12: Over The Rainbow – Billy Thorpe & The Aztecs

NeilTop 30 - Australian Songs

Entered Charts: 23 December 1964
Entry Point: 19
Highest Chart: 1
Weeks In: 14
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Billy Thorpe was Australia’s original hard man of rock and roll – his music, his lifestyle, everything about him.

And then, in 1964, Thorpie produced this amazing cover version of a song that first came to prominence 35 years earlier in “The Wizard Of Oz”. His gentle version of this classic song became a number one hit for him – his second number one after Poison Ivy a few months earlier.

It’s a bit cliched these days and many music purists don’t like this version at all. I’m no music purist and so, I really enjoy his take on Over The Rainbow. He performed it live regularly, including a memorable performance at Sunbury in 1973. It was performed at his memorial event in Sydney in March 2007 by Olivia Newton-John.