Last night on In The Pines we paid tribute to the legendary Australian musician Jimmy Little. Born in 1937, Jimmy Little had an incredible career spanning more than five decades. He loved Jim Reeves and Nat King Cole. He had charm, drive and the most heartbreaking falsetto you ever heard. His first great success was the 1963 single ‘Royal Telephone’ a gospel number that sold more than 75 thousand copies, making him the first indigenous Australian to have a Top 10 hit. His most popular album Messenger reached no. 26 on the ARIA Albums Chart in 1999.
When Jimmy Little died earlier this year, I asked his friend, collaborator and Messenger producer, Brendan Gallagher if he would curate a special program to celebrate Jimmy’s life and share with FBi listeners some of the finer moments of his extensive career. BG took great care in putting together an extensive playlist that spanned Jimmy’s entire career from early recordings going back as far 1956 right through to unreleased material from the Messenger recordings. Program highlights included re-mastered covers of the Paul Kelly masterpiece ‘Randwick Bells’ and an unreleased version of The Triffids’ classic ‘Wide Open Road’.
A huge thank you to everyone who tuned in to the show last night and shared their appreciation for Jimmy Little’s music with us via facebook and twitter. For those who missed it, I’m delighted to say that FBi has streaming on demand and you haven’t missed out. The program is available for streaming here, starting about three minutes in.
And last but not least, here is a clip of Jimmy Little adding his magic to The Go-Betweens’ ‘Cattle and Cane’.