Gary Shearston

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Gary Shearston
Born January 9, 1939
Inverell, New South Wales

Gary Reht Shearston (born January 9 1939) is an Australian singer and songwriter. He was a leading figure of the folk music scene of the 1960s. He is important as a singer of Australian traditional folk songs. He scored a Top 10 hit in the United Kingdom in 1974 with version of the Cole Porter classic I Get A Kick Out Of You.

Early life[change | change source]

Shearston was born in Inverell. His father served in World War II so Shearston and his mother lived with his grandparents at Tenterfield. At the age of 11 his family moved to Sydney. He attended Newington College from 1950 to 1955.[1]

Working life[change | change source]

Shearston began work as a newspaper writer with United Press. His first show business job was with the Tintookies, the Australian travelling puppet show. He joined the Hayes Gordon Ensemble Theatre working as an actor and stage manager. He was the host of a children's quiz show on television called Name That Tune.[2]

Music career[change | change source]

Shearston played guitar and sang English, American and Australian folk songs. At 19 he become a full time singer. He worked in hotels and sang at The Folksinger. He sang with the American gospel and blues singer Brother John Sellers. In 1962 Shearston signed a recording contract with Leedon. The next year Leedon's distributor, Festival, signed him to CBS. In March 1965 Sydney radio stations started playing a song from his record, Australian Broadside. His song Sydney Town hit the Top 10 in his home city. In 1966 and 1967, Shearston was Australia's biggest selling folk singer. He had his own national television show, Just Folk. Peter, Paul and Mary recorded a song he wrote called Sometime Lovin.[2] They invited Gary to go to America. He spent a year in London and then 4 years on the East Coast of the United States of America. In 1972 he went back to England and recorded some songs for the album Dingo. He had big hit with his deadpan (flat, no emotion) version of Cole Porter's I Get A Kick Out Of You. In 1990 he received the Tamworth Songwriters' Association's prize for "Bush Ballad of the Year".

Church career[change | change source]

Shearston returned to Australia in 1989. He is now an Anglican Church minister in country Australia.

Selected recordings[change | change source]

  • Sometime Lovin' - 1965
  • Sydney Town - 1965
  • I Get A Kick Out Of You - 1974

Other websites[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

  1. Newington College Register of Past Students 1863-1998 (Syd, 1999) pp 178
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Three early recordings of Gary Shearston". Folk Australia. Retrieved 2008-11-12.