A prominent figure in the Australian music industry and much-loved Sanctuary Point man passed away recently.
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John Manners’ friend and local resident, Jennie Armstrong shared his life story with the South Coast Register.
John spent a lifetime in the Australian music industry.
In the 1960’s he was at the forefront of the Australian music scene as the bass player of iconic band Ray Brown and The Whispers.
At the peak of their career their first three singles went to number one nationally.
This was followed by several more top 10 singles, EP’s and albums. They even have the Bee Gees doing backing vocals on some of their recordings.
During their career they were one of the most celebrated and successful bands in the country.
He shared the stage, television and radio with many famous names including Neil Sedaka, Johnny O’Keefe, Normie Rowe, Easybeats, Billy Thorpe and Glenn Shorrock.
His experience and memories are in the school curriculum in the year 10 history books for future generations.
Although John resided in Sydney, he had a holiday house at Sanctuary Point which soon became his base to continue his musical career.
He continued playing with several local bands in the area. He never stopped playing that bass.
He was described as a natural bass player. It was not just an instrument but an extension of himself. He collected greater than 40 guitars over his lifetime.
He boasted never missing a gig over his 60 year career.
He joined local community radio 92.7 Bay and Basin FM 12 years ago.
He worked tirelessly and with great enthusiasm for the radio as it served a big part in linking the community
John saw the potential to promote the Australian musicians from his era who now struggled to get airplay on commercial radio.
These artists would frequent the local area to perform and would happily chat to John on air. This in turn promoted our local venues and kept the community informed.
John was a warm, caring, loyal, intelligent, always unassuming man who consistently played down his achievements.
John grabbed his bass, microphone and cap and moved onto rock and roll heaven on Monday, November 5, 2018.
He was so young at heart and of mind but now, sadly, has been denied the opportunity to ever grow old.
It is my honour to write this story today.
Thank you, John, for your contribution in enriching all our lives.
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