EP on Festival label, Shakin’ At The Stadium. This version, with overdubbed applause, differs from the version released in the USA and UK (see below).
The original writers of The Wild One were Dave Owens and John Greenan, Deejays saxophonists who drafted the song over drinks after a particularly wild concert. Johnny O’Keefe later contributed to the development of the song, and Sydney disc jockey Tony Withers was credited to help get radio airplay for the song.
Writer credits on future versions often omit Withers, who later worked in Britain on pirate stations Radio Atlanta and, as Tony Windsor, Radio London. See the Pirate Radio Hall of Fame’s Spotlight on Tony Windsor.
The song has often been renamed Real Wild Child or Real Wild Child (Wild One). Johnny O’Keefe’s 1958 USA & UK singles used Real Wild Child.
Johnny O’Keefe (1935-1978) was known in Australia as The Wild One, The King of Rock’n’Roll or just J.O’K. He was a pioneer Australian rocker, a chart topping artist in his home country. A TV mini-series about his life was made in 1985, Shout! The Story of Johnny O’Keefe.
Further reading/listening: Probe is Turning-on the People! has audio of four Wild One versions including JO’K’s Brunswick release.
Sun recording, not released until 1974 on the British LP Rockin' And Free.
Jerry Lee Lewis also appeared on the Australian Buddy Holly tour with Johnny O'Keefe (see above).
Other versions include:
Johnny Devlin & the Devils (Australia, 1960)
Christopher Otcasek (Pretty Woman film soundtrack, 1990)
BR5-49 (USA 1998)
Josie & the Pussycats (cartoon soundtrack 2001)
Sabrejet (USA 2003)
Status Quo (UK 2003?)
Wakefield (USA 2004, Eurotrip movie soundtrack)
Thanks to Terry Stacey and to Porky for version alerts.
On the 1982 album Albert Lee.
Albert Lee: British-born R&B guitarist (b. 1943) whose considerable CV includes work with Chris Farlowe’s Thunderbirds, Heads Hands & Feet, The Everly Brothers, Emmylou Harris, Joe Cocker and Bill Wyman’s Rhythm Kings.
Not to be confused with his unrelated contemporary Alvin Lee of Ten Years After, with whom he played on Jerry Lee Lewis’s 1973 London Sessions album.
Produced by David Bowie & David Richards. On the 1986 album Blah-Blah-Blah, on A&M label.
Well known in Australia as the theme to the all-night pop music program Rage on ABC TV.
Listen: Audio at Probe is Turning-on the People!
Same title but not the same song as ‘Wild One’ by Johnny O’Keefe.
Go here for history of this song, first recorded by Bobby Rydell.
Same title but not the same song as "Wild One" by Johnny O’Keefe.