Paul Kelly (musician)

Paul Kelly (musician)

Infobox musical artist
Name = Paul Kelly

Img_capt = Paul Kelly, November 2007
Img_size =
Landscape =
Background = solo_singer
Birth_name = Paul Maurice Kelly
Born = birth date and age|df=yes|1955|01|13
Died =
Origin = Adelaide, Australia
Instrument = vocals, guitar, harmonica
Genre = acoustic, folk, Australian rock
Occupation = Musician, singer-songwriter
Years_active = 1974–current
Label = Mushroom
Associated_acts = Paul Kelly and the Dots Paul Kelly and the Coloured Girls Paul Kelly and the Messengers Paul Kelly and the Stormwater Boys Uncle Bill
Professor Ratbaggy Paul Kelly and the Boon Companions
Stardust Five
URL = [ Official website]

Paul Maurice Kellycite web |url= |title=Civics - Paul Kelly (1955– ) |publisher=Australian Government - Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations - Civics and Citizenship Education |accessdate=2008-09-09 ] cite web |publisher=Australasian Performing Rights Association (APRA) |title=APRA search engine |url= |accessdate=2008-08-20 Note: requires user to input song title e.g. TO HER DOOR] cite web |url=,s,w,p,b,v&results_pp=20&start=1 |title=The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) |publisher=ASCAP |accessdate=2008-08-15 ] (born 13 January 1955 in Adelaide, South Australia)cite web |url= |title=Paul Kelly biography |publisher=Music Australia |accessdate=2008-08-15 ] is an Australian rock music singer-songwriter, guitarist and harmonica player.cite web |url= |title=Paul Kelly |publisher=Australian Rock Database |editor=Magnus Holmgren |accessdate=2008-08-15 ] Kelly has performed solo and led numerous groups including Paul Kelly and the Dots, Paul Kelly and the Coloured Girls and Paul Kelly and the Messengers; he has been a member of associated projects Professor Ratbaggy and Stardust Five and performed with other artists and groups. Kelly has been acknowledged as one of Australia's best singer-songwriters,cite book |title=Encyclopedia of Australian Rock and Pop |url= |last=McFarlane |first=Ian |authorlink= Ian McFarlane |publisher=Allen & Unwin |year=1999 |isbn=1-86448-768-2 |accessdate=2008-08-18 ] cite web |url= |title=Paul Kelly |publisher=Howlspace |editor=Ed Nimmervoll |accessdate=2008-08-18 ] cite book |last=Kelly |first=Paul |coauthors=Kate Judith, National Educational Advancement Programs|title=Don't start me talking: lyrics 1984–2004 |year=2005 |publisher=National Educational Advancement Programs |location=Carlton, Vic. |isbn=9781864780994] his music style has ranged from bluegrass to studio-oriented dub reggae, but his core output comfortably straddles folk, rock, and country. [cite web|url=|format=PDF |last=Attfield|first=Sarah|title=The Working Class Experience in Contemporary Australian Poetry|date=August, 2007|publisher=University of Technology, Sydney|accessdate=2008-09-06] His lyrics capture Australia's vastness both in culture and landscape, he has chronicled life about him for over thirty years and is described as the poet laureate of Australia. However, he has been quoted as saying "Songwriting is mysterious to me. I don’t feel like I have got it nailed yet."

Kelly's Top 40 singles on the National charts have been his 1980s releases "Billy Baxter", "Before Too Long", "Darling it Hurts", "To Her Door" and "Dumb Things", and his 2000 single "Roll on Summer".cite book |title=Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 |format=doc |last=Kent |first=David |authorlink= David Kent|publisher=Australian Chart Book, St Ives, N.S.W. |year=1993 |isbn=0-646-11917-6 |accessdate=2008-08-15 ] cite web |url= |title=Discography Paul Kelly |publisher=Australian Charts Portal |accessdate=2008-08-15 ] "To Her Door" was his best local hit peaking at #14 on the Australian singles charts in 1987, while "Dumb Things" peaked at #16 on the US "Billboard" Modern Rock chart in 1988.cite web |url= |title="Billboard" singles charts |publisher=allmusic |accessdate=2008-08-15 ] Albums success included Top Twenty hits on the National charts for "Gossip", "Under The Sun" and "So Much Water So Close To Home" from the 1980s; "Comedy", "Wanted Man", "Songs from the South" and " Words and Music" from the 1990s; and "Nothing But A Dream", "Ways & Means" and "Stolen Apples" from the 2000s. The compilation album "Songs from the South" peaked at #2 in 1997, while his highest charting studio album was "Nothing But A Dream" which peaked at #7 in 2001. Kelly's iconic status was recognised in 1997 when he was inducted into the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) Hall of Fame.cite web |url= |title=ARIA 2008 Hall of Fame inductees listing |publisher=Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA)|accessdate=2008-08-18 ] [cite web |url= |title=Winners by Award: Hall of Fame |publisher=Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) |accessdate=2008-08-18 ]

In 2001, the Australasian Performing Rights Association (APRA) listed the Top 30 Australian songs of all time,cite web |url= |format=PDF |last=Kruger |first=Debbie |title=The songs that resonate through the years |publisher=Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA)|date=2001-05-02 |accessdate=2008-08-25 ] including "To Her Door", solely written by Kelly, and "Treaty", written by Kelly and members of Indigenous Australian band Yothu Yindi. Aside from "Treaty", Kelly has written or co-written several songs on indigenous peoples' social issues and historical events, including "Maralinga (Rainy Day)" on British nuclear testing, "From Little Things Big Things Grow" (with Kev Carmody) on the Gurindji strike for land rights and on , and "Rally Around the Drum" (with Archie Roach) about a tent boxing man. Kelly has also provided songs for many other artists, tailoring them to their particular vocal range.cite web |url= |last=Kruger |first=Debbie |title=Paul Kelly: words are never enough |publisher=Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA)|date=December, 2002|accessdate=2008-09-06] cite web |url=|title=A voice for the voiceless|publisher="The Age"|last=Hillman|first=Bob|date=2008-03-17|accessdate=2008-09-06 ] "Women at the Well" from 2002 had 14 female artists record his songs in tribute.

After growing up in Adelaide, Kelly travelled around Australia before settling in Melbourne in 1976, he became involved in the pub rock scene and drug culture, he recorded two albums with Paul Kelly and the Dots. Kelly moved to Sydney by 1985 where he formed Paul Kelly and the Coloured Girls, which was renamed Paul Kelly and the Messengers, initially for international releases only, to avoid possible racist interpretations.cite book |url= |title=Molly Meldrum presents 50 years of rock in Australia |last=Jenkins |first=Jeff |coauthors=Ian Meldrum |year=2007 |publisher=Wilkinson Publishing |location=Melbourne, Vic. |isbn=9781921332111 |accessdate=2008-08-17 ] At the end of the 1980s, Kelly returned to Melbourne, and in 1991 he disbanded the Messengers. Kelly has been married and divorced twice, he has three children and resides in St. Kilda a suburb of Melbourne with his girlfriend, Sian Prior.cite news|url= |title=Song lines|publisher="The Sydney Morning Herald"|last=Horsburgh |first=Susan |date=2007-06-04|accessdate=2008-08-17] Dan Kelly, his nephew, is a singer and guitarist in his own right, Dan has performed with Kelly on "Ways and Means" and "Stolen Apples", both are members of Stardust Five which released a self-titled album in 2006.

Early life

Paul Maurice Kelly was born on 13 January 1955 in Adelaide, South Australia to John Erwin Kelly, a lawyer, and Josephine Kelly "née" Filippini,cite web |url= |title="Don't Start Me Talking : Lyrics 1984-2004" |format=PDF |publisher=Insight Publications |last=Magner |first=Brigid |accessdate=2008-08-20] as the sixth of nine children (including one still-born).cite news |url=,23739,22018071-5003425,00.html |title=Paul Kelly has no answers |publisher="The Courier Mail" |last=McMahon |first=Bruce |date=2007-07-07 |accessdate=2008-08-14 ] cite web |url=,M1 |title="Spirited Men : Story, Soul & Substance" |publisher=Crowley Publications |last=Doyle |first=Brian |date=2004 |accessdate=2008-08-20] According to legend, he was born outside North Adelaide’s Calvary Hospital in a taxi,cite web|url= |title=Paul Kelly interview |publisher="Rip It Up Magazine"|date=2007-09-11 |accessdate=2008-08-14] this story is re-enforced by the lyrics of his 1991 song "It's all Downhill from Here" from the album "Comedy".cite book |title=Lyrics |last=Kelly |first=Paul |year=1993 |location=Pymble, N.S.W. |publisher=Angus & Robertson |isbn=0207182213 ]

Kelly was the great-great-grandson of Jeremiah Kelly who fled Ireland in 1852 and settled in Clare, South Australia. His grandfather, Francis Kelly, established a law firm in 1917 which his father John joined in 1937. [cite web |url= |title=Our History |publisher=Kelly & Co. Lawyers |accessdate=2008-08-16 ] John died in 1968 at the age of 52, when Kelly was 13 years old, after being diagnosed with Parkinsons Disease some years earlier.cite web |url= |title="Enough Rope with Andrew Denton": Paul Kelly | date=2004-07-05 |publisher=Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) |accessdate=2008-08-14 ] quote|"I have good memories, he was the kind of father that, well, I missed him when he died very much. The older children were growing into him at the time he died. He was not well enough to play sport with me."cite web|url=|title=Lure of hearth and home|publisher="The Age" |last=Aiton|first=Doug|date=2004-04-25|accessdate=2008-08-14] |Paul Kelly|25 April 2004In Kelly's semi-autobiographical song "Adelaide", from his 1985 album "Post", he recalls these events.

Kelly's maternal grandfather was an Italian opera singer, Count Ercole Filippini, a leading baritone for the La Scala Opera Company in Milan, who was touring Australia with a Spanish Opera Company, when the first world war broke out, he stayed and married one of his singing students, Anne McPharland. As Countessa Anne Fillippini, she was Australia's first female symphony orchestra conductor. Kelly's grandparents started the Italo-Australian Opera Company, [cite web |url= |title=Italian Historical Society - Fact Sheet|format=PDF |publisher=CO.AS.IT|accessdate=2008-08-20] which toured the country in the 1920s.

Josephine raised the younger children on her own after John's death but found time to assist others in need. Kelly's oldest sister, Anne, became a nun and went on to write hymns while younger sister Mary-Jo plays in Latin bands and teaches music at the Victorian College of the Arts. Kelly's older brother, Martin, works for the Christian Brothers' volunteer organisation Edmund Rice International, [cite web|url= |title=A letter from Sister Rita|publisher=Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) Radio Queensland |date=2004-06-10 |accessdate=2008-09-02] [cite web|url= |title=Edmund Rice Volunteers |publisher=Edmund Rice Oceania |accessdate=2008-09-02] with another brother, Tony, a drug and alcohol counsellor, who ran as an Australian Greens candidate in the 2001 and 2004 federal elections. [cite web|url= |title=Ballarat - the Australian political barometer|publisher=ABC Television '|date=2001-10-10|last=Bunworth|first=Mick|accessdate=2008-09-02] [cite web|url= |title=Greens' Ballarat candidate to decide on preferences|publisher=ABC Television '|date=2003-11-10|accessdate=2008-09-02] Kelly's mother moved to Brisbane, where she died in 2000.

Kelly attended Rostrevor College, a Christian Brothers school, where he played trumpet and studied piano, was a cricket captain, and became dux of his senior year.cite web |url= |title=Paul Kelly Australian singer-songwriter |publisher=Other People's Houses |editor=Eva Blanda |year=1997 |accessdate=2008-08-17 ] Kelly studied arts at Flinders University in 1973, but left after a year, disillusioned with academic life. He began writing prose and started a magazine with some friends. Kelly spent several years working odd jobs, travelling around the country and learning guitar before he eventually moved to Melbourne in 1976.

1974–1984: Paul Kelly and the Dots

Kelly's first public performance was in 1974, when he sang the Australian folk song "Streets of Forbes" and Bob Dylan's "Girl from the North Country" to an audience in Hobart. He wrote his first song "It's the Falling Apart that Makes You" after listening to Van Morrison's "Astral Weeks" at the age of 19. Kelly was a member of the Melbourne-based band Debutantes in 1976 and then pub-rockers The High Rise Bombers during 1977–1978. The High Rise Bombers included Kelly (vocals, guitar, songwriter), Martin Armiger (guitar, vocals, songwriter), Lee Cass (bass guitar), Chris Dyson (guitar), Sally Ford (saxophone, songwriter), John Lloyd (drums) and Keith Shadwick (saxophone). Dyson was replaced by Chris Langman (guitar, vocals) in early 1978 and in August, after Armiger left for The Sports and Ford for The Kevins, Kelly formed Paul Kelly and the Dots with Langman and Lloyd. The High Rise Bombers recorded two tracks "She's Got It" and "Domestic Criminal" which eventually appeared on the 1981 compilation "The Melbourne Club" by various artists on Missing Links Records. The Dots included various line-ups from 1978–1982 and released their debut single "Recognition" in 1979, which had no chart success. In 1980, Paul Kelly, at the age of 25 married Hilary Brown and their son Declan Kelly was born 1980 or 1981. Paul Kelly and the Dots signed to Mushroom Records and released "Billy Baxter" in November 1980, which peaked at #38 on the National singles charts. Their debut album "Talk" followed in 1981, which peaked at #44 on the albums charts.

Paul Kelly and the Dots travelled to the Philippines' capital in late 1981 to record their second album "Manila", which was released in August 1982 but had no chart success. Release was delayed by line-up changes and the fact that Kelly had his jaw broken when assaulted in Melbourne. Kelly was not happy with either of the two albums, he later stated "I wish I could grab the other two and put 'em in a big hole." 1982 also saw the release of the Gillian Armstrong film "Starstruck" which starred Jo Kennedy.cite web |url= |title="Starstruck" (1982) - Full cast and crew |publisher=Internet Movie Database (IMDb) |accessdate=2008-09-05 ] Paul Kelly and the Dots supplied "Rocking Institution" for the soundtrack and Kelly added to the score.cite web |url= |title="Starstruck" 1982 |publisher=Memorable TV |accessdate=2008-08-28 ] Kennedy released "Body and Soul", a revision of Split Enz' "She Got Body, She Got Soul", from the soundtrack as a shared single with "Rocking Institution" on the other side. Acting in a minor role in "Starstruck" was Kaarin Fairfax, who later became Kelly's second wife. After the Dots folded in 1982, Kelly was without a recording contract, Paul Kelly Band was formed in 1983 with Michael Armiger (bass), Chris Coyne (saxophone), Maurice Frawley (guitar) and Greg Martin (drums), by 1984 Michael Barclay replaced Martin on drums and Graham Lee (guitar, pedal steel guitar) joined. His involvement in the Melbourne drug culture and problems with his marriage disrupted his career, and by late 1984 the marriage had broken up, he disbanded his group and relocated to Sydney.

1985–1991: Coloured Girls to Messengers

Kelly moved to Sydney by January 1985, where he recorded the self-funded (at a cost of $3,500) album, "Post", with Michael Barclay on harmonies, guitarist Steve Connolly (The Zimmerman) [cite web|url=|title=The Zimmerman|publisher=Australian Rock Database|editor=Magnus Holgrem |accessdate=2008-09-09] and bass player Ian Rilen (Rose Tattoo, X). They spent two weeks recording at Clive Shakespeare's studio, Shakespeare engineered the album and co-produced with Kelly, it was released in May 1985 on the independent label White Records, and licensed to Mushroom Records. It is a stark, personal collection of acoustic songs that highlight Kelly's broadly based songwriting skill. "Australian Rolling Stone" hailed "Post" as the best record of 1985. Kelly began to play and record with a full-time band, which included Armiger, Barclay and Connolly, bassist Jon Schofield, and keyboardist Peter Bull. Through a joke based on Lou Reed's song "Walk on the Wild Side", the band became known as Paul Kelly and the Coloured Girls. Their first release was "From St. Kilda to King's Cross" but it did not chart. The line-up of the Coloured Girls changed rapidly with some stability late in 1985 as Barclay, Bull, Connolly and Schofield (see photo at right). Stuart Coupe, Kelly's manager, advised him to sign with Regular Records due to difficulty re-signing with Mushroom's Michael Gudinski. Michelle Higgins, Mushroom's Public relations officer, was a Kelly supporter and locked herself into a Sebel Townhouse Hotel room for nearly a week in mid-1986, refusing to leave until Gudinski had signed Kelly to a two-album recording contract. [cite web |url= |date=1997-05-13 |accessdate=2007-10-08 |title="Songs from the South: The Best of Paul Kelly" | ]

In 1986 Kelly performed with "The Rock Party" a charity project initiated by The National Campaign Against Drug Abuse (NCADA), which included many Australasian musicians such as Neil Finn (Crowded House), Reg Mombassa (Mental As Anything), Eddie Rayner, Tim Finn, Nick Seymour (Crowded House), Paul Hester (Crowded House), Geoff Stapleton (GANGgajang), Robbie James (GANGgajang), Mary Azzopardi (Rockmelons), Andrew Barnum (The Vitabeats), Lissa Barnum, Michael Barclay, Peter Blakely, Mark Callaghan (GANGAjang), Deborah Conway, Danny De Costa, Greg Herbert (The Promise), Spencer P Jones, Sean Kelly (The Models), John Kennedy, Jenny Morris, Martin Plaza (Mental as Anything), Robert Susz (Dynamic Hepnotics) and Rick Swinn (The Venetians).cite web |url= |title=The Rock Party |publisher=Australian Rock database |editor=Holmgren, Magnus |accessdate=2008-09-25] The Rock Party released a 12" single "Everything To Live For", which was produced by Joe Wissert, Phil Rigger and Phil Beazley. [cite web |url= |title="Everything to Live For"| publisher=Allmusic |accessdate=2008-09-25]

In September 1986 Paul Kelly and the Coloured Girls released the 24-track double LP "Gossip". The album included remakes of four songs from "Post" and also featured "Maralinga (Rainy Land)", a song about the effects of British atomic testing on the Maralinga Tjarutja (indigenous people) of Maralinga, South Australia. "Gossip" peaked at #15 on the National albums charts, with singles chart success for "Before Too Long" which peaked at #15 and "Darling it Hurts" reaching #25. A single LP version of "Gossip" featuring 15 songs was released in the United States by A&M Records in July, 1987. Due to possible racist connotations the band changed its name, for international releases, to Paul Kelly and the Messengers. They made an American tour, initially supporting Crowded House and then head-lining, travelling across the United States by bus. "Darling it Hurts" peaked at #19 on the "Billboard" Mainstream Rock chart in 1987. "The New York Times" rock critic, John Pareles wrote "Mr. Kelly sang one smart, catchy three-minute song after another - dozens of them - as the band played with no-frills directness." following the band's performance at the Bottom Line Club in New York. [cite web| url= |title=Two Rock Storytellers Hit Their Stride|publisher="The New York Times" |last=Pareles|first=John|date=1988-09-18|accessdate=2008-09-09]

Paul Kelly and the Coloured Girls' second album, "Under the Sun", was released in 1987 in both Australia and in the U.S. (as by Paul Kelly and the Messengers). On the Australian albums charts it peaked at #19 with the single "To Her Door" peaking at #14. A second single, "Dumb Things" was released in early 1989 and peaked at #36 on the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) singles charts; it reached #16 on the "Billboard" Modern Rock chart. The song was included in the soundtrack for the 1988 Yahoo Serious film "Young Einstein". [cite web |url= |title="Young Einstein" (1988) soundtrack |publisher=Internet Movie Database (IMDb) |accessdate=2008-08-18 ] Also in 1988, "To Her Door" won an ARIA Award for 'Best Video' directed by Claudia Castle.cite web |url= |title=ARIA Awards 2008: History: Winners by Artist search result |publisher=Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) |accessdate=2008-08-19 ] [cite web |url= |title=Paul Kelly - aritst videography | |last=Garcia |first=Alex S. |year=2008 |accessdate=2008-08-19 ]

Their next album, "So Much Water So Close To Home" was released in 1989 by Paul Kelly and the Messengers in all markets, it peaked at #10 on the ARIA album charts, but none of its singles reached the ARIA Top 40 Singles charts. Kelly relocated back to Melbourne after living in Sydney for six years. Another US tour was undertaken but there was no further chart success for albums or singles releases in the US market. In 1991 they released "Comedy" which peaked at #12 on the ARIA Albums chart. "From Little Things Big Things Grow", a seven-minute track from the album was co-written by Kelly and Kev Carmody, is based on the story of The Gurindji Strike and Vincent Lingiari as part of the Indigenous Australian struggle for land rights and reconciliation.cite web |url= |title="George Negus Tonight" History - Transcripts: "The Gurindji Strike" |publisher=Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) Radio |date=2004-07-04 |accessdate=2008-08-20 ] A cover version released in May 2008 by The GetUp Mob, part of the GetUp! advocacy group, peaked at #4 on the ARIA singles charts.cite web |url= |title=The GetUp Mob - "From Little Things Big Things Grow" |publisher=Australian Charts Portal |accessdate=2008-08-24 ] This version included samples from speeches by Prime Ministers Paul Keating in 1992, and Kevin Rudd in 2008;cite news|url=,23739,23575456-7642,00.html |title=Single samples Rudd, Keating|publisher="The Courier Mail" |last=Edwards |first=Anna |date=2008-04-22|accessdate=2008-08-20 ] it featured vocals by both Carmody and Kelly, as well as other Australian artists. Kelly also collaborated with members of Yothu Yindi to write "Treaty" which peaked at #11 in September 1991. [cite web |url= |title= Yothu Yindi - "Treaty" |publisher=Australian Charts Portal |accessdate=2008-09-08 ] Both "To Her Door" and "Treaty" were voted into the APRA Top 30 Australian songs of all time in 2001. Paul Kelly and the Messenger's next album, "Hidden Things" was released in May 1992, which peaked at #29; however the band had already made their last performances in August 1991, with Kelly set to pursue a solo career.

1992–1999: Paul Kelly Band and others

Since 1992, Kelly has had a solo career, fronted the Paul Kelly Band and worked in occasional collaborations with other songwriters and performers. In 1992 Kelly was asked to compose songs for "Funerals and Circuses", a Roger Bennett play about racial tensions in small town Australia.cite web |url= |title="Funerals and circuses" |publisher=National Library of Australia |accessdate=2008-09-08 ] [cite web |url= |title=Roger Bennett: Playwright | |accessdate=2008-08-24] Kelly took the role of a petrol attendant when the play premiered at the Adelaide Fringe Festival that year. [cite web |url= |title=Indigenous theatre: The future in black and white |publisher=Australia Council|accessdate=2008-08-24] Kelly co-wrote "Hey Boys" with Mark Seymour (Hunters & Collectors) for the soundtrack of the 1992 Australian film, "Garbo"; released as a single it peaked at #62 on the Australian Singles chart. [cite web |url= |title=Garbo|publisher=Beyond Films|accessdate=2008-08-27] Kelly contributed songs and vocals to the soundtrack of the 1993 television series "Seven Deadly Sins". [cite web |url=|title="Seven Deadly Sins Soundtrack" |publisher=Australian Television Memorabilia|accessdate=2008-09-06]

Kelly's first post-Messengers solo release was the live double CD "Live, May 1992" released in November 1992. Kelly had already relocated to Los Angeles by then and signed with Vanguard Records to tour the US as a solo artist. While in LA he produced fellow Australian Renée Geyer's album "Difficult Woman" released in 1994. Kelly returned to Australia in 1993 and wrote a collection of lyrics, aptly titled "Lyrics", which opens with a quote from Anton Chekhov:

"I don't have what you would call a philosophy or coherent world view so I shall have to limit myself to describing how my heroes love, marry, give birth, die and speak."
His next album "Wanted Man", released in 1994, peaked at #11 on the ARIA Albums charts. 1994 also saw Kelly compose music for "Everynight ... Everynight", directed by Alkinos Tsilimidos, a feature film set in the notorious H division of Victoria's Pentridge Prison. [cite web |url= |title="Everynight ... Everynight" (1994) Full cast and crew |publisher=Internet Movie Database (IMDb) |accessdate=2008-08-20 ] cite web |url=;adv=yes;group=;groupequals=;holdingType=;page=0;parentid=;query=Number%3A322233;querytype=;rec=0;resCount=10 |title=Everynight... Everynight |publisher=National Film and Sound Archive|accessdate=2008-03-08] Kelly's next solo releases were "Deeper Water" in 1995 and "Live At The Continental And The Esplanade" in 1996. Between March and May 1995 Kelly undertook a seven week tour of North America, appearing on several dates with Liz Phair and Joe Jackson. [cite web |url= |title=Paul Kelly Past Tour Dates (March - May 1995)|publisher=Australian Music Web Site|accessdate=2008-08-22] By 1996, Paul Kelly Band members were Stephen Hadley (bass, ex-Black Sorrows), Bruce Haymes (keyboards), Peter Luscombe (drums, ex-Black Sorrows) and Shane O'Mara (guitar). Spencer P. Jones (guitar, Beasts of Bourbon) guested on some performances. This line-up issued the CD-EP, "How to Make Gravy" with the title track earning Kelly a 'Song of the Year' nomination at the 1998 Australasian Performing Rights Association (APRA) Music Awards.cite web |url= |title=1998 Music Awards Nominations |publisher=Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA) |accessdate=2008-08-19 ]

In 1997, Kelly released his compilation album, "" on Mushroom Records, the 20-track album peaked at #2 on the ARIA albums charts, and has achieved quadruple platinum certification indicating sales of over 280,000.cite web |url= |title=ARIA Charts - Accreditations - 1997 Albums |publisher=Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) |accessdate=2008-08-20 ] cite web |url= |title=ARIA Charts - Accreditations - 2006 Albums |publisher=Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) |accessdate=2008-09-01 ] Kelly won the 1997 ARIA Award for 'Best Male Artist', having been previously nominated in 1993, 1995 and 1996. At the 20 September 1997 ceremony he was also inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame. Kelly won the 'Best Male Artist' award again in 1998 and has been nominated for the same award a further seven times. Next album "Words and Music" in 1998, which peaked at #17 on the ARIA albums chart, it included three singles that did not reach the Top 40 singles chart. 1998 also saw Kelly undertaking a three week tour of Canada and the United States to promote "Words and Music". [cite web |url=|title=Paul Kelly Past Tour Dates (June 1998)|publisher=Australian Music Web Site|accessdate=2008-08-22]

"Smoke" was released by Paul Kelly with Uncle Bill; the latter is a Melbourne bluegrass band composed of Gerry Hale on guitar, dobro, mandolin, fiddle and vocals, Adam Gare on fiddle, mandolin and vocals, Peter Somerville on banjo and vocals and Stuart Speed on double bass. "Our Sunshine" was one of the new songs on the album and was written as a tribute to Ned Kelly, a famous Australian outlaw (not related). The album featured a mix of old and new Kelly songs treated in classic bluegrass fashion, Kelly had previously recorded a track with Uncle Bill, "Thanks a Lot", for the 1997 compilation, "Where Joy Kills Sorrow", on the W. Minc label, [cite web|url= |title=Where Joy Kills Sorrow|publisher=Australian Rock Database |editor=Magnus Holmgren |accessdate=2008-09-06 ] and in 1998 for the "Not So Dusty" Slim Dusty tribute album. "Smoke" was released on Kelly's new label, Gawdaggie, through EMI Records in Australia in October 1999 and peaked at #36 on the ARIA albums chart. "Smoke" won three awards from the Victorian Country Music Association 'Best Group (Open)', 'Best Group (Victorian)', and 'Album of the Year' in 2000. [cite web |url= |title=Country Music Awards - 2000 |publisher=Not For Sale |accessdate=2008-08-17] In September 1999 Kelly performed at the Spiegeltent at the Edinburgh Festival, as well as shows in London and Dublin. [cite web |url=|title=Paul Kelly Past Tour Dates (September 1999)|publisher=Australian Music Web Site|accessdate=2008-08-22]

Professor Ratbaggy was formed in 1999 by Paul Kelly Band members Stephen Hadley (bass guitar, backing vocals), Bruce Haymes (keyboards, organ, backing vocals), Kelly (vocals, guitar) and Peter Luscombe (drums); they released "Professor Ratbaggy" in 1999 on EMI Records.cite web |url= |title=Professor Ratbaggy |publisher=Australian Rock Database |editor=Magnus Holmgren |accessdate=2008-08-15 ] Songwriting was shared around the group members and the album had a more groove-oriented style compared to his usual folk or rock formula, using samples, synth and percussion.

Kelly's second anthology of lyrics entitled "Don't Start Me Talking" was first published in 1999, with subsequent songs appended in the 2004 edition; [cite book |url= |accessdate=2008-08-20 |month=February |year=2004 |last=Kelly |first=Paul |title=Don't Start Me Talking |publisher=Allen & Unwin |location=|isbn=9781741143171] the book has been added to the Victorian Certificate of Education English reading list for Year 12 (final year of secondary schooling) since 2006. [cite news |url= |title=Paul Kelly makes grade in exam list |publisher="The Sydney Morning Herald" |last=Green |first=Shane |date=2005-11-14 |accessdate=2008-08-20 ]


During the 2000s Kelly has also worked as a composer for film and TV scores/soundtracks including "Lantana" (also as a member of Professor Ratbaggy), "Silent Partner" and "One Night The Moon" in 2001, "Fireflies" in 2004 and "Jindabyne" in 2006. [cite web |url= |title=Paul Kelly |publisher=Internet Movie Database (IMDb)|accessdate=2008-08-20 ] These works have resulted in five award wins: ARIA 'Best Original Soundtrack' for "Lantana" (with Stephen Hadley, Bruce Haymes and Shane O'Mara); Australian Film Institute (AFI) 'Open Craft Award', Film Critics Circle of Australia Awards 'Best Music Score' and Screen Music Award 'Best Soundtrack Album' for "One Night The Moon" (with Mairead Hannan, Kev Carmody, John Remeril, Deirdre Hannan and Alice Garner); Valladolid International Film Festival 'Best Music' award for "Jindabyne" and six further nominations.cite web |url= |title=Paul Kelly - Awards |publisher=Internet Movie Database (IMDb) |accessdate=2008-08-20 ] Kelly also acted in "One Night The Moon" along side his then wife Kaarin Fairfax, who is known for her lead role in two TV miniseries "The Harp in the South" and "Poor Man's Orange", [cite web |url= |title=Kaarin Fairfax |publisher=Internet Movie Database (IMDb)|accessdate=2008-08-21 ] and with their younger daughter Memphis Kelly. A video clip from the movie, provided by the National Film and Sound Archive, is available at [ Australian Screen] , it shows Memphis, Fairfax and Kelly singing a lullaby (see screenshot at left). [cite web |url= |title="One Night the Moon", clip 1 - australian screen |publisher=Australian Screen |editor=Romaine Moreton |accessdate=2008-09-04 ] Kelly and Fairfax separated not long after the film's release.

2000 saw the release of "Roll on Summer" as a four-track EP, which peaked at #40 on the ARIA singles charts. Kelly released "Nothing But A Dream" in 2001, returning to his core singer-songwriter style, it peaked at #7 on the ARIA albums chart, and achieved gold record status. [cite web |url= |title=ARIA Charts - Accreditations - 2001 Albums |publisher=Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) |accessdate=2008-08-20 ] In March 2001 Kelly was the supporting act for Bob Dylan's tour of Australia [cite web |url= |title=Bob Dylan's Spring 2001 Tour Guide|editor=Bill Pagel | |accessdate=2008-08-24] the between August and November 2001 Kelly performed a series of acoustic shows in New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Spain and France (the later supporting Ani DiFranco) [cite web|url= |title=Paul Kelly Past Tour Dates (August - November 2001)|publisher=Australia Music Web|accessdate=2008-08-22 ] In 2002 Kelly undertook a six week tour of North America, [cite web|url=|title=Paul Kelly Past Tour Dates (March - April 2002)|publisher=Australia Music Web|accessdate=2008-08-22 ] [cite web |url= |title= Supersuckers, Paul Kelly, Ween |publisher="Billboard" All Business |last=Jeckell |first=Paul |date=2001-12-20 |accessdate=2008-08-22] which was followed by a tour of the United Kingdom and Ireland later that year. [cite web|url=|title=Paul Kelly Past Tour Dates (June 2002)|publisher=Australia Music Web|accessdate=2008-08-22 ] In 2002 and 2003, two albums of Kelly's songs were released: "Women At The Well" featured songs performed by female artists, including Bic Runga, Jenny Morris, Renée Geyer, Magic Dirt, Rebecca Barnard (Rebecca's Empire), Christine Anu, and Kasey Chambers; [cite web |url= |title=Women mess with 'thrilled' Kelly |publisher="The Age" |last=Webb |first=Carolyn |date=2002-05-13|accessdate=2008-08-18] and "Stories Of Me" featured fellow songwriters including James Reyne, Mia Dyson and Jeff Lang. [cite web |url= |title=Drinking from the Kelly well |publisher="The Age" |last=Donovan |first=Patrick |date=2003-11-13 |accessdate=2008-08-17] In 2003 Kelly undertook a tour of North America, the UK and Ireland, performing at the Edmonton Music Festival and again at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. [cite web|url=|title=Paul Kelly Past Tour Dates (August 2003)|publisher=Australia Music Web|accessdate=2008-08-22 ] [cite web|url= |title=Folk from down under all over|publisher="The Sunday Herald Sun"|last=Wilson|first=Sue|date=2003-08-31|accessdate=2008-09-02]

"Ways & Means" was released by Paul Kelly and the Boon Companions in 2004, which peaked at #13, it was more of a group effort with guitar by Kelly's nephew Dan Kelly, Peter Luscombe on drums and his brother Dan Luscombe on guitar and keyboards, and Bill McDonald on bass guitar. On 7 February 2004, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation started broadcasting the television series "Fireflies" which featured a score by Kelly and Stephen Rae.cite web |url= |title="Fireflies" (2004, pilot episode) - Full cast and crew |publisher=Internet Movie Database |accessdate=2008-09-03 ] cite web |url= |title="Fireflies" (2004, TV series) - Full cast and crew |publisher=Internet Movie Database |accessdate=2008-09-03 ] The associated soundtrack CD "Fireflies: Songs of Paul Kelly" included tracks by Kelly, Paul Kelly and the Boon Companions, Professor Ratbaggy, Paul Kelly with Uncle Bill, and "Los Cucumbros" by the Boon Companions featuring Sian Prior,cite web |url= |title="Fireflies: Songs of Paul Kelly" soundtrack CD |publisher=allmusic |accessdate=2008-09-04 ] which was later a track on "Stardust Five". [cite web |url= |title="Stardust Five" [Import] by Stardust Five | |accessdate=2008-09-04 ] In March, Kelly played a number of performances across North America, including New York, Boston, Chicago, Seattle and Los Angeles, [cite web|url=|title=Paul Kelly Past Tour Dates (March 2004)|publisher=Australia Music Web|accessdate=2008-08-22 ] this was followed by a more extensive series of performances between July and September that year throughout North America and Europe. [cite web|url=|title=Paul Kelly Past Tour Dates (July - September 2003)|publisher=Australia Music Web|accessdate=2008-08-22 ] In December 2004, in Melbourne, Kelly performed 100 of his songs in alphabetical order over two nights. [cite web |url= |title=Paul Kelly |publisher="The Age" |last=Ziffer |first=Daniel |date=2004-12-08 |accessdate=2008-08-17] A similar show was performed at the studio at Sydney Opera House in December 2006.

"Foggy Highway" was released by Paul Kelly and the Stormwater Boys in 2005, which peaked at #23 on the ARIA albums charts. The line-up were Kelly, Mick Albeck (fiddle), James Gillard (bass), Rod McCormack (guitar), Ian Simpson (banjo) and Trev Warner (mandolin). [cite web |url= |title=Albums by Paul Kelly |publisher=Rate Your Music |accessdate=2008-08-21 ] In June 2005 Paul Kelly put together "Timor leste – Freedom Rising", a collaboration of Australian artists donating new recordings, unreleased tracks or b-sides to make connections between a wide range of music to raise money for environmental, health and education projects in East Timor. [cite web |url= |title=Various Artists: "Timor Leste - Freedom Rising" |publisher=dB magazine |accessdate=2008-09-02] All funds raised from the album went to Life, Love and Health and The Alola Foundation. [cite web |url= |title=In tune with East Timor|publisher="The Sunday Herald Sun" |last=Stewart|first=Paul|date=2005-07-17|accessdate=2008-09-02] cite web |url= |title=Paul Kelly and The Hoodoo Gurus Join Forces To Help Timor Leste | |date=2006-09-25|accessdate=2008-09-02]

On 26 March 2006, Paul Kelly performed at the closing ceremony of the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, singing "Leaps and Bounds" and "Rally around the Drum". [cite news |url= |title=Melbourne, we did it! |publisher="The Sydney Morning Herald"|date=2006-03-26|last=Hogan|first=Jesse|accessdate=2008-09-02] [cite news |url=|title=Celebrations of our city |publisher="The Sydney Morning Herald"|date=2006-03-27|accessdate=2008-09-02] On 8 October, Paul Kelly and the Boon Companions, Hoodoo Gurus and Sime Nugent performed together at the Athenaeum Theatre in Melbourne to again raise funds for Life, Love and Health to help support their ongoing programs in Timor-Leste in response to the needs of the people during the humanitarian crisis. [cite web |url=|title=Timor-Leste - Timor Gathering - A fundraising concert at the Athenaeum Theatre in Melbourne|publisher=Victoria Local Governance Association|date=2006-08-22 |accessdate=2008-09-02] Kelly formed Stardust Five in 2006, with the same line-up as Paul Kelly and the Boon Companions from "Ways & Means", they released their self-titled debut album in March, each member contributed in composing the music with Kelly providing lyrics. [cite news|url=|title="Stardust Five"|publisher="The Sydney Morning Herald"|last=Zuel|first=Bernard|date=2006-04-21|accessdate=2008-09-06] The album also has backing vocals, on two tracks including "Los Cucumbros", supplied by Kelly's current girlfriend, Sian Prior. [cite web |url= |title="Stardust Five" (musical recording)|publisher=Music Australia|accessdate=2008-09-06] 2006 saw Kelly undertake another tour of North America, [cite web|url=|title=Paul Kelly Past Tour Dates (August 2006)|publisher=Australia Music Web|accessdate=2008-08-22 ] appearing together with The Waifs at clubs and festivals in several US states and the Canadian province of Alberta. [cite news|url=|title=The Waifs : Paul Kelly|publisher="Tamworth Rage Page"|accessdate=2008-08-28 ]

Kelly has written songs with and for numerous artists, including Mick Thomas, Renée Geyer, Kate Ceberano, Vika and Linda Bull, Nick Cave, Marilyn Manson, Nick Barker, Kasey Chambers, Yothu Yindi, Archie Roach, Gyan, Monique Brumby, Kelly Willis, Missy Higgins and Troy Cassar-Daley. He described how some songs he writes are suited to other vocal ranges:

Kelly has realised that co-writing with other songwriters lends power to his songs:

In 2007, Kelly released "Stolen Apples" containing songs based on religious themes, it peaked at #8 on the ARIA albums charts, and achieved gold record status. [cite web |url= |title=ARIA Charts - Accreditations - 2007 Albums |publisher=Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) |accessdate=2008-08-21 ] Following the recording of the album guitartist and keyboard player, Dan Luscombe, left to join The Drones, he was replaced by Ashley Naylor (Even) and Cameron Bruce (The Polaroids) on guitar and keyboards respectively. A tour in support of the album saw Kelly perform the entire album plus selected hits from his catalogue, one of the last performances of the tour, on 20 September 2007 in Toowoomba, Queensland, was filmed and released on DVD as "Live Apples", or more fully as "Live Apples: Stolen Apples Performed Live in its Entirety Plus 16 More Songs", on 26 April 2008. [cite web |url= |title=The fruits of our labour - Paul Kelly | |year=2008 |month=April |last=Sennet |first=Sean |accessdate=2008-08-21 ] [cite web |url= |title=Paul Kelly "Live Apples" DVD |publisher=musichead Australia |accessdate=2008-09-10 ]

2008 saw Kelly making his first appearance at the Big Day Out concerts across Australia [cite web|url=|title=Official 1st Announcement - Big Day Out 2008|publisher=Big Day Out|accessdate=2008-09-15] [cite news |url=|title=Bjork headlines Big Day Out 2008 |publisher="The West Australian"|date=2007-10-03|accessdate=2008-09-15] and in March he performed at the South by Southwest music festival in Austin, Texas. [cite news |url=|title=South by southwest |publisher="The Age"|last=Muffit |first=Andrew |date=2008-02-03 |accessdate=2008-08-21 ] [cite web |url=|title=SXSW 2008 Showcasing Artists|publisher=SXSW Music Conference |date=2008-03-12 |accessdate=2008-09-06] Kelly released "Stolen Apples" in Ireland and UK in July 2008 and followed with a tour there in August. [cite web |url= |title=Paul Kelly Shows Archive 2008 | |accessdate=2008-09-10 ]

Kelly has resisted the label of 'storyteller' and insists that his songs are not strictly autobiographical:

In June, 2008 "The Age" newspaper commerated 50 years of Australian rock n' roll (the anniversary of the release of Johnny O'Keefe's "Wild One") by selecting the Top 50 Australian Albums, with two of Kelly's albums, "Gossip" and "Post" coming in at #7 and #30 on the list. [cite news|url= |title=The Top 50 Australian Albums of all Time|publisher="The Age"|year=2008|month=June|accessdate=2008-09-16] [cite news|url= |title=Best of the best|publisher="The Age"|date=2008-06-27|accessdate=2008-09-16]

Kelly has been nominated as 'Best Male Artist' for "To Her Door (Live)" and 'Best Music DVD' for "Live Apples" in the 2008 ARIA Awards, the ceremony is due to be held on 19 October 2008.

In September 2008 Kelly announced that he had reacquired all of the rights to his old albums, with the bulk of the Kelly catalogue released through Warner, after his old label Mushroom was acquired by Warner.

As a result of the acquisition EMI will be releasing "Songs from the South - Volume 2", a collection of Kelly's songs from the last decade following on from "Songs from the South - Volume 1" in November, 2008. Volume 1 and Volume 2 will be available separately but also as a combined double album. EMI will also be releasing a DVD, "Paul Kelly – The Video Collection 1985-2008", a collection of Kelly's videos made over the past 23 years together with several live performances. [cite web|url= |title=Paul Kelly's Entire Catalogue Moves to EMI Music|publisher=GenQ Music|last=Kalow|first=Natalie|date=2008-09-23|accessdate=2008-10-01]

Personal life

Paul Kelly's first marriage, 1980–1984, was to Hilary Brown, which provided a son Declan Kelly. As of 2007, Declan presented a radio show on Triple R, was a DJ around Melbourne and plays the drums. [cite web|url= |title=Son shines in Kelly gang|publisher="The Age"|last=Hargreaves|first=Wendy|date=2007-12-20|accessdate=2008-08-15]

Kelly's second marriage, 1988–2001, was to Australian actress, Kaarin Fairfax, with whom he has two daughters, Madeleine, born in 1991 and Memphis, born in 1993. Memphis, starred alongside her parents in Rachel Perkins's 2001 short film "One Night the Moon", for which Kelly also composed the score.

Kelly lives in St. Kilda with Sian Prior, his girlfriend (2002–current), a journalist, university lecturer and opera singer, [cite web|url= |title=Sian Prior Biography|publisher=University of Melbourne|accessdate=2008-08-26 ] [cite web|url= |title=Sian Prior Biography|publisher=State Library of Victoria|accessdate=2008-08-26] they met when Kelly was interviewed on her "Sunday Arts" ABC radio program. Kelly wrote "You're 39, You're Beautiful and You're Mine" for Prior who was already 40 by the time he finished.

Dan Kelly is Kelly's nephew and is a singer/guitarist in his own right. Dan has performed with his uncle on several of Kelly's albums, including "Ways and Means" as a member of Paul Kelly and the Boon Companions, on "Stolen Apples" and both Dan and Kelly are members of Stardust Five which released "Stardust Five". Dan has released two albums of his own, both of which received ARIA Award nominations. [cite web |url= |title=ARIA Awards 2008: History: Winners by Artist search - Dan Kelly |publisher=Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) |accessdate=2008-09-09 ] [cite web|url= |title=2004 ARIA nominations |publisher="The Sydney Morning Herald"|date=2004-09-16|accessdate=2008-08-26] [cite web|url= |title=2007 ARIA nominations |publisher=Network Ten |accessdate=2008-08-26]


Kelly has written, co-written or edited the following: [cite web |url= |title=Music Australia - search results |publisher=Music Australia |accessdate=2008-08-15 ]
*cite book |last=Bennett |first=Roger |authorlink=Roger Bennett |coauthors=with songs by Paul Kelly |title=Funerals and circuses |year=1995 |publisher=Currency Press |location=Sydney, N.S.W. |isbn=0868193801
*cite book |last=Kelly |first=Paul |title=Lyrics |origdate= |year=1993 |publisher=Angus & Robertson |location=Pymble, N.S.W. |isbn=0207182213
*cite book |last=Kelly |first=Paul |title=Don't start me talking: lyrics 1984–2004 |origyear=1999 |edition=2nd Edition |year=2004 |publisher=Allen & Unwin |location=St Leonards, N.S.W. |isbn=1865081051
*cite book |last=Kelly |first=Paul |coauthors=Kate Judith, National Educational Advancement Programs|title=Don't start me talking: lyrics 1984–2004 |year=2005 |publisher=National Educational Advancement Programs |location=Carlton, Vic. |isbn=9781864780994
*cite book |last=Kelly |first=Paul |coauthors=Richard Paine |title=Songs (musical score)|year=1990 |publisher=Wise |location=Sydney, N.S.W. |language= |isbn=9780949785275
*cite book |last=Kelly |first=Paul |coauthors=Richard Paine |title=Songs. Book two (musical score)|year=1993 |publisher=Wise |location=Sydney, N.S.W. |language= |isbn=9780949785312


Studio albums
*"Talk" (1981)
*"Manila" (1982)
*"Post" (1985)
*"Gossip" (1986)
*"Under The Sun" (1987)
*"So Much Water So Close To Home" (1989)
*"Comedy" (1991)
*"Hidden Things" (1992)
*"Wanted Man" (1994)
*"Deeper Water" (1995)
*" Words and Music" (1998)
*"Smoke" (1999)
*"Professor Ratbaggy" (1999)
*"Nothing But A Dream" (2001)
*"Ways & Means" (2004)
*"Foggy Highway" (2005)
*"Stardust Five" (2006)
*"Stolen Apples" (2007)


Paul Kelly has won several awards, including eight ARIA Awards from the Australian Recording Industry Association, and three APRA Awards/AGSC from either the Australasian Performing Right Association alone or together with the Australian Guild of Screen Composers. APRA also named "To Her Door", solely written by Kelly, and "Treaty", written by Kelly and members of Yothu Yindi, in the Top 30 best Australian songs of all time in 2001. Kelly was inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame in 1997 alongside The Bee Gees and Graeme Bell.cite web |url= |title=Winners by Award: Hall of Fame |publisher=Australian Recording Industry Association |accessdate=2008-08-25 ] He has also won five Country Music Association of Australia (CMAA) Awards and four Mo Awards (Australian entertainment industry). [cite web |url= |title=Country Music Association of Australia (CMAA) 1990–1999 |publisher=Country Music Association of Australia |accessdate=2008-08-25 ] [cite web |url= |title=CMAA 2000–2008 |publisher=Country Music Association of Australia |accessdate=2008-08-25 ] [cite web |url= |title=Winners - 14th Mo Awards 1989 |publisher=Mo Awards |accessdate=2008-08-25 ] [cite web |url= |title=Winners - 15th Mo Awards 1990 |publisher=Mo Awards |accessdate=2008-08-25 ]

See also

* Music of Australia


* Note: limited preview for on-line version.
* "Paul Kelly - Picking Up Music and Passing It On" [radio transcript] . 2008. In "Talking to Kinky and Karlheinz - 170 musicians get vocal on The Music Show" ed. Anni Heino, 245-251. Sydney: ABC Books. ISBN 9780733320088.
* Cite web
url =
publisher = Allmusic
accessdate = 2008-08-21
title = Paul Kelly


External links

* [ Official website]
*imdb|id=0446771|name=Paul Kelly
* [ Red Bull Music Academy video archive of Paul Kelly 2006 lecture]

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