Where are they now? Johnny Young

He presented and produced the popular television show, Young Talent Time, which screened on Network 10 from 1971 to 1988.

In 1990 Johnny was inducted into the TV Week Logie Awards Hall of Fame. On 27th October 2010, he was inducted into the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) Hall of Fame by Tina Arena who performed his song, 'The Star'. He is the first, and so far the only, person to be inducted in both halls.

On news of his impending induction Johnny said "I have always felt like the luckiest kid on the block to be able to continue working in the music industry for 50 years in so many areas when basically I am just a rock 'n' roller. To receive this honour is the cherry on an amazing cake. I am grateful to all those who supported and encouraged me."

Q. Where do you live?
Home is Western Australia, where my family is scattered all over the place - from the north, all the way down to the south. However, in my working life I travel regularly to Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane doing my radio shows for the Magic network, and performing “live” shows with people like Normie Rowe and others in the Go!! Show.


Johnny Young hosted the Go!! Show from 1966-1967

Q. What is the best advice you have ever been given?
My dad, (also John) taught me by example. He said to me “Any job worth doing is worth doing well” and “always give it your best” which I try to do.

Never say to yourself “close enough is good enough”. So that’s my motto, taught to me by my dad. Always give 100% to what you’re doing.

Q. What is your most requested song on Magic?
Well, even though I had some success with my own pop songs, like 'Step Back' and 'Cara Lyn', the songs that I wrote for others, like 'The Real Thing', for Russell Morris, and 'Smiley' for Ronnie Burns, and others was all very nice, but the one song I get requested more than anything else is “Close your eyes and I’ll kiss you. . . 'All my Lovin'”

Q. What is your favourite song?
Johnny Young: The one song which always makes me feel good, is 'All you need is love' by The Beatles. I think it has the perfect message, and of course I have a personal interest, as I was in London at the time of the recording, with Molly, and a whole stack of others, and it was an incredible event.


What are your favourite memories of Johnny Young on Young Talent Time?

Q. What are your favourite things that you love to do?
“Communicating” on the radio.  Communicating, either through the written word or by phone calls which I get from the listeners, but apart from having fun on Magic, going out with my rock 'n roll band.

Remember I’m a rock 'n roller at heart. I started out as a 14 year old, playing in a rock n roll band, and I still love going out and playing my Eddie Cochran songs, and Chuck Berry songs, because rock 'n roll is basically what I am. I still love touring with Colleen Hewitt and Ronnie Burns, and so many of the other stars that I grew up with. Music is my life.

Q. Who have you toured with?
I’ve had the pleasure of touring with The Rolling Stones, The Walker Brothers, The Yardbirds, but my all time favourite star to tour with was Roy Orbison. On the last day of our Australian Tour, at Melbourne’s Festival Hall, we were sitting on the stage during the sound check, and Roy, who was a very shy man, had a little box.

He said to me, “Johnny, I’ve got something for you” and it was a set of cuff links with the Iron Cross on it. Roy wore an Iron Cross around his neck – I guess it was his emblem. I will always remember the words that he said then; “Johnny, I think you’re a real gentleman”. 

I’ll never forget it - Roy Orbison, 1967.


What are your favourite Johnny Young songs?

Johnny Young has an intimate knowledge of Australian music of the 1960s as he was one of this country's biggest pop stars of the era. Johnny had a number one hit with the double-A-side, 'Step Back' and 'Caralyn' in 1966. In 1967 he hosted The Go!! Show and won a Logie Award for Best Teen Personality for his work there.

He released covers of the Everly Brothers' hits 'When Will I Be Loved?'/ 'Kiss Me Now' as another double-A-sided single which peaked at number three. Another hit for Johnny was his slower version of The Beatles' track 'All My Loving' which reached number four nationally; it later became his signature song.

As a composer, he penned number one hits, 'The Real Thing' and 'The Girl That I Love' for Russell Morris, 'The Star' for Ross D. Wylie and 'I Thank You' for Lionel Rose.

Johnny is also a well-known name in the radio industry, having hosted almost 10 years of breakfast radio on 6IX in his home town of Perth. Johnny Young's awards received include 3 gold records as an artist, 1966 King of Pop, 6 gold records as songwriter, 6 TV Logie Awards, including Logie Hall of Fame, & GO-SET Songwriter of the year 1970.

What are your favourite memories of Johnny Young’s career so far? Join the conversation below.