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July 17, 2010 / Julia Hughan

Australian Heritage Series: Buddy Williams

[tweetmeme source=”julesh”]The second artist to be featured in Australian Heritage Series (following Reg Lindsay) is Harold “Buddy” Williams, also known as The Yodeling Jackaroo:

Buddy Williams was the first Australian born country singer to reach national prominence.

Williams (alongside Tex Morton) played a central role in establishing the Australian hillbilly song and sound which became “a ballad, with a simply major key tune, accompanied by pick-and-strum guitar with a few bass runs” (Smith, 2005: 89). Graeme Smith (2005) compares Williams’ role to Jimmie Rodgers in delineating American country music describing Williams’ music as featuring “direct narratives of rural life, often romanticised through stereotypic images such as the horsemen and cattle, or the old wattle tree” (2005, 88).

His most popular tracks include “Music In My Pony’s Feet”, a celebration of the Australian outback, “Where the White Face Cattle Roam” and “Mareeba Rodeo”. Astonishingly, Williams released his first single in 1939 (“The Dappled Grey Bronco of Mine”) but didn’t release his first full lenght album until 1973 with Aussie On My Mind. As you will hear below, while Williams’ vocals were limited, they were also soulful and emotive.

Williams toured Australia widely for over three decades and was added to the Country Music Roll of Renown in 1977 alongside Tex Morton and Dawson.

Thanks to Smith, Graeme (2005) Singing Australian: the history of folk and country music. North Melbourne: Pluto Press.

Listen to Buddy Williams singing “Music In My Pony’s Feet”:

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One Comment

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  1. Peter. / Apr 25 2013 6:02 pm

    Hi Julia,
    Buddy Williams first studio album was actually in 1965, not as stated in 1973. It was titled “Buddy Williams Remembers” (L101594). By 1973 he had released 13 studio albums. Two Compilation L.P’s were released prior to 1965, the first around 1962 which contained recordings from previous sessions plus some from sessions at the time. The Wikipedia page you have obtained this information has been corrected and updated since you first saw it. It also contains a fairly complete discography which i have put in. I hope this is of assistance.

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