The Weekend Australian - Review - - Music -

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

Il­lus­tra­tion: Tom Jel­lett

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