That’s when good Neighbours become good…pop stars!
So it’s happened. 37 years after it first aired, Australian soap Neighbours will be coming to an end. How sad is that? We remember all the joy and the tears the thousands of episodes have brought us since 1985 but also the stars it made on the music scene. Some were one hit wonders, some became music royalty. We celebrate the best and maybe the worst that has come from the daily soap opera. All of them are good Neighbours and they are all good friends.
There’s Henry Ramsay for a start. Actor Craig McLachlan made the switch from Ramsay Street to the pop charts in 1990 with his version of Bo Diddly’s “Mona“, while The Twins, Gail and Gillian, made their one and only mark in the record stores with “All Mixed Up”. Mean Paul Robinson (Stefan Dennis) married one of them and ‘assaulted’ us all in 1989 with “Don’t It Make You Feel Good?”! Some cast members have made a brief but telling appearance in the music business – “Kiss Kiss”, Holly Valance, while others like Delta Goodrem have achieved long lasting success as well as acclaim.
When news of Neighbours intended demise came in early 2022, Barry Crocker’s classic title theme rocketed up the charts, so track number one has to be the song that we all know the words to. Of course we feature Beth aka Natalie Imbruglia, another former star who achieved enormous success and adultation when she released her debut single, “Torn”, in 1997. Paul’s younger brother, Scott, played by Jason Donovan, is featured more than once. He achieved UK success in 1989 with no less than THREE number one singles and the biggest selling album of the year!
Back in 1987 (or 1988 if you’re a UK viewer), Scott married his school sweetheart, Charlene Mitchell in a TV wedding that still tops the polls of the most memorable and best loved of them all. His bride walked down the aisle to Australian rock star and actor Angry Anderson‘s weepy ballad, “Suddenly”, and we all wanted them to live happy ever after. They went ‘up north’, which is where all the characters go when they leave or get written out, and as far as we know, they live there still. By the way, what did happen to that duet with Harold and Madge?(!) Speaking of duets, Scott (Jason Donovan) recorded a duet with his screen wife for real at the end of 1988. “Especially For You” topped the UK singles chart and has sold over a million copies so far!
And what of Mrs Charlene Robinson herself…? The 19yo actress who played her, Kylie Minogue, launched her music career in the Summer of 1987 when she recorded her version of Little Eva’s “The Locomotion“. It spent seven weeks at the top of the Australian singles chart and became the biggest seller of the entire decade! Today, she is known simply as Kylie. There is no need for a surname. With more than 80 million records sold so far, she joins the ranks of the music greats as one of the most enduringly successful singers of all time. Her 2020 album, “Disco“, went to number one in Australia and the UK, a country where she became the first female artist to achieve a chart topping album in five consecutive decades. It seems the world certainly cannot get her out of their head just yet.
So as the front door’s of every house in Ramsay Street close for the last time, we bid farewell to each resident and take away our memories of Mrs Mangel, Des and Daphne, Hillary and even Bouncer the dog, none of whom ever went into the recording studio! These artists all did, however. Enjoy.