‘I Am Australian’, Sherbet’s ‘Howzat’ Added to National Film and Sound Archive

Sherbet | Credit: Gems/Redferns

The National Film and Sound Archive has added 11 recordings to its Sounds of Australia registry. The latest additions include Sherbet’s ‘Howzat’, released in 1976, and the 1997 recording of ‘I Am Australian’ featuring The Seekers‘ Judith Durham, Air Supply’s Russell Hitchcock and Yothu Yindi’s Mandawuy Yunupingu.

The Cancer Council jingle ‘Slip! Slop! Slap!’ has also been added, along with Joseph Tawadros‘ 2012 album Concerto of the Greater Sea and a 1927 recording of Verdi’s ‘Anvil Chorus’ by harmonica player PC Spouse.

Sherbet – ‘Howzat’

​Sherbet released the single ‘Howzat’ In May 1976. It was the band’s 16th single and it claimed the top spot on the Australian charts. It remains the band’s best-selling record. The iconic track, penned by keyboardist Garth Porter and bass player Tony Mitchell, drew inspiration from the cricket field, with its title a reference to the question bowlers ask when passionately appealing for a wicket.

Bruce Woodley of The Seekers and Dobe Newton of The Bushwackers wrote ‘I Am Australian’ in 1987. The song – also known as ‘We Are Australian’ – began to circulate widely in the 90s, featuring in advertisements for the Salvation Army, Telstra and the failed Australian Republican Movement.

The NFSA’s Sounds of Australia registry doesn’t just include songs and albums. For instance, a recording of Julia Gillard’s misogyny speech is in the registry, and so is Radio Redfern’s bicentenary protest coverage from 1988.

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