By Luke Voogt
Iconic ‘70s singer and TV host Issi Dye still surprises his fans by reinventing himself at age 72.
“I get a lot of, ‘Issi Dye – is he still going?’,” the Melburnian told the Indy.
The man born Israel Dyzenhaus will do anything to stay on stage, after a career performing alongside legends like Roy Orbison, Ray Charles and The Beach Boys.
“To me it’s a labour of love,” he said.
“I work out a few days a week at the gym and I keep myself as trim as possible – sometimes I feel like I’m 92, sometimes like I’m 42.”
The demise of variety shows Dye used to appear on regularly had led him to reinvent himself, he said.
“If people don’t see you every week you’re finished.”
Lately, his love of performing had driven him to take the guise of Johnny O’Keefe or one of the Everly brothers.
“Some people don’t even realise I’m doing the show until they arrive there,” he said.
“They say, ‘what are you doing as an Everly brother? You used to be Issy Dye!’”
Dye is a rarity – a singer who has made the big time with original music now performing as a tribute artist.
“It’s unusual for someone like me to be doing it – that’s probably why I enjoy doing it,” he said.
“It’s called reinventing yourself. This is my 52nd year in show biz.”
Dye remembers the nerve-wrecking experience of producers throwing him into “the deep end”, with minimal rehearsal, when he first performed on TV in the ’60s .
“You either sank or swam,” he said.
He swam, recording Aussie hits like One Last Kiss, Personality, I Wonder Where You Are and I’m Counting on You.
“It’s been an amazing journey,” he said.
“I have been lucky enough to support some of the biggest acts that have come out from America too.”
Dye will return to performing as himself when he comes to the Potato Shed for an intimate concert next Tuesday.
“I’ve got a lot of history to talk about but most people want to talk about what they saw on TV when they were 20,” he said.
“I’ll have some of my original clips from the 60s.”
Dye will also answer questions from fans wondering “what he’s doing today”, he said.
He looked forward to taking his audience down memory lane and getting them in full voice.
“I don’t sing to my audience I sing along with them,” he said.