Vale: Ron Tudor

Australian music industry pioneer Ron Tudor, who was also an early talent show judge, has died, aged 96.

He died on Friday in a Maldon nursing home -it was not COVID related.

Tudor was an Australian music producer, engineer, label owner and record industry executive who started his career with W&G Records in 1956 as a sales representative, later becoming their in-house producer and A&R agent.

Over his career signed Ernie Sigley, Bert Newton, Jimmy Hannan, Ivan Hutchison, The Thunderbirds, Merv Benton, Colin Cook, Diana Trask, The Hawking Brothers and discovered The Seekers -he released the band when they went to London in case they found a better deal.

In 1969 he set up Fable Records with a worldwide distribution deal with PolyGram (now Universal) with acts including Johnny Chester, John Williamson, Liv Maessen, The Mixtures, Jigsaw, Hans Poulsen, Matt Flinders, Karen Knowles and later Bootleg Records in partnership with Brian Cadd.

Amongst his other successes was Mike Brady’s AFL 1979 anthem ‘Up There Cazaly’ which sold 250,000 copies on release.

But Fable did not join a recording industry demand for radio pay to play their records, leading to a black ban by EMI, which pressed PolyGram’s records.

On TV Tudor was a judge on both New Faces, where he signed both John Williamson & Liv Maessen, and Young Talent Time, alongside the great Evie Hayes.

Tudor is often referred to as the grandfather of independent Australian music. In 1979 he was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire, “For service to the recording industry” and has received the Ted Albert Award for Outstanding Services to Australian Music from APRA and a Special Achievement Award from the ARIA Awards.

Source: The Music Network

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