Tamworth’s music history coup

Volunteer Judy Loffel says artists are thrilled to be commemorated at Tamworth’s giant guitar, the Australian Country Music Hall of Fame.

  • What’s Up Downunder visits the Australian Country Music Hall of Fame below in 2018

“We had Jean Stafford from Tasmania come visit the collection; she said ‘l love it, it love it,’ when she saw her dress on display.

“The musicians trust us. We know how to look after their things,” Judy explains.

“We show the other side, too; not just the performance but aspects of their whole life,” says Judy.

Things like Smokey Robinson comics, the sewing machine Zeta Burns used for her first on-stage performance alongside her original modified dress, and racing silks painting a broad picture.



The foundation relies on donations from private collections and artist involvement to help grow the museum.

Indeed, Judy says the community was forthcoming in the museum’s new display of touring stockman legend Brian Young, OAM Country Hall of Fame inductee.

“We’ve asked artists like Troy Cassidy to write their own story on what it was like to tour with him,” Judy explains.

The Brian Young tribute is just one of seven new recently-installed boxed displays.


But it takes more than musicians to preserve Australia’s country music heritage.

In fact, volunteer Eric Scott will visit Tasmania next February, hopefully, to sift through documents and the record collection of radio legend Hedley Charles.

“The family has asked we go through his entire collection. We’ll need to organise shipping. It’s three tonne!”

Hedley was well known in country music circles, having judged the Golden Guitars for 17 years. The researcher and music critic later working as the Country Music co-ordinator for FM Country at Coast FM for a number of years.

Eric expects the collection will guide displays and help to pad out interpretive displays at the Australian Country Music Hall of Fame.

“Our country music history is fast disappearing,” says Eric.

“Collections like these are invaluable.”