1943 – Born on January 4th
at Bundaberg in
1947 – Desree joined other
family members as a member of “The Melody Kids” on Radio 4BU,
Singing a yodelling at a young age, she taught herself
to play guitar at the age of 11. Her mother who also was
musical minded would further show her more chords. Desree
Ilona Crawford also learnt classical music on piano from the age
The Bee Gees had worked on one of Desree’s Town Hall
Shows, when they recorded ‘My Old Man’s A Dustman’ which was
doing well on TV. Desree Ilona Crawford would
also train youngsters ‘Amberley Twisters’ to dance on TV, when a
new dance craze came out on the Charts. Doing solo, she
was also part of ‘We Three’ where she teamed up with her Mother
and Brother Donny. She would also work Gerry Gibson
Tonight Warana Festival TV Show. Soon as Desree left
high school, she worked in Clubs and Hotels across Brisbane
and Ipswich and then further afield
eventually ending up in Melbourne.
Already a professional singing since age 4, Desree did
enter one talent quest ‘Walton’s Five Star Radio talent quest
and came second singing Lover’s Hill on guitar. She was
beaten by a tenor from Bundaberg ‘Donald Shanks’ who went on
becoming an international Opera singer.
1966 Desree married, however her entertaining continued.
She would be working 6 nights a week in cabaret, Police Balls,
RAAF Balls and sang with old time dance bands.
Recorded her first single for the Dayman’s Sunshine Label
(Festival) titles ‘Mama Sang A Song / Washed My Face In The
Morning Dew’. It was backed by an 8 piece Country Music
Show Group ‘Desree Crawford & The High Chapparalls Country Music
Group. It immediately hit the Top 30 in
Desree’s Show Group started in
scored a 6 month contract playing floor shows each Saturday
night. They also supported Roy Orbison and were
either supporting or backing Johnny O’Keefe, Lonnie Lee, Digger
Revell, Reg Lindsay, Frankie Johns, Mick Finn, Syliva Delaney,
John Williamson, Slim Whitman (on his Australian tour)
Another single came about in 1971 ‘Letter To Santa /
Mistletoe Kiss’ this also made it in the Top 30 of Brisbane
Charts. However her first solo and independent
single was in 1976.
Desree’s first LP album came in 1978 ‘Rodeo Queen’.
It was recorded in Dubbo by Ken Cameron ‘CM. Records’ and
produced by Ken Cameron and Lindsay Butler. The album sold
exceptionally well especially on the rodeo circuit. It
included Desree’s first song she ever wrote ‘Pathway of Sun’.
Her last recording was Gospel CD ‘He Will Never Let You
Down’ containing 15 tracks – with the title song written by
Olive Bice, and was released on Anne Conway’s Birubi label.
Desree is currently working on a new album to commemorate 43
years of entertaining.
1983 – Inducted into the Hands of Fame.
1992 - South Australian Country
Music Festival Awards- Inducted into the Hall of Fame.