Eric BOGLE AM (1986)

Eric Bogle

1944 - Born in Peebles, Scotland, on the 23rd of September. His twin sister Sandra was born about 15 minutes after Eric.

1960 - Eric left school at 16 years old and for the next 8 years or so Eric had a succession of jobs: labourer, waiter, export clerk, bar steward, mill worker, etc.

1960 - Age 18, a friend told Eric that the local rock band “The Informers” were looking for a new lead singer. Eric went for an audition, and because of his vocal ability he got the job.

A couple of years later, Eric denounced the whole pop music scene as “frivolous and full of bloody wankers!” and turned his attention to folk music.

1969 - Emigrated to Australia.

1971 - He met Carmel Sutton in Canberra, and in 1972 they were married. Starting as a Leading Hand in the yard of a scaffolding hire company, he actually started rapidly rising up the firm's corporate ladder.

1980 - Eric was the Queensland state accountant for his company, then one day, for no particular reason, he hauled Carmel back to Sydney with him and embarked on the perilous career path of a professional musician.

Eric has written some songs that have pretty much become Australian classics of their particular genre. Probably his best known song is “The Band Played Waltzing Matilda”. Some of his other songs “No Man's Land”(The Green Fields of France), “Leaving Nancy”, “Now I'm Easy” “Shelter” “If Wishes were Fishes” etc.

His songs have been recorded by Joan Baez, Mary Black, Donovan, Slim Dusty, John Williamson, Billy Bragg, The Pogues and The Furies, just to name a few.

Eric himself has recorded 14 CD's and, together with his long term partner John Munro, has literally taken his music to the world. He has toured extensively over the last 25 years or so, and this includes 8 tours of North America, 10 Tours of Europe and many tours of Australia. He has appeared at every major Folk and Country music festival in Australia and overseas: Port Fairy, Woodford, Tamworth, Gympie Muster, Philadelphia Festival, Newport, Toronto, New Orleans, Vancouver, Edinburgh.

Awarded the Peace medal from the U.N. for his efforts, through music, to promote peace and racial harmony.

All this makes Eric sound like a cross between U2 and Mother Theresa. Well, he's not, he's just a literate and thoughtful songwriter who can cut to the heart of the matter with some well-crafted lines. He's also a warm and engaging stage performer who, with his sharp, often self-deprecating wit and shrewd common sense view on the world, communicates well with an audience and draws them in to his performance.

1985 – Tours Denmark, Canada and America.

1986 – Inducted into the Hands of Fame.

1987 – Awarded the Member of the Order of Australia “In recognition of service to the performing arts as a song writer and singer.