David Oke
Geelong, and Point Lonsdale Caravan Park, 1974

Oh I finally decide my future lies beyond the Yellow Brick Road

It would be unusual that an Elton John song could be viewed as a song of rebellion. Way back in 1974 that song, and that marvellous album of the same title, led me off in a direction differing to the path of my elders.

I grew up in a household that was musically set in Beethoven and other classical music, Gilbert and Sullivan, brass band records, male choral music and Methodist hymns.

Mum was a piano teacher who taught lessons after school in our lounge room to many private students. She was a well-known soprano and alto in the musical circles around Geelong, and conductor of our church choir. She was a child prodigy as a pianist and won awards at the Melbourne Town Hall for piano performance.

Mum conducting the Noble St church choir, 1978.

Mum conducting the Noble St church choir, 1978.

Dad was in the church choir too. He was virtually a founding member of the International Harvester Male Chorus. As England was famous for its brass bands in industry, the International Harvester Company, which produced agricultural machinery, had a male choir that performed a repertoire of songs