BOY FROM THE BUSH: Lee Kernaghan shares why he almost didn't make it in show business.
BOY FROM THE BUSH: Lee Kernaghan shares why he almost didn't make it in show business.

PODCAST: Music legend nearly threw it all in

COUNTRY music legend, Lee Kernaghan has won more Golden Guitar awards than most of us have had hot dinners.

But after 17 studio albums including the new release, Backroad Nation, the boy from the bush has remained forever humble.

In their Coffee Chat, Lee shares with Matt his favourite Slim Dusty story, why he almost didn't make it in show business and why he suggested to his wife, Robyn that she should get in a bikini and dance on top of a four-wheel-drive.

 

Matt Collins:

After 37 Golden Guitar awards, does it get to a point where you go, 'what am I supposed to do with all of these?'

 

Lee Kernaghan:

No mate, there is always room in the Gold Guitar Bar for another one. But every one holds a memory. From the first one for Boys from the Bush. Which really opened the gates for me. The whole thing sort of exploded after that. There's one there for the duet I did with Slim Dusty and it just touches my heart every time I think about that.

 

MC:

Tell me your favourite Slim Dusty story.

 

LK:

I was getting on-board a flight from Sydney to Perth and realising as I was getting on that I would be sitting next to the king of country all the way across Australia. Then turning the memories of that flight into a song called, Flying with the king.

 

MC:

Is there anyone that will rival Slim and what he did for Australian country music?

 

LK:

I don't think so, he is Australia. There will never be anyone quite like him again.

 

MC:

Is that a responsibility, that perhaps you feel sometimes? That it is important to keep that style of music strong in this country?

 

LK:

I don't know if it is a responsibility as much as it is a passion. It would've been the same for Slim, it was his love for people and this country and this way of life. For me, that's what drives me and keeps me wanting to tour and write songs about us and our country.

 

MC:

Backroad Nation is your 17th studio album, would you rather be in the studio or out on the road touring?

 

LK:

Well, when you make a new album it reinvigorates everything. The ultimate place to be is on tour and on the road. I am just so grateful to all those who travel long distances to get to the show.

 

MC:

Your beautiful wife, Robyn features on the film clip for your new song, Wheels. Was that something you pushed for or did she say, 'Hey, I want to be a part of this?'

 

LK:

We were out there in the desert, south of Alice Springs. It was 46 degrees making a video clip about boys and their toys and I thought, there is a missing dimension here, we need a dancing girl. The nearest modelling agency was 1000km away so I turned to Robbie and I said, 'darling, how do you feel about putting on an Akubra hat, your bikini and maybe dancing on that Landcruiser. She took a bit of convincing but she didn't look out of place.

 

MC:

As far as ticking boxes in Australian country music, you have ticked each one a dozen times. Do you ever think of really going international and achieving bigger things overseas.

 

LK:

No Matt, it has always been my first love to write songs about Australia. About our people and our way of life. That's what drives me. I couldn't do that if I was going to take on a career in America. For me, this is my home and where my music belongs.

 

MC:

Of all your achievements, besides family, what are you most proud of?

 

LK:

I think making that first album, Outback Club. Initially every record label knocked it back. It was rejected from every single label. I was a bit demoralised. I just headed back to Albury with my tail between my legs thinking that was the beginning and the end of my music career.

South Burnett