A professional singer since the '60s, Marlene Richards is a highly respected vocalist and her career has taken her all over Australia.
Marlene's career started in radio, and at the age of twelve she graduated to television. She made numerous appearances on Ernie Sigley's Adelaide Tonight and was a regular on Ian Fairweather's Teen Time.
Marlene came to the attention of Ivan Dayman, a well known promoter at the time. She fronted a six piece swing ensemble and continued to work for Ivan for a four year stint, four nights a week at the Norwood Ballroom.
The inevitable opportunity arose for interstate work. She moved to Queensland to be the successor to Colleen Hewitt as lead singer for the showband "Ian Saxon and the Sound" at the Chevron Hiton, Surfers Paradise. The residency extended to two years, followed by a twelve months tour of Australia.
Settling in Sydney, Marlene and the Sound took up a further residency at the "Oceanic", providing support floor shows to the late Australian rock legend, Johnny O'Keefe, and including numerous Sydney clubs such as St Georges and South Sydney Leagues.
From Sydney, Marlene and the Sound moved to Melbourne where they were the band to open the then famous Distillery Night Club at the Chevron Hilton.
The Distillery was the largest night club in Melbourne, operating six nights a week, with two floor shows nightly, and compered by Ian Turpie. Marlene was the resident singer for two and a half years.
Marlene's musical career has also included studio session work. She has to her credit two award winning ads for VY Eyes and Australian Motors.
In the jazz field as a performer, Marlene is held in high regard. She has performed with the Jazz Action Society, the Adelaide Jazz Festival, the Mildura Jazz Festival, the Middlebrook Winery Jazz Jamboree, the Adelaide Festival City Fezbar, the Adelaide Festival Theatre, the 1992 Adelaide Festival of Arts and the Barossa Wine and Jazz Festival.
She is in regular demand for corporate events and special occasions and performed at the prestigious "Dinner with the Prime Minister" held at the Adelaide Hilton International.
Her current gigs include residencies at the Royal Oak Hotel, the Semaphore Palais and Club on Gouger in Adelaide. She frequently commutes to Sydney and Melbourne to perform at venues such as the Basement (Sydney) and Bennet's Lane (Melbourne).
Marlene is Port Adelaide born and bred. The folk of Port Adelaide are renowned around Australia for being tough, down to earth, good humoured and loyal to their own. Marlene is no exception. She and partner Les live within a short walk of the Alberton Oval, home of the Port Adelaide Magpies, arguably Australia's most notorious and successful football club.
No prizes for guessing that their colours are black and white!