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Maureen Elkner has been a highly-regarded and sought-after rock/pop vocalist since the Sixties, and also an accomplished actress and comedienne.

Maureen started her professional career in the late 1960s with female vocal trio The Chiffons, with Pauline Murphy (later replaced by Sue Brady) and Judy Condon. They sang back-up for John Farnham's earliest releases (incl. One Is The Lonliest Number), and toured Vietnam around 1969 with The Gallery, entertaining the Australian troops stationed there. Maureen's experiences in Vietnam are included in Siobhan McHugh's book, Minefields and Miniskirts (Doubleday, 1993).

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Also in 1969, Maureen contributed, alongside former Wild Cherries vocalist Danny Robinson, backing vocals for the Russell Morris classic , "The Real Thing", her voice can be heard prominently throughout the song, especially the wailing high notes in the closing bars of the song, just before the final explosion.

The Chiffons recorded one single for Astor, "Secret Love" / "It Hurts Like 16" (April 1970), before Maureen quit, to be replaced by Sue Brady's sister, Pauline. In 1974, Maureen signed to Festival's Infinity label. She recorded two Suzi Quatro-style rock Singles for them, "Dynamite" b/w "Barley Rye" (January) and a cover of The Troggs' "Wild Thing" b/w "Sweet Morning" (May).



In the early Seventies Maureen branched out into acting and musical theatre. She appeared in the Australian production of, the then-notorious, musical, Oh! Calcutta, which was closed by police halfway through the second performance and banned. She also appeared in a show called 'Women behind bars' with June Bronhill, Nell Cambell and some others, it closed very soon after opening because June's opening line was something like" ïf you don't shut up, I'll stick this baton up your c^&*ts!" Suffice to say, the blue rinse set were horrified! One of her first TV credits was a small role in the famous "sex and sin' soapie Number 96. In 1974 she played the featured role of "Columbia" in the original Sydney production of The Rocky Horror Show with Reg Livermore. She appears on the original Australian cast soundtrack.


In 1975 she signed to M7 Records (which was also Bob Hudson's label) and recorded five singles for them, including "Rak Off Normie", which was a big hit in Sydney, reaching #5 in June. "Rak Off Normie" was the 'answer song' to "The Newcastle Song", written and performed by folk singer and broadcaster Bob Hudson, who had recently come to prominence in Sydney as one of the original team of DJs on the ABC's new rock station Double Jay (2JJ). "The Newcastle Song" became one of the surprise hits of the year, going to #1 all over the country in March 1975. It was a live recording of a twenty-minute satirical monologue (with Hudson accompanying himself on guitar) which tells of the the exploits of a young Newcastle 'hoon' called Normie as he cruises along Newcastle's main street in his hotted-up car on a Saturday night. "Rak Off Normie" ("rak off" is an Aussie slang term which means 'get lost') was co-written by Hudson and Chris Neal. It was performed by Maureen, in character, and very much in the "ocker idiom", as a Newcastle lass who is less than impressed with the advances of Normie and his mates. "Rak Off Normie" was almost as successful as its predecessor, reaching #6 nationally in June 1975. It made Maureen a household name for a short time, but it has also had the effect of overshadowing her many other achievements. It was followed by four more singles and two albums, Maureen Elkner and Love Tracks (1977), which featured a young Tommy Emmanuel on guitar.


As well as working regularly in cabaret and on the club circuit, Maureen continued to appear in occasional TV roles. In 1977 she featured in an episode of Crawford's police drama Chopper Squad and in the early '80s she appeared in the hit series, A Country Practice.
In 1992, she was  cast in the 20th anniversary production of Jesus Christ Superstar.


In 2000 Maureen appeared in an episode of the police drama, Water Rats, and performed at the, Showtune Showdown,  at the Kirk Gallery in Sydney. Recently she took the lead role in 'Australian Families of Crime', and the new series 'Watch with Mother', while running  a talent school, Action Acting.  Maureen has toured Australia, in the musical "Beehive" and is currently in demand, with her show, 'A Tribute To Dusty Springfield and the Swinging 60's'

Information supplied and ammended from and Maureen Elkner.





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Maureen Elkner

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