The story of Mike Furber's tragically brief tenure in the music business reads like a typical cautionary tale.
Furber, born in London in 1948, emigrated along with his family to Australia in the '50s.
A chance meeting in 1965 with two members of the fledgling garage band, The Bowery Boys, resulted in Furber joining the group as a singer.
At this point, the band was definitely a single entity, but when they were spotted by impresario Ivan Dayman and subsequently signed to his burgeoning
Sunshine Records label, the emphasis shifted to Furber, who Dayman intended to launch as a solo act.
Although Furber had a limited vocal range, Dayman saw his
"little boy lost" teen-girl appeal and so the group became
Mike Furber and The Bowery Boys.
Just A Poor Boy
(the band's first and only album), achieved modest chart success but brought the unwanted attention of the music press.
Three more singles followed until, at Dayman's behest, Furber parted company with the highly-talented Bowery Boys to pursue a solo
career, which, despite the patronage of Barry Gibb, failed to materialise.
In October 67, Furber released what many believed to be his finest single, Bring Your Love Back Home, but the record-buying public failed to concur, and the single disappeared without a trace, an occurrence which prompted the first of many nervous breakdowns.
A single penned by the Easybeats' Harry Vanda followed, along with a few recordings for
E M I - Columbia which was never released.
And that was almost that. Furber's career stumbled along for a few more years, but following his sacking from the stage musical Nuclear, he lapsed into another bout of depression.
The irony of this sorry little saga is that The Bowery Boys themselves were an extremely tight and accomplished band which, had it not been overshadowed by Furber, would undoubtedly have gone on to great things, as this superb album amply attests.
1. Just A Poor Boy
2. That's When Happiness Began 3. You Stole My Love
4. Diddy Wah Diddy
5. Mercy, Mercy
6. If You Need Me
7. Love Talk
9. You're Back Again
10. Take This Hammer
11. It's Gonna Work Out Fine
12. Mailman Bring Me No More Blues