MERV'S  FEATURED  ARTISTS

BUSH POETS - BALLADEERS & COWBOY POETS

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AUSTRALIAN BUSH POETS

AUSTRALIAN BUSH BALLADEERS

COWBOY POETS

AUSTRALIAN BUSH POETS

Hector Maclean was born in Rockampton in 1919 and the son of a grazier in the Baralaba district  in central Queensland. The old family property named Wandoo was sold and the new acquisition was called Wongadoo.

 

 

Veronica Weal was born in England, but arrived in Australia with her parents when she was just three months old.  She lives in Herberton, North Queensland, with her husband Ken, has two adult children and one grandchild.

 

Roderick was born in Lismore in 1940 and in the years since then he has lived a busy, committed and colourful life. A hard working childhood (before, during and after leaving school at fifteen) amongst broken men, a dying father and a disintegrating family (all results of world War Two) was spent with horses, cattle, in banana plantations, timber cutting, post splitting, fencing, saw-mill worker, stockman to professional shearer and professional actor.Scoring top-tallies in these two main professions, with many other jobs done and skills acquired along the way.

 

Ellis Campbell, unlike many academics today who had their schooling at colledge or university, received his education at the school of hard knocks.  What little schoolin' he had was at a little one teacher bush school and, even then, left at an early age.  Ellis lived and worked in the bush for the greater part of his life and tried his hand at shearing, droving, fencing, horse breaking and  timber cutting.  

 

Richard Magoffin, was born in Cloncurry in 1937 and has lived all his life in North west Queensland.  He has followed a varity of pursuits: grazier, drover, builder, fencer, teacher, chaplain, historian, sports coach, actor, director, playwright, editor, publisher, entertainer, parent and grandparent!  Richard's verses were first published from age 13 as The Boredrain Balladist.  He has 23 titles in print and has just released his first CD.  Richard these days shows and tells the real story of Waltzing Matilda at The Matilda Expo and Heritage Theatre on the Matilda Highway at Kynuna.  

 

Scott was born and raised on the family property near Monto, in the Upper Burnett area of Queensland.  I've long had an interest in rhyming verse, with my earliest attempts dating back to 1978.  Those first attempts can be best be described as pretty ordinary with some later ones being a little bit better than that.  This book is a collection of what I consider to be some of the better ones.

 

Dennis Carstairs was born and raised in Gippsland, in the eastern part of Victoria and in the foothills of the Victorian High Country.

Dennis left school at the age of 14 and worked on professional fishing boats out of Lakes Entrance before joining the Royal Australian Navy in 1969 and at the age of 17 Dennis returned home to care for his mother after the death of his dad in 1973 and again returned to the fishing fleet. It was about this time that Dennis began writing some bush poetry.

Ric lives in Wedderburn which is located approximately 230 kilometres north of Melbourne in the State of Victoria. Prior to being in Wedderburn and Bendigo, Ric lived in Barmah for some months. It is one of his most favourite places. There is more about Barmah in my piece of verse by the same name in these pages. Ric is a member of the Australian Bush Poets Association. He has been involved in bush poetry since 1997 and in music of many varieties since 1970. Ric is an accomplished guitarist and backs himself when singing. He also plays some banjo and harmonica. One of his greatest regrets is he is yet to find a way to play harmonica and sing at the same time. Ric is available for performance and more details can be found on his Bookings Page

A wonderfully ear-grabbing Bush Poet and “stretcher of the truth” extraordinaire, Graeme’s performances are renowned for their vibrancy, humour and heartfelt emotion. In the true larrikin style his reciting covers everything from the silly to the serious, Traditional to Contemporary. Since 1995 he’s received over 80 commendations for his spoken and written work and has been included in 16 Anthologies of Australian Poetry. He recently won two of Australia’s most prestigious Literary Awards in the Banjo Paterson Bush Poetry Competition in 2004. & the Leonard Teale Spoken Word Award 2005.

Bruce Forbes Simpson is a unique man in that he joins the likes of 'Breaker' Morant and, latterly, Bert Facey and Tom Cole as a true bushman sufficiently articulate and eloquent to relate his personal experiences in literary form.  And he covers a unique part of Australia's lifestyle - 'The droving game'.  Much has been written about droving:  largely the personal experiences of others, related via the pens of professional writers like Mary Durack and Keith Willey.  Bruce Simpson tells it in the first person.  Bruce can speak with absolute authority about the period with the expressive ability of a self-educated man.  His poetry is an example of this.
Liz Ward possesses the qualities which typify the pioneer woman familiar to Australians through literature and the media. 

   Liz has assumed the mantle of wife, mother and grandmother, accepted the role of helpmate, workmate and a soul mate and has combined the practicality of the working Australian woman with the femininity for which those ladies are renowned. She is as adept with a set of wire strainers as she is with a Doulton tea service.
Bill Glasson was born in Brisbane in 1924, and was educated at Brisbane Boys College. He was a Jackeroo on ‘Lara Downs’ Julia Creek for two years, and at eighteen joined the Army, later remustering to the RAAF.  Most of his life was spent managing family properties at Roma, Richmond and Narangba. In the 1960’s he drew a block in the Moonie district and in 1979, he and his wife Del moved to ‘Springfield’ at Pilton.  It was then that Bill began his twilight career at the age of 50, of writing Bush Verse. He has won numerous awards including the prestigious Bronze Swagman in 1979, and the Henry Lawson Diamond Shears in 1985.
Born on a sheep farm in Armidale and raised on good Robertson spud country, Geoffrey Graham has had a variety of occupations.  These included work in abattoirs, a job as research station assistant, farm work, involving everything from shearing to teaching city kids to ride horses. After completing an Agricultural Economics degree at the University of New England and a Dip Ed, Geoffrey lectured in Farm Management at Yanco for 5 years.  While lecturing he became involved with producing revues and playing in Rock n' Roll bands. In fact this eventually changed his career path; acting and entertaining soon became his passion. 

AUSTRALIAN BUSH BALLADERS

Kelly Dixon is one of Australia's most well respected ballad writers and several of his ballads have been set to music and recorded by leading country artists.  Kelly has on two occassions won the Golden Gumleafbush Laureate Awards with his books From A Drifter's Pen and From Under the Cross, and a number of bush poetry written competitions
If you are looking for an interesting writer of lyrical outback history and Australian, none is more so than legendary Joe Daley. "Tracks I Left behind" is Joe’s recent release and this book captures an awesome collection of Australian outback and our Aussie character in the intricate form of verse. A little history on Joe can be found on the back cover of the book; 
 Background     PETER COAD (originally part of the popular Coad Bros), and his sisters VIRGINIA and LYNETTE (COAD SISTERS), are PETER COAD & the COAD SISTERS, full time professional entertainers with over 20 years experience working in the music industry. Versatile multi-instrumentalists, vocalists originally from the isolated northern outback of SA, they now reside in Bundanoon NSW.
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 says, been up more dry gullies than he cares to remember.  He always had a yearning to own his own little piece of Australia [while there's still some left] came close a few times.

To actually see a CD of his own coming together is a wonderful feeling, and a big achievement for him. Ashley has been playing country music since he was a young lad at primary school, and that’s when he started doing the CM Festivals.
Denise and Bobby have been performing regularly on the local Country Music circuit since 1999 as a members of the Wide Bay branch of the ACMA (Australasian Country Music Association). Bobby plays guitar and Denise is recognised throughout the region as a very talented country drummer and started competing at Country Music Festivals as a vocalist and discovered that her easy listening and relaxed vocal style lends itself extremely well to Bush Ballads - a style of music she has always favoured. Between March and September 2003, Denise has competed in 5 Festivals winning vocal awards at all including 2 firsts in Female Bush Ballad and 1 Overall Bush Ballad. The highlight of the year was becoming the Emerald Gems of Country Overall Winner singing the Stan Coster Bush Ballad - "Just A Little Girthy".  
Wave Jackson [right] was born in Roma on the 17th of August 1933.  He has lived most of his life on his parents property in the Injune area of Queensland.  His father was born on ‘Merivale’ Station near Injune  in 1884.  The eldest of son of an English couple, Wave’s grandparents were married at ‘Waroonga’ Station, Mitchell in 1877.

 COWBOY POETS

Howdy.My story began in Nacogdoches,Texas, in the area called "The Big Thicket." It's hard not to have the cowboy way of life influence you if you grew up in Texas. After all, Texas is where cowboys got their start more than a hundred years ago.
I am a public speaker and have performed at Cowboy Gatherings and other special events. I have been published in several books and magazines over the years. 
For the past decade, Mag has been writing western/cowboy poetry and performing at major cowboy festivals, as well as other events, across Western Canada. Her recitations have also been aired on TV and radio. Contributions of her rhymes and festival reviews have frequently appeared on the BC Cowboy Heritage Society web site and in their quarterly newspaper, The Cowboy Times.
Howard Norskog was born in Gebo, Wyoming in 1933. He was raised in Cody, Wyoming. He served in the Korean War at age sixteen, made the rodeo circuits as a bull rider for eleven years, raced motorcycles for twelve years, and coached amateur boxing most of his life.  Howard started writing Cowboy Poetry in 1948 , and Christian Cowboy Poetry in 1994.
Hal Swift came into this world in Speedway City, Indiana.  It was a week before Christmas, 1928--the 25th anniversary of Orville and Wilbur Wright's history-making flight at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.  He was born Ralph Harmon Swift, but got the name Hal while working as a disc jockey at a radio station in Monterey, California in the early 1960s.  His boss didn't like the double "uff" in Ralph and Swift, so Hal held a contest with his listeners. There were over 200 entries--and the one who came in with the winning name went home with an unopened copy of  a long-play record album by Peter, Paul and Mary--taken, of course, from the station's library.
I'm from Oregon, and lived in the West all my life, in fact I've never even seen the east bank of the Mississippi River.  School drove me crazy; it seriously cut into more important aspects of my life -- like hunting and fishing.  As soon as I cut the lead rope that kept me tied to the school building I started looking around for wider ranging adventures - and I found them.  In fact some of them about scared me to death, but now they make for great stories!

Cowboy Poetry Week is celebrated each year during April, National Poetry Month in the United States and Canada.  In 2008, Cowboy Poetry Week—the seventh annual—is celebrated April 20-26. For the celebration's second year, in April 2003, the United States Senate passed a resolution, with unanimous approval, recognizing our Cowboy Week celebration. Nineteen states’ governors and other officials have recognized Cowboy Poetry Week and there have been many activities across the West and beyond. 

HECTOR MACLEAN

Hector Maclean was born in Rockampton in 1919 and the son of a grazier in the Baralaba district  in central Queensland. The old family property named Wandoo was sold and the new acquisition was called Wongadoo.

    His early years of education were at the Baralaba State School, though Hector would complete his Scholarship year by correspondence and then go on to do his Junoir at Scotts College at Warwick.

    After finishing school Hector worked as a Jackaroo around the Baralaba district and helped his father on Wongadoo. He joined the army in 1940 and served in the Middle-east and in the Islands of the Pacific. Hector inherited a portion of Wongadoo after his father's death and worked on.

    In 1979 Hector retired with his wife Lennie to the Bundaberg district and today lives in the seaside town of Bargara. His association with bush poetry goes back to his childhood years, where he recalls his dad reciting to  the children the poems of Banjo Paterson. In his retirement years Hector put his many memories of bush life to pen and paper and was rewarded by having eleven of his poems published in the Bronze Swagman Book of Verse over a period of years since 1976 and was also awarded highly commended certificates in the Blackened Billy Verse competition in 2001.

   Before Hector passed away he was able to release his book, 'The Ballad of Henry Kable and Other Bush Verse', which features all his works.  

THE MARTINET

Tim Barker was a grazier, a man of fixed ideas,
Who never would acknowledge the existence of his peers.
One day he hired a station hand, a likely looking lad,
Of whom Tim's first impression was a passing "not to bad."

To acquaint the new hand with the job a briefing then took place,
As Tim explained his methods as a lawyer would a case.
The most important thing, he claimed, to keep the workload light,
Was making sure that what they did was always done just right.

Then while the newly hired hand was taking all this in
The boss's next instruction brought the glimmer of a grin.
He wasn't being paid to think, but for the work he did,
So he must only do those things to which he had been bid.

So rising on the morrow morn, a while before the sun,
He ran the working horses in as elsewhere he had done.
Then headed for the homestead when he heard the breakfast bell,
But propped abruptly in his tracks at one loud angry yell.

It was the boss who bawled him out with more than just a scold,
Because he'd got the horses in though he had not been told.
He made him go and let them out before he broke his fast.
Then ordered him to get them in straight after that repast.

So this he did reluctantly and let the nightmare go
Then made his way back to the yard with languid footsteps slow.
Just then the boss came striding out all business like and keen,
But stopped and stared and staggered for no horses could be seen.

"Where are the horses lad?" he raged, "why aren't they in the yard?"
And this is when the station hand produced his clever card.
"If they have all got out," he said, "the blame must be on you.
I couldn't shut the flamin' gate; you never told me to!"

©Hector McLean

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VERONICA WEAL 

Veronica Weal was born in England, but arrived in Australia with her parents when she was just three months old.  She lives in Mt Isa, in north-east Queensland, with her husband Ken, has two adult children and one grandchild, and works part-time for the Royal Flying Doctor Service.

     

   As a teenager, her love of horses and riding was the inspiration for her first bush poems.  In 1982, she began to take writing more seriously, and since then has won many competitions, including two prestigious Bronze Swagman Awards, in 1987 and 2001;  the Henry Lawson Diamond Shears;  the Camp Oven Award;  two Charters Towers Gold City competitions; the 2001 NSW Ladies Championships, the 2002 Blackened Billy Award. Tamworth NSW, the  2002 Elyne Mitchell Award, Corryong,Vic; and the Ladies  Humorous section of the 2002 Australian Bush Poetry Championships.  

     Veronica’s work is used regularly by other poets, for both competitions and performance.  Her poems have appeared in several anthologies, including Macmillan’s “A Thousand Campfires”, “Cowgirl Poetry” [USA], and in the series “Bush Verse for Aussie Children”, as well as in newspapers and magazines.  Her first book, “The Crack of the Whip” was a finalist in the Australian Bush Laureate Awards at Tamworth in 2002.

     

     Veronica began performing her work in 1999, winning the Qantas-Waltzing Matilda Christina MacPherson novice award at Winton the same year, and since then has won and been placed in open competitions.  

 

     You can contact Veronica by writing to 13A Mowbray Road Herberton Qld 4887 or Ph 07 4096 3435.

 

HORSES

There's a love that is more like a passion!

It can flow like a fire in your veins.

And it lifts up your heart in a fashion

That's unmatched by the fizz of champagnes.

 

It's the love of the horse!  They enslave you

With their strength and their beauty combined.

It's the love you were born with.  God gave you

This emotion which captures your mind

 

There is nothing to equal the feeling

When you're cantering over the plains,

And you know that your steed will go wheeling

Left or right at a touch of the reins.

 

And the world of the horse is enthralling,

From the sweet satin smell of its hide,

To the crack of the whip as it's falling,

And the galloping beat as you ride.

 

To the addict a horse brings elation

Hoofbeats sound like a sweet lullaby.

And your joy in this lovely creation

Will remain in your heart till you die!

© Veronica Weal

 

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ELLIS CAMPBELL

Ellis Campbell, unlike many academics today who had their schooling at colledge or university, received his education at the school of hard knocks.  What little schoolin' he had was at a little one teacher bush school and, even then, left at an early age.  Ellis lived and worked in the bush for the greater part of his life and tried his hand at shearing, droving, fencing, horse breaking and  timber cutting.  

     In his later years he moved to Dubbo where he still lives today.  Ellis carries the grit and humour, the authentic taste of those early years into many of his poems.  Yet he is not stuck in the past or in the archaic diction of bygone years.  His verses flow easily in contemporary language.  His eye and ear are vigilant of today's foibles and tragedies.

      Because of the considerable body of his published work and its quality, also the number of literary awards he has received, in   1995 the fellowship of Australian Writers N.S.W. Inc. recognised such achievements and he was presented with a certificate on his elevation to the degree of WritingFellow.

     A number of Ellis' poems have been recorded in four publications since 1984.  Snakes Alive! & Other verse was released in 1984, Nostalgia At the Boundary Gate - 1986, The Gloss of the Bush - 2000 and Shadows of yesteryear - 2002.   His books have been finalists at the Golden Gumleaf Bush Laureate Awards in Tamworth.

     Besides being a writer, Ellis has proven himself to be a capable performer of his works and has won awards at bush poetry competitions. He also has been asked to judge written competitions and is often asked to conduct poetry workshops.  You can contact Ellis at 1 Lawson Street Dubbo N.S.W. 2830.

FAREWELL  ALBIE  THATCHER

The flannel shirts and moccasins and bowyanged dungaress
disgruntled shearers stood beneath a clump of gidgea trees.
In hush of dawns awareness there - like ghostly silhouettes -
they shuffled dust with nervous feet and puffed on cigarettes.
Displeasure lined their troubled brows and mutterings began -
it seemed some problem new disturbed the mind of every man.
The Warragloaming station sheep were mustered to the yard,
but rumours that a strike loomed near caught shearers off their guard.

"I ain't got no complaints at all," said burly Dan McGee,
"the pay of fifteen bob a hundred's good enough for me."
The others nodded in assent and growled within their beards
while Mickey Marham flicked away his cigarette and sneered,
"There's just one agitator here - as far as I have heard.
That city bloke, as sure as hell, he's trouble - mark my word!
He'll stir some others up, you bet, and cause no end of strife;
we'll lose a heap of dough for sure if this galah runs rife."

Then Porky Rolfe assumed a stand that broached on grave concern.
"The Warragloaming sheepshear well and good cashwe can earn.
Who wants a bloody hold-up now, with Christmas nearly here?
The breeding ewes and lambs look good and tallies we can shear.
If Thatcher wasn't round the place the rest would be all right;
his silky tongue can con a crowd and sway a meeting's might."
Up stepped the one they called "the giant" - the bearded Slugger Zorrow.
"The river's deep, the currents strong - he won't be here tomorrow.

The shear blades-clicked and shear-blades flashed - the white wool falling free
and Warragloaming tallies equalled guns at Gibber Tree.
And no one ever questioned Albie Thatcher's disappearance.
Did he somehow get the message and lacked the perseverance
and courage for advancement of his cause? None ever knew
or cared to seek the truth of why the whinger had shot through.
Perhaps he slipped away in darkness - nothing underhand?
But Slugger Zorrow never gazed at Thatcher's vacant stand.

*Bowyangs - Straps worn beneath the knee of shearer's trousers.
This poem is based on an incident that actually happened in a large N.S.W. shed 
around 1890. All names fictitous

Winner of diamond Shears Henry Lawson competition, Longreach, Qld, 1997.
Also winner of Warwick Bush Poetry competition, Warwick, Qld, 1998.

© Ellis Campbell

 

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RICHARD MAGOFFIN

 

Richard Magoffin, was born in Cloncurry in 1937 and has lived all his life in North west Queensland.  He has followed a varity of pursuits: grazier, drover, builder, fencer, teacher, chaplain, historian, sports coach, actor, director, playwright, editor, publisher, entertainer, parent and grandparent!  Richard's verses were first published from age 13 as The Boredrain Balladist.  He has 23 titles in print and has just released his first CD.  Richard these days shows and tells the real story of Waltzing Matilda at The Matilda Expo and Heritage Theatre on the Matilda Highway at Kynuna.   Since his research began in 1964, Richard has published a number of books about Australia's national song. He has long been recognised as Australia's foremost authority on Matilda history. Richard presents facts, not fiction; answers, not questions; history, not hype.  He is credited in encylopaedias with the definitive origins: "The Australian Encyclopaedia", "The Oxford Companions to Australian Literature and Folklore" and "The Australian Geographic Encyclopaedia".  He opened Winton's bicentennial project, the Christina Macpherson Cottage and, as consultant to Winton Shire through 1993, secured government funding for their centenary, although he was not consulted for content of the Winton exhibit.  National recognition was accorded to him in the Queen's Birthday Honour List last year when he was presented with the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) "for services to Australian folklore as an author of ballads and songs and to presentation and promotion of Australian cultural heritage."

Richard's work for Winton and his operation of Matilda Expo were part of the citation. He was nominated by Dr Clement Semmler, AM, OBE, D. Litt., MA. A book reviewer of note, Semmler was also A. B. "Banjo" Paterson's biographer with "The Banjo of the Bush".  For Richard, "Waltzing Matilda" is not simply Australia's national song - it is a family story which he has spent years authenticating and documenting. His grandfather, Dick, was a friend and neighbour of the Macphersons of Dagworth, where Banjo wrote the ballad just 32km from Kynuna, 140km from Winton, in January 1895.  A Sydney lawyer, Paterson settled the Great Shearers' Strike of 1894 over champagne at Kynuna Hotel, " Richard said.  Christina Macpherson composed the music and her own account is displayed at Matilda Expo, beside the priceless original 1895 manuscript - which is, Richard says, a true Aussie icon and not to be missed by visitors to outback Queensland.

Christina's brother, Bob, was the "squatter" in Paterson's poem, and was also a good pianist. Richard said Bob and Dick Magoffin founded the Kynuna Race Club in 1899 and were mates until Bob died in Dick's company in 1930 at the Kynuna Hotel, now the Blue Heeler.

"For 35 years, Bob played his sister's song for Kynuna dances and my father, also Dick, played saxophone," Richard said. "I learned to play the original melody on a mouth organ when I was eight – I've since graduated to the button accordion!"

Today, the original version of the song lives at only Kynuna where it all began over champagne.  And hearing - as well as seeing - is believing, because Richard always plays the song to his visitors.  There has been much controversy over the years about the song, and Richard said that everything at Matilda Expo fitted with Banjo's own written account of the true story of the song. Paterson's precise statement is prominently displayed.

"Visitors wonder why it is not displayed elsewhere and why its Political correctness? Why is the true story such a secret today?" are questions asked by Richard.  Richard has published more than 20 titles and three new ones are available at Matilda Expo this year. These include "Bubble and Squeak" (Millennium Bush Ballads),"Clancy and the Man from Snowy River - Who Were They?" and "The Provenance of Waltzing Matilda" (a definitive history).  Live musical entertainment is provided periodically during the day at Matilda Expo and more at the two-hour live night show. Patrons who have their own vans or tents can use free sites at the Kynuna town waterhole just 300m off the road. There's unlimited space. Night show guests can take powered sites close by for a small charge.

Sadly Richard passed away in 2006.  Thanks for the memories mate.

TOO BLOODY LATE

Those bushfires were burning in mountains for weeks,
Up the gullies and creeks to the mountain peaks,
They were headlined for days on the national news,
But, we mustn't abuse and we mustn't accuse.

It was nobody's fault that Canberra burnt,
No-one's to blame and there's no lessons learnt.
It was nobodys fault that the fires didn't halt,
So, four hundred houses and four people burnt.

There were warnings for days of the crisis to come,
And we'll listen for weeks to the wails and bleats;
But there's no names named and there's no-one blamed,
As the duck-shoving gets more inflamed.

Pine cones exploding like army grenades;
There was no defence, there were no barricades;
Just the houses of nutters with leaves in their gutters
From forests protected by tree-hugging Greens.

Yes, we all know the reason and cause of it all,
Why the huge fireball came down like a wall;
Yes, the felons to blame for those heart-rending scenes
Are those lunatic, left-hugging, tree hugging Greens!

What hundreds of Greenies did volanteer?
We're wanting to know, still waiting to hear.
Did they save lots of animals out on the scene?
Or did they just fight from the front of a screen.

Now they're grading big firebreaks around all the city;
Did they knock down some trees? What a bloody great pity!
Reminds me a lot of the stockyard gate -
When the Red Steer has bolted - It's too bloody late

©Richard Magoffin

 

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SCOTT MCGUIGAN

Scott was born and raised on the family property near Monto, in the Upper Burnett area of Queensland.  I've long had an interest in rhyming verse, with my earliest attempts dating back to 1978.  Those first attempts can be best be described as pretty ordinary with some later ones being a little bit better than that.  This book is a collection of what I consider to be some of the better ones.

I must say I was honoured to be asked to write the foreword to Scott's first book of Australian verse.  I first met this true blue modern Australian bushman at a poet's breakfast in the small country town of Anakie, in Central Queensland, where he quietly showed me a few poems he had written.  I liked  his work, and I also liked the man behind the writer's pen, who was enthusiastically encouraged by his wife Julie.

Soon I saw Scott enter and win the Emerald Country Music Festival's Poetry competition, with a performance to thrill the audience, and a delivery with maturity and sincerity.

Scott's poem about Alfie Langer's return for the 2001 State of Origin "The Greatest Phone Call Ever Made" was eagerly accepted by the Broncos and has been included in the Jack Galway's latest book, "Origin - The Greatest Contest in Rugby League."

I personally recommend this book " Of Mates and Places and Good Times Had" to you.

Scott I look forward to many more publications down the track.

Your mate 

JOHN MAJOR 2002

You can contact Scott at  Scott McGuigan C/- Post Office, Dingo, Qld. 4702 or phone 07 4935 8507.

THE GREATEST PHONE CALL EVER MADE

This story is of a phone call,
Perhaps the greatest ever made,
To one of the greatest half backs,
That ever pulled on boots and played.
'Twas Wayne Bennett who called London,
Saying, "Alf we need you back,
Grab your footy boots and mouth guard,
And don't take too long to pack."

"For we need you back Down Under,
In the good old Sunshine State,
A simple yes is all I want,
I've no time to debate.
The Origin series is all locked up,
With the score at 1 game all,
We won the first game easily,
But in the second we had a fall."

"For we missed big Gordon's bustling runs,
John Buttigeig was out suspended,
And Doyle of course was still not back,
With his injury not quite mended.
What we need is your experience,
So I'll tell you what I'll do,
I have a master plan in mind,
No one's heard of it 'til you."

"Big Shane and Petro will lead the charge,
The young blokes are full of fight,
With Lote and Wendell on the flanks,
The out wide job is right.
I'll name Walker to play off the bench,
But I'll start him from the kick.
It's Freddy Fittler's last game see,
We'll give him wounds to lick."

"Darren Lockyer's shoulder will be right,
Says it will pass the doctor's test,
With him the Captain at fullback,
He'll give the Blues not rest.
Paul Green will play at Hooker,
With Smith to lock the pack,
So you'll be free to strut your stuff,
With the seven on your back."

With those words he paused for breath,
To hear his little mate's reply,
"My gear is packed, done as you spoke,
Now what time do I fly?
So Alfie came and Alfie played,
And once again the other side,
Were out-played and out-classed.

Then to top it off he scored a try,
As we all hoped he would,
To re-enforce what we all new,
That he was BLOODY GOOD!!
So for those of you who missed the game,
And missed Ray Warren's call,
The end result was Queensland heaps.
And New South BUGGER ALL!! 

© Scott McGuigan

Dingo, Queensland.

 

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DENNIS  CARSTAIRS

Dennis Carstairs was born and raised in Gippsland, in the eastern part of Victoria and in the foothills of the Victorian High Country.

Dennis left school at the age of 14 and worked on professional fishing boats out of Lakes Entrance before joining the Royal Australian Navy in 1969 and at the age of 17 Dennis returned home to care for his mother after the death of his dad in 1973 and again returned to the fishing fleet. It was about this time that Dennis began writing some bush poetry.

Dennis began working on the Offshore Oil Rigs in the Bass Strait in 1976 and has been there ever since. His bush poetry came and went over the years with most of his material finishing up in a shoe box under the bed.

It wasn’t until 1995 that things started to happen for him. During a trip around Australia with his wife, Julie, they pulled into the Gunnado Caravan Park in Longreach. A Bush Poet was advertised around a BBQ tea in the park that night. The Bush Poet turned out to be Milton Taylor the, to be, four times Australian Champion. After a stirring performance Milton asked the audience if anyone wanted to perform a poem. Julie Carstairs literally pushed Dennis forward and his first impromptu public performance took place. Milton must have been impressed enough (or as Dennis said, felt sorry enough) with Dennis to give him a guiding hand and plenty of tips. Milton introduced Dennis to the Australian Bush Poets Association, formed only the year before in Tamworth, and things have never looked back.

Dennis first competed at the Mountain Cattleman’s Association Of Victoria (MCAV) annual get-together in 1997, not making the finals, but going on to win the award in  1998, 99, 00 & 01. He has also competed in the Australian Bush Poetry Championships in 1999, 00, 02 & 03 making the finals in 2002. He was runner up in the NSW Bush Poetry Championships in 2001, winner of several awards at the ‘Man from Snowy River Festival’ at Corryong 2000, 01, 02 & 03. Dennis was also a finalist in both the traditional and original sections of the Imperial Hotel competition at Tamworth in 2003, taking out third place in the original section. He also took out third place in the Victorian Bush Poetry Championships in 2004.

Dennis is founding president of the ‘Gippsland Bush Poets’, Vice President of the Victorian Bush Poets Association and a committee member of the Australian Bush Poets Association.

He published his book ‘listen ‘ere ol’ mate’ in 1999 and describes himself as a ‘traditional’ bush poet with a burning desire to keep alive the art of bush verse.

Dennis lives in the small town of Stratford, population 1100, in East Gippsland with his wife, Julie and daughter Deon. His interests out side poetry are horse riding and trout fishing in Victoria’s High Country (about an hour away) Aussie Rules Football (Brisbane Lions) and Australian History. He is also actively engaged in RSL and Veteran affairs, being President of his local RSL Sub Branch.

THE WONNANGATTA MURDERS

High up in the mountains, west of Dargo way
The Post card perfect valleyof the Wonnangatta lay.
It has been described in many a book as a mountain paradise,
It's remote and ruggedd grazing land, first tamed by Smith and Bryce.

But now the lonely cypress sway, if only they could speak;
There's been some doings, murderous doings, down on Conglomerate Creek.
The graveyard site stands solemnly, beneath the swaying pines,
The headstones tell us stories of grieving, harsher times

And the burnt out homestead site is now but stones upon the ground.
It's secret's safe, no one will know, the killers never found.
It was back in 1917 when this murderous deed was done,
The Manager, Barclay, shot in the back - close range with a shotgun.

But whose finger pulled the trigger, were they stranger or mountain bread.
A station hand called Bamford had disappeared - or had he fled.
The city bred detective thought the case would soon be closed,
Bamford was the shady type; he'd done the murder he supposed.

A statewide search was soon begun, as Bamford's reputation grew.
The locals mouths were tightly closed, the leads were far and few.
As the winter snows began to melt and spring time came around
Throughout the district word soon spread that Bamford had been found,

Near the Wonnangatta Station on a track that's seldom used.
Beneath a pile of half burnt logs they found the man accused.
Was Bamford an innocent victim? Or was this mountain justice; eye for eye.
For eighty years the Wonnangatta has been silent in reply.

Oh , sure there's been some theories of how aand why these men were slain.
But there's a silence 'mongst the mountain folk, this mystery will remain.
So visit the Wonanngatta Valley to where this story had its source,
The beauty and history will surround you, let your imagination run its course.

Think of families born and raised there and how someone lost the plot,
Though its past is harsh and brutal it's a really lovely spot.

©Dennis Carstairs

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BRUCE  SIMPSON

Bruce Forbes Simpson is a unique man in that he joins the likes of 'Breaker' Morant and, latterly, Bert Facey and Tom Cole as a true bushman sufficiently articulate and eloquent to relate his personal experiences in literary form.  And he covers a unique part of Australia's lifestyle - 'The droving game'.  Much has been written about droving:  largely the personal experiences of others, related via the pens of professional writers like Mary Durack and Keith Willey.  Bruce Simpson tells it in the first person.  Bruce can speak with absolute authority about the period with the expressive ability of a self-educated man.  His poetry is an example of this.

 Bruce was a drover - and a 'packhorse drover' at that - right up to the 1960's when the      road trians were introduced to perform long hauls of cattle to market.   Bruce has published a number of books including Packhorse Drover which can be found in ABC Bookshops.

THE PACKHORSE DROVER

Oh the droving life is a life that's free,
On the unfenced routes of the back country,
And a packhorse camp is the place to be,
When they're bringing the store mob's over;
Oh life is happy with not a care,
Wwith the bush smells strong on the balmy air,
For a whiff of the cook would curl your hair,
In the camp of the packhorse drover.

Now the drover'sbed is a couch to please,
On the stony ground mid the Bogan fleas,
Or in mud that is up to a horse's kness,
When the wintry rains drift over;
But life is happy and lifes is sweet,
Tho' there's never enough for a man to eat,
And losing weight is a simple feat,
In the camp of the packhorse drover.

The sky is grey with a hint of rain,
While the wind blows chill o'er the Rankine plain,
And a ringer swears that he'll drove again,
When the ceiling of Hell frosts over;
But life is happy and life is good,
'Round a cowdung fire when there is no wood,
When the damper tastes asit never should,
In the camp of a packhorse drover.

We watch the mob and we sing the blues,
And we'd sell our souls for a nip of booze,
As the hours drag by on their leaden shoes,
And the Southern Cross turns over;
It's a rugged life but we never whine,
For the mateship found in the bush is fine,
Tho' the boss of course is a hungry swine,
And a typical packhorse drover.

©Bruce Forbes Simpson.

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LIZ  WARD

Liz Ward possesses the qualities which typify the pioneer woman familiar to Australians through literature and the media. 

   Liz has assumed the mantle of wife, mother and grandmother, accepted the role of helpmate, workmate and a soul mate and has combined the practicality of the working Australian woman with the femininity for which those ladies are renowned. She is as adept with a set of wire strainers as she is with a Doulton tea service.

   In her lifetime she has seen technological changes which have made everyday events and practices merely memories. Through her poetry she has preserved many of these memories whilst also reflecting today's lifestyle in her verse. 


   Sympathetic to the situation of rural women, Liz writes with authority on a range of topics which manifests her knowledge of, and love for, the bush and its people. The range of emotions contained in her poems are indicative of her life's experiences. 

   This anthology is written by an author who has, indeed, seen life "Through A Woman's Eyes". 

Milton Taylor

Liz has other books of verse available also.  You can contact her on  07 54242174.

GET YOUR BEARINGS

That lady in the blue suit, her hair just newly styled,
She seems to be a bit confused, her eyes a little wild.
She walks towards the perfume bar but then she turns away
And stops to look at evening wear, admiring the display.

Her skin is tanned from many hours out riding on the run,
Far-seeing eyes wear wrinkles fine from squinting in the sun.
Her back is straight, her step is firm, she knows her way around,
And yet ... she seems to hesitate, uncertain of her ground.

She knows the track to every bore out on the burning plain
And if the ute gives up the ghost, you won't hear her complain.
She'll clean the carburettor out ... that's part of her work day
And if the lights aren't working, well, the stars show her the way.

When mustering in the ranges once, a summer storm came down,
A crash of thunder spooked her horse ... he threw her on the ground;
She walked ten miles in driving rain without a track to guide,
Now in the crowd she looks about across the human tide.

She'll track a dingo 'cross a claypan in the early morning light,
Her ears pick up a mopoke's cry, a horse bell in the night.
She sees a dust cloud miles away, the kettles on for tea,
And callers find a welcome, no matter who they be.

But wait! I know that lady! Of course I do! You see
That wall is made of mirrors and that lady there ... that's me!
And here I am without me dog ... without me fencing pliers ...
And yes, I'm lost, I'm fairly bushed ... on the second floor of Myers.

© Liz Ward

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BILL  GLASSON

Bill Glasson was born in Brisbane in 1924, and was educated at Brisbane Boys College. He was a Jackeroo on ‘Lara Downs’ Julia Creek for two years, and at eighteen joined the Army, later remustering to the RAAF.

Most of his life was spent managing family properties at Roma, Richmond and Narangba. In the 1960’s he drew a block in the Moonie district and in 1979, he and his wife Del moved to ‘Springfield’ at Pilton.

It was then that Bill began his twilight career at the age of 50, of writing Bush Verse. He has won numerous awards including the prestigious Bronze Swagman in 1979, and the Henry Lawson Diamond Shears in 1985.

At the age of 70 Bill was encouraged to start performing his work and he had lots of success in many competitions, including Brisbane’s RNA.

Recently, ill health has caused him to retire and in ‘Looking Over My Shoulder’, he recites some of his favourite poems.

The instigation for this album came from his daughters who thought he ‘should do one before he turned up his toes’. As Bill says, ‘I haven’t been going too well lately as my prostate cancer has started spreading, but a good doctor and lots of medication has made me feel a lot better and so I hope to keep going for another year or two. I am in my 80th year and haven’t done too badly’.

Not able to get to many bush poetry competitions these days unless they are close to home, Bill has lost touch with a lot of his old mates. He hopes that this, his ‘one and only CD’ will take him back to some of those old cobbers

 

AUSTRALIA DAY

How lucky we are that we happened to be
born and bred where the kangaroos dwell.
And lucky are those who were born overseas,
But have made this their homeland as well.
We're surrounded by white crested surf that's so blue,
it will dazzle your eyes with it's glow.
We have country where cattle get too fat to moo
and farm land where any crops grow.

We have cities so big that a bushie like me
would get lost very quickly I fear.
In the outback, we know every face that we see,
happy faces, all filled with good cheer.
On behalf of those people, I'm sure I can say,
"We're delighted with what we have got;
With the cities and beaches a short drive away
and we live in a beautiful spot."

Now today is a very big day on our land,
for 200 and more years ago, 
the First Fleet arrived, with a very mixed band
and they founded the Country we know.
It was so wild, compared to the homeland they knew,
I'm afraid they were all unimpressed.
1400 or more, soldiers, convicts and crew,
All reckoned that Blighty was best.

But as years rolled by we have all come to love
this land where the Wattle trees grow.
Where the Southern Cross guides us at night, from above,
and the temperature's seldom below.
We've had no Civil Wars or Car Bombs, thank the LORD;
we've no riots, and Laws here are fair.
though our poloticians we seldom applaud,
they're as good as you'll find anywhere.

Since the days of the gold strikes, we've blossomed and grown,
most miners decided to stay.
They found oil, coal and gas, every mineral and stone,
our top export earners today.
Our wool's No. 1, we produce lovely wine
and our sugar and wheat can't be beat.
Our boys fought when freedom was put on the line,
and they seldom have suffered defeat.

Of course we have problems, life isn't all fun,
unemployed who lost self esteem.
Public Hospitals, sadly, have all come undone;
urgent ops. are at times, just a dream.
Police numbers are down, while our crime figures climb,
but we're told it is under control.
And murderers, serving a very long time,
get out, after four years - on parole.

But 'boat people' come here risking their skin,
migrants give up the land of their birth.
They've saved up and waited, they know they will win,
here, in the best Country on Earth.
They think we're successful, they say we're O.K.
so let us not contemplate failure;
But on this great day, let us happily say,
"I thank God that my home is Australia

©Bill Glasson

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KELLY DIXON

Kelly Dixon is one of Australia's most well respected ballad writers and several of his ballads have been set to music and recorded by leading country artists.  Kelly has on two occassions won the Golden Gumleafbush Laureate Awards with his books From A Drifter's Pen and From Under the Cross, and a number of bush poetry written competitions.

LEAVE HIM IN THE LONGYARD

Leave him out there in the longyard do not rush him,
Leave him out there with his mate the baldy bay-
Leave him there 'til after smoko, then we'll catch him,
We'll pull his tail and turn him out today.

Yes he's looking kind of jaded, and his sight is not the best-
And the hair around his muzzle's turning grey-
He has seen a hundred musters, and I think it's only fair,
That we leave him in the longyard here today.

He was broken in the sixties-maybe sixty three or four,
Never faltered- always seemed to be on hand.
Never have I seen him beaten by a bullock in the bush,
And at night-watch he was pick of all the land.

He's entitled to some kindness, in return for all he's been-
He's now failing, and his step is getting slow-
Let him squander his last summers, by the river with his mate,
In the paddock where the sweetest grasses grow.

Leave him out there in the longyard. Whoa! Don't rush him-
Leave him out there with his mate the baldy bay.
His old mate that he can graze and laze with-
We'll trim his feet and turn him out today.

Stop and see him when you ride the river paddock-
Watch this old chap now his youth has slipped away.
And do not tell me, when you have to use the rifle-
Let's have smoko boys, then turn him out today.

© Kelly Dixon

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JOE  DALEY

 

If you are looking for an interesting writer of lyrical outback history and Australian, none is more so than legendary Joe Daley. "Tracks I Left behind" is Joe’s recent release and this book captures an awesome collection of Australian outback and our Aussie character in the intricate form of verse. A little history on Joe can be found on the back cover of the book; 

 Joe Daley was born in Broken Hill in 1927, the second of five children Joe’s grandfather was of Irish decent which indicates where he gets his wit and talent in fact, one of Joe’s Aunts sang with Dame Nellie Melba. Leaving school at the age of 12 years to work on Box Hole station, then a big Kidman cattle station about 100 miles north of the Silver City, set the stage for Joe’s life.     Better than maths and science, Joe proceeded to absorb a varied wealth of experience over the years, working with horse teams and cattle droving, fencing, axeman, bush race jockey, slaughterman, boundary rider, dogger, rabbiter, roo shooter, tank sinking, and then finally back in town as a miner and storeman. 

Now retired, Joe has become a penologist pushing nothing but his pen. Because of Joe’s dear old folk’s influence, music and verse has always been amongst Joe’s strongest interests. One of the most memorable moments in Joe’s life was meeting old mate Slim Dusty. In Joe’s words, "After meeting Slim and Joy the first time in Longreach in 1965, I felt deeply moved when they excepted "our Jacky" later renamed by Slim to "Trumby" when he put music to it". Twice in 1985 and again in 1997 Joe was a finalist in the writer’s awards in Tamworth and has been recognised for his contribution to Australian Country Music lyrics in the Hands of Fame in Tamworth and Barmera SA.] 

"Tracks I Left Behind" is without doubt a collector’s item for any lover of Australian culture. There are many poems in the book that have been already set to music and recorded by various artists and both Lindsay Hammond and Gavan Arden have just released some of Joe’s poems in songs on their new albums. But there are still many poems here that could become the song you are looking for. There has a few copies of this book on hand and also a ‘suitcase’ of verses waiting to be discovered.

Sadly Joe passed away in 2006 though you can contact his family by writing to 330 Wyman Lane, Broken Hill 2880 NSW.

CATTLE DUST AND LEATHER

Fat strap across the ridges to try and swing the mob
It's cattle dust and leather, flying hooves out on the job
Colt breaking, shoeing horses, making hobbles or whatever
Ingredients of stock camps - cattle dust and leather

The smell of beef and damper, tinkling of horse bells
Dry humour, fun and laughter, the yarns old-timer tell
Repairing packs and saddles, out in that never-never
Where pioneers made history in cattle dust and leather.

Droughts that scar a nation, the floods that carve it up
The waves of grass and clover, and the playful dingo pup
The sad look of the new chum now almost at his tether
Cursed the horse that threw him in cattle dust and leather

Drafting fats for stock routes that march across the land
A place of fascination as our big wide bush expands
Prime seasons and good horses, mates that stick together
Comfort in a good old sway 'twixt cattle dust and leather

The saddling up at dawing or that lively rougish nag
A meal of beef and damper rammed in the saddle bag
Crackers for a stockwhip - to hell what kind of weather
The hair will fly from piker bulls through cattle dust and leather

© Joe Dailey

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RAY  ROSE

 

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 says, been up more dry gullies than he cares to remember.  He always had a yearning to own his own little piece of Australia [while there's still some left] came close a few times.

Now semi-retired, living at Gracemere, Queensland, with his wife Noreen and sons Wesley, Michael and Ethan.

Ray has had songs recorded by Slim Dusty, Tom Maxwell, Brian Letton, Reg Poole, Dean Perret, Nell Carter, Keith Jamieson and others with  hopefully more to come.

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.  

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.  

Slim Dusty's recording of West of Winton in volume one earned Slim and Ray a Gold Guitar in January 2002.  To obtain a copy of Ray's book or cassette you can contact Ray by ringing 07 4933 3017 or write to R & N Rose, Gracemere, Queensland, 4702.

Cassette

Side 1:     My Brave-Hearted Cavalry Horse - The Old Campaigners - The Gun Horses - Kokada

Side 2:     Our Heritage - The Swagman - Just and Old Swagman - Proud to be Australian - Prologue.

 

BUSH MEMORIES

This song is of the bushland, that I left so long ago,
To the many mates I've left behind, and some I didn't know.
So should you listen closely, try to read between the lines,
For it seems I've lived a thousand years, in this old life of mine.

One can write so many pages, in an effort to explain,
The fragrance of the wattle, and the big scrubs after rain.
Or the pounding sound of hooves, in their maddened senseless flight,
Hear the plaintive curlews calling through, the dark and lonely night.

Just to see the wildflowers blooming, in the desert after rain,
Gives the restless soul a feeling, like you've been born again.
Sometimes on an eerie night watch, feel I've walked on sacred ground,
Yet it brought to me a peace of mind, that few have ever found.

The dew soaked tongue strapon a horse, no I'll never grease again, 
Nor ride through Mitchell stirrup high, on a Diamantina Plain.
No more I'll find the hidden springs, where the wily pikers hide,
Nor hear the clink of hobbles, I've ridden my last ride.

No nothing stirs the feelings mate, more deeper in my soul,
Than to see God's own country, so new, and yet so old.
Just to gaze upon it's beauty, from some lonely windswept hill,
No I've never seen its equal, and I guess I never will.

Oh no doubt there's some there listening, saying, "What's he on about?"
I've seen the bush, I've driven down some long forgotten route.
But unless you've lived the lifestyle mate, you'll ne'er begin to see,
And the embers of a thousand fires, bring the bush all back to me.


No unless you've lived the lifestyle mate, you'll ne'er begin to see,
And the embers of a thousand fires, bring the bush all back to me.

© Ray Rose

 

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WAVE JACKSON

2005 Gold Guitar Winner for writing ‘Where The Yellow Kapocks Bloom’

Balladeer Jeff Brown [left] recorded it.

Wave Jackson [right] was born in Roma on the 17th of August 1933.  He has lived most of his life on his parents property in the Injune area of Queensland.  His father was born on ‘Merivale’ Station near Injune  in 1884.  The eldest of son of an English couple, Wave’s grandparents were married at ‘Waroonga’ Station, Mitchell in 1877. 

            Waves education was varied, with correspondence school for several years with Governess, Ethel Bell, who could sing and yodel.  Then off to the Charleville Hostel, Warwick’s Slade School and finally the Southport School, where the headmaster, Jack Radcliffe was a keen teacher of rhyme and meter.

            On leaving school Wave worked on ‘Rockvale’, his mother’s property with his parents and brother taking on outside jobs mustering cattle, wool pressing, and horse breaking.  He did National Service at Wacol, firing twenty-five pounders and mortars and tried his hand at cricket, tennis, Rodeos and bowls.  Wave wrote ‘The Rutland Rodeo’ after competing near Mitchell and the song tells a true story.  He won the open Buck Jumping at Injune in 1953.

            It was in 1955 that Wave and Elaine met Slim Dusty, Joy McKean, Barry Thornton and John Ashcroft at Slim’s first show at the Soldier’s Hall, in Roma.  Wave did not play guitar , but Slim strummed along when Rutland Rodeo was sung for the tape recorder.  It was the first song recorded by Slim from a song given to him on tour.  Waves name is on the original 78, but the royalties go to the singer as agreed.  Slim recorded ‘Silver Spurs’ in Sydney and it was the first song recorded at Tamworth.

            When the ‘Pug With No Beer’ was released in England, a Wave Jackson song was on the B-side and that song was ‘Once When I Was Mustering’.  A cheque for five hundred and twenty five pounds or one thousand and fifty dollars was the first and that was a lot of money in 1961.  Slim recorded ‘Arcadia Valley’ and Slim and Joy saw Arcadia Station in 1974.  Slim recorded ‘Laughter In the Hills’ and he recorded ‘Rope and Saddle Blues’ on the ‘Rodeo Rivers’ album.  Felicity Erquhart recorded ‘Laughter in the Hills’ and it is a true Australian ballad.

In 1955 Wave married Elaine Guyatt his girlfriend of five years.  They set up home on Maintop, a portion of ‘Rockvale,’ which Wave and brother Bill bought from their parents.  Three sons happened along.  Ken, Russell and Ian.

            In 1974 Slim Dusty opened an Apex Convention held in the Canarvon Gorge, Qld.  Wave sang a song he’d written for the Apex event on the Slim Dusty show and over eight hundred people were in attendance.

            Wave met a woman called Dot at a woolshed cutout party in Charleville in 1959.  Dot told Wave about her husband and his song writing ability after Wave sang his songs at a party.  Wave suggested to Dot that her husband Stan should contact Slim Dusty, which he did.  The rest is history.

It was eleven years later before Wave and Stan met.  Stan Coster, Dot and four-year-old Tracy came to Maintop and Wave found him a mustering job on ‘Westgrove,’ a neighbouring station.  It was during this time that Slim Dusty’s four leading songwriters met together.  Joe Daley, Stan Coster, Wave Jackson and Mac Cormack.  They were introduced to the audience by Slim at the Captain Cook Bi-Centenary concert at the Tamworth town hall.

            Wave had previously met Joe Daley at the Muckadilla Pub after a cricket match.  Joe had been working in a shearing shed in the Roma area.  Wave and Joe Daley entertained the cricketers, by trying out their own songs.  Wave also suggested to Joe that his songs would suit Slim Dusty.

            Rick Hopkins, a good country singer and entertainer from Taralga near Gouldburn, N.SW. who did a yearly concert tour of southern Queensland met up with Wave at the Injune Bowls Club.  He later recorded 10of Waves songs; such as ‘Tooloombilla Rodeo,’ ‘The Dingo,’  ‘Love is a Language’ and ‘Easter In Roma’.

In 1995 Rick gave Wave a guitar and three chords and he then sang with Rick at Roma, Injune, Mitchell and Charleville.  Wave sang with Rick in a Medley of songs on the ‘Rolling Stone’ album, singing a couple of verses of ‘Once When I Was Mustering’ solo, his only recording up to that time.

Wave and Elaine went on tour through Central Australia in 1998 and then went around Australia in 1999.  Australia is a big country of great beauty, so Wave has written numerous songs since returning home.  Wave felt honoured when asked to sing at the R.S.L. Club in Tamworth on the 23rd of January, 2001, at a fundraising function for a bust of Gordon Parsons.  To mark the occasion he wrote a song, a tribute song, called ‘Gordon Parsons’. 

Wave is a foundation member of The Australian Bush Balladeers Association, and at the A.G.M. in 2001 he was elected to be its first life member.  [A pioneer who is nominated annually by A.B.B.A.]  Wave has his songs recorded by Slim Dusty, Keith Jamieson, Double Decker Dave McCallum, Rick Hopkins, Felecity, Ted Thompson, Slim Connor, Brad Blanck, Bart Thrupp, Alisha Smith, Dean Perret, Graham Parfait, Ashely Cooke, Jeff Brown and Col Kassulke.

Wave did a ten week tour around Australia in 2004, with the ‘Country Music Around Australia’ tour and he sang at 45 venues with Keith Jamieson, Rick and Cathy and Alsiha Smith.  It was awesome.

Wave sang at the first Widgee Balladeers Muster, The Boondooma Bush Ballad Heritage Weekend, The Camp Oven Festival at Millmerran and he also sang at the Bungendore Muster.  He also sang at Winton with the Keith Jamieson show.

Wave felt honoured to sing for Queensland’s Lady Governor, in the park at Windorah for the 125th Year Windorah Celebration weekend.  A song called Sandy Kid, a local, went over well with the community.

In 2004 Wave recorded an album of thirteen songs at Regency Sound with Mark and Vicki Lea, plus an instrumental by Elsiha Smith.

Wave recorded a song with Lindsay Butler at L.B.S. Robina, called "I’m Proud of What I Am" on a country collection No.8.

The year 2005 saw Waves biggest achievements in song writing.  A song ‘Where The Yellow Kapocks Bloom’, won a gold guitar for the singer Jeff Brown and a gold guitar for the writer of the song, Wave Jackson.  This song won the Bush Ballad for professionals at Katherine and then won N.T. Song of the Year from all the songs at the Katherine Muster.  I believe it is also on the Country Music Charts.

Wave has had 34 original, first time songs recorded and is trying to help new writers, who he says will succeed.  Five co-written have been recorded so far.

Recently a National Program ‘Getaway’  recorded Wave singing at a billabong, also at the Injune pub, also Bikes and dogs working cattle at the ‘Maintop’ bore and yard.  It has yet to be put on air.  Ben Dark enjoyed showing the gold guitar.

Wave was a foundation gold certificate donor to support the C.M.A.A. with money towards the building of the T.R.E.C.   Wave wrote a song ‘The Tooloombilla Station flying Doctor Rodeo’ about thirty years ago to help raise money for the flying Doctor.  He lived to support the Flying Doctor shows in Tamworth run by Lex and Heather Kunst.

Keith Jamieson has written a song called Wave Jackson –' The Legend' and was recorded by Geoff Gibson. Merv Webster also wrote a tribute called ' The Maintop Balladeer' and it was announced as the winner of the Tamworth Song Writers Association's National Song Writing Awards -Lyrics Only section - at Tamworth in 2006.  Merv has recorded it on an EP/CD called 'From Bard to Balladeer.'

A SNAPSHOT OF QUEENSLAND – A Snapshot Of Queensland – He Wanted To Be A Winner – King Of Country (Slim Dusty) – Oh What Beautiful Rain  –  The Wild Scrub Bull – Keith Jamieson (A Singing Country Star) – Babbiloora Station – Arcadia Valley/Laughter In The Hills (Instrumental) – Ken Wormwell (The Pack Horse Drover) – The Oma Fishing Hole – Silver Spurs – I’m Going Back To Begonia – Wally Mailman (A Man Of Rodeo) – Where The Merivale Flows – City Of Toowoomba.

$22.00 Include P& H

If you would like to purchase a CD contact 

Merv Webster
P.O. Box 8211
Bargara, Qld 4670

Phone 07 41591868

Email

Finalist and Winner of the 2005 Lyrics Only Tamworth Song Writers National Song Writing Awards Tamworth.

My tribute to Wave - Merv Webster

 

THE MAINTOP BALLADEER 

Recorded on EP/CD From Bard to Balladeer 

There's a man I'd like you all to meet whose Aussie through and through, 
from his felt hat to his R.M. boots he's ridgy didge, true blue. 
He was born in Roma, Queensland, back in nineteen thirty-three 
and his parents were from sturdy stock, a pioneer family. 
Station life was in this young man's blood and one can understand 
why he took to writing lyrics based on things he knew first hand; 
those loved tales of some lad's 'Silver Spurs', the 'Rutland Rodeo' 
and 'A Time When I Was Mustering' he penned so long ago.

Yes, his heart is in his lyrics this tall man from Injune way 
and he's had his songs recorded by top artists in his day. 
Yes, Wave Jackson loves his ballads and mate let me make this clear 
he's admired in music circles as the Maintop Balladeer.

Old Mac Cormack and Joe Daley both wrote lyrics by the score
and along with Wave and Coster … hell they made an awesome four.
They all had their songs recorded by Slim Dusty through the years
and these men are all respected to this day by all their peers.
Wave continues this tradition and he still writes to this day
and now picks and strums a Maton in the true bush ballad way.
You will find him at most Musters and he's happy as can be
as today he shares his talents on his very own CD. 

Yes, his heart is in his lyrics this tall man from Injune way 
and he's had his songs recorded by top artists in his day. 
Yes, Wave Jackson loves his ballads and mate let me make this clear 
he's admired in music circles as the Maintop Balladeer.

Wave has traveled 'round Australia and he'll tell you that he's sold
on the fact there lots of songs out there just waiting to be told.
He then proved this down in Tamworth when he won a gold guitar
and of all his fine achievements it's the best he says so far.
It has been a wondrous innings for this gentleman of song
and I hope things will continue and his journey will be long.
He's a real true blue Australian and they are but far and few
and I'm proud to have him as a mate and share his song with you.

Yes, his heart is in his lyrics this tall man from Injune way 
and he's had his songs recorded by top artists in his day. 
Yes, Wave Jackson loves his ballads and mate let me make this clear 
he's admired in music circles as the Maintop Balladeer.

©Ballad writer
Merv Webster

 

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HOWARD NORSKOG

Howard Norskog was born in Gebo, Wyoming in 1933. He was raised in Cody, Wyoming. He served in the Korean War at age sixteen, made the rodeo circuits as a bull rider for eleven years, raced motorcycles for twelve years, and coached amateur boxing most of his life.

   Howard started writing Cowboy Poetry in 1948 , and Christian Cowboy Poetry in 1994.

   Howard has ballads in these books as well as others. Cowboy Poetry, a Gathering, Cowboy Poets of Idah, and New Cowboy Poets, A Gathering. He has been featured several times in Elko, Nevada, representing both Wyoming and Idaho. He has been on radio coast-to-coast and featured in newspapers, magazines, and TV both in the United States and Canada. He has published four books and made four  recordings. His research into frontier lore and legend is the basis for his unique blend of history and fiction.

   With a mixed ancestry of American Indian and Scandinavian immigrants, a youth spent punching cows in the wilds of Wyoming, more than a decade of riding bulls and broncs on the rodeo trail and a stretch in the military during the most bitter fighting of the Korean War influenced this brilliant writer in his career as a Cowboy Poet. He took his inspiration from the likes of Robert Service, Bruce Kiskaddon and Stuart Hamblin, and in, the opinions of many, outdoes them all! "When I hear Howard Norskog, I can hear the wind in the pine needles and feel the warmth of a pony between my knees. He's one of those performers that take you someplace and you don't want to come back!" says one reporter. 

   The Cowboy Poets of Idaho Inc. agree, having presented him with the coveted 1997 SILVER QUILL AWARD and also induction into their 1999 HALL OF FAME. Instrumental in the very beginning of the Cowboy Poetry revival in the mid-eighties, he represented Wyoming at the first gathering in Elko, Nevada. In Cedar City, Utah for the 1998 Cowboy Poetry Rodeo, he took FIRST PRIZE for SERIOUS POETRY. Howard has appeared in commercials for the Idaho Potato Growers Association and is actively involved in several Canadian Cowboy Poetry shows. Howard is also Director for Christian 
Cowboy Balladeers; they do the finest non-denominational COWBOY CHURCH programs. No sermons, just spiritual music and poetry that leaves you with a joyful feeling for having experienced it

WHEN'S MY DADDY COMING HOME?

We showed up at the airport, all dressed up spick and span,
The president he gave a speech, so picture if you can.
Soldiers coming from a plane, young faces grown old,
Caused by days of burning heat and nights of freezing cold.

My medals hang in gleaming rows across my manly chest,
Not one of us a standing there could know what would be next.
They said that we were heroes, hung medals around our necks.
Coffins stretch out side by side, up in the planes hot deck.

And most of us weren’t even men, just kids that learned to kill.
The smell of death has followed us far from those distant hills.
A little girl of five or so was standing in the crowd,
She doesn’t seem to understand, the music played so loud.

She walks up there beside me, started pulling on my clothes,
She pointed out my medals. Said, "My dads got some of those."
But then the little eyes turned sad, she nearly turned to stone.
"Say, could you tell me mister when’s my daddy coming home?"

I asked the women standing there just who the man might be,
She hung her head and turned away it went like this you see.
"My husband lying over there, beneath a mound of sand,
He wont be coming home again it must have been Gods plan."

And then she told me who he was. Our Sgt. from the war.
He gave his life for all of us and wont be back no more.
And then that voice I heard again. That chilled me to the bone.
"Maybe you could tell my mom when’s daddy coming home."

I picked her up and held her while she told me stories there
About how she missed her daddy, while I just stood and stared.
My daddy used to swing me and hold me when I cried,
He’d tickle mom until she laughed and keep her by his side.

His horses stand out in the sun, like they were waiting too,
Sometimes they look off to the west, that’s why I’m asking you.
"Why does my mama cry at night and why are we alone?
So I just thought I’d ask you sir. When’s my daddy coming home.?"

I held the medal in my hand I’d gotten just today,
I put it around her little neck and sent her on her way.
A tear ran down my sunburned cheek, I slowly walked away;
There is no sun a shining, it’s a bleak and dismal day.

Nothing there could be as bad in that world of sand and stone
As a blue eyed girl who asked of me. "When’s my daddy coming home?

© Howard Norskog

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