A tribute to Lillian Roxon
This excerpt from Today with Brian White on 2GB radio, Sydney was broadcast on 13 August 1973, a few days after Lillian Roxon’s death. Roxon was a regular American correspondent for the show covering music, culture and news.
The raw grief and shock evident in White’s delivery of this solemn eulogy underlines the gravity of her loss. Wanting her work to receive the attention it deserved he convincingly asserts that she was ‘part of the force that actually shaped life in New York and through that eventually the life of the rest of the western world’.
White goes on to mention some of her diverse group of famous friends – Liza Minnelli, Helen Reddy, Germaine Greer and David Frost.
This is a good example of the sort of memorable specials typically broadcast after a person’s death. Later in the show, White speaks to a number of other friends and colleagues of Roxon, including Derryn Hinch.
Someone did indeed write a book about Roxon’s life but not until 2002 – Robert Milliken’s Mother of Rock: The Lillian Roxon Story. This was followed by the documentary Mother of Rock: Lillian Roxon (Paul Clarke, Australia, 2010).
The cover image of this title is a photograph of Roxon taken in 1955, courtesy of the family of Lillian Roxon and the book Mother of Rock: The Lillian Roxon Story by Robert Milliken (Black Inc 2002).
Notes by Beth Taylor