Studio group, Melbourne, 1968

Two Australian pop groups released recordings under this name in 1968. The first and better known was one of Australia's first manufactured pop bands, the brainchild of producer Jimmy Stewart and pop manager, entrepreneur and physician Geoffrey Edelsten. The only single by this version of Pastoral Symphony was a national Top hit in mid-1968.

The musicians who performed anonymously on the single are the main reason the project has retained a degree interest so long after the record was released. The backing band was in fact The Twilights -- Peter Brideoak and Terry Britten on guitars, John Bywaters on bass, Laurie Pryor on drums, and Paddy McCartney and Glenn Shorrock on backing vocals; augmenting them were vocalists Terry Walker (The Hi Five, Ray Hoff & The Offbeats) and Ronnie Charles (The Groop), with orchestral backing arranged and performed by The Johnny Hawker Orchestra.

"Love Machine" was released by Festival in May 1968 and became a sizeable hit around the country; it only just missed out on getting into the national Top 20, peaking at #21 on the Go-Set chart in June-July 1968 and charting for 11 weeks. The success of the record promopted Stewart and Edelsten to make plans for a follow-up single and the creation of a touring version of the group, but they were thwarted by a Melbourne band who had already registered the name Pastoral Symphony. This otherwise unknown group released one single later in 1968, issued on the obscure Implex label, but nothing else is known about them at this time.

Edelsten (a scion of the family that owned the Edels retail music chain) began dabbling in pop promotion and management in the mid-1960s in Melbourne while he was completing his medical studies. He went on to a colourful career as a medical entrepreneur and pioneered the concept of the 24-hour commerical medical centre in Australia. He gained national notoreity in the 1980s for his lavish and flamboyant lifetyle -- inlcuding his famous purchase of a pink Porsche for his then wife, Leanne -- his opulently appointed medical centres and his shortlived ownership of the Sydney Swans AFL club, but in the 1990s Edelsten's dodgy financial practices eventually got him into trouble and he was deregistered by the AMA and banned from practising as a doctor.

Jimmy Stewart went on to found the Sweet Peach label, and in the early 1970s he worked extensively with snger-songwriter Doug Ashdown.



May 1968
"Love Machine" (Gordon-Griffin) / "Spread A Little Love Around" (Festival FK-2343)
Produced by Jimmy Stewart and Geoffrey Edelsten; #21 (Go-Set), 11 weeks

References / Links

Ross Laird / Screensound
The Sixties: Australian Rock & Pop Recordings 1964-1969

Chris Spencer, Zbig Nowara & Paul McHenry
Who's Who of Australian Rock (Five Mile Press, 2002

Vernon Joyson
Dreams, Fantasies & Nightmares: Australia (Borderline Books, 1999)