It’s Ian “Molly” Meldrum’s turn for the ARIA Hall of Fame.
Having inducted Kylie Minogue, John Paul Young and Normie Rowe in years past, the honor this time goes to the legendary Aussie music commentator. He’ll be inducted during the annual ARIA Awards on Nov. 26, becoming the first non-recorded music artist feted with the honor.
Molly became a household name in Australia as the host of the long-running Countdown music show. For 13 years, the program gave Australians their weekly fix of the best homegrown and international talent. Molly, with his trademark Stetson hat, was the character who connected the dots. All the top international acts of the time performed on the show, and many sat for memorable interviews with Molly. His one-on-one with a wired Iggy Pop is the stuff of legend (see below). When Molly told his audience to “do yourself a favor,” it meant one thing: go buy the record. Many followed his orders. Countdown wrapped up in July 1987.
On hearing the news, Kylie quipped: “Molly, I wiped away your tears when you inducted me into the ARIA Hall Of Fame in 2011, and I wish you’d been there to wipe away my tears when I heard that you will be inducted into the ARIA Hall Of Fame this year! I can’t think of another person who deserves this honour more than you. Was it really 40 years ago that Countdown launched?! It became such a tradition for families across Australia to huddle by the TV to watch you interview our idols and to see our favorite bands perform on the show. The Australian music industry is blessed to have had you in our lives for over four decades.”
Molly is “a true national icon who for over 50 years has entertained and informed us about artists and their music,” explains Denis Handlin, chairman & CEO, Australia & New Zealand, and president, Asia, Sony Music Entertainment. “Molly’s instinct for what the public would love to hear and see is unrivalled and the Countdown years, which started 40 years ago, made an immeasurable contribution to the Australian music landscape, not just in the big cities but in every corner of the country.”
Molly was awarded the Order of Australia for services to music and charities in 1986. In 1993, he received an ARIA Special Achievement Award for services to the music industry and the following year he collected the prestigious Ted Albert Award at the Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA) Awards. Almost three years ago, Molly nearly lost his life when he fell while putting up Christmas decorations. He suffered a fractured skull, broken ribs and punctured lung and was for a time in critical condition. His autobiography, The Never, Um, Ever Ending Story was released last week through Allen & Unwin.
This ARIAs, the Australian record industry’s flagship ceremony, recently confirmed 5 Seconds Of Summer among the big night’s performers. Electronic-beat singer-songwriter Chet Faker has nine nominations, and the likes of Sheppard, Sia, Dan Sultan, 5SOS, Iggy Azalea and Violent Soho have multiple chances for trophies.