Jonnie RUSSELL (1985)
1942 – Born on October 25th
teenager of just 17 years Jonnie entered Radio 2UW's "Amateur
performing the Don Gibson hit "Oh Lonesome Me". To his utter
surprise he won the contest outright, which led in turn to quite
a few offers of work including a 2 year stint at the Collingwood
Hotel in the Sydney
where he featured in a cabaret type show with various musicians
including the well known piano man George Boyer.
In the years ahead Jonnie gained
a lot of experience doing the "Hard Yards" working the Sydney
Club and Hotel circuit as well as holding down a day job as a
clerk in a city office.
1972 – Signed a two and a half year
record deal with Opal Records in Tamworth.
Released an EP “Girls In My
Life” and later the album “My Hearts In A Prison”.
On his first visit to
he was invited to do several guest spots as well as recording 2
tracks at Music Mill Studios with production by award -winning
producer Harold Shedd. The 2 tracks were Andy King
compositions, "Make My Coffee Black" and "I Feel Loved".
Other career highlights include
his performance at the world famous Fan Fair in Nashville and
also his appearance on the Carl Tipton TV Show on W.T.V.F.
Channel 5 also out of Nashville.
1982 – He wrote and recorded a
tribute song to Sir Charles Kingsford Smith “The Immortal
Inducted into the "Hands of Fame" at
1999 - Inducted into the "Hall of
Fame" (Walk of Honour) in Barmera,
Other festivals Jonnie Russell
has appeared at include, Mildura, Gympie, Kempsy, to name only a
few. He has also done many tours with various musicians such as
the late pedal-steel guitarist Norm Bodkin and Dave Tyne of
"Cedar Creek" fame.
Jonnie has always had an
interest in Australian History, in particular Australian
aviation. He says, "My late father, who was a school teacher,
had always impressed upon me from an early age how important it
was to learn about our early history and heritage."
Through the years this has led to his writing several
songs to do with aviation including "The Immortal Southern
Cross" which is his tribute to Sir Charles Kingsford-Smith's
and his famous aircraft. Another song "Solo Woman" was written
by Jonnie as a tribute to Gaby Kennard - the first Australian
woman to fly solo around the world in 1989. Another song that
proved popular was "Sydney Public Transport Blues", a favourite
of Radio 2UE's Mike Carlton.