Don’t forget to check out Jade’s website below.
Transcript of Podcast
0.00 – 0.23
Wayne: G’day and welcome to Wayne’s Wonder World. This podcast will be mainly about musicians entertainers and actors. But from time to time I will also have other guests that I find interesting. Hope you enjoy the podcast please head to Wayneswonderwold.com and please feel free to follow me on my Facebook page Wayne’s Wonder World.
0.23 – 0.48
Wayne: Jade Hurley welcome to Wayne’s Wonder World.
Jade: Pleasure to talk to you Wayne.
Wayne: Thanks Jade. Thanks for giving us your time today. Now this is the inaugural podcast so I hope you so I hope you feel very special.
Jade: Hahaha I’m the bunny am I?
Wayne: I think you’re more than bunny Jade but I am very honoured that you have the time to speak to me today and it’s very much appreciated.
Jade: My pleasure Wayne.
0.48 – 5.13
Wayne: So let’s get into things. Can you tell us who are you?
Jade: Well oh god how does Jade Hurley describe Jade Hurley. Well I suppose at this stage in my life turning 76 this year on the 17th of June, I started my career I was taught no I wasn’t taught at all because my mum was a piano player and we had a piano in the lounge room of our Sydney suburban home in those days as a lot of people. It was a very ordinary thing to walk into any person’s place in those days and there would be a piano there or a pianola. But my mum she was a piano player and she would sit down and play the piano and I would sit down on the piano stool next to her and I would watch where she put her hands in relation to the notes that she was reading on the music. So I would ultimately over a period of time Wayne I taught myself how to read, how to write and how to play the piano myself and that was when I was only a little boy because my mum died when I was only 14 years of she she died of breast cancer. So I was a very very young kid and I showed some ability to be able to pick up everything to do with a piano, with a keyboard and everything like that very early in my life. Subsequently we lost my mum and that was terrible something that I have never ever got over even to this minute. But a couple of years later I just happen to be with my bodgy and widgy mates up at a suburban hotel and I was 14 years old and in those days you had to be 21 years of age and older to be on licensed premises in other words to get into a hotel. But there just happen to be a talent quest on. But I was there with my bodgy and widgy mates and for those of you who don’t know what bodgy and widgy is you better go and get a glass of warm milk and a blanket and go to bed. Because after all the bodgy’s and widgy’s came all the mods and all that sort of thing throughout the years. But anyway we found ourselves in this pub and be known to all my bodgy and widgy mates my name had been entered into the talent quest. And when the host yelled out “Ladies and gentlemen the next contestant is Johnny Hurley” John being my real name. They threw me up on the stage and I kicked the keys and did all that and jumped all over the piano and sang the B-hit record of the day Jerry Lee Lewis come over baby whole lot of shaking going on and Wayne would you believe I won the talent quest.
Wayne: I certainly would believe that Jade.
Jade: The first prize was a brand new 10 shilling note in those days and another schooner of beer which I needed like a hole in the head because we had been drinking schooners of beer all day and in those days drinking a schooner was like drinking a Keg to a young 14 year old and I was drunk as a skunk. But Johnny O’Keefe just happen to be driving past the pub that afternoon doing a show south of Sydney in Wollongong called in saw Johnny Hurley singing “Whole lot of shaking going on” was drunk as a skunk and the week he called me up and I went over to his place and he put me on six o’clock rock so where is Jade Hurley at? 76 years of age and I was only 14 years of age when all that happened so I’ve enjoyed a lifetime of touring and recording and writing music composing songs and all this sort of thing. It’s just been a privilege to do what I have done all these years.
5.13 – 8.10
Wayne: Well that sounds amazing Jade so it sounds like TV was the first avenue for you to get out there into the broader public. Would I be right in saying that?
Jade: TV well I mean TV came much much later and you look at TV now and all you have is The Voice and Australia’s Got Talent and those sort of things and a few breakfast shows on television where you might be able to get on and sing a song and all that sort of thing. But in days gone by when you have the Don Lane show and Ernie Sigley and Denise Drysdale and the Mike Walsh show, Graham Kennedy, In Melbourne tonight. These were just the stepping stones for young entertainer to get on, sing a show, show your wears and promote your name and of course those avenues aren’t there anymore.
Jade: To the same degree. Because these days the television networks would rather you know put their money into making a show telling you how some silly people make scones. Bake a leg of lamb for god sake give us a break that doesn’t help the entertainment industry unfortunately.
Wayne: So I guess of the years gone by the people like yourself and other successful artists had the opportunity to be on TV such as the kinsmen, yourself and various other artists that avenue is now gone.
Wayne: Where do you go to get a leg up these days? I don’t know. It seems really challenging.
Jade: The only thing that you have left for yourself these days as a young artist with technology today Wayne we’re lucky because you can set up your own little recording studio in your lounge room if you like or in your bedroom and technology allows you to produce a song if you like if you do have the ability to do that and a lot of musicians these days do. So that gives them the opportunity to write a song or record a cover of someone else’s song and hopefully put it out there on the net on itunes and all that sort of stuff. Although it does not have the impact of getting yourself on television in days gone by.
Wayne: Of course. Touching on what you just said people these days can buy the equipment but it doesn’t necessarily have talent though.
Jade: No not at all.
Wayne: So there could potentially be a flooding of content for example on Youtube.
Jade: Yeah that’s right.
Wayne: But regardless it still leaves the avenue very very hard to become successful. But the technology is there to output it it’s just that getting the attention isn’t it.
8.10 – 10.36
Jade: yeah unfortunately though Wayne a lot people like myself who grew up in the industry starting at six o’clock rock then bandstand and Saturday date and all those great live television shows the go show. There were so many in those days I mean gee it was just amazing. For those of us who grew up in that era to go and record you had to go and record in a fully-fledged recording studio. And those studios would cost you up to $400 an hour now that is an extraordinary amount of money to record a song. Then you gotta pay the musicians and all that sort of thing and gee to record a song in days gone by was just extraordinarily expensive.
Jade: And with no guarantees if the song never got any airplay well it was all for nothing unfortunately. But these days you can do the same thing by spending say $2,000 on a little recording studio in your own bedroom, lounge room or whatever at home and take the same risk. But I’m lucky because I saw 20 or 30 years ago what computers were going to do to the entertainment industry particularly the recording industry. So I put my head down and bum up taught myself via a few friends along the track who were already in the business of doing all their own stuff by a computer. A mate of mine bought me an old Atari computer which was one of the first computers in the world where you could make music by a computer. And so we went from an Atari computer into a pc and it has just gradually come through into what I use today which is all the absolute best available gear but I still do it at home. But I am perhaps one of the only people in Australia of my vintage that has the capabilities of doing this I am proud to say.
10.36 – 11.21
Jade: You know my other mates I suppose most of them now from that era a lot of them aren’t around anymore. They’re either passed on or they are not capable of still performing. And god willing I still am and still do and still tour and everything like that and still record all my own stuff and put it out there. Thankfully it still sells like hot cakes!
Wayne: That’s great Jade.
Jade: So I am a little bit of the exception as far as that is concerned. As I say I am proud to say that.
11.21 – 14.20
Wayne: That’s great to hear Jade. Now touching on the basis of recording when did you first get your recording contract?
Jade: Oh well I wrote a song many many years ago called “How I Lied” and anyway I took to my record company HMV records in Sydney to a man by the name of Joe Halford and he is still alive god love him and said “Nah that’s no good mate you sound too much like Buddy Holly” I said oh well that’s not a bad sort of a rut but he treated it as a criticism because there was only one Buddy Holly. So anyway a couple of years later I though gee I am gonna give this another go so once again I trotted into HMV records into where you buy records and said hello to Joe and again and said told him a bit of a white lie I said I have written this new song and everybody who hears the song says it’s a hit and I would like to play it for you. So I played him the same song from a couple of years earlier and he said “Oh mate that is terrific!”
Wayne and Jade: hahaha
Jade: So we recorded at HMV records and we recorded four in those days you didn’t only go and record one song you would record two or four. So you had a forty-five you had a single with another song on the B-side. An A-side and a B-side in this case we had How I Lied and a dreadful song I wrote called I Got a Kitten. I got a kitten that can really purr she loves me and I love her.
Wayne and Jade: hahaha
Jade: That was terrible but anyway it’s there til the end of time. The second song I wrote about my earlier girlfriend whose name was Judy- Judy Caurothers. I called the song my baby Judy and it told the story of how we met and went steady then broke up and everything like that. It was a pretty sad song. The fourth track was a song called How To Love Me and that was a pretty good sort of a song as well and anyway we recorded those four tracks. How I Lied was the first one to be released as a single and that was a pretty big hit for me all over Australia that was followed up by My Baby Judy which was a bit of minor hit. In those days it was pretty hard to get a recording contract but I was persistent and pulled it off with a bit of a white lie with Joe Halford.
14.20 – 16.10
Wayne: Now Jade with this recording contract back in the day was it big money or was the aspect getting your name out there?
Jade: No, money out of records unless you write every song and every song is a monumental hit and sells fifty thousand copies or whatever it might happen to be- and not to many do I might add. I am lucky to be able to say about myself that all of my albums every Jade Hurley album that I have recorded has either gone gold, platinum of double platinum both here and in New Zealand!
Wayne: That’s amazing Jade.
Jade: So you can make money out of those sort of sales. But where you make your money via recordings is at the live shows when you do a meet and greet after the show and you go out and sign autographs and get photographs taken with the fans after the show. And they buy a CD or a DVD and that is where the money comes from. You know so we concentrate on that not only because that is where you get a bit of an income after the show but I just love doing that. I love going out into the foyer and theatre after the show and hundreds of people are there any they wanna sit on ya knee and get a photo- particularly the ladies thank god for that. But I just love doing that and down through the years so many photos I see where I come back twenty years later! They have the original photo and they bring it back twenty years later and they say “Do you remember when you signed this for me?” And all that sort of thing. It’s just wonderful.
16.10 – 28.08
Wayne: That is amazing Jade something you wrote a long time back was something about a place called Deniliquin I believe this was the place you were born is that correct?
Jade: No, I was actually born in Sydney Wayne but see times were tough at one stage in my carrer I had already made a name for myself with How I Lied and followed up by My Baby Judy and a couple of other minor ones and I got ripped off by a theatrical agent who booked a lot of the clubs in Sydney. This guy he rang me up and he invited me to his office in the CBD in Sydney. He rang me up and said “Come in I want to talk to you.” So I went in and I sat across his desk. He said “Look you have got a lot of potential and I would like to manage you.” At this particular time in my career times were a little bit tough. I had been around a few years but not really progressing I basically stale mated myself into the industry but I had a following. But this guy he obviously recognized that. But this guy he said “I can book you into every club in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne” not only that but he said “I can also book you into Manilla in the Philippines and Hong Kong and Singapore” and I thought wow that sounds great this is the break I had been waiting for. He pushed across a contract across his desk. He said “If you are happy with his and everything like that and you wanna make the big money that comes with this sort of opportunity this sort of offer.” He said sign on the bottom line down the bottom there. Well it was a two page contract and even though I was not all too familiar with signing contracts I turned the first page and saw the second page where I had to sign down the bottom. The only thing that caught my eye on that second page was 40% in those days legally theatrical agent that booked you around the clubs and everything were only allowed to take 15% but I saw 40% you see. Only thing I noticed on that page. Well I said “What’s this 40%?” he said “That’s my percentage that’s what I get out of every dollar that you make. Every dollar that you make I get 40 cents” I said “Well that’s illegal” he said “If you wanna sign the paper sign it or else get outta my bloody office.” So I was devastated, so I got up and I walked out I thought I am not gonna do this. I am not going to prostitute my life to a guy who is gonna be ripping me off for the rest of my life. So I went home to my wife Barbara and I said gee this is what’s happened because she was excited that we might be able to do shows all over the world and all that sort of thing. Then I thought what’s our alternative now because I thought we don’t wanna be working around the clubs with all these scum bags and everything like that booking me or trying to book me. So I thought I would get out of the entertainment scene in Sydney and go somewhere else. There were two places in Australia that when I was touring through the years I really liked. I liked the area I liked the tows where we performed and everything like that. One was a city called Perth in Western Australia which I loved and had great success over there. The other one was a place called Deniliquin in the Riverina in New South Wales. So I rang up both contacts at radio stations there. In the case of Perth in WA I called Dick Hemming who was then one of the chief producers at radio station 6PR. In Deniliquin I called man by the name of Phil Charlie at radio station 2QR in Deniliquin. Anyway only about 6 weeks later Phil Charlie from Deniliquin called me aye get in the old FJ and come down you can start your own radio program when you get here. Well I did have an old FJ Holden haha and I did get in the old FJ Holden and ten hours later I arrived in Deniliquin and started radio. But that is how I went to Deniliquin and contrary to popular belief a lot of people think I was born there but no I wasn’t.
Wayne: Hey also I think around that region that was where Mike Walsh was born.
Jade: He was born in Coro yeah. Down near Albury once again as part of the Riverina.
Jade: And of course the Mike Walsh days I mean gee. You know what happened after I arrived in Deniliquin Wayne was well look it was quite remote because well look I was such a dismal failure on the radio it wasn’t funny. Not only that I got on the air one morning I was doing one morning. I got on the air and I criticized the local mayor and that is something I will never forget for the rest of my life. Because when you move to a country town you are not classed as a local until you have been there about 20 or 30 years. But the local mayor had been born there but anyway that cost me my job so the only thing I could lend my hands to earn and income in Deniliquin was – and it was in the middle of one of the worst draughts ever- but a mate of mine who was a sheering and his father was a sheering contractor he got me a job as a rouse about. And that is picking up wool from the shearers and throwing it out on the board and picking all the stuff out of it and then pressing it. And that went on to be one of the greatest jobs of my whole life. Until Johnny O’Keefe used to tour regularly all through the clubs in New South Wales all the country towns every year he would come to the Deniliquin town hall and do a show. And because of that and because we were mates I got my stuff and through John and all that earlier. He would come up to our place after the show and we would have a party. Anyway one such year he was doing the show and up he came after the show and we were having a few drinks at our place. He said “Look I am starting this new show called the good old days of rock n roll and I want you to be on it.” I said “No mate I am working away down here.” And by this time ironically I had got another offer to go back to 2QN at the radio station. So I was doing all of that. I said “Nah I am settling in here” I was entrenched in the town I was interested in local government council elections and I got elected as an Ottoman. So Here I was Ottoman Hurley in Deniliquin playing around doing first birthday parties and engagements and all that sort of thing in places like Hay and Finley and all these sorts of places in the Riverina. And Johnny O’Keefe comes in and says I want you to come back into the business on this show called the good old days of rock and roll. Anyway being the persistent person that JOK was he convinced me so I drove back to Sydney and I staying with him and his wife Maurine in those days while he put the show together. That show The Good Old Days of Rock n Roll was the biggest hit thing that I could have ever done because I just went so good on it. I was the only piano player, singer singing songs like Great Balls of Fire, Great Running Bear and Whole Lot of Shaking Going On and all those sort of things. Every show was a great show for me personally. He said to me when I was living in Deniliquin he would ring up and say “Why don’t you write some more Jade Hurley songs?” this is before coming back into the business with the good old days of Rock n Roll. He said “Write a song about the Riverina not one has ever written a song about the Riverina.” So anyway he kept badgering me and badgering me about writing a song about the Riverina so I did called Down In The Riverina. Anyway my mate at the time Darrel McCleary who works for me now as a sound man all these years later he was playing drums with me and we were doing a show at Hay. We were driving back down the Hay plane back from the show at Hay back to Deniliquin and I started singing this down in the Riverina down in the Riverina and he said “What’s that you singing?” I said I don’t know JOK has been driving me nuts to write a song about the Riverina. He said “Well that sounds pretty good!” So I turned the light on and got out a piece of paper and a pen and by the time I had got back to Deniliquin I had written the song in my head. Darrel said “Yeah that sounds bloody fantastic mate!” I got home and I recorded the song just myself playing an old upright piano I had there and singing into an old cassette recorder. Then the next night I called up John and I could tell he was a little bit drunk and I said “Mate I have written the song about the Riverina” he said “Oh that’s great” I said “I can play it I have recorded it with the piano on a cassette recorder and I will play it down the telephone line if you like” he said “Oh that’s great.” So I hit the go button and put the speaker next to the phone on the little cassette recorder. When the song finished I picked up the phone and all I could hear was *snoring sounds*
Wayne and Jade: hahaha
Jade: He was sound asleep haha but anyway the long and short of it was he thought it was fantastic. He flew me to Sydney to record the song and it went on to become a big hit and still one of the most recorded song that I get.
28.08 – 31.11
Wayne: That is amazing Jade and I believe Johnny O’Keefe once labelled you as Australia’s King of Country Rock when was this?
Jade: Well after we had made a comeback with The Good Old Days of Rock n Roll Wayne that stage show and as I say that was just an amazing success for me. John said “Hey I am going to manage you full time now. We are gonna go into Festival records I am going to produce a twelve inch LP for you.” So we did all that and we selected songs over a couple of weeks. Songs like Rave On by Buddy Holly, Do you Wanna Dance? By Bobby Freeman, Great Balls of Fire Jerry Lee Lewis Whole Lot of Shaking Going On Jerry Lee Lewis and on the other side were country songs. So on one side of the twelve inch LP were – this is quite unique no one had ever done this before – on side of the LP was rock n roll and the other side was all country so he said “Ah ok country rock. I think we should call you Australia’s king of country rock” I said ok. So that became the name of the album – Australia’s King of Country Rock Jade Hurley and that tag has stuck all the way down through the years. And of course that went on to become a hit, it still sells. See all those albums even down through the Mike Walsh show or that one Australia’s King of Country Rock that JOK recorded they are still available through the website if someone wants a copy of those just go to website and you can order it.
Wayne: What’s the website Jade?
Jade: www.jadehurley.net simple as. You can just got there and see all the songs and you can order the albums.
Wayne: And I believe you have also made several DVD’s that are available to purchase is that correct?
Jade: That comes with the territory of course Wayne down through the years we have recorded all various things compilations to put out there for DVD’s. Because when the DVD things hit the lounge rooms people were buying DVD’s like you wouldn’t believe. That had a hell of bearing on people going to the movies. Because people could now watch Jade Hurley or their favourite artist or a movie in their lounge room. So yeah we got 2 DVD’s that were put out throughout the years and a stack of CD’s and they are all available through the website.
31.11 – 36.47
Wayne: Now touching back on the Mike Walsh Show is it true that you and Mike had a special partnership in regards to recording music? Or how did it work?
Jade: Well John Hanson my then manager when Mike said to me “What do you think of you and I becoming partners and we record an album through the show with the Geoff Harvey Orchestra and it would all be live and we can promote it through the show.” John then put the whole thing together with festival records. So Mike Walsh and myself got into a partnership that was just unparalleled and unequalled. What they involved was what he said because when the first album which was called Jade Hurley’s Twenty Golden Oldens twenty tracks all live off the Mike Walsh Show and the Mike hold up the album and he would say “Here is Jade Hurley with a couple of songs off the album take it away Jade Hurley” and then you know he would hold up the album again he said “It’s in every record store across the county go out and get yourself a copy!” It was just unbelievable and it was followed up by one called More Goldren Oldens, followed up by Jade Hurley Solid Gold all of them went golden, platinum and double platinum. They were the biggest selling albums indeed, Jade Hurley Solid Gold was the biggest selling middle of the road album that particular year which I am proud to say. It was just amazing.
Wayne: It is Jade. Speaking of Mike Walsh again no one has really given him the accolades of how important his show was for the Australian people and for performers.
Jade: Well look it didn’t matter if Australian entertainers like myself or entertainers coming from overseas the first show anyone wanted to get on was the Mike Walsh Show because it was so innovative and it had more viewers than any show in history. It was live so warts and all so anything that happened was completely live. The power of the show was just extraordinary I mean when we would go out for a six week tour say New South Wales and Queensland Mike would get on there every day when we were doing the show and rattle off all the venues we were doing. Every show was invariably full. We were chock-a-block full in a lot of cases we could have done two shows in a lot of country towns. It was just the power of the Mike Walsh show and the talent, uniqueness of Mike Walsh himself it was just quite extraordinary. There has only ever been one Mike Walsh similarly with the Don Lane show out of Melbourne on GG9 in Melbourne that was just amazing as well. I was lucky to be able to become a great mate of Don as well the after Don left us I would do the Burt Newton show and Kerry-Anne Kennerley’s show. It was all just a follow on from the Mike Walsh show.
Wayne: That’s amazing.
Jade: It was amazing Wayne and down through those years all those follow ups it allows us to get on there and it is very hard to do now. You can get on all these shows and promote your latest CD’s or DVD or whatever and the latest shows and tours all that sort of thing. It all stemmed from the Mike Walsh show.
Wayne: I see what you mean Jade. Looking back at all these programs you just mentioned the Mike Walsh show, the Don Lane show these days when you look on television during the day time there is just nothing like that. I guess you could describe it as a variety show I guess with all the different facets of different items. You know it could be performing, interviews but now it all just a changed sort of environment.
Jade: You see the Mike Walsh show was entertainment personified. Everything to do with entertainment. You would have the odd politicians on there and everything but everything was geared and Mike himself had the ability to turn any interview into entertainment. So you knew and it was a ninety minute show Monday through Friday it didn’t matter what day if you sat down you were going to be entertained. And the uniqueness of that will never be replicated.
36.47 – 42.32
Wayne: So speaking of that I think we have touched base mainly in Australia but you have toured over the world is that correct?
Jade: Well I went over to America we got an offer from the Jim Halsey organization in America. He had seen various clips of me and he wanted to manage me in America. We did shows with Don Williams and Roy Clark and a few others through the mid-west and they were all successful for me. But you know Wayne at this stage I was doing very very good here in Australia. And to start over again, because starting again in a new market especially in America would result in an incredible amount of work. I mean we would have to move there, base ourselves there possibly around Oklahoma city around that stage, then start all over again in a brand new market with interviews and television shows and radio shows and for me it was too hard. While I said in those days it was too hard and it was but I look back at myself and think gee “What if.” You know Jim Hals had called me into his office one day because John Hanson had already told him that we weren’t interested – John Hanson being my manager he was over there touring with me – and John had told him no we are going home Jade isn’t interested and Jim was really disappointed in that so he sat me down and he said “Look I know you have made millions over in Australia and everything like that” (which we had) “I can book you anywhere and get you on any television show here in America and all you need is one percent of the American audience to recognize who Jade Hurley is and you could be making millions of dollars every year.” That took me back a little bit but I thought no I have had enough. I had a beautiful place up in the Twig Valley by this time and everything like that. We didn’t want for anything. I had made a lot of money throughout the years so we came home. Ironically enough after all that happened it was many years later I was doing a show out of Auckland in New Zealand a television show called That’s Country. I was recording at the James Hay theatre next to the town hall in Christ Church, this is long before Christ Church was devastated by the two earthquakes. Totally wrecked. Only the other day we had this terrible attack in Christ Church where fifty odd people were shot. Just horrible. But that show That’s Country was showed three times weekly on the national network in America and John my manager rang up and said I just got you another two shows. I asked where and he goes “In Ireland” and I thought he was talking about an island up in Queensland he said “No Ireland up there near pommy land” I said “WHAT? Who wants to book Jade Hurley up in Ireland?” He said “Well there is this couple who sit in their loungeroom in Nashville and watch That’s Country and every time Jade Hurley comes on they sit there and compare you to some of their mates like Jerry Lee Lewis, Charlie Rich and Little Richard” all those piano player singers. I said “Who the hell are you talking about” He said “Johnny Cash and his wife June Carter Cash. He has a tour coming up in Ireland and he wants you to be the support.” I thought wow, so we went and did all those shows they were remarkably successful for me over there. That started a lifelong friendship with John and June Carter Cash and of course we have lost both of them now. Even Johnny O’Keefe he’s gone now and you know I look back on my career now and I think gee here I am 76 this year and I am still doing it. There is something almost bizarre about that. In a lot of cases it’s a good thing, but it’s also a sad thing because I have seen a lot of the people who gave me steps along the way. Don Lane doesn’t do anything anymore, Mike Walsh you never see him do anything anymore. But you know we are still out there throwing the leg up on the piano even though I have had two knee replacement and that sort of thing. Life is good. How lucky is Jade Hurley.
42.32 – 45.00
Wayne: Yeah, speaking back to Johnny Cash I believe a few times he actually invited you to his home is that correct?
Jade: Yeah, I went to his place on many occasions. When he came out to Australia he was performing at Twin Towns he came up to my place up on the mountain there. We formed a great friendship. I said to him one time “John when you got friends like Jerry Lee Lewis and Charlie Rich all these piano player then you got me from Australia. What attracts you to me?” Ironically he said the same thing that Johnny O’Keefe said to me earlier, I asked the same question to John and he said “You can play the piano like no one else, and you can sing on top of it” and Johnny Cash said the same thing. He said “Look Jerry Lee no one can surpass Jerry Lee Lewis but you do it differently.” And that was nice yeah.
Wayne: That is amazing I would have assumed also that you were a fan of Johnny before he met you. So to have him being very friendly that would have been an amazing feeling I imagine.
Jade: You know what it like Wayne the phone rings at home you pick it up and you hear “Hi Jade it’s Johnny Cash” I mean ironically enough I have only got one clip of Johnny and myself in Ireland after one of the shows. Ironically enough again because I am not on the ones to go chase someone who is a star. I have never been like that. I don’t have a photography of Johnny O’Keefe and myself together how remarkable is that. But that’s life. That’s me. As I say I have never been one to you know get a photograph of everyone I worked with throughout the years which I suppose is a little sad.
45.00 – 51.40
Wayne: Yeah, now with all the work that you have achieved, a very successful music career, and I believe you have also done a lot of charity work performing at several charity events around Australia. Is that true?
Jade: Yeah, down through the years particularly along with the channel nine days and I am talking about Mike Walsh, Don Lane or Kerry-Anne Kennerley all through those channel nine appearances and because of that you become a little bit of a house hold name. One particular instance I will never forget I was going Penrith league club and I was doing sound check and lighting checks before the doors open to let the fans in. While I was doing that I noticed that the door did open and a man walked right through the theatre up to the stage. So I asked “Can I help you?” And he said “Jade my wife is in a local hospital right now, she has cancer and only has a couple of days to live. Her and I separated a few years ago but we have remained friends. I realized just how much an important part of her life you were. I would be really obliged if you could call in and see her.” Now Wayne this was only one of literally hundred down through the years that I was called on to do. I went and saw that lady on our way back to Sydney after the show. It was difficult. Likewise we were doing shows in Melbourne and I got asked to go down to the children’s hospital in Melbourne. I went in there and oh god it was just so hard seeing some of these little kiddies just fighting to stay alive. I went out into the hire car in the car park after I spent a couple of hours there. And all of a sudden I got out a piece of paper out of the glove box and I wrote a song called To Help a Child. That is up on Youtube if you just go and search for Jade Hurley Help a Child you will see it. Those sort of things are the sort of things I used to do shows and fundraisers for the National Heart Foundation, the Australian Cancer Foundation, the Arthritis Foundation out of the blue I was notified that I had been nominated for Order of Australia Medal. When I opened that letter I thought it was an April fool’s joke so I called the number on the letter and a cultured voice in Canberra answered I told him I was Jade Hurley and I got this letter is this fair dinkum or whatever and he said “Yeah it is we would just like to know if you would be prepared to accept it.” That was a real buzz. I proudly display my Order of Australia Medal most times when I go out it’s on the lapel on my coat. It was lovely to be recognized like that. Along with the Gold records and the Platinum records and the Order of Australia Medal.
Wayne: It sounds like regardless of the records it’s the people that motivate you.
Jade: Well you know what when the people out there who come along to the shows and they buy the records the CD’s and the DVD’s all that sort of thing. They have created a lifestyle for me that would never have happened if I was still working in the sheering shed I imagine, I don’t know maybe it would. But the fans have been great so I think there is an obligation there. If someone asks for your help I mean for god sake it’s not like you are digging into your pockets for millions of dollars all they are asking you for is your support. You come along sing your songs lend your support to this charity event or whatever it might happen to be. Well you know I suppose it is also terribly hard after all those years I was living up at the Tweed, I was president at the Tweedhead chamber of commerce. And a guy who was a board member scammed me for everything we had. So I look back to the days when Jim Halsey in Oklahoma in America asked to manage and look after me over there all the millions that we had accumulated over here, and the properties at one stage I had over eight properties and this guy got us for absolutely everything and cost us over six millions dollars. We ended up with nothing and had to start all over again. It’s very hard Wayne when you have to start all over again at fifty and sixty years of age you are not twenty and thirty anymore and we had to do all that. So you know god willing we are out on the road again, we don’t have the millions we had before but we are still alive still happy still doing the shows and people still come along to buy the CD’s DVD’s and everything like that how good is that?
Wayne: That’s amazing Jade. Now before we go I have two more questions. My first is something that not many people may know about you, but to my research you were only born with two arteries to your heart?
Jade: Yes that is right Wayne I used to get terrible chest pains all through my life and it just happen to be, well they thought I had a heart attack one time. On the Daily Mirror placards the newspaper placards in Sydney it was Rockstar has Heart attack. That was me and me and I was in St George Hospital in Sydney. There just so happen to be a new facility where they would do an angiogram and they would video it. Then they would send those videos to Harley St in London and over to America all around the world to these top cardiologists. One of those videos found its way a specialist in Harley St London and he was coming out to Brisbane and he sent my then doctor in Tweed heads a letter saying that he would like to speak with Jade Hurley when he comes out next week. So the long and short of it is we went up to this hospital in Brisbane and he did an angiogram on me and he said “I have only ever seen two or three of these in my life before. What it is instead of you having a left, center and right ventricle on your heart you were born without a right. That is where your discomfort and pain are coming from because the heart muscle is starving for oxygen so it spasms.” So I have lived my whole life like that, matter of fact I only a couple of nights ago I had a terrible night. But it is something that I have lived with and it’s one of those things. But I am still here haha.
54.06 – 55.45
Wayne: That’s good Jade. Now my final question on today’s program is what advice would you give a young person if they are trying to launch a career in the music world?
Jade: Oh god that’s hard. That is so super hard. I don’t know. Look without the exposure, everything is exposure you gotta get your name out there to be recognized. That then instills the live show bookings and stuff like that so it’s a natural progression. There is only one way to do it anymore and that is via a record deal. If you can get a record played out there you know going on these shows like the Voice and Australia’s Got Talent are you serious? There is perhaps two or three down through the years that have come down these shows that are still known to this minute. Mind you that is two or three that wouldn’t have had the opportunity any other way. So there is that to be said. But it’s just so hard. It doesn’t matter how much talent you have whether you are a singer, song writer, multi-instrumentalist or whatever it is so hard to get recognized and get your name out there these days. That is why there is not all these many new stars. Have a look around you folks and see how many new stars that is S T A R S there are. There is not too many anymore.
55.45 – 57.06
Wayne: Well thanks for that Jade. Before we go is there anything else you would like to mention or discuss?
Jade: Oh gee only to yourself Wayne it’s been lovely to talk to you number one. Number two to relive a lot of this stuff down through the years as I say when you get to 76 years of age you are still alive, still performing, still singing. What a privilege. What life I’ve had and there is still a lot more to come.
Wayne: That’s amazing Jade and just before we wrap up I believe you said before if people would like to keep up with your shows or buy CD’s they can head to your website which is
Jade: www.jadehurley.net simple as that. Jadehurley.net folks where we are performing it’s all there. You want to look at the CD’s, DVD’s it’s all there.
Wayne: I believe you also are very active now, you have a Facebook page set up.
Jade: Yeah that all comes really well just with Jade Hurley Performing and that gives an insight into where we are coming. Hopefully a venue near you as well.
Wayne: Well thank you for your time Jade for today’s show and all the best for the future.
Jade: Thanks mate. You take care folks bye.
Wayne: Well I hope you enjoyed the podcast. Please head to www.wayneswonderworld.com and please follow me on my Facebook page which is Wayne’s Wonder World.