When the Ted Mulry gang formed in 1972, Mulry was already a well-known pop balladeer.
Born in Oldham, England, in 1949, Mulry emigrated to Australia and developed an interest in pop music during his school years.
His turning point came in 1969 when he was working as a dozer operator on a site in New South Wales. Encouraged by his friends, he worked up the courage to take a selection of songs he had written to a Sydney music publisher for consideration.
The publishing company were impressed by the songs and immediately signed him up, recommending that Ted record a couple of the songs himself.
He recorded a single featuring two of his songs, Julia and So Much In Love, followed in 1970 by the Vanda/Young composition Falling In Love Again, which rocketed to the top of the Australian charts, staying there for six months.
After a promotional tour of the UK in 1971, Ted returned to Australia and formed a backing band from the remnants of a suburban dance band called The Velvet Underground. (The band claimed complete ignorance of the famed US band of the same name).
Between 1974 and 1980, the band racked up seven best-selling albums of good-time pop ‘n’ boogie. During that time, the band also undertook some of the most extensive national tours ever by an Australian band.
Even when the band’s hits dried up during the 1980s, the Ted Mulry Gang machine rolled on with regular tours of the pub circuit.
The Ted Mulry Gang issued their debut album, Here We Are, on the Alberts label in November 1974.
The album originally sold only moderately until 1975, when Alberts released Jump In My Car as a single. A month later, it had shot to #1 on the national chart.
That year they issued not one, but two best-selling albums; Struttin’ and Steppin’ Out, plus three hit singles; Darktown Strutters Ball (a remake of the 60-year-old song), Crazy and Steppin’ Out.
Jamaica Rum provided the band with their 5th consecutive hit.
In April 1977, the band left Alberts and signed to the Mushroom label, changing their name from the Ted Mulry Gang to plain TMG and issuing a new album, The TMG Album, which produced two hit singles, My Little Girl and Naturally.
Their 1978 release, Disturbing the Peace, included the singles Lazy Eyes, Heart of Stone and (You’ve Got) The Devil In You.
Their records were also released in New Zealand, South Africa, Canada, New Guinea and South East Asia.
The TMG Live album featured one of the band’s stage favourites, a ribald version of the bawdy Dinah. (“Dinah Dinah show us yer leg, a yard above your knee”).
The Locked In album included three singles, Save Me, Can’t Take It All and Captured but none were successful.
Thus ended TMG’s love affair with the pop charts, but their place in Oz music history was assured.
A reunion album (called, oddly enough, Re-Union) produced the single Old Habits.
In February 2001, Ted Mulry revealed he was suffering from brain cancer. He passed away on 1 September 2001, just one day short of his 50th birthday.