Singer Daryl Braithwaite (b. 1949) has proven his resilience by overcoming several major setbacks during his career. Such extraordinary lows, among the highs, would have finished a lesser performer. Born in Melbourne, Braithwaite moved to Sydney in the mid-1960s where he fronted a succession of pop bands: Bright Lights, House of Bricks and Samael Lilith.
He got his first big break when he joined Sherbet in early 1970. Sherbet went on to become one of the country's biggest bands over the next ten years. In March 1973, Braithwaite took the lead role in the local stage production of The Who's rock opera Tommy. Other cast members included Billy Thorpe, Linda George, Colleen Hewett, Broderick Smith, Doug Parkinson, Jim Keays and Keith Moon. Although the show was only staged twice, it helped facilitate Braithwaite's subsequent solo career.
Over the next six years, Braithwaite enjoyed seven solo hit singles: `You're My World'/`Princess' (#1 in November 1974), `Cavalry'/`Simple Song' (#10 in September 1975), `Old Sid'/`Time' (#5 in May 1976), `Love Has No Pride'/`Fly Away' (#4 in April 1977), The Small Faces's `Afterglow (Of Your Love)'/`Let's Go Dancing' (#29 in October 1977), `If You Walked Away'/`I'm Feeling Lonely' (#14 in June 1978) and `Why Do I Break It Up?'/`See' (#35 in January 1979). During that time, Braithwaite won the TV Week King of Pop Award twice (1975 and 1976) but did not leave Sherbet as had been rumoured. His last two solo singles to that time `Love Like a Child'/`Slowed Down' (September 1979) and `Prove Your Love'/`Lips That Taste Like Wine' (January 1980) were minor hits.
Following the break-up of Sherbet in 1984, Braithwaite spent several years reassessing his position. He hit an all-time low when he was forced to go on to the dole, and then had to work as a labourer on a road gang for Bulla Shire Council. With the help of managers Nathan Brenner and Simon Fenner, plus producer Simon Hussey, Braithwaite found his feet, signed to CBS/Sony and issued the album Edge in November 1988.
Braithwaite had already made a strong comeback with his national #1 hit single `As the Days Go By'/`In My Life' (September 1988). Edge, however, straggled around the lower reaches of the national Top 20 for several months before finally attaining the #1 spot in June. It went on to become CBS/Sony's biggest selling Australian album to that time, and produced three more hit singles in the process: `All I Do'/`Promised Land' (#12 in December 1988), `One Summer'/`Pretending to Care' (#8 in April 1989) and `Let Me Be'/`It's All in the Music' (#26 in June). The album and its singles certainly captured a wonderful summer-filled mood, and a sense of freedom and happiness. Braithwaite's 1989 touring band comprised John Housden (lead guitar), Michael Spiby (rhythm guitar, vocals), -Laurence Maddick (keyboards; ex-Strange Tenants), Stephen O'Prey (bass) and John Corniola (drums).
Braithwaite formed a new touring line-up that included guitarist Chuck Hargreaves. His second #1 album, Rise (July 1991), produced two further hit singles, `Rise' (#23 in December 1990) and a cover of Rickie Lee Jones' `The Horses' (#1 in May 1991). The next three singles, `Don't Hold Back Your Love', `Scarred' and `Nothing to Lose', were not chart successes. `The Horses' was the fourth biggest selling single in Australia for 1991, and was named Song of the Year at the 1991 Australian Music Awards. Rise attained triple platinum status (over 210000 copies sold) and became the biggest selling album in Australia for 1991.
That was to be Braithwaite's commercial peak, because of the singles lifted from Taste the Salt (December 1993), only `The World as It Is' managed to reach the national Top 50 (#35 in November 1993). Taste the Salt was Braithwaite's least successful album, having sold less than 30000 copies. Its three other singles were `Barren Ground' (January 1994), `Breaking the Rules' (March) and `Higher than Hope' (with Tommy Emmanuel). Six Moons: The Best of Daryl Braithwaite 1988�94 (November 1994) produced one new song, `How Can I Be Sure?' which was issued as a single (October).
The glow was further taken off his achievements by legal action that culminated in a Supreme Court judge ruling in favour of his two former business associates, Nathan Brenner and Simon Fenner, who had claimed they were owed $600 000. Mr Justice Byrne ruled that they were entitled to $57446 and Braithwaite had to pay court costs estimated at $500000. Undaunted, Braithwaite hosted a television special called Dreams Can Come True for the Ten Network in 1995. Then, in 1996, at the age of 48, Braithwaite scored a role in the Australian production of the Tim Rice/Bj鰎n Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson collaboration Chess.