LRB’s Graeham Goble & Baker Boy on Australia Day Honours List – The Music Network

About half a dozen names from contemporary music were among 845 Australians recognised on the Australia Day Honours List, published on January 26.
Graeham Goble, best known in a 50-year career as co-founder of Little River Band, was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for service to the performing arts as a singer, songwriter and producer.
The 73-year old’s best known composition ‘Reminiscing’ was hailed by John Lennon as one of his favourite songs and, so the rumour goes, almost recorded by Frank Sinatra.
The song, which peaked at #3 in the US, has now been played 5 million times on US radio.
‘Lady’ had 3 million spins, while certified for 1 million spins each were ‘Take It Easy On Me’, ‘The Other Guy’ and from last July, ‘The Night Owls’.
Rapper and dancer Baker Boy received an OAM for his music achievements (including bringing his Yolngu Matha language into the mainstream) and work with First Nations issues.
Piano virtuoso David Helfgott’s remarkable life was celebrated in the Oscar-winning Shine and set a record at the Sydney Opera House for four consecutive sold-out shows.
Melbourne master percussionist, global performer and composer Ray Pereira is the Australian leader in African and Afro Cuban rhythms and styles, and popularising Afro Lankan, a nod to his birthplace Sri Lanka.
US expatriate Sydney-based LGBTIQ activist Steven Ostrow also has deep links with the entertainment world. In the 1970s, the one-time opera singer ran the Continental Baths in New York where Bette Midler, Barry Manilow, Patti La Belle and Peter Allen got their start.
Now retired from the stage, he is also the director of the Sydney Academy of Vocal Arts and is a vocal coach to young performers.
Among the many media figures to be honoured was Neil Rogers of Melbourne’s seminal community radio station Triple R. He presented The Australian Mood since 1987 and served on its board and advisory group.
Baker Boy
The comparative lack of female members of the music community on the Honours List was indicative of a wider trend, where females only made up 36.78% of the list, something the Governor General publicly lamented.
This year’s list came in the middle of the controversial debate about the date of Australia Day and the Government bullying the ABC into dropping the term ‘Invasion Day’.
True to form, Baker Boy greeted his honour by calling for the Australia Day date to be shifted.
He issued a statement: “I’m grateful for this recognition, and look forward to being able to share and celebrate it, but I do not wish to comment any further at this stage as I am in mourning for Invasion Day.
“I look forward to a time where we celebrate our country, our people and their achievements on a different day out of respect for all of my First Nations brothers and sisters. Thank you.”
The elevation to Commander in the Order of Australia of Margaret Court, one time tennis champion turned priest with anti-LGBTIQ proclamations, saw veteran journalist Kerry O’Brien decline his appointment as an Officer, while Dr Clara Tung Meng Soo, Canberra-based medic who underwent a gender transition, returned the OAM medal awarded to her in 2016.
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