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Hands of Fame inductees announced ahead of 50th Toyota Country Music Festival, Tamworth

22 April 2022

Six country music figures will cement their place in country music history during the 50th Toyota Country Music Festival in Tamworth, with the 2022 Hands of Fame inductees announced today.

The artists’ hand impressions will be placed alongside 300 others at the Hands of Fame cornerstone, on Kable Ave in Tamworth. 

After hearing of his impending honour, Sydney-based schoolteacher and country star Luke O’Shea summed up the feeling of his fellow inductees.

“For well over 20 years I’ve greatly admired the pantheon of names and collected handprints that built this incredible Australian country music industry,” Luke said. 

“It’s an institution and a family I deeply care about – and to be ‘officially’ included and invited to place my hands alongside some of these mighty folk fills me with an overwhelming sense of gratitude.”

Joining Luke in the CWA (Hands of Fame) Park to become part of Australian country music history are fellow performers Kirsty Lee Akers, Lyn Bowtell, Roo Arcus and Dennis “Fibber” Parker, along with respected photo-journalist John Elliott.

“My family and I have been traveling to the Tamworth Country Music Festival my entire life. Every year we would walk through the Hands of Fame Park on our way back to our camping site after a day of busking, my brothers, sister and I would put our hands inside our favourite country star hands,” said 2022 inductee Kirsty Lee Akers.

“My parents would always tell me that one day my hands would be there also, so I can’t tell you what this means to me to be one of the few to receive this honour. Country music is what I live and breathe, all of my favourite career moments have happened at Tamworth and this is definitely another one to add to the list." 

The Hands of Fame tradition began in 1977 with a whole swag of artists placing their prints into wet cement – Johnny Ashcroft, Buddy Bishop, Rick & Thel Carey, Stan Coster, Rex Dallas, Smoky Dawson, Slim Dusty, Alan Hawking, Kenny Kitching, Reg Lindsay, Heather McKean, Joy McKean, Tex Morton, Slim Newton, Nev Nicholls, Suzanne Prentice, Shorty Ranger, Buddy Williams and George Xanthos.

The Hands of Fame imprinting ceremony starts at 9.30am on Wednesday, April 20 on the corner of Kable Avenue and Brisbane Street and will be hosted by Lorraine Pfitzner OAM. Tamworth Regional Mayor Russell Webb will present the 2022 inductees with their certificates.

Inductee info and images can be found on the media portal.

Information about all previous inductees can now be found online, via eHive The Hands of Fame Inductees – Australian Country Music Hall of Fame. 

Tamworth Regional Council acknowledges the Gamilaroi/Kamilaroi people, who are the Traditional Custodians of this land. We would like to pay respect to Elders past and present, and extend that respect to other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples living in and visiting our region.