Geoff Mack

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Albert Geoffrey McElhinney OAM (born 20 December 1922 in Surrey Hills, Victoria, Australia), also known as Geoff Mack, is a country music singer and songwriter. He was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia on 13 June 2005 with the citation, For service to country music and to the community, particularly through support for senior citizens' groups.[1] As a songwriter, he wrote "I've Been Everywhere"[2] which was an Australian hit for Lucky Starr in April 1962[3] and became popular in North America when adapted for Hank Snow in November.[4] More than 130 cover versions have been recorded.

Biography[edit]

His musical career was established during World War II. He enlisted in the RAAF, and whilst serving in Borneo his ability to play the guitar and sing was noticed, and he was seconded to entertain the troops with visiting guest stars.

At the end of the war Geoff went to Japan with the Occupation Forces to perform, and was appointed to Radio WLKS[disambiguation needed] as the voice of the British Commonwealth Occupation Forces.

His 1959 song, "I've been everywhere" became a hit in Australia in 1962 with the release of a version by Lucky Starr. It later reached the top of the song charts in the USA, Germany and Japan. The song has now been recorded in 131 different versions, notably on Johnny Cash's 1996 album "Unchained". Geoff was inducted into the International Songwriters Hall of Fame in Nashville, Tennessee in 1963, into the Hands of Fame at Tamworth NSW in 1978, and he received the Tamworth Song Writer's Association Song Maker Award in 1997.

Honours[edit]

Geoff McElhinney was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia in 2005 for his service to country music, and his support of community and senior citizens' groups [1].

References[edit]

  1. ^ "McELHINNEY, Albert Geoffrey". It's an Honour - Honours - Search Australian Honours. Government of Australia. 13 June 2005. Retrieved 19 February 2010. 
  2. ^ ""IVE BEEN EVERYWHERE" at APRA search engine". Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA). Retrieved 19 February 2010. 
  3. ^ McFarlane, Ian (1999). "Encyclopedia entry for 'Lucky Starr'". Encyclopedia of Australian Rock and Pop. St Leonards, NSW: Allen & Unwin. ISBN 1-86508-072-1. Retrieved 19 February 2010. 
  4. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Country Hits: 1944-2006, Second edition. Record Research. p. 324.