Bob HOWE (2014)

Bob Howe

1956 - Born in Rugby, England.

1970 - Came to Australia as a 13-year old clarinet-tooting schoolboy. A year later he switched to guitar.

1975 - After playing around the fringes of folk music in Sydney, Bob began his professional Country Music career after being ‘discovered’ by Desree-Ilona Crawford and the late Bill Kelly.

While still a teenager, Bob played studio sessions for Reg Lindsay and Diana Trask, and later went on to tour with them both, and he played on over 40 episodes of the Logie-winning TV show, “Reg Lindsay’s Country Homestead”.

1977 - He spent a year playing his guitar all over England and then returned to Australia to tour with many artists including spells as Musical Director for both Lucky Starr and Laurel Lee.

1979 - He began producing records with Terry Gordon’s “The Last Of The Marrickville Cowboys” LP for Opal Records.

Played the part of lead guitarist James Burton in “ELVIS – The Stage Musical” at the Capitol Theatre, Sydney and Her Majesty’s Theatre, Brisbane.

1981 - Bob relocated to Melbourne. He subsequently toured Australia with Johnny Chester and Hotspur (playing on the Golden Guitar-winning recording “Rough Around The Edges”) and with Donna Fisk.

1982 - Bob was voted “Most Popular Guitarist”, “Most Popular Musician”, and “Most Popular Newcomer” at the Southern Hemisphere Country Music Awards (F.E.I.P. Victoria),

1984 - Won “The Best Country Song” award in the 3CCC-FM song-writing contest. Bob played his way across the USA, followed by tours of the UK, Australia and the Far East as Musical Director for legendary Australian singing star, Frank Ifield.

1986-87 - He took a break from touring to perform a critically acclaimed portrayal of Paul McCartney in “LENNON – The Musical of the Legend” at the Enmore Theatre, Sydney; and the QPAC Lyric Theatre, Brisbane. After another season in the U.K and another Australian tour with Frank Ifield, Bob relocated to the U.S. for a time, first in Mobile, Alabama and later Nashville, Tennessee, touring with Gospel/Country singer Jerry Arhelger.

1990’s - Bob continued to be highly in-demand as a multi-instrumental musician. As a session musician he has played on Gold Guitar-winning recordings by Allan Caswell and blown harp on Don Spencer’s platinum-selling children’s albums.

Bob’s television appearances as an artist include “At Home with John Mangos”, and “It’s Country Today!” for which he was the band’s Musical Director.

2000’s – “As Frankie Goes To Holloway” (FG2H), Bob and Michael Vidale released a linedance version of “On The Inside” in the U.K. and Australia. Amongst his other varied activities ‘cyberBob’ is also a Country Music Webmaster, known for his ‘Capital News’ column “Cowboys In Cyberspace” and his photojournalism in various music magazines.

2002 - Musical Director for the “Hats Off To The Outback” concert band I Tamworth

2004 - Recognised internationally, winning “The Charlie Lamb Award for Excellence in Country Music Journalism (Lifetime Achievement Category”, presented during the International Country Music Conference at Belmont University in Nashville. During the conference, Bob was also a featured guest speaker, and his presentation on Australian country music was enthusiastically received by the audience of International academics.

Bob produces the popular monthly Sydney live show “Canterbury Country”, which has been running since 2000. The concerts give big-city exposure to a myriad of Country artists and have become the biggest regular country music show in Sydney.

Every Saturday night for seven years (2003-2010), Bob (a.k.a. Big Bob from Bondi) chatted with John Nutting on ABC Local Radio to deliver the Saturday Night Country Gig Guide, relayed across 60 stations nationally, via the Web and Radio Australia. Bob also co-hosted on numerous occasions from the Sydney, Tamworth and Mildura studios, reported in from the USA in 2004 and 2008, and performed live music in the studio.

2006 - Release of Bob’s first solo instrumental album entitled “Go West” which received great acclaim and won the Marketing Excellence Award in the Australian Country Recording Awards. In the arena of live performance, Bob was honoured as “Variety Vocal/Instrumental Performer of the Year” at the 30th Australian Entertainment ‘MO’ Awards.

2007 - Bob was named “Musician of the Year at the “Australian Country Music People’s Choice Awards” where he inscription on the award reads “…in recognition of your musical skills and how you have brought them to bear over the years for the betterment of Australian country music and the artists you work with.”

2008 - Radio single from the album, “Classic Twang”, “I Listen To My Heart”, received world-wide airplay from – from Austria to New Zealand !

2009 - Nicki Gillis & Bob Howe released the CD album collaboration, which garnered excellent reviews and the radio singles Chasing Cars and It Doesn’t Matter Anymore, reached #3 and #10 on the U.K. In June 2009 and again in July 2010, Bob toured the U.K. as Musical Director for the Nicki Gillis Band.

April 2010 saw the release of a brand new recording of “I Remember You” By Nicki Gillis with Frank Ifield.

May 2010 - Bob was again honoured as “Variety Vocal/Instrumental Performer of the Year” at the 34th Australian Entertainment ‘MO’ Awards.

May 2011 - The honour was duplicated when Bob was named “Vocal/Instrumental Performer of the Year” at the 35th Australian Entertainment ‘MO’ Awards.

In June 2011, Bob hosted the Tomkins Guitar Showcase in Nashville, Tennessee for the second time. The following month he released his third (mostly) instrumental album, “Colour My World”.

2012 a digital-only single release “Celtic Bushman”, a lively instrumental featuring electric guitar, tin whistle and mandolin, inspired by the Irish and Scottish influence on Australian music and culture.

In January 2014, Bob was inducted into the Australian Country Music Hands of Fame and his handprint is now immortalised at the Hands of Fame Park in Tamworth, NSW.