Veteran drummer Gary Young was born in New York, USA (in 1947), and grew up in Melbourne, Victoria. Young's first band was high school outfit The Fenders, followed by the delightful Shadows-inspired Silhouettes. The Silhouettes comprised Young, Roger Treble (lead guitar), Gil Matthews (guitar), Ed Nantes (guitar) and Ian Allen (bass). By 1963, The Silhouettes had transformed into The Lincolns with Young, Treble, Nantes and Wayne Duncan (bass; ex-Ramrods).
With the arrival of beat music in Australia during 1964, The Lincolns took on lead singer Bob Johnson. The Lincolns became popular on the Melbourne dance circuit, but Young left in early 1965 to form vocal duo Double Trouble with New Zealander Issy Di. That soon fell apart, and Young and his old friends Treble and Duncan joined The Rondells, then backing outfit for beat hit-makers Bobby and Laurie. Just prior to Young's arrival, The Rondells enjoyed their own, minor hit single on the Go!! label when their cover of Chuck Berry's `Talkin' 'Bout You'/`Baby Don't Hide' reached #31 in Melbourne during June 1965.
The Rondells line-up of John Sullivan (rhythm guitar), Treble, Duncan and Young toured with Bobby and Laurie until the duo broke up in early 1967. Young, Treble and Duncan joined pop outfit The Changing Times, which featured Alex Opitz (vocals) and Jenny Johnson (organ). Opitz and Johnson went off to form The Dream (later known as New Dream) in October 1967. Young and Duncan joined erstwhile Bobby and Laurie singer Laurie Allen in his ambitious Laurie Allen Revue.
The Laurie Allen Revue issued three singles for Festival: `Beautiful Brown Eyes'/`Saved' (recorded before Young's arrival and issued August 1967), `Any Little Bit'/`Cool Jerk' (April 1968) and `As Long as I Got You'/`Born to Follow' (June 1968). In early 1969, Bobby and Laurie reunited, so Young moved on to popular Melbourne R&B/jazz institution The Ram Jam Big Band. Young played on the final Ram Jam Big Band single, a cover of Amen Corner's `Lost and Found'/`Jamming' (May 1969), before the band fell apart. The depleted line-up of Ian Clyne, Terry Villis, Peter Knapp and Young, plus American singer Peter Bonner, worked for a few months as Ram Jam to tie up outstanding gig commitments. At the end of 1969, Clyne, Villis, Young, Wayne Duncan (bass; ex-Rondells) and Terry Hannagan (lead vocals) formed a band called Turnstile which was short-lived.
By early 1970, Young and Duncan had become members of Ross Wilson and Ross Hannaford's esoteric, special occasion band Sons of the Vegetal Mother. The Sons became one of the leading lights on Melbourne's burgeoning, underground progressive rock scene. In November 1970, Wilson unveiled the rollicking Daddy Cool, which featured Hannaford, Duncan and Young. Daddy Cool helped usher in an exciting new era of Australian rock when the band's exuberant debut album, Daddy Who? Daddy Cool!, and single, the dance classic `Eagle Rock', both soared effortlessly to #1 on the charts. Initially Daddy Cool played a good-time combination of vintage rock'n'roll, doo wop and R&B. Up to that point, Young's influences had specifically been British invasion bands of the 1960s (Beatles, Kinks, Rolling Stones, Who) and English jazz/R&B outfits like Georgie Fame and the Blue Flames and Zoot Money's Big Roll Band. Wilson introduced Young to the delights of roots rock (country, blues and rockabilly).
Young began writing songs in that vein, and Daddy Cool issued two of his earliest compositions as the single `Rock'n'Roll Lady'/`Cadillacin''(October 1972). Young also sang lead vocals on those two cuts, and the single was credited to Gary Young with Daddy Cool. The band recorded another Young composition, `Rock-a-Billy Beatin' Boogie Band', which remained unissued until it was included on the rarities collection The Missing Masters (1980). Daddy Cool broke up in August 1972. Young formed Hot Dog with Wayne Duncan (who had switched to lap steel guitar), Dannie Bourne (piano), Paul Pyle (bass; ex-Johnny O'Keefe Band) and Peter Reed (drums; ex-New Dream, Johnny O'Keefe Band). Young also switched to lead vocals and rhythm guitar, and he used Hot Dog specifically as an outlet for his rockabilly/country influenced -songwriting. Gary Young's Hot Dog issued two singles, `Rock-a-Billy Beatin' Boogie Band'/`You Can't Shake the Boogie in Worn Down Rockin' Shoes' (April 1973) and `The Saga of the Three Pigs'/`With You Tonight' (October).
By that stage, Young's label Wizard had issued the Daddy Cool live album The Last Drive-in Movie Show, which had been taped at the band's farewell performance the previous August. Young sang lead vocals on four cuts, `Cadillacin'', Jambalaya', `One Night' and `Rock-a-Billy Beatin' Boogie Band'. Wizard also issued the single `One Night'/ `Cadillacin'' (July 1973) as Gary Young with Daddy Cool. `Jambalaya' (credited to Daddy Cool featuring Gary Young) appeared as the B-side to the single `Duke of Earl' (credited to Daddy Cool featuring Ross Wilson; September 1973).
Young broke up Hot Dog, and in January 1974 joined the re-formed Daddy Cool. The band lasted until September 1975. Young became a founder member of popular Melbourne R&B outfit Jo Jo Zep and The Falcons. In 1976, Young collaborated with Ross Wilson and Wayne Burt on assembling the soundtrack album for Chris Löfven's feature film Oz. Young also played sessions, which took in appearances on Mándu's To the Shores of His Heaven album and Bandicoot's 1976 album Bandicoot. Melbourne roots rockers The Pelaco Brothers also recorded one of Young's songs, `Rockabilly Heaven', which Missing Links later included on the Various Artists album The Autodrifters and The Relaxed Mechanics Meet The Fabulous Nudes and The Pelaco Bros (June 1978).
Young remained with Jo Jo Zep and the Falcons until 1981, appearing on such classic records as the So Young mini-album and the band's most successful album, Screaming Targets. During his time with The Falcons, Young issued two solo singles, Charles Underwood's `Ubangi Stomp'/`Mystery' (July 1980) on the Mighty Boy label and `Running Late for Wandong'/`Rockabilly Heaven' (February 1981) on Mushroom. When Young left the Falcons in June 1981, he formed The Rocking Emus with Jeff Burstin (guitar; Jo Jo Zep and The Falcons), Ross Hannaford (guitar; ex-Daddy Cool, Billy T, Lucky Dog), Wayne Duncan (bass) and Peter Reed (drums). The Rocking Emus was essentially a studio band and only played a couple of gigs. Gary Young and the Rocking Emus recorded one single, `Keep Your Hands Off My Baby'/`Rollin' Home' (February 1982), and the album Gary Young and the Rocking Emus (May 1982) for Mushroom. Mushroom also reissued `Running Late for Wandong'/`Rockabilly Heaven' as a double A-sided single (June 1982) credited to Gary Young and the Rocking Emus.
By that stage, Young was touring with Chris Stockley (guitar, vocals; ex-Cam-Pact, Axiom, Dingoes, Stockley See Mason Band) and John Power (bass, vocals; ex-Company Caine, Jo Jo Zep and the Falcons) in Rock Doctors, which also comprised Wayne Burt (guitar, vocals; ex-Jo Jo Zep and the Falcons, Living Legends, Fabulaires) and Steve Williams (sax, vocals; ex-Full Boar). Rock Doctors issued one mini-album, Now Hear This! (August 1982), which had been recorded live. By early 1983, Young was a member of The Phil Manning Rock'n'Roll Trio with Wayne Duncan. It was the first time Young and Duncan had played in a strict Chicago blues/Muddy Waters-influenced band. Young deputised for the unavailable Steve Prestwich in Cold Chisel for a six-week tour in early 1983. The Phil Manning Rock'n'Roll Trio broke up at the end of the year after touring constantly but getting nowhere. They had also spent time backing soul/jazz/blues singer Renée Geyer.
In 1984, Young joined Joe Camilleri's new zydeco-influenced outfit The Black Sorrows. Young played on the albums Sonola and Rockin' Zydeco, after which Peter Luscombe took his place. In 1986, Young joined Melbourne cajun/country swing band Dancehall Racketeers, with whom he remained for a year. Young played on the album Dancehall Racketeers which came out on RCA in late 1986. Dancehall Racketeers was the last band Young played in as a mainstream career. He moved into radio broadcasting (co-presenting the Chicken Mary show on community radio station 3RRR), but still played gigs on a freelance basis with all sorts of roots music/rockabilly bands. They included Bongo Starkie's Little Red Roosters (1986), Melbourne pub band Relax with Max (1986) and The Pres-tones (1987), which was a spin-off from Dancehall Racketeers featuring Graham Thomas (bass). Thomas was running the Preston label, and The Prestones were virtually the resident studio band for Preston. As a result, Young played on dozens of sessions for the label.
After that, Young played with pub rockers The Beat Boys for 12 months (1988). The Beat Boys comprised Steve Williams (sax), Jimmy Fewings (bass; ex-Relax with Max), who was replaced by Paul Gadsby (ex-Paul Kelly and the Dots, Broderick Smith Band) and Chris Wilson (keyboards; ex-Buster Brown, Broderick Smith Band). Young joined The Midnight Trio in 1989. That band had been formed to play R&B at Madigan's Club and also contained James Black (keyboards, guitar, vocals; ex-Mondo Rock) and at various times either Graham Thomas or Paul Pyle on double bass. The Welcome Strangers comprised Young, Ian Stephen (vocals, piano, ex-Slaughtermen), Rick Dempster (guitar, dobro, harmonica; ex-Autodrifters, Dancehall Racketeers), Mark Frayne (guitar) and Mark Ferrie (bass; ex-Models, Sacred Cowboys, Slaughtermen). The Welcome Strangers backed country singer Rex McLean on his album Country Paydirt.
Next Young played with The Cool Healers backing country singer Leslie Avril. Young played with blues boogie band Southern Lightning for ten months throughout 1991. Andy Baylor's Cajun Combo circa 1992 to 1993 featured Young, Duncan, Andy Baylor (guitar, fiddle; ex-Dancehall Rack-eteers), Peter Linden (pedal steel), Jimi Baeck (sax), Brendan Sheaston (guitar), Sam Lemann (guitar), George Butrimlis (piano accordion; ex-Black Sorrows) and Lisa Miller (vocals). That line-up recorded the Andy Baylor's Cajun Combo album (1992). The Mick Hamilton Trio (1992–97) comprised Young, Mick Hamilton (guitar, vocals; ex-Vibrants, Mighty Guys) and Peter Robinson (bass; ex-Strangers). Young sat in with ex-Swinging Sidewalks' bass player Steve Purcell's band The R&B Double Agents, before rejoining Southern Lightning in 1997. The line-up was Dave Hogan (vocals, harmonica; also in Paramount Trio), Manny Seddon (guitar), Geordie Leach (bass; ex-Buster Brown, Rose Tattoo, Giants) and Gary Young. Young has also recorded albums with the Glass Hamilton Young Band (alongside Keith Glass and Mick Hamilton).
By 1998, drummer Gary Young had joined R&B outfit The Hornets. Completing the line-up were Craig Horne (vocals), Jeff Burstin (guitar; ex-Jo Jo Zep and the Falcons, Black Sorrows) and Wayne Duncan (bass; ex-Daddy Cool). The veteran players delivered classic blues/R&B in fine style. The band issued its debut CD, Everybody’s Guilty, in May 1999 on the Sound Vault label. Guest players included Broderick Smith (harmonica), Bruce Haymes (Hammond organ, piano) and Gerry Hale (mandolin, lap steel guitar, fiddle). Singer Craig Horne also enjoyed success as a novelist; his first novel, Bureaucracy Blues, came out in 1995, with his second, Alpha Jerk, coming out in March 2000 (EM Press/Tower Publishing).