Who is Bobby Benton? If you’ve heard of the Swinging Sixties Show or the Sixties Singalong Show, you’ve heard of Bobby Benton!
We took some time out to discover the creative singer, songwriter, performer, and Sydney-based entertainer, that has been presenting live sixties entertainment for more than 35 years.
The History Behind The Swinging Sixties Show
Bobby, how long have you been performing for and what is the story behind the evergreen popular show, The Swinging Sixties Show?
“I started my first band when I was 14 with a couple of mates from school who I still see every now and again. Almost from the outset I was performing a mix of my own songs and 60’s songs. My Mum had a huge 60’s record collection that she played constantly. I can remember coming home from a day at school and I’d straight away put on the stereo either the Hard Day’s Night or Sgt Pepper’s album.”
“In 1985 I took a job as sound engineer for a Beatles show called The Beatnix. One night on tour back in a motel room, Tony (their John Lennon) and I were jamming, and he told me that was leaving and going back to a Sydney 60’s covers band The Echoes. I went with him and stayed for about a year. Unfortunately, I am not very good at being a band member in someone else’s band and thought that I could run my own better and more successfully.”
“My wife came up with the name The Swinging Sixties and within a couple of months we were out playing around 5 nights a week.”
The Point Of Difference
What do you think makes The Swinging Sixties so popular for clubs and private parties and makes its standout against other 60’s acts?
“Our focus is to engage and entertain the audience, and together have a great time. We aim to connect with them during the first song, sweep them up and then together go on a fun musical journey.”
The Sixties Songs Magnet Attraction
You have two key shows, The Swinging Sixties Show and The Sixties Singalong Show. You’re an expert in this field and well known for your 60’s music trivia and history knowledge. What draws you so much to the songs of the sixties?
“I think the songs from the 60’s make it the best era for music….ever! I also love the culture and history of that period. It’s a s if the whole world transformed from being black & white to colour during that decade!”
What To Expect
In your own words, tell us what people can expect to experience when they come to the Swinging Sixties Show?
“They can expect to hear around 40 of the greatest songs of all time performed by a seasoned professional polished band and most importantly have a great fun night and go home very happy.”
The Sixties Singalong Inspo
You already had a highly successful stage show, what was the inspiration behind creating The Sixties Singalong which is performing in country towns across New South Wales with tremendous reviews and ticket sales? What makes this show so unique?
“During the late 80s/early 90’s The Swinging Sixties had an 8-year Sunday night residency at the Woolloomooloo Bay Hotel. It was packed to capacity every week. The crowd loved to sing along. In fact, sometimes we wouldn’t even sing for an entire set, we’d just start each song and leave it to the audience. That was the inspiration for the Sixties Singalong.”
“Incidentally, the show only came about when in 2018 I bought a new motor home, and my agent (Nancy from All Things Entertainment), asked if I’d like to do a one-man show on my travels.”
“I had never ever even performed on my own but thought that it would be fun to give it a try. One of my greatest performing strengths is in getting an audience involved so the Singalong concept was a given.”
“Having the lyrics and imagery on the big screen is unique and guarantees that people are 100% involved. Many people come up and tell me after shows that they love being able to read the lyrics.”
“They often remark also that they have been singing them incorrectly for the past 50 plus years!”
The Sixties Singalong Show has traveled to some remote corners of NSW, bringing Bobby’s love of sixties music and crowd entert
ainment to corners as far afield as Cobar and Hay. Traveling in his camper van, he’s able to use the opportunity to see the country, enjoy small-town hospitality, and spread joy wherever he goes.
A Final Word On Bobby
Tell us more about your original music and other creative pursuits.
“I had my own original band ‘The Toucans’ in the early 80s’ that played around Sydney and had quite a good following. If I hadn’t taken that job in 1985 as a sound engineer for The Beatnix, I’d probably still be playing my own music. I love to write and record my own material in my recording studio that I built around 8 years ago. Having grown up on a diet of mostly 60s’ and 70s’ pop, rock, folk, and country, the songs are heavily influenced by these genres.”
“The sad irony/reality is that I find it hard generally to be in original song mode due to my love of performing 60’s songs to a live audience. I did get quite a few original songs though written and recorded during the COVID-enforced break – https://danieltrevor.bandcamp.com/”
Bobby Benton is the principal performer and founding member of the Swinging Sixties Show and the Sixties Singalong Show based in Sydney Australia and represented by All Things Entertainment.
The Swinging Sixties Show or the Sixties Singalong Show has performed at some of the following venues:
Beach Club Collaroy, Blacktown Workers Club, Blue Mountains Theatre, Bundeena Ex-Services, Canterbury Leagues Club, Castle Hill Bowling Club, Central Coast Leagues Club, Centro CBD, Chester Hill RSL, City Beach Function Centre, Club Burwood, Club Cronulla, Club Merrylands, Club Mount Lewis, Cobar RSL, Commercial Club Albury, Dee Why RSL, Diggers At The Entrance, Dural Country Club, Everglades Country Club, Fraternity Club, Gulgong RSL, Hay Services, Ingleburn RSL, Lithgow Workies, Magpies Waitara, Massey Park Golf Club, Mingara Rec Club, Mona Vale Golf Club, Nelson Bay Bowling Club, Palm Beach Golf Club, Panthers Newcastle, Parkes Services Club, Penrith RSL, Pittwater RSL, Royal Motor Yacht Club, Ryde Eastwood, Soldiers Point Bowling Club, Stockton Bowling Club, Tea Gardens Country Club, The Camelot Lounge, Wallarah Bay Recreation Club, Wenty Leagues Club, Werris Creek Tennis & Sports, Wests Illawarra, Windsor RSL and countless private functions.
For more information on The Swinging Sixties Show or the Sixties Singalong Show costs and availability, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (02) 8801 0029 or visit THE SWINGING SIXTIES or Facebook to see where to catch the next performance in your town.