Transcript of Podcast

Podcast 5 Reg Poole OAM

0.00 – 0.23

Wayne: G’day and welcome to Wayne’s Wonder World. This podcast will be mainly about musicians entertainers and actors. But from time to time I will also have other guests that I find interesting. Hope you enjoy the podcast please head to and please feel free to follow me on my Facebook page Wayne’s Wonder World.

0.23 – 3.02

Wayne: Reg Poole welcome to Wayne’s Wonder World.

Reg: Thank you Wayne pleasure to be here.

Wayne: Cheers Reg, now can we start off today asking you where and when were you born Reg?

Reg: Where and when golly it was so long ago I can’t remember. I was born in a little gold mining town called Rushworth which is round about central Victoria I guess. My forefather had selected land there back in the 1870’s so my dad had a sheep farm and wheat farm there. Back when I was born was 1944 which was the end of the war. I was  a war baby.

Wayne: When did you first learn to play the guitar?

Reg: My brother and I used to gather around the kitchen radio. A little old valve radio we had out on the farm. We used to dial twist until we found some country music whether it be Tex Morton or Slim or Buddy or whatever we both just loved that sort of music so we were both happy just sitting out in the kitchen listening to that. I guess that sort of sparked my interest in Australian country music, I could always sing when I was a kid my mum used to say to all the visitors that came to the farm. She would have them in for a cup of tea of course. She would get me to sing to them but I would have to be under the table where no one could see me and she always said that was one of the things when I was a kid and the other was I always wanted to be a radio announcer on 3SR Shepparton that came to fruition a few years later. I sort of got my love for country music then and I learned guitar when I was 10 or 11 years old. I was playing around with one and I learned a technical skill in   Shepparton, there was a music teacher over there Mr. Young he taught me how to well no he didn’t really teach me I was too dumb for him to teach but I got the gist of what I had to do. I remember one day sitting at home in the lounge room on the farm picking up the guitar and strumming a chord and just singing along and the song was Tom Dooley I remember that vividly my fingers moved to another chord at the exact place they were supposed to and I thought my god that’s what you got to do so I thought I’d never look back from then and here- not that I am a great guitar player now but it’s got me by over the years.

3.02 –  4.25

Wayne: Haha Fantastic Reg. So what age did you actually start going out there performing hall sort of events?

Reg: Yeah probably 15 or 16 I guess I was. I was singing at local birthday parties and that sort of thing around the district where we lived. In about the early 60’s I suppose it was my next door neighbor played guitar as well and a bloke from another farm around the corner around 3 miles he could play piano accordion really well and then the next door neighbours place they got in a bloke to help with the farm work, milking cows and everything, he was a drummer so all of a sudden in a 3 mile radius we had a little band. So we used to get together in our sheering shed and practice. We called ourselves The Satellites back in those days those things were buzzing around in the atmosphere. Our first gig was a door deal down at a tiny little place called Murchison about 20 mile from Shepparton and we put on a night there a dance night I think we got about four and sixpence each out the back so that was a long time ago.

4.25 – 5.21

Wayne: I see also in the early 60’s that is when you met your wife Dot is that correct?

Reg: A little bit later than that. But she was probably not too far away then we’ve been married 54 years coming up. Long time but it’s been a great journey for the both of us. Yeah the 60’s that is one of the reasons I think the band never went on, The Satellites, because girl friends came into it we all got busier on the farm and those sort of things. I was married on my 21st birthday actually so that was a good present. I guess the girls came along at the time when we had to give the band work away but I was still interested in doing it personally so I just tried to forge ahead and do some things without the other blokes.

5.21 – 6.12

Wayne: Fair enough Reg. What year did you start working at radio 3SR in Shepparton?

Reg: That was about in the late 80’s they approached me to do a nighttime Sunday. They called it Sunday country and it ran for about 6 or 7 years I reckon it was very well listened to. Luckily 3SR there channel was 360 it was a clear channel and you could get to a lot of places other radio stations couldn’t. It was very good for me it gave me a bit insight into what happens in the radio and being an announcer. I stuffed up a lot of times I can assure you. But yeah it was good fun.

6.12 – 9.38

Wayne: In 1970 some announcers at 3SR encouraged you to entertain again.

Reg: Well they did. 3SR was a part of a network with three other stations in country Victoria and these two blokes came in to Shepparton and it would have been the early 70’s they were twins they were Rod and Don Kilgour. Both announcers and Rod was the precision announcers and Don did other work announcing at the station. They were great young blokes originally from the Shepparton area and we sort of made contact. 3SR had a hospital Sunday every now and again they also had a travelling country music show that used to emanate from out of the 3SR studios. So the Kilgour boys said “Why don’t you keep singing and why don’t you write a song about the golden belly?” So for once that’s not a stupid idea. I sat down and wrote a song about the golden belly we recorded it actually in the studios of 3SR in the early probably 71 maybe and released it through W&G records in Melbourne. We sold a thousand copies in three weeks over the counter at 3SR.

Wayne: Wow, that’s amazing.

Reg: It is amazing and on the other side of the single was a road safety song called “If Everyone” which had a good message to it too. So after that W&G picked up their ears and said “who’s this bloke in Shepparton who can sell a thousand copies in a couple of weeks? We want to talk to him.” So out of that came a contract with W&G to do an album out which came the country music hall of fame out of which spurned a golden guitar.

Wayne: Wow, and with that song Reg the Australian Country music hall of fame can you tell us how the idea of the song came about?

Reg: Even back in those days I reckon I was sort of toying around with writing a few songs. None of them were ever much good but the biggest trouble I had was trying to find a subject that no one else had ever written about and still the same these days. I used to listen to a lot of country music and I knew there was a song in America called “The Country Music Hall of Fame” which named all the different artists, American artists of course, and I thought well we have got a country music hall of fame but no one has ever written a song about and that sort of got me going. I went through all the names of country music artists that I had heard or knew, well didn’t know them at that stage it was too early in my career. So I sorted out all the names and put in who I thought should be in it and shouldn’t be in it. Weeded it all out and came up with three different verses of different names and put a nice melody to it and that was it I guess.

9.38 –  11.23

Wayne: Wow very interesting Reg. I see also in the early 70’s that you formed the band called “The Country Trend.”

Reg: Yeah that’s a band I had for probably 15 or 18 years we stuck together. They were all local blokes we had a little aboriginal bloke by the name of John Atkinson or Sandy as called him he could play pedal steel and he could play lead guitar. We had a couple of blokes from Nathalia which is a neighboring town. They were the drummer and the bass player and there was me on the rhythm guitar and the vocals. We played and sang at lots of cabarets in a radius of 3 or 4 hundred miles of Shepparton. We used to go everywhere, of course I would leave my wife home to milk the cows at that stage of course. That was a great period of time and in fact they came to the studios in W&G and did those early tracks with me so yeah that was good.

Wayne: That’s great Reg and I see sometime later on that the band changed their name from “The Country Trend” to “Silver Eagle Country Band” is that right?

Reg: Yeah we had to modernize haha. I don’t where that came from I think there was a bus in America a greyhound bus that was called the silver eagle and we all loved the sound of the silver eagle so we thought here we go we have a name for the band. So we stayed together and just changed the name.

11.23 – 13.35

Wayne: Oh wow Fantastic I see in 1974 Reg that would appear to be quite a big year for you. That’s when you won the gold guitar for new talent of the year with the song as mentioned before “The Australian Country Hall of Fame” what was that like to receive the gold guitar?

Reg: Was honestly a time I will never ever forget because I had no idea that I was going to end up with a country music career. I thought I was going to be milking cows all my life, and I would have been happy with that too. When W&G suggested to me they enter this song in Tamworth I thought well I don’t know much about Tamworth but if you want to enter it do it. Next thing I know Tamworth has rung me and said “What are you doing on the long weekend in January?” and I said “Well not very much really just sitting round milking cows” and they said “No you’re not you’re coming to Tamworth, you’ve won a golden guitar.” I said “You gotta be kiddin’.” Anyway bundled the boys and the band up left the wife home of course and away we went to Tamworth and what happened after that was just unbelievebale even thought I knew I had won it nobody else did and nobody else had heard of me of course. There on stage to present the golden guitar to me was my absolute ideal Slim Dusty. So Slim gave me the guitar there on stage and that was a wonderful moment.

Wayne: Did you get to talk to Slim Dusty during your career afterwards with all this?

Reg: Yeah didn’t really talk to him too much at that time because I was pretty shy. I have always been a big bloke and I have always been self-conscious of my size and my weight. So I have never really had much to say to Slim then. I got to know him reasonably well in the latter years. Got to do a few shows with him and got to know him pretty good and I just loved his music all my life.

13.35 – 15.30

Wayne: Wow that’s amazing. 1975 Reg I see that you appeared as the support act for Marty Robbins and Jimmy Little at the Mooroopna country music festival.

Reg: You know that was a hell of a buzz that was. I was a member of the country music club that decided to bring Marty Robbins out to headline our festival at Mooroopna. We flew them all out cost us a fortune of course. Flew them out, it was a big festival. Jimmy was part of it, and Johnny Chester I think was there that year. The only problem was the week before the festival we had oodles and oodles of rain and floods and it stopped a lot of the New South Wales people coming over the Murray River and coming to the festival so we did lose a fair bit of money but that is beside the point. I must admit one of the biggest thrills of my life and I love Marty Robbins music was to be the support band for him on the Saturday night. Just to stand there and watch him and his off siders. Marty with his Martin guitar held up high on his shoulder and his lead guitar Jack Prewitt in the background and his manager and harmony singer Bobby Bright and John Winters. They stood there and sang El Paso and it was absolutely stunning. I remember the hairs on the back of my head standing up, was an absolute take off of the song we all knew. It was just wonderful to stand there and listen to him.

Wayne: That’s amazing.

Reg: Yeah never forget it.

15.30 – 18.24

Wayne: 1976 Reg I see that you were the first artist to record for a label called Selection Records could you talk about that.

Reg: yeah well after 1974 in Tamworth and the gold guitar I sort of had a bit of an urge to go back next year so I did. I met a bloke up there by the name of Eric Watson who I had never heard of before. He approached me and we had a bit of a yarn and said “I like what you did and I like the way you go about things. Would you like to be the first artist on a new label I am thinking about launching?” and I said “Of course I would I would love to be.” So that started then a 30 year relationship with Eric where we put out probably 15 or 16 albums or maybe even more. He was a wonderful influence on my life, he was very Australian and very proud of it. Didn’t like the overseas music coming and crowding our markets and taking away our industry because everybody followed the yanky music back in those days. Still do unfortunately. So that was a great exercise meeting Eric so we got together and put out an album called “The Long Paddock.” Which was just a bunch of bush ballads and we selected the song writers that Slim usually used for his songs on his albums. So we got some pretty good ones and I think that album from memory was in the final five best albums of the year in probably 1976 or 77 I think. Didn’t win a gold guitar but got I didn’t expect to. The albums that we came up with after that were like a lot of trucks and rodeo albums and there was a story there at one stage in 78 we decided to do an old Australian rodeo album which had never been done before. So we started to collect songs from song writers little did we know at the same time at Red’s Lindsay was planning to do an old Australian rodeo album and while it was never a race because it just wasn’t we just went about our stuff and did what we had to do. I think when I look back I think we beat Red by about 3 weeks to release our album first. When both albums did come out they both had the very same song on it a song called “Down in the Well” we’d each recorded that and each of us had never known the other one had done it so.

Wayne & Reg: hahaha

18.24 – 19.54

Wayne: 1979 you’ve also released another album called “Rigs and Roads.”

Reg: Yes that was our first venture into to truck songs. We decided Eric and I that we thought a theme for an album was the best way to go rather than do an album with a love song here and a bush ballad there. We thought themed songs on themed albums were the way to go. We thought ok we’ve done well with the rodeo one we’ll follow it up and do a truck album and we called it “Rigs and Roads” once again went round the same song writers and got what we thought were the best songs. People still request songs off that album these days and still want to buy it as a CD so that is pretty pleasing. Those early days were really good days of country music with good sales of LP’s which they were in those days. After the “Rigs and Roads” album I think we might have done maybe another rodeo album we used to almost put out one a year there for 7 or 8 years I reckon it was. Was a really busy time. The only album that we did put out that was a theme album was a love style album. We thought oh we better go for everything we’ll try this but it didn’t work.

19.54 – 21.45

Wayne: That’s amazing Reg. so sounds like you’ve always had an appeal to the country people who appreciate the music they connect with I guess.

Reg: Yeah I think so I think because I was born in the country and had country blood running through my veins as far as farms and cows and horses. I think I have gained a bit of an affinity with other people in Australia that loved that sort of thing too. I think we have built up a really good… just a lot of fans that like the music thankfully. So yeah it has been a fun ride I tell you.

Wayne: That’s fantastic Reg. I think also in 79 you’re inducted into the hands of fame.

Reg: Yeah that’s right I have forgotten that. Yeah that’s still in Tamworth. It’s a corner stone where all the famous artists or whoever had contributed to country music they were inducted into the hands of fame and it was just a case of turning up in Tamworth in January and if you’d been nominated there was a crowd of people at the same time at the time we did the printing of the hand but you would just place your hand in the concrete and let it dry and there it was still 45 years it’s still there. I think my hand print was next door to Ann Kirkpatrick’s which is Slim’s daughter of course. That’s been a good thing out of the years. It has given artists a lot of promotion and helped Tamworth too of course.

21.25 –

Wayne: Fantastic. In 1979 you were a finalist for best male vocalist of the year.

Reg: Yeah it has been… I can’t individualize all the times I have been in the finals. There’s been a lot of time where I have been in the gold guitar finalist for best album and best male vocal and think even best song I think at one stage. Over the first probably 20 years of my career up until about 1990 I guess or a bit later I was fairly prominent in the finals of those awards I won two more gold guitars after the country music hall of fame one in 1980 and one in 1985. Two gold guitars both for the heritage award which was awarded to an artist who best reflected the style and tradition of Australian country music. In those days 80 and 85 I wasn’t just a new talent competing with a few other new talent people. I was mixing with the big boys in those days. Was really nice to knock them off and win a couple of golden guitars but then dried up for me.

23.07 – 25.07

Wayne: I was see Reg in the early 80’s that you actually toured New Zealand.

Reg: Yeah we have been to New Zealand quite a lot of times actually. Maybe 8 or 10 times of the whole years. New Zealand is very much like Australia but it’s smaller. People are lovely and the country is beautiful. They love their country music over there. I got to know a bloke in about mid 70’s I think. There was an Appaloosa horse stud not far from where we lived and I knew the bloke who owned it and ran it. He used to have yearling sales so this one year I went across to the sale. There was a fella there from New Zealand who was a country singer. His name was John Denver Hall. I’d never heard of him before but he gave me a couple of his LP’s in those days and I took them home and really liked what he did. Just similar to us, young bloke singing songs about his country. There was a song on there called “Mackenzie’s Dog” which is a folk law thing over there about a sheep farmer whose dog went on his own in the night time and stole other farmers sheep and brought them back to his owner. I recorded that song I liked it that much. New Zealand has always had a pretty strong connection with country music and Tamworth too because in the early days it was New Zealand artist were included in the golden guitars so we were competing against them. In the latter years they’ve pushed the kiwis out and it’s just Australian people now. So they were good days.

25.07 – 27.23

Wayne: Great stuff Reg. Also I see in the early 80’s I think it was 83 probably released a few albums one of particular interest was called “Slim Dusty You’re Australia.”

Reg: Yeah that only ever came well it might have come out on an album I have no recollection on that. It certainly came out on a single. For the life of me I can’t remember who wrote that song. You know it was just a song that both appealed to Eric and myself because Slim Dusty you can’t get any more Australian as far as country music and what it was. He epitomized Australia and its traditions and all that sort of thing. I don’t think the song ever did much good but we released it year.

Wayne: I also see that you released it was either a single or an album called “The Wanderer.”

Reg: Yeah that was a single back in those days we did release a few singles off different albums but they were mainly just for airplay type things. You’d send them to DJ’s and hope they played them. Yeah the wanderer was a song that did come out on an album.

Wayne: Is it true that you’ve written say the vast majority of these songs.

Reg: I have written some of them. I have never counted them up I think probably 20 or 25 or my songs on albums over all these years but no mainly seem to rely on other song writers who were obviously a lot better at it then what I was. I enjoy putting melodies to their words which gave me a bit of a stake in the song anway. But I do enjoy writing songs but I’ve sort of been very blank over the last 10 years I haven’t been able to settle down and write songs. I don’t know what it is but it’s just left me at the moment.

27.23 – 30.45

Wayne: I see Reg that in 1984 you released an album called “When Big Mods Come to Burke”

Reg: yeah that was a typical bush ballad album and probably is one of the albums that people in outback Australia well not just outback Australia but people that loved bush ballads always thought of that as a really really good bush ballad album and it was. It was good songs once again put to music and recorded usually at Lindsay Butler studios in Tamworth which was the place to go those days. They were just songs that appealed to the people that liked my music. One of the songs was one of the gold guitar winner I mentioned a few minutes ago. The song called “When the Big Mobs Came to Burke” was a gold guitar winner for the heritage award.

Wayne: Wow and that was in 1985 I think wasn’t it?

Reg: Yes it would have been yeah.

Wayne: There is all these rewards Reg that you’ve won I think it really shows the talent that you have by winning such a vast number of awards throughout your career. I think that’s proof of how good you are.

Reg: It might just reveal that I’m bloody lucky mate

Wayne & Reg: hahahaha

Wayne: I think it’s more than luck. I’m not too sure of the year here Reg but I see that you won the most popular male vocalist at the Southern Hemisphere Country Music Awards held in Sydney.Was that 85 maybe?

Reg: Righto. I think that might have been a Victorian award actually because look I’m not sure about that one.

Wayne: What I have got here in my notes Reg is that it was held at the Sydney Myer Music Bowl.

Reg: Okay well that was a little earlier in fact if we can digress for a moment. Back in 1974 with the “Country Music Hall of Fame” song the next year I think it was 1975 a young bloke in Sydney by the name of Roger McKenzie rang me up and said “Reg I really liked that country music hall of fame song what I’m thinking of doing is putting together a big concert with the same name as your song in the Hordern Pavilion in Syndey and would you be willing to come up and sing the song and couple of others?” I got my running boots on then haha and made north to Sydney. So he did he got the concert together and the concert featured all of the big names of country music in those days. Slim was there I’m sure Reg was there and Buddy probably I can’t remember the exact line up it was a big line up. It didn’t work all that well there was not a giant crowd there or anything which was a bit unfortunate. That was an honor just to have the song honored in that tradition.

30.45 – 32.08

Wayne: Wow fantastic. In 1986 you had an album called “Women of the West” which was a finalist.

Reg: Once again it was a selection records album. “Women of the West” was the song that I actually featured on my very very first album with W&G back in the early 70’s. I just found this song in an old school reader. I loved the words of it so I thought gee that would be a good song to sing so I put the melody to it and we recorded it at W&G and then when Eric decided that we needed to do another album he said we should resurrect that “Women of the West” song because it was such a good song so we did that and just gathered up a heap of bush ballads and other songs around it and put together an album called “Women of the West.” Every album you sort of worked on was a lot of fun because you know you were mixing with all the best musoes in Tamworth and getting to know them. Your tentacles were reaching a little further across the country with different songs that you did and yeah it was all very exciting times.

32.08 –

Wayne: I see also Reg in that same year that a song that you all recorded called “The Drover’s Boy” that I believe was a finalist for the Heritage award.

Reg: “The Drover’s Boy” was a song written by Ted Egan the great man of the outback in the Northern Territory. Wonderful artist himself. Yeah he wrote this called “The Drover’s Boy” which was about a young boy out with a droving crew and droving cattle and it ended up that the boy was a girl a little aboriginal girl. It was a nice hook in the song and it was a really really good song. Been recorded by a lot of people since then. Yeah Ted Egan is one of our great pioneers of country music.

Wayne: Wow fantastic. I believe also Reg was it the late 80’s when you finally had your chance to work at radio 3SR Shepparton?

Reg: Yeah that was about the time we started. Just a country music show sometimes they changed it all around a bit on me sometimes it might have been for two hours on a Sunday night and then it was three hours then half an hour long you didn’t know what you were doing. It was a really solid program with a lot of listeners. We used to get phone called from South Australia and Northern Territory people who were listening to Sunday country and it was a chance to- not that I played my song very much because I thought that was probably not the right thing to do. I certainly promoted Australian country music. The songs that I played for 8 years were songs that I liked too of course. That was fun times but it ended unfortunately in probably the middle 90’s I suppose just because things had changed in radio station and people had changed. The one thing I hate is change I don’t like it when the bloody wind changes.

34.41 – 36.39

Wayne: Fair enough. It was good to see Reg that you were able to fulfill your dream of being on radio 3SR.

Reg: Yeah it was I don’t ever remember saying that all I wanted to do was be a DJ on 3SR but my mum assured me that was one of my dreams back in the early days. It was nice, I met a lot of nice people through radio and the people that worked at 3SR they were all good. Even though you just drove in 30 miles from the farm on Sunday evening and you were the only one in the station you didn’t get to see many of them.

Wayne: I also see Reg in 1988 you were yet again a Heritage award finalist for a song called “I Love This Land Australia”

Reg: Righto yeah. That was a song that JR Williams who is a mate of mine from the same area where I live. Country singer, he and I wrote the song together and I remember he was ringing me up one night he said “I’ve just driven home from Tamworth, I’ve got a great idea for a song. I got the title for it and every. You should write it.” I said “Oh yeah good on ya what’s it called?” He said “I Love This Land Australia.” I thought yeah that’s a good title for a song. I sat up most of that night writing the song finishing it and ringing him up at 2 am in the morning to play it to him. I don’t think he really appreciated that cos he’s a cow cocky too. Yeah look I was really proud of that song, John’s melody and my words just seemed to work together. There was a lot of things that we both considered we love about Australia. So yeah that was good.

36.39 – 39.51

Wayne: I see Reg in 1990 that you were a judge of the Australian country music awards.  

Reg: Yeah one and only time I think I judged the country music awards. I didn’t have an album out myself in that year which was the root because it’s hardly a good idea having a judge who has got an album in the awards. So when the hierarchy found that out in Tamworth they must have thought I would make a good judge. I can’t remember much about judging except it was one hell of a job. I am listening to all these songs over weeks and weeks trying to figure out which was a goodun and which wasn’t. I enjoyed it just another little challenge in life. Lot of fun.

Wayne: in 1994 Reg I see in South Australia that you were inducted into the hall of fame over there.

Reg: Yeah I’m pretty sure that is a little festival, well it’s not little it’s a very good festival in a little place called Barmera in South Australia. They invite artists over to perform and the crowd comes along of course they obviously select artist to give them a little bit of recognition for what they have done over the year so guess it was my turn back in those days. I got a tree planted somewhere over there with my name on it somehow I’ve hardly been back to Barmera to see it unfortunately. It was just a nice little festival over there with lots of artists. It was fun to be part of it.

Wayne: I see Reg in 1995 you were a finalist for song maker of the year with the heritage award again with a song called “Ghost of 2KM”

Reg: Gee you know a lot about me. You know more than I do.

Wayne & Reg: hahaha

Wayne: Certainly do.

Reg: “Ghost of 2KM” that was a song about the Kempsey radio station along the coast in New South Wales was 2K. They closed down a radio station from my memory and built another one in another place in Kempsey I think that was the way it went. Just one of the low ball Kempsey based song writers bloke by the name of Rick Aitchison he just wrote a song about how they moved the station, how the old building was full of ghosts of early country music artist and all that sort of thing. You don’t need much of an idea about something to build a song about it if your imagination is good enough some times.

39.51 – 44.32

Wayne: Great stuff. I see Reg in 1999 that you were named Victorian Entertainer of the year.

Reg: Yeah that was a big of a bolt out of the blue. I had no idea I was even in for that because you don’t nominate for that award it just happens. There used to be a country music festival in Melbourne on a yearly basis in those days and they used to just select who they thought would be somebody who could be known as the Victorian Entertainer of the year so they just pick out an artist they thought had a busy and successful year in country music. Low and behold it was me that year. That was a really nice on to win. Going back just in my memory the Hawking Brothers, Johnny Chester, and my mate JR Williams he won one too and yeah lot of good artists in those days around.

Wayne: I also see in that same year you released a song called “Letter to Buddy.”

Reg: Yeah that was an album actually called “A Letter to Buddy.” Once again Eric of course was involved and we just thought we should honor Buddy because Buddy Williams was the very first Australia born country music singer. He was writing out here on the shores when Tex Morton came out from New Zealand as a country singer. Everybody thinks that you know Tex was the first. He was certainly one of the first but Buddy was out here with his guitar before Tex was. We thought he deserved to be recognized and remembered by honoring him with an album of all his own songs. We went through the whole Buddy Williams collection believe me there was a lot of them. Picked songs that we liked I suppose and we thought were popular for Buddy in his time as an artist. That was the reason for that.

Wayne: Before we leave the 90’s I see you also released a song called “Chainsaw”

Reg: Yeah “Chainsaw” was one of those songs it was written by a bloke by the name of Tom McIver the lake Tom McIver who used to be a radio cowboy himself. He used to ride bulls and do all those stupid things that they do. But he then decided that writing songs was probably better than riding bulls. He was a great song writer he had a lot of wonderful songs over the years especially rodeo songs. He sent the words to this “Chainsaw” song over I guess probably early 90’s sometime and we at that stage of selection records didn’t really have another idea of doing another rodeo album but we thought we probably would. When this song came along we thought we’re definitely going to do another album. It was just one of those songs that grabbed you and I mean “Chainsaw” was a legend in his own right as far as the bull goes because no one could ride him. As soon as he bucked out of the shoots he turned on his side and the cowboy ended up on the ground. Tommy wrote this song and it was just one of those songs that worked and worked well for me. We surrounded it with some other great songs. I wrote a couple songs for that album one about rusty the radio clown and rusty was a really good mate of mine and used to stay down here when the southern circuit of the rodeos were on we would always be with him. There was a song called “Circle of Saw Dust” which was about the early days of the circus and tent shows. All those sorts of things written by a bloke that was there at the time. It was a wonderful song. Several different artists over the years have recorded that songs because it’s just such a good song. So yeah the old chainsaw he still gets a workout every now and again.

44.32 – 46.35

Wayne: Fantastic Reg fantastic. I see in 2000 that you released an album called “The Cream of Country Music.”

Reg: Yeah “The Cream of Country Music” that we just put an album together of all the great songs. What we considered the great songs of Australian country music. Look it’s a very popular album on the circuit these days. The people who like my music these days are people of my own age because let’s face it they grew up the same time as what I did, have the same morals and principles and all those sorts of things. They like the old songs and they like country music they like Tex or Buddy or Slim whoever. We just bunched all these songs together and called them what we considered “The Cream of Country Music” and it still sells really well.

Wayne: And I believe Reg you have a website where people can buy all the singles and albums from.

Reg: Yeah mate we do just a simple thing just called you can go on there and the whole list and bunch of albums are there for you to look at and even listen to I think. I am not really into these digital things and computer and all that. They will leave me for dead. Yeah you can buy CD’s off the website buy as many as you want and as often as you want.

Wayne: Does the website also display your upcoming events?

Reg: The website should contain my upcoming events. But the person who is supposed to be putting them up there doesn’t get around to it.

Wayne & Reg: hahaha

Reg: Just one of those things I haven’t got used to do those sort of things cos I’m not used to it.

46.35 – 48.45

Wayne: Fair enough. 2006 would be one of your most memorable years Reg.

Reg: Absolutely was mate it was a year I will never forget. To win the two well you don’t really win an OAM who just the queen comes over and knocks on ya door and says Reg I wanna give you an OAM doesn’t happen quite as simply as that. But to receive an OAM and also to win a nomination to be inducted into the Roll of Renown in Tamworth. To be the 33rd inductee in the Roll of Renown was just something that was unbelievable and happened in the one year, in fact it happened in the one week. Couldn’t get over it, it was a wonderful feeling. I am still beholden to the Tamworth people because I never ever considered that I was good enough or warranted a position of the Role of Renown with all those other great pioneers. I am grateful they thought different. We also went on tour around Australia that year too with my old make Keith Jamieson up in Queensland. Took us round Australia for the very first time with the car and caravan and we did all sorts of tours and shows in aboriginal settlements and every else. Had an absolute ball and came home and won these awards.

Wayne: Wow fantastic I don’t think we mentioned it but 2006 was that also the year that you were nominated for an ARIA award.

Reg: Yeah it was too. I forgot about that. I don’t know how that came about I don’t how it works. I knew for a fact that I was never going to win an ARIA award so I really have no recollection of what happened there or how it happened.

48.45 – 51.10

Wayne: Fair Enough. I believe it was 2007 that Tamworth song writers association you were a finalist with a song called “Half Way Home.”

Reg: Okay yes that was a song written by a lady from not too far out of Tamworth she’s a bit of whiz with leather works. She makes leather belts and leather guitar sstraps never ever thought she wrote songs but she brought this song up to me and said guess “I have written this song it took me half an hour would you like to record it?” And I am a sucker for gospel songs I love gospel songs. So I said yeah we’ll give it a run on the next album but not sure I didn’t realize that had been in the finals of the TSA but yeah it was a nice little song.

Wayne: I see Reg in 2009 you won a Bush Balladeer of the year by the South East Gold Medallion Awards.

Reg: Oh right that must have been in Bungendore just out of outside of Canberra. They have a festival there every year straight after Tamworth is Bungendore and yes they instigated the Stan Custer memorial award which is available for all bush ballad singers to put their stuff in to each section of the awards that are at Bungendore. Obviously that must have been one where mine went alright. But yeah Custer was I mean he was a great song writer he 60 or 70 great songs for Slim and everybody loves Stan because he was a really bushie and real laconic sort of bloke. When Bungendore decided to use the Stan Custer memorial awards I thought it was a great idea and it is still going these days where you can enter and try to win one.

51.10 – 55.39

Wayne: Do you have any interesting hobbies?

Reg: Well funny you should ask that. I do have a couple of interesting hobbies in fact I am sitting in my lounge room at the moment and I am looking at all the stuff I have collected over the years. The Poole’s originally came from a little place called- well I don’t know if it’s little or not- but a place called Dorset in England. In the county of Dorset there was a town called Poole and in that town of Poole up sprung a factory called Poole Pottery. I think our ancestors were involved somehow in it though I can’t prove it. So we decided to collect some Poole pottery we didn’t know how much was in Australia. We soon found out there was quite a fair bit of it in our house. Our eldest son who is 54 or 53 whatever it is now, he has got double what I’ve got. It’s just something caught our eye and we look for it everywhere we go. Not as much now as what we used to because it seems to be a little bit dearer in price now then what it was back in those days. Either that or that the fact that we have got less money one of the other. It is just an interesting sideline and yeah lot of collecting at and looking at it. We have got a couple of really valuable pieces here we know for sure. Just something that takes your mind away from country music sometimes. Cos you do get bogged down with music around you 24 hours a day.

Wayne: Also Reg with your career what would be your strangest moment.

Reg: oh golly, how long have you got? There has been a lot over the years. Over the last 30 years or so I’ve travelled with two of my best mates around this great country singing music one of them is a bloke form the gold coast called Terry Gordon who is an absolutely wonderful entertainer comedian singer the whole works and the other is a young fella by the name of- well young he is just younger than us- his name is Own Blundell and we had a show called the Gun Barrel Highwaymen we get around and put together the shows wherever. I remember once this was only the first thing I thought of we were up in northern Queensland and we pulled into the town we weren’t working that night we pulled into the place and we booked into a hotel motel for the night because we just weren’t working so we booked in and we changed and walked into the pub itself and decided that yeah look we might have a meal so we though we will order a meal but we will have a drink first. So the three of us walked up to the bar. The place looked busy a lot of good-looking young sheilas there and old sheilas we thought we would have a drink and when we got into the pub there was posters everywhere of Manpower the all-male group were performing in the pub that night and Terry says I’ll have a go at this Sheila and he said “Yeah look we’ll have a drink now but can you tell us where we change we’re Manpower.” And here is two 65 year old blokes with grey hair and dressed pretty sloppily. Poor girl nearly had a heart attack. But we didn’t go to the show and we didn’t put on a show. Just one of those ones we laugh about it every time we get together. But look there is lots and lots of things that yeah just don’t spring to mind immediately.

55.39 –

Wayne: Nah fair enough Reg that is fantastic. And I just like to recap if people want to buy your CD’s what was your website again.

Reg: It is just that will get you there and you can just browse through all the things that are on it.

Wayne: Fantastic Reg I just want to thank you for your time and for being on Wayne’s Wonder World and all the best for the future.

Reg: Mate it has been a pleasure and thanks very much for the opportunity.

Wayne: Hope you enjoyed the podcast. Please head to and please follow me on my Facebook page which is Wayne’s Wonder World.

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