Pop Archives

Johnny Farnham - Mr Whippy (1969)

(Wayne Mason - Ali Richardson)
Australia Australia
#3 Brisbane #4 Perth

B-side of the national hit One,
also a double-sided hit in Perth and Brisbane.

Johnny Farnham: enduring Melbourne pop star whose career took off after his first single, the neo-vaudeville
novelty Sadie The Cleaning Lady, was skilfully publicised and became the best-selling Australian single of the 60s. He had a run of hits into the first half of the 70s, and branched out into TV and stage drama.

In the early 80s, by then known as John Farnham, he had a further hit with a powered-up version of the Beatles’ Help,
and he fronted the Little River Band for a time. His real career revival came in 1986 with the hugely popular contemporary album Whispering Jack and its three hit singles including the #1 You’re The Voice.

Further reading: Milesago’s John Farnham page. The official site is at JohnFarnham.com.au.

The Fourmyula - Mr Whippy (1969)

(Wayne Mason - Ali Richardson)
New Zealand New Zealand
Original version

Single on HMV, B-side of Forever. This was recorded in January 1969, just before The Fourmyula left for the UK in February, although it wasn’t released until later in the year.

The writers are Fourmyula guitarist, keyboardist and founding band member Wayne Mason with bassist Ali Richardson, regular collaborators on much of the band’s material. The lead singer, who joined when the band was signed to HMV, was now Carl Evenson, formerly of The Kal-Q-lated Risk. Also in the band at this time were guitarist Martin Hope and drummer Chris Parry.

The Fourmyula were a popular and original New Zealand band. They had eleven charting singles in New Zealand 1969-1971 including Come With Me (#2 1968), Alice Is There (#4 1968), I’ll Sing You A Song (#3 1969) and Nature (#1 1969).

The Fourmyula sailed to the UK as part of their prize for winning New Zealand’s National Battle of the Sounds. The tracks they recorded in London at Abbey Road included Lady Scorpio, written by Hans Poulsen and Bruce Woodley, which charted in New Zealand (#7 1969).

References: History of The Fourmyula at Bruce Sergent’s NZ Music site; Dean Scapolo’s NZ Music Charts.
Further reading: Website of Wayne Mason, still an active singer & songwriter; Wikipedia articles on The Fourmyula and Wayne Mason
Wayne Mason and the Song ‘Nature’ at NZ History Online.