Singer’s legendary life in music

Phil Golotta's autobiography. (Supplied).

By Alesha Capone

Phil Golotta says that writing an in-demand book “is like having a hit record”.

And he would know – from 1962 to 1983, Golotta was lead singer of The Blue Echoes, whose albums Dancing In The Streets and Clap Your Hands achieved Gold and Platinum status.

The Truganina resident says he penned his autobiography, My Life in Music, to chronicle his career in showbusiness for his seven children and family.

However, the book has proved popular with Blue Echoes fans who watched the band perform at Melbourne’s hotels across the sixties, seventies and eighties.

Golotta, 82, who previously lived in Altona North and moved to Hoppers Crossing in 1981, recalls The Blue Echoes appearing at Tottenham Hotel’s opening night.

He remembers playing to crowds of 600 people at venues such as The Tarmac (now The Westside Hotel) in Laverton and Altona Sports Club.

“The queue to get in would be right around the entire hotel,” Golotta says.

Golotta may also be familiar to television viewers, after auditioning for The X Factor and appearing as a judge on Channel 7’s All Together Now.

A song written by Golotta won the Australian Popular Song Festival, run by Yamaha, in 1973.

“I wrote the song in 10 minutes after an Essendon-Carlton game, which Essendon won,” he recalls.

Sung by Jamie Redfern, it went on to become a number one hit.

Golotta and Redfern also travelled to Japan to represent Australia in The World Popular Song Festival.

While at the event, Golotta saysmet a “big guy with a beard and flowing robes”, not realising at first that it was Greek singer Demis Roussos who has sold more than 60 million albums worldwide.

Golotta says that Roussos was a “lovely guy” who took him and Redfern out for dinner.

My Life in Music includes recollections of Golotta’s involvement with other celebrities, including John Farnham, Johnny O’Keefe and Jimmy Barnes.

In 2018, Golotta experienced heart failure while on a cruise to Puerto Rico.

He was brought back to life with a defibrillator and spent 21 days in intensive care.

But Golotta has not let this stop him, adopting a regime of cycling, running and lifting weights every day.

Unfortunately, despite being in top shape, the pandemic forced Golotta to cancel 130 gigs last year.

COVID-19 also means Golotta has been unable to do his regular volunteer work at the Penrose Promenade Community Centre in Tarneit, at Wyndham’s two Visitor Information Centres, and driving a bus to take elderly residents shopping and to medical appointments.

However, he has just released a solo album titled This is the Moment.

In July, Golotta went on a cruise from Canada to Alaska, where he decided to enter karaoke competitions along the way.

“I was pretty bored, I thought: ‘I’ll go in every contest’,” he says.

Golotta said that he was worried younger members of the audience would not like his singing.

Instead, he achieved standing ovations for songs like My Way and New York, New York, winning every contest and being inundated with offers to join people for a drink.

“That tour of Canada was unbelievable, I didn’t have to buy a drink for 21 days,” Golotta says.

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