Country Music

Friday 1st of September
Spring

Tamworth

It was quite a mild night last night with the temperature a few degrees above zero. This is to be expected as we are now at a lower altitude than Tenterfield, and on the edge of the western plains of NSW. Despite it not being really cold, there was a slight frost in the shadows around the place, so again Linda and I did not arise from bed until around 7.30am. Having arisen and then had fried mushrooms for breakfast, Linda did some essential clothes washing whilst I assembled our bikes for a ride into Tamworth.

With washing and such done, we left our tourist park at around 10.30 and headed the 7 Km into Tamworth. Our first objective for today was to visit the Golden Guitar Centre on the highway out towards the Hunter Valley and eventually Sydney. But before I speak about the Golden Guitar Centre, it is necessary to note what Tamworth is world famous for, and that is its Country Music Festival held every January that brings thousands of County Music Fans to Tamworth along with many world famous County Music performers. Tamworth has held this festival yearly since the 1960’s, with the event becoming larger and more famous year after year. Not only does it feature Australian CM stars, it has also hosted such famous CM performers as Dolly Parton and Glen Campbell, plus others I cannot recall. (I’m not really a CM fan, despite most of such music being quite pleasant. I’m an old and rusted on classicist.)

Linda and I cycled out to the Golden Guitar Centre that naturally features a golden guitar; a huge one out front of the centre. On entering the centre, Linda and I first went for the cafe’ therein for a much wanted cup of coffee. Having had our coffee, we then entered the centre proper. It’s main displays are twofold: One. The guitars used by numerous national and international CM performers, and two; Madam Tussaud type wax statues of Australia’s most famous CM performers, along with various pieces of memorabilia that belonged to each. As I am not a great fan of CM, I was not familiar with all, the CM stars in the display, but the few I knew of were: Tex Morton, Smokey Dawson, Frank Ifield, Chad Morgan (All fairly ancient CM stars like yours truly and mostly now dead, except for me) and more recent and still live stars with whom I am unfamiliar. At each wax figure, a biography told about their respective lives, and the songs/music they were famous for. Despite neither Linda nor I being great CM lovers, we did find the displays and information very interesting.

The Golden Guitar

Having seen the displays and read all about the CM stars, it was now lunch time, so Linda and I cycled back into central Tamworth and then walked the Main Street, Peel St., looking for a suitable place for lunch. We finally settled on sushi from one of those sushi places where the food comes around on a sushi train.

As well as the Golden Guitar Centre, there is the Australian Country Music Hall of Fame, so we walked with our bikes along Peel St., to where Mr. Google’s Maps said the ACMHF was. But once there we could not see any indication of an ACMHF. A certain hamburger chain stood out like canine balls, but no signage indicating the ACMHF. But. On closer investigation, a small brick building behind the hamburger chain, seemed to resemble a guitar. On closer investigation of the brick building we found a very small sign: “ACMHF”. So much for Tamworth promoting its hall of fame. The hamburger joint had greater prominence. Linda and I were so disappointed with this lack of pride by Tamworth in its ACMHF that we decided not to grace it with our presence. Besides, it was most likely a similar exhibition to the GGC.

Linda and I then cycled back to or tourist park, getting back there around 3pm. As we had been cycling on a warm day, we both needed a shower to clean up. As it was getting on in the afternoon, we decided to do no more except prepare for departure tomorrow for Coonabarabran, about 200 Km west of Tamworth.