Ge­off Mack

Old Bike Australasia - - BUZZ BOX -

In OBA 32 we fea­tured the ex­ploits of GE­OFF MACK, who has died in Queens­land aged 94. Ge­off wrote the iconic song, “I’ve been every­where” in 1959, which was recorded by many artists world­wide, in­clud­ing the Amer­i­can coun­try mu­sic leg­end Hank Snow, and the Aus­tralian ver­sion by Lucky Starr, both in 1962. Over 130 cover ver­sions, us­ing dif­fer­ent towns and places from New Guinea to Africa, have been recorded by fa­mous artists, in­clud­ing Johnny Cash. The suc­cess of the song re­sulted in Ge­off be­ing in­ducted into the In­ter­na­tional Song­writ­ers Hall of Fame in Nashville, Ten­nessee in 1963. Ge­off (born Al­bert Ge­of­frey McEl­hin­ney in Melbourne in 1922), was an ac­com­plished per­former by an early age, play­ing for Aus­tralian troops in Bor­neo and later in Europe. It was while in Ger­many that Ge­off met the love of his life, English dancer and come­di­enne Tabbi Fran­cis, and they went on to per­form to­gether in Paris and through­out the Middle East. When it was time to bring his new bride home to Aus­tralia, Ge­off bought a Pan­ther Sloper, fit­ted it with a side­car which was loaded with parts and pos­ses­sions, and with Tabbi on the pil­lion, they set off from Lon­don in Septem­ber 1954. Thir­teen weeks and 13,000 miles later they reached Syd­ney – the side­car now de­void of any­thing other than a chas­sis. The Pan­ther is now per­ma­nently dis­played in the Tam­worth Vis­i­tors Cen­tre, the town where he has re­ceived nu­mer­ous coun­try mu­sic awards.

Ge­off Mack and Tabbi Fran­cis pho­tographed by the Daily Tele­graph the day af­ter their ar­rival in Syd­ney, sans side­car.

Ge­off and Tabbi at Tam­worth with the Pan­ther which is now in the Vis­i­tors' cen­tre.

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