Bryan WATKINS (1990)
1933 - Bryan Watkins was born
New South Wales,
on the 23rd
of March and grew up at Wallsend, then a coal mining and dairy
farming area. It was here that his love for country
1948 - At 15 years of age he ran
off to sea in the merchant service.
1950 - After two years he
joined the Royal Australian Navy where he stayed for seven
years. It was during his naval service that
taught himself to play the guitar by listening to Wilf Carter
records on a portable wind up gramophone and playing along.
1957 - On leaving the navy he
tried to get into the entertainment scene, but unfortunately
Rock and Roll had just arrived, making things very difficult for
an enthusiastic C/W performer. He had a little
success in talent quests around this time, but eventually
abandoned his performing career during the late 1950s when he
became disillusioned with the direction that Australian country
music was taking. He settled to a quiet family life, a good
steady job and the security of his own home.
entered a poetry competition conducted by Geoff Gregory, then a
country music DJ with 2HD
put his entry to music and sang it as a country song.
This gained him first place and tempted
to once again develop a career in country music
entertainment. With Geoff's encouragement,
attempted writing seriously, which resulted in Bryan's
first song "Copeland". Many more songs followed, all of which
were put to air by 2HD, and Bryan
gained a considerable following throughout the
signed with Hadley and his first album was released on
7th February 1977.
entered some of his writings in the 1977 "Barcoo Bush Ballad
Competition." He was judged the outright winner, and also won
two other "highly commended" plaques.
This was followed by two more
albums in 1978 and 1979.
1979 - More honourable
recognition of his work came when he again won top honours at
the Barcoo Bush Ballad Competition with his verse titled "Walk
Away." Not only that, he added yet another meritorious award for
a second entry.
1979 - On 30th September, a
heart attack and subsequent surgery took Bryan
away from country music for a year or so.
During his belated musical career,
quickly established himself as a true authentic writer of
Australian Country Music.
Intensely concerned at maintaining the
Australian heritage in song, Bryan
wrote and sung of real people and events, with just the right
amount of humour or sorrow to suit.
1990 - He was inducted into the
Hands of Fame on 27th January.
2006 – Passed away on the 8th
of December after suffering a heart attack on the 6th.