Deborah Conway on being alive and brilliant at 64: ‘I didn’t disappear myself. Radio disappeared me’

  • 10 months ago
#DeborahConway #alivebrilliant #64
In June 1991, Deborah Conway was driving in hometown Melbourne and, with the help of one her old push-button car stereos, the singer heard song being played on three radio stations simultaneously. Just the Beginning was everywhere. No one could resist descending guitar hook, ringing with the distinct echo of Cure's Just Like Heaven. The song was very cheerful; Conway, who first entered the charts with Do Ré Mi's feminist anthem Man Overboard, overlooked something. Before settling on sunny optimism original, he rewrote lyrics with a darker undercurrent, wryly acknowledging that some of best events our lives are temporary, if not wildly inappropriate. And then there was the movie clip. In her new memoir, Book of Life, Conway reveals that Mushroom Records boss Michael Gudinski didn't think she was making best use of her physical assets by dressing in plus-fours and putting song on golf course; Bringing Up Baby, classic 1938 screwball comedy by Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn. Conway was not interviewed for Gudinski's latest documentary, Ego. In The Book of Life, he details numerous disagreements he had with Gudinski, but in the movie clip for It's Only the Beginning, Gudinski lets him have his way. “I was incredibly fond of him and so I found it sad that I was so left out.” It's Only Beginning was the single from Conway's most successful album, platinum-selling String of Pearls. For the tour, she met with her future husband, guitarist Willy Zygier, father of their three adult daughters, Syd, Alma and Hettie. Already a 32-year veteran, Conway had a life full of love and beautiful music ahead of him. But he still says the most common question people ask him is whether he's still a musician. “Honestly, every day,” he says. mean, I get it, but don't know, if saw someone on the street and knew that person used to be your child's doctor, would still say, 'Are a doctor?' We're sitting in the front room of the house he shares with Zygier in south-east Melbourne. A large portrait of artist Esther Erlich hangs on the wall behind her. This photo shows her seated but leaning forward, her slender arms and legs and bold confidence, looking directly at me. Across table, the real-life Conway does same. It's a little scary. Deborah Conway performing at the Tamworth country music festival in 2008. Tracey NearmyAAP Conway, now 64, never went away. Her story is yet another indictment of an industry that excludes Australian women over 35. “I didn't disappear myself. Radio eliminated me and many others like me, and with it all those big bills in the country disappeared; Red Hot Summer tours, all that,” she says. I never let my father bully me; I ran out, shouted, slammed the doors. Made me so hard Deborah Conway So Conway continued to do his own thing. There was the long-running Broad revue, in which Conway toured, sang and swapped songs with other Australian female singer-songwriters, and served as artistic director of