BY IAN CROUCH

Newcastle born singer, songwriter and entertainer, Doug Parkinson has died suddenly overnight at his home on Sydney’s Northern Beaches aged 74.

Born at Waratah in 1946, as a young boy he discovered he could sing when he secretly recorded himself on a tape recorder which his father had bought.

It inspired him to ask for a guitar for Christmas and his musical talent bloomed from there.

He gave up a journalism cadetship with The Daily Telegraph to concentrate on his musical career and had a string of hits, working alongside many international stars including The Who, The Temptations and The Pointer Sisters.

He also enjoyed a lasting career in musical theatre, appearing in major roles in The Who’s rock opera Tommy, The Wizard of Oz, Jesus Christ Superstar, and played The Big Bopper in Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story.

The man with the soulful voice had only just released a new album.

His publicist, Lionel Midford released a statement on Monday night.

“Just received the saddest news that Doug Parkinson, the legendary Australian recording artist with a powerful and soulful voice. He passed away suddenly at home,” Mr Midford said.

Doug Parkinson is survived by his wife Suzie and their sons, Daniel and John.

Newcastle born Doug Parkinson Picture: express.co.uk