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Christie Allen

2 May 2013

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Christie Allen

Christie Allen (born as June Allen, 12 September 1954 – 12 August 2008) was an English-born pop singer who had a successful career in Australia. Her top four hits on the Australian Kent Music Report Singles Chart were "Goosebumps" (October 1979) and "He's My Number One" (February 1980). Allen was voted the Most Popular Female Performer at the TV Week / Countdown Music Awards for 1979 and 1980. At the 1979 awards, "Goosebumps" also won the Best Songwriter award for Terry Britten. Allen and her partner, Mark, had a daughter Christa Lea; the couple married in 1998. Allen died on 12 August 2008 of pancreatic cancer, aged 53.

Biography

Christie Allen was born as June Allen on 24 July 1954 in the United Kingdom. Allen's father is Keith Allen and her mother is Vera Allen, her brothers are Keith, Stephen and Mark. At the age of eight-years-old, Allen performed in a talent quest, singing "My Johnny's Gone Away". In 1965 the Allen family migrated to Australia and settled in Perth. Allen and her brothers formed a band, Pendulum, where she provided lead vocals.
Whilst performing with Pendulum, Allen contacted UK-born Terry Britten, a songwriter and record producer. According to an interview she gave on Sounds she virtually knocked on his door. In the mid-1960s Britten was the lead guitarist of Australian rock group, The Twilights, He had worked with Cliff Richard for whom he co-wrote "Devil Woman" (1976) with Kristine Holmes. After working with Richard, Britten was living and working in Australia, when he was impressed by Allen's vocal ability and bubbly personality, and began songwriting for her. Allen signed a recording contract with Mushroom Records. In September 1978 she released her first single "You Know That I Love You", which reached the top 100 on the Australian Kent Music Report Singles Chart, and attracted some national radio airplay and positive reviews.
Her next three singles from her debut album, Magic Rhythm (November 1979), were top 20 hits. Aside from co-writing most of the tracks with B. A. Robertson, Britten also produced Magic Rhythm for Mushroom Records. The first single was a ballad, "Falling in Love with only You", which reached No. 20 in April 1979. Her next two singles were strongly influenced by the popular disco style - "Goosebumps", which reached No. 3 in September 1979, and "He's My Number One", which peaked at No. 4 in February 1980. "Goosebumps" was Allen's greatest success, with sales of 60,000, and was one of Mushroom Record's highest selling singles at that time. Allen toured Australia backed by The Hot Band, which was composed of Max Chazan on guitar (Rubes), Greg Cook on guitar (ex-Cam-Pact, The Mixtures, Ram Band, Mondo Rock), Bruce Haymes on organ (Rubes, Richard Clapton Band), Michael Hegerty on bass guitar (Richard Clapton Band), and Rick Puchala on drums (Richard Clapton Band); and later Yuri Worontschak on keyboards: Yamaha CP70B and Mini Moog (ex Spitfire).
Allen was voted the 'Most Popular Female Performer' at the TV Week / Countdown Music Awards for 1979 and 1980. At the 1979 awards ceremony, broadcast by Countdown on 19 April 1980, Allen performed, "He's My Number One". At the same ceremony, Britten won the 'Best Songwriter' award for "Goosebumps". Allen won the 1980 award for 'Most Popular Female Performer', broadcast on 22 March 1981, against nominees, Annalise Morrow of The Numbers and Lynda Nutter of The Dugites.
Christie Allen gave Countdown something it had been lacking – a local female artist to appeal to the teeny boppers. It is sometimes not appreciated just how successful Christie was. —Dave Warner, 25 Years of Mushroom Records
Besides performing, Allen also appeared on Countdown as a guest host: in November 1979 with Russell Hitchcock (Air Supply), and in April 1980 with Molly Meldrum. In the early 1980s Allen supplied the voice over and sang the jingle for Tarino orange soft drink commercials. In 1980 and 1981, Allen released three singles – "Baby Get Away", "Switchboard" and "Don't Put Out the Flame" – from her second and final album, Detour, produced by John Hudson, but they had less chart success than her earlier work. Britten had moved on and was working with Tina Turner: writing her hits "What's Love Got to Do with It" and "We Don't Need Another Hero". By mid-1980s a long illness prevented Allen from adequately promoting her career and she subsequently retired.
Allen and her partner, Mark, had a daughter Christa Lea. In the 1990s Allen returned to performing as a vocalist, with country music bands. In October 1998 Allen married Mark, and at that time Michael Gudinski appealed on national radio for information on Allen's whereabouts – Gudinski wanted her to perform at a televised tribute concert for the 25th anniversary of his company, Mushroom Records. On 14 November 1998 Allen sang "Goosebumps" before a huge crowd at the Melbourne Cricket Ground – she retired following her performance which was released on the VHS album, Mushroom 25 Live (December 1998).
In 2006, Gudinski asked Allen to participate in the Countdown Spectacular tour, however due to ill health, she declined. In March 2008 Allen was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and died at her home in rural Western Australia on 12 August 2008, aged 53.

Personal Life

Allen had an older brother, Keith, and two younger brothers, Stephen and Mark. With all three brothers, she formed a Perth-based group, Pendulum. By the 1990s, with Mark, her domestic partner, Allen had a daughter, Christa Lea. In October 1998 Allen married her partner, Mark. Their granddaughter is Ashlee. On 12 August 2008, Allen died of pancreatic cancer, aged 53.

Christie Allen
Christie Allen.jpg
Background information
Birth nameJune Allen
Born12 September 1954
EnglandUnited Kingdom
OriginPerth, Western Australia,Australia
Died12 August 2008 (aged 53)
Western Australia
GenresPopdiscocountry
Occupationssinger
InstrumentsVocals
Years active1962–1998
LabelsMushroom
Associated actsPendulum,


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