With more great songs than is fair for one man to have, John Williamson has followed his heroes, Banjo Patterson and Henry Lawson, in helping to define the Australian character. From the first song he wrote, Old Man Emu, to whatever his latest tale of life in the bush happens to be, John has been true to his roots and deliberately ignorant of fads and trends.
Over almost 30 years in the industry, he has:
* released 29 albums, 8 videos, and an impressive book of lyrics;
* collected 18 Golden Guitars at the Australian Country Music Awards;
* won 2 ARIA awards for the Best Australian Country Record;
* featured in three Australian TV series, as well as been the featured guest on "This is Your Life"
John has always stood firm on issues he believes in, no matter what flack those opinions have brought.. Rip, Rip, Woodchip (from the legendary "Warragul" album) upset more than a few people, as did A Flag of Our Own, but both were causes he felt passionately about, and stand among his greatest songs. "What's the point of making a stand if everyone agrees with you?"
His albums still effortlessly go platinum, so most of his audiences are comfortable with his democratic right to express his views. John has sold over 2 million albums in Australian alone. In the past few years, John has begun venturing overseas to perform. He has toured the UK four times, playing to sell-out houses on most occasions. New Zealand has welcomed him on what has become an annual "leap across the puddle", and in 2001 he accepted an invitation to sing at the Opening Ceremony of Winterlude in Ottawa, Canada. John went on to perform his show at a couple of other venues whilst there, and looks forward to returning in the future.
Always proud of his country, John has enjoyed the opportunity of taking his distinctive songs to an audience that sometimes needs a glossary to understand the lingo. He has also revelled in the chance to appear at major sporting events (including the 2000 Olympics) over the past few years - either singing the national anthem or leading an Aussie crowd in Waltzing Matilda. True Blue has become the anthem for the Australian cricket team. A Number on My Back has become the song the Wallabies needed to stir their blood. After singing the anthem at a Rugby Test in Auckland, John's "True Blue" album even entered the New Zealand Top 50 'Pop' chart.
John was also honoured to be asked to perform his tribute son, Sir Don, at Sir Donald Bradman's Memorial Service in Adelaide in 2001. The original scraps of paper this song was scribbled on have been framed and now hang in the Bradman Museum at Bowral NSW.
John Williamson's new album "Gunyah" is yet another marvelous celebration of what it means to be Australian. There's some very amusing songs from a trip to Cape York, a couple from the Snowy Mountains, a wry tribute to dairy farmers and a thoughtful meditation on Ned Kelly. There's also a magnificent, anthemic opener, Sing You the Outback - something he seems destined to continue doing forever.