Online country radio station, Toyota Star Maker winner & Australian Country Music Roll of Renown

Latest headlines from my blog: Online Tamworth Festival radio station hosted by legendary broadcaster Nick Erby. From Idol to Starmaker – Luke Dickens is the 32nd Toyota Starmaker. Australian Country Music Roll of Renown Welcomes Phil and Tommy Emmanuel.

Online radio station hosted by legendary broadcaster Nick Erby

Nick Erby
Nick Erby

If you can’t get to Tamworth this year you can listen to Country Music Radio – an online radio station hosted by legendary broadcaster Nick Erby.

The Tamworth Country Music Festival “special event” radio station Festival FM celebrates its 15th year of operation this January.

At the Tamworth Festival be sure to tune your radio to 101.5 Festival FM.

Festival FM
Festival FM

The station will be on air 24 hours a day every day of the 10 day event with only Australian country music.

From Idol to Star Maker – Luke Dickens is the 32nd Toyota Star Maker

Bondi local Luke Dickens has stars in his eyes as he was tonight announced the winner of the 2011 Toyota Star Maker competition, Australia’s oldest and most successful music talent search.

Held at the Tamworth Entertainment and

2011 Toyota Star Maker Luke Dickens - award and guitar
2011 Toyota Star Maker Luke Dickens

Conference Centre, Luke was declared 2011 Toyota Star Maker from a field of 20 finalists and six grand finalists.

As the 2011 Toyota Star Maker, Luke said that he is excited by the prospects that lie ahead.

“It’s an amazing feeling to be awarded a prize that has started the careers of some of the biggest names in country music. It’s a huge opportunity and I intend to make the most of it,” Luke said.

“Seeing 2010 winner Luke Austen go from strength-to-strength, culminating in four Golden Guitar nominations has been really inspiring and I can’t wait to see what the next 12 months have install for me,” he said.

A country kid with a love of the outback, Luke Dickens left school at 16 and plied his trade shearing sheep in Young for the next nine years – but his success on Australian Idol(2008) ended that chapter.

Luke toured with Country’s New Stars alongside Amber Lawrence, Luke Austen and Victoria Baillie. The year 2010 was a major one in Luke Dickens’ career. In July, Luke released his debut album, Underdog. He and his band kicked off the album tour performing for Aussie troops in Afghanistan. For Luke, the tour was a career highlight and one of his most humbling and unforgettable experiences.

General Manager for Rural Press Events, Barry Harley, said that the quality of performers continues to grow, in line with interest in the event.

“It’s difficult to believe that the event is heading into its 32nd year and still continually manages to take country music to new heights. Toyota Star Maker continues to set the benchmark in showcasing Australian country music’s best new talent,” he said.

“Last year’s winner, Luke Austen, has made fantastic use of this opportunity and I have no doubt that Luke Dickens will do the same,” Barry said.

Toyota’s Manager of Promotions and Event Management, Wayne Gabriel, said Toyota’s support of the competition stemmed from its commitment to supporting emerging country music talent and Rural Australia’s communities.

“Following in the footsteps of Australian country music royalty including Keith Urban, Lee Kernaghan, Kylie Sackley, and Samantha McClymont (of The McClymonts), the success of previous Star Maker winners has no doubt provided motivation for many of our finalists today. The title, as well as the prize package provides Luke with everything he needs to really kick start his career in 2011,” he said.

“The quality of the performances was excellent and all finalists have spent an incredible amount of time fine-tuning what they presented. Rural Press Events has done an amazing job of building on the calibre of the talent. The judges certainly had a tough job and I don’t envy them,” Wayne said.

Australian Country Music Roll of Renown Welcomes Phil and Tommy Emmanuel

Phil & Tommy
Phil & Tommy

The Emmanuel Brothers are the 40th name to be placed on Tamworth’s Roll of Renown.

Phil and Tommy are in the middle of an Australian Tour to celebrate 50 years of picking.

Phil and Tommy’s Roll of Renown plaque will be unveiled at the Roll in front of the Tamworth Regional Entertainment & Conference Centre at 10:30 on Wednesday morning.

1 thought on “Online country radio station, Toyota Star Maker winner & Australian Country Music Roll of Renown”

  1. Hi Nick,
    I am looking for a new copy of the video that you did of The Church Street concert in Orlando, featuring Tammy, George jones , lyn Anderson, Freddy Fender recorded by Possum Pty. The one we have is very worn out, cause is played so much. Could you please get back me on how we could get hold of it.
    Thank you so much

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