Allan Caswell is an Australian songwriter and performer, author, record producer, freelance journalist and teacher. He has had over 900 songs published and over 500 recordings of his songs worldwide in a career lasting over 30 years.
His best-known song is "On The Inside" (the theme from the television series Prisoner). It was a No. 1 record in Australia and New Zealand. It reached No. 3 in the UK and also featured on the Billboard Country charts in the USA.
Allan has been awarded with 6 Golden Guitars at the Country Music Awards of Australia. As a songwriter he has received 2 gold single awards an APRA award, and an ARIA award. He also has been awarded 1 platinum and 3 gold records for his writing and production work on a series of children's albums featuring Don Spencer.
He has performed as an artist in every state of Australia, as well as appearing on stages in the US and in New Zealand. He has performed for Australian troops stationed in East Timor, Iraq and Afghanistan.
He currently resides in Medlow Bath in the NSW Blue Mountains and continues to write and record songs. He also works with children in juvenile detention and behavioral schools (on behalf of the Australian Children's Music Foundation) teaching music and songwriting as a way for young people to integrate into the community.
Allan Caswell was born in Chester and grew up in North Wales, Berkshire and South London before migrating to Australia in 1966. He was educated at Wimbledon County Secondary School and later at South Sydney Boys High School. He has worked full time in the Australian Music Industry since 1979.
Music industry history:
Allan Caswell's songwriting career started in 1973 when Chris Gilbey signed a song he had written with his brother Brian Caswell to Albert Music in Sydney. However it was 6 years later when Allan Caswell had a song recorded. Again he was signed by Chris Gilbey, this time to the newly formed Australian subsidiary of ATV Music Limited - ATV Northern Songs. The first song signed was "On The Inside" which became the theme for the television series "Prisoner" and later a major international hit song. The success of "On The Inside" triggered a succession of recordings by artists of the caliber of Patti Page, Cilla Black, The Irish Rovers, Max Bygraves and Acker Bilk, Slim Dusty, The Living End, Chad Morgan, Lynne Hamilton, James Blundell, Anne Kirkpatrick, Don Spencer, Graeme Connors, The Delltones, Doug Ashdown and Ricky May.
Caswell won his first Golden Guitar in Tamworth for Best New Talent in 1980, Song of the Year in 1981, 1983 and 1986, Male Vocalist of the Year in 1988 and Vocal Collaboration Of The Year (with Drew McAlister) in 2007. In 1988 he was the recipient of the Songmaker Award.
In 2006 Caswell published his first book "Writing Great Song Lyrics". The book has proved popular with young songwriters and is an important part of his many songwriting workshops.
Caswell completed work on his 15th album at the end of April 2010 and continues to write, produce, and lecture on songwriting. In 2010 he intends to complete work on his autobiography "On The Inside" (a story of survival in the Australian Music Industry).
In 1995 Caswell was asked by Don Spencer, on behalf of his Australian Children's Music Foundation, to work with children in Juvenile Detention teaching music and songwriting. He has helped set up similar programs in other centres. He is also working with the Foundation in their aim of making music accessible to underprivileged children.
In 2004 Allan Caswell approached the publisher of the song, "On The Inside", in connection with a possible infringement of the song by Country Music artist Alabama. As a result, Sony/ATV hired a musicologist to provide an expert opinion as to whether "On The Inside" had been infringed by the song "Christmas in Dixie". The musicologist's report stated "...it is my opinion that a case can be made that the two works bear a level of similarity that goes beyond what I would consider to be a random occurrence or sheer coincidence... and further reinforces my viewpoint that one work is reproducing a substantial part of the other work." Allan Caswell has notified APRA of the results of the musicologists' report and has taken legal advice in the matter.
Text from this biography licensed under creative commons license