Ross D. Wyllie

Ross_D._Wylie_WEB.jpg

Ross D. Wyllie was born in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia in 1944. He became a childhood victim of the dreaded disease, polio, which left him with a severe limp; although this seemed to do no damage to his dynamic personality.

By 1964, he had become the lead singer of The Kodiaks, and went solo in 1967, signing with Ivan Dayman’s Sunshine Records to produce his first single ‘Short Skirts’. Ross was one of those performers, like Normie Rowe, who could send the girls wild when he appeared on stage. The picture, above, was shot backstage at Brisbane’s Festival Hall during that year. I shot some pictures at his wedding to Eileen in the same year, and they are still together.

In late 1967, Ross and Eileen moved to Melbourne, where he hosted the musical television series, Uptight, until 1969. Having signed with Festival Records, in mid-1969 Ross covered Ray Stevens’ song ‘Funny Man’, which made it into the charts. Then, in November of that year, he had a national Number One hit with ‘The Star’, a song written for him by Johnny Young.

Johnny Young had also written songs which had put other singers on the map, most notably ‘The Real Thing’ for Russell Morris. ‘The Star’ was subsequently covered by Herman’s Hermits as ‘Here Comes The Star’.

Ross continued to work in television during the ‘70s, as a presenter and producer; and also founded a public relations company. He released a total of nine singles, and appeared on four compilation albums. In 2014, Aztec Records produced ‘Ross D. Wylie: The Complete Collection’.

Still in fine voice, on 2 December 2017, Ross appeared at Melbourne’s Palais Theatre for a reunion of Go!! Show stars from the ’60s, including Doug Parkinson, Ronnie Burns, Colleen Hewitt, Johnny Young, Normie Rowe, Little Pattie and Lucky Starr.