Reg Lindsay Biography
Reg began his musical career at the age of two when his father gave him a harmonica. Within a few years, he had demonstrated a remarkable proficiency with the instrument and later on went on to master the mandolin, banjo, guitar and fiddle. But the youngster had his heart set on becoming a stock man and, without the intervention of fate; he might today be anonymously riding the dusty reaches of some outback station. By his teenage years, he was already adept at shearing, fencing and general stock work. He had been accepted for a job at Mutooroo Station outside Broken Hill but a rodeo injury occasioned a long period of recuperation.
Reg became a ‘dial-twister’, scoring the radio frequencies for his favourite music: country music. It was during this time he came across Tim McNamara’s talent quest at Sydney Station 2SM. Fired with enthusiasm, he rode an old ex-Army dispatch bike to Sydney to compete, and eventually win!
His career then took off beginning with the top-rating radio program, firstly with 2CH then with 2SM.
Reg turned to touring full-time; his music was known around Australia. For the next three years he pretty much blanketed the country with music. He would return to Sydney in time for Christmas and to record some new songs, then it was back to dusty outback trails.
Reg made his move into television. The Reg Lindsay Country Harbour broadcast out of Adelaide, was followed by the Brisbane based Reg Lindsay Country Homestead. For more than 12 years, the shows reached incredible ratings.
Reg tasted success in the United States – he appeared on the Grand Ole Opry numerous times, represented South Australia at the Texas sesquicentennial celebrations, was made Honorary Citizen of both Texas and Tennessee, received an award for Excellence of Performance from the Texas Senate and became the first Australian Country Artist to be officially recognised with a plaque on Nashville’s Walkway of Stars.
While the Country Homestead Show was running, Reg divided his time between Australia and the USA.
Reg was offered his own Austin based television show. His mind said yes, while his heart was pulling him home. He returned to Australia for Christmas where homesickness won out.
Reg married Rodeo Champion Roslyn Winfield on Brampton Island amongst friends and family.
Reg and Ros began extensive touring through Australia promoting Reg’s latest album ‘Reasons to Rise’ which was written by both of them.
Reg appeared on many television shows, Rodeos and Clubs with the ‘Full Package Reg Lindsay Show’. Reg was back in Australia and really enjoyed his return to the stage and the studio.
Reg and Roslyn took a trip back to Nashville where Reg performed at many country music clubs with lots of his buddies he hadn’t seen for a few years and had a special time.
Reg also went back to the Grand Ole Opry, did interviews with good old mates like Johnny K Koval. Reg and Roslyn were then invited as special guests at the 65th Birthday Celebrations for the Grand Ole Opry and were fortunate enough to meet up with Roy Acuff, Minnie Pearly, Loretta Lynne, and so many of the stars from the Opry stage.
Reg performed at Long Hollow Jamboree with Kurt Gibson and his band and was well received. The time spent in Nashville allowed Reg to catch up with song writers at Happ Towns Cafe and enjoy jamming with the Nashville guys. Reg and Ros headed north to Calgary where they discussed Reg appearing in the Calgary Stampede with the Calgary Management Committee.
Reg returned home to perform at a Melbourne Cup Luncheon and many other venues.
The album ‘No Slowin Down’ was put together this year with Greg Champion writing the title track. Roslyn compiled the tracks, taking some from reg’s Nashville recordings along with 4 new tracks. Tours were booked up to the end of 1995 when tragedy struck. Reg collapsed with a cerebral haemorrhage at the Tamworth Country Music Festival. He was air lifted to the John Hunter Hospital. After a long rehabilitation period, Reg unfortunately suffered a heart attack and required triple bypass surgery.
The Reg Lindsay Rodeo had been scheduled for that year for the first time. Reg was still in hospital but Roslyn went ahead with the big show which drew a crowd well in excess of 4000. It was a fantastic production and is still staged every March at the Cessnock Showground.
After Reg’s sudden illness, Ros nursed him at their home until she was met with a very nasty accident in January 2003. She was thrown from a horse at the Stroud Rodeo and Camp drafting finals and was severely injured. She was flown by helicopter to the John Hunter Hospital. With chest and internal damage requiring surgery, she finally went home in February. After her accident, Ros was unable to continue nursing Reg at home.
Reg was cared for in an aged care facility in the Hunter Valley and passed away on the 5 August 2008.
“It would be hard to find a friendly, more down-to-earth individual than the Great Man of Australian Country Music – Reg Lindsay – whose career has spanned over 50 years. His voice is trademark: rich and mellow and, like fine wine, it just keeps getting better with the passing of time. He has recorded over 60 albums, 6 of them Gold; a multitude of singles: has won the Order of Australia Medal for services to music and to the community; had his own top-rating, nationally syndicated television and radio programs; and has toured every inch of this great continent”.
Reg Lindsay is without a doubt, and in the opinions of thousands of Australians, a truly great and honourable Australian. He is known, not only for his high quality performances, but also for the sincere contribution he has consistently given to the entertainment industry and to the community during his lifetime. Reg has supported innumerable charities and benefits during his 50 years or so in the industry and it is the enormous variety and number of organisations he has supported that is the reason he has been honoured with this award.
Reg has always supported worthwhile causes and has put on shows to raise money for a variety of causes, from hospitals, nursing homes, public schools, benefits for terminally ill people and for their families, medical research, church appearances, shows for disadvantaged children, children’s homes, Vocal, SIDS, APEX, a radio program for Aboriginal children, even dancing schools and the list goes on. He has appeared on many telethons in all States, has flown all over the country to appear at fundraisers for outback communities and has given his time and support to many benefit concerts all over Australia and has donated royalties from his record albums to several organisations.
In the 50’s, Reg began performing Christmas concerts at Barnados Children’s Home, they loved him and his show and the story goes that they were asked “Who comes and Christmas time?” and the answer was “Reg Lindsay!!”
In 1962, Reg toured part of Papua New Guinea and the Pacific with a small group performing shows for the Red Cross in remote areas for 2 weeks. The entire royalties of his record album ‘World of Rodeo’ was divided between The Royal Flying Doctors and a Rodeo Fund for Injured Riders.
A Victims of Crime group was threatened with closure because of lack of funds and Reg stepped in, put on a show and they are still operating today. Reg is also Patron of the West Helicopter, Northern Region.
Reg was able to give many artists a start in the industry by having them appear on his stage and television stages or tour with his travelling show and there are many well-known entertainers today who had their first appearances on the Reg Lindsay Show.
Reg collapsed with a cerebral haemorrhage in 1995 at the Tamworth Country Music Festival and the support received from friends, fans and colleagues was absolutely overwhelming, demonstrating the enormous respect and friendship of the Australian people for him. A benefit show was held for Reg at Rooty Hill RSL and Reg donated the proceeds raised to the John Hunter Hospital in Newcastle, where they purchased a much needed piece of equipment for the neurological wing.
Unfortunately, Reg is not able to perform any longer as he passed away on the 5th of August 2008.
- Star of First Country Show in Sydney
- Opera House
- Country and Western House TV Show
- Country Homestead TV Show
- ‘Logies’ for Top State Variety TV Show
- Award Federation Commercial
- Broadcasters Record Awards
- Three Gold Guitars
- Top Male Vocal Australia
- National Television Producer
- 64 Album Releases
- Records Released Europe, USA, NZ and Australia
- Star of 600 1hr Reg Lindsay National TV Shows
- Pope’s Welcome – Melbourne
- Produced 1500 Radio Shows
- Harmony Homestead Radio Show
- Countrypolitan Show
- Royal Expo; QLD Birthday TV Show
- Burswood Island Resort WA
- Brampton and Dunk Islands
- Hobart, Darwin and Alice Springs Casinos
- ‘Grand Ole Opry’ Nashville. Tenn.
- Lord Mayors Command Performance Brisbane
- Waratah Festival Sydney
- Warana Festival Brisbane
- Australia Day, Adelaide
- Walkway of Stars, Music Valleydrive, Nashville
- Hands of Fame, Tamworth
- Roll of Reown, Tamworth
- Honorary Citizen Tennessee
- Honorary Citizen Texas
- Award for Excellence of Performance: Texas Senate and Governor
- Key of City Fort Worth TX
- Good Morning Australia
- Good Morning Melbourne
- Ray Martin Noon Show
- Voted Pro. Rodeos Favourite Entertainer
- Trophy Buckle Award for Services to Rodeo
- Over 10,000 live shows produced by R. Lents
- 1st Country Package Show to Cruise the Pacific Area
- Toured Australia and Continent 6 Times
- Silver Pop Award
- Alice Springs Henley on Todd Festival
- New Guinea Pacific Island Tour – Red Cross
- Air New Zealand Commercial
- TV Special for P.B.S Network USA
- KVET Radio Austin Texas Guest DJ
- Special Achievement Plaque from C.M. Assn, Nashville
- Star ion ABC Aboriginal Teaching Radio Program
- ‘Gavin’ Hit Pick of the Week in USA
- Record Trade Paper
- 1985/6 Performed in Texas for Australia and South Australia SESQUI Celebrations
- Special Citation Awarded from Institute of International Education for Performances at World Trade Centre, Houston
- Special Award from QLD for Encouraging Young Talent
- Awarded the ‘Industry Award’ for South Australia, Barmeta, SA
- Represented Australia at ‘Fan Fair’ Nashville
- M.C of ‘International Shows’ – Nashville
- ‘Armstrong’ Video in Worlds Largest Time Capsule, Mission Control (Johnson Space Centre), Clear Lake, Houston
- Jerry Lewis ‘Telethon’ National TV USA
- Dick Clarke Network TV Show USA
- Bunkhouse Radio Show
- Special Award for Stetson Hats
- Major Broadcasting Network, Network Award
- Reg Lindsay ‘Australian Show’, San Jacento, Houston TX
- Headlined with Actress Dyan Cannon in Show Tribute to Australia in USA
- MO Award
- Inducted in ‘Variety Club Entertainer of the Century’