Douglas John Parkinson was born in Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia, on 30 October 1946.
He began singing in the choir at his Sydney primary school and continued throughout high school.
In 1965 he formed a group with friends called Strings and Things and in late 1966 accepted the position of vocalist with a band called The Questions who held a residency at a major Sydney hotel.
When The Questions disbanded, Doug formed In Focus. The group were extremely popular and made the Australian Top 10 in 1969 when they released their version of The Beatles' Dear Prudence as a single.
Doug journeyed to England in June 1970 and returned to Australia to form Fanny Adams.