Storer - Mallee Girl
Adam Brand - Sicilian Born
Michael Carr – Charleville
Dianna Corcoran - Auctioneer
MP3 & Video
Drew McAlister – The Shearers
Melinda Schneider – Took The
Carter & Carter – Last Of The
Travis Sinclair – Old Kentucky
With more great songs than is fair for one man to have written, John Williamson has followed his heroes, Banjo Patterson and Henry Lawson in helping to define the Australian character. John’s original recording of Mallee Boy in 1986 was the title track of an album that marked his emergence as a songwriter of national significance. In it’s year of release the Mallee Boy album achieved triple platinum sales and was awarded the inaugural ARIA award for Best Australian Country Record. It is still considered a true Australian classic.
Since the release of Sara Storer’s debut album
‘Chasing Buffalo’ in 2000, this remarkable young singer songwriter
has captured the national imagination with her honest, funny, poignant
songs and her delightful personality. When John Williamson first encountered
Sara he quickly became a fan and invited her to tour with him. They have
since recorded a duet, ‘Raining On The Plains’ on Sara’s
second album ‘Beautiful Circle’. Given their mutual respect
and the fact that Sara is a real life Mallee Girl, it was no surprise
that she chose to record this classic John Williamson song for this collection.
Since recording his debut album with the legendary Kris Kristofferson in 1974, Graeme Connors has become one of Australia’s most popular and enduring singer songwriters. He has released fourteen albums and received eleven Golden Guitar Awards. His platinum selling second album ‘North’ is considered an Australian classic. Graeme is one of the most covered songwriters in Australian country music. Adam Brand, Melinda Schneider, Brendon Walmsley, Beccy Cole and many others have recorded songs written by Graeme but the record goes to Slim Dusty who has so far recorded twelve Graeme Connors songs.
In July 1997, when Adam Brand arrived in Sydney from
his home in Western Australia, Graeme Connors was the first major songwriter
who agreed to write with this talented but completely unknown young singer.
The result of their collaboration, ‘Here And There’ made it
on to Adam’s now platinum self -titled debut album. Graeme and Adam
collaborated again for Adam’s second album ‘Good Friends”,
this time writing ‘The Good Things In Life’ which won them
a Golden Guitar Award in 2001 for ‘APRA Song Of The Year’.
Adam has received a total of eight Golden Guitar Awards, three Mo Awards,
one platinum album and two gold albums. He chose to record Graeme’s
‘Sicilian Born’ for this album as a tribute to his Sicilian
born father, Mick.
As keyboard player and main songwriter for legendary Australian band Cold Chisel, Don Walker’s extraordinary body of work includes such classics as Khe Sahn, Cheap Wine, Saturday Night and Standing On The Outside. After Cold Chisel disbanded in 1983, Walker recorded two albums under the band name of Catfish and it was on the second of these albums, ‘Ruby’ that Charleville first appeared. Slim Dusty recorded Charleville in 1992 and again in 1994 as a duet with Don. Walker also released ‘Sad But True’ with Tex Perkins and Charlie Owen under the name Tex, Don & Charlie in 1993 and his first solo album ‘We’re All Gunna Die’ in 1995. Don’s songs have been recorded by many artists across all genres. His credits include ‘Stone Cold’ by Jimmy Barnes, ‘Tuckers Daughter’ by Ian Moss, ‘Good Friends’ by Adam Brand, ‘Looking Forward Looking Back’ by Slim Dusty as well as songs recorded by Graeme Connors, Troy Cassar Daley, Jimmy Little, Diesel and Wendy Mathews.
Michael Carr’s self-titled debut album was released
on Compass Bros. Records in January 2003 and as he gains recognition as
a recording artist he is also earning a reputation as a talented and in
demand songwriter. He co-wrote 'The ANZAC' and 'New England Highway' with
Adam Brand and 'He Still Calls Her Angel' with Melinda Schneider. In 2002
Michael and Melinda Schneider recorded a duet of his composition 'Wearing
White' that appears on both Melinda’s ‘Happy Tears’
album and Michael’s self titled debut. In January 2003 Michael was
honoured as ‘Best New Songwriter’ at the Tamworth Songwriters
Association (TSA) Awards.
John Kane was a founding member and songwriter for the Flying Emus, one of Australian country music’s premier vocal and instrumental bands. ‘Auctioneer’ originally featured on the band’s ARIA award winning ‘This Town’ album in 1987 and earned them the Golden Guitar for Best Vocal Group in 1988. Since the demise of The Flying Emus John has been working as a producer for artists such as Colin Buchanan, Jane Saunders, Anne Kirkpatrick and many more. He also composes music for many television programs and children’s albums.
Dianna Corcoran was born in the NSW country town of
Parkes where she was raised on motorbikes, horses and country music. She
spent much of her childhood singing in church and first took to the stage
with a country song at the age of twelve. After years of travelling the
countryside with her parents competing in numerous talent quests - and
winning many of them - Dianna released her debut album ‘Little Bit
Crazy’ in January 2003 which at time of writing had just received
three nominations in the 2003 Australian Independent Country Music Awards.
Henry Lawson is perhaps, alongside Banjo Paterson, Australia's
best-known poet and storyteller. Born on June 17th, 1867 near Grenfell,
New South Wales of struggling gold field parents and afflicted for most
of his life with deafness - and later alcoholism - he often wrote about
the hard lives of poor country people in Australia. Lawson was arguably
the first Australian-born writer to really look at Australia through Australian
eyes and to give voice to interpretations of an Australian character.
First published in ‘Children of the Bush’ in 1902 ‘Shearers
Dream’ appears in many collections of the poet's works and has been
set to music by various recording artists. This version of ‘Shearers
Dream’ was adapted from a version put to music by Barry Forester
and recorded by Terry Gordon.
‘Took The Children Away’ is the true story of Archie Roach, a singer and songwriter of remarkable strengths and insights who was born at Framingham Aboriginal mission near Warrnambool in south western Victoria and taken from his family at an early age as part of the stolen generation. Archie spent time in institutions before being fostered by a non-indigenous family in Melbourne. He left his foster home to find himself and his people and spent many years on the streets of Melbourne and Adelaide before meeting his partner Ruby Hunter. Together they have made a home for their children and continue to make music. In 1990 Archie recorded ‘Took The Children Away’ on his ‘Charcoal Lane’ album, which won two ARIA awards in 1991. Archie has released three further albums to date – ‘Jamu Dreaming’, ‘Looking For Butterboy’ and ‘Sensual Being’.
Melinda Schneider made her first stage appearance at
the age of three with her mother, internationally renowned yodeller Mary
Schneider and has kept the family tradition alive by becoming one of Australia's
most popular female country artists. At the 2003 Toyota Golden Guitar
Awards she was voted 'Female Vocalist Of The Year'. This was Melinda's
second Golden Guitar Award, the first being in 2000 for 'Vocal Collaboration
Of The Year' with Adam Brand. Melinda has also received three Mo Awards
for excellence in live performance. She has released two albums –
‘My Oxygen’ in 2000 and ‘Happy Tears’ in 2002.
Her songs have been recorded by John Farnham, Jimmy Little, Adam Brand
and Michael Carr.
Andrew Durant was the key songwriter in Stars, a country-tinged rock'n'roll band formed in Adelaide in 1975. In the tradition of seminal country rock band The Dingoes, Andrew’s writing and the band’s sound developed a distinctly Australian flavour and they produced two fine studio albums on Mushroom Records before disbanding in 1979. Andrew Durant died of cancer on 6 May 1980, aged 25. ‘Last Of The Riverboats’ has become his best-known song with versions recorded by artists as diverse as Jimmy Barnes (on the Andrew Durant Memorial Concert album) and Ian MacNamara (on Australia All Over # 4).
In a few short years Carter & Carter have become
one of the most successful independent country acts in Australia. Their
impressive list of radio hits equals that of many artists signed to major
labels. They tour constantly and work hard promoting their career. They
have won numerous independent music awards and were awarded the Golden
Guitar Award for ‘Best Vocal Group or Duo’ in 2003. They have
so far released two albums, ‘Dance Away The Night' and ‘Every
Shorty Ranger was born Edwin Haberfield in October 1925, and raised on the Nulla Nulla Creek, New South Wales, only three miles from the original Slim Dusty homestead. Shorty and Slim attended the Nulla Nulla School and were friends from the first day - a friendship that has lasted until the present. The boys busked in the streets of MacLean and Coffs Harbour, each taking his turn at passing around the hat. They were engaged to sing at the Mayfair Theatre, Kempsey for two pounds and enthusiastically plied their chosen careers in the early broadcasts of radio station 2KM Kempsey. Their early experiences paved the way for many of Shorty’s songs to be recorded by artists such as Slim Dusty, Buddy Williams, Reg Lindsay, Rick & Thel, The Singing Kettles, Lindsay Butler and many others.
Travis Sinclair was raised in Springhurst on Highway
31 in Victoria. Growing up as a Sinclair meant 22 wheels, country music,
and a daily injection of dieseline. His family has been in the transport
industry for 72 years so it was natural that he would follow, but his
love for country music was strong and the desire to perform grew day by
day. In December 2001 Travis released his debut album ‘ Rhythm Of
The Highway’ for which he was received the ‘Album of The Year’
and ‘Male Rising Star’ awards at the Australian Independent
Country Music Awards at Mildura in 2002. Travis won his first Golden Guitar
award for ‘Best New Talent’ in 2003.
Perth native Ralph Ernest (Slim) Newton first came to
the notice of Hadley Records in 1969 when he sent a tape of his songs
to Yeldah Music, Hadley’s publishing subsidiary. A contract was
offered and in 1971 Slim crossed the country with his wife, four children
and all of their worldly possessions in a tired old Standard Vanguard
drawing a beaten up plywood caravan. Slim’s commitment to his career
was swiftly rewarded when his first record, ‘Redback On The Toilet
Seat’ became a huge hit, earning him three gold records and a Golden
Guitar Award in 1972. ‘Redback’ has since been covered by
numerous artists and other Slim Newton songs have been recorded by artists
such as Rick and Thel and Geoff Brown.
Written by Eric Bogle
Performed by Brendon Walmsley
Eric Bogle was born in Peebles, Scotland and migrated to Australia in 1969. He is considered of the finest singer songwriters in his adopted homeland. His song ‘And The Band Played Waltzing Matilda’ has become a classic, with cover versions recorded by artists as diverse as Slim Dusty, Joan Baez and The Pogues. Other Eric Bogle songs considered classics are ‘No Man’s Land (aka The Green Fields Of France)’, recorded by Slim Dusty, Donovan, and The Furey’s, and ‘Now I’m Easy’ recorded by Slim Dusty, The Dubliners and Denise Morrison. Eric has released numerous albums and tours internationally. A five CD boxed set of Eric’s recordings entitled ‘Singing The Spirit Home’ was released on EMI in 2001.
Since winning Toyota Star Maker at the Tamworth Country
Music Festival in 1999 Brendon Walmsley has built a reputation as a fine
singer and a songwriter of great depth. ‘Rose and Rodeo’,
the breakthrough hit from Brendon’s debut album ‘A Little
Time’ earned him a Golden Guitar award for ‘Best New Talent’
in 2000. Brendon has also twice won the Golden Guitar for ‘Heritage
Song Of The Year’ – in 2001 for ‘Last Of The Big Gun
Drovers’ and in 2002 for ‘Never Never’. Brendon’s
second album ‘Never Say Never’ was released in 2001 and his
third album will be released in January 2003.
Neil Murray was born and raised in Lake Bolac in Western
Victoria. He is a founding member of the legendary Warumpi Band and since
launching his solo career in 1989 has released five albums – ‘Calm
and Crystal Clear’, ‘These Hands’, ‘Dust’,
‘The Wondering Kind’ and ‘Going The Distance’.
In 1995 Neil's songwriting was acknowledged by his peers with the ‘APRA
Song Of The Year Award’ for ‘My Island Home’ - originally
written for and recorded by the Warumpi Band and later to become a hit
for Christine Anu, whose prodigious singing talent was first nurtured
in Neil's backing band, The Rainmakers. The anthemic ‘Blackfella
Whitefella’, written by Neil and Warumpi Band front man George Rrurrambu
has been covered by Powderfinger and Jimmy Little. Neil has worked for
many years amongst Aboriginal people in outback and urban society and
regards the Aboriginal cultural heritage as the foundation of Australia's
spiritual identity. He is a longstanding supporter of indigenous rights
and wrote the Reconciliation theme ‘We'll Build A Nation’
in collaboration with delegates at the 1st National Youth Convention.
Written by Joy McKean
Performed by Dianna Corcoran
Joy and Heather McKean
grew up in a musical family which nurtured their talent in such a way
that the girls were performing on stage and radio by the ages of ten and
eight respectively. They began recording for Rodeo Records in 1949 and
by 1950 were presenting their own country music radio show from 2KY in
Sydney. The McKean Sisters gave us country classics such as ‘The
Gymkhana Yodel’, ‘Yodel Down The Valley’ and ‘The
Morning Mail’. The duo split when Joy and her husband Slim Dusty
began touring in 1954. Joy is regarded as one of country music’s
finest songwriters having written numerous songs that have become Australian
standards including ‘Lights On The Hill’, ‘Indian Pacific’,
‘The Biggest Disappointment’, ‘Walk A Country Mile’
and many more.
Stan Coster spent time in numerous occupations - ringer, fencer, horse-breaker, roo shooter, shed hand - and drew on all of these experiences when writing his many ballads. He moved to Tamworth and then Manilla in the late 1970's, and began his singing career at Joe Maguire's Pub. Slim Dusty recorded seventy one Coster compositions including ‘Three Rivers Hotel’, ‘He’s A Good Bloke When He’s Sober’ and ‘By A Fire Of Gidgee Cole’. Other artists to record Stan’s originals include John Williamson, Lee Kernaghan, Brian Young, Rick and Thel, the Webb Brothers, Buddy Williams, Johnny Chester and Gordon Parsons. Stan Coster released twelve original albums and won three Golden Guitar Awards.
Peter Denahy is a gifted songwriter, musician and comic
who has released several albums on the ACMEC label. He plays fiddle, accordion
and guitar in Slim Dusty’s Travelling Country Band and often doubles
as Slim’s support act. In 2000 he won the Tamworth Songwriter’s
Association (TSA) award for ‘Children’s Song Of The Year’
with his song ‘Bruce The Spider’. In 2002 he received two
TSA awards – ‘Country Comedy / Novelty Song of the Year’
for ‘The Drop Of Water’ and ‘Children’s Song Of
The Year’ with ‘The Dung Beetle’.
|Let The Canefields
Written by Graeme Connors
Performed by Brendon Walmsley
Another favourite from Graeme’s classic album
‘North’ released in 1989 on the ABC label.
A Sunburnt Country
Written by John & Genni Kane
Performed by Darren Coggan
It’s A Sunburnt Country was originally recorded by The Flying Emus on their album ‘This Town’ in 1987. The Emus were formed in 1985 by guitarist John Kane, singer Genni Kane, banjo player Ian Simpson and fiddler Mike Kerin. The band recorded three studio albums, mixing skilful bluegrass instrumentals with songs about life on the land written by John and Genni. Between 1986 and 1991 they received six Golden Guitars awards.
Darren Coggan burst on to the Australian country music
scene in 1997 with the release of his debut album ‘Hometown’
on ABC Records, which spawned three top five country radio hits. In January
2001 Darren was awarded a Golden Guitar Award for ‘Vocal Collaboration
of the Year’ with Beccy Cole, Adam Harvey & Felicity with a
version of ‘Do I Ever Cross Your Mind’ and was inducted into
the Australian Country Music ‘Hands Of Fame’. He has since
released his second album ‘Balancing Act’ produced by Nash
Written by John Williamson
Performed by Melinda Schneider
Another song from John Williamson’s classic ‘Mallee Boy’ album, ‘Cootamundra Wattle’ proved that this premier creator of Australian bush ballads was also capable of writing songs of great tenderness. The popularity of ‘Cootamundra Wattle’, in particular with females, encouraged John to include more distinctly Australian love songs on subsequent albums
Drums - Doug Gallacher
Drums – Glenn Wilson
Drums - Doug Gallacher
Executive Producer – Graham Thompson
Artwork by Louiville Graphics
Mastered by Ted Howard at Rancom Street, Assisted by Giles Muldoon.
Thanks to Ted Howard, Garth Porter, Herman Kovac, Nick Erby, Linda Chamarette, and all of the artists and musicians who gave their time and talent to this project.
Sara Storer appears courtesy of ABC Music.