Australia’s most famous Go-Go dancer, Denise Drysdale’s name was actually spelt with a ‘c’ (Denice) but she changed the spelling during her school years.
As an 11-year-old she landed her first TV job as a dancer with “Uncle Norman” Swain on The Tarax Show and she was only 19 when she first went to Vietnam to entertain the Aussie troops stationed over there. She went in 1967, as part of a government-sponsored trip.
Denise and Patti McGrath (later to be Patti Newton) travelled to Vietnam on a military plane full of soldiers.
Arriving in Saigon the girls were told “You’re going into a war zone – There are going to be men there that . . . well, they haven’t seen women for a while. They’re going to yell out things like, ‘Get your gear off!’ and things like that, but don’t get upset. We don’t want you getting upset . . . but above all, we want you to mingle and take your malaria pills.” Introduction over. Welcome to Vietnam.
The second time Denise visited Vietnam was in 1969 with the Digger Revell Revue. Denise recalls; “At Nui Dat, there was this shell that they’d built with a stage on it, and the boys used to just sit on this hill”.
“It was either red dust or red mud [depending on] whether it had been dry or raining. And they were sitting on the tanks . . . it was just an amazing feeling”.
Denise is probably better known as a television personality than a singer or a dancer, having appeared on TV with Ernie Sigley for 27 years, as well as appearing on Beauty and the Beast, The Love Game and originally as a mimer on Kommotion.