Pop Archives

Shane - The Town Of Tuxley Toymaker Part 1 (1968)

(Barry, Robin & Maurice Gibb)
New Zealand New Zealand

Single on Zodiac. YouTube The title on this version is The Town Of Tuxley Toymaker Part 1 which differs from earlier versions.

British-born NZ singer and songwriter Shane (b. Trevor Hales, known as Shane Hales) had been in bands including The Pleazers and Shane Group. He took over as host of TV’s C’mon after Mr Lee Grant left for England.

His version of Terry Knight’s Saint Paul was a top-selling single, followed by a cover of Elton John’s Lady Samantha (1969, #3 NZ). Shane released a number of albums and singles through to the 80s, including a 1970 single with Zonk!, a studio band assembled for the purpose of recording one single, Heya, also released in the US.

Shane had a stint in the UK in the 70s, including time with his heavy rock/punk bands Midnite Wolf and Killa-Hz. Back in NZ he played Jesus in Jesus Christ Superstar, and in the 90s he was a breakfast host at Auckland station Kool 93 (now The Sound).

References, further reading: 1. Shane’s own website had a chronology of his career [archived page]. 3. Bruce Sergent’s page on Shane covers his career from the early days, along with several sleeve shots. See also Bruce’s page on Pleazers. 4. Shane profile and gallery at Audioculture. 5. See also Audioculture’s page on the Zonk! project.

Billy J. Kramer - Town Of Tuxley Toymaker Part 1 (1967)

(Barry, Robin & Maurice Gibb)
#14 Perth

Single on Reaction, April 1968, produced by Robert Stigwood. Released in Australia on Polydor International. YouTube

As on the original Australian record (below), The Bee Gees are heard on backing vocals. This was their first time in a recording studio in the UK.

Billy J. Kramer's first three British hits were written by Lennon & McCartney: Do You Want To Know A Secret (#2), Bad To Me (#1) and I'll Keep You Satisfied (#4), all in 1963. They featured The Dakotas, the Manchester band that Brian Epstein placed with Kramer for six charting singles 1963-65.

In common with The BeatlesKramer was from Liverpool, his manager was Brian Epstein, and he was produced by George Martin on Parlophone.

Further reading: 1. Billy J. Kramer bio and singles discography at 45-rpm.co.uk 2.  BJK's official site at BillyJKramer.com.

Jon - Town Of Tuxley Toymaker Part 1 (1967)

(Barry, Robin & Maurice Gibb)
Australia Australia
Original version

B-side on Leedon February 1967 by Queensland singer and TV personality who was a star of national TV pop show Uptight.

Listen at YouTube

In mid-1976 he founded the Rainbird label, which released records by Lobby Loyde (Obsecration), Saltbush, Normie Rowe and others, but folded soon after it started. As John Blanchfield he has had a long career in artist management. His agency Beatroot Services has Normie Rowe as a client.

See also the A-side Upstairs Downstairs (#32 Brisbane).

Recorded 1966 in Sydney, produced by Nat Kipner, with backing vocals by The Bee Gees, composers of both sides.

References, further reading: 1. Joseph Brennan at Gibb Songs, data and commentary on both sides of the single, and on Billy J. Kramer’s version. See the pages for 1966 and 1967. 2. The Wikipedia article on the song which has some good background on Billy J. Kramer’s version.