Ten sound recordings with cultural, historical and aesthetic significance have been added to Sounds of Australia for 2017.

Among this year’s inclusions are the Play School theme, Louis the Fly advertisement and a song about our most famous cricket player Don Bradman, bringing the total to more than 120 sounds.

Established in 2007, Sounds of Australia is the National Film and Sound Archive’s collection of sound recordings that best characterise life in Australia.

Each year, the Australian public nominates new sounds to be added with final selections determined by a panel of industry experts.

Being part of Sounds of Australia means the recordings will live on at the NFSA, for future generations to discover and enjoy.

This year’s 10 Sounds of Australia are, in chronological order:

  • 1910 Sweet Spirit Hear My Prayer – Marie Narelle
  • 1930 Our Don Bradman – Len Maurice
  • 1940-58 Australia’s Amateur Hour – AWA
  • 1957 ‘Louie the Fly’ Mortein Advertisement – Ross Higgins
  • 1962 I Remember You – Frank Ifield
  • 1966 Play School Theme (There’s a Bear in There) – Various Performers
  • 1977 Love Is In The Air – John Paul Young
  • 1981 Brand New Day (Milliya Rumarra) – Kuckles
  • 1982 Don’t Change – INXS
  • 2001 Not Pretty Enough – Kasey Chambers

John Paul Young said it was an honour to be included.

Love Is In The Air is a marvellous song which has achieved so much success in so many countries, over so many years,” he said.

“And now to be inducted into the prestigious Sounds of Australia is the cherry on top. I can only thank Harry Vanda and George Young for their hard work during my association with them and for giving me a lasting career.”

Not sure what to nominate?

They can be popular songs, advertising jingles, famous speeches, radio broadcasts, or any other sound recordings – as long as they’re Australian and more than 10 years old.

Nominate now for 2018.

Here’s the complete Sounds of Australia list

1897 – The Hen Convention, Thomas Rome
1898 – The Recordings of the Cambridge Anthropological Expedition to Torres Straits, Alfred Cort Haddon and others
1898 – They Always Follow Me, Syria Lamonte
1899 – Fanny Cochrane Smith’s Tasmanian Aboriginal Songs, Horace Watson

c1903–1910 The Black Watch, Percy Herford
1904 – Chant Vénitien, Nellie Melba
1910 – Sweet Spirit Hear My Prayer, Marie Narelle
1910 – My South Polar Expedition, Ernest Shackleton
1912 – When Father Papered the Parlour, Billy Williams
1913 – Hold Your Hand Out Naughty Boy, Florrie Forde
1914 – Message Recorded at Mena Camp, Cairo, Second Lieutenant Henry Miller Lanser
1915 – The Landing of the Australian Troops in Egypt, Zonophone
1919 – Country Gardens, Percy Grainger

1921 – Love Will Find a Way, Gladys Moncrieff
1924 – London Recordings, Newcastle Steelworks Band
1926 – Speech at the Opening of the Columbia Graphophone Company Australian Factory, Admiral Sir Dudley De Chair KCB MVO
1927 – The Sailors, Stiffy & Mo
1927 – Waltzing Matilda, John Collinson
1927–1932 Sydney Recordings, Queenie and David Kaili
1928 – Hinkler’s Message to Australia ; Incidents of My Flight, Bert Hinkler

1930 – The 1930 Australian XI: Winners of the Ashes
1930 – Our Don BradmanLen Maurice
1931 – Along the Road to Gundagai, Peter Dawson
1936 – Wrap Me Up In My Stockwhip and Blanket, Tex Morton
1936–40 – Yes, What?, 5AD, Rex Dawe and cast
1937 – Life Without Love, Frank Coughlan’s Trocadero Orchestra
1937 – Dad and Dave from Snake Gully (Radio Series), George Edward Players
1938 – The Aeroplane Jelly Song, Joy King
1939 – Give A Little Credit to Your Dad ; Lonesome For Your Mother Dear, Buddy Williams
1939 – Menzies Speech: Declaration of War, Prime Minister Hon. Robert Menzies

1940–58 – Australia’s Amateur Hour, AWA
1941 – Curtin Speech: Japan Enters Second World War, Prime Minister Hon. John Curtin
1941 – Concert in a Cave at Tobruk, Chester Wilmot, ABC Field Unit
1941 – The Melbourne Cup, Ken Howard, sports commentator
1941–72 – Argonauts Row, Harold Williams
1943 – Dame Enid Lyons: Maiden Speech, Dame Enid Lyons
1943 – Senator Dorothy Tangney: Maiden Speech, Dorothy Tangney
1943 – The Majestic Fanfare (ABC radio news theme), Queen’s Hall Light Orchestra
1944 – Swanston St Shamble ; Two Day Jag, Graeme Bell
1944 onwards – Grace Gibson Productions’ radio serials, various artists
1948–1962 – Pick A Box, Bob Dyer
1949 – Theme from Blue Hills, New Century Orchestra

1950 – Maranoa Lullaby, Harold Blair
1950 – Corroboree, Sydney Symphony Orchestra
1953 – Sam Griffiths, Jack Luscombe
1953 – Tribal Music of Australia, AP Elkin
1954 – Happy Little Vegemites, Betty Parker, Stephen Parker, Julia Parker and Linda Marcy
1955 – The Adventure of the Singing Bullet, Smoky Dawson
1957 – A Pub With No Beer, Slim Dusty
1958 – My Country, Dorothea Mackellar
1959 – Bye Bye Baby, Col Joye
1959 – Aboriginal Recordings, John Hutchinson

1960 – The Art of the Prima Donna, Dame Joan Sutherland
1960 – She’s My Baby, Johnny O’Keefe
1962 – ‘Louie the Fly’ Mortein jingle, Ross Higgins
1962 – I Remember You, Frank Ifield
1962 – Georgia Lee Sings the Blues Down Under, Georgia Lee
1963 – Royal Telephone, Jimmy Little
1963 – Bombora, The Atlantics
1963–1997 – The Luise Hercus Collection, AIATSIS Audiovisual Archive
1964 – I’ll Never Find Another You, The Seekers
1964 – The Land Where the Crow Flies Backwards, Dougie Young
1966 – Play School Theme (There’s a Bear in There), Various performers
1966 – Patrol from Da Nang, Tim Bowden
1966 – In the Head the Fire, Nigel Butterley
1966 – Friday On My Mind, The Easybeats
1967 – Irkanda IV, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra
1967 – Fireworks and The Orgasmic Opus, Dr Val Stephen
1968 – Lionel Rose Wins the World Title, Ron Casey
1968 – Bird and Animal Calls of Australia, Harold J Pollock
1968 – Skippy the Bush Kangaroo, Eric Jupp
1969 – The Real Thing, Russell Morris

1971 – Just the Beginning, Don Burrows Quartet
1971 – Eagle Rock, Daddy Cool
1971 – And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda, Eric Bogle
1972 – A Track Winding Back ; True British Spunk, Barry Humphries and Dick Bentley
1972 – I Am Woman, Helen Reddy
1972 – Most People I Know (Think That I’m Crazy), Billy Thorpe and the Aztecs
1973 – Opening Concert Sydney Opera House, Sir Charles Mackerras, Sydney Symphony Orchestra and Birgit Nilsson
1973 – The Loner, Vic Simms
1974 – Living in the 70s, Skyhooks
1974 – Cyclone Tracy, Darwin
1975 – It’s A Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock ‘n’ Roll), AC/DC
1975 – ‘Kerr’s cur’ speech, Gough Whitlam
1976 – (I’m) Stranded, The Saints
1977 – Love is in the Air, John Paul Young
1978 – Khe Sanh, Cold Chisel
1978 – C’mon Aussie C’mon, The Mojo Singers
1979–89 – Sampling Sounds, Fairlight CMI

1980 – The 4×100 Medley Relay Final at the Moscow Olympics, Norman May
1980 – I Still Call Australia Home, Peter Allen
1981 – Brand New Day (Milliya Rumarra), Kuckles
1981 – We Have Survived, No Fixed Address
1981 – Down Under, Men at Work
1981 – Improvisation in Acoustic Chambers, Ros Bandt
1981 – Boys in Town, Divinyls
1982 – Don’t Change, INXS
1982 – Great Southern Land, Icehouse
1982 – Power and the Passion, Midnight Oil
1983 – Jailanguru Pakarnu, The Warumpi Band
1983 – Cattle and Cane, The Go-Betweens
1983 – I Was Only 19 (A Walk in the Light Green), Redgum
1985 – Sounds of Then (This is Australia), GANGgajang
1985 – Like Wow, Wipeout, Hoodoo Gurus
1986 – We Are Going, Oodgeroo Noonuccal (Kath Walker)
1986–2008 – This Sporting Life, Roy and HG
1987 – Rebetika Songs, Apodimi Compania
1987 – I Should Be So Lucky, Kylie Minogue
1987 – Voss, Richard Meale
1987 – Recording of a Superb Lyrebird at Healesville, Victoria, Greg Wignell
1988 – Tender Prey, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds

1990 – Took the Children Away, Archie Roach
1990 – Dingo, Vicki Powys
1991 – From Little Things (Big Things Grow), Paul Kelly and Kev Carmody
1991 – Treaty, Yothu Yindi
1992 – Antarctica: Suite for Guitar and Orchestra, Nigel Westlake
1992 – Redfern Address, Paul Keating
1993–2014 – Deadly Sounds, Vibe Australia
1993 – Alive and Brilliant, Deborah Conway
1995 – LSD, djhmc
1995 – Island Home, Christine Anu
1998 – Toot, Toot, Chugga, Chugga Big Red Car, The Wiggles

2001 – Aether, The Necks
2001 – Not Pretty Enough, Kasey Chambers
2003 – Nosebleed Section, Hilltop Hoods

Sounds good to me, says Squeak


Chris Riley has been a journalist for 40 years. He has spent half of his career as a writer, editor and production editor in newspapers, the rest of the time driving and writing about cars both in print and online. His love affair with cars began as a teenager with the purchase of an old VW Beetle, followed by another Beetle and a string of other cars on which he has wasted too much time and money. A self-confessed geek, he’s not afraid to ask the hard questions - at the risk of sounding silly.
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