Australian Music Legend Doug Parkinson Dies At 74

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Australian Music Legend Doug Parkinson Dies At 74

doug parkinson
Doug Parkinson. Photo by Patrick Riviere/Getty Images.

Aussie music legend, Doug Parkinson has passed away suddenly at his home in Sydney, aged 74. Parkinson’s publicist, Lionel Midford confirmed the sad news and paid tribute to the “legendary recording artist with a powerful and soulful voice.”

“Just received the saddest news that Doug Parkinson, the legendary Australian Recording Artist with a powerful and soulful voice, passed away suddenly at home,” he wrote. “Doug Parkinson was widely considered one of the most unusual and influential singer/song writers in the history of contemporary music.”

A national fixture for more than five decades, Parkinson’s started in the early 1960s forming Strings and Things with cricket star Sid Barnes. The following year he formed psychedelic rockers and The Questions, who supported both the Who and Small Faces on national tours.

Soon after, he formed Doug Parkinson in Focus and went on to find solo success in 1969 with a stunning cover of the Beatles’ hit “Dear Prudence” which earned him notoriety around the world, followed up by his own hit “Without You.” His debut solo album, No Regrets, was released in 1973.

Doug Parkinson | “Dear Prudence”

Parkinson’s extensive solo career would also see him take to the stage in a number of theatre productions, including the Who's rock opera Tommy, The Wizard of Oz and Jesus Christ Superstar.  

More recently, Parkinson toured the country in tribute to English icon Joe Cocker in 2019; and was due to perform in South Australia later this week.

Doug’s unique talent and voice were remembered by music historian, Ian MacFarlane who reflected on how Parkinson “conveyed considerable charisma with his imposing presence, ‘Lucifer’ beard and gruff, raspy voice. He also surrounded himself with mature, seasoned musicians who added to his appeal.”

Tributes have been pouring in for the Aussie music legend,remembered by David Campbell as “An enormous vocalist and a man who worked continually in his career. Another huge loss for the Australian Music Industry. Doug’s version of Dear Prudence matched the Beatles. Vale.”

Doug Parkinson is survived by his wife, Suzie, and their sons, Daniel and John.