Radiodiffusion Internasionaal Annexe

The Kopy Kats / The Freebeats
June 23, 2008, 1:09 pm
Filed under: New Guinea

The Kopy Kats Meisi Emu Nega

The Freebeats Kekeni Ani Mase

When I started this whole thing, there were a few places I was sure that I would never find records from… Papau New Guinea was definitely on that list.

This record is of a somewhat questionable origin. There is no information about the three bands on this compilation: The Kopy Kats, The Freebeats and The Stalemates. All three suspiciously sound like the same band and most of the songs are covers like “Last Train to Clarksville”.The Mighty Quinn” and the Scottish folk tune “Skye Boat Song”.

After I initially had posted this record, I was informed that The Freebeats were all Australians who had moved to New Guinea. The band consisted of Graham Dunich, Roy Turner, Neville Josey, Ray Michelle and Phil Neilson. They were originally know as The Statesman when they were based in Sydney, but changed their name after moving to Port Moresby at the invite of Graham Dunich who was already living there. The Freebeats supposedly did quite well, especially since they were known to translate popular songs into “Motu“, which was the local language. They were together for three years before they became The Combines in 1970.

Thanks to Bård Hodneland for the information.

Catalog number VP 318 on Viking Record Company Ltd of New Zealand. Recorded by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Port Moresby, New Guinea. No release date given.