Johnny Young: Young Talent Time
All the kids went to school, and so they would come on Wednesday night, Thursday night and Friday night. One Wednesday we’d learn the vocals. Then on Thursday night we’d have the setting of the choreography. And then on Friday night - because we had offices that in a very, very big hurry we’d thrown a lot of people out of their office and created a very small little dance room to rehearse the kids in. And on the Friday night the director and the director’s assistant and everybody else would come. And we would do the items and director would look at how we would direct it.
And again, it was all very simple and very straight forward. My concept was, give me lots of close ups of the kids. You know lots of smiling faces, wide shots of them dancing together. And it was a very, very simple idea. But the most important thing that worked right from the very beginning were the little bits in between, I mean the songs were great, and the kids were good and all that stuff. But the thing that endeared people to the program is that I made a point of introducing each one of these kids over a period of time you got to know them more, talk about their school, we’d sometimes go and film them at school and film them at home with their parents.
I've got footage of Dannii Minogue when she was the star before Kylie Minogue was even a big star, of you know, Dannii Minogue introducing her little sister, Kylie at home. And them, you know, romping around in their bedroom and you know, getting ready for school and doing all that sort of stuff. And I think that sort of endeared people to their own individual Young Talent Time favourite.
Johnny Young speaks with John Bannister in this excerpt from his 2008 NFSA oral history interview.
He talks about the formula for the show, which included lots of close-ups of the kids and vignettes about their school life, family and interests.
We see this formula in action in clips about the team members' favourite things from 1983, as well as individual pieces about Juanita Coco (1987–88), Beven Addinsall (1983–88) and Lorena Novoa (1984–87, 1988).
Johnny Young had a string of pop hits during the mid-to-late 1960s including a No. 1 hit with 'Step Back' / 'Cara Lyn' (by Johnny Young and Kompany).
He also wrote hits for other artists; 'The Real Thing', recorded by Russell Morris, was named one of the Sounds of Australia by the NFSA in 2013.