Dinah regaled her audience with stories of her life in the entertainment business, sparkling along with tales about her meteoric rise to the top of the pop charts in NZ and Australia in the 1960’s, with hit songs such as “Reet Petite” and Don’t You Know Yockomo”.
Her new fashioned “mod” look and feisty strutting on the stage, so unlike other women singers at the time, made her a powerful female presence in the music industry. She travelled to the US and England where she met with such famous (and infamous) people as Robert Mitchum, John Wayne and Glen Campbell, with whom she sang a duet on the “Shindig” show, the American equivalent of Australia’s “Bandstand”.
In London she performed alongside a very young mod called David Jones, who later changed his surname to Bowie. “He was a beautiful boy” she commented wistfully.
Dinah also did three tours to Vietnam during 1966 and 1967, entertaining the troops from stages constructed from oil drums and from the backs of trucks. She remembers being stranded by a break-down between Da Nang and Saigon….. spending the night watching mortars streaking overhead. Now a member of the Vietnam Veterans Association, she has her own leather jacket with the VVA emblem on the back.
These days, Dinah tells us, she is still working, voice as strong as ever. “I can still move across a stage” she says. “I’m just a bit slower” – and has just completed a video clip featuring one of her new songs “Cathedral Square” which is up on YouTube and is available with the rest of her new album on iTunes or wherever you download your music.
WAIG hopes to invite Dinah back for another visit to talk about the book she plans to publish. It is an autobiographical and pictorial account of her life in the pop world in the 60’s and 70’s, and sure to appeal to anyone who grew up around that era.
What is WAIG?
is a women’s group which values the diverse community of women and what women can achieve through collective experience, companionship and action. WAIG meets every Monday during school term in the Lane Cove Library.