Kevin Jacobsen OAM b.1937
Born in Sydney on 29 July 1937, Kevin George Jacobsen began his working life in a chartered accountant’s practice.
In 1957, he and his brother, guitarist and singer Colin, joined with drummer John Bogle, saxophonist Lawrie Erwin and guitarist Dave Bridge to form the KJ Quintet.
They took the advice of a clairvoyant and changed their name to Col Joye and the Joy Boys.
Rock promoter and former Lee Gordon associate Max Moore recalls: ‘The first time I saw Col Joye perform was at the old Sydney Stadium in 1959, when he and the Joyboys appeared on one of Lee’s Big Shows. As Lee began including more and more Australian talent in his shows, I phoned Col’s office and arranged a meeting between Lee and Col’s personal manager – his brother Kevin Jacobsen. Kevin was a tall ginger-haired guy with a big Mohawk hairstyle, who smoked and blinked incessantly. When he was introduced, I thought to myself, ‘What a dopey looking bastard to be managing Col Joye.’ Little did I realise that Kevin would become one of the most, if not the most, successful entrepreneurs in Australia and would bring to this country a myriad of international artists as well as some of the world’s greatest musicals and ensembles, and that I would be associated with him and Col for over thirty years. How wrong first impressions can be!’
Born in Sydney on 29 July 1937, Kevin George Jacobsen began his working life in a chartered accountant’s practice. An adept piano player – he always stood up to play – he devoted all his spare moments to music. In 1957, he and his brother, guitarist and singer Colin, joined with drummer John Bogle, saxophonist Lawrie Erwin and guitarist Dave Bridge to form the KJ Quintet. After some success playing for weddings and local dances, they took the advice of a clairvoyant and changed their name to Col Joye and the Joy Boys, adding younger brother Keith on bass. Almost immediately they scored a booking on Bill McColl’s Jazzarama concert in October 1957. After this came an engagement to play at the Capitol Theatre in Sydney as a curtain raiser for the film The Tommy Steele Story, an appearance on TV’s Bandstand and a recording contract. Kevin and Col wrote a number of songs, but none, unfortunately, were among their four Number One hits and their many other Top Forty successes.
While Col Joye went on to become a ‘teen idol’ and an enduring pop legend, Kevin left the band and began managing artists and promoting concerts. He and Col set up Col Joye enterprises and their own publishing company. In 1965, with Col and Tony Brady, Jacobsen founded ATA Allstar Artists, which encompassed a record label, a recording studio, event promotion and production, and artist representation.
Ian McFarlane: The Encyclopedia of Australian Rock and Pop, Allen and Unwin, 1999
Max Moore: Some Days are Diamonds, New Holland Publishers, 2003
Greg Tingle: Media Man Interview with Kevin Jacobsen, 28 August 2003, www.mediaman.com.au