Christie Allen

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Christie Allen
Christie Allen.jpg
Background information
Birth name June Allen
Born (1954-09-12)12 September 1954
England
Origin Perth, Western Australia, Australia
Died 12 August 2008(2008-08-12) (aged 53)
Western Australia, Australia
Genres Pop, disco, country
Occupation(s) Singer
Instruments Vocals
Years active 1962–1998
Labels Mushroom
Associated acts Pendulum

Christie Allen (born June Allen; 12 September 1954 – 12 August 2008) was an English-born Australian pop singer who had a successful career in Australia. Her top four hits on the Australian Kent Music Report Singles Chart were "Goosebumps" (October 1979) and "He's My Number One" (February 1980). Allen was voted the Most Popular Female Performer at the TV Week / Countdown Music Awards for 1979 and 1980. At the 1979 awards, "Goosebumps" also won the Best Songwriter award for Terry Britten. Allen and her partner, Mark, had a daughter Christa Lea; the couple married in 1998. Allen died on 12 August 2008 of pancreatic cancer, aged 53.

Biography

Christie Allen was born as June Allen on 24 July 1954 in the United Kingdom to parents Keith and Vera Allen. Allen has three brothers, Keith, Stephen and Mark.[1] At the age of eight years, Allen sang "My Johnny's Gone Away" in a talent quest.[2] In 1965, the Allen family migrated to Australia and settled in Perth.[1][3] Allen and her brothers formed a band, Pendulum, where she provided lead vocals.[3]

Whilst performing with Pendulum, Allen contacted UK-born Terry Britten, a songwriter and record producer and was the lead guitarist of Australian rock group, The Twilights, Britten had worked with Cliff Richard for whom he co-wrote "Devil Woman" in 1976 with Kristine Holmes.[3][4] By the mid 1970s, Britten was living in Australia and was impressed by Allen's vocal ability and bubbly personality and began songwriting for her. In 1978, Allen signed a recording contract with Mushroom Records[5] and in September 1978 she released her debut single "You Know That I Love You", which reached the top 100 on the Australian Kent Music Report Singles Chart, and attracted some national radio airplay and positive reviews.[3][5][6]

Her next three singles from her debut album, Magic Rhythm (November 1979), were top 20 hits; "Falling in Love with Only You" reached No. 20 in April 1979.[6] while her next two singles were strongly influenced by the popular disco style of music at the time."Goosebumps", which reached No. 3 in September 1979,[6] and "He's My Number One", which peaked at No. 4 in February 1980.[6] "Goosebumps" achieved sales of more than 60,000.[3]

Allen toured Australia backed by The Hot Band, which was composed of Max Chazan on guitar (Rubes), Greg Cook on guitar (ex-Cam-Pact, The Mixtures, Ram Band, Mondo Rock), Bruce Haymes on organ (Rubes, Richard Clapton Band), Michael Hegerty on bass guitar (Richard Clapton Band), and Rick Puchala on drums (Richard Clapton Band); and later Yuri Worontschak on keyboards: Yamaha CP70B and Mini Moog (ex Spitfire).[3]

Allen was voted the 'Most Popular Female Performer' at the TV Week / Countdown Music Awards for 1979 and 1980.[7][8] At the 1979 awards ceremony on 13 April 1980, Allen performed, "He's My Number One".[7] At the same ceremony, Britten won the 'Best Songwriter' award for "He's My Number One". Allen won the 1980 award for 'Most Popular Female Performer', broadcast on 22 March 1981.[8]

Christie Allen gave Countdown something it had been lacking – a local female artist to appeal to the teeny boppers. It is sometimes not appreciated just how successful Christie was.

— Dave Warner, 25 Years of Mushroom Records[9]

Besides performing, Allen also appeared on Countdown as a guest host in November 1979 with Russell Hitchcock (Air Supply), and in April 1980 with Molly Meldrum.[10] In the early 1980s Allen supplied the voice over and sang the jingle 'Come Tarino with Me' for Tarino orange soft drink commercials.

In August 1980, Allen released the singles "Baby Get Away", "Switchboard" and "Don't Put Out the Flame" and her second and final studio album Detour. produced by John Hudson, By mid-1980s a long illness prevented Allen from adequately promoting her career and she subsequently retired.[3]

Allen and her partner, Mark, had a daughter Christa Lea. In the 1990s Allen returned to performing as a vocalist, with country music bands.[3] In October 1998 Allen married Mark, and at that time Michael Gudinski appealed on national radio for information on Allen's whereabouts – Gudinski wanted her to perform at a televised tribute concert for the 25th anniversary of his company, Mushroom Records.[11] On 14 November 1998 Allen sang "Goosebumps" before a huge crowd at the Melbourne Cricket Ground – she retired following her performance which was released on the VHS album, Mushroom 25 Live (December 1998).

In 2006, Gudinski asked Allen to participate in the Countdown Spectacular tour; however, due to ill health, she declined. In March 2008 Allen was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and died at her home in rural Western Australia on 12 August 2008, aged 53.[5][12]

Personal life

Allen had an older brother, Keith, and two younger brothers, Stephen and Mark. With all three brothers, she formed a Perth-based group, Pendulum. In the 1970s, Allen lived with her first husband, Frank Rechichi in Karratha, Western Australia. By the 1990s, with Mark, her domestic partner, Allen had a daughter, Christa Lea. In October 1998, Allen married her partner, Mark.

Discography

Albums

List of studio albums, with selected chart positions
Year Album details Peak chart positions
AUS
[6]
1979 Magic Rhythm 59
1980 Detour 96
"—" denotes the album failed to chart or was not released.

Singles

Title Year Peak chart positions Album
AUS[6]
NZ[13]
"You Know That I Love You" 1978 67 - Magic Rhythm
"Falling in Love with Only You" 1979 20 -
"Goosebumps" 3 37
"He's My Number One" 1980 4 -
"Magic Rhythm" 38 -
"Baby Get Away" 38 - Detour
"Switchboard" - -
"Don't Put Out the Flame" 1981 68 -
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released.

References

  1. ^ a b "Item Details for: PP222/6, Allen K – Allen Keith, Vera, Keith, June, Stephen, Mark [Migrant Selection Documents]". National Archives of Australia. 5 Apr 2007. Retrieved 24 July 2012.  Note: Item barcode is 9875020. User may have to search for: Allen Keith Vera June Stephen Mark
  2. ^ Brucesmith, Linda (28 May 1980). "Gold for 'Goose Bumps' Christie!". Your TV Magazine. The Australian Women's Weekly. p. 11. Retrieved 23 July 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h McFarlane, Ian (1999). "Encyclopedia entry for 'Christie Allen'". Encyclopedia of Australian Rock and Pop. Allen & Unwin. ISBN 1-86448-768-2. Archived from the original on 29 August 2004. Retrieved 24 July 2012. 
  4. ^ "'Devil Woman' at APRA search engine". Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA). Retrieved 24 July 2012. 
  5. ^ a b c "'Goosebumps' Singer Christie Allen Dies". News.com.au. Australian Associated Press. 13 August 2008. Retrieved 24 July 2012. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, New South Wales: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6. 
  7. ^ a b "Countdown Show no.:235 Date: 19/4/1980". Countdown Archives. Retrieved 2008-12-21. 
  8. ^ a b "Countdown Show no.:241 Date: 22/3/1981". Countdown Archives. Retrieved 2008-12-21. 
  9. ^ Warner, Dave (1998). 25 Years of Mushroom Records. Pymble, New South Wales: Harper Collins. ISBN 0-7322-6432-4. 
  10. ^ "Rage Goes Retro Part 2". rage. Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC). 10 January 2009. Retrieved 24 July 2012. 
  11. ^ "Pop Sensation Christie Allen Dies". ninemsn. (Nine Entertainment Co. & Microsoft). Australian Associated Press. 12 August 2008. Retrieved 24 July 2012. 
  12. ^ Cashmere, Paul (13 August 2008). "Christie Allen Dies from Pancreatic Cancer". UnderCover. Retrieved 24 July 2012. 
  13. ^ "Christie Allen in NZ Charts". Charts NZ. Retrieved 15 August 2017. 

External links

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