I never got to meet the late Ron Edwards, a great far north Queensland artist, collector of folklore, and gifted story-teller. But I did hear many stories of him from the late Bill Scott, who shared many of Ron’s talents and passions. Bill lived at The Coconuts, near Innisfail in the 1950s. Ron arrived in the far north in the late 50s. The two were great friends who shared many adventures here in FNQ and elsewhere.
Ron Edwards is the subject of a retrospective exhibition opening tomorrow night at the Tanks Arts Centre in Cairns. It’s appropriately called The Passionate Observer. Ron was an artist, a publisher, musician, story-teller, singer and craftsman, with a particular passion for Australian folk music. In 1976, he published the Big Book of Australian Folk Song – a work that inspired and encouraged many performers and lovers of the genre, including our own Tony Hillier.
So today we offer a selection of Australian folk songs Ron Edwards would have enjoyed. We hear The Bushwackers from 1974, when they were known as The Bushwackers & Bullockies Bush Band, a Peter Kenyon composition performed by Jan Wositzky http://www.storytellersguide.com.au/ and two takes on an Australian folk classic, from The Bushwackers http://thebushwackers.com.au/ and Tony Hillier’s band, Kamerunga. http://www.entertainmentcairns.com/kamerunga
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The Woolloomooloo Lair (Trad) by Bushwackers & Bullockies Bush Band from the 1974 LP The Shearer’s Dream
Fool’s Gold (written by Peter Kenyon) performed by Jan Wositzky & Danny Spooner from Jan Wositzky’s 2013 CD The Monster Meeting
Lime Juice Tub (Trad) by the Bushwackers from their 1984 album Lively
Lime Juice Tub (Trad) by Kamerunga from their 2012 album Worlds Kaleid
More about the Ron Edwards exhibition at www.ronedwardsretrospective.wordpress.com
Tony Hillier is one of Australia’s leading music journalists and a musician of long standing here in far north Queensland. His informed and insightful coverage of music features in The Weekend Australian and Rhythms magazine http://rhythms.com.au/ .
Tony Hillier’s World of Music is also available as a podcast. Search for Tony Hillier on your podcast app or in the iTunes store. And you can stay in touch with the FNQ music scene with Tony at http://www.entertainmentcairns.com/hilliers-hotline-archive.php