Major award-winning biographies of Arthur Boyd and John Olsen have preceded the third book by Darleen Bungey. It is less a biography, more a personal memoir as the writer searches for the man who was her father. Daddy Cool by Darleen Bungey takes the reader on a journey that leads back to Hollywood with the advent of the ‘talkies’. Bungey’s father, Bob Cutter had a difficult childhood in California but, blessed with an attractive singing voice and looks to match, he made a successful career as a popular artist in the 1930’s. All that was left behind along with a scandalous divorce, when in 1938, he sailed for Australia with a new name, Lawrence Brooks.
In Australia , Lawrence Brooks made another successful career on the Tivoli circuit and ABC radio singing with the band of Jim Davidson. In 1941, he joined the 2nd AIF Entertainment Unit which took him to the Middle East and New Guinea. At the war’s end, he joined the Colgate-Palmolive Radio Unit, then married the network’s publicity officer Gloria van Boss. That happy marriage produced two daughters, this author Darleen, and six years later, a more famous author, Geraldine Brooks.
Gracefully written, Daddy Cool recalls the world of our youth, at least for some of us, of Prince’s and the Tivoli, of radio shows and glamorous advertising agencies; a time of no regrets. Darleen Bungey’s search of her father and the memoir of the family he made here, makes for a happy enough journey.
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