From the rubbish tip to the archives, Louie the Fly has made his mark on the National Film and Sound Archive’s iconic Sounds of Australia collection.
Australia’s longest running ad campaign, for pest control product maker Mortein, has landed on the iconic list recognising recordings that have had an impact on Australian culture.
Bad and mean and mighty unclean, Louie landed on our screens, and hearts, 60 years ago.
The song was sung by the late Ross Higgins, also the star of 1980s sitcom Kingswood Country.
“I think he’d be surprised and amazed that an ad like that becomes historically and culturally important, and he’d be very pleased,” Scott Higgins, Ross’s son, told the NFSA.
The blowfly is the embodiment of the Australian character: a larrikin and an underdog, his buzzing wings themselves a sound that reminds Australians of home.
Louie has so endeared himself to the nation that his Facebook page has more likes than Federal Opposition Leader Bill Shorten’s.
In fact, when Mortein announced they would be giving Louie the spray a few years ago there was a public campaign to save it.
Now Louie’s legacy is safe for good, with his 1962 jingle joining Slim Dusty, The Easybeats and Gough Whitlam’s dismissal speech as sounds that have changed Australia’s history.
Late George Young also honoured in 2017 list
Love Is In The Air, the 1977 disco number late George Young penned alongside Harry Vanda for John Paul Young, also scored a spot in this year’s collection.
This year’s Sounds of Australia:
- 1910: Sweet Spirit Hear My Prayer – Marie Narelle
- 1930: Our Don Bradman – Len Maurice
- 1940-58: Australia’s Amateur Hour – AWA
- 1957: ‘Louie the Fly’ Mortein Advertisement – Ross Higgins
- 1962: I Remember You – Frank Ifield
- 1966: Play School Theme (There’s a Bear in There) – Various Performers
- 1977: Love Is In The Air – John Paul Young
- 1981: Brand New Day (Milliya Rumarra) – Kuckles
- 1982: Don’t Change – INXS
- 2001: Not Pretty Enough – Kasey Chambers
George Young, a pioneer of Australian music as a member of The Easybeats and producer for AC/DC, died this week aged 70.
Speaking about the hit’s honourable recognition, John Paul Young said it was the cherry on top of its long-lasting success.
“I can only thank Harry Vanda and George Young for their hard work during my association with them and for giving me a lasting career,” he said in a statement.
Each year since 2007, the Australian public had nominated potential additions to the Sounds of Australia collection, with a panel of industry experts determining final selections.
Other recordings that made the 2017 list include Our Don Bradman by Len Maurice, the Play School Theme and Kasey Chambers’ Not Pretty Enough.