Molly Meldrum
Australian music journalist and media personality
Molly Meldrum
Ian Alexander "Molly" Meldrum AM is an Australian popular music critic, journalist, record producer and musical entrepreneur. He was the talent co-ordinator, on-air interviewer and music news presenter on the former popular music program Countdown (1974–1987) and is widely recognised for his trademark Stetson hat, which he has regularly worn in public since the 1980s (it is commonly mistaken for an Akubra).
Molly Meldrum's personal information overview.
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Molly makes first TV appearance
Byron Shire News - over 4 years
WEARING his trademark hat and leather jacket and cuddling his dog Ziggy, Ian "Molly" Meldrum returned to TV following his head injury.
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Byron Shire News article
Molly set to tell of his trauma
Brisbane Times - almost 5 years
TV personality Molly Meldrum has opened up in a television interview about the accident that almost cost him his life.
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Brisbane Times article
Molly Meldrum tried to escape from hospital
Byron Shire News - almost 5 years
MOLLY Meldrum tried to make a break from hospital and got as far as the cafe opposite before being hauled back by staff.
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Byron Shire News article
Molly Meldrum home, but future uncertain
BigPond News - almost 5 years
<a class="fplink fp-612979" href="/Molly+Meldrum+1">Molly Meldrum</a> has returned home but his family says it's too early to predict if he'll make a full recovery.
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BigPond News article
Ian 'Molly' Meldrum thanks fans for well wishes, releases first photo since fall - The Australian
Google News - about 5 years Ian 'Molly' Meldrum thanks fans for well wishes, releases first photo since fall The Australian <a class="fplink fp-612979" href="/Molly+Meldrum+1">Molly Meldrum</a> has thanked his friends, family and fans for their well wishes during his recovery following a near-fatal fall at his Melbourne home last year. To prove he is well on the way to recovery, the music guru released for the first time ... <a class="fplink fp-612979" href="/Molly+Meldrum+1">Molly Meldrum</a> releases first photo since ladder Recovering Meldrum says thanksSydney Morning Herald Recovering <a class="fplink fp-612979" href="/Molly+Meldrum+1">Molly Meldrum</a> says thanksABC Online The Daily Telegraph -Adelaide Now all 35 news articles »
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Google News article
Music guru Molly Meldrum out of hospital
Byron Shire News - about 5 years
<a class="fplink fp-612979" href="/molly+meldrum+1">Molly Meldrum</a> is out of hospital and is continuing to recover in a rehabilitation centre after a fall that nearly killed him.
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Byron Shire News article
Molly Meldrum set to leave hospital 'within days'
Byron Shire News - about 5 years
<a class="fplink fp-612979" href="/molly+meldrum">Molly Meldrum</a> continues to surprise doctors with his recovery and is due to move to a rehabilitation clinic within days.
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Byron Shire News article
Injured Molly Meldrum able to speak
BigPond News - about 5 years
Music guru Ian 'Molly' Meldrum is now able to engage in some limited conversation from his hospital bed.
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BigPond News article
Molly Meldrum faces tough road to recovery
3 News - about 5 years
Australian music mogul <a class="fplink fp-612979" href="/molly+meldrum">Molly Meldrum</a> is facing a long battle back to health as he recovers from injuries sustained in a fall.
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3 News article
Molly Meldrum is set for long recovery
BigPond News - about 5 years
<a class="fplink fp-612979" href="/molly+meldrum">Molly Meldrum</a> remains in intensive care and is set for a long recovery after a successful surgery.
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BigPond News article
Molly Meldrum underwent major surgery on New Year’s Day
Media Spy - about 5 years
Ian 'Molly" Meldrum has successfully undergone surgery for his fractured vertebrae (Image: News Limited) Ian "Molly" Meldrum is recovering from another operation undertaken on New Year's Day to repair several fractured vertebrae, caused by his fall in mid-December. The Herald Sun reports that surgeons at The Alfred completed a two hour operation on Meldrum today. Molly's brother Brian Meldrum said it will be the last operation that Molly will have to undergo. Brian added that Molly is back on a ventilator to recover from the operation, and is resting comfortably. Brian said that the spinal surgery on two or three fractured vertebrae in his lower back meant that Molly's mobility in the future will be "as good as gold". "He'll be on the ventilator overnight then they'll reassess in the morning," Brian said outside of the hospital. "In terms of his overall recovery, it's certainly a step in the right direction. In terms of his mobility down the track, he'll be fine." Brian s ...
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Media Spy article
Molly Meldrum Regains Consciousness, Starts Talking
Pedestrian TV - about 5 years
The critically injured TV personality and music icon <a class="fplink fp-612979" href="/molly+meldrum">Molly Meldrum</a> has started to make his slow recovery from a fall earlier this month that had him in hospital with doctors fearing for his life. Meldrum was reported to have spoken a few words by his brother Brian, although he has stressed that they were out of context and simply telling the doctors where his pain was. “He is uttering some words, but they make no sense – but it’s good to see him talking.”Medical professionals have warned that Meldrum may take up to a full year to fully recover from his injury. Meldrum was taken off life support (and thereby critical condition) on Christmas Day. Our best wishes to Meldrum and his family over the holiday period. via HeraldSun.
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Pedestrian TV article
Molly Meldrum Awake And Communicating
Music Feeds - about 5 years
<a class="fplink fp-612979" href="/molly+meldrum">Molly Meldrum</a> was taken off life support on Christmas day and is now awake and communicating. Doctors at Alfred Hospital have taken Meldrum off the ventilator and he is in a serious but stable condition. Molly’s brother, Brian Meldrum told the Herald Sun it was the perfect Christmas present for the family: Some really good news concerning Molly – a Christmas present, if you like. He is awake and communicating. He is obeying commands, and communicating simple needs, such as he’s sore, or he is tired. And that is a big step along the way. It is more important than ever now that Molly gets as much rest as possible, and doesn’t get over-stimulated. Molly’s manager, Mark Klemins said: Certainly he’s not in a position to hold a conversation or anything like that. He’s a bit sore and a bit uncomfortable but it’s all a positive step, and a great Christmas present for the family. Last week Molly underwent surgery to repair his broken ...
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Music Feeds article
No change in Molly Meldrum for Christmas
Big Pond - News - about 5 years
<a class="fplink fp-612979" href="/molly+meldrum">Molly Meldrum</a> will spend Christmas under heavy sedation in a Melbourne hospital.
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Big Pond - News article
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Molly Meldrum
  • 2014
    Age 71
    In November 2014, he was inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame, together with his TV show, Countdown, he became the first non-artist to receive the accolade.
    More Details Hide Details Meldrum's production work: ^For name as Ian Alexander Meldrum, date of birth, place of birth and parents names, see "Births". For name as Ian Molly Meldrum and birth date, see Cashmere. For name as Ian "Molly" Meldrum, for Orbost as place of birth, see Eliezer. (Note: this source incorrectly cites year of birth as 1946 and places Orbost in Victoria's Mallee). General Specific
    In 2014 he finally published his autobiography, The Never, Um...
    More Details Hide Details Ever Ending Story: Life, Countdown and Everything in Between, co-written with Jenkins.
    On 26 November 2014, Meldrum was inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame, together with Countdown, by Marcia Hines and John Paul Young – Meldrum became the first non-artist to receive the accolade.
    More Details Hide Details He also became the second person to be inducted in both the Logie and ARIA Halls of Fame. On 7 February 2016 the first part of a television series called 'Molly' aired on Australian television. It featured flashbacks of Molly's life and some actual footage of videos seen on Countdown. Molly was played by Samuel Johnson. The unaired footage from his interview with Prince Charles showed Johnson as Molly but actual footage of Prince Charles himself. Part two of the miniseries aired on 14 February 2016. The final scene was a very moving salute to Molly as he returns to public life after a lengthy hospital stay. Actual footage of Molly himself receiving a standing ovation as he walks out with the aid of a walking stick ends the series. Meldrum has an adult adopted son, Morgan Scholes, who lives in China with Morgan's partner, Crystal Scholes, and the couple's child, Meldrum's grandchild.
    Meldrum also appeared on the tribute show, Countdown: Do Yourself a Favour, celebrating its 40th anniversary, which was broadcast by ABC in November 2014.
    More Details Hide Details
    In 2014, Meldrum was inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame, together with his TV show, Countdown, he became the first non-artist to receive the accolade.
    More Details Hide Details Earlier that year he published his autobiography, The Never, Um... Ever Ending Story: Life, Countdown and Everything in Between.
  • 2012
    Age 69
    A few months after the accident in 2012, Meldrum interviewed British pop singer Elton John and American pop singer Katy Perry.
    More Details Hide Details On Australia Day (26 January) 1986, Meldrum was made a Member of the Order of Australia, with a citation for "service to the fostering of international relief and to youth". At the ARIA Music Awards of 1993, he received a Special Achievement Award to acknowledge his contributions to popular music. In 1994 at the Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA) Awards he obtained the Ted Albert Award (named in honour of Ted Albert). Music journalists, Toby Creswell and Samantha Chenoweth describe Meldrum as "The single most important person in the Australian pop industry for forty years" in their 2006 book, 1001 Australians You Should Know.
    On 8 January 2012, his brother Brian said Meldrum was breathing on his own and having conversations, but added his recovery would be slow.
    More Details Hide Details On 19 January Meldrum was taken out of hospital and moved into a rehabilitation centre. In April he gave his first public interview since the accident.
  • 2011
    Age 68
    On 15 December 2011, Meldrum was taken to the Alfred Hospital in a critical condition after being found unconscious in the backyard of his home in Richmond.
    More Details Hide Details He is believed to have fallen off a ladder from a height of around three metres. He was placed under intensive care in a sedated state and had surgery for his head injuries. As well as the head injuries, Meldrum had a broken shoulder, broken ribs, a punctured lung and cracked vertebrae. Meldrum had been with Steve Vizard on radio discussing the importance of health on the morning of the accident. By 27 December, further surgery to his chest injuries had occurred and his sedation levels were reduced. His brother said Meldrum had "spoken some words but they have no context".
    As of December 2011, Meldrum's partner of six years is Yan Wongngam who runs a courier business in Thailand.
    More Details Hide Details Meldrum is a prominent supporter of the St Kilda Football Club in the Australian Football League (AFL) and the Melbourne Storm in the National Rugby League (NRL). Storm players continued their 2009 NRL Grand Final victory celebrations at his house in October that year. According to Google Books and Angus & Robertson, Meldrum co-wrote an autobiography, Some of My Best Friends Aren't: The Molly Meldrum Story with journalist, Jeff Jenkins, in 2000, which was published by Random House Australia. However, The Age reported on 4 June 2007 that the book had still not appeared.
    In late November 2011, at the ARIA Awards, Meldrum introduced Prime Minister of Australia, Julia Gillard, who inducted pop singer, Kylie Minogue, into the ARIA Hall of Fame.
    More Details Hide Details After the induction, Meldrum interviewed Minogue for MTV Australia. On 15 April 2012, at the annual Logie Awards, Meldrum was inducted into the Logie's hall of fame. In a recorded segment Elton John described him as having done more for the Australian music industry than anyone else.
  • 2010
    Age 67
    In early December, Meldrum interviewed UK singer and Britain's Got Talent runner-up, Susan Boyle. After signing with Seven to continue on Sunrise, Weekend Sunrise and Sunday Night he was unavailable for the 2010 season of Hey Hey It's Saturday.
    More Details Hide Details In February, Meldrum was appointed King of Moomba – his second appointment – with Kate Ceberano as Queen of Moomba. Since 2010 Meldrum has been a regular guest on Steve Vizard's daily radio show, commenting on sport, music, travel and current affairs.
  • 2009
    Age 66
    During September and October 2009, Meldrum appeared in Hey Hey Its Saturday reunion specials on the Nine Network despite working for the rival Seven Network.
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  • 2007
    Age 64
    Meldrum is listed as co-author of Jenkin's 2007 book, Molly Meldrum presents 50 years of rock in Australia, where he provided comments on various Australian rock acts from 1958 to 2007.
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  • 2006
    Age 63
    In September 2006, Meldrum's interview with Prince Charles on Countdown was listed at No. 41 in TV Weeks 'Top 50 most memorable moments on Australian television' list.
    More Details Hide Details He made cameo appearances in Remembering Nigel (2007) and Ricky! the movie (2010).
    He was also on an episode of Deal or No Deal (Dancing with the Deals) on 13 February 2006.
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    He appeared on the fourth series of the Australian version of Dancing with the Stars in 2006, where he dressed as a pharaoh to dance to "Walk Like an Egyptian" by The Bangles—he was voted off after the first round.
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  • 2005
    Age 62
    That his extensive general knowledge extended beyond popular music was less well-known until, as a contestant on a celebrity edition Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, he won $500,000 for a charity, the equal biggest win on the Australian version of the program until October 2005, although he only got the $500,000 by phoning a friend, Red Symons of Skyhooks fame.
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  • 2004
    Age 61
    Meldrum became a judge on 2004's Popstars Live, a reality talent quest program on Channel Seven, alongside fellow judges, Christine Anu and John Paul Young.
    More Details Hide Details Meldrum's trademark cowboy hat headwear, enthusiasm for popular music, and sometimes incoherent interviewing style remain well known. By visiting Egypt over 30 times since 1969, he has become an amateur Egyptologist and collector.
  • 2003
    Age 60
    A televised roast, in 2003, for the openly gay Meldrum, Molly: Toasted and Roasted, was characterised by the recipient as a "gay bashing" due to its excessive homophobic slurs.
    More Details Hide Details Footy Show star Sam Newman received boos from the audience during his speech.
  • 1993
    Age 50
    However, in 1993, when Meldrum received his ARIA Special Achievement Award for services to the music industry he provided one of the longest acceptance speeches in the ceremony's history.
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    Meldrum has earned a reputation as a champion of Australian popular music both in Australia and internationally; his contributions have been acknowledged with an Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) Award for "Special Achievement" in 1993, and the "Ted Albert Award" in 1994 at the Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA) Awards.
    More Details Hide Details Music journalists, Toby Creswell and Samantha Chenoweth describe him as "The single most important person in the Australian pop industry for forty years" in their 2006 book, 1001 Australians You Should Know.
  • 1991
    Age 48
    At the 1991 ceremony Morris provided a 20-minute acceptance speech on behalf of Midnight Oil: Meldrum disapproved of its length in the media.
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  • 1988
    Age 45
    In March at the ARIA Music Awards of 1988 Meldrum was a presenter.
    More Details Hide Details A fracas developed between band manager, Gary Morris, accepting awards for Midnight Oil, and Meldrum. Morris felt that foreign artists such as Bryan Ferry should not present awards to local artists and made fun of Ferry's deliberately crumpled suit. Meldrum objected to Morris' disrespect to Ferry and he and Morris became embroiled.
    From 1988 Meldrum presented a regular music segment, "Molly's Melodrama", on the TV variety show, Hey Hey It's Saturday – it was the successor to his earlier "Humdrum" editorials on Countdown.
    More Details Hide Details He travelled extensively, conducting interviews for his segment; including a set of one-on-one interviews with each member of The Rolling Stones.
  • 1986
    Age 43
    In 1986 Meldrum and Amanda Pelman, Mushroom Records executive, had formed the Body Beat label and, two years later, Melodian Records, both under the Mushroom umbrella. Body Beat issued electronic and disco music locally for international artists including Joyce Sims, Hanson & Davis, Joy Peters and Mozzart (aka Paul Lander). Melodian signed Indecent Obsession (1988–93), which issued their debut single, "Say Goodbye" in May 1989 – it peaked at No. 6 on the ARIA Singles Chart.
    More Details Hide Details Other Melodian artists were Roxus (1989–91), Jo Beth Taylor (1990–93) and Peter Andre (1990–97). Andre had been a contestant on New Faces in July 1990 when Meldrum was judging the TV talent show, he told TV Week that "Peter impressed us all and he has a unique voice that can be developed". Andre's highest charting single with Melodian was "Gimme Little Sign" (December 1992) – a cover version of Brenton Wood's 1967 original – which peaked at No. 3 in April of the following year.
    In 1986, Shrimpton, Rule and Meldrum created another series, The Meldrum Tapes, for ABC with an international or local artist interviewed in depth for 55 minutes — eventually 24 shows were made — which were later broadcast by MTV.
    More Details Hide Details Meldrum was noted for several on-screen gaffes, although the most "famous" of all was not originally broadcast. In a much retold incident, a clearly anxious Meldrum gushed during an interview on 13 November 1977, with Prince Charles, "I saw your mum in London in a carriage!" to which the Prince replied, "Are you referring to Her Majesty the Queen?" Although this incident is often related by Meldrum in interviews, it was not broadcast until later, as an out-take. Despite some episodes of ineptitude, Meldrum became a major star in his own right and was a champion of local talent and regularly used the show to pressure radio stations to play more Australian music. McFarlane noted that alongside his bumbling, "Molly was a music fanatic, totally committed to, and passionate about, his work. Ultimately it was his drive that helped make Countdown so popular". As a result of his efforts, the show was able to make overnight hits of songs and performers it featured, and through the late 1970s and early 1980s it was a key factor in determining the direction of Australian popular music. By the mid-1980s its influence was waning, in part due to numerous other music video shows on commercial TV. The final episode of Countdown aired on 19 July 1987, followed by the 1986 Countdown Awards. Meldrum appeared at the end of the show wearing his cowboy hat. He saluted the music industry and fans, then bared his shaved head in imitation of Midnight Oil's Peter Garrett and expressed regret that they had never appeared on the show.
  • 1985
    Age 42
    On 13 July Meldrum compèred the 1985 Oz for Africa concert — the Australian leg of the global Live Aid program running for four hours — which was broadcast in Australia on both the Seven Network and Nine Network and on MTV in the US.
    More Details Hide Details During December he used his industry contacts to organise a charity single for research on fairy penguins, he produced the recording of a cover of Lennon, Ono & Plastic Ono Band's "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)" by The Incredible Penguins with Angry Anderson (Rose Tattoo), Brian Canham (Pseudo Echo), Scott Carne (Kids in the Kitchen), John Farnham, Venetta Fields, Bob Geldof, Steve Gilpin (ex-Mi-Sex), Colin Hay (Men at Work), Hewett, Keays (ex-The Masters Apprentices), Brian Mannix (Uncanny X-Men), Wendy Stapleton (Wendy & the) and Chris Stockley (ex-Axiom, The Dingoes).
    In February 1985, after Meldrum was announced as King of Moomba, he quipped "I was at the cricket the other day and the boys in Bay 13 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground were all yelling out 'Moomba' and 'hail the king' not to mention a few 'hail the queen'".
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  • 1981
    Age 38
    The following year, on 16 March 1981, Meldrum co-hosted the 1980 awards ceremony with international guests Suzi Quatro and Jermaine Jackson.
    More Details Hide Details Big winners were Cold Chisel with seven awards, which were not collected; the group performed the last live number, "My Turn to Cry", to close the show and then trashed their instruments and the set. The performance was seen as being directed at TV Week, Countdown and Meldrum as being hangers-on. McFarlane felt the set trashing was a "protest against the show's vacuous nature". Sponsors TV Week withdrew their support for the awards and Countdown held its own ceremonies thereafter.
  • 1980
    Age 37
    Countdown, with Meldrum organising the ceremonies, presented music awards during 1980 to 1987.
    More Details Hide Details Initially they were held in conjunction with TV Week, they were a combination of popular-voted and peer-voted awards. In August 1980 Gregg Flynn of The Australian Women's Weekly was on set during the taping of an episode which featured INXS, Doc Neeson (The Angels), Daryl Braithwaite (ex-Sherbet) and Toy Love. Flynn felt that Meldrum "appeared decidedly more healthy than some of his guest bands who looked as if anorexia nervosa was one of the side effects of guitar strumming." His appointment to the show had had "TV critics whipping themselves into a lather of hysterical accusations that the coiffured host was at best a cruel joke and at worst a danger... his mangled monologues as being detrimental to young people's vocabulary."
    After Randell's marriage had failed, she returned to Australia in 1980 and became Meldrum's personal assistant until 1986.
    More Details Hide Details On 13 April 1980, the TV Week-Countdown Rock Music Awards for 1979 were broadcast as a revamped version of the previously existing TV Week King of Pop Awards with the 'King of Pop' title replaced by 'Most Popular Male' and 'Queen of Pop' replaced by 'Most Popular Female'.
  • 1978
    Age 35
    In July 1978 Michelle Morris of The Canberra Times described Meldrum as "sometimes outrageous, accident-prone and stumbling... who has become an authority in the industry and often a promotional clip has only to be played on Countdown for a record to take off in the charts."
    More Details Hide Details In the early 1980s, Midnight Oil were scheduled to appear on an episode of Countdown, but on the day of the show they were "bumped" from the line-up. Countdown required artists to mime their songs during 'live' performances, Midnight Oil and manager Gary Morris insisted they perform completely live and have their sound engineer supervising—neither side backed down. According to Shrimpton, the band had arrived late for a rehearsal, due to its very tight schedule and budget there was a strict policy that latecomers were not allowed to appear, Midnight Oil were told they could not perform that day. In response, the group declared that they would never appear on the show, a promise they faithfully kept.
  • 1977
    Age 34
    In October 1977 Rod Stewart started his Foot Loose & Fancy Free Tour through the US.
    More Details Hide Details In New York the press corps were waiting for comments, Stewart was granting very few interviews – he recognised Meldrum and called him over for a "ten-minute grab which turned into an hour and a bit." After Meldrum had run out he was "being fed questions to ask Rod by the rest of the world's music press."
  • 1976
    Age 33
    He also promoted The Ferrets; he had them signed to Mushroom Records and started producing their debut album, Dreams of a Love, on 19 July 1976.
    More Details Hide Details After nearly a year, production was incomplete, so The Ferrets took over (assisted by audio engineers, Tony Cohen and Ian MacKenzie) and finalised it on 15 August 1977 – Meldrum was attributed as Willie Everfinish. For its lead single he wanted the A-side as "Lies", taking weeks to produce it, and his preferred B-side, "Don't Fall in Love", was rushed in three hours. When The Ferrets premiered on Countdown, they used "Don't Fall in Love" instead, which reached No. 2 on the Australian Kent Music Report Singles Chart. Many customers wanted a copy of The Ferrets' album, however, there was concern at Mushroom as Meldrum had not yet organised its cover: a white, hand-stamped cardboard sleeve was issued with a promise of the artwork to follow. The series gave early exposure to, and generated breakthrough Australian hits for, international artists including ABBA, Meat Loaf, Blondie, Boz Scaggs, Cyndi Lauper, Madonna and Michael Jackson; sometimes years before they became international stars. Meldrum made overseas trips and formed friendships with many artists, enabling Countdown to gain international exclusives. His on-screen performances were sometimes criticised for rambling and incomprehensible commentaries or interview questions. When providing an album review he would often hold the album awkwardly in front of the cameras with lights glaring off its surface making it difficult to see. In an early "Humdrum" segment, Meldrum told viewers to "Go out and buy it" when reviewing an album.
    Meldrum produced the debut self-titled album for Supernaut in May 1976 and its related hit single, "I Like It Both Ways".
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  • 1975
    Age 32
    Shrimpton decided an editorial was needed, so Meldrum provided a weekly Rock Report from mid-1975 which was renamed "Humdrum" by guest host, John Paul Young, and by year's end he had become the face of the series. "Humdrum" saw Meldrum provide a visual form to his Go-Set gossip column, he would interview celebrities, detail events and new releases for the week.
    More Details Hide Details Joining Shrimpton and Weekes as a producer was Rule, also from Kommotion. Australian musicologist, Ian McFarlane, described Meldrum's "Humdrum" as "a riot of non sequiturs and unjustified hyperbole. In between all the 'ums' and 'ahs', occasionally Molly managed to tell the viewers about a good album he had just heard". Countdown was originally broadcast weekly, at 6:30pm on Friday evenings for 25 minutes. Contributing to its success was the move in January 1975 to a 6pm Sunday time-slot and extending to 60 minutes. Its reach was improved by a mid-afternoon Saturday time-slot to repeat the previous week's show. Countdown soon became the most successful and popular TV music program ever made in Australia, which exerted a dramatic influence on the local music scene over the next decade. The advent of colour TV in March 1975 coincided with a major shift in the direction of local popular music and was vital in the national success for artists such as Skyhooks and Sherbet. Countdown benefited from the emergence of the music video genre:it popularised promotional videos, which were previously a minor part of pop shows. Its use of film-clips, by both established and developing overseas acts (which rarely toured Australia), made Countdown an important venue for breaking new songs and new artists.
  • 1974
    Age 31
    He remained with Go-Set until its last issue on 24 August 1974.
    More Details Hide Details Most of his work was typed up by his then-secretary, Glenys Long, with Meldrum pacing the office as he dictated — sometimes typewriters were thrown or a person was shoved inside a filing cabinet. After Go-Set, Meldrum wrote columns for Listener-In TV and then TV Week as their rock music reporter. In 1974 Shrimpton and Weekes were meeting at the Botanical Hotel in South Yarra, formulating the concept for a new weekly TV pop music show aimed at the teenage market and decided they needed a talent scout; Meldrum walked in – to go to the bottle shop for a Scotch whiskey – and was given the job. The trio approached the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), with their idea based on the British show Top of the Pops and on Kommotion. Countdown premiered on 8 November, with Meldrum as the show's talent coordinator. He did not originally appear in the series, which had a different guest host each week.
  • 1972
    Age 29
    In 1972 Meldrum produced the soundtrack for Godspell – Original Australian Cast (see Godspell for original Broadway 1971 version) including the hit single, "Day by Day" for Colleen Hewett.
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    By September 1972 Meldrum was assistant editor for Go-Set working with its national editor, Ed Nimmervoll, who had started at the paper in 1967:
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  • 1971
    Age 28
    In October and November 1971, Elton John toured Australia for the first time and all concerts were exclusively reviewed by Go-Set — Meldrum had briefly met John in London and they formed an enduring friendship by the end of that tour.
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  • 1970
    Age 27
    After returning to Australia in late 1970, Meldrum continued writing for the music press, including Go-Set as well as venturing back onto TV as a music reporter on Happening '70 (previously titled, Uptight), hosted by Wyllie, on ATV-0; then a short-lived TV children's show, Do It; followed by Anything Can Happen on Channel Seven where he met producer, Michael Shrimpton and reunited with Weekes from his Kommotion days.
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    Meldrum left UK in 1970 to travel to the US, reporting on the Los Angeles and New York music scenes and further establishing his contacts.
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  • 1969
    Age 26
    Meldrum also produced several other hits—including Burns' top ten single, "Smiley", in December 1969—while continuing to write for Go-Set and a variety of magazines.
    More Details Hide Details Meldrum made his first of many visits to Egypt and by December had travelled on to UK, and through Doran, began working for Apple Corps as a publicist, which enabled him to score a scoop interview with Lennon and Yoko Ono, in which Lennon first revealed publicly that The Beatles were breaking up.
    He now encouraged Morris to promote "The Real Thing" with a tour in the United States but Morris disagreed and they separated in late 1969.
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  • 1968
    Age 25
    From January 1968, Meldrum relocated to London, reporting in Go-Set on The Groop's efforts to break into the United Kingdom market; he also wrote about the English rock music scene.
    More Details Hide Details While there, Meldrum extended his networking to international contacts, including meeting Apple Records executive, Terry Doran, who introduced him to his idols, Paul McCartney and John Lennon. His writing style in Go-Set developed a camp form. Meldrum returned to Australia to attend his mother's funeral in May. In September, he became the manager and producer of Morris; both had quit with Somebody's Image. Meldrum produced Morris' first solo single, a Johnny Young-composed song, "The Real Thing". Young had written the song for Meldrum's friend Burns, but when Meldrum heard Young playing it backstage during a taping of the TV pop show Uptight, he determined to secure it for Morris, reportedly going to Young's home that night with a tape recorder and refusing to leave until Young had taped a demo version. In collaboration with Armstrong's house engineer John Sayers, Meldrum radically transformed "The Real Thing" from Young's original vision of a simple acoustic chamber ballad backed by strings, into a heavily produced studio masterpiece, extending it to an unheard-of six minutes in length (with encouragement from Rofe) and overdubbing the basic track with many additional instruments, vocals and sound effects. To achieve this, they used the services of his friends from The Groop as the backing band, with contributions from vocalist Maureen Elkner, The Groop's lead singer Ronnie Charles, guitarist Roger Hicks from Zoot—who played the song's distinctive acoustic guitar intro—and arranger John Farrar.
  • 1967
    Age 24
    Besides producing, he was also Somebody's Image's manager from early 1967 and formed a friendship with lead singer, Russell Morris.
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    Meldrum became involved with a number of artists' releases, including The Masters Apprentices' August 1967 single, "Living in a Child's Dream".
    More Details Hide Details Lead singer, Jim Keays, recalled that Meldrum "had quite an influence on the eventual outcome" as the unlisted assistant engineer. He produced Somebody's Image's first three singles, "Heat Wave" (September), "Hush" (November) and "Hide and Seek" (April 1968). Their best performed single, "Hush", which peaked at No. 14 on the Go-Set National Top 40, was a cover version of Billy Joe Royal's track from earlier in 1967.
    Meldrum's stint with Kommotion ended in January 1967 after Actors Equity banned the practice of miming other artists' work.
    More Details Hide Details He moved on to another ATV-0 music show, Uptight, hosted by Ross D. Wyllie, which was broadcast for four hours on Saturday mornings with live bands and acts miming their own material.
  • 1966
    Age 23
    The Groop had landed a recording deal with CBS Records. Meldrum followed them to Armstrong Studios, in late 1966, to observe the recording process.
    More Details Hide Details He learned production and engineering techniques from studio owner, Bill Armstrong, and in house engineer-producer, Roger Savage.
  • 1964
    Age 21
    Also in 1964 Meldrum began his music career as a roadie for his friends' band, The Groop, which had early performances in Anglesea.
    More Details Hide Details Go-Set was a weekly pop music newspaper started in February 1966 by Phillip Frazer, Tony Schauble and their Monash University mates. Meldrum started writing for the paper in July that year after befriending its editor, Frazer. Frazer said "As I recall it, Ian was sweeping the floor... I said to Schauble, 'Who's this guy? Where'd he come from?' and Tony said, 'I dunno, he just came in and wanted to do something.'" Meldrum's first story was on Burns, "Ronnie Meets the Barrett Brothers". His first printed interview was with Johnny Young, a singer-songwriter from Perth. Soon Meldrum was writing a weekly gossip column and regular feature stories. He continued until the paper folded in August 1974. By social networking and building a list of industry contacts, Meldrum was able to cover many facets of the local scene; his gossip columns informed not only general readers but also other musicians and, according to Frazer, they were the major reason people continued reading Go-Set.
    While on a surfing holiday at a Victorian coastal resort in Lorne in 1964, Meldrum befriended Lynne Randell, who became a pop star in the mid-1960s and later worked as Meldrum's personal assistant in the 1980s.
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    During The Beatles' tour of Australia in June 1964, Meldrum was captured by TV cameras climbing atop the bonnet of their car shortly after arrival at Melbourne airport.
    More Details Hide Details Later, he and Burns were ejected from The Beatles' Melbourne concert for being "too enthusiastic".
  • 1943
    Age 0
    Ian Alexander Meldrum was born in Orbost, Victoria, on 29 January 1943.
    More Details Hide Details The couple married on 17 August 1940, two months after Robert's enlistment. Meldrum's younger brothers are Brian (born 1946, Mildura) and Robert (born 1950, Kerang). Meldrum moved around during childhood and grew up largely with one of his grandmothers in Quambatook where he attended the local primary school alongside future country music artist, John Williamson. He also stayed with a number of aunts and was raised in the traditions of the Church of England. He developed a musical interest in Gilbert & Sullivan and Verdi. Meldrum's father later ran a hardware store in Kyabram. His mother had periodic hospitalisations for mental illness including some years at Larundel Mental Asylum, Bundoora in the mid-1960s. In the early 1960s Meldrum arrived in Melbourne where he briefly attended Taylors College. Initially intending to become a disc jockey he studied at a radio school. He would go to University of Melbourne – without formally enrolling – carrying law books, to eat lunch with the law students: "I hung around, I wouldn't even say I got into a course."
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