I doubt Australia will ever produce another homosexual with as much style and panache as Peter Allen. I first heard him when he was all over the place with that wonderful song, I Go to Rio (co-written with Adrienne Anderson). What a performance he'd put on with that number. If it reminded you of Judy Garland or Liza Minnelli, you might want to know that he was married to Liza in 1967. Judy Garland actually was the one who discovered Allen in Australia in the early 1960's and the marriage to Liza is what brought him to America.

He was born Peter Allen Woolnough on Feb. 10, 1944 in Tenterfield, New South Wales, Australia. He died June 18, 1992. He's probably remembered now as the composer of smaltzy ballads such as I Honestly Love You (co-written with Jeff Barry) and Don't Cry Out Loud (co-written with Carole Bayer Sager), but it was the stage performances that made me want to watch.

He divorced Minelli in 1974, even though they'd not been together for several years, and began to work on Broadway. I'm sure it was here that he learned how to ham it up and give a show that Busby Berkeley look. In 1981, he performed "I Go to Rio" at Radio City Music Hall, where he not only danced with the Rockettes, but also rode a camel during the production number of this song.

Allen juggled careers in America and Australia. His song, I Still Call Australia Home, seems to be some sort of anthem for the folks there. Also, his song about his home town titled Tenterfield Saddler was a big hit down under.

His death was due to complications from AIDS, as they say (about all too many artists these days).