Biography

Any examination of The Black Sorrows inevitably comes down to one person. Joe Camilleri (singer, songwriter, saxophonist, producer and the brains behind The Black Sorrows) is one of the most genuinely talented figures in Australian music. This year, with 45 albums under his belt, Joe Camilleri will celebrate 50 years in the music business and is showing no signs of slowing down. In the award-winning documentary of his life in music, Joe Camilleri: Australiaʼs Maltese Falcon, Jane Clifton described Joe as “indefatigable”. It is his seemingly tireless drive to continually perform and record quality music that has rewarded him legendary status and well-deserved longevity in the music industry. Writer of milestone Australian songs such as So Young, Hit And Run, Shape Iʼm In, Hold On To Me, Harley and Rose, Chained To The Wheel , Never Let Me Go and the Chosen Ones, Camilleri has dedicated his life to making music. Leader of two of Australiaʼs most successful bands, Jo Jo Zep and The Falcons and The Black Sorrows, Joeʼs music has become part of Australian music culture. Joe was inducted along with other members of the Falcons, into the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) Hall of Fame in 2007. Over the years other greats have admired Camilleriʼs songwriting. Elvis Costello and John Denver are just two who have recorded cover versions of Joeʼs music. Membership in The Black Sorrows has always been loose and fluid with Camilleri being the only constant. The Sorrowsʼ ʻelastic line-upʼ and has been home to over 40 talented Australian musicians at different times and acted as a launch pad for the careers of some of Australiaʼs most successful musicians. In the mid 80s following the success of Jo Jo Zep and The Falcons, Joe Camilleri gathered together a group of musician friends and dubbed them The Black Sorrows. The band began playing for the fun of it, recording independent albums and selling them at venues. When radio picked up the classic track, Mystified, The Black Sorrows really took flight. The band signed a worldwide deal with CBC/Sony and proceeded to release some of Australiaʼs most successful albums including the multi-platinum sellers Hold On To Me, Harley & Rose and The Chosen Ones. Since 1984, The Black Sorrows have toured Australia more times than anyone can remember, played sell out shows across Europe, won the ARIA for Best Band‚ and sold more than a million albums worldwide. Joe Camilleri has shown fans and critics alike that he is a performer with an undeniable energy and love of it all.

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