SongVault Artist Profile
Blues / Electric Blues
Marc Leon has been associated with many bands and artists who now form a part of Australian Music History. He has earned the respect of his peers as a musician who is not afraid to take on new challenges and constantly works on refining his skills as a composer and performer.
Marc began his musical career in 1960 as lead singer in local Rock & Roll bands. He taught himself how to play the guitar, started to write songs and by 1964, his band, The D-Men, was signed up by CBS to record three 45RPM singles, featuring four of Marc's songs. These records were successful in the Sydney charts and the group's popularity was further boosted with regular appearences on National TV, as well as
tours with the Aztecs and the Easybeats.
By 1966, Marc's musical interests shifted towards Jazz, Blues and R&B (Soul). He was influenced by musicians such as Ray Charles, BB King, Wes Montgomery and the Soul artists who recorded for the "Stax" label. One of Marc's demo tapes caught the attention of EMI producer David Mackay, who produced two singles for Marc on HMV. These records received excellent reviews.
Marc had the opportunity to turn professional, when he moved to Melbourne in 1968 to join the Vibrants, a Rock band with three number one hit records. The band broke up six months later and Marc formed "Graduate" with two other Vibrants members, to play a diverse range of music, including Jazz, Blues, Latin and Rock. Graduate survived in various line-ups for 10 years. Often featuring a female singer out front, the band's extensive tour schedule included all Australian states, as well as six months in S.E. Asia.
Over the years, Marc has shared the stage with many International acts like The Kinks, Mungo Jerry, Bee Gees, Jose Feliciano, Fairport Convention, Burl Ives and Roberta Flack. Marc was also in demand as a studio session musician, as well as guitarist and musical director for a number of Australia's Top Celebrities, including John Farnham, Colleen Hewett, Normie Rowe and John St. Peters. He also taught guitar for many years in music schools and his home studio.
Some of Marc's songs have made it into the finals of the American Song Festival (1976) and the MBAS Blues Performer Of The Year contest (1995).