MELBOURNE Cup fever is already sending serious news hounds into a flurry of activity around Spin Doctor HQ, with many of them nipping out for a few moments every day at all hours to do ‘‘ some research’’. Their anticipation can be nothing, however, compared with those lucky enough to be invited to the Chairman’s Dinner at Flemington, the annual knees- up that sees in Melbourne’s carnival of racing. Following on from legendary performances by Diana Ross and the Beach Boys at the dinner in recent years, punters this year can look forward to a few familiar tunes from that great coward of the county, Kenny Rogers. Grammy- winning Rogers is celebrating more than 50 years in show business and is allegedly the only living artist to have made the charts in six consecutive decades. The 70- year- old Texan, whose other hits include Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love to Town and The Gambler , is also doing a short Australian tour that begins in Brisbane on October 17. That should give him enough time to study the form before he sings for his supper. SPEAKING of country legends, ‘‘ Don’t you go changin’ ’’ was the collective cry down Tamworth, NSW, way this week with the news that the NSW Government is throwing its weight and its cash behind the city’s annual summer shindigs, the Tamworth Country Music Festival and the Australian Country Music Awards. Some readers may recall speculation earlier this year that the Country Music Association of Australia, or at least some of its members, had been talking about hauling their wagons out of town if they could find a more lucrative home for what has become widely recognised as the Golden Guitar awards. Feathers flew for a few weeks on both sides of that particular fence, but now it seems all is well, thanks to an injection of cash from Events NSW, which will join Tamworth Regional Council, Tourism Tamworth Ltd and the CMAA in funding the festival and the awards from next January. With the festival crowned the 8th- coolest in the world by Forbes magazine last year, who knows what heights it might
reach with this latest boost to its coffers. SPIN Doctor flew to Brisbane last week to attend the Big Sound Music Industry Summit and Showcase, at which a number of dedicated journalists and other music biz bods could be spotted doing research into the wee small hours. Sadly one of them was not the summit’s keynote speaker, rock promoter and record company boss Michael Gudinski, who had to pull out of his speech at the last minute due to a serious bout of flu. Fortunately a panel of experts, including rival promoter Michael Chugg and rock manager John Watson, filled in for the bedridden Gudinski, with the erudite Watson ( a former journalist, after all) kindly quoting the absentee speaker at every opportunity.
spindoc@ theaustralian. com. au