John G Lee


         Hello! I’m a founding member of the group called NEW WORLD which became famous in England and Europe and strangely, to a lesser extent in Australia, the country of our origin. The other members of the group were John Kane (vocals/guitar) and Mel Noonan (vocals/12 string guitar).

NEW WORLD (at that time called THE NEW WORLD TRIO) emerged in Brisbane, Australia in early 1965. they got their first big break with an appearance on a TV Talent Quest show called “Showcase” on which they appeared regularly for the next three years. Apart from these shows they played consistently on the club circuit. In 1968 they recorded their first Australian single, the nostalgic ballad, “TRY TO REMEMBER” which achieved considerable air-play and chart success. In early 1970 the band, as so many Aussie acts had done before them, headed off to England where they appeared several times on the talent quest show, ‘OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS’ and were signed to Mickie Most’s new label ... ‘RAK’. The first single, “ROSE GARDEN” beat numerous other versions to gather substantial UK sales. The trio were then combined with the label’s new writing team of Nicky Chinn and Mike Chapman and a string of hits ensued. The most popular of these …  ‘TOM-TOM-TURNAROUND’, ‘KARA KARA’, ‘SISTER JANE’ and ‘LIVING NEXT DOOR TO ALICE’.

From 1971-1973 NEW WORLD were on British charts for a total of 52 weeks. The group achieved top five hits in Great Britain as well as having No. 1 chart successes in many other countries and during that time were placed in world music charts above famous people such as Elton John, Wings, The Carpenters, Michael Jackson and so on.

NEW WORLD also appeared as guest artists in LULU, ROLF HARRIS, VERA LYNN and MORECOMBE & WISE television specials. They featured as regular guests on ‘THE TWO RONNIES’ and were voted ‘BEST TELEVISION ACT’ by the Variety Club of Great Britain as well as receiving the British Clubs’ ‘BEST ACT’ Award.

Then suddenly after an unfortunate set of circumstances and an infamous court case, NEW WORLD decided to call it a day. However 30 years or so later and after still hearing the occasional deejay play one of our records and then comment, “Where are NEW WORLD now? … In jail I think,” … I’ve decided to tell my story.   

    Read all about it in ‘GUILTY             




                               NEW WORLD in the '70s                       John G Lee now