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News & Events
Margret’s music survives trends, technology and time
February 19, 2018
Margret RoadKnight’s lounge is like a timeline of her creative life and loves. Each wall is a catalogue of her reading, listening and film favourites. But an entire wall is dedicated to vinyls, including her own recordings. Margret, one of Australia’s best-known and respected singers moved into her Rushall Park unit in 2016 and within a few weeks had performed for residents at a concert to raise money for the Refugee Council. That’s what happens when you have a singing career that spans decades and includes performances with some of the world’s most lauded singers; people want to talk to you and listen to you. But for Margret life is pretty much the same now as it always has been. It’s about music and getting on with life.
Margret was delighted to move into OCAV’s age-friendly village almost two years ago and enjoys the friendly community and the privacy. She lives in an independent Rushall Park unit close to the city, with its cinemas, galleries and music venues and the accessible public transport to get her there. Her career, which began in the early 1960s and led to her first album in 1973, has taken her around the world many times and into hundreds of Australia’s music venues. Her most recent performance was in February at the MPavilion at the Queen Victoria Gardens in St Kilda Rd.
Most Australians have heard of Margret, or heard her sing. One of her most iconic recordings was ‘Girls In Our Town’, which became the anthem for a generation of women.
“I still love performing though things are very different now to when I started. Now, even if you ask people not to record your work, people have their phones out immediately and you know they are recording the show,” she said. “The other thing with phones is that you can be singing and look out and see people on their phones and having a conversation in the middle of a show.”
Margret has seen dramatic changes in the music industry and has survived them all – the intrusive use of mobile phones is just another hurdle. She has seen her music sold on vinyl, cassette, CDs and now online.
Margret’s musical career just happened as she was getting on with life as a young woman. “I thought I could be a muso, but I also thought I could pursue other things, I wasn’t driven to pursue a musical career. But then I heard folk music for the first time in 1962 at a South Melbourne folk concert and I was sold,” she said.
Over the years Margret and her music have been associated with campaigns and social activism, including raising money and awareness for refugees (e.g., singing at the launch of Grandmothers Against Detention of Refugee Children).
Margret’s music has brought great joy and inspiration to millions of people around the world and it still does, thanks to the technology that makes it very available.
“I’m very lucky to do what I do. It is an amazing experience to stand and perform and receive the applause of people listening. It’s a unique experience really.”
Pete Zawacki drove to Leith Park twice a week to visit his mother, Helen, until her death a year ago. After she died he wanted to honour her memory and ‘repay’ the kindness staff showed her by volunteering.Read More