Alison McCallum

Alison McCallum (often misspelt as Alison MacCallum) (born 1951, Sydney, Australia) is an Australian rock singer who had a string of singles in her home country in the late 1960s and 1970s.

Early career

McCallum's pop music career began in 1967 at the age of 16, as the singer to a succession of Sydney bands. She began with the Jeff Bulls Jazz Band soon leaving to join the Big Apple Union, a Sydney soul band, which evolved into Dr Kandy's Third Eye, in which she shared lead vocals with Gulliver Smith, later of Company Caine. Considered to be an "underground" band, they were one of the first psychedelic bands to use strobe lighting and smoke at their gigs.Fact|date=July 2007 In June 1969 she joined the 7 piece blue eyed soul band This Hallelujah Chorus, sharing lead vocals with another male vocalist, Ed Mayne. It was also during 1969 she recorded a version of The Bee Gees song "To Love Somebody" with Tully for the ABC-TV show "Fusions", however this was not be released commercially until 1979 on the "Alberts Archives" compilation, compiled by Glenn A. Baker.

At the end of 1970 she joined Freshwater, a progressive band, who had achieved a certain level of notoriety with their controversial 1970 single "Satan", a song about the Sharon Tate murders. Originally sharing lead vocals with Ian Johnson, by September 1971 she was sole lead vocalist. November 1971 saw the release of her first recorded release with her lead vocals on the bands final single "I Ain't Got The Time", a track that reached the top 20 in the Sydney charts and the top 30 in Australia. After the demise of Freshwater in November 1971 she briefly joined Ray Brown's band One Ton Gypsy before going solo in early 1972, at the age of 21.

olo career

"Fresh Water"

In April 1972 her first solo single "Superman", written by Harry Vanda and George Young, was released on RCA Records and reached No.12 on the Australian national charts. This single was flipped with a Ted Mulry composition "Take Me Back". Soon she released her first album "Fresh Water", a reference to her former band. The album was produced by the British producer Simon Napier-Bell, who had worked previously with The Yardbirds and T.Rex, and included a mix of rock, jazz and blues. The album was later re-released under the title "Any Way You Want Me".

"It's Time"

Following this the Pat Alton produced and co-written single, "It's Time", was released and subsequently used on the Australian Labor Party's TV commercial during Gough Whitlam's 1972 Federal election campaign, making McCallum a famous name throughout Australia through saturation radio and television airplay, despite the single failing to chart.


In 1973 she travelled to Europe to perform and showcased "Superman" at the 8th MIDEM International Music Trade Fair in Cannes. She released a further three less successful, but still charting, singles on RCA, including a version of the Rotary Connection song "Teach Me How To Fly", previously a hit for Jeff St John in 1970.

The Hooter Sisters

In October 1974 she signed to Albert Productions, and collaborated with two of Australia's more respected singers, Bobbi Marchini and Janice Slater as the Hooter Sisters, releasing a version of Phil Spector's "To Know Him Is To Love Him".

"Excuse Me"

In 1975 she released her second and final hit single "Excuse Me", which spent 42 weeks in the national top 30. This was followed by an album, "Alison", which spent just two weeks on the top 100 album chart, and two more unsuccessful singles, the last, in February 1976, missing the charts completely and marking the end of her solo career.

Post solo career

In the late 1970s she concentrated on session work, such as backing vocals on John Robinson's "Pity for the Victim" and with artists such as Billy Thorpe, Doug Parkinson and Mark Holden. After seeming to retire in the mid-80s, she has not been heard of publicly, although her single "Superman" and a greatest hits compilation under the same name were re-released by RCA in 1979 to cash in on the then successful "Superman" movie. Since the advent of CDs, only two of her solo tracks have been released on compilation CDs, and none of her solo recordings re-released.



* March 1972 - "Fresh Water" (RCA Victor) (Australia #42)
* March 1974 - "Any Way You Want Me" (RCA Victor) (Re-issue of "Fresh Water")
* October 1975 - "Alison" (also known as "Excuse Me") (Albert Productions) (Australia #96)
* April 1979 - "Superman" (The Best Of The RCA Years) (RCA Victor)


with Freshwater

(with lead vocal uncredited on label - Alison McCallum)
* November 1971 - "I Ain't Got the Time"/"Hello Sunshine" (RCA Victor) (Australia #30, Sydney #19)

as Alison McCallum

* February 1972 - "Superman"/"Take Me Back" (RCA Victor) (Australia #8, Sydney #10, Melbourne #10, Brisbane #9, Adelaide #7, Hobart #23)
* May 1972 - "Ol' Rock 'n' Roll Boogie Woogie Blues"/"Have You Seen Your Mother Baby (Standing In The Shadows)" (RCA Victor) (Australia #87, Adelaide #24)
* October 1972 - "It's Time"/"Hippy Gumbo" (RCA Victor)
* December 1972 - "Would You Believe"/"Lonely" (RCA Victor) (Adelaide #25)
* March 1973 - "Fire"/"Teach Me How To Fly" (RCA Victor) (Adelaide #27)
* October 1974 - "Excuse Me"/"Honk Honk" (Albert Productions) (Australia #29, Sydney #12, Brisbane #1, Adelaide #4, Hobart #42)
* September 1975 - "Her Kind of Guy (Hot Burrito)"/"If Your Eyes Could Smile" (Albert Productions)
* February 1976 - "Love Grows Cold"/"Lunatic Love" (Albert Productions)
* August 1979 - "Superman" (Disco Version) /"Take Me Back" (RCA Victor) (12" Re-Issue of 1972 Single)

with The Hooter Sisters

* August 1974 - "To Know Him is to Love Him"/"So Tough" (Albert Productions)

Compilation appearances

* 1975 - "Chartstoppers Vol. 3" - Track 5 - "Superman" (Summit Records)
* 1979 - "25 Rare Recycled RCA Rock Relics" - Track 11 - "I Ain't Got the Time" (RCA)
* 1979 - "Albert Archives" - Track 7 - "To Love Somebody" (Albert Productions, credited as Alison McCallum & Tully)
* 1989 - "" - Track 8 - "Excuse Me" (Albert Productions)
* 1999 - "" - Track 10 - "Together Till The End Of Time" (Canetoad, credited to Freshwater)


* David Kent's Australian Chart Book 1970-1992
* Gavin McGrath's State Chart Books
* The Encyclopedia of Australian Rock and Pop - Ian McFarlane - Allen & Unwin, Sydney - 1999 - ISBN 1 86508 072 1 - ISBN 1 86449 768 2
* Noel McGrath's Australian Encyclopedia of Rock & Pop - Rigby Publishers - 1978 - ISBN 0 7270 1909 0
* The Who's Who of Australian Rock - Chris Spencer - Moonlight Publishing - ISBN 0 86788 668 4
* Go-Set Magazine 3/7/69
*An Australian Rock Discography 1960-1989 - Chris Spencer - Moonlight Publishers - 1990 - ISBN 0 7316 8343 9

External links

* [ Pop Archives]
* [ The Age newspaper article]
* [ References to Alison McCallum in Naked Vicar TV show 1977 (Radio Series 1 -1/1, 1/2 & series 2 - 2/1 & 2/2) - (TV Series 1 - 1/1 26 May 1977. 19 13 September 1977]
* [ Freshwater page - Bruce Sergents New Zealand band website]
* [ Reference to Alison McCallum in Gospel music]

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