The evergreen Issi Dye

Issi Dye is back at the Potato Shed. (Ivan Kemp)

Matt Hewson

Entertainer Issi Dye has been performing professionally for 58 years, as both singer and television host.

But even as he approaches six full decades of crooning, the well-known veteran has shown no signs of slowing down. On the contrary, whether on stage or giving an interview, his energy is infectious.

“If you’re looking at my career, I’ve never had a real job,” Dye laughed.

“People say to me, what have you done? I say, well all I’ve done is 58 years of continuing to perform and doing what I love best.”

Looking back at early clips of his work in the 60s and 70s, seeing the image of a slender young pop star with an afro and handlebar moustache grooving away, it might be easy to assume that energy was just an act.

But when Dye speaks about entertaining it’s obvious his passion is genuine.

“I think the key to it is the audience reaction back to you; if you don’t have the audience reacting back to you, smiling, singing, you haven’t done your job,” he said.

“Let’s face it, anybody can get up and sing a song. If they’ve got a voice, they can sing a song. But the key is to be able to move the audience, talk to the audience, have a little bit of repartee with your audience and become as one.

“And at the end of the show, when people come up to you and say, look, we loved your show…you sang the songs, you brought back the memories, and we’re going home happy, well, I’ve done my job. And that’s all I ask. If I can keep doing that, I’ll be a happy man.”

Dye has performed regularly at the Potato Shed over the past decade, and on Friday May 3 he brings one of his favourite shows back to Drysdale, The Beatles Meet the Everly Brothers.

He and renowned tribute artist Glenn Douglas have been presenting the songs of the two legendary musical acts for the last five years.

Dye said he enjoyed both evoking memories for older audiences and bringing the music of the Beatles and the Everly Brothers to the younger generation.

“It wasn’t complicated music, in those days it was a much more raw style,” he said.

“And even the kids today love the lyrics, they love the hooks. Back then, we didn’t realise what we were hearing was going to endure for 60 years, we would never have believed it.”