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2005 Newspaper Articles

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Posted 23 July 2010 - 07:33 AM

Posted by vintage

Crackerjack Deal at BMG, (Deal will focus on TV shows that highlight Sony artists)
Variety.com -V Music, Los Angeles


SYDNEY -- Sony BMG has pacted with Australian production company Crackerjack to form the basis of the music conglom's TV production shingle.

Deal, which follows a joint venture pact signed with Crackerjack's parent FremantleMedia in October, will focus on TV shows that highlight Sony artists -- such as "Australian Idol" runner-up Anthony Callea and ex-sudser star Delta Goodrem -- as well as new DVD projects.

"Our plan is to extend the boundaries of music and entertainment TV production through creative new programming ideas that we are developing," said Sony BMG's Oz topper Denis Handlin.

The TV production company is searching for someone to lead the division and soon will announce details of its slate.

The two companies have worked together on weekly music skein "So Fresh" for Oz's Nine Network.

Crackerjack's TV production credits include quiz hit "Australia's Brainiest Kid" on Ten and spoof news program "CNNNN" for pubcasterpubcaster the ABC.

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Posted 23 July 2010 - 07:39 AM

Posted by all_4_anth

Stars Chase Home Runs for Commonwealth Games
Herald Sun
By Shaun Phillips


SOME of our best-loved sports stars and celebrities will carry the Commonwealth Games baton around Australia.

Test greats Steve Waugh and Mark Taylor and entertainers Anthony Callea and Dave Hughes are among more than 3000 relay runners revealed exclusively in today's Herald Sun.
Dawn Fraser, Betty Cuthbert, Raelene Boyle, Susie O'Neill, Marlene Matthews and Marjorie Jackson-Nelson are just some of the queens of Australian sport who have been honoured.

TV stars Livinia Nixon, Eddie McGuire, Jamie Durie and Ian "Molly" Meldrum will do their bit to build momentum towards the Games.

The Australian leg of the Queen's Baton Relay starts in Sydney on January 25.

After a 50-day journey, the baton's arrival at the MCG will be the pivotal moment in the opening ceremony.

About 3500 Australians will each complete a 500m leg. About 400 people are yet to formally accept their invitation and so cannot be named today.

The first and last runners are secret.

Local panels selected 1925 runners from 15,600 community nominations. The youngest participants will be just 12. At 95, New South Welshman Paul Cullen is the oldest.

About 1000 places have been allocated by sponsors, 350 have gone to past and present Commonwealth Games athletes, 105 to stars and 105 to media partners.

At this stage, names such as Ian Thorpe, Lleyton Hewitt, Grant Hackett, Cathy Freeman, Ricky Ponting, Jana Pittman, Shane Warne and Pat Rafter are conspicuous by their absence.

No politician will run. About 1500 runners are needed in Victoria.

Former Essendon star Michael Long has walked the Hume Highway for Aboriginal rights. Next year he will hit the bitumen for the Games.

He heads a long list of AFL names including James Hird, Jason McCartney, Billy Brownless, Gavin Wanganeen, Garry Lyon, Mick Malthouse, Jim Stynes, Des Tuddenham and Matthew Pavlich.

Former Carlton star Stephen Silvagni will run, as will his TV personality wife Jo.

Geelong president Frank Costa has been honoured for his community work.

From the entertainment world, Red Symons, Nicky Buckley, Rove McManus, Rebecca Gibney and Paul Mercurio have got the nod, as have TV performers Ryan Fitzgerald, Tracey Grimshaw, Durie, John Wood, Steve Jacobs, Daryl Somers, Bridie Carter and Ernie Dingo.

Controversial Commonwealth Games figure Arthur Tunstall will take part in Sydney.

Simon Gillett, the husband of Amy Gillett, the cyclist killed on a training ride in Germany this year, is also on the list.

The international baton relay has reached the South Pacific island of Niue, the 62nd of 71 nations since its launch in London in March.

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Posted 23 July 2010 - 07:42 AM

Posted by callealovesme

* Images Only
Pop Republic Screen Cap



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Posted 23 July 2010 - 07:52 AM

Posted by i LoV3 aNtHoNy

TV Hits Monster Poster Book
Summer Speacial
December, 2005

* Images Only


http://img.photobuck..... Anth/IMG.jpg


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Posted 23 July 2010 - 08:07 AM

Posted by In*Bed*With_Anthony*

Dvd Review
DNA Magazine
December, 2005 Issue

There's an awful lot of young girls in the front row!

Filmed in Ant's hometown of melbourne last August, our former Australian idol finialist is in fine form and when it comes time for The prayer ('which I never get sick of singing") there's little doubt he's made the song his own. You'll be hard pressed not to have a wibble as he puts all his heart and hair gel into it.

Keep an eye on those spikes of his too - they just seem to keep growing during the show!

He's less convincing attempting to be a rock god, though his hotel lobby version of Route 66 is cute.

Extras include 5 music videos, a photo gallery & a 15 minute backstage interview.

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Posted 23 July 2010 - 08:13 AM

Posted by diissee

Music Direct Top 20, 'Anthony Callea' is No. 5
Source: TV WEEK



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Posted 23 July 2010 - 08:20 AM

Posted by Take it to the Heart

Smash Hits Readers Poll Results, 2005

Anthony won BEST MALE category

Came 2nd with The Prayer for BEST SONG category

Came 2nd in NEW ARTIST category

Came 3rd in BEST DRESSED category

Came 2nd in BEST AUSSIE ARTIST category

Came 3rd SPUNK OF THE YEAR category

Came 4th BEST FILM CLIP 4th The Prayer and 5th Per Sempre



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Posted 23 July 2010 - 08:27 AM

Posted by rshar0

Aussies Top the CD List
By Cameron Adams

AUSTRALIAN music dominated 2005's list of highest selling CDs.

Melbourne's Missy Higgins had her debut with The Sound of White romp in the title of the year's highest-selling album. Higgins' album has sold more than 560,000 copies since its release in September last year.

The Sound of White was the 15th highest seller of 2004, yet blitzed this year's ARIA list thanks to a string of hit singles, radio saturation, touring and ARIA awards.

The album spent most of the year in the top 20.

American Idol's Kelly Clarkson has transformed herself into a genuine global star with her second album Breakaway -- the second highest selling album in Australia this year.

Also released last year, Clarkson's album only picked up sales this year, and has now had more than 350,000 sales.

Canadian crooner Michael Buble demonstrated his popularity with his second album It's Time registering as the third highest seller of 2005, with sales close to 300,000 copies.

Buble's self-titled album is 2005's 28th highest seller, despite being released three years ago.

US hip hop act Black Eyed Peas had the year's fifth biggest album with Monkey Business, which has already spawned two No. 1 hits.

Green Day, Jack Johnson, Coldplay, James Blunt and Foo Fighters round out the top 10 highest selling albums of 2005.

Missy Higgins, Anthony Callea (No. 17) and Pete Murray (No. 18) are the only Australians in the top 20 of 2005.

Anthony Callea's record breaking single The Prayer easily stole the crown of Australia's highest selling single of 2005 with sales of more than 350,000.

Callea's cover version of Andrea Bocelli's The Prayer is not only the biggest seller of 2005, but the biggest selling Australian single of all time.

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Posted 23 July 2010 - 08:30 AM

Posted by shanzy

Anthony Callea, Live in Concert DVD, Competition to win,
The Queensland Times
December, 2005


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Posted 23 July 2010 - 08:36 AM

Posted by AnthonyMyHottie
With thanks Lea

Sunday Telegraph Tv Guide

This year, Paledino will perform a duet with Australian Idol favourite Anthony Callea.
"It's the first time we have performed together, although we met at the show last year," she says "We're from similar Italian backgrounds and hopefully we can do something special"

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Posted 23 July 2010 - 08:41 AM

Posted by diissee

Missy Higgins & Anthony Callea Score 2005 Aria #1'


Australian music seems to be getting stronger support by the public with both number one positions for ARIA's highest selling singles and albums both being held by Australian artists.

There's little wonder which Australian artist tops this years top 100 selling albums of 2005 which was released this week by ARIA - Missy Higgins.

After blitzing the ARIA Awards this year walking away with five gongs, Missy Higgins has also walked away with the coveted number one position atop the ARIA top 100 selling albums of 2005 for her debut 'The Sound Of White'.

Missy Higgins was also the only Australian artist to make the top ten. Other Australian artists to make the top 50 include: Anthony Callea - Anthony Callea (#17); Pete Murray - See The Sun (#18); Ben Lee - Awake Is The New Sleep (#21); Bernard Fanning - Tea And Sympathy (#24); Human Nature - Reach Out: The Motown Record (#29); Delta Goodrem - Mistaken Identity (#30); The Cat Empire - Two Shoes (#31); Shannon Noll - Lift (#33); Jet - Get Born (#35); Tim & Neil Finn: She Will Have Her Way (#36); Thirsty Merc - Thirsty Merc (#37) and Kylie Minogue - Ultimate Kylie (#38).

Meanwhile to the top 100 singles of 2005, Anthony Callea takes the top spot with his debut single 'The Prayer' and again the only Australian artist to enter the top ten.

Other artists to make the top 40 include Delta Goodrem - Almost Here (#14); The Veronicas - 4Ever (#15); Rogue Traders - Voodoo Child (#20); Missy Higgins - The Special Two (#28); Anthony Callea - Rain/Bridge Over Troubled Water #34) and Shannon Noll - Shine (#35).

The number ones for 2005 are:

Top 100 Albums:
Missy Higgins - The Sound of White

Top 100 Singles:
Anthony Callea - The Prayer

Top Australian Albums:
Missy Higgins - The Sound of White

Top Australian Singles:
Anthony Callea - The Prayer

Top DVDs:
AC/DC - Family Jewels

Top Dance Single:
Crazy Frog - Alex F

Top Dance Album:
Various Artists - The 2005 Annual

Top Urban Single:
The Pussycat Dolls - Don't Cha

Top Urban Album:
The Black Eyed Peas - Monkey Business

Top Country Album:
Keith Urban - Be Here

Top Compilation Album:
Various Artists - So Fresh: The Hits of Winter 2005

Top Jazz & Blues Album:
Michael Buble - It's Time

Top Classical:
Il Divo - Il Divo

Club Chart:
Tom Novy - Your Body

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Posted 23 July 2010 - 08:48 AM

Posted by callealovesme

The Panel's Christmas Wrap
The Age

Hard to know what to expect here, since Tom Gleisner, Rob Sitch et al have been absent from our screens since last year's offering and, being a live broadcast, the show isn't available for preview.

It probably hasn't even been written yet, given the wonderfully shambolic tradition of Christmas Panels past. Still, last year's effort was an entertaining romp - apart from the embarrassing nativity panto that ended with the surprise appearance of a bemused-looking Anthony Callea.

Can we hope for Kate DeAraugo to spring from behind a cow and belt out a few verses of We Three Kings?

In a season of reruns, D-grade series and Christmas specials that stretch the definition of "special" beyond breaking point, at least this offers some laughs and an irreverent review of the year's big events. Representatives of the attorney-general will be standing by with warrants.

Type - Entertainment
Channel -10
Date - Sunday December 25
Time - 8:30 PM

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Posted 23 July 2010 - 08:51 AM

Posted by diissee

Idol Takes Back Seat, Frog Hits High Note
The Advertiser

AUSTRALIANS have topped all of ARIA's major end-of-year charts for the year but, it seems, the Idol grip on the albums chart is slipping.

While the best-selling Australian singles are dominated by singers who came through the TV talent contest - series 2 runner-up Anthony Callea can claim the highest selling Australian single of all time with The Prayer - in the album stakes it is a very different story.

Though American Idol Kelly Clarkson sits at No. 2 with her runaway success, Breakaway, it is not until Callea's self-titled debut appears at No. 17 that an Australian Idol makes the list.

Shannon Noll's Lift, at No. 33, and Casey Donovan's For You (No. 78) are the only other Idols in the top 100 selling albums.Although 10 Idol-related artists make the top 100 singles, SonyBMG should be worried about the prospects for the winner of series 4. The album crowned the year's best at the ARIAs in October has come in at No. 1 - Missy Higgins' The Sound of White now is winding down but massive sales over the year ensure its top position.

The track which took out song of the year at the same ceremony, Ben Lee's Catch My Disease, only manages No. 93 on the top-selling singles. His album fares better, at No. 21.

Last year's top-selling album, Jet's Get Born, still sold enough this year to see it at No. 35, while Powderfinger (sort of) managed two entries - their greatest hits at No. 49 and singer Bernard Fanning's solo album, Tea & Sympathy at No. 24.

The singles chart also shows the dominance of American music on Australia. While 2005 is a record year for Australian releases on the albums chart - eight held the No. 1 spot for a total of 18 weeks - when it comes to singles, the public still prefers U.S. flavours. Akon, Nelly, Will Smith, Mario, Nitty and the Black Eyed Peas all feature in the top 10. Perhaps, the final word should go to the year's real star. The Crazy Frog craze took over and, although he was not the only novelty single on the charts (see Schnappi at No. 27), 2005 belongs to the Frog. Ding ding indeed.

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Posted 23 July 2010 - 08:52 AM

Posted by diissee

A Sound Year for Australian Albums
The Age.com.au
By Patrick Donovan

Although CD sales continued to decline this year, it was an unprecedented success period for Australian albums, with a record 30 featuring in the ARIA top-100 end-of-year chart.

Australian artists had the highest-selling album (with Missy Higgins' The Sound of White), the highest-selling single (Australian Idol runner-up Anthony Callea's The Prayer) and the most popular DVD (AC/DC's Family Jewels greatest hits collection).

With one chart left to be released this year, eight Australian albums made it to the top spot on the ARIA albums chart for a total of 18 weeks. On the singles chart, six songs by five Australian acts held No.1 position for a total of 10 weeks.

Some Australian acts to sell more than 100,000 copies this year include Callea, Pete Murray, Ben Lee, Bernard Fanning, Human Nature, Delta Goodrem, the Cat Empire, Shannon Noll, Jet, Thirsty Merc, Kylie Minogue, Jimmy Barnes, John Farnham, the Veronicas, Powderfinger and Wolfmother.
Other popular albums were released by American Idol's Kelly Clarkson, Michael Buble, Gwen Stefani, Black Eyed Peas, Green Day, Jack Johnson, Coldplay, James Blunt and Foo Fighters.

AC/DC, Kylie Minogue, the Eagles, Robbie Williams, U2, Queen and Rod Stewart each had two DVD releases in the top-40 DVD chart, while Farnham and Tom Jones, Goodrem, Keith Urban, Higgins, Cold Chisel and Callea also figured prominently.

In the first half of the year, sales of CDs, records, cassettes and music DVDs fell by 7.54 per cent on the previous year, to 22.7 million units. The full year figures will be released in the new year.

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Posted 23 July 2010 - 08:54 AM

Posted by diissee


MISSY Higgins' mother Margaret has marvelled at her daughter's success -- from the screams of fans to the amount of portaloos lined up at the recent Centennial Park concert.

No doubt the down-to-earth Higgins family will be shaking their heads today at the news her debut album The Sound Of White is the biggest selling album in Australia for 2005.

After 68 weeks in the charts -- most of them in the top 10 -- The Sound of White has been certified eight times platinum, selling more than 560,000 copies.

Her single releases, The Special Two and Ten Days, also featured in the ARIA Top 100 singles, which was topped by the phenomenal success of Anthony Callea's rendition of The Prayer. Last year's Idol runner-up sold a record 300,000-plus copies of his signature song.

The end-of-year charts reflect the renewed love affair local music fans have developed for quality home-grown artists in recent years.

Higgins' The Sound Of White was joined by 29 other Australian artists in the top 100, including Pete Murray with his latest See The Sun at No.18 and Feeler at No.74.

Bernard Fanning also featured twice on the album wrap-up, with his debut solo album Tea & Sympathy (No.24) and Powderfinger's Fingerprints greatest hits collection (No.49). John Farnham also scored a double -- I Remember When I Was Young and Together In Concert with Tom Jones -- as did Grinspoon with Thrills, Kills & Sunday Pills and Best In Show.

ARIA CEO Stephen Peach said music fans had demonstrated a voracious appetite for home-grown artists, even as overall CD sales have slumped.

Newcomers on the top 100 included Ben Lee, Wolfmother, Thirsty Merc, Keith Urban, Rogue Traders, Casey Donovan and Callea.

"I think there is a greater awareness that our artists can cut it with the rest of the world," Peach says. "And it's not jingoism -- if this wasn't quality music, people wouldn't be buying it. To have 30 Australian albums in the top 100, with a population of 20 million people versus the amount of international releases, is an outstanding performance."

Purists would disagree when looking at the top 100 singles charts, which is dominated by novelty, covers and one-hit wonders. Commercial radio stations flogged a raft of annoying tunes, including The Pussycat Dolls' Don't Cha, Akon's Lonely and the Crazy Frog Axel F theme, all of which feature in the top five singles of 2005.

"The singles chart is still registering 24 per cent Australian content, which is pretty good," Peach added.

International artists prominent in the album charts included Kelly Clarkson, Michael Buble, Gwen Stefani, Black Eyed Peas, Green Day, Jack Johnson, Coldplay, James Blunt, Foo Fighters and Robbie Williams.

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Posted 23 July 2010 - 08:57 AM

Posted by vintage

Family, Community Top the Wish List
Star News GroupBy Kirsty Ross

A UNITED family, increased fire consciousness and more Wyndham events are some of the wishes residents have for 2006.

�I just want the whole family to be together,� said Sanctuary Lakes resident Santina Callea, proud mum of 2004 Idol runner-up Anthony Callea.

After a whirlwind 12 months since her son shot to fame, she wants some quality family time in the New Year.

�Last year he came for Christmas,� Mrs Callea said.

�It was just come and go � he was here one day and then he was off.

�It would be nice if he could spend a few days at home before heading off to Sydney to perform at the Opera House on New Year�s Eve.�

Anthony is expected home three days before Christmas after co-writing his new album with artists in Milan, London and Sweden over the last month. He jetted off in late November, just as soon as the 2005 Idol final was completed.

�It�s all part of it � he loves it, though,� said Mrs Callea.

She said Anthony wanted to release a different kind of album, one with a �European� feel early next year and tour Australia wide.

�He just wants something different for the young and the old � not just for the young,� she said.

Werribee CFA captain Darryl Wells doesn�t want anything personally, but he does want Wyndham residents to become more fire conscious �especially with outdoor fires and barbecues�.

He also wants drivers to slow down and show more courtesy on the roads.

�And when you hear an emergency vehicle, people need to move over and let it through because there are often lives involved.�

Wyndham City Council economic development and planning director Greg Aplin also wants the best for residents.

He particularly wants more local events.

�I want more people to enjoy and marvel at what we have to offer the community,� he said.

�It may sound a bit paternalistic, but I want the people of Wyndham to develop their potential and articulate their needs.

�We need to work cooperatively with the community to help them generate the outcomes they deserve.�

Mr Aplin said that the area has so much potential, but sometimes needs to be jolted into action.

�I know people are less tolerant of inadequacies when it comes to council.�

�In a world punctuated by turmoil, my hope is that the residents, workers and visitors to Wyndham have a peaceful safe and happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year.�

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Posted 23 July 2010 - 09:02 AM

Posted by x_electricstorm_x
With thanks italian_princess11

Starry Night, Nothing Holds a Candle to Our Carols
Herald Sun -TV guide
December, 2005




To many Australians, Silvie Paladino is best-known as the singer caught up in a media hoopla over who would perform the national anthem at this year's AFL Grand Final. Silvie or Delta Goodrem - who would it be? Well, it was Paladino, singing before the huge MCG crowd and to a TV audience of millions.

She's also appeared in the smash-hit stage show Mamma Mia, but says nothing compares to Carols By Candlelight. "When that sea of candles hits you, it's unbelievable" she says. "There's a real spirit of community and family, and you can feel that everyone's with you."

Everyone, perhaps, except Paladino's son, Christian, 5. He's a big fan of the Carols show but he doesn't want his mum to perform. "He said, 'Mum, I don't want you to sing, " Paladino says with a laugh. "I think he's sick of me singing all the time. But he'll be there on the night. He loves Hi-5 and Humphrey." Paladino's two-year-old daughter, Isabella, will watch the show at home with her grandma. "She came last year and was a bit of a handful; the singer says.

This year, Paladino will perform a duet with Australian Idol favourite Anthony Callea (above with Paladino).
"It's the first time we've performed together, although we met at the show last year; she says "We're from similar Italian backgrounds and hopefully we can do something special."

Paladino admits she gets stage fright, even after 19 years of performing. "I still get butterflies, although I'm probably better at channeling my nerves." Paladino still clearly remembers her first Carols' performance in 1988. "I was 16 and had white hair; the 34-year-old laughs. "I've changed a lot since then -I certainly look different - but my love of the show hasn�t changed. I look forward to it every year."

Carols, now in it�s 68th year, will once again be hosted by Ray Martin. Performers include Guy Sebastian, Marina Prior, Debra Byrne and Daryl Somers.

Carols By Candlelight, Saturday, Dee 24, 9pm, Nine

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Posted 23 July 2010 - 09:07 AM

Posted by diissee

TV WEEK issue dated 24-30th December

What are you singing this year?

I�m singing �The Christmas Song� (Chestnuts are roasting on an open fire), but I�ll be doing something else as well. You�ll have to wait and see!

Do you still get nervous before performing?

I do! Last year I was very nervous about doing the Christmas Carols, because you get out there and its just a seas of people with candles � it looks like it goes on for kilometres. You walk out there and its just like �Take a deep breath and don�t stuff up�.

What are your favourite Carols?

�The Christmas Song and I really like Frosty the Snowman and Rudolf the Rednose Reindeer�.

How will you be spending Christmas Day?

I get back from Europe on the 23 December and go straight to Rehearsals � I�ll be jetlagged! I will be spending Christmas with my family and probably fall asleep at the lunch table.

Do you have any family Christmas traditions?

In the middle of the table my NONNA sets up the baby Jesus set and makes us all sing �Happy Birthday� to Jesus, this happens every year. Its quite funny, all of us look at each other going �why are we doing this�.

Your most memorable Christmas as a kid?

One year I got a skateboard, and then walked through the family area and I saw this humungous trampoline! I was trying to work out how Santa got the Trampoline in the Sleigh!

Complete this sentence: Christmas is about�..

Reflecting on the past Year and being with your family.

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Posted 23 July 2010 - 09:09 AM

Posted by the_voice

Joy to the World
By Sarrah Le Marquand and Marcus Casey


Stars ... Kate DeAraugo and Daryl Somers gather in the name of Christmas for a not-so silent night IT'S a yuletide tradition as inevitable as a dose of indigestion after overindulging at Christmas lunch.

For the 26th year, Carols By Candlelight will broadcast live from the Sidney Myer Music Bowl in Melbourne. Hosted once again by Ray Martin, the 2005 roll-call of celebrity carollers includes Guy Sebastian, Natalie Bassingthwaighte, David Campbell, Marina Prior, Debra Byrne and Anthony Callea.

Traditionally there are performers young and old, and this year Australian Idol winner Kate DeAraugo moves her career up a notch with an appearance, while old-timer Daryl Somers continues his TV comeback.

While an average audience of 1.8 million watch from home, those who pay for the privilege of clutching candles in person will raise proceeds for Vision Australia, which provides services for vision-impaired children.

"All the artists donate their time which is really unusual," executive producer Margaret Bashfield says. "There are not many events you get to work on where the people are there because they really want to be."

In a rare display of co-operation between rival networks, star performers from an array of programs feature in the line-up. Hence the inclusion of Australian Idol alumni and Dancing With The Stars' spruiker Somers.


While some familiar faces have become Carols veterans, they mingle backstage with nervous newcomers about to make their debut.
"We say the same thing to all of them: it's the most loving crowd that you will ever perform in front of because everyone is happy and they want to love the artists," Bashfield says.

"They all say there is no other event like it. For whatever reason, standing on stage at Carols is unlike any other event they do.

"The sea of candles is extraordinary. To stand there and see this mass of people and a mass of candles is really, really special. We in the production team don't get out on stage much but we always make sure we find a moment to go and stand side of stage and have a look at what the performers see."

Carols By Candlelight, Christmas Eve, Nine, 9pm

* 8 weeks' full-time preparation - planning started at the completion of last year's show
* 9 days to set up Melbourne's Sidney Myer Music Bowl (set and lighting)
* 12 cameras
* 12km of cables
* 16 years with Ray Martin as host
* 22 artists or groups
* 26 years of Nine broadcasting the 68-year-old event
* 33 songs in the show
* 63 orchestra members led by Australian Idol musical director John Foreman (40-piece strings section, 23 band musicians)
* 145 crew from rigging, show and de-rigging
* 224 Carols By Candlelight choir members
* 1000 lights
* 20,000 plus audience at the venue
* 1.8 million national TV audience

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Posted 23 July 2010 - 09:17 AM

Posted by fongo

2005 Music Wrap

'SALES are strong, people are listening and the gigs are full.

Industry figures agree 2005 has been a bumper year for the Australian music industry.
Australian artists racked up 30 separate No.1 entries on the Australian Record Industry Association's album, singles and DVD charts over the past 16 months.

"There is a general vibe out there for Australian music," says historian and industry commentator Glenn A Baker.

"You just get some years where you sense that there is just a vibe happening."

Seven of those Australian hits were by Australian Idol contestants Guy Sebastian, Shannon Noll, Paulini Curuenavuli, Casey Donovan, ANTHONY CALLEA, Cosima De Vito and Joel Turner.

"It has really added to the market for Australian artists," ARIA chief executive Stephen Peach says of the Idol factor.

"There has been enormous support for the winners and those involved getting that exposure."

But some in the industry aren't too keen on the Idol phenomenon and have openly criticised the show, among them Hoodoo Gurus frontman Dave Faulkner.

"It may be selling lots of records and rating programs but it doesn't mean anything to anyone musically," he said of the show.

"It is just filling someone's CD cradle."

The 2005 sales figures represent the greatest number of Australian artists hitting the top position in any 16-month period in the 22-year history of the ARIA charts.

"We have a lot of faith in Australian artists and their ability to appeal to Australian audiences," Peach says.

"If nothing else, all of this has clearly demonstrated that Australians have a very strong appetite for local music."

Peach says he's impressed by the range of musical genres that have achieved success this year.

Delta Goodrem, The Cat Empire, Jet, Jimmy Barnes, Pete Murray, Bernard Fanning, John Farnham, AC/DC, Powderfinger and Christian faith music from the Hillsong Church have all hit the top spot on the ARIA charts during 2005.

"One of the great positives for the year has been that Australian music continues to make up a substantial proportion of the sales and the chart performance," Peach says.

"And it is that very wide variety of artists."

Among this year's biggest winners is Missy Higgins, who cleaned up at the ARIA Awards, winning five gongs from seven nominations

The 22-year-old won best female artist, breakthrough artist album, highest selling album and album of the year and best pop release, all for her debut offering The Sound of White.

Higgins spent much of this year touring the United States, playing small venues and building up a modest but dedicated following.

But she's not even sure if America is a market she wants to court.

"It is a hard slog to make it in America and I am not even sure if I want to make it in America," she said in October.

"I am just kind of giving it a crack and seeing how I go. It is good to try."

Ben Lee also won big at the ARIAs this year, taking home three coveted statuettes.

The 26-year-old started out recording singles in his bedroom and although he's always been popular, he had a mostly underground following until this year.

But the release of an infectious song titled Catch My Disease changed all that.

"Ben Lee has just got a right sort of presence," Baker says.

"He just makes people feel good."

Lee won best male artist and best independent release for his album Awake is the New Sleep, and Catch My Disease won single of the year.

The song has received mainstream airplay around Australia and also in the United States.

Ironically, it contains the lyrics: "They don't play me on the radio ... and that's the way I like it."

Baker says Keith Urban has also had a good year, but believes he's undervalued in Australia.

Urban was again voted male vocalist of the year at the American Country Music Awards, and is the most popular country music artist in the United States.

"The achievements of Keith Urban are nowhere near as recognised as they should be and they are just astonishing," Baker says.

While artists have had a good year, 2005 has also been kind to fans, with Australia well and truly back on the international touring map after a lull in the 90s.

Touring acts have included Velvet Revolver, Norah Jones, Green Day, Bryan Adams, Rod Stewart, Xzibit, Diana Krall, John Legend, Moby, Simple Plan, Black Eyed Peas, Jamiroquai, Joe Cocker, Hilary Duff, Foo Fighters, The Strokes, Cher, Good Charlotte, Village People, Sarah McLachlan, Avril Lavigne, Tori Amos, Destiny's Child, Garbage, Jesse McCartney and Oasis.

The touring trend will continue, with some of the world's biggest names heading here in 2006.

Confirmed acts include The Backstreet Boys, 50 Cent, U2, Rob Thomas, Stevie Nicks, UB40 and Simple Minds.

And after postponing her world tour earlier this year after being diagnosed with breast cancer, Kylie Minogue looks set to return to Australia next year.

Looking ahead, Baker says he's stunned by the wealth of talent coming out of Western Australia and says it might be a sign of more good things to come.

"I have never seen it before, this huge amount of West Australian input," he says, citing The John Butler Trio, The Waifs, Little Birdy, Eskimo Joe and End of Fashion.

"Over the years we have seen one or two but it makes you ask what is happening over there."

But whatever corner of Australia produces the next big thing, Baker says one thing's certain.

"What I sense is that people are listening again, they are listening to music, getting into the complexity of music and the textures and tones of music," he says.

"Textures, tones, musicality, diversity, a greater imagination on the part of both audiences and bands."

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