Buried Country is a documentary film, book, soundtrack album, and stage show.A prosopography, created by Clinton Walker, it tells the story of Australian country music in the Aboriginal community by focussing on the genre's most important stars.
The book Buried Country: The Story of Aboriginal Country Music by Clinton Walker was published by Pluto Press in 2000; the Film Australia documentary was directed by Andy Nehl and written by Walker. [ citation needed ]Buried Country has also been produced as a touring stage show that made its premiere at the Playhouse in Newcastle in August, 2016, starring surviving elders of the tradition and a younger generation of singers and songwriters.[ citation needed ]The 2000 2-CD set Buried Country: Original Film Soundtrack (Larrikin Records) produced by Walker contains 45 classic and rare tracks featured in the book and film.
Indigenous music of Australia comprises the music of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples of Australia, intersecting with their cultural and ceremonial observances, through the millennia of their individual and collective histories to the present day. The traditional forms include many aspects of performance and musical instrumentation that are unique to particular regions or Aboriginal Australian groups; and some elements of musical tradition are common or widespread through much of the Australian continent, and even beyond. The music of the Torres Strait Islanders is related to that of adjacent parts of New Guinea. Music is a vital part of Indigenous Australians' cultural maintenance.
Clinton Walker is an Australian writer, best known for his works on popular music but with a broader interest in social and cultural history and theory. Sydney's Sun-Herald has called him "our best chronicler of Australian grass-roots culture." Books he's published like Inner City Sound (1981), Buried Country (2000) and History is Made at Night (2012) have had a seminal impact on the Australian music scene. Similarly, while he found best-selling success as Bon Scott's biographer, Walker's non-music books like Football Life (1998) and Golden Miles (2005) have offered an appreciation of subjects hitherto hardly deemed worthy of serious consideration. More recently, in early 2018, he courted controversy when his book Deadly Woman Blues was withdrawn from sale to be pulped after only a couple of weeks on the shelves.
Australian country music is a part of the music of Australia. There is a broad range of styles, from bluegrass, to yodeling to folk to the more popular. The genre has been influenced by Celtic and English folk music, the Australian bush ballad tradition, as well as by popular American country music. Themes include: outback life, the lives of stockmen, truckers and outlaws, songs of romance and of political protest; and songs about the "beauty and the terror" of the Australian bush. Early pioneers included Tex Morton, Smoky Dawson, Buddy Williams, Slim Dusty and Johnny Ashcroft all members of the Australian Roll of Renown.
Gregory Stephen Perkins, better known by his stage name Tex Perkins, is an Australian singer-songwriter who fronts the Australian rock band The Cruel Sea, but has also performed with the Beasts of Bourbon, Thug, James Baker Experience, The Butcher Shop, Salamander Jim, and Tex, Don and Charlie. He has also released many solo records. In 1997, a portrait of Tex Perkins by artist Bill Leak won the Packing Room award at the Archibald Prize.
William Leonard Gammage is an Australian academic historian, Adjunct Professor and Senior Research Fellow at the Humanities Research Centre of the Australian National University (ANU). Gammage was born in Orange, New South Wales, went to Wagga Wagga High School and then to ANU. He was on the faculty of the University of Papua New Guinea and the University of Adelaide. He is a fellow of the Australian Academy of Social Sciences and deputy chair of the National Museum of Australia.
George Walker was an American vaudevillian, actor, and producer. In 1893, in San Francisco, Walker at the age of 20 met Bert Williams, who was a year younger. The two young men became performing partners. Walker and Williams appeared in The Gold Bug (1895), Clorindy (1898), The Policy Player (1899), Sons of Ham (1900), In Dahomey (1903), Abyssinia (1906), and Bandanna Land (1907). Walker married dancer Ada Overton, who later also was a choreographer.
Robert James "Bob" Randall was an Aboriginal Australian elder, singer and community leader. He was a member of the Stolen Generations and became an elder of the Yankunytjatjara people from Central Australia. He was the 1999 NAIDOC Person of the Year. His 1970 song, "My Brown Skin Baby They Take Him Away," is described as an "anthem" for the Stolen Generations. He was known by the honorific "Tjilpi", a word meaning "old man" that is often translated as "uncle". He lived in Mutitjulu, the Aboriginal community at Uluru in the Northern Territory of Australia.
Kasper Gus Ntjalka Williams OAM, known as Gus Williams was a country singer from Hermannsburg in Central Australia. He was an Arrernte man, who was born in Alice Springs. He was the father of country star Warren H Williams.
Roger Knox is an Australian country singer, known as the Black Elvis and the Koori King of Country.
Auriel Andrew was an Indigenous Australian country musician of the Arrernte people of Central Australia. Andrew was born in Darwin, and grew up in Alice Springs, Northern Territory, leaving for Adelaide, South Australia aged 21 to pursue her music career.
William Victor Simms, known as Vic Simms and Vicki Simms, is an Australian singer and songwriter. He is from La Perouse, New South Wales, and is a Bidjigal man.
Wilma Reading is a singer from Cairns, Queensland, Australia.
George Assang (1927–1997) was an Australian jazz and blues singer and actor from Thursday Island, Queensland, Australia. He performed under his own name and the stage name Vic Sabrino. Assang was of Aboriginal, Pacific Islander, and Asian descent.
Johnny Nicol is a jazz singer born in Ayr, Queensland.
Dougie Young was a singer and songwriter from South West Queensland. Young had a white father and a Gurnu mother.
Allan Moarywaalla Barker, known as Black Allan Barker, is a singer and songwriter from Port Hedland. He described his music as "Aboriginal grassroots blues" and is about Aboriginal oppression and rights. Barker was a co-founder of Greenpeace Australia. Barker only recorded one album, 1983's Fire Burning (Abmusic) which is now rare to find. "Black Al" was well known for his performing in Sydney's Central Station tunnel in 1991 where he sang in language whilst his son Alan Jr accompanied him on didgeridoo. Barker spent some time in Nimbin during the 1990s and was involved with local Aboriginal youth in cultural and musical pursuits.
Harry Williams and Wilga Munroe were Indigenous Australians who performed professionally between the 1960s and 1980s. Harry Williams was called the godfather of Koori country.
Bruce Pascoe is an Aboriginal Australian writer of literary fiction, non-fiction, poetry, essays and children's literature. As well as his own name, Pascoe has written under the pen names Murray Gray and Leopold Glass. Since August 2020, he has been Enterprise Professor in Indigenous Agriculture at the University of Melbourne.
Burst of Summer is a 1959 play by Oriel Gray. It won the 1959 J.C. Williamson's Little Theatre Guild Award, and was later adapted for radio and TV. It was Gray's last produced play.
Glenn Skuthorpe is an indigenous Australian country musician from Goodooga, New South Wales. His indigenous heritage is Nhunggabarra, Kooma and Muruwari and his musical influences include Hank Williams, Tex Morton and Archie Roach. He has released six albums independently, including Out of the Darkness (2001), Restless Souls (2004),See My World (2017) and Wild Winds of Dooga (2018). His songs have featured on compilations such as Fresh Salt (2002), Home (2013), Buried Country (2014) and in films including Emu Runner (2018) and John Pilger's documentary, Utopia. Skuthorpe is a regular performer on the Australian country music festival circuit and tours extensively from his home in South Australia.