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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

Col Joye, 1957

Ern McQuillan

gelatin silver photograph on paper (image/sheet: 40.5 cm x 30.3 cm)

Col Joye AM (b.1938) (Colin Jacobsen), entertainer and impresario, was the first Australian pop performer to reach number 1 on the local charts. Joye started his music career in his brother Kevin's band, the KJ Quintet, in Sydney in 1957. For a gig at the Manly Jazzerama they impulsively changed their name to Col Joye and the Joy Boys, a decision they are said to have regretted. Joined by younger brother Keith on bass, the Joy Boys began performing regularly in Bankstown. Their first record was the EP Joyride in 1958. This, and subsequent efforts, made little impact, but in 1959 their second single, 'Bye Bye Baby' made the top spot on the Sydney charts. Three further top ten hits followed, and the band became regulars on Bandstand and Six O'Clock Rock. During the 1960s the Jacobsen brothers set up Joye Enterprises, Joye Music and the ATA label and talent agency; together with their sister Carol, they have since achieved considerable success as promoters. Col Joye 'discovered' the Bee Gees in Surfers Paradise in 1961, and signed them to Joye Music. (Joye's hit single 'Starlight of Love' (1963) featured the Bee Gees as backing vocalists.) Through the 1960s Joye's singles performed modestly, but he was nationally known; in Vietnam with Little Pattie in August 1966, he was performing at Nui Dat as the Battle of Long Tan began nearby. His career high came in 1973, with the single 'Heaven is my Woman's Love', a national number 1. Inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame, Joye continued to record and perform until suffering a debilitating accident in the early 1990s. Now the director of Jacobsen Entertainment Ltd, he has recently donated over 1200 items to the National Film and Sound Archive and maintains a strong public presence.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2005

Accession number: 2005.92

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

Ern McQuillan (age 31 in 1957)

Col Joye AM (age 19 in 1957)

Subject professions

Performing arts

Related information

The Companion

Permanent collection catalogue

Café and shop

On one level The Companion talks about the most famous and frontline Australians, but on another it tells us about ourselves: who we read, who we watch, who we listen to, who we cheer for, who we aspire to be, and who we'll never forget. The Companion is available to buy online and in the Portrait Gallery Store.

Betty Cuthbert, 1955 (printed 2003) Ern McQuillan
Betty Cuthbert, 1955 (printed 2003) Ern McQuillan
Betty Cuthbert, 1955 (printed 2003) Ern McQuillan
Betty Cuthbert, 1955 (printed 2003) Ern McQuillan

Hop, skip, shoot

Magazine article by Simon Elliott, 2004

Former NPG Deputy Director, Simon Elliott talks with Ern McQuillan about his life and career as a sports photographer.

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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.