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Local songwriter in big demand in UK (1991)

January 7, 2013

90's Flashback

Cilla Black takes 12 songs for new album as Allan Caswell’s career hits a high note

Australian singer/songwriter Allan Caswell is a multi Golden Guitar award winner at the Country Music Awards in Tamworth.

On With the Show’s

Flashback to Variety Today, 1991


SINCE 1979 when he wrote Lyn Hamilton’s big hit `On The Inside’ Australian songwriter Allan Caswell has had 350 of his songs recorded. He has been a Golden Guitar finalist in the Country Music Awards in Tamworth 21 times receiving four nominations this year, and his songs have won him five Golden Guitars since he was named Best New Talent in 1980.

Now he is making heads turn in the UK where Cilla Black has recorded 12 of his songs, co-written by Don Spencer. The album is already available in Australia and is due for release in the UK mid year.

1990 was certainly a big year for this talented singer/songwriter who not only co-penned the dozen songs that grabbed Cilla’s eye, but also produced albums and singles here for Don Spencer, Glynn Nicholas, Pat Drummond and Jeanette James – all in the same year. “I managed to release one for myself in that time too,” he said.

Allan takes success in his stride. He wouldn’t mind being a `star’ one day but says the most important thing is for people to continue enjoying his music. “Although I perform and produce records as well, writing songs is my first love and has brought me the most success,” he said.

Take `On the Inside’ (theme from hit TV series Prisoner) for example. Lyn Hamilton had a hit with it in Australia in 1979 and released it 10 years later in the UK to repeat that success. It has also been recorded by numerous other recording artists and remains a popular favourite.

During the past six years Allan has also co-written `heaps’ of songs with Australian children’s television personality Don Spencer. The talented duo have written and produced four children’s albums together, two of which have gone Gold and one went Platinum.

In the Songwriters Awards in Tamworth this year, Allan took out the award for Contemporary Song of the Year for `Proud’ – a song he wrote about his father. “I didn’t really intend to record the song because it was so personal. It took me six years to write after my father died,” he said.

This year’s award was the fourth in succession. “They are starting to call it the Allan Caswell Award,” Allan quipped.

Allan, 39, can turn his hand to any topic when it comes to composing a new song. He tells the tale of the time, during the staging of the America’s Cup in Perth when he scored a number one hit with the song `The Australia’s Cup’. “Mum liked the song so I went into a recording studio and put it down on a track. It cost me $38,” Allan said.

He pressed 2000 copies of the track – just for fun – and was most surprised when it went to number one. “Radio DJ Clive Robertson played the track on his radio program and people just loved it. Not bad for an initial outlay of $38,” he said.

Co-writing with Don Spencer (who incidently is father to Danielle Spencer who has just split from Russell Crowe- 2012), is a most enjoyable part of Allan’s work. “We don’t talk down to kids. Our aim is to provide an imaginative style of intelligent music which is first and foremost `entertaining’,” Allan said.

Country music, of course, is Allan’s first love and he estimates 90 per cent of his effort has been put into this area. “I love it. I go to Nashville as often as possible, where I have been co-writing with Paul Harrison since 1986. There is always the chance that one of our songs will get picked up over there but there is lots of competition too.”

Allan’s next album, which he wrote with guitarist Terry Murray, is due out later this year. A trip to England, via Nashville, is also planned for mid-year to coincide with the release of Cilla’s album.

UPDATE 2013:

Allan Caswell, born David Allan Caswell on March 9, 1952 in Chester UK, has now had over 900 songs published and over 500 recordings of his songs worldwide in a career lasting over 30 years. Allan has performed for Australian troops stationed in East Timor, Iraq and Afghanistan. From his Blue Mountains, New South Wales, home Allan continues to write and record songs. He also works with children in juvenile detention and behavioural schools (on behalf of the Australian Children’s Music Foundation) teaching music and songwriting as a way for young people to integrate into the community. Allan was also a writer for Variety Today during its publication in the 1990s.

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