Marcia Hines, Ross Wilson of Daddy Cool, Billy Thorpe and the Sunbury Aztecs.

Saturday, 05. November 2005 RO

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