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Noosa Jazz Festival

Colleen Hewett

Colleen was just sixteen when she first saw television. She knew then that she wanted to be a part of it. She started singing and dancing. At 12, she did her first public performance with a band called The Esquires. As a teenager, she toured Australia with Laurie Allen Revue. At 20, she was a star.

Colleen released her first single, Superstar, and her self-titled album in 1970. She was cast in the smash hit musical Godspell and scored up a gold record with Day By Day, her hit song from the show. She was crowned Queen Of Pop two years running.

Next were roles in Pippin with John Farnham, and the iconic rock opera Tommy with its all-star cast. At the same time, Colleen and co-star John Farnham also hosted a variety show It's Magic for a national TV network. She also performed in the stage musical, Return to the Forbidden Planet.

While her music career soared in the 70s, Colleen also acted in loved TV dramas of the day including Homicide, Matlock Police, Truckies, Carson's Law, Division 4, Young Ramsay, Cop Shop, Prisoner and Flying Doctors. During her time in Truckies, Colleen fell pregnant with her first child and the pregnancy was written into the script. Many of these shows were released worldwide.

As her children grow up and her parents grew older, Colleen left the limelight to look after her family, dividing her time between Melbourne, her Fiji hideaway, and her home town of Bendigo. She waited for the right opportunity to return to the stage, and The Boy From Oz was it. Colleen knew Peter Allen from appearing on Bandstand with him. 'The Producer was rushing me through rehearsal and Peter went to him and said, "Give her a fair go, there's plenty of time." I've never forgotten his kindness.' Later, while working in Los Angeles, she saw Allen perform live in Hollywood. She was delighted to be offered to play his mother. She played the part to standing ovations around Australia.

 Alan Jones AO, an admitted Hewett fan, said her performance was 'beyond good' and described her as an 'absolute star'. John Laws raved, 'Colleen Hewett is brilliant.. her singing almost rips your heart out.'

Every aspiring singer should listen to and watch Colleen.  She shows how it should be done…….  Paul O’Gorman Music Industry Lawyer.

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