Since resigning as a Queensland Ambulance
Officer and becoming a fulltime professional entertainer, Graham has made a
huge impact on the country music industry. His name has become synonymous
with the writing and recording of high quality Australian ballads. Keeping Australia and Australians as the
major themes for his ballads ensures that Graham will always uphold the
traditions cemented into our culture by the late Slim Dusty. Slim was one of the many within the
industry who acknowledged Graham's exceptional writing skills and was
pleased on several occasions to record his material. One of the most notable was “You Can’t Take Australia From Me”. The
message in this ballad so impressed Slim that the family had Dick Smith
recite it as a poem at his funeral.
Graham has always greatly appreciated this gesture and has never
under-estimated this acknowledgement.
In 2012 on his
eleventh album “Stronger For It All” Graham wrote and recorded the ballad “I Am”. There is a line in this ballad which says
‘I am the artists, poets and the scribes who keep our heritage alive’. It is for this that we should be ever so
grateful to Graham and his fellow balladeers because it is they, who are
keeping our history and traditions alive.
For centuries, right across the world, history has been handed down
through the generations by story and song.
Without these artists, as a nation, we lose our day to day contact
with our past, and with no past we have no soul, and with no soul we have
no future. In what he has penned, Graham
has given us a window through which we can view the history of our
people. He tells of monumental
events and every day occurrences, all of which blend together to make us
what we are today.
Graham is an
incredibly gifted entertainer with a highly developed natural flow and as a
result you only have to sit back and listen to one of his CDs or a live
performance and you will fully appreciate the depth of this man’s
talents. The quality of Graham's
voice is reflected in the numerous “Male Vocalist of the Year” awards which
he has won (these include five “People’s Choice Awards” from
Tamworth). The conviction and the
emotion with which he sings his ballads are some of the tools he uses to
whisk you away into his world. Like
any good story teller he encapsulates you so you
feel and live the story he is telling.
If you are not
into country music you may be asking “Who is this Graham Rodger?” So let me tell you a little about the
achievements of this incredibly talented Australian entertainer.
In 1998 as a
full time entertainer Graham released his first album. In just 19 years Graham has amassed 80
major country music awards, including the Hands of Fame and Golden Guitar.
summary of his achievements include:-
Hands of Fame recipient.
Golden Guitar winner (plus
16 nominations in finals).
Numerically the leading
recipient of Tamworth People’s Choice Awards.
The leading holder of
Tamworth Songwriting Association Awards, with a total of 28.
He has released 16 CDs and
4 full length DVDs.
If you are a
lover of good Australian music, you will not be disappointed in an evening
spent with this entertainer.
Graham Rodger’s Tag-Along Tours.
Graham in his
own words explains the development of his tag-along tours.
In 2014 we
were organising an outback tour. I
was really keen to take good quality country music out to people living in
very remote parts of Australia. As
the word got out as to what we were doing I discovered there were other
musicians and a considerable number of Australian country music fans keen
on joining me, so the invitation went out for people wishing to join
us. In May 2014 five musicians and
82 supporters took to their caravans as we meandered our way from Miles to
Birdsville doing 13 shows along the way.
It was voted such a huge success both by the travellers and the
residents of the towns we visited that it was obviously something we had to
In 2015 I had
5 musicians and 95 caravaners join me as once again we started our
adventure at Miles and over 4 weeks did 17 shows as we worked our way
through outback Queensland and into the Northern Territory, concluding our
tour at Ross River, just out of Alice Springs. In 2016 we set off on our third tag-along
with 170 people in 85 vans. We
started at Miles and over 3 weeks snaked our way through many of
Queensland’s tiny towns to end up at Innamincka in South Australia. We are now putting the finishing touches
to our 4th tag-along –starting at Swan Hill, through parts of South
Australia, then up to Broken Hill and across northern NSW to end up at
There is a lot
of work involved in organising a tour such as these, but the rewards for
the outback residents, tourist and the musicians are quite incredible. Several songs on my latest CD are a
direct influence of experiences gained during our 3rd tag-along to
Innamincka. It is a unique concept
and as far as I know no other artist has ever done anything quite like
it. Fifty years ago Slim and Joy
relished the opportunities to visit remote Australia and take their music
to the people of the outback. It was
their actions that inspired me to do my outback country music tours, but I
carried it one step further by turning it into a tag-along.
think the tag-along outback concept is one of the best ideas I have ever