In 1976 two performers, English born Graham Russell and Australian native Russell Hitchcock, met while rehearsing for a Melbourne production of Jesus Christ Superstar. Realising that they sounded good singing together the duo began performing just two voices and a guitar after rehearsals and shows. Thus the core of the band known as Air Supply was born. For the most part Air Supply remained Russell and Hitchcock and then the duo recruited extra talent as it was needed.
While the duo was a minor success in their homeland Air supply admits to falling on hard times that had them searching the sofas in hotels in order to find enough change to buy bread so they could make toast.
It wasn’t until an invitation from superstar Rod Stewart to open his concerts came that Air Supply began to get noticed and when the tour, Air Supply included, hit US soil that Air Supply finally came into the limelight. After hearing the band Clive Davis, then the president of Arista Records, signed Air Supply to the label.
The debut Arista release came as a bittersweet success for the band. While it spawned some major success it was also the top for Air Supply with no way to go up. The album “Lost in Love” sold over two million copies, produced three hit singles including the title track “Lost in Love” which was the Song of the Year in 1980 and the fastest selling single in the world at the time, and set off a string of seven top five singles a record that ties Air Supply with the legendary band The Beatles.
Their second Arista release “The One That You Love” while still a success had only one number one hit in the title track “The One That You Love” and two other top ten singles.
In 1983 Air Supply released a “Greatest Hits” album with a new track and the album sold four million copies. But the release of the self-titled fourth album the decline in sales continued. “Air Supply” was the first album which did not reach platinum status of one million albums sold. With the decline on sales and apparent popularity and a new era of music Air Supply broke up in 1986.
But in 1991 Graham Russell and Russell Hitchcock re-united to revive Air Supply. More albums were released and more touring – which continues 30 years after the duo known as Air Supply first took the stage together.
When it came to touring the world Air Supply did their share of groundbreaking. Air Supply was among the first western acts to tour Asia including China and Taiwan. The group is still very popular in Asia. They were also one of the first western bands to play in Havana, Cuba where they entertained a stadium of 175,000 people. They made their first trip to India in 2006. Like in Kingston, Jamaica Air Supply captivated their audiences with soft rock sound and harmonies everywhere they performed. Thirty years later those voices have not changed.
Air Supply’s Graham Russell and Russell Hitchcock continues to be a very popular band outside of the United States.