After some five decades on the road, one of Australia’s best known and most popular groups, The Bushwackers, were awarded one of the nation’s top musical accolades when they were elevated tonight to the Australasian Country Music Roll of Renown.
It was a highlight of the Covid-adjusted Golden Guitar ceremony in Tamworth.
Dobe Newton and Roger Corbett – who took over the running of the famous band from the early 1980s – accepted the honour. Both are also known for their songwriting skills and Dobe is credited with co-writing verses of the popular “We Are Australian” anthem with Bruce Woodley of the Seekers.
The Bushwackers won their first Golden Guitar In Tamworth in 1981 and have been regulars in Country Music Capital and on stages all over Australia ever since.
The Roll of Renown was instigated in 1976 by Radio 2TM with a presentation to pioneer Tex Morton. Awarded to people who have made a lasting and significant contribution to Australasian Country Music, the Roll now displays the names of some 51 winners.
The Bushwackers bronze plaque will be the 52nd to be placed on the commemorative rocks outside the Tamworth Regional Entertainment & Conference Centre tomorrow morning.
The presentation to the Bushwackers was made by the Mayor of Tamworth Col Murray and Chairman of the industry-based selection panel, industry veteran Max Ellis. In presenting the award Max commented on the exceptional number of young, talented artists who had been offered an opportunity to play with The Bushwackers over its many years of existence to date.
The Roll of Renown Plaque reads:
Dobe Newton Born Sydney 14/7/1948.
Roger Corbett Born South Africa 19/4/1952.
The Bushwackers were familiar to many Australians before turning to country music in the late 1970s. Founded in Melbourne in 1971 by Dave Isom, Jan Wositzky, Bert Kahanoff and Mick Slocum, they gained international recognition when their frenetic folk/rock sound became prominent in the world wide revival of traditional song and dance.
Later, Dobe Newton (vocalist from 1973) and Roger Corbett (1980) took up the mantle and the Bushwackers started evolving with a strong country music flavour while still retaining their passionate focus on being Australian.
They won their first Golden Guitar in 1981, becoming a fixture in Tamworth where their famous “Chardonnay” show is still a finale of the Festival.
They toured widely and, with Dobe and Roger as the core, a veritable cavalcade of talented country performers flowed through their ranks … Tommy Emmanuel, Clare O’Meara, Mark Oats and Michael Vidale to name a few.
For decades, Dobe and Roger and their “mates” have brought together the folk stories and traditional music of Australia, writing about, performing, recording and celebrating our heritage with an exciting mix of emotion, humour and floor-thumping energy.
A household name, The Bushwackers hold a unique place in the hearts of so many proud Australians.