Hard Yards pay off
The Latrobe Valley Express, 31st of January 2011
Churchill Country musician Bob Cooper has proved that third time is the charm, taking out the award for Traditional Bush Ballad in the amateur section of this years Tamworth Country Music Festival.
Mr Cooper made the finals of the section for the last two years, but it was this years ballad 'The Cattle Sale' that won the judges praises and Bob's first major music award.
"I wrote the song about Francie and Keith Waite from Glengarry and the challenges they faced on their dairy farm," Mr Cooper said. "Their story ran around my brain for two or three weeks and I came home and wrote a song about it."
The 62 year old's music career started just four years ago when he wrote the 'Ballad of Partrobas' about the only Gippsland horse to win the Melbourne Cup. It won him the Australian Songwriting award at the Latrobe Valley Eisteddfod and kicked off his affection for writing.
As a kid that left school when I was 12, I never thought I'd write anything, let alone a song. "To write one song, I thought "Well I've done that" and all of a sudden years of pent-up frustration came out and I'm writing one after the other."
Mr Cooper has written about 50 songs since 2007. He waits until a real life issue "strikes a chord" and usually writes the lyrics within an hour.
You've got to do the hard yards to achieve," he said of winning the Tamworth honour. "I was just in it for the fun."
Mr Cooper thanked fellow Churchill musician John Mazur who recorded his last CD. "John's expertise allowed me to win the award," he said.
Mr Cooper said he planned to enter his song "When you lose a child" in next years festival. It is about his daughter Danielle who died in 1998.