My Brief Career as a Recording Artist

It is a matter of record that my career as a recording artist spanned more than a decade. Four songs. Three records. Total royalties: less than $1. No reason to be jealous.

It began accidentally in about the late 1960s. Here's the cover of the EP.
And here's the back cover.

"Nobody Knows" was later used to lull rowdy teenagers to sleep at Gold Coast Secondary School Camps run by the Methodist Church. Doubtless, my soporific performance enhanced sleepiness.

Also on this EP is a recording of my big sister's group, The Goldenway Three. Judith, the aforementioned Big Sis, is the lead and two other sisters (not mine), Janet and Heather Bishop, do the harmonies. I can be heard playing the piano on "Go Tell It On The Mountain".

Following this brilliant start was my venture into country music with a song about a horse. Not any horse. Gunsynd, the Goondiwindi Grey. 

When Gunsynd ran his last race, a couple of established artists wrote songs about the horse. At the time I was working at Radio 4BK Brisbane. One of my shifts included the Saturday morning Racing Preview with legends of the turf, Keith Noud and Tom Foley. Naturally, we played these tributes to the Great Grey from Goondiwindi and I commented that I thought they were pretty ordinary.
"S'pose you could do better," commented Tom, clearly doubtful. So I wrote and recorded "Gunsynd (The Grey That Grew On Bookie's Tears)". It was an immediate hit on my week-day program! But not elsewhere.
I think I can hear Bill DeVoss on guitar, Dave Keats on bass and probably that's Mark Moffat on lead guitar. That'd be me on the goanna. Everyone sang on it.
Oh yeah, here's me and the horse at T.J. Smith's stables in Randwick. Gunsynd said he liked my song best of all.

The B-side is worth a mention.
Jim Beeston was (and is) the brother of Judith, my wife not my sister. He was (probably is) quite a poet and I set a few of his songs to music. "Simon Jean" was the only one we recorded.

Finally, in 1979, David Smallbone brought Ian Truscott to our home to write a song about the crash landing of the Skylab satellite near the town of Balladonia in Western Australia. Ian wrote the lyrics and we collaborated on the tune of "Balladonia Night". I understand it got a few airplays, although I don't recall seeing a royalty cheque.

Fortunately, I didn't give up my day job.


  1. I just found a copy of the Coffee Shop EP in Kingaroy today. Rather interesting piece of Brisbane music history! Will have to track down the Gunsynd single as you really can't have enough songs about race horses!


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