Gordon Parsons 1982

Gordon Parsons

1926 – Born 24 December, Paddington Sydney.  An only child.

1929 – Parents move to Cooks Creek, Bellingen.
1937 – Age 11 Gordon gets his first mail order guitar. Soon young Gordon was known all over the district through his talent.

1940 – Age 14 Gordon leaves his parents farm.

1942 – Age 16, Gordon works as a sleeper cutter.  He became a skilled axeman and many have said a champion.

His reputation as a singer had spread his friends persuaded Gordon to enter “Terry Dear’s Amateur Hour”, he ran second to a female violinist.

1946 – Age 18 May, Regal Zonophone records six sides with Gordon after hearing him on the Amateur Hour.

During this time Gordon was in good demand for personal appearances with numerous travelling shows with Goldwyn Brothers Circus.  While on tour he met his wife Zelda of the Great Ashton’s Circus family.

1949 – Daughter Gail born.  Due to incompatibility their marriage  broke up.

Gordon was touring regularly with major country acts, Slim Dusty, Chad Morgan, Rick and Thel, Tex Morton, Nev Nicholls, Athol McCoy and Tim McNamara.  In between tours he “went bush” to write more songs to do a bit of fishing, farm work or any kind of menial work.

1951 – In between his career interruption for the need of “peace of the bush” Gordon put down six more tracks for Regal Zonophone.

1953 – Two tracks – again in ’55, ’67 and ’68.         

1950’s – 1980’s. Recorded and releases with (‘50’s) Mystery, (60’s) Hadley (70’s) CM Records, (80’s) Columbia and Selection.

1956 – Wrote “The Pub with No Beer” about the Cosmopolitan Hotel at Taylors Arms

The SongSomeone handed Gordon a scrap of paper with a few pencilled verses and suggested it might make a good song.  That’s how the legend of the Pub with No Beer began.  Gordon began to add verses about the characters who frequented the old Pub of nearby Taylors Arm.  Adding a tune he tried it at sing-songs and parties around the areas.  Some more words and refinements were added during s subsequent tour with Slim Dusty and Chad Morgan.  Gordon used the song on the show and planned to record it.

1957 – Slim records the “Pub with No Beer” as a “B” side to “Saddle   Boy”.

1958 – Pop radio stations “flipped” the record and the record raced up the charts.  It was the first ’78 to win a Gold Award.

Gordon’s writing versatility is shown in three widely differing favourites, the whimsical “Hobnail Express” (Recorded by Rex Dallas) and the popular “That’s the Kind of Life I Live”.

1978 – Married third wife Jeanette and settled in Sydney.

1979 – Inducted into the Hands of Fame in Tamworth.

1980’s – Produced three top classic albums “The Old GP”, “Just Passing Through” and “Throw In A Line” all on the Selection Label.

1982 – Inducted into the “Roll of Renown” in Tamworth.

1984 – Has his effigy in Tamworth’s Wax Museum and was special guest star at the 1984 Australasian Country Music Awards.

The Passing of Cobber Jack, Where the Bellinger River Flows are listed in the top 50 of Australia’s most requested country songs.

1990 – South Australian Country Music Festival Awards- Inducted into the Hall of Fame.

August 17th, Gordon passes away at age 63.  He is buried in Pinegrove Cemetery.

2003 – Bronze Bust erected in the Bicentennial Park Tamworth.

“I’d rather be fishing than doing anything else”

(Gordon Parsons)