is a New Zealand
New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga...
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...
n former pop singer. In the early 1970s Durbin's visual 'trademark' was her lustrous waist-length auburn hair.
Durbin began performing in public in her early teens and after winning a talent contest at an Auckland ballroom, she was signed to Eldred Stebbiing's Zodiac Records
Zodiac Records has been the name of at least six different record labels*Zodiac Records , from New Zealand, owned by Stebbing Recording and Sound, LTD, headquartered in Auckland...
at the age of 14 and issued a number of singles on the label. Her third Zodiac single, a cover of Herman's Hermits
Herman's Hermits are an English beat band, formed in Manchester in 1963 as Herman & The Hermits. The group's record producer, Mickie Most , emphasized a simple, non-threatening, clean-cut image, although the band originally played R&B numbers...
"Can't You Hear My Heartbeat", out-sold the original in New Zealand and became her first chart hit. She built up a following in New Zealand, recording and fronting the Mike Perjanik Group
Mike Perjanik is a New Zealand-born musician, record producer, composer, arranger and bandleader who became well known in Australia from the late 1960s for his work on pop and rock recordings, and as a composer, arranger, bandleader and producer of music for film, television and advertising.-New...
and she travelled with them to Australia in 1966 for residencies in Sydney. After nine months in Sydney she left the group to establish a solo career, making numerous appearances on Australian TV pop and variety shows.
Durbin's first single for New Zealand HMV
His Master's Voice is a trademark in the music business, and for many years was the name of a large record label. The name was coined in 1899 as the title of a painting of the dog Nipper listening to a wind-up gramophone...
, "I Have Loved Me A Man", became a #1 hit in New Zealand and also a hit in Australia. The song won her the 1968 "Loxene Golden Disc Award" at the New Zealand Music Awards
The New Zealand Music Awards show, is a major annual New Zealand music event where musical acts and singers are awarded each year. It has occurred every year since 1965 to outstanding New Zealand musicians and groups....
and she was named New Zealand Entertainer of the Year in 1969. For three years running (1969, 1970 and 1971), she won Australia’s "Queen Of Pop" award for Best Female Artist.
In 1971 she recorded a duet album, Together
, with John Farnham
John Peter Farnham, AO, formerly billed as Johnny Farnham , is an English-born Australian pop singer. He was a teen pop idol from 1964 to 1979, and has since forged a career as an adult contemporary singer. His career has mostly been as a solo artist although he briefly replaced Glenn Shorrock as...
, who had been voted Australia's "King Of Pop" during the same years Durbin received her awards.
Other songs include:
- "Put Your Hand in the Hand of the Man"
- "Are You Lonesome Tonight?"
- "If I Said You Had A Beautiful Body Would You Hold It Against Me" (included in the 2001 compilation album The Very Best of Kiwi Country
"The Very Best Of Kiwi Country" is a country music compilation album released in 2001 by recording label, EMI.-Track listing:#"The One I Sing my Love Songs To": Toni Williams#"Beautiful Lady": Patsy Riggir#"Welcome To Our World": John Grenell...
- "Amerikan Music" (included in Kiwi Classics Volume 6)
- "Don't Come Any Closer" (included in "Give It A Whirl").
(Compilations and collections not listed):
I Have Loved Me A Man (1968)
Soft and Soulful (19698)
I Have Loved Me A Man (EP) (1969)
Together (with Johnny Farnham) (1971)
Amerikan Music (1972)
Born A Woman (1976)
Are You Lonesome Tonight (1977)
Three Times A Lady (1978)
Shining Star (1980)
My Kind Of Country (1981)
Country Love Songs (1983)
The Very Best Of Australia's Queen Of Country Music (1986)
Reckless Girl (1992).
In the late 1960s Durbin began a relationship with expatriate New Zealand record producer Howard Gable
Howard Gable is a New Zealand-born record producer who is best known for his work as an A&R manager and house producer for EMI's Columbia pop label in Australia in the late 1960s and early 1970...
, then a senior A&R manager/house producer for EMI Australia, and they subsequently married and started a family. During the 1970s, as her career waned, Durbin began using heroin
and her marriage to Gable ended. In 1985 she publicly acknowledged her battle with drugs and sought treatment at Odyssey House, a drug rehabilitation centre, but she was struck by a car just after her release from the centre, which left her with serious injuries, including a broken jaw. After she recovered, she worked as a country music singer in the late 1980s. On 1 June 2007, under her married name Allison Giles, she was sentenced to 12 months' jail for cannabis
Cannabis is a genus of flowering plants that includes three putative species, Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica, and Cannabis ruderalis. These three taxa are indigenous to Central Asia, and South Asia. Cannabis has long been used for fibre , for seed and seed oils, for medicinal purposes, and as a...
trafficking. One of her co-accused, the man she allegedly supplied with marijuana, was the convicted drug dealer Giuseppe "Joe" Barbaro.