Australian singer Doug Parkinson died suddenly at his Sydney home, aged 74, on Monday, according to his publicist Lionel Midford.
“Just received the saddest news that Doug Parkinson, the legendary Australian recording artist with a powerful and soulful voice. He passed away suddenly at home,” Midford said in a statement issued on Monday evening.
“Doug Parkinson was widely considered one of the most unusual and influential singer-songwriters in the history of contemporary music.”
After forming Strings and Things/A Sound in 1965 and in 1966, Parkinson went on to explore psychedelic rock with The Questions the following year, touring nationally with The Who and Small Faces. He formed Doug Parkinson in Focus soon after and had a major hit with his own version of The Beatles classic ‘Dear Prudence’ in 1969, followed up by his own hit ‘Without You’.
“During his extraordinary career Doug has appeared alongside many international stars including The Who, The Small Faces, Paul Jones, The Four Tops, The Temptations, The Pointer Sisters, Thelma Huston, Bob Marley and The Wailers, and Randy Crawford just to mention a few,” according to his publicists’s website. “He has appeared alongside and dueted with so many fine Australian artists that the list is too long to appear here.”
Parkinson also appeared in The Who’s rock opera Tommy, The Wizard of Oz, Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band, Ned Kelly, and Jesus Christ Superstar, recorded albums including No Regrets and Heartbeat to Heartbeat and even recorded ads, radio station promos and rugby league team songs.
More recently, he toured around NSW with a tribute to English rock legend Joe Cocker in 2019, in which he was billed as ‘Australia’s greatest soul voice’.
“Doug Parkinson was a gifted and enduring performer on the Australian music scene,” entertainment reporter Peter Ford said, calling him “a singer’s singer”.
Parkinson had a series of nine dates between now and August beginning in Adelaide this coming Thursday with a tribute to the band Fraternity.
Parkinson is survived by his wife, Suzie, and their sons, Daniel and John.