John Farnham and Richard Marx head an all-star Hunter Valley line-up

John Farnham is kicking off the A Day On The Green summer festival season in the Hunter Valley by performing all the hits from his 1986 album Whispering Jack and 60-year career.

He will be joined at Bimbadgen Estate on December 1 by US singer songwriter Richard Marx, Daryl Braithwaite, Russell Morris and Bachelor Girl. 

Surprisingly, it will be Farnham’s first time performing at the venue. 

Whispering Jack was the first local album to sell more than 1 million copies; held the number one position on the charts for 25 weeks; sold 24-times Platinum; and produced an Aussie anthem in You’re The Voice. The song remains the highest-selling Australian album of all time by an Australian artist.

John Farnham - You're The Voice

The 19-time ARIA award winner was voted Australia’s greatest singer of all time in 2013 by a panel of his peers and the general public.

He has Marx’s vote.

The Grammy Award winner co-wrote four songs on Farnham’s 1993 ARIA award-winning record, Then Again, and credits You’re The Voice with changing his musical life. 

“I became obsessed with John Farnham. I think Sam Cooke is the greatest singer who ever lived. I think John Farnham is the greatest singer alive,” Marx said.

Richard Marx - Right Here Waiting

The singer, songwriter and producer has more than 30 million album sales to his name and is the only male artist in history to have his first seven singles reach the top five on the Billboard charts. Marx has eight Australian top 40 hits including number-one singles Right Here Waiting and Hazard. Currently on tour in the US, Marx has just released the single, Dance With My Father, his version of the Grammy Award-winning song he wrote with Luther Vandross.

Braithwaite’s arsenal of hits includes the evergreen Horses. He was inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame last year, joining Morris who gave us hit The Real Thing. As for Bachelor Girl, it has been 20 years since the release of their hit single Buses and Trains and their ARIA Award-winning debut album Waiting For The Day

Daryl Braithwaite - Horses

Tickets to A Day On The Green at Bimbadgen on December 1 go on sale at 10am on Friday, July 13, through Ticketmaster.

FUN WHISPERING JACK FACTS

1. Whispering Jack was released October 20, 1986.

2. Whispering Jack was the first Australian album to be manufactured on CD in Australia.

3. Whispering Jack was the first Australian album to sell 1 million copies in Australia.

4. Whispering Jack remained at number one for 25 weeks.

5. Whispering Jack is still the highest-selling album by an Australian artist in Australian chart history, with more than 1.7 million sales.

6. The anthemic first single You’re The Voice returned Farnham to the top of the charts for the first time in 17 years since 1969’s Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head.

7. You’re The Voice was also a Top 20 hit for Farhnam in the UK (6), Ireland (3), Austria (6), Belgium (20), Canada (12), the Netherlands (15), New Zealand (13), Switzerland (3) and hit number one in Germany and Sweden.

8. You’re The Voice was originally written as a British protest song by Chris Thompson, Andy Qunta, Maggie Ryder and Keith Reid.

9. One song that didn’t make the cut for the album was We Built This City, which went on to become a hit for US band Starship. Farnham and the album’s producer Ross Fraser received a demo of the song but knocked it back.

10. Farnham debuted You’re The Voice on Hey Hey It’s Saturday. As he performed, Wilbur Wilde commented to Glenn Wheatley, “Put your house on that one”, not knowing that Wheatley already had. With no record label when he started recording Whispering Jack, Wheatley famously mortgaged his house to raise the funds to record the album.

11. The drums on the demo of You’re the Voice were a car door being slammed in John’s Bulleen garage. They later upgraded to the sound of a Porsche door being slammed in a fancier garage.

12. Farnham’s favourite song of all time, AC/DC’s It’s A Long Way To The Top (If You Wanna Rock ‘n’ Roll) was the inspiration for the bagpipes on You’re The Voice, swapping a bass solo on the original demo, to a bagpipe solo. 

13. You’re The Voice video features appearances by Derryn Hinch, Jacki Weaver, James and Vince Leigh (Pseudo Echo) and Skyhooks’ Greg Macainsh. You’re The Voice

14. Pressure Down was the album’s second single. Peaking at number four, it also charted in Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Sweden and the UK. 

15. The third single A Touch Of Paradise was originally recorded by Mondo Rock and appeared on their album Nuovo Mondo four years earlier in 1982. 

16. Reasons was the fourth and final single released from the album, in May 1987.

17. The inaugural ARIA Music Awards were held on March 2, 1987, hosted by Elton John. The most successful artist was Farnham. Whispering Jack and You’re The Voice won six awards, including Album Of The Year, Single Of The Year, Highest Selling Album, Highest Selling Single, Best Male Artist and Best Adult Contemporary Album.

18. Farnham is the only artist to perform on the first and last episodes of Countdown. Dominating the final Countdown Awards on July 19, 1987, he was the recipient of four awards winning Best Album for Whispering Jack, Best Male Performance in a Video and Best Single for You’re The Voice and Outstanding Achievement.

19. US band Heart recorded a cover of You’re The Voice in 1991, with Heart’s Ann Wilson saying, “We fell in love with that song. The song is still so relevant, it may as well have been written yesterday.” 

20. In 2009 John performed You’re The Voice with Coldplay at the SCG for the Sound Relief charity concert. Singer Chris Martin says it was one of the first records he ever bought as a kid and one of the very first songs Coldplay used to play as a band. 

This story Jack is back and making winery debut, with Daryl Braithwaite first appeared on Newcastle Herald.

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