A brief history

The Jaywoods at the Pascoe Vale RSL Hall in early 1960 - Johnny Chester at the vocal microphone
  • 1959 - Started singing with The Jaywoods (who would become the Chessmen) at his self run dance at the St.Cecilia's church hall in West Preston (A North Eastern suburb of Melbourne).

  • Pictured Left: The Jaywoods at the Pascoe Vale RSL Hall in early 1960 - Johnny Chester at the vocal microphone.
  • 1960 - Began running the Preston Town Hall Saturday night Dance.
  • 1961 - Signed with W&G records and recorded first single 'Hokey Pokey'.
  • 1962 - Released first E.P. record Johnny Chester's Hit Parade, 6 tracks it contained both sides of his first three singles. Tours with Roy Orbison. Then the Everly Brothers.
  • 1963 - Released his first Album 'Wild and Warm', one side rockers, one side ballads. Hosted first TV series "Teen Time on Ten "from Ch.10. Gippsland in regional Victoria.
  • 1964 - Toured Australia and New Zealand with the Beatles. Hosted first National Television series 'Teen Scene' for the ABC.
  • 1965 - 'Teen Scene' finishes. Joins Television production company Willard-King Organization becomes associate producer of the television series 'Kommotion' for the 0/10 network.
1964 - with W&G Records
1967 at 3UZ
  • 1966 - Joins Melbourne radio station 3UZ as Midnight to Dawn announcer.
  • 1967 - Continues at 3UZ as Midnight to dawn announcer. Stays at the station for eight and a half years fulfilling many roles from programming to production to promotions.
  • 1968 - Performs in Vietnam for the Australian and American troops with Jigsaw. Releases first single for three years 'Heaven Help The Man' backed by Melbourne band 'The Strangers'.
  • 1969 - Signs with Ron Tudor's June Productions, which becomes Fable records. First single for Ron Tudor 'Green, Green' then 'Highway 31' the first of several Road songs he was to write and record.
  • 1970 - Records for Fable until 1976. Recording with both studio musicians and 'Jigsaw' (who become his permanent backing band while Johnny produces their records).
  • 1971 - Releases first album for Fable 'Johnny Chester and Jigsaw', from which the single 'Shame and Scandal in the Family' is released, it goes to Number One in several states of Australia.
  • 1972 - Releases second Fable Album 'Going Places' and two singles 'Ready Mixed Revenge' and 'Midnight Bus'.
  • 1973 - Writes and records 'The Worlds Greatest Mum' and has his first national Top 5 hit.
  • 1975 - Awarded Golden Guitar at the Australasian Country Music awards for best selling track for 'She's My Kind Of Woman'.
  • 1976 - Releases the Album "Into Country" for Bullet Records and it goes gold.
  • 1977 - Hosts 'Country Road' television series for the ABC, and tours with 'The Blue Denim Country Band' who become 'Hotspur'.
  • 1978 - Hosts second series of 'Country Road' and continues touring. Releases first self funded album which begins a trend that continues up to today.
  • 1978
  • 1979 - Releases 'I Love You So Rebecca' and signs a production deal with W.E.A. Records (Owned by Warner Bros).
  • 1980 - Releases first album under the deal 'Johnny Chester and Hotspur', it goes gold. Continues touring and recording with Hotspur.
  • 1981 - Wins Golden Guitar for Male Vocalist of the Year at the Australasian Country Music Awards with "I Love You So Rebecca", the first of three in a row. Flys to Nashville to meet Brien Fisher who agrees to come to Australia and produce 'Love in the Meantime' album.
  • 1982 - Wins Second Male vocalist of the year award with 'Rough Around The Edges'.
  • 1983 - Invited to Fort Worth ,Texas to perform and receive an award at the International Country Music Awards. Sharing the stage with Bobby Bare, The Bellamy Brothers and Tom Jones. Records in Nashville with Brien Fisher. Performs in Brisbane with Roger Miller and in Melbourne with Charlie Pride. Wins Third male Vocalist of the year award with 'An Ad in the Weekly Times'.
  • 1984 - Tours Australia with Kenny Rogers.
  • 1985 - Signs recording contract with RCA Records.
  • 1986 - Tours East Coast of Australia with Johnny Cash.
  • 1987 - Starts 'Homespun' Records. Continues touring with Hotspur.
    • 1989 - Hotspur disbands, quits touring and joins Radio Australia as an announcer and broadcasts all over the world.
    • 1991 - Leaves Radio Australia.
    • 1992 - Tours Australia with Tammy Wynette. Releases first CD 'Waiting for the Lightning' again produced by Brien Fisher.
    • 1994 - Receives the Songmaker of the year award from the Tamworth Songwriters Association.
    • 1995 - Tours Australia with Freddy Fender. Releases second CD 'Songmaker'
    • 1997 - Begins writing, 'Rebound', the musical.
    • 1998 - Forms new record label and new all acoustic band 'The Southerly Buskers'. Releases first all new studio album for six years 'LISTEN'.
    • 1999 - Commences touring again with the Southerly Buskers.
    • 2000 - REBOUND is produced 'OFF BROADWAY' as the opening production in the newly refurbished Civic Theatre in WAGGA WAGGA, N.S.W.
    • 2001 - Tours Australia with Charley Pride.
    1985 at 7HT Hobart
    To be continued...


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