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Bush Poetry, Ballads and Yarns


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Author Topic: Bush Poetry, Ballads and Yarns  (Read 463 times)
Merv Webster
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« on: April 11, 2008, 06:18:34 pm »

I was born in the Queensland border town of Goondiwindi and, as my dad was a  banker, his work took us to a number of towns throughout Queensland. I received my  education to Junior level and then tried my hand at various occupations such as a Lad Porter  on the Railway, then as a Clerk for the Commonwealth Bank, an Accountant, and the  Toowoomba City Council. My wife was a Roma girl, Christine Edwards, whom I married  in Toowoomba and we would have four children.

    After marrying I worked as a Clerk, Shop Assistant, Slaughterman and an  Electrical Line Worker. These jobs took us to towns such as Toowomba, Roma, Cairns,  Gatton, Warialda and Goondiwindi. During my time in Roma I took an interest in stock  work and received an education on all aspects of the life, some of which I'd rather forget,  from a hardened old drover. Chris' dad. In 1994 we moved to Bargara, where I began  writing a book on my family's history.

    Impressed by the stories told to me, along with the experiences I had with Chrisí dad,  I began trying my hand at writing bush poetry. My first book of bush poetry was called 'Tales of  Uncle Jim', which was well received. In 1996 I met Neil McArthur, a fellow poet, who  encouraged me to try performing my poetry at the Bundy Mob's Bush Poets Muster. This  was the beginning of my career as a Performing Bush Poet.

    I have been fortunate over the years to be able to perform and win numerous awards  for my performance bush poetry at such places as the Mapleton Yarn Festival, Poets on the  Downs, Jondaryan Country Music Rush, The Winton Waltzing Matilda Bush Poetry  Championships, The Australian Stockman's Hall of Fame, The Bundy Mobís Bush Poets  Muster, Central Queensland Bush Poetry Championships, The Surat Battered Bugle, The  Gympie Muster, Camooweal's Drovers Yesteryear Festival, Harvey Bay Whale Festival,  North Pines Camp Oven Festival, Glengallon Bush Poetry Festival, Imperial Hotel Bush  Poetry Competition, Tenterfield Oracles of the Bush, Bard of the Outback and the  Australian Bush Poetry Championships at Yarrawonga-Mulwala.

    Yarn spinning has become very much part of the bush poetry scene and I have enjoyed  competing at competitions such as the Mapleton Yarn Festival, Jondaryan Country Music  Rush, The Australian Yarn Spinning Championships [Winton Waltzing Matilda Festival],  The Bundy Mobís Bush Poets Muster, Millmerran Muster, Gatton Yarn Spinning Festival  and the Yarnspinning Championships at the Australian Bush Poetry  Championships,Yarrawonga-Mulwala.

    Since 1996 I have won a number of awards for my written bush poetry, which were  included in the eight books of bush verse and yarns I have published along with three  albums.  I have been a finalist on four occasions at the Golden Gumleaf Bush Laureate  Awards at Tamworth with my books and once with Chris for our CD, 'Chris and The Grey, A Selection of Bush Verse'.  I also have a track on The Australian Bush Balladeers Albums, Volumes 4, 5 and 7 and the 2005 Katherine Country Music Muster Album.

    My desire to see the advancement of bush poetry encouraged me to take on the job of  Bush Poetry Events Co-ordinator and for two years I was Co-ordinator for the Bundy Mob's  Bush Poet's Muster, two years Joint Co-ordinator of the Oasis Bush Poetry Competition at  Tamworth as well as the Easter In the Country weekend at Roma. I also co-ordinate the bush poetry at the Katherine Country Music Festival and the Far North Bush Poetry Festival.  I have had the privilege  to act as compere at many of the places I have performed and see it as an important role in  keeping any function running smoothly.

    Since 1999 Chris, and on occasions my dad, have joined me in our own show of Bush  Poetry and Yarns, which we called 'Laughter & Tears from the Bush'. We have toured  Western Queensland from Miles through to Camooweal, the Tamworth Country Music  Festival, Easter In the Country at Roma, the 1770 Festival as well as Festivals, Expos,  Farmfest, the Barcaldine Heritage Centre and numerous other venues throughout  Queensland and Northern New South Wales.

    Over the years Chris has accompanied me to The Tamworth Country Music Festival where we perform our show in front of Grace Bros., now Target.  From 2000 until 2003 Chris and I were resident  bush poets at the Bailey Bar Caravan Park at Charleville during the winter months where we performed our Bush Poetry and Yarns show daily and we had the opportunity to meet so many folk and introduced quite a few of them to bush verse.  In November 2004 I released my debut Bush Ballad EP/CD, 'The Bushman & The Balladeer', a tribute to R. M. Williams and Slim Dusty, featuring the songs, 'R. M. Williams - a Man Who Had Tried' and 'I Never Cried For Elvis But I Shed A Tear For Slim'.

     In 2005 I tried my hand at song writing and entered The Lyrics Only section of the Katherine Country Music Muster's Northern Territory Song Writing Competition and was nominated as one of the five finalists.  On the Saturday night of the Muster, Balladeer Keith Jamieson announced that I had won the section with my song 'Chasing Buttons.' 

     Then in 2006 I thought I'd enter the TSA Awards at Tamworth and received three out of the five nominations in the Lyrics Only Section of their National Song Writing Contest and on Wednesday night of the Awards, Tania Kernaghan announced the finalists and then singer/songwriter Tom McIvor opened the envelope and announced that I won with 'The Maintop Balladeer.' 

     Also in 2006 I again tried my hand at The Lyrics Only section of the Katherine Country Music Muster's Northern Territory Song Writing Competition and was nominated as one of the five finalists.  Keith Jamieson again announced that I had won the section with my song 'Granddad's Crusty Damper.' 

     Later in the year I received three finalist nominations in the Lyrics Only Section of the S.E. Queensland Branche's Song Writing Awards and took out second place with "I Wish I Were a Crocodile" and third place with "Son Play Another Coster Song".  In August I released a new EP/CD "From Bard to Balladeer" with seven of my own compositions.

     In 2007 I thought I'd again enter the TSA Awards at Tamworth and received four out of the six nominations in the Lyrics Only Section of their National Song Writing Contest and won with "I Wish I Were a Crocodile."

     In 2008 I once again entered the TSA Awards at Tamworth and received two out of the six nominations in the Lyrics Only Section of their National Song Writing Contest.

      I was bush poets Rep. for the Australian Bush Balladeers from 2003 to 2007 and these days write a column for the Country Roundup magazine.  Chris and I continue to perform our show and if you wish to know where we will be performing check out our http://users.tpg.com.au/thegrey/perform.htm page.   
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Joseph Scott Morris
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« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2008, 11:56:21 am »

Hello Merv,

Welcome to Notes of Life!


Your friend,
Joe
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Merv Webster
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« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2008, 06:36:47 pm »

G'day Joe.  Life keeps me pretty busy, but it's always good to catch up mate.


Merv
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poeicpiers
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« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2008, 06:53:40 am »

Hi Merv old mate nice to see you here  ivor
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Merv Webster
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« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2008, 01:49:49 am »

G'day Ivor.  We catch up at all sorts of places mate.  Hope you're keeping well.

Merv
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Marie
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« Reply #5 on: May 29, 2008, 07:43:34 pm »

Hi Merv!

Glad to have you here with us again...........have missed your works.

hugs friend, Marie Smiley
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Merv Webster
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« Reply #6 on: June 22, 2008, 08:31:39 pm »

G'day Marie, nice to catch up with you again.


Merv
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