Roland Bannister is old enough to remember the commotion that followed rock star Little Richard performing in Newcastle in October 1957.
"The story of these events has been told and retold in rock'n'roll history for half a century," he said.
Roland told Topics that, while in Newcastle, Little Richard suddenly renewed his commitment to God. This, we're led to believe, happened while he was aboard the Stockton ferry.
A key part of the yarn is that, in declaring his faith, Little Richard threw his rings into Newcastle Harbour. It should be said that this story has taken on mythic proportions.
Roland said the detail of the story "changes with just about every retelling, sometimes to the point of absurdity".
"Evidence from all those years ago has been elusive," he said.
"I've made a serious effort to gather the facts and I'm convinced that the broad outline of the story is right."
Intriguingly, Little Richard cancelled his second Newcastle concert about 48 hours before the advertised starting time, without notice or explanation.
"I remember this well. Fans were mightily cheesed off. Adverts had appeared in the Newcastle Herald on the Monday and Wednesday before the concert," Roland said.
Precisely when and where Little Richard threw his expensive rings in the drink is somewhat of a mystery.
"Some say he threw them from the old vehicular ferry, others the passenger ferry, others from Carrington Bridge," Roland said.
In his 2013 biography of Johnny O'Keefe, Jeff Apter wrote that Little Richard and members of his band were playing cards and drinking on a train.
"As the train crossed the Hunter, Richard opened the window and, to the disbelief of everyone in the carriage, threw the [rings] away," Apter wrote, adding that O'Keefe witnessed this.
However, Roland said broadcaster John Laws had travelled with the press during the tour.
"He and the Dee Jays saxophonist John Greenan both say that they were with Little Richard on the ferry when he threw his rings into the harbour," he said.
He said another key piece of evidence was a Sydney Morning Herald report on August 3, 1958. The report, which featured a review of a Johnny O'Keefe song, said it "sounds like the day Little Richard threw his rings over the Newcastle bridge".
Roland asserts that Little Richard's exit from the music scene was "regarded as a turning point in popular music".
"It links Newcastle and Australia to the wider world of 1950s popular culture," he said.
"He left the scene wide open for Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, Chuck Berry and the other great performers of those days.
"It also ignites the career of Johnny O'Keefe - our first great Aussie rocker."
Roland reckons all the evidence points to Little Richard's epiphany occurring on the Stockton ferry.
"Old-timers like me have known this for six decades," he said.
Speaking of old-school music, it's International Record Store Day on Saturday.
It's a day to celebrate the culture of the independently-owned record store. And to go spend some hard-earned on vinyl.
Kellie Jackson, owner of The Mosh Pit Record Store at Cardiff, said her shop had ordered in limited releases for the day.
"In the shop, we'll have a giant mojito for people to drink throughout the day. We've got Mosh Pit record bags for everybody who buys something and a heap of $1 and $5 records that we've marked down for the day," Kellie said.
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