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 six “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 storyteller 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 20 years
Graham has amassed 88 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 17 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 Our fourth tag-along saw us starting at
Swan Hill, then travelling through some beautiful and historic parts of
South Australia, up to Broken Hill and then across northern NSW to end up
at Lightning Ridge. We are now
putting the finishing touches to tag-along No.5 which will start at Miles, zig-zag its way to The Gulf and then across to Cooktown. As for tag-along N0.6, who knows, all I can
say is there will be one during the winter of 2019 and it will be somewhere
in the great Australian outback. For
further information, stay tuned to my website much closer to the time.
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. Since our first tag-along I have written
and recorded several songs which have been directly influenced by
experiences gained during our tag-alongs and visiting places with a
difference, like Toompine- the pub with no town.. 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