Johnny O'Keefe


Australian King of Rock and Roll Johnny O'Keefe.

Australia's King of Rock and Roll, Johnny O'Keefe, had a long and tumultuous career which ended with his sudden death of a heart attack in 1978. Although most famous with current generations of Rock and Roll fans for his 1959 hit Shout, Johnny O'Keefe produced more than 29 recordings that reached the Top 40 amongst which a total of five number 1 hit singles.

John Michael O'Keefe was born on January 19, 1935 in Sydney. Introduced to the music scene by his father Ray O'Keefe, who was a musician in a band that played in Australian clubs, Johnny O'Keefe started his career as a Johnny Ray impersonator. His success started in the mid 50's, when O'Keefe started to introduce his own flavour of Rock and Roll to the Australian public.

His first hit Wild One set the stage for his further career and his performances on stage, which equalled those of contempory overseas artists such as Bill Haley, soon earned him the title The Wild One. However, his biggest contribution to Australian music has been his work to establish the Australian music industry.