What was the link between John Farrar and Olivia Newton-John, I recall that he played for the Melbourne group The Strangers and then headed off to the UK in the 1970’s?
John Farrar was a talented musician, singer, and budding record producer and arranger, when he left the Strangers and departed for UK in the early 1970’s, he was engaged to Pat Carroll, another Melbourne performer who was a close friend of Olivia Newton-John and sometime singing partner in the duo Olivia and Pat.
John quickly established himself in the UK becoming a member of the famous instrumental group the Shadows and subsequently the breakaway trio of Marvin, Welsh and Farrar (John Farrar is far left in the shot above). John’s career very much paralleled that of Olivia Newton-John’s as he became her trusted songwriting, production and arranging collaborator.
He wrote many hits for her and others including : A Little More Love, Have You Never Been Mellow, Hopelessly Devoted to You, Magic, Make a Move On Me, Sam, and You’re the One That I Want; he also produced Olivia’s first US #1 hit I Honestly Love You and has been directly responsible for production of albums and singles that have sold over 100 million copies worldwide. He and wife Pat have two sons Sam and Max and currently reside in Malibu, Florida (USA).
Is Mike Chapman, the famous 1970’s songwriter and producer an Australian?
He certainly is, Mike Chapman was born in Brisbane and pursued fame in several bands until he realized his talents lay in the areas of songwriting, arranging, and record production. He became a major force in the British pop industry in the 1970’s after he teamed up with Londoner Nick Chinn and they established a working relationship with Mickie Most and his RAK label.
Chinn and Chapman, colloquially known as “Chinnichap”, were the Stock, Aitken and Waterman of the1970’s, and became the hit factory for such acts as Sweet, Suzie Quatro, Racey, Smokie and Mudd and in the period 1973-74 alone they had 19 top forty singles in the UK which included five #1 hits – Can the Can and Devil Gate Drive (Suzie Quatro), Blockbuster (Sweet) and Tiger Feet and Lonely This Christmas (Mud).
Chinn and Chapman also wrote Mickey (Tony Basil), Kiss You All Over (Exile), and Chapman co-wrote such hits as Love is a Battlefield (Pat Benatar) and Better Be Good To Me (Tina Turner) with Holly Knight.
Chapman was also one of the most prominent producers of his era, turning out four career-defining albums for Blondie, as well as the breakthrough debut album for the Knack which included their blockbuster hit My Sharona. Mike also worked closely on the production of albums for such Aussie bands as the Divinyls, the Baby Animals, and Australia Crawl and over his career he has been directly responsible for the sale of over 200 million singles and albums.