The CRY! Show
Lonnie Lee

the music and story of johnnie ray

Lonnie Lee

The Lobby

This is the show a generation has been waiting for..

(Where one pretends to BE Johnnie Ray or make every move he makes)

It is one Music Legend paying homage to another Legend.

In the early and mid 1950's when Johnnie Ray was on top of the entertainment world, a young teenager listened to his songs, totally taken in by the unique singing style he was hearing. Although he was already singing many other styles of songs, he just had to learn this style. That paragraph could talking about hundreds if not thousands of young singers around the world including, Elvis, Bob Dylan, David Bowie, John Lennon and Johnny O'Keefe however we are speaking of Australia's Lonnie Lee.

Whilst he was a very shy country boy he learnt as many Johnny Ray songs as he could and sung them at every opportunity. This was to give him the grounding for the Rock'n'Roll success that was to come to him.

In 1956 he entered the Radio 2UW Amateur Hour and wanted to sing the Johnnie Ray song, 'Just walking in the rain', however a young Johnny O'Keefe had sung Cry a few weeks earlier and they didn't want another Johnnie Ray song so soon. He sang the brand new song by the brand new star Elvis Presley, 'Heartbreak Hotel' instead.

This led him into Rock'n'Roll and in Feb. 1957 he won the title of Australia's Elvis Presley at the Sydney Trocadero. A little later he formed what many say is the first professional Rockabilly combo in Australia and some are now calling him the father of Australia's Rockabilly.

He started recording in 1959 and from his first release on Leedon Records when he co-wrote with Johnny O'Keefe the song called 'Ain't it so', he had hit after hit. Eight National Hits and Five of them Gold at a time when Gold was virtually impossible to achieve. These songs are now a solid part of Australian Popular Music History.. Starlight Starbright, I found a new love, Yes Indeed I do, Sitting by the River, Sit around and talk to me, When the bells stops ringing, Defenseless and many more.

In the years 1959 to the mid 60's he was one of only 3 stars who are regarded as Australia's first Music and TV Superstars.. Johnny O'Keefe, Col Joye and Lonnie Lee. Between them they virtually controlled the hit parades over those years.

In 1966, after putting his energies and experience into promoting Australia's second wave of stare such as Normie Rowe, he set off for Europe and the UK where he performed in cabaret and to US defence bases.

He returned to Australia in 1969 and performed all over the Swinger Cabaret Circuit across Australia as well as manage and produce other artists for Sunshine Records. In 1969 he had another number 1 record in Queensland. It was his own song titled, 'S.O.S' (Sad Over Someone).

In 1971 he went to USA and except for 2 tours back to Australia stayed there until the mid 1980s. During that time he lived in Seattle, Nashville, Hollywood and Las Vegas whilst touring with his band and running his companies. In the mid 70's he spent some time writing with and for Roy Orbison and was his PA.

In the mid 80's he returned to Australia and has since won several Performer Awards and stared releasing new CDs again, mostly his own songs. They have been widely accepted by radio who program that style of music however as the mainstream music industry and media have a bias against Australian artists over a certain age, his profile is not as it should be.

Anyone who sees a Lonnie Lee show can immediately hear his passion for what he does, the uniqueness of his vocal ability and the youthfulness he portrays. The energy and excitement levels of every Lonnie Lee show are also what one can unbiasly say is quite unique in today's entertainment industry.

The new show CRY! offers him the opportunity to recapture the excitement of his youth and this can clearly be seen and heard for those who experience it.

Lonnie Lee is a true Australian Legend who many fans say is.. 'better than ever!


You can see much more about Lonnie on his website at


For those who remember that era, the show will be an instant time machine back to a softer and more gentle time, when girls were romanced and popular music sang about love gained and love lost.

For those young adults looking to experience more than the current popular music offerings, the show will offer a welcome change. It will create the feeling of a more romantic time, and expose some of the the world's most popular songs, even though they may be from a different era.

You will also be taken on a brief, yet revealing story of Johnnie Ray's career and if you are into the history of rock and pop music, you will be surprised to hear just who Johnnie Ray was and what he achieved.


As one of Australia's best popular music singers, Lonnie's versions have the excitement and edge of today. If you like the new albums of Rod Stewart, Barry Manilow, Paul Anka and even Michael Buble, you will definitely love this show.

The show runs for one hour and the accompanying show..
'The Best of Lonnie Lee' is also one hour.