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Buddy BISHOP (1977)

Buddy Bishop

1924 – Born August 3, William Manning Bishop near Taree and spent the first 17 years of his life on a farm at Bootoowaa.

1938 – March 29, Buddy bought his first guitar, a “Harmony Cremona” for 30 guineas ($63.00) at Palings in Newcastle. It was the first musical instrument of any kind used by a Tamworth artist to make commercial records.

1942 – Age 18/19, Buddy was called up for the army and performed in the camp concerts.  While in the army he was badly injured in a truck accident and was not expected to live and then not to walk again.

1944 - A bad truck smash saw Buddy on the critical list with doctors of the opinion he would never walk again even if he lived.  But a long stay in Concord Hospital saw them proven wrong.

1945 – Obtained leave to do a 15 minute live spot on 2TM’s hillbilly sessions.

1946 – Discharged from the army, married and moved to Tamworth where he ran a mixed business in Peel Street near Joe Maguire’s Pub.

        After work local music enthusiasts who had an interest in country music would drop around, one notable was Geoff Brown.  They became firm friends. Buddy began to entertain at the cycle races, the boxing and other venues.

1948 - Privately recorded “The Farmyard Yodel” at 2TM’s Peel Street Studio, reputed to be Tamworth’s first recording artist.     

1949 - Sang “The Farmyard Yodel” on Australia’s Amateur Hour (which he won) a premier radio show of the time that had a huge national audience. He topped the poll and earned an appearance at the Newcastle Stadium which resulted in The Great Levant immediately signed him to take part in his three month vaudeville show tour of Queensland.

1950 – January 20, “Farmyard Yodel” is recorded by Rodeo Records. Buddy was the first Tamworth artist to be recorded on disc. The song stayed Top of the Charts on Canberra’s 2CA radio for six weeks.

1951 – Buddy was invited as a special guest artist on Amateur Hour. The winner was Reg Lindsay. Around the same time Buddy had his own radio program on 2TM that finished with a talent quest that was won by a young artist who became known as Gentleman Geoff Brown.

1950’s - Saw regular tours with artists like Slim Dusty, Gordon Parsons and Smiling Billy Blinkhorn. Returning to 2TM in the late fifties, he eventually ran the Mickey Mouse Club with David Longe.

Another 78 Buddy recording was with John Mystery, “Spitfire the Outlaw”. He did not record again for 20 years. Family and business commitments meant that Buddy’s talent remained in limbo.

1970’s – Buddy returned for the “Tamworth Get Together Show” with Shirley Thoms, Gordon Parsons, Slim Dusty, Billy Blinkhorn, Smoky Dawson and others. With the sixties bringing semi retirement Eric Scott of Hadley Records, Tamworth persuaded Buddy to do several albums through the seventies, one of which was recorded with his eight year old daughter.

1977 – Inducted into the “Hands of Fame” in Tamworth.

1994 - Returned to the recording studio with Shorty Ranger, Les Partell, Bryan Watkins and John Vaughan for the album “Shorty Ranger and Friends“.

1995 – He officially opened the Country Music Heritage Hall.

1995 – Died April 13th, aged 71 and is buried in the Tamworth City Council Cemetery.