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Geoff MACK OAM 2008

Geoff Mack

1922 – Born Albert Geoffrey McElhinney on the 12th of December in Surrey Hills, Sydney.

As a teenager he joined the air force.

1944 - Geoff had begun performing professionally while still in the RAAF. He was in Borneo at the time, just singing around the camps and messes when he was asked to support Gracie Fields with 18,000 troops in the audience.

1948 - Moving to England he worked there and in Europe for the next 6 years. In Germany, Geoff met English comedian and dancer Tabby Francis.

1953 – Married Tabby in 1953; they then rode their motorbike from England out to Sri Lanka, shipped to Fremantle in Western Australia and rode across the Nullabour Plains, arriving in Sydney in December 1954.

1959 - Wrote the country music classic "I’ve been everywhere" (originally titled Swagman Rock). Geoff Mack had been working a Holiday resort in Coolangatta in Queensland for several years, during that time Geoff had taken to serious song writing.

1960 – With Lucky Grills bought out the Sorlies Roadshow and for the next 6 years toured NSW and QLD with a 20 piece troupe called “Carol’s Varieties” for 10 months of the year until 1965.

1961 - Geoff presented this song to the A&R manager at Festival Records in Sydney. He told Geoff that the title of the song would have to be changed from the "Swagman Rock " to " I’ve Been Everywhere " because Rock and Roll will be dead in a year.

1962 - “I’ve Been Everywhere” was first recorded by "Lucky Star” and the song went straight to number one on the Australian Music charts and stayed at the top for fifteen weeks. Lucky Star’s manager requested versions of the song with New Zealand and United Kingdom rhyming lyrics, that were to become the basis of a four track extended play single that would be titled "Lucky’s Been Everywhere " .

1963 - Geoff also had success with the American, German and Japanese versions that he wrote. The CM fraternity in the US presented him with a citation for composing Hank Snow’s chart topping version of the song. There have been a number of spin offs to this song- “I’ve Had Everything”, “I’ve Eaten Everything”, “I’ve driven Everything”.

1978 – Inducted into the Hands of Fame. Toured with Slim Dusty until 1983.

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

2005 - Geoff was awarded an Order of Australia Medal (OAM) for his services to Country Music.

2008 – Elevated to the Roll of Renown.

Nicknamed “Tangletongue”.