Call him what you want, Mallee Boy, True Blue or just plain Fair Dinkum, there is no denying that after 40 years in the music industry, John Williamson is an Australian icon.
Three ARIA Awards, 24 Golden Guitars, MO Awards, APRA Awards, Platinum and Gold albums, over 4 million album sales and the list goes on . . . he has earnt the title whether he likes it or not.
This year John Williamson will celebrate a milestone regarded as a significant achievement in the entertainment industry, 40 years of success, four decades of hits, of celebrity and of sharing his love of Australia and poetry in song with its people.
It was June 4th 1970 that John Williamson made his debut. On the talent quest TV show, New Faces, Williamson competed with his self-penned and still much loved "silly song" 'Old Man Emu'. He won, and since then has inspired pride in country, love of land and touched millions regardless of age, sex or creed.
This is the man famous for stirring classics such as 'Cootamundra Wattle', 'Raining On The Rock', 'Salisbury Street', 'Galleries Of Pink Galahs' and public outcries like 'Rip Rip Woodchip', 'A Flag Of Our Own' and let's not forget his anthemic deliveries such as of 'True Blue', 'Glory To Australia' and romantic ballads like 'Wintergreen', Hawkesbury River Lovin' to name but a few.
His resume and catalogue would make any songwriter envious; not bad for a kid from Quambatook in Victoria's Mallee country.
Look at some of the most significant events in Australia in the past few decades and he has been there. The 2000 Sydney Olympics, Steve Irwin's memorial, the Bledlisloe Cup, Sir Donald Bradman's memorial, the Rugby World Cup, the first Bali Bombings memorial service and the list goes on. He is ingrained in Australia's history as much as its future.
But accolades and awards have never been a huge deal to John Williamson; it has always been about the fans to the ever humble ex-farmer. Even after what he has achieved, or what he has been invited to be a part of, he remains nonchalant about it all.
2010 is a year to celebrate John Williamson and his 40 years of contribution.
In March 2010 he will release his ultimate BEST OF album, aptly titled 'The Absolute Best of JOHN WILLIAMSON: 40 YEARS TRUE BLUE'. The CD contains his biggest hits and most requested songs, along with a new track recorded with Shannon Noll, 'Island Of Oceans' which could be Williamson's ultimate gift yet. Inspiring, stirring and as patriotic as you can get, this is two loved Aussies singing for their country.
Accompanying 'The Absolute Best of JOHN WILLIAMSON: 40 YEARS TRUE BLUE' is a special Tribute Album making the 2-disc pack a must have product. Kasey Chambers, James Reyne, Tommy Emmanuel, The Waifs, Russell Crowe, singing his songs in their own style, are just some of the artists who volunteered to appear on the 13 track special addition to honour his fortieth year.
In 2010, John Williamson's music turns forty. He and his EMU can both celebrate. In one of the toughest industries and businesses, he has not only survived but soared.
As he says in one of his songs, "There's all the colours of the rainbow in the garden, woman, and symphonies of music in the sky. Heaven's all around us if you're looking, But how can you see it if you cry".
Whilst his optimism has no doubt helped, coupled by determination and will, his words alone give you an insight into the passion this True Blue, Fair Dinkum Mallee Boy has.