Cliff Hudson (centre) shows farmers Paddy’s Plain farmers Arnold and Sally Duckett his prized possession a guitar clock featuring Buddy Williams. Cliff is an integral part of the committee organising the Buddy Williams 100th birthday celebrations while Arnold and Sally and some of their cattle will feature at the event.
Cliff Hudson (centre) shows farmers Paddy’s Plain farmers Arnold and Sally Duckett his prized possession a guitar clock featuring Buddy Williams. Cliff is an integral part of the committee organising the Buddy Williams 100th birthday celebrations while Arnold and Sally and some of their cattle will feature at the event.

Coffs country music fans to celebrate Buddy Williams 100th

HE WAS known as the Yodelling Jackaroo - one of Australia's very first recording artists - but to Coffs and Bellingen radio personality Cliff Hudson, he was a friend.

Cliff, 80, who has run regular country music shows on the Coffs and Belligen community radio stations for the past two decades, is part of the organising committee behind the Buddy Williams 100th birthday celebrations being held in Dorrigo on September 8 and 9. Though born in Sydney country music star Williams spent most of his formative years Dorrigo.

"A lot of people don't know that Buddy Williams came from Dorrigo," Cliff, a life-long fan, explained.

"But he was raised here after being brought up from an orphanage in Glebe."

As someone who was himself from this region, Cliff became a fan of Buddy's after listening to some of his albums. He began collecting soon after and now has everything that Buddy ever made including a copy of his 1948 short film "He chased a chicken".

After meeting Buddy, who died of cancer in 1986, after a show in Dorrigo in 1956 Cliff and his family struck up a friendship with the Williams'.

"I had one of his first LPs and I gave it to him to sign," he said.

"He held on to it while other people had their photos and autographs and I was the last one to get mine signed." He said the two got talking, knowing people they had both grown up with.

"I think he was just a special Australian," Cliff said.

"He always had time to talk to people."

Cliff believes as one of the first Australian recording artists (recording his first songs in 1939) it is important to remember him and his connection to the region. 

The event, hosted by Don Dorrigo and Guy Fawkes Historical Society, will feature music, food, exhibitions and performances by a host of performers including Lindsay Butler, Pixie Jenkins, Trevor Day, Ashely Cook, Trevor Tolton and Shaza Leigh and Peggy Gilchrist singing Buddy Williams classics

Cliff said from 3pm on Saturday there will be a variety of events for the whole family including a musical ride by the North Dorrigo Pony Club, whip cracking, a mustering display by a local farmer featuring the "white-faced cattle" Buddy sang about as well as buskers and a tribute to Buddy from 6pm. 

A memorial plaque will be unveiled at the society's museum on Sunday and there will be an exhibition of Buddy Williams' memorabilia and a limited-number guided tour of the Dorrigo Railway Museum.

What: Buddy Williams 100th Birthday

Where: The Dorrigo Showground.

When: 8-9 September.

Tickets:  Adult $20, concession card holders $15, School children $10.


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