Australia's Amateur Hour with Chad Morgan
Australia's Amateur Hour was a pioneering talent show produced by AWA that became a pop-culture phenomenon. The program was heard across Australian radio stations from 1940 to 1958 after beginning on home station 2GB Sydney, hosted by Harry Dearth (1940-1942). Subsequent hosts included Dick Fair (1942-1950) and Terry Dear (1950-1958).
Many prominent entertainers debuted or were ‘discovered’ on the show, including Harold Blair, Johnny O'Keefe, Bobby Limb, Donald Smith and Chad Morgan. This clip is of Chad Morgan's appearance on the Brisbane heat of Australia's Amateur Hour on 23 October 1952, recorded at the Lyric Theatre. Performing 'I'm The Sheik of Scrubby Creek', Morgan went on to win the heat, the semi-finals in Sydney and to be placed second in the finals of 1952.
The show featured a wide range of musical genres and performance types from a diverse range of participants - including Indigenous Australian performers George Hill, Jimmy Little and Olive and Eva, as well as new European migrants to Australia displaced after the Second World War. It was sponsored by Lever Brothers’ laundry soap Rinso for its 19-year run, making it one of the best-known products in Australia at the time. The NFSA holds approximately 60 episodes out of the 925 that aired.