Pop Archives

Billy Thorpe & The Aztecs - Funny Face (1965)

(Tony Crane)
Australia Australia
#1 Sydney #3 Melbourne #1 Brisbane

Double-sided hit with I Told The Brook in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. YouTube

Billy Thorpe (1946-2007): British-born singer, guitarist and songwriter whose family emigrated to Brisbane in the 1950s. Based in Sydney from 1963, 'Thorpy', with The Aztecs, had numerous pop hits in a variety of styles, but at the end of the 60s, then in Melbourne, he fronted a loud, rocky, blues-based formation of the Aztecs that contrasted with his earlier pop idol image. Later, his solo and business career took him to Los Angeles, and he wrote two popular autobiographical books, Most People I Know (Think That I'm Crazy) and Sex And Thugs And Rock'n'Roll [AbeBooks link].

Further reading: Paul Culnane's account of Billy Thorpe's career at Milesago.

Suggestion from Terry Stacey.

The Merseybeats - Funny Face (1964)

(Tony Crane)
Original version

On The Merseybeats, the only album by this Liverpool band formed in 1961 as The Mavericks, later The Pacifics. Funny Face was written by lead guitarist and vocalist Tony Crane, a founding member of The Merseybeats. YouTube

The Merseybeats had seven singles in the UK Top 40 from 1963 to 1966, including their biggest hit I Think Of You (1964, #5), and I Stand Accused (1966, #38), written by Tony Colton and Ray Smith (writers of Big Time Operator) and later recorded by Elvis Costello on Get Happy!! (1980).

See also Fortune Teller.

After The Merseybeats broke up, Tony Crane joined with Billy Kinsley, another foundation Merseybeat, as The Merseys. They had a #4 UK hit with Sorrow (1966), originally a 1965 B-side by The McCoys and famously remade by David Bowie on Pin-ups (1973).

References: 1. Merseybeats at British Beat. 2. Merseybeats biography by Mark Deming at All Music.

Fred & Adele Astaire - Funny Face (1927)

(George & Ira Gershwin)
Red herring

Same title but not the same song as ‘Funny Face’ by Billy Thorpe & The Aztecs.

From the 1927 stage musical Funny Face, starring brother and sister Fred and Adele Astaire as Frankie and Jimmy Reeve. Fred Astaire was also in the 1957 film version.

References: 1. The Internet Broadway Database. 2. Internet Movie Database.

Donna Fargo - Funny Face (1972)

(Donna Fargo)
Red herring
#5 USA #4 Sydney #1 Melbourne #1 Brisbane #5 Adelaide #1 Perth

Same title but not the same song as ‘Funny Face’ by Billy Thorpe & The Aztecs.

One of two crossovers into the pop Top 40 by country singer-songwriter: the other was The Happiest Girl In The Whole USA (1972, #11).