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April 2014 - 9th of February.
July 2014 - 7th of April
October 2014 - 1st of July
January 2015 - 5th of November.

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General News...
A.B.B.A. - 'G'day folks, we are always after bush ballad news items or points of interest for this page. If you have an album release, an event mention, or anything of bush ballad interest that you would like to mention - email us."



For some time now Dianne Lindsay and Peter Simpson have believed that a prominent Bush Ballad show held during the Tamworth Country Music Festival would be a wonderful way of showcasing many of the hardworking Bush Balladeer artists and would also be a welcome inclusion to the Tamworth Country Music Festival.

Over twenty of our best-known Australian Bush Balladeers will feature in the ‘Back To The Bush’ Concert which will be held in the Toyota Park on Wednesday 21st January at 7pm. This will be a free concert for the public generously supported by the Tamworth Regional Council.

This concert is a milestone for the Bush Ballad genre and must certainly be amongst the most impressive line-up of Bush Balladeer stars in recent years.

Dianne and Peter report overwhelming support from fellow artists and are excited about the whole concept of this show which is to promote Australian Bush Ballads and Balladeers to a wider audience and there are plans to make this an annual event. Further enqs 0401095306.

Stars Unite For National Slim Dusty Day

Some of the biggest names in Australia are behind an industry led campaign to have an Aussie icon?s legacy celebrated on JUNE 13th by officially recognising the day as NATIONAL SLIM DUSTY DAY.
Music historian Glenn A Baker said “Slim Dusty Day is a day to celebrate our musical heritage. Slim Dusty articulated the very essence of Australia for a great many Australians”.
Identities from across Australia and around the world have united to pay tribute and support the proposed NATIONAL SLIM DUSTY DAY initiative to be declared on his birth date of June 13th.
DICK SMITH, Australian Entrepreneur and Philanthropist said “I urge everyone who shares my admiration of Slim, to get behind National Slim Dusty Day, to honour the man who etched our history into song. We must ensure that the legend of Slim Dusty and his Australian story – our story – is never forgotten”.

Last year marked a decade since the loss of the national treasure, and Australian identities have continued to band together to voice their support of NATIONAL SLIM DUSTY DAY to ensure his musical legacy continues to be recognised annually.

Australians are asked to register their support seeking the favourable consideration of the Australian Government to mark Slim's birthday as "National Slim Dusty Day". To show your support, please click on the following link:

Call upon the Australian Federal Government to declare Slim’s birthday of June 13, as “National Slim Dusty Day” by writing to:

Senator the Hon George Brandis QC
Minister for Arts

PO Box 6100
Senate – Parliament House, Canberra ACT 2600
email senator.brandis@aph.gov.au

The petition is hosted by The Slim Dusty Centre, a unique community project with national significance, primarily developed as a living museum, governed by a Trust Fund and designed to showcase over 60 years of recording, performing and touring by Slim Dusty and preserving the valuable Dusty Family collection gathered from Australia throughout his lifetime.

In support of the National Slim Dusty Day initiative and to assist in the fund raising program for the Slim Dusty Foundation, the stars of country music will again come together for the second annual SLIM DUSTY BIRTHDAY BASH. This event will be held at Rooty Hill RSL Club on Thursday 12th June. Corporate tables and seats for the general public are on sale, and start at $120, which includes a 2 course dinner and drinks. Entertainment will be provided by Lee Kernaghan, Troy Cassar-Daley, Adam Harvey, Anne Kirkpatrick, David Kirkpatrick, Jared Porter, Luke O’Shea, Amber Lawrence, Aleyce Simmonds and The Wolfe Brothers.
For further information, images or interviews please contact:
Tom Inglis: Phone:0432078084 | tom@hsfartistservices.com

"Slim Dusty is not only the voice of Australian Country music, but the voice of the spirit of Australia. I was honored to not only know him, but to call him a mate. We toured together, we recorded together, and I was forever changed by his passion for the music, the people, and the country he loved so much. Smart as a whip, funny as hell, as loyal as the day is long, and the perfect personification of what an Aussie is all about! Nic and I are both proud to add our voices in support of recognising June 13 nationally, as 'Slim Dusty Day'!!!!!!" KEITH URBAN & NICOLE KIDMAN

You didn't have to grow up in the Country to love Slim. As an Adelaide girl, my first lessons about the bush, true mateship, Australian culture and patriotism were taught by listening to Slim Dusty. In 1994 I toured with Slim and witnessed how incredibly generous he was to his adoring public, and to young artists starting in the business. Slim shook the hands of our indigenous brothers and sisters and brought their stories to the towns in song. I can't think of a more powerful form of reconciliation in Australia's history. I would love to celebrate Slim Dusty day, to remember this hero and to remind us of all the reasons we're proud to be Australian. BECCY COLE

Slim Dusty Day is a day to celebrate our musical heritage. Slim Dusty articulated the very essence of Australia for a great many Australians. Through his simple honest and heartfelt songs, he became a musical chronicler of our past and our present, our dreams and our failings. And more than anything, our simple day-to-day delights. His music told us something about ourselves - who we are, where we came from, what we could be. His humorous and tolerant tales of life, of many lives, will survive after those lives and the events which shaped them have passed. GLENN A. BAKER


Finalists & Winners @ the Bungendore Stan Coster Memorial Awards.

Male Vocal:
Jeff Brown I Love Australia * winner
Ernie Constance Saddle up and Ride
Brian Letton Pocket Bible

Female Vocal:
Bec Hance The Dog That He Can
Dianne Lindsay RM
Patti Morgan The Old Cattle Dog * winner

New Talent:
Pat Brown Jr Those Mountains of Mine * winner
Kate Hindle Won't Those Memories Let Me Be
Margaret Stokes Channel Country Ground

Group or Duo:
Bec Hance & Sharon Benjamin In Qld * winner
Dianne Lindsay & Anne Kirkpatrick Akubras in the Snow
Reg Poole & Keith Jamieson Aussie Mates

Ginger Cox & Terry Bennetts Medley
Ginger Cox Road to Beagle Bay
Peter Simpson & Lindsay Butler Wind up Gramophone * winner


Keith Jamieson I Love Australia
Ernie Constance I Worship the Water * * winner
Peter Simpson Akubras in the Snow

Jeff Brown Paddy's Mistake
Ernie Constance Just Can't Miss it Mate
Trevor Day Lady Luck * winner

Jeff Brown Hard to Let Go * winner
Peter Coad and the Coad Sisters The Road of Song
Ernie Constance Songs I Wrote for Slim

Encouragment - Kate Hindle

The Award Winners were announced at the Muster on Saturday night 1st February, followed by a Finalists Concert, where all finalists were invited to perform.


'I Love Australia' took out the CMAA Bush Ballad Of The Year recorded by Jeff Brown written by Keith Jamieson. Congratulations Jeff and Keith. Well done :)
The Australian Bush Balladeers Association also makes special mention of the excellent performance in tribute to Ted Egan by Jeff Brown and Dean Perrett with their rendition of the 'Drovers Boy' at the awards night. A wonderful presentation of the song.
The Association congratulates Ted Egan on being the recipient of the CMAA LIfetime Achievement Award.
The Association also extends congratulations to the winners of all categories of the CMAA awards, and to those artists who recieved other awards via TSA, Gold Medallions, etc. Well done everyone. :)

The full list of winners for the 42nd CMAA Country Music Awards of Australia is as follows:


Lovegrass - Sara Storer, produced by Matt Fell


Black Coffee - Lachlan Bryan and The Wildes, produced by Lachlan Bryan, Mat Duniam, Shaun Ryan and Rod McCormack


Lee Kernaghan - Flying With The King


Sara Storer - Lovegrass


O'Shea - Thank You Angels


Pozie - Sara Storer & John Williamson


Lady of the Land - written by Luke O'Shea & Drew McAlister, recorded by Luke O'Shea


I Love Australia - written by Keith Jamieson, recorded by Jeff Brown


Cotton Eyed Joe - Pete Denahy


Ashleigh Dallas - Me


Lady of the Land - written by Luke O'Shea & Drew McAlister, recorded by Luke O'Shea


Flying With The King - Lee Kernaghan, directed by Duncan Toombs


Flying With The King - Lee Kernaghan


Red – Taylor Swift (Universal Music)


Beautiful Noise – Lee Kernaghan (ABC Music)

Ted Egan

When PAYING your membership via deposit into the ABBA bank account at a bank PLEASE ID your payment (eg., First name/Surname).
PLEASE retain a copy of the receipt, and RETURN a copy of the receipt with your form to the secretary OR scan the receipt/form and email to the ABBA for our records.
If PAYING ONLINE into the account, please EMAIL us the PAYMENT receipt number and ID the deposit if possible as well.
ALSO NOTE: If you have paid via the above mentioned and not previously forwarded us any of the above ID or Receipt Info, please forward those required details to us soonest.
Your assistance would be appreciated.
Thank you ~ The ABBA


Finalists For Gidgee Coal Bush Ballad Awards 2013 ANNOUNCED!
Awards held November 16/17th 2013 at the Pittsworth Town Hall Queensland.

Female Vocal.
Dianne Lindsay Leave Him in The Longyard
Bec Hance Albert Campbell
Patti Morgan The Old Cattle Dog

Male Vocal.
John O’Dea If Only I Was Young
Jeff Brown I love Australia
Rex Baldwin As Leichhardt Saw It Then

Ernie Constance The Songs I Wrote For Slim.
Jeff Brown Hard To let Go
Dianne Lindsay All Things Country

John O’Dea Next To Slim
Shirrelle Jackman/Dean Perrett . Brumby
Ernie Constance I Worship the Water He Walked On

Ray Pratley Cow Waddle
Johnny Kaye Pickin Country
Terry Bennetts/ Ginger Cox Medley

Comedy/ Novelty.
Pete Smith Sunday Calling
Bec Hance The Good Song
Trevor Day Lady Luck.

Ron Milliner/ Sharon Benjamin Spirit Of The Bush
Dianne Lindsay/Anne Kirkpatrick Akubras in the Snow.
Terry Bennetts/Ginger Cox/Evan Platschinda Band Of mates

New Talent
Rex Baldwin Champions
Kate Hindle Beautiful Circle
Ged Hintz Playing Good old Country Music



BEC HANCE - New album
'Old Lady' launches trip down memory lane

Bec Hance shows her pride in being an Australian in each song she writes and composes.
Releasing the first single from her forthcoming fourth album, Old Lady, will remind listeners to pick up the phone and make a call to a neighbour or loved one.
The song is an anthem to those who made Australian great, who fought, built the roads and the towns and to that generation who have seen vast changes in the fabric of society and technology - from the horse and cart to the rockets.
“I wanted to write a song to remind us all about the huge changes that my grandmother’s generation have seen in this country,” Bec said.

“Some have lived through three wars, have seen man walk on the moon and the unimaginable idea of a text message instead of a beautifully hand-written note to keep people informed of your movements.
“Sometimes we can be working so hard or just going about our business that we forget that we can learn so much from those who have forged the paths before us.”
Well-known and celebrated for her commitment to producing beautiful Australiana music and nostalgic prose, Bec is a favourite amongst festivals such as Mildura Country Music Festival and was a nominee this year for the CMAA Golden Guitars Bush Ballad category.
Her new album will be distributed through established country music company WJO who also have the likes of Bill Chambers, Graeme Connors and Pete Denahy under their umbrella.
Hailing from Lang Lang in Victoria as the daughter of a fourth generation beef farmer, the bush is seeped into her, being as evidenced through songs like Are You A Mate? and The Ballad of Castlereagh.
Audiences can expect more of the larrikin in her next album like the tongue-in-cheek female dating song: You’ll Find A Bloke from album two The Tranquillity.
Her influences as heard through her ballads and the traditional composition of her songs are among the likes of: Slim Dusty, Shirley Thoms, John Williamson and Loretta Lynn.
Bec will start touring her new album Proud of my Country in August following its launch in her home town, Lang Lang on August 10 with a fundraiser for the Lang Lang/Kooweerup Rotary Club.
“I’m hitting the road and really letting people hear the album which I’m really proud of as well as sharing the stories that made it,” she says.

Bec Hance will be appearing at:
Date: Saturday 10th August
Venue: Yannathan Hall
Town: Yannathan, VIC
Tickets: $15 with supper
Contacts: Marts - 0359975272
Website: www.bechancecountry.com

For more information and interviews:
Email Bec Hance

Track is available from CRS 166 Track 13.


The Jimmy Little Bronze Bust Fund Raiser was held at the Southgate Inn.
Tamworth July 6th at 1pm.
Artists included: Dianne Lindsay, Greg Bain, Lynette Guest, Graeme Doubleday, Lorraine Pfitzner, Ged & Trudy Hintz, Brothers3, Dale Duncan, Michael Pincott and Rod Walker, Peter Simpson and Patti Morgan.

The Reg Lindsay Bronze Bust was unveiled in Bi-Centennial Park, Tamworth at 1.30pm on the 7th of July.

Enquiries; Lorraine Pfitzner

Proudly Presents
The Balladeers Vol. 14 - is OUT NOW!!

Thank you for purchasing this product. If we can assist you with further purchases/inquiries/Association Membership etc., do not hesitate to contact us.
The concept of the 'The Balladeers' compilation albums is as a promotional outlet for the artists involved, and the sale from each album acts as a fundraiser for the Association and a product for the artist to sell.
'The Balladeers' Vol. 14 compilation is a presentation from Australian balladeers and the material selected reflects Australian culture and lifestyle.

Artist Contact:
All the artists are listed with contacts re interviews, or ordering product etc, (In the cover insert)

Thank you:
The Australian Bush Balladeers Association sincerely thank the bush ballad fans for their support, and the media for their airplay of these compilation albums.

Album track listing via the Product page
Many of the artists involved on the album will have the CDs available at their shows.
Or you may purchase them for $26 posted from the A.B.B.A. PO Box 90, Tamworth NSW 2340



The Australian Bush Balladeers Association extends congratulations to Graham Rodger for his win in the CMAA Golden Guitar Awards 2013 held in Tamworth at the Trec Centre on Saturday 26th of January with his song "Looking Back".
The Association would also like to congratulate all the Finalists in the Bush Ballad Section as well.
A great achievement and well done to all concerned.
For a full list of Finalists and winners in all sections go to the CMAA website.



An Australian bush ballad singer/songwriting legend, Merv Maltman passed away on Friday 7th of December 2012.
Merv Maltman was a prolific songwriter, a multi-instrumentalist and a singer who not only recorded quite a few albums of his own material, but had many of his songs recorded by other artists. One of his best known works is 'The Blacksoil Plains Of The Outback".
Rick & Thel Carey recorded a full album of his work.
Merv toured with many artists including Rick & Thel Carey, Buddy Thomson & Lynne Bennett, Buddy Williams, Stan Coster and others..
In January 2012 he won a Golden Guitar for writing 'Channel Country Ground' which was sung and recorded by Dean Perrett & Lee Kernaghan. .

The Association extends deepest sympathies to the Maltman family.

The Association thanks Merv Webster and Maggie Stokes for the photo and following bio of Merv Maltman.

About Merv Maltman....

Merv Maltman was born on the 17th of July 1951 in Nambour Queensland. The family moved to Cloncurry where Merv picked up his love for Australian Country Music as Bush Ballads were very popular out there. The next move was to Collinsville by now Merv was growing up and Collinsville was a far cry from the ‘Curry’. He got his first guitar at the age of thirteen and he began to write songs. A friend of his father, Ray Gaine, taught him to play guitar. He played and sung at the School Concert and was so nervous that his kneecap kept bouncing up and down until the first song was done. After the applause he had no fear of the stage from that day on. After leaving school, Merv began work as an apprentice Painter and Decorator in Bowen. It was here that a man named Wally Bishop recorded him for a Radio Show on 4M.K. MacKay. He would ask all the shows that come through if he could do a spot on the show. Both Rick and Thel and Buddy Williams let him do so. It was ironic that in later years he toured with both shows. He completed his apprenticeship before being called up into the Army. With only a month left in the Army he went AWOL and hid in the bush under an assumed name in the Bundaberg area where he worked on properties then as a Tordoner and a Sleeper cutter. He worked in the railways in a bridge gang then finished his stay in Bundaberg in the Petersen Brothers Sawmill. He become tired of hiding after four years for a good reason. Brian Young had recorded ‘The Horse that could do nothing right’ so he decided to come clean. To his chagrin he learned he had been discharged from the Army twenty eight days after he jumped the fence so those four years of laying low was a wasted effort. This time in the bush gave him the incentive to start writing again but this time it was for real. His next tour out was with the Legendary Buddy Williams and on return to Tamworth he immediately went out with Stan Coster. On return Merv decided to have a spell but was asked out on the road by Chris and Angie Pritchard. He did two tours with them and was asked out by them again but personal problems prevented this. On the road, Merv was what was called an Ice Breaker and that is a person that takes the stage first and holds the crowd with a strong act. By the time 1986 rolled up, Merv was considered a strong act and could hold his own with the best of them. In 1986 Merv teamed up with Buddy Thomson and Lynne Bennett to form the Down Under Country Show in which all music was Australian and it was the first time this was done in Country Music. Merv decided to quit the game and took up a position as a House Painter in Blackwater and there he stayed for twenty two years. Though he gave up touring he remained in music by taking on playing the bagpipes and for many years he piped the ANZAC parades in Blackwater and Bluff. Merv lost contact with the artists he had worked with over the years. During his time in the wilderness he never realized that the song ‘Blacksoil Plains of The Outback’ had been recorded by no less than four people.

In 2007 Merv had a stroke and thought the end had come. He headed off to say his farewells and on meeting up with Buddy Thomson after Twenty Two years. Buddy coaxed him into his studio and began recording him. The result was the ‘Keep Your Candle Burning’ Album. Merv was encouraged to start recording more and began recording his huge backlog of songs which resulted in the Album ‘Just Me’ in which Merv plays all instruments then followed up with the Album ‘Witness to Change’ with others to follow. Merv was a multi instrumentalist and played Guitar, Banjo, Fiddle, Mandolin, Base, Bagpipes and also dabbled with keyboards but did not consider himself fluent with them. Merv was one of the truly great songwriters though he hid his light under a bushel. Merv lived in the Warwick district in Southern Queensland where he settled along with his wife Judith and step daughter Linley. Merv did not enter songs in competitions or go for accolades as he felt that no one can say one person is better than another and the same goes for songs. He leaves it up to the people to decide.

Australia’s King of Country, the late Slim Dusty, was everybody’s mate. From the man on the land, to city dwellers and politicians of all persuasions, Slim was loved and admired for his humble demeanour. The lyrics of his timeless songs paint a picture of our great Aussie culture. Now, that heritage is to be preserved for the education of future generations, through the development of the Slim Dusty Centre - a major Cultural Tourist Attraction based in Kempsey, NSW.
The magnificent building stands completed at the gateway to Slim’s hometown, but funding is still needed to complete road work for access to the site and the exhibition fit out, which will be the heart and soul of the experience. It will house the permanent exhibition of rare artefacts from Slim’s own collection, along with innovative, interactive displays depicting his Australian story. This iconic tourism drawcard is also designed as a multipurpose facility to accommodate functions, events and travelling exhibitions, along with a café, retail area, and a visitor information centre.
To help raise much needed support for the last phase of the Slim Dusty Centre development, a brand new television and radio advertisement calls for Aussies to “be a mate” and join the “Mates of Slim Dusty” Membership Muster.
Patron of the Slim Dusty Foundation, Dick Smith, is the presenter of the catchy ad and called for people to be a mate. “Slim Dusty is a personal hero of mine; I urge all Aussies to get behind the Membership Muster,” he said.
The ad will feature the famous Slim Dusty song, “Duncan”, written by Pat Alexander. Duncan shot to fame in 1980 and has been a great Aussie favourite that is destined to remain ageless. The song depicts the true Australian spirit of mateship, which goes hand in hand with Slim’s identity. Slim also recorded this popular song live with Rolf Harris, and who could forget “I Love To Have A Dance With Dorothy” – the version that Slim recorded with the Wiggles.
Anthony Field of The Wiggles reflected on the time they recorded with Slim. “Slim Dusty was a great bloke; his musical portraits of Australia and the bush will live forever!” he said.
For $50, you can join the “Mates of Slim Dusty” Membership Muster, and help support the Centre that Slim himself was working on prior to his passing. “Mates” will receive exclusive benefits including merchandise discounts and a special member’s pack. Already drawing attention is the free raffle ticket that all new Mates will receive, as they go into a draw to win the first prize of a rare collection of every LP Slim Dusty ever released. This life time collection is housed in a beautifully handcrafted Nulla Red Cedar cabinet with a glass decal image of Slim. It comes with a Certificate of Authenticity and a record player. Second prize is return flights from Sydney to one of Etihad Airline’s European destinations, with third prize being an autographed Keith Urban CD.
So come on Australia, go to www.slimdustycentre.com.au JOIN us on Facebook, VIEW the advertisement at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HQOEhRYMybg&feature=youtu.be CALL 180018SLIM, or EMAIL kathryn.yarnold@slimdustycentre.com.au AND BE A MATE TODAY!


WINNERS - 2012 GIDGEE COAL AWARDS Finalists & Winners

Marked with *

Trudy Hintz - My Heart Is Where The Roper Flows Tonight
Dianne Lindsay - Gentleman Joe
Sharon Heaslip - Blacksoil Plains Of The Outback *

Tom McIvor - You Buggered Our Land
Graham Rodger - I Am *
Pete Smith - Dads Big Louiville

Graham Rodger - Stronger For It All
Tom McIvor - Son Of The Southern Cross
Peter Coad - Old Bush Mates *

Merv Maltman - The Devils Bull
Dianne Lindsay/Peter Simpson Gentleman Joe
Tom McIvor We Make Things To Last In The Bush *

The Coad Sisters - Anzac's Song
Ginger Cox - Rusty It’s Goodbye
Lawrie Minson/Lindsay Waddington - The Warrumbungle Mare *

Peter Coad - The Kid On The Kangaroo
Tom McIvor - Piddle In The Middle. *
Terry Gordon - Dr Days Green Pills

Graham Rodger/Allan Caswell - Darling Downs
Ged & Trudy Hintz - I’ll Be Home Soon *
Terry Gordon/Jamie Davis - A Few Old Country Boys

Maggie Stokes - Behind The Boundary Gate
Ginger Cox - Rusty It’s Goodbye *
Jay Podger - Happy Jacks Hotel

Living Legend : Jim Strofield
Encouragement award: Maggie Stokes.

(Award winners were announced at Pittsworth Town Hall, Pittsworth QLD 17th /18th November)

For info on how you can contribute to this appeal via this link :)


now has a page on the ABBA website....

I would like to introduce myself to my fellow Bush Ballad music lovers.

My name is Ginger and I live in Broome WA with my family and playing the Barry Thornton style of guitar is something I started doing over twelve years ago.

Barry was my idol then our friend and he stayed with us in Broome in 2000 and every year on the 28th of July I play “The Old Rugged Cross” in honor of him. In 2005 I could finally afford to buy a Gibson 335 the same guitar that Barry played, it makes beautiful music and I start and end every day picking on my Bush Ballads.......READ MORE

The following are ARCHIVE ARTICLES ....  


Balladeers Vol 13 (released June 2012)

. DEAN PERRETT - The Heartbeat Of Australia/The Man Of The Land (Dean Perrett/Stuart French),
02. DIANNE LINDSAY - ‘Living In The Shadow Of The Horseshoe’ (Vietnam) (Merv Maltman),
03. ALLAN LAVENDER - One One and One Two (Allan Lavender),
04. GED & TRUDY HINTZ - Where the Roper Flows Tonight (Smoky Dawson),
05. LEN TEELOW - Tamworth Festival (Len Teelow),
06. KALESTI BUTLER - My Home On The Sunburnt Plains (Slim Dusty),
07. LEX K - The Shadow (Lex K),
08. ZETA BURNS - Australia (That I Love) (Words: Joan Ridgway/Music: Bruce Bell),
09. MICHAEL PINCOTT - Reg Lindsay, You're A Legend (Beryl Imhoff/ Michael Pincott),
10. LORRAINE PFITZNER - Home For Christmas (Peter Coad),
11. PAUL SEILS - Old Fashioned (Paul Seils),
12. JOHNNY GREENWOOD - There's Still A Country Boy In Me (Johnny Greenwood),
13. COAD SISTERS - Saddle Boy (Slim Dusty),
14. MICHEAL LEESE - Eureka Stockade (Michael Leese),
15. ZETA BURNS - The City Bushman - (Jim Burns/ Zeta Burns), 16. ANGUS GILL - Names On The Wall (Angus Gill),
17. NED WINTER - The Pretty Little Town Of Cecil Plains (Ned Winter),
18. KATE HINDLE - I am Australian (Bruce Woodley)

More info via the Product page.....

CONGRATULATIONS to CMAA Golden Guitar recipients - DEAN PERRETT & LEE KERNAGHAN re their win for Bush Ballad Of The Year with the song 'Channel Country Ground'.

The track "Channel Country Ground' was written by Merv Maltman, is one from Dean Perrett's latest highly acclaimed album "Cattle Town".

For more information/and all award winners please go to


< Dean Perrett & Lee Kernaghan




VALE - ERIC WATSON - 1926 - 8/1/2012 January 2012

Eric Watson was a stalwart supporter of Australian Country Music.
He not only recorded and promoted artists through his own record label 'Selection Records', but was, himself, a great songwriter and a valued historian of Australian country music publishing two volumes of Australian Country Music history.
Eric's health recently deteriorated and he passed away at the Cedars Nursing home in Casino NSW, on Sunday 8/1/2012 at 11pm. He was 85 years old.
Eric Watson will be remembered as a great Australian and a great loss to the many friends who knew him.
- The Australian Bush Balladeers Association Inc.
Eric Watson : Bio extract courtesy of "The Book Of Australian Country Music" (1984)
Born on a dairy farm near Casino (NSW) in 1926, Eric Watson grew up 24 miles from a town and seven miles from the nearest neighbor. When radio first arrived in 1935, the newly-emerged country music became something to fill the empty nights. Eric soon knew all the Tex Morton, Wilf Carter and later Buddy Williams and Slim Dusty songs by heart and at 12 began to write his own. For some years he wrote two songs a day "in his head" while riding after the cows, but he lacked the singing ability to get them across. During a five-year stay in Sydney from 1952, helped by friend Pat Ware, he had songs recorded by Glen Davis and Jimmy Little. Back to the bush in 1957 he was too busy building up a run-down farm to think about music for another five years.
In 1962 Watson settled in Sydney and began to write again. Slim Dusty recorded his song When Snowy Sings Of Home, and soon after Buddy Williams, Rick and Thel, Eddie Tapp, Reg Poole and many other topline artists used his songs. Over 50 titles in all have now found their way on to records.
During 1973-4 Eric expanded what began as a series of articles on Australian country music personalities into a book which traced the history of our country music from its beginning to the end of 1949. Published in 1975, the book filled a great need and was an immediate success. It was probably the main factor in his gaining the first Gold Guitar for services to country music at the Australasian Country Music Awards in Tamworth in 1977, which included a trip to Nashville in the prize. The book covered the 78rpm record era and brought such a flood of enquiries about the availability of the records that a double album of the materials was issued under licence from EMI. Done at first in partnership with Larrikin Records, the album became the foundation stone of Eric's own Selection label when further compilations followed and when Reg Poole became the label's first artist to make original recordings. In its few years of life Selection has gained a prestigious place among the independent country music labels. Reg Poole has several highly successful albums and artists of the calibre of Gordon Parsons, Terry Gordon and Barry Thornton have contributed to more than 30 albums (now available) with a future five in preparation at time of writing.
January, 1983, saw the release of the second volume of Eric's Country Music In Australia book, dealing with 80-odd artists who emerged in the 1950s, published this time by Angus & Robertson. The motivating force behind all Eric Watson's work is a passionate desire to see the Australian country ethos, its people, places and situations expressed in our music and accepted by the public. He believes the present system is heavily and unfairly weighted in favor of the commercial interests who import overseas canned culture and that there will need to be a strong groundswell of concentrated activity by a lot of dedicated people before we can break the pattern.
With over 250 original Australian compositions recorded so far, Selection Records certainly practises what it preaches. And contrary to some of the predictions, the policy has been a great marketing success and will not change. Eric is determined that Selection's output, will remain definitively Australian.


The photo "The Buddy Williams Country & Western Jamboree" is off the side panels from the pantec of Buddy William's 1948 Ford touring truck. This truck was replaced by

a Dodge truck in the very early 60's with the name plates "The Buddy Williams Show". We have photos of that truck. What the ACMF of Tamworth are after is photos or a photo of the panels ("The Buddy Williams Country & Western Jamboree") on the 1948 Ford. All will be used as part of an exhibit at the Tamworth Country Music Museum.
Please email photos or any info to info@bushballadeers.com.au Thankyou ~ The ABBA


Slim Dusty & Joy McKean’s Lifetime of Travel, Stories and Songs

An illustrated hardback edition will be published on
October 25, 2011 at $39.99
Also a very special limited edition (print run of 1927 only) collector’s set with special release CD’s at $100
Shared by his wife Joy McKean – the songs, lyrics and life with Australia’s country music legend, Slim Dusty
Through the lyrics of their much loved songs, Joy McKean takes readers into the life she shared at home, on the stage and on the road with her husband, country music legend Slim Dusty. Married for more than 50 years, Slim and Joy toured all over Australia singing, writing and performing.
I’VE BEEN THERE (AND BACK AGAIN) will include many never seen before photographs from Slim and Joy’s own family albums and also an extensive range by the internationally acclaimed photographer John Elliott, who has been photographing Slim and Joy, their band and family for decades.
Including many lyrics from the iconic songs they sang together, Joy reminisces about each song – who, how, when and where they were. The bush ballads and the bush life are recounted in detail as Joy tells of an Australian way of life that is almost gone. From the old showgrounds of the 1950s to the grand theatres of the big cities, the old-time music halls of country Australia and some of the most remote areas of the continent. This is a country music love affair.
Slim Dusty sold over 7 million albums in Australia and was our most prolific recording artist. Even today, he is still one of Australia’s all time biggest selling recording artists. Slim passed away on September 19, 2003.
Joy has been awarded six Golden Guitars for her song writing, and her skills as a writer and storyteller shine in this beautiful book. Joy wrote the bestselling biography Another Day, Another Town about his life.
For all enquire contact jaki.arthur@hachette.com.au or 02-82480864

The Shirley Thoms Bronze Bust Unveiled!
The unveiling of the Shirley Thoms Bronze Bust was on July 8th at 2-30 PM in Bi-Centennial Park Tamworth.
Thank you do all personnel involved in the fund raising such as artists performing, fans attending concerts etc & A.B.B.A. Your time & support has really be appreciated. Wayne Strickland was the sculpture re for this project.
We have now commenced fund raising for The Reg Lindsay Bronze Bust.- Lorraine Pfitzner




The Balladeers Vol 12
The new 'Balladeers Vol 12" now available !!!

CDS $27 posted. Ch/M/O accepted.
Mail orders be addressed to: THE A.B.B.A. PO Box 90, Tamworth NSW 2340.

1. DOUG McINTYRE Carrathool Races (Doug McIntyre) 2:32
Rusty It’s Goodbye (Thel Carey/Slim Dusty) 3:33
3. DAVID BALDI Hittin’ The Murray (David Baldi) 3:43
4. KALESTI BUTLER The Closing Of The Day (Val Butler) 3:32
5. JOHN BATTLE Old Toll Bar Road (J. Seers/J. Battle) 4:02
That's Australia (Graeme Johnson) 3:27
7. PETER COAD Old Bush Mates (H.H. ‘Bob’ Kane/Peter Coad) 2:10
8. DAVID CROSER People, Times and Places (Nev Molloy) 3:56
9. PETER SIMPSON The Man Who Steadies The Lead (Slim Dusty) 2:38
10. GORDON LARKIN Piebald Pony Dream (Jim Gilmore/Gordon Larkin) 2:43
11. HILTON BOYLE This Is My Homeland (Words. M. Orford/Music. Hilton Boyle) 3:58
12. JOHN P. TOOMEY A Trucking Song (John P. Toomey) 2:59
Performed by Lex K
13. GUS HELM The Dust Of Cobb & Co (Gus Helm) 2:34
14. GORDON LARKIN Kempy (Jim Gilmore/Gordon Larkin) 3:11
15. PAUL SEILS South Australian Opal (Paul Seils) 2:36
16. MICHAEL PINCOTT Merv Webster - Bard & Balladeer (Michael Pincott) 2:11
17. COAD SISTERS Anzac’s Song (Instrumental) (V.& L. Coad) 2:57

For more A.B.B.A.product please check the Product page


Held at the Wests’ Diggers Club Monday 17th of January during the Tamworth Festival, the winner of the 2011 A.B.B.A. Bush Balladeer Star Quest was 28 year old Kalesti Butler. Her first live appearance was at 3 years of age at Charters Towers Country Music Festival. She went on to win Qld Champions at the age of 9 and has since competed successfully in many other events. Kalesti now calls Emerald home.
The 2011 Bush Balladeer Star Quest featured top performances from the five finalists, Amelia Richards, Rod Brandt, Kalesti Butler, Tootie Hiles and Trent Holder.

The annual Bush Balladeer Star Quest is not just another quest. The winner must be dedicated to the bush ballad style and intent on making a career in the bush ballad industry. As a winner of the quest, that person receives recording time for a radio single, and major festival appearances around the country throughout their 12 months as winner which will bring them in contact with not only new fans for their music, but introduce their talent to the industry, radio and give them lifelong promotion skills.

The Star Quest Trophy was presented to Kalesti Butler by Australia’s first lady of country – Joye McKean.
Kalesti will be recording her winners single later in the year.

On Saturday 11th of December at 9am, veteran bush ballad songwriter Ray Rose passed away. Ray leaves a legacy of award winning songwriting works recorded by many. He will be sadly missed.

Ray Rose was born in Taroom, Queensland on the 16th December, 1936. Raised on the family property "The Brae". Ray left home at nineteen and went working over various parts of the state, taking on what ever came to hand. Shearer, Breaker, Fencer, Drover, Truck Driver, Sapphire Miner, Butcher etc.
Just an old bushman, who, as he said, had been up more dry gullies than he cared to remember. He always had a yearning to own his own little piece of Australia [while there's still some left] and came close a few times.
Semi-retired, Ray lived at Gracemere, Queensland, and is survived by his wife Noreen and sons Wesley, Michael and Ethan.
Ray's songs have been recorded by Slim Dusty, Tom Maxwell, Brian Letton, Reg Poole, Dean Perrett, Nell Carter, Keith Jamieson and others.
Tom Maxwell's recording of "My Old R. M. Williams Boots" was featured in the promotional video of the manufacture of R. M. Williams boots. Tom Maxwell recorded a complete album of Ray Rose songs.
Ray took out the Golden Gumleaf Bush Laureate Award for his book Bulldust and Ballads for Book of the Year in 1996 and Bulldust and Ballads Volume 2 was also a finalist in two categories, Book of the Year and Original Book of the Year.

Vale – Dot Dawson

Dot Dawson, wife and partner of the late Smoky Dawson, died in her Sydney nursing home this afternoon after a long illness.

Dot celebrated her 104th birthday just a couple of weeks ago on October 12 2011.

Florence Dawson (nee Cheers) was born in Maryborough, Victoria, in 1906 to a mother with an Italian background and a father with a Welsh background.

In an interview by Rob Willis on file at the National Library of Australia, Dot recalled winning four guineas in a voice training competition in Bendigo, her first public performance at the Melbourne Town Hall and teaching elocution to young hopeful stars of radio and stage through the 1920s and '30s.

She recalled working at an amateur radio station in the late 1920s and being one of the first female broadcasters on radio.

In the interview, Dot says she was offered a job in radio, starting in voice production, radio plays, early radio advertising and children's radio programs including the 3KZ children's program after which she was called up by the ABC (Australian Broadcasting Commission) to work for them during the war including in the drama section and sound effect studios.

When she met Smoky in the early 1930s, she said Smoky's ambition was to succeed.

She recalled their early courting days, Smoky's songs and his illness after the war when he was laid up in hospital for more than a year. Dot and Smoky met doing their radio work.

After her time at the ABC, she returned to 3KZ where she stayed until she and Smoky took up an offer to go to America. While in the USA, Dot worked at a radio station in Tennessee as well as with Smoky.

Though the Dawsons, who married in 1944, never had children of their own, the couple loved children. This love extended to taking in a foster child for four years and to a long association with the Bear Cottage children's charity.

Among Dot's memorable radio career, she said, was getting involved with promoting Police on radio programs for children ("My Friend The Policeman") and the "Aunty June" program (Dot was Aunty June).

As recently as 2006, Dot and Smoky were still involved in radio, presenting a weekly country music program on a community station on Sydney's north shore.
Article courtesy of The Country Music Bulletin website



Well known bush ballad writer TONY BROOKS passed away in Atherton late Sunday 5th September 2009 morning. Tony was 83.

Tony's songs have been recorded my many artists including Slim Dusty - When The Scrubbers Break, Jimberella Kid and Pushing Time are some of the Tony Brooks songs recorded by Slim. Tony had battled many types of cancer since the early 1990s and he continued to write until the end of his life.

"Tony Brooks was a composite of all the characters he wrote about in his songs", said country music writer and photographer John Elliott. "Brooksie was fair dinkum - a real bush character who spoke his mind and fought for what he believed in. He stuck by his mates and was a passionate believer in all things Australian."

Tony is survived by his wife Rita and children Carl, Kim and Noni.

Vale - Rick Aitchison
A sad loss to bush ballad fans and friends in country music re the passing of singer/songwriter recording artist Rick Aitchison on Thursday 15th April 2009.
Deepest Sympathies to the Aitchison family
The funeral will be held at Lake Innes Memorial Gardens cemetary, Oxley Highway, Port Macquarie at 11:00 am on Friday 23rd April.

Vale - Pam Thomasson
Songwriter, recording artist Pam Thomasson passed away Thursday 15th of April 2009. Recent songs the "Best Part Of A Fair While" and "Ol'Bawly" of Pam's were recorded by bush balladeer artist Sharon Smith.

A.B.B.A. Badge Available! Metal with Butterfly clip.
The A.B.B.A. now have a badge available..... prices below>

BADGE $5 each - Members + $1 postage ( Australia).
BADGE $5.50 - Non Member + $1 postage (Australia).
Overseas - Postage $5.00 ea.
If you would like to purchase one or some of these, please forward a M/O or cheque to the A.B.B.A. secretary, Lorraine Pfitzner, PO Box 90, Tamworth 2340 NSW

The Australian Bush Balladeers Association Incorporated. ABN : 75798 969 415