A website dedicated to preserving and promoting the history of Australian
country music.

Country Music
The Music Of
Our Country

The Story of Australian Country Music

A Tribute to Buddy

A Tribute to Jimmy

A Tribute to Reg

A Tribute to Shirley

A Tribute to Slim

– Slim, Chronicler of the Bush

A Tribute to Smoky

A Tribute to Tex

– Tex Morton White Guitars

A Tribute to The McKean Sisters

Arch Kerr – pioneer record producer

Australia's College of Country Music

Bicentennial Concert 1970

The Big Golden Guitar

Birth of the Golden Guitars

Brief History of the Golden Guitar Awards

Brief History of Star Maker

The Buddy Bishop Story

Country Music Capital Meets Music City

Country Music Hands of Fame

Country Music Media

Country Music Roll of Renown

Country Timeline

First The Song

Ghosts of Tamworth

Golden Guitar Memories

Golden Guitar Pioneers

Golden Guitar Winners Tally

The Gympie Muster

The Hadley Records Story

History of the College of Country Music

How the CMAA Was Born

How Tamworth became Country Music Capital

How the College of Country Music Works


The John Minson Story


Minson Memories

Narrative! Narrative! Narrative!


Radio Ranch & Spurs

Ross Murphy

Sources and Resources

Stairway to Stardom

The Story of Maton Guitars

Tamworth Milestones

Tamworth, We've Done Us Proud

What is Country Music

For more information
Contact: Max Ellis

Email info@historyofcountrymusic.com.au


All matters relating to the conduct of this site remain under the total control of Max Ellis or his nominees who will endeavour to ensure the accuracy and balance of the content and proper conduct of the site but, subject to legal requirements, cannot be held responsible for any digression or non-compliance in respect of these matters.

Origins of the Tamworth Festival

How it was started by 2TM and when it was scheduled.

There is some debate over exactly when and how the Tamworth Country Music Festival actually began. Here are the facts.

A few say that it was as early as 1968 when the then Tamworth branch of the Modern Country Music Association started running a small talent quest on the January long weekend. It’s now the Capital Country Music Association Talent Quest.

However, most observers, including the Country Music Association of Australia, categorically state 1973 as the beginning, when Radio 2TM staged the first Country Music Awards as a part of their long term Country Music Capital promotion which had started in the late '60s. Tamworth City Council has adopted the same year.

The Country Music Festival was a deliberate part of 2TM's strategy to create a a major country music event in Tamworth to support the Awards. Thus once the Awards were stabilised, the organisers started planning and creating other events, spreading the activities back through the week before the major focus. These significant new events included activities such as the Bluegrass Championships, Hands of Fame, The Roll of Renown, The Rodeo, The Buttercup Open House concert, The Mr Juicy Concerts, busking in Peel Street, The Cavalcade, industry seminars and many others events. The intention was to highlight and recognise the Country Music Awards as the climax to 10 days of country music activity or "Festival".

By 1974 the January Long weekend was being referred to in the Country Music Annual published by 2TM as “a general, once a year get together for country music followers”.

In 1988 with Australia Day holiday no longer gazetted on the first Monday on or after the 26th January but left to "float on the 26, the Awards were moved to the Saturday in the last full weekend in January. There they remained with one minor exception in the mid '90s, until January 2005, when the CMAA inexplicably re-scheduled them to January 15th. This caused significant disruption for artists moteliers and other Festival players and they were forced to return them to the proper date in 2006.

But whatever the timing, there is no question the Australasian Country Music Festival (as it is officially known), now acknowledged top be one of the top 10 music festivals in the world, is unique in Australia, and probably around the globe.

Incidentally, the dictionary definition of "festival" is (1) a day or period of celebration or (2) an organised series of concerts, films, etc.

Most people's understanding of a festival is more than one event, so, again, 1973 is clearly the festival starting point "a period of celebration" began or a series (more than one) events.

Compiled and produced in Tamworth, Australia's Country Music Capital © Copyright GM Ellis Material on this site can be down loaded. Where copyrights on pictures or other content are known to exist, approvals for use have been obtained. If you have any query regarding material on the site please contact the site manager