Bluey FRANCIS (1999)
Born in Gol Gol
New South Wales
Started out working in a service
station. Later, went droving which took him to many places, but
the main droving jobs was taking sheep into the sale yards.
After droving, he became a shearer.
He loved listening to country
music on the radio to the likes of Buddy Williams, Tex Morton,
Billy Blinkhorn, Hank Williams, Hank Snow, Marty Robins etc. At
around fourteen years old he bought his first guitar. It was a
that he purchased for ten pounds with money he had saved from
trapping rabbits and selling them to my neighbours.
Bluey learned how to tune the
guitar from a Gordon Parsons book. The same book told him how to
play the chords. From there he learned to play along with the
songs being played on the radio. That would have been in the
Started to entertain friends and
mates in the backyard at Mums as well as in the bedroom and
became a sort of hero to his friends. From there he started
singing and playing on 3MA in Mildura.
After leaving school he got to
know Stan Gill from the Stan Gill Rodeo and started singing at
the Rodeos. He would have to ride two Buckjumpers and sing three
songs to earn something less than thirty bob a week. That would
have been in the late sixties.
Met up with another chap who
joined them by the name of Rocky Page who was a Cowboy
Hypnotist. Jackie Crombie, another member of the show received a
kick in the knee from a horse apparently leaving him unable to
work. However, Rocky Page hypnotised him into believing there
was nothing wrong with his knee. Jackie then proceeded to catch
Kitty Gills horse that no one else seemed to be able to catch.
After that he went working on a
station. The guitar was always with him and once again playing
along with the radio as well as entertaining mates. It was about
this time he met with Ian Bath from an adjoining station who
taught him a fair bit on the guitar and they did a lot of
In later years he met up with
Buck Carson and they put a Country Music Show together called
the Buck Carson Show. Not long after, they were joined by Gordon
Parsons and Bill Jackson who was a comedian. They toured for a
couple of years starting in Victoria
and travelling up through New South Wales
and then back to
After leaving the Stan Gill Rodeo
he travelled to Dubbo to record four Albums with C & M Records
with Lindsay Butler as the producer. For these Albums he never
received any payment.
In 1980 he toured with Rick
and Thel. hey did a few shows in
then moved on to
and then onto
He also did a few shows with Paul
A seventeen year break from recording was spent Opal
mining at a place called Grawin near Lightning Ridge. After
meeting Joe Daly of Trumby fame he was introduced to Nev Molloy
and his Studio where he recorded another four Albums. One of the
Albums made the finals in Bungendore.
From there he mainly sang in pubs
and at parties. Wherever there was a song to be sung he was
there with the guitar.
In late 1999 early 2000, he
instigated the start of a club that played Australian Bush
Ballads only, that organisation is now known as ABBA. (The
Australian Bush Balladeers Association)
The Australian Pick Strum method
of playing a guitar has been and always will be part of his
It has also been a pleasure to
help a few of the younger on their career paths such as Nathan
Charlton who has recorded a few of my songs as well as Anita
During those years he has made
many good friends and mates. The list is too long to write.
There has been many a campfire shared with them along the way,
and nothing will replace the comradeship of the shared campfire.