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Lois Olneylois olney: the music

Growing up in Perth, Lois discovered a gift for singing. She regularly attended singing lessons, and started performing at a young age.

"I started singing down in Fremantle when I was 13, in restaurants."

In her later teenage years, Aboriginal author and painter Josie Boyle introduced Lois to Raymond Long who was Shirley Bassey's musical director in the 1960s.

"He was a classical pianist but also had an incredible talent for teaching opera," said Lois.

The opera training took Lois's talent to a new level, but it was a genre that didn't sit right.

"I found it extremely difficult because I was learning songs in Italian ... I had to go to a lot of my Italian mates who I grew up with, to ask them to translate," Lois said.

It was at this time that Lois discovered recordings of Billie Holiday, and found the inspiration that would guide her singing career.

The video below shows Lois at the Windsor Hotel in South Perth with the renowned Perth band the Zydecats on the 19th of July, 2014. The songs are Summertime and Kansas City and it was filmed by John McBain with an iPhone.

Lois Olney


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