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Do you remember Countdown?

If you’re a Baby-Boomer, the answer will be a resounding YES!! And if you’re a Baby-Boomer’s child, chances are the answer will be the same.


For nearly thirteen years, from November 1974 to July 1987, watching Countdown on ABC was an unmissable weekly ritual (twice weekly if you watched the repeat on Saturday evening, which most of us did!). Every Sunday evening, Ian ‘Molly’ Meldrum would present live performances of local and visiting overseas musicians, in glorious colour, and with a studio audience which enhanced the excitement of the show. It was on Countdown that the ‘music clip’ really started to come into its own. Molly was tireless in seeking out new talent both here at home and overseas, and much of the music that we have come to love from that time, we discovered through watching that ground-breaking, and truly iconic show.


The year 1975 saw the emergence of two musical ‘forces of nature’ whose popularity rivalled that of the Beatles, and is undiminished to this day; and whose music is loved by countless millions, many of whom weren’t even born at the time. I am speaking, of course, of ABBA and Queen, whose breakthrough songs, “SOS” and “Bohemian Rhapsody” were first encountered by many of us on Countdown in June and September of that year. And, to make long stories short, the rest is indeed history. There are very few other bands, outside The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, whose music has endured and is loved by so many.



So many wonderful songs flowed from ABBA and Queen over the years – “Dancing Queen”; “Money Money Money”; “Super Trouper”; “Crazy Little Thing Called love”; “We Are the Champions”; “Somebody To Love” – and many, many more. The songs live on, their longevity boosted through stage shows and films like Mamma Mia! and Bohemian Rhapsody.


And now, Sunshine Coast’s Oriana Choir is preparing to say its own “Thank you for the music”, when it presents Dancing Queen: A Tribute to ABBA and Queen. This lavish production will feature performances by the award winning eighty voice choral ensemble, and also the Sunshine Coast Youth Choir, and featured soloists, all supported by a solid rock band. Performances will be staged at Stella Maris Primary School Performance Venue, and The J, Noosa, on May 11th and 18th, 2024, respectively, with a matinee and evening show at both venues.


Bookings are now open for both venues. With Oriana’s proven track record as a highly entertaining and versatile musical unit (from record attendances at Handel’s Messiah, to ABBA and Queen, is quite a contrast); and with the undeniably perennial appeal of the music of these two Supergroups, don’t be surprised if these shows are sell-outs.


If you love the music of ABBA and Queen, then you won’t want to miss this special occasion. As Molly would no doubt say, “Do yourself a favour - book early to avoid disappointment.”

For details of bookings and show times, visit Oriana’s web page – www.oriana.org.au .


Ian Rix

January 16, 2024.

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