Harriet of Tried & True Country speaks with Johnny Greenwood on 101,5 2017-04-10
Johnny Greenwood is an Australian country music singer. Greenwood recorded pop songs in London in the 1960s, before returning to record for RCA Australia. In 1973 Greenwood released a tribute single on RCA to the champion Australian boxer Tony Mundine. In the year 1975, he released his best known trucking song "Big Bill".
Johnny Greenwood is also one of Queensland’s most enduring country singers and entertainers.
Johnny Greenwood is also a prolific songwriter having had more than twenty other artists, including the late and great Slim Dusty recording his songs over the years.
Born in Brisbane and spending his earliest times with his family in Goondiwindi and Wagga Wagga NSW and in the Brisbane suburb of Bulimba, he moved to a farm in the country at Bracewell, Mt. Larcom, Central Queensland at eight years of age.
Here he learned to ride horses, milk cows, muster cattle and do the normal farm chores. It was in this rural environment that he acquired a strong feeling for Country music, including Australian and Bush Ballad Songs. Moving with his parents to a Garage and fuel depot in Mt. Larcom itself, he obtained a guitar in his teens, sang at local dances and concerts etc; before moving to Brisbane to further his career.
He became a popular performer throughout Queensland in the 60’s and 70’s as well as Northern NSW clubs. He also did numerous Television shows Such as Brisbane Tonight, The Late Show, Reg Lindsay’s Country Homestead and The Lee Conway Show etc - and at one Stage spent nearly a year overseas performing in England, Scotland, Germany, Italy and Tripoli etc. He also recorded in England.
After earlier recording for W&G Records and Ray Rumble’s Sunset Label, back in Australia he was contracted to RCA in 1969 and with producers such as Ron Wills and Rocky Thomas in Sydney, had a number of successful recordings on the label, mostly his own compositions like the evergreen Tibrogargan, The Singing Transport Man and Johnny’s own Goondiwindi Grey which went very well in the Hit Parade charts of the time.
Later moving to Astor, Colonial and Rodeo Records, other songs such as My Dad Was A Road Train Man, Billy Maher, Jack O'Hagan, Princess Street Bulimba, This Lands A Part Of You And Me, He Kept It All Australian, The Man. In Black Has Gone”, “Our Old Flag, How Ya Goin' Mate, “There’s Still A Country Boy In Me” and Australia’s Bert Hinkler have also had quite an impact.
Johnny has worked over 4000 professional performances during his career in all types of venues in Australia and overseas (including seven trips to New Zealand), sold more than 100,000 recordings and performed alongside the likes of Marty Robbins, Lorne Greene, Slim Dusty, Smoky Dawson, Keith Urban and The Bee Gees among others, and recorded an Album Here I Am Again in Nashville USA.
As a songwriter he has had more than 60 of his own songs recorded - by himself as well as by more than twenty other Australian artists including Slim Dusty,Chad Morgan, Brian Letton, Terry Gordon, Dean Perrett, Melissa Bajric, Matt Manning and Ellie Lavelle, Lindsay Waddington and Dave Reynolds etc.
A Gold guitar finalist in 1993 for his Jack O'Hagan song, Johnny is a multi award recipient eg: Hands Of Fame Tamworth, TSA Songmaker Award 2003, LBS Wall of Honour 2008, Gidgee Coal Bush Ballad Award in 2014 and the “Living Legend Award” at the Slim Dusty Memories Festival in Kempsey in 2015. He has also been recognised in the Walk A Country Mile exhibit in Tamworth.
Johnny is well established as one of Australia’s genuine country artists and songwriters. He has sung quite a variety of material over the years but prefers the authentic Country style plus Australian songs and Bush Ballads and continues as a Somewhat legendary figure in Australian Country Music appearing regularly at festivals and clubs etc.throughout the country.