Photograph, publicity, Lesley Gore, autographed, framed, paper / glass / metal, photographer unknown, used by Max Moore, Australia, 1989
This is one of a group of mounted photographs collected by Sydney-based tour manager Max Moore and displayed in his office. It is relevant to the history of concert tours of Australia by overseas artists in the 1980s, and helps illustrate the career of promoter Kevin Jacobsen.
Max Moore (23 January 1923- 26 December 2011) was one of Australia's most experienced tour managers. In a career spanning five decades, he organised tours for three high profile concert promoters: Lee Gordon, Harry M. Miller and Kevin Jacobsen.
Lee Gordon went into a swift decline in the early 1960s, leading to his death. As a result, Max Moore accepted an offer to join Col Joye Enterprises in 1962, working for Joye and his brother/manager Kevin Jacobsen, who was to become one of Australia's most successful entrepreneurs. Towards the end of 1963 Moore left to work for Harry M. Miller's Pan Pacific Promotions, returning in 1967 to Col Joye Enterprises, which evolved into Kevin Jacobsen Productions. There he remained for the rest of his career, as Kevin Jacobsen became a major player in the promotion of concerts and stage productions. Moore managed country tours of The Col Joye Show and pioneered the promotion of tours by local and international artists on the newly established registered clubs circuit. He managed tours by a range of entertainers including Ray Stevens, Rolf Harris, the Irish comedian Dave Allen, Joe Cocker, Olivia Newton-John, Anne Murray, Kiss, Joan Armatrading, Bob Marley, The Moody Blues, Simon and Garfunkel, John Denver, Janis Ian, Barry Manilow, Peter Allen, Electric Light Orchestra, the daredevil motorcycle rider Evel Knievel and even Disney On Ice.
Max Moore had Lesley Gore sign this photo in September 1989 when Kevin Jacobsen Productions brought the Legends of Rock 'n' Roll Tour to Australia. Moore wrote about the tour in his autobiography: 'In 1989 I felt as if my life on the road had come full circle when some of the biggest names of rock 'n' roll arrived in Australia for a celebration of rock's glory days. The Everly Brothers, Jerry Lee Lewis, Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, Lesley Gore and Mary Wilson (one of the original Supremes) were recruited by Kevin to tour as the 'Legends of Rock 'n' Roll'Â? As I watched these artists weave their magic, my mind flashed back to the days of the Big Shows and, more specifically, that very first Bill Haley/Platters/Freddie Bell show in 1957, which shook the walls of our primitive stadiums' (Max Moore, 'Some Days are Diamonds', New Holland, 2003, p204). Col Joye was the only Australian artist on the bill and acted as compere.
Even before the explosion of rock 'n' roll in Australia, Max Moore had managed tours for Lee Gordon by some of the greatest names in American show business. These included Nat King Cole, Johnnie Ray and Harry Belafonte. The tour by Bill Haley and His Comets in January 1957 was the first of many rock 'n' roll tours promoted by Lee Gordon. Moore managed visits by some of the greatest American stars of 1950s rock 'n' roll: Little Richard, Buddy Holly, the Everly Brothers and Jerry Lee Lewis and many others. Along with American film and television, the consumption of rock 'n' roll was part of a post-World War II cultural shift in Australia from British to US influences. Lee Gordon's concert tours helped to create the Australian rock 'n' roll industry, by bringing local support acts to the attention of large stadium audiences.
Seeking no publicity for himself and remaining busy in the background, Moore was reliable, enterprising, professional and greatly admired as a gentleman in the cutthroat world of show business. He looked after the entertainers' needs on tour and many expressed their gratitude by signing publicity photos of themselves with a dedication to Max Moore. He often earned their friendship as a result. He became a close friend of John Denver and was devastated at the singer's death in a plane crash.
Moore's 2003 autobiography 'Some Days are Diamonds' is a valuable record of the Lee Gordon years and an insider's account of the daily operations of the Harry M. Miller and Kevin Jacobsen organisations: the triumphs and the flops, the gimmicks and the schemes, the pranks and the tantrums. It paints a vivid picture of the old Sydney Stadium, the first wave of Australian rock 'n' roll culture, the 1960s British beat boom, touring entertainers in regional Australia and large arena tours of the by the likes of ELO, Kiss and Springsteen.
Max Moore retired in 1995 after forty years in the business. He died on in 2011 at Bundanoon, New South Wales, aged 89.
This photograph is one of a series collected by Max Moore, as a reminder of the entertainers with whom he worked during his long career as a show business tour manager based in Sydney. Artists' managers or agents sent photos of their entertainers to the Australian promoters, to be used for publicity purposes in concert programs, newspapers and magazine articles. From his earliest days with promoter Lee Gordon, Moore would often ask the artists to sign the photos, and many autographs include a warm dedication to him. This photo dates from the period when Moore worked for Kevin Jacobsen Productions. Moore continued the practice of having touring artists sign publicity photos which he usually had mounted on chipboard. For many years the photographs were proudly displayed in his office, as pictured on the cover of his 2003 autobiography 'Some Days are Diamonds'.