Jim was born in Sydney, the
son of British migrants. He sang in a folk trio before spending
ten years teaching on the
where he continued singing in various bands before heading off
to pursue an academic career in the UK.
After a few years travelling
and living in Britain,
Jim returned to teaching in Inverell, where he formed the Bandy
Bill & Co Bush Band, which had some success in the 1980s
recording on the Hadley Label.
Jim¹s song "Mow Ya Lawn" was
picked up by the Sunday morning radio show Australia All Over
and Jim quit teaching to work full-time on the show. Encouraged
by John Williamson¹s manager, Phil Matthews,
Jim signed his first solo record
deal and went on to write and record songs like "Don¹t Call
Wagga Wagga Wagga" and "Since Cheryl Went Feral", which topped
the country charts for five weeks in 1996.
Jim is the Australiana expert
on Sydney¹s top-rating weekend radio show, George and Paul on
2UE. And he is a successful author of eighteen books of short
stories, verse and Australian heritage collections.
A finalist for Collaboration of
the Year twice at the CMAA Country Music Awards of Australia,
Jim is now signed to Compass Bros. Records. He tours his own
shows and has also toured with artists like Slim Dusty, Adam
Brand and Melinda Schneider and hosted many major Country Music
Winner of the Tamworth
Songwriters Association (TSA) Comedy/Novelty Song of the Year
Award four times, Jim has recorded comedy duets with Beccy Cole,
Ted Egan, Greg Champion, Mary and Rita Schneider and Brendon
He has served on the Board of
the CMAA for over fourteen years and a country music
representative on the Music Council of Australia.
1990 - started the first Bush
Poetry Breakfasts at
during the annual festival. Against all predictions, they were
an instant success and, in 1997, moved to the West Tamworth
Leagues Club, becoming the phenomenally successful Big Bush
Brekky Show, combining Jim’s unique mix of country music and
humour with big name guests
1995 - South Australian Country
Music Festival Awards- Inducted into the Hall of Fame.
The Bush Poetry Breakfasts led
to the release of Jim¹s first book, I’ll Have Chips! which was a
huge seller, won him the inaugural Bush Laureate ‘Book of the
Year’ award in
in 1996 and started a whole new phase of his career, this time
as an author.
With John Kane
wins the Bush Laureate Award for Album of the Year with “Dipso
Dan and Other Silly Buggers”.
2004 – Bush Laureate Award for
Book of the Year with “An Australian Treasury of Popular Verse
2016 - Awarded the Medal
of the Order of Australia. Awarded Honorary Lifetome Membership
of the Country Music Association of Australia.