Southern Contemporary Rock Assembly

Southern Contemporary Rock Assembly or SCRA was an Australian jazz-rock group formed in mid-1971 by Sheryl Black on lead vocals, Ian Bloxsom on percussion, Russell Dunlop on drums (ex-Aesop's Fable, Levi Smith's Clefs), Dave Ellis on bass guitar, Greg Foster on trombone and harmonica (ex-Heart 'n' Soul), Mickey Leyton (aka Michael Puddyfoot) on lead vocals, Jim Kelly on lead guitar (ex-Affair, Levi Smith's Clefs), Mike Kenny on trumpet (Levi Smith's Clefs), Peter Martin on guitar and vocals (ex-Little Sammy and the in People) and Don Wright on tenor sax and flute (ex-Ram Jam Big Band).[1][2][3]

Southern Contemporary Rock Assembly
Years active1971 (1971)–1972 (1972)
LabelsM7, Atlantic
Associated actsLevi Smith's Clefs, Mother Earth, Crossfire
Past members
  • Sheryl Black
  • Ian Bloxsom
  • Russell Dunlop
  • Dave Ellis
  • Greg Foster
  • Mickey Leyton (aka Michael Puddyfoot)
  • Jim Kelly
  • Mike Kenny
  • Peter Martin
  • Don Wright
  • Ian Saxon

In December 1971 the band issued the debut album, SCRA, which Australian musicologist, Ian McFarlane, compared to their regular "brash, commercial sound" when performing live – the album was "more restrained and slickly arranged."[1] It was produced by Allan Crawford and issued on M7 Records and provided three singles including their debut, "C C Rider", which was a cover version of Ma Rainey's original. In September 1971 they performed it live-in-the-studio for Australian Broadcasting Corporation's TV programme, GTK. Their second single, "Roly Poly", was released in December which peaked at No. 27 on the Go-Set National Top 40, and No. 28 on the Australian Kent Music Report Singles Chart, in April of the following year.[1][4][5]

SCRA appeared at the inaugural Sunbury Pop Festival in January 1972 and provided a live version of "Roly Poly" for a double album, Sunbury, by various artists on EMI/HMV.[1] John Dixon directed and produced a documentary film of the festival, Sunbury (1972), which includes footage of SCRA's version of "I Just Want to Make Love to You" with Black on lead vocals. McFarlane praised her as a "gutsy blues singer of rare talent."[1] By April the group had relocated to the United States.[1] Ian Saxon joined as their third lead vocalist.[1][3] Also in April SCRA members appeared as the studio backing band for Dig Richards' country music album, Harlequin.[1]

SCRA recorded their second album, The Ship Album (1972), at The Hit Factory in New York;[1] and at United Sound Studios, Sydney.[3] It was produced by Martin and issued by Atlantic Records. McFarlane felt they had "dispensed with the lighter pop moments of the debut to concentrate on a more innovative and bluesy progressive jazz-rock sound".[1] The group disbanded by the end of that year.[1] Black, Dunlop, Ellis, Foster, Kelly, Kenny and Martin all did session work in subsequent years.[1] Dunlop and Kelly both joined Mother Earth; Dunlop was later a member of Johnny Rocco Band and then Ayers Rock; Bloxsom, Kelly, and Kenny were members of Crossfire.[1]




  • "C C Rider" (September 1971)
  • "Roly Poly" (December 1971)
  • "Sydney Born Man" (1972)
  • "Our Ship" (1972)
  • "It's a Game" (1972)


  • McFarlane, Ian (1999). "Whammo Homepage". Encyclopedia of Australian Rock and Pop. St Leonards, NSW: Allen & Unwin. ISBN 1-86508-072-1. Archived from the original on 5 April 2004. Retrieved 13 January 2015. Note: Archived [on-line] copy has limited functionality.
  1. McFarlane, 'Southern Contemporary Rock Assembly (SCRA)' entry. Archived from the original on 22 June 2004. Retrieved 13 January 2015.
  2. Kimball, Duncan (2002). "The Clefs / Levi Smith's Clefs". Milesago: Australasian Music and Popular Culture 1964–1975. Ice Productions. Archived from the original on 7 March 2008. Retrieved 13 January 2015.
  3. Southern Contemporary Rock Assembly (1972), The Ship Album, Atlantic Records. National Library of Australia, retrieved 13 January 2015
  4. Nimmervoll, Ed (8 April 1972). "Go-Set National Top 40". Go-Set. Waverley Press. Retrieved 13 January 2015.
  5. Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book Ltd. ISBN 0-646-11917-6. Note: Used for Australian Singles and Albums charting from 1974 until Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) created their own charts in mid-1988. In 1992, Kent back calculated chart positions for 1970–1974.
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