Industry honours talent, longevity

WAYNE Horsburgh has yodelled his way into the Australasian Country Music Roll of Renown.

The yodelling extraordinaire is the 42nd inductee and said he was surprised he’d been inducted this early.

“This is a real honour,” he said.

“It’s way earlier than I anticipated. I thought it might happen in a few more years, but I certainly have crammed a lot into my career.”

He toured with Buddy Williams in 1978 then came to Tamworth and entered the CCMA Jamboree where he took out the yodelling and male vocal awards. After establishing himself locally, he visited America in 1984, the first of many regular periods he spent performing overseas during the next 25 years. 

His big break came with an acclaimed performance at the giant Hodag Festival in Wisconsin in 1989, which firmly placed him on the festival and county fair circuit in the USA. In 1991, Wayne represented Australia at the International Fan Fair, working from Nashville for several years before basing himself in Branson, Missouri. He has also performed regularly in Europe and the UK.

Wayne’s also won five MO Awards and two ACE Awards, but the Roll of Renown is only bestowed upon those artists who have nurtured and honed their craft for many years.

“This is absolutely wonderful,” he said. “For 35 years I’ve been coming to Tamworth and only missed one year when I had to be in New Zealand. The fans mean the most to me. I haven’t really been involved in the Golden Guitar Awards so Tamworth for me is mainly 

performing.”

The Roll of Renown plaque is unveiled at 10.30 on Wednesday in front of the Tamworth Regional Entertainment and Conference Centre.

Also announced at the Roll of Renown concert at the Tamworth Town Hall on Saturday were the Hands of Fame and Broadcasters Hall of Fame inductees and the winner of the Eric Scott Australian Country Music Literary Award.

Four new hands will be cemented into history on Saturday: entertainers Frankie and Karen Johns and Debbie Parry and broadcaster Alan Clement.

The Hands of Fame imprinting ceremony is at 10.30am on Australia Day following the Toyota Country Music Cavalcade.

The Broadcasters’ Hall of Fame welcomed Queensland broadcaster Stuie McInnes posthumously and Bill Beerens from Good Morning Country.

Tamworth country music stalwart Max Ellis won the Eric Watson Australian Country Music Literary Award, which was only the third time it had been awarded, and was for his significant and continued contribution to the reporting and presentation of the heritage of Australian country music through the written word.

He has written articles and feature pieces on country music and last year wrote and published Stars, Hoorahs & Golden Guitars. 

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