John Williamson Celebrates 50 Years Of Music

John Williamson Celebrates 50 Years Of Music

Posted 18 Feb 2020
john williamson
John Williamson.

When John Williamson wandered into Richmond’s GTV9 studios in 1970 with a guitar under his arm, the Mallee farmer surely had no idea that he was about to set in motion an illustrious 50-year career as a celebrated singer and performer. 

John Williamson | “Old Man Emu” [New Faces] [1970]

“Old Man Emu” might have been the very first song John had ever written, but his performance of the tune on Channel Nine’s popular New Faces program resulted in a number one single and a record deal. The inaugural release marked the arrival of a striking new talent: an unofficial custodian of Australian stories.

Half a century on, John Williamson has made an art of expertly capturing Australia through his songs; painting lyrical pictures of our unique fauna and flora, landscapes and people; encapsulating the beauty, wonder and, sometimes, heartbreak of life Down Under. From boabs to billabongs and snowy mountains to sandy beaches, the Mallee-born songwriter’s 52 albums - including 20 original studio albums - have traversed Australia like a dust-covered road train, with larrikin humour and touching pathos.

John Williamson | “True Blue”

To celebrate his golden anniversary, John Williamson will release the personally curated collection – JW 50 - Winding Back 1970-2020, a limited edition and ornately packaged box set, in mid-2020. As part of the 50th-anniversary celebration, John has created the sleeve artwork for 25 mini CDs, with each disc containing two songs from across the course of his career. John’s images include acrylics depicting outback landscapes, humorous sketches based on song lyrics and Aussie minutiae captured with his immaculate eye for detail. Check it out here.

As well as inclusions from award-winning albums such as 1987’s “Mallee Boy”, 1989’s “Boomerang Café”, 2012’s “The Big Red” and 2018’s “Butcherbird”, the beautifully boxed collectible, features the brand new single “Those Fifty Years”.

“Putting together this collection gave me a chance to take stock of what I’ve achieved during my career,” John says of the inspiration behind the new recording. “Like I say in the song, ‘There’s been laughter and there’s been tears’ – which I’m sure most people can relate to when reminiscing on their life’s journey.”

John Williamson | “Mallee Boy”

The release of the JW 50 - Winding Back 1970-2020 Box Set aligns with the Winding Back Tour, which will take in more than 40 dates across Australia through to the end of 2020. Get all the dates and details here

With his honours including ARIA Hall Of Fame and Australian Country Music Awards of Australia Roll Of Renown inductions, an Order of Australia and 27 Golden Guitar Awards, not to mention over 5 million albums sold and thousands of shows performed, this is certainly a 50th anniversary to celebrate!

“It’s hard to believe it’s 50 years since the first time I heard “Old Man Emu” on the radio while feeding the pigs,” John says. “Winding Back” is a summary of my career. It’s a pretty remarkable innings and I’m thankful for the support I’ve received since those early days.”

Pre-order the  JW 50 - Winding Back 1970-2020 Box Set here!

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