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All about Slinga...

Country music has always been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. When I was growing up we had relatives and friends who were part of the country music scene  in Australia, so for me it was as natural as breathing air to be interested in the music that made you think about life in the country, the good and bad times and the friends you made.

Music has always played a special part in my life, whether it was to change a mood or two, music was there for that reason. The years I spent in the Navy were great, I made life long friends and had ‘ripper runs ashore’ all over the Far East spreading joy and happiness while collecting heaps of music from jazz to top 40 to classics and on to new country. I found the ‘Bakersfield’ sound in the early 60’s, it was then that I noticed country music was changing and I liked what I was hearing. The US armed forces had great ‘enlisted men’s clubs’ throughout the Far East that always had top ‘live’ entertainment from Frank Sinatra to 1st Class Country acts, Australian  sailors were frequent visitors and had a ball.

The radio bug really grabbed me very early and, I started sending ‘hit parade’ lists to local stations when I was only 11 years old. I finally got the chance to get involved properly with radio in the latter part of the 70’s and started off with the familiar ‘late night radio’ from midnight. In radio I found a whole new network of people, both friendly and some very odd ones or perhaps eccentric in some ways, well it was and still is a strange medium but loads of fun.

Community Radio in Australia was new in the 70’s, funded initially by government grants and lots of ‘chook raffles’ run by volunteer members, this was a great way to get country music, both new and traditional, to listeners that commercial radio did not really cater for. Here was a fantastic way for myself and many other presenters all over Australia to showcase country music as never before and it’s still growing with new stations being opened everywhere by volunteers, on low budgets and ‘fire’ in the belly.

Newcastle, 100 miles north of Sydney was where the next adventure in community radio started with 2NURFM, the station catered for alternative programs such as country and they had a great network of fun people. At this time I also fell into a dream job…’commercial traveller’, they actually paid me to have fun travelling, eating, drinking in some very odd places, demonstrating products that would result in a sale.

Next radio stop was with 2MCEFM at Charles Sturt Uni in New South Wales, Central West Region, I found another group of alternate thinkers presenting all genre of music that was not commercially being programmed, it was just what I needed to do and *SLINGA’S RADIO SHOW* was born.

Orange community radio saw me doing the ‘brekkie show’ and what a fun time that was, every ‘travelling country  artist’ who visited the city was a guest on ‘Apple FM’ as it was known through the 80’s and 90’s.

South Australia called, and I took off for greener pastures in Adelaide, one of the nicest places in Australia. Great wine tasting area’s, ‘fab’ restaurants, magic sunsets and a top community radio station ‘Coast FM’ full of fun people, heaps of varied program matter that really had the community involved. *Slinga’s Radio Show* became part of the format.

A short break in 1999, had my doctor suggest I lay up for awhile after ‘triple by-pass surgery’, I always thought I was so fit, boy what a bummer. After the rest we headed for Hervey Bay in Queensland, by that time Veterans Affairs had retired me from full time work. Fraser Coast FM 107.5 was great fun for *Slinga’s Radio Show* this time in the breakfast slot with my wonderful partner ‘Goldie’ who was also the stations news reader, we also had a heap of relatives living there also which meant ‘B.B.Q’s’, drinks and fun times.

‘Goldie’ was offered a job in Melbourne and in February 2002 we loaded up the ‘covered wagon’ and headed south. There I joined 88.9 WYN-FM and kicked off *SLINGA’S INDEPENDENT COUNTRY* radio show, showcasing ‘Indie’ artists from all over the world. People are fantastic and the show has developed so well we now do live interviews from all over and write reviews about ‘Independents’ new music.

In Mid 2005 my buddy Myles Wakeham suggested that we create a web site so that listeners and followers of *Slinga’s Independent Country* radio show could listen to an hour segment of the show via the Internet. “SLINGA.COM” was up and running. Now added to is just a beaut way letting listeners become part of what we do and hear some their favourite ‘Independent Artists’ showcased. It is a real buzz putting together a show like this with input from great musicians, singers, songwriters, producers, promoters, publicity people, booking agents, fellow DJ’s and country music fans worldwide who keep *Slinga’s Independent Country* Radio Show ‘alive & kickin’. *Slinga*

I welcome Independent country artists to CONTACT ME and send me their new CDs for review and possible airplay through Slinga's Independent Country (now available on both traditional FM broadcast in Melbourne, Australia and via the Internet through this site).

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