A Brief History

Tony Haley’s career in music has spanned more than 20 years. As the eighties dawned Tony and his mates found themselves wanting to play the music of 1950s America and soon formed the first of several rock and roll cover bands complete with horns, double bass and, for that matter, quiffs. Work was plentiful and ‘Eddy Haley and the Starliters’ soon found themselves working 7 nights a week. They became tight, drew a following and after memorable performances at Whisky A Go Go on the night it caught fire and The Bondi Lifesaver, the night Elvis died, (and a small change in personnel) ‘The Eddys’ formed. In this band Tony called the tunes, played guitar and sax and occasionally did the splits! The Eddys drew a huge following in the mid-eighties and packed out the Wooloomooloo Bay hotel on Sundays for more than two years.

Little River Band vocalist, Glenn Shorrock, happened to catch them there, did an impromptu guest spot and then invited the Eddys to team up with him for the rock and roll stage show One for the Money. Over the next three years Glenn and The Eddys toured the country in this and two sequels of the show.

There were some great highlights during this period, the best of which was supporting Frank Sinatra (albeit way down the appearance list) at the opening of the Mirage Resort on the Gold Coast. Tony and the Eddys also played at the America’s Cup Ball in Fremantle (where they were joined on stage by Jimmy Buffet), two Grand Prix Balls in Adelaide, opened the Hard Rock Café in Singapore, performed on Hey Hey Its Saturday, The Don Lane, Ray Martin, and Bert Newton shows and did countless corporate and private functions throughout Australia.

In the nineties the Eddys morphed into rock and roll band The Comets and then swing combo, Indigo Stomp. Tony also played guitar in Doug Parkinson’s Buddy Holly Show, with Doug, Jeremy Stanford and Miguel Ayesa.

In 2002 Tony moved to Canberra and with some initial down time, began working on his singing. He’d had a good rock and roll voice but wanted to stretch himself and get a feel for singing the songs of Sinatra, Darin, Martin and other lounge and swing greats. He also had a go at writing and in 2004 Tony won the ABC’s song competition, PanACT, with his song Mugga Lane , and released his first CD The Best Is Yet To Come. In 2006 he released two further CDs: a collection of swing tunes entitled Little Ole Wine Drinker Me, and Oh Lonesome Me, a compilation of country and rockabilly songs.

Following this Tony played the part of Frank Sinatra in a local show One Night In Vegas and had his arm twisted to perform in Miss Kitka’s House of Burlesque show, both at the Canberra Casino. Also around this time, Tony began performing with local big bands, including a key performance with The Blamey Street Big Band at the Canberra Theatre and several performances at The Merimbula Jazz Festival with The Connexion Big Band and The Spectrum Big Band.

Tony’s current passion is giving great songs a new lease of life with his own interpretation and feel. To this end he recently collaborated with exceptional local pianist John Black on a CD of original arrangements. Featuring 15 talented Canberra musicians/singers and recorded at Artsound Studios, “Cool World” was released in March 2010.

Tony has teamed up with local legend, Annie Sloane and with The John Black Trio, are performing ‘The Frank Sinatra and Peggy Lee Show’. The show is set in Las Vegas in 1967 and takes a light hearted look at the lives and the music of both Frank and Peggy using a selection of their classic songs performed with some new and slick arrangements. A CD, “Songs from The Frank Sinatra and Peggy Lee Show” was released in July 2011.

He is also giving ‘the Blues’ a go, singing with Leo Joseph’s band, The Nightless Lovers, in their tribute to blues great, Percy Mayfield. The Nightless Lovers CD was released in July 2011, with a sell out show at Canberra’s iconic venue, ‘Tillies’.

  • Tony will be doing his solo thing at ‘A Bite To Eat’ in Chifley on Sunday the 18th of May from 5pm
  • On the 2nd of September, Tony will be performing with Annie Sloane in ‘The Frank Sinatra and Peggy Lee Show’, at The Forrest Hotel in a dinner/show and also doing songs from the show in a guest spot at The Red Cross Ball at The Hyatt Hotel on the 10th of September.
  • Tony and The John Black Trio are performing at Canberra Casino on Saturday the 3rd of September from 10pm and they are also there on the 19th of November.
  • Tony sings the songs of Percy Mayfield with Leo Joseph’s The Nightless Lovers on Saturday the 23rd of July at Tillies for the launch of The Nightless Lovers CD, ‘Lost Love’. The Nightless Lovers are then on at The Old Canberra Inn on Sunday the 7th of August and again on the 4th of December.
  • Tony Haley and The John Black Trio are performing at The Southern Cross Club in Jamison on Sunday the 6th of November.