Tamworth lost a country music legend this week, with the death of Ross Murphy.
Mr Murphy became involved in the local country music scene in the early 1960s and set up the Tamworth branch of the organisation now known as the Capital Country Music Association.
"He was definitely one of the foundation members of Country Music Capital", co-founder of the Tamworth Country Music Festival Max Ellis said.
"He was a stayer," he said.
Mr Murphy made some of his earliest recordings in the "Tin Shed" at 2TM radio station with business partner Ken Cameron under their label CM Records.
He was definitely one of the foundation members of Country Music CapitalMax Ellis
Mr Murphy launched his own recording company in Tamworth in 1972, Opal Recordings, which went onto win two Golden Guitar awards.
Over the following decades he recorded hundreds of songs, with his latest CD release in 2016, Mr Ellis said.
Mr Murphy has been recognised as a "pioneer" of Tamworth's country music scene, culminating in a Country Music Capital Award in 1991.
He was inducted into the Hands Of Fame in 2005.
Mr Murphy passed away on Tuesday and his family will have a private service.