|Grace Ethel Knight|
|Born||23 December 1955|
Manchester, England, United Kingdom
|Genres||Indie pop, new wave, jazz|
|Labels||CBS, Mercury, Polygram, Universal, MGM, Sony, Columbia, Deluxe|
|Eurogliders, Tania Bowra Band|
Grace Ethel Knight (born 23 December 1955, Manchester) is an English-born, Australian vocalist, saxophone player, and songwriter. She was a mainstay of Indie pop group Eurogliders during the 1980s which formed in Perth. Knight later became a solo jazz singer and musician based in Sydney. In 1984, Eurogliders released an Australian top ten album, This Island, which spawned their No. 2 hit single, "Heaven (Must Be There)". "Heaven" also peaked at No. 21 on the United States' Billboard Mainstream Rock charts and appeared on the Hot 100. The song, written by Eurogliders' guitarist, Bernie Lynch, and vocals by Knight, was their only hit in United States. Knight and Lynch married in 1985 but separated soon after. Another Australian top ten album, Absolutely, followed for Eurogliders in 1985, which provided three further local top ten singles, "We Will Together", "The City of Soul" and "Can't Wait to See You".
Since Eurogliders disbanded in 1989, Knight has had a successful career as a jazz singer. Knight made a cameo appearance in the 1990 TV series Come In Spinner and sang on its soundtrack, Come in Spinner, recorded with jazz artist Vince Jones, which peaked at No. 4 on the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) albums charts. This launched a new career for Knight, with her first solo album, Stormy Weather, which peaked at No. 16 in 1991. Other solo albums followed,Gracious in 1993, Live in 1996 and Zeitgeist in 2000. Eurogliders briefly reformed with Lynch and Knight in 2005 to release two additional albums by 2007. Knight returned to her solo career and released Willow in 2008.
Grace Knight was born in 1955 in the UK, and performed as a cabaret singer in folk clubs from 1976. She competed in a semi-final of a national talent quest as a duo and consequently travelled to Dubai to perform, where she met Martha Reeves and the Vandellas. In 1977, she obtained a gig on a cruise ship to Perth, Western Australia, her set included covering Harry Nilsson's A Little Touch of Schmilsson in the Night and performed twice a night for six weeks.
Knight relocated to Perth, Western Australia in 1977, where she performed in a number of local bands. She met guitarist and singer, Bernie Lynch, who fronted a new wave band, The Stockings, in the late 1970s. They became domestic partners and together formed the band, Living Single, in 1980 with Crispin Akerman on guitar, Don Meharry on bass guitar, Guy Slingerland on drums and Amanda Vincent on keyboards. By 1981, drummer John Bennetts replaced Slingerland and the band changed their name to Eurogliders; domestically, Knight and Lynch had separated. Eurogliders' second album, This Island, was released in May 1984 and peaked at No. 4 on the Australian Kent Music Report albums chart. The single, "Heaven (Must Be There)", written by Lynch, also released in May, reached No. 2 on the Australian singles charts, and No. 65 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart and No. 21 on its Mainstream Rock Tracks chart. The album peaked at No. 140 on the Billboard 200 chart.
At the height of the band's success, Knight and Lynch reconciled their relationship and were married in 1985 but the union was short-lived. Despite their marital separation, they stayed together in the band for another four years. In Australia, "Heaven" was followed by three more top 10 hits. Between 1984 and 1986, Eurogliders toured Australia, the USA, Canada, Puerto Rico, Japan and New Zealand. Further albums followed, but late in 1989, the Eurogliders disbanded.
After Eurogliders disbanded in 1989, Knight sang backing vocals in the Tania Bowra Band, and made a cameo appearance as Lola, a 1940s night club singer in the 1990 Australian Broadcasting Corporation TV series Come In Spinner. She also sang on its soundtrack album, Vince Jones & Grace Knight: Come in Spinner, produced by Martin Armiger, recorded with jazz musician Vince Jones, with arrangements by William Motzing and Derek Williams. The album earned Platinum sales and peaked at No. 4 on the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) albums charts. It included jazz standards with half the tracks having lead vocals by Jones, including a single, "I've Got You Under My Skin". Two singles with lead vocals by Knight were also released, "The Man I Love" and "Sophisticated Lady", and this started a new career for Knight as a jazz singer. Her first solo album, Stormy Weather, produced by Larry Muhoberac, was released in October 1991, and this peaked at No. 16. Her debut solo single, "Fever", was released in September, but this did not peak into the top 50 singles charts. At the 1992 ARIA Music Awards, Stormy Weather was nominated for "Best Adult Contemporary Album" and Peter Cobbin was nominated for Engineer of the Year for his work on four of its tracks.
Knight's second solo album, Gracious appeared in November 1993. It contained "big, brassy and busy arrangements of standards" and included work by 43 session musicians. This album also did not peak into the ARIA top 50, but was nominated for Best Adult Contemporary Album in 1994. Other solo albums followed with, Live in 1996 and Zeitgeist in 2000.
In November 2002, women of Marin County, California spelled out the words "No War" with their nude bodies, they were protesting against the proposed invasion of Iraq by a coalition which included Australian troops. This inspired Knight to organise a similar protest in a paddock outside her hometown of Federal near Byron Bay on 8 February 2003. Knight justified the protest:
These women came here today because they feel they are being lied to by our Government, and they feel their dissent is not being heard [...] We want to let John Howard know that we are not happy, and if it takes lying naked in a paddock to get the message across so be it.-- Grace Knight, 9 February 2003
Knight indicated that she had been writing lyrics for a forthcoming album with Lynch, when her frustration at the Howard Government's plans to invade Iraq interrupted her concentration. Knight rallied female friends via chain e-mails, needing 67 women for the wording of "No War" ultimately 750 showed up.
Eurogliders reformed in October 2005, with Grace Knight and Bernie Lynch using session musicians and they released their fifth studio album, simply called Eurogliders but the album did not peak into the ARIA top 50 charts. Eurogliders started touring again in April 2006 and performed on the Countdown Spectacular during June to August, which was a nostalgic tour of Australian bands from the 1970s and 1980s, as featured on the pop television show Countdown with its host Ian "Molly" Meldrum. The Eurogliders' sixth album Blue Kiss was recorded during the same sessions as the previous and was released in 2007, it also had no top 50 charting.
In 2008 Knight returned to her solo career and released Willow , which was nominated for Best Jazz Album at the 2008 ARIA Music Awards. On 17 July 2009, Knight performed at the Press Gallery Mid-Winter Ball attended by federal politicians, including Australian Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, and by Canberra journalists. Patrons of the function paid up to $20,000 each and raised $250,000 for various charities.
Knight's 1977 gig on a cruise ship from London, UK, was to visit her sister, who was living in Perth, Western Australia. Her sister introduced Knight to future bandmate, domestic partner and husband, Bernie Lynch. Knight separated from Lynch in 1986 and has been married two further times. She has a son, Jackie Knight born in 1987.
With Vince Jones
|Year||Title||Peak chart positions||Album|
|1990||"The Man I Love"||--||Come in Spinner|
|1993||"Ability to Swing"||--||Gracious|
|"--" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released in that country.|