|MILESAGO: Australasian Music & Popular Culture 1964-1975||Record Labels|
Category: Australian independent record label and production company
Location: Melbourne, Vic.
Ownership: original owners - Ken Sparkes and John McDonald
The Sparmac Productions label was established by radio DJ (and former Kommotion host) Ken Sparkes (Spar-) and John McDonald (-mac), who was then the owner of the Disc Shop in Bourke Street, Melbourne. Sparkes subsequently sold his share to the label's first recording artist, Robie Porter. As a teenage guitar prodigy, Porter had enjoyed a very succesful recording career under the stage name Rob EG in the early Sixties, and he then spent several years in the U.S., where he also worked as an actor on US television. It was there that Porter met his future business partner Steve Binder, with whom he went on to establish Wizard Records (who re-issued the Sparmac albums). John McDonald also continued in the recording industry and later started both the Image and Avenue record labels.
Sparmac's biggest act was of course Daddy Cool, whose debut single "Eagle Rock" became a national smash-hit in mid-1971, and their debut LP Daddy Who? Daddy Cool!became the biggest-selling Australian pop LP ever released up to that time. Sparmac also played a significant role in launching the solo career of Rick Springfield, whose Sparmac debut "Speak to the sky" was a hit in Australia and became his first hit in the USA.
Porter himself released three solo singles on Sparmac -- "Gemini" / "He Is Not Me" (Aug. 1970), "Santa Claus" / "Funky Version" (Dec. 1970) and a cover of the Joe Cocker-Chris Stainton song "Try to Find More Love (There Must be a Reason)" / "Empty" (March 1971). Other notable Sparmac singles are "Ongo Bongo Man" by super-group Gerry & The Joy Band, fronted by former Loved Ones singer Gerry Humphries, with an all-star backing group that included most of Daddy Cool and the debut single by the shortlived soft rock duo Frieze (Daryl Cotton and Beeb Birtles, ex Zoot)
|SPR-001||1971||Blue Forest||"Love Classique"
|SPR-002||1971||Jerry Ray||"Instant Action"
|SPR-003||Aug. 1970||Robie Porter||"Gemini"
"He is not me"
|SPR-004||1971||CaShears||"Hey Diddle Diddle"
"Another man's woman"
|SPR-008||1971||Daddy Cool||"Eagle Rock"
|SPR-009||1971||Healing Force||"Golden Miles"
|SPR-010||1971||Daddy Cool||"Come Back Again"
"Just As Long As We're Together"
|SPR-011||1971||Rick Springfield||"Speak to the Sky"
"I Didn't Mean to Love You"
"Young Man's Lament"
|SPR-014||1972||Daddy Cool||"Come Back Again"
"Just As Long As We're Together"
|SPR-016||1972||Rick Springfield||"Hooky Jo"
|SPR-017||1972||Hot Mummas||"Eagle Rock"
|SPR-018||1972||Daddy Cool||"Teenage Blues" (stereo)
"At The Rockhouse"
|SPR-019||July 1972||Daddy Cool||"I'll Never Smile Again"
"Daddy Rocks Off"
|SPR-021||Sep. 1972||Daddy Cool||Rock'n'Roll Lady (mono) / Cadillacin'|
|SPR-022||1972||Gerry & The Joy Band||"Ongo Bongo Man"
"My Name Is Earl"
|SPR-023||July 1972||Rick Springfield||"What Would The Children Think?"
"Walking The Floor On My Hands Over You"
|SPR-024||1972||Bobby Bright||"It Ain’t Changed None"
"20th Century Food Dispensary"
|SPR-025||1972||Gary Young's Hot Dog||"Rock-A-Billy Beatin' Boogie Band"|
|SPEP-1||1971||Daddy Cool||The DC EP|
|SPL-001||1971||Daddy Cool||Daddy Who? Daddy Cool!|
|SPL-002||1972||Daddy Cool||Sex, Dope & Rock'n'Roll: Teenage Heaven|
|SPL-004||1972||Daddy Cool||Daddy Cool's Golden Hits|
References / Links
Hank B. Facer
(Museum of Independent Recording Labels)
Encyclopedia of Australian Rock & Pop (Allen & Unwin, 1999)
Australian Rock Database - Robie Porter
Internet Movie Database
Tarantula webzine - Ross Wilson interview