Reg Lindsay

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Reg Lindsay
A three-quarter black-and-white image of a couple. The woman at left is wearing a floral dress and has her right hand placed on the string of the guitar. It is being held by the twenty-five-year-old man who wears a cowboy shirt and a hat. His left hand is on the fret board and his right is below the woman's hand.
Lindsay (right), Joan Clarke
2UW Radio Theatre, Sydney, November 1954
Background information
Birth nameReginald John Lindsay
Born(1929-07-07)7 July 1929
Waverley, New South Wales, Australia
Died5 August 2008(2008-08-05) (aged 79)
Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia
GenresAustralian country
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • musician
  • producer
  • radio and TV presenter
  • Vocals
  • acoustic guitar
Years active1951–2008
(m. 1954; sep. 1982)
Roslyn Winfield
(m. 1988)

Reginald John Lindsay OAM (7 July 1929 – 5 August 2008) was an Australian country music singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer and radio and television personality. He won three Golden Guitar Awards and wrote more than 500 songs in his 50-year music career. Lindsay recorded over 65 albums and 250 singles. Reg made his first trip to Nashville in June 1968 and recorded his first Nashville EP on this historic trip.

Lindsay's most popular cross-over hit was a cover version, "Armstrong" (March 1971), which reached No. 6 on the Go-Set National Top 60. It was written and originally performed by the American folk musician John Stewart as a tribute to Neil Armstrong's lunar landing in 1969.

Early years[edit]

Lindsay was born in Waverley, New South Wales in 1929, his parents were Jim and Ellen Lindsay.[1][2] He was two years of age when his father gave him a harmonica which he quickly mastered.[2][3] His father taught him to play, "The Wheel on the Wagon Is Broke", on harmonica by the age of four.[4]

He subsequently learned the banjo, mandolin, guitar and fiddle.[3] After Sydney he grew up in Parkes and then Adelaide.[5] His aunt Anne gave him a guitar when he was 15.[4][5]

After leaving school (Adelaide, South Australia) he initially worked for the Department of Agriculture and studied wool classing.[4] As a teenager his career ambition was to become a stockman and learned how to shear sheep.[6] Later he reflected, "The outback has always been romantic to me. People of that ilk have always been romantic. We have the longest cattle drives in the world, you know. I was scheduled to go into a reservation in the north-west of South Australia, but I ended up as a jackeroo in Broken Hill instead."[6]

Around 1946 Reg started singing around the Adelaide area with a mate Dave Burchell. As a 'Hillbilly' duo, they entertained over radio, swimming carnivals, and other events in the area. In 1948 Reg and Dave auditioned for the Dick Fair hosted radio contest program Australia's Amateur Hour. They had also recorded a couple songs which were never released.

After he twisted his leg in a rodeo accident, he recuperated at his parents' home in Adelaide for several weeks in 1950.[6] He was listening to country music on 2SM with Tim McNamara promoting a radio talent quest.[5][6] In November 1950 Lindsay travelled to Sydney via a motorcycle to compete,[7] in the following year, which launched his career as a singer-songwriter.[3]

Radio shows and recording[edit]

Reg Lindsay was a performer in the 2KY radio show, On the Melody Trail, from September 1951, alongside, "Joy McKean and Heather McKean, Australia's Melody Cowgirls, Slim Dusty, Gordon Parsons and other hillbilly artists."[8] The McKean Sisters were a country music duo of Joy McKean and her younger sister Heather, who had presented the show since 1949.[8][9] Heather married Reg Lindsay in February 1954, while Joy had married Slim Dusty in 1951.[9][10]

Lindsay was signed to Rodeo Records in 1951, which issued his early material.[10] His singles with that label include, "Blue Velvet Band", "My Home Way Out Back" (written by Lindsay),[11] "Sundowner Yodel", "If You've Got the Money, I've Got the Time", "By the Old Slip Rail", "Sweeter than Flowers", "Shackles and Chains", "My Blue-Eyed Jane" (all before 1955), "I Love You a Thousand Ways", "Country Mile", "I'll Never Live It Down", Got Those Itchy Feet", "In the Luggage Van Ahead" (all five in 1954).[12] Radio station 2CH had him present, The Reg Lindsay Show, in 1951 to showcase his own country music.[10] Late in that year he and his show moved over to rival station, 2SM, where it continued for 12 years.[10]

His singles from the late 1950s on Columbia Records include, "Tom Dooley", "The Walkabout Rock and Roll" (both 1958), "The Ghost of Tom Dooley", "Don't Steal Daddy's Medal", "The Wog", "Where No One Stands Alone" (both 1959), "The Caribbean" and "The House Down Willow Lane".[13] AllMusic's Jason Ankeny observed, "despite his public recognition and relentless touring schedule, success as a performer continued to elude him."[10]


Reg Lindsay's first tour came about in January 1955 when he was chosen as the headliner for the Wilf Carter tour. About two weeks in the tour Wilf Carter fell ill and had to return to the US, and Reg continued the tour as 'The Reg Lindsay Show'. Reg Lindsay continued issuing singles and presenting a radio show into the early 1960s.[10] He also headed a touring line-up for The Reg Lindsay Show, which in February 1960 included Heather, "Kevin King, Jacqueline Hall, Nev Nicholls, Hayseeds, Fred Maugher and comedian George Nichols."[14]

Television programs[edit]

Lindsay returned to Australia in 1964, and hosted a TV show on the Nine Network in Adelaide called The Country and Western Hour, which ran for seven-and-a-half years, until 1972.[5][10] It won two state-based Logie Awards for South Australia's Most Popular show in 1964 and 1965. By 1966 the show that was originally only broadcast locally in Adelaide went nationally with Lindsay, as host[15] In that year he issued a single, "They Gotta Quit Kickin' My Dog Around". He travelled to the United States in 1968, to record material for his TV show,[4] while there he was asked to appear on the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville.[1] He was so successful in this debut he was invited back for the ultimate encore, the Saturday night show. Reg was the first Australian ever to do so and was the first of many Grand Ole Opry appearances.<

Business ventures[edit]

Upon return to Sydney in 1968, with his wife Heather, he established a business, Reg Lindsay's Country Store, to sell "records, clothing and musical instruments."[4] Heather described, "It's surprising how many of the young people like to wear this gear-particularly the hand-carved leatherwork. The young surfies like the fringed jackets-they're fantastic sellers-and the girls go for the cotton jackets to wear over bathers to the beach."[16] A second store soon followed, both were sold off ten years later.[4]

Later career[edit]

Reg Lindsay was best known for his single, "Armstrong" (March 1971), a tribute to the historic 1969 Moon landing by American astronauts, particularly Neil Armstrong.[4][17] It peaked at No. 6 on the Go-Set National Top 60 and remained in the charts for 16 weeks.[18] It is included in a time capsule at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.[19][5] The song is written and was recorded by John Stewart, an ex-member of the Kingston Trio.[20] It is Lindsay's first major hit, reaching No. 8 on the Australian Singles Chart in 1971.[21]

His other popular singles from the 1970s are "July You're a Woman" (1973), "Silence on the Line" (1977) and "Empty Arms Hotel" 1979). In January 1974 he won a Golden Guitar trophy at the Country Music Awards of Australia for Best Male Vocal with "July You're a Woman".[4][22] He won the same category in 1978 for "Silence on the Line".[22] A third trophy for "Empty Arms Hotel" was awarded in that category in 1980.[23]

The Country and Western Hour had finished in 1972 and was followed in late 1977 by his own TV program, Reg Lindsay's Country Homestead, on Brisbane's channel 9, which ran for four years until 1982.[4][5] Reg Lindsay's Country Homestead also won two state-based Logie Awards for Queensland's Most Popular Show in 1978 and 1979.

Lindsay supported charities and appeared on TV telethons to raise money for various community organizations. Some of his performances were issued on a DVD video album, Reg Lindsay : live across Australia 1979-1994, in 2015 via Umbrella Entertainment.[24] In a music career of over 50 years he wrote more than 500 songs and hosted various TV shows. He recorded over 65 albums and 250 singles.[25]

Personal life[edit]

Lindsay was married twice. His first marriage was to Heather McKean (born 1932) on 13 February 1954 in Granville.[26] McKean's older sister Joy McKean had married fellow country musician, Slim Dusty in 1951; that couple are the parents of another country musician, Anne Kirkpatrick.[9] The McKean Sisters were a country music duo from 1948.[9] Heather continued performing under her maiden name during their marriage.[9] In May 1969 Lindsay and Heather opened Reg Lindsay's Country Store and Trading Post to sell Western gear.[16] They separated in 1982 and Heather resumed her solo career as well as working with Joy as the McKean Sisters.[2]

Reg married his second wife, Roslyn née Winfield (born 1959), a rodeo champion, on October 12, 1988 at Brampton Island – they first met in 1984 at the Warwick Rodeo, Queensland where the 24 year old was competing in the National Finals.[1][27] Dave Dawson described Roslyn, "glamorous former barrel racer, steer roper and country chanteuse."[2] His son-in-law, Ross Smith, was one of six victims of Malcolm Baker, a spree killer, in October 1992, the murders are referred to as the Central Coast massacre.[6][28]

In January 1995 he had a brain hemorrhage and in the following month he underwent surgery to remove the related brain aneurysm.[29][30] He had a heart attack in January 1996 and had triple bypass surgery.[27] A series of strokes followed, Roslyn observed, "He had lots of seizures, and it was very, very tough for him for many years, trying to get those seizures under control."[27] From 2003 he was under 24-hour care at John Hunter Hospital in Newcastle, New South Wales.[19][31]

Reg Lindsay died of pneumonia on 5 August 2008 in Newcastle, aged 79.[1][19] Coincidentally, this date is the birthday of Neil Armstrong. Lindsay is survived by his wife Roslyn; his three daughters from his first marriage, Dianne, Sandra and Joanne;[16] and his grandchildren. His daughter, Dianne Lindsay is also a country music singer-songwriter – she won Best Female Vocal at the Australian Country Music People's Choice Awards in Tamworth in January 2017.[32]

March 2015, the Reg Lindsay statue was unveiled at East Cessnock Bowling Club. In 2019 the first Reg Lindsay DVD was released titled 'Country All The Way' and in January 2021, Roslyn Lindsay released the first ever Reg Lindsay pictorial book 'Setting The Pace' a collection of photos throughout his career with rare photos including McKean Sisters, Slim Dusty, Kenny Sole, Judy Stone, Chad Morgan, Buddy Williams, Lily Connors and many others. The DVD, CDs and Book are available at the Reg Lindsay official website [1]

On 21 January 2021 Roslyn with the Federal Member for New England Barnaby Joyce and selected guests officially opened The Reg Lindsay Memory Barn at Spring Ridge, south of Tamworth, in honor of her late husband.[33] The Reg Lindsay Memory Barn, which is full of Reg's personal and career's memorabilia spanning 60 years, was expected to be officially opened in 2020 but was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[34][33]

DVDs and Books[edit]

  • DVD - 'Country All The Way' (2019)
  • Pictorial Book - 'Setting The Pace' (2021)


  • Secrets of Life
  • 20 Golden Country Greats
  • Ten Ten Two and a Quarter
  • No Slowin' Down
  • 40th Anniversary Album
  • The Roundup - 50th Anniversary Collection
  • The Rodeo Years
  • The Best of Reg Lindsay
  • If You Could See Me Now
  • Down by the Old Slip-Rail
  • Reasons To Rise
  • No Stone Unturned
  • Armstrong (Digitally Remastered)

Charting singles[edit]

Year Title Peak chart positions
1966 "They Gotta Quit Kickin' My Dog Around" 90
1971 "Armstrong" 6 8
1973 "Close the Door Lightly" 98
"July You're a Woman" 86
1975 "Takin' a Chance" 95
1976 "Give Me Liberty" 91
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

Awards and honours[edit]

Reg Lindsay became the first Australian to appear at Nashville's Grand Ole Opry in June 1968; he is officially recognized with a plaque on Nashville's Walkway of Stars.[25]

  • 1968 - Was made an Honorary Citizen of Tennessee by Governor Buford Ellington
  • 1968 - Honored by CMA for his contribution to Country Music worldwide (Nashville)
  • 1973 (Oct) CMA citation for his contribution to Country Music (Nashville)
  • 1978 (June) National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, Nashville - for Services Rendered
  • 1981 - Named "Australian Pro-Rodeo's Favorite and made an honorary member of the Rodeo Association
  • 1982 - Queensland Country Music Awards
  • 1986 - Was made an Honorary Citizen of Texas
  • 1988 - Inducted into the Barmera Country Music Hall of Fame
  • 1989 - OAM for his Services to Country Music
  • 2006 - Living Legends Award (Kempsey, NSW)

Country Music Awards (CMAA)[edit]

Reg Lindsay has won three Golden guitar awards and was inducted into the Roll of Renown at the Tamworth Country Music Awards of Australia[35][5][25][36][37]

Year Nominee / work Award Result
1974 Reg Lindsay July You're a Woman Male Vocalist of the Year Won
1978 Reg Lindsay Silence on the Line Male Vocalist of the Year Won
1980 Reg Lindsay The Empty Arms Hotel Male Vocalist of the Year Won
1984 Reg Lindsay Roll of Renown inducted

Mo Awards[edit]

The Australian Entertainment Mo Awards (commonly known informally as the Mo Awards), were annual Australian entertainment industry awards. They recognise achievements in live entertainment in Australia from 1975 to 2016. Lindsay won two awards in that time.[38]

Year Nominee / work Award Result (wins only)
2001 Reg Lindsay John Campbell Fellowship Award Won
2014 Reg Lindsay Hall of Fame inducted

Order of Australia[edit]

Year Nominee / work Award Result
1989 Queen's Birthday Honours (Australia) Member of the Order of Australia (AM) "for service to country music" Won[39]


  1. ^ a b c d Stephens (8 August 2008). "Jackaroo's life spent on country roads leads to music stardom". The Age. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 28 December 2017. Note: source incorrectly gives birth date as 5 August.
  2. ^ a b c d Dawson, Dave (12 August 2008). "Reg Lindsay Obituary". Dave's Diary. NuCountry. Retrieved 2 January 2018.
  3. ^ a b c Elliott, John (2005). "Reg Lindsay, Scone, NSW – Photography". National Portrait Gallery. Archived from the original on 29 July 2008. Retrieved 28 December 2017.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Reg Lindsay". Country Music Hall of Fame. Retrieved 29 December 2017.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g Duncan, Jamie (6 August 2008). "Reg Lindsay, Country Great, Takes Final Bow". The Canberra Times. Archived from the original on 11 February 2012. Retrieved 28 December 2017.
  6. ^ a b c d e Simmons, Clive (5 November 1994). "Arts & Entertainment: Reg Lindsay Takes a Turn for the Best". The Canberra Times. Vol. 70, no. 21, 751. p. 51. Retrieved 27 December 2017 – via National Library of Australia.
  7. ^ "'Hillbilly' Arrives". The Sydney Morning Herald. No. 35, 223. 10 November 1950. p. 4. Retrieved 28 December 2017 – via National Library of Australia.
  8. ^ a b Kengala (16 September 1951). "Notes on Radio". The Sunday Herald. No. 138. Sydney. p. 12. Retrieved 28 December 2017 – via National Library of Australia.
  9. ^ a b c d e Nugent, Kate; Ellis, Max (26 January 2007). "A Tribute to the McKean Sisters". History of Country Music in Australia. Retrieved 27 December 2017.
  10. ^ a b c d e f g Ankeny, Jason. "Reg Lindsay Biography & History". AllMusic. Retrieved 28 December 2017.
  11. ^ "'My Home Way Out Back' at APRA search engine". Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA). Retrieved 28 December 2017. Note: For additional work user may have to select 'Search again' and then 'Enter a title:' or 'Performer:'
  12. ^ "Singles Discography for Rodeo Records". Global Dog Productions. Retrieved 28 December 2017.
  13. ^ Kimball, Duncan (2002). "Columbia Records". Milesago: Australasian Music and Popular Culture 1964–1975. Ice Productions. Archived from the original on 14 March 2009. Retrieved 28 December 2017.
  14. ^ "The Reg Lindsay Show". Western Herald. Bourke, NSW. 19 February 1960. p. 8. Retrieved 28 December 2017 – via National Library of Australia.
  15. ^ "Country and Western Special". The Australian Women's Weekly. Vol. 34, no. 26. 23 November 1966. p. 34. Retrieved 28 December 2017 – via National Library of Australia.
  16. ^ a b c Kusko, Julie (28 May 1969). "Boots-'n-buckskins". The Australian Women's Weekly. Vol. 36, no. 52. p. 12. Retrieved 28 December 2017 – via National Library of Australia.
  17. ^ Nuttall, Lyn. "'Armstrong' – Reg Lindsay". Where Did They Get Song. Retrieved 29 December 2017.
  18. ^ a b Nimmervoll, Ed (3 July 1971). "National Top 60". Go-Set. Waverley Press. Retrieved 29 December 2017.
  19. ^ a b c "Country Music Star Reg Lindsay Dies". The Sydney Morning Herald. Australian Associated Press (AAP). 6 August 2008. Retrieved 28 December 2017.
  20. ^ "'Armstrong' at APRA search engine". Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA). Retrieved 29 December 2017. Note: For additional work user may have to select 'Search again' and then 'Enter a title:' or 'Performer:'
  21. ^ a b Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book Ltd. ISBN 0-646-11917-6. Note: Used for Australian Singles and Albums charting from 1974 until Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) created their own charts in mid-1988. In 1992, Kent back calculated chart positions for 1970–1974.
  22. ^ a b "Golden Guitars Award Winners – 1970s". Country Music Australia. Country Music Association of Australia. Retrieved 29 December 2017.
  23. ^ "Golden Guitars Award Winners – 1980s". Country Music Australia. Country Music Association of Australia. Retrieved 29 December 2017.
  24. ^ Lindsay, Reg; Umbrella Entertainment (film distributor) (2015), Reg Lindsay: live across Australia 1979-1994, retrieved 28 December 2017
  25. ^ a b c Eliezer, Christie. "Aussie Country Pioneer Reg Lindsay Dies". Billboard. Retrieved 28 December 2017.
  26. ^ "Gosford's Homage to Queen". The Gosford Times and Wyong District Advocate. Gosford, NSW. 10 February 1954. p. 1. Retrieved 28 December 2017 – via National Library of Australia.
  27. ^ a b c Rose, Anna. "What a Ride". Country Music Capital News. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 29 December 2017.
  28. ^ Hogan, Nicole (26 October 2017). "The Central Coast Massacre: 25 Years On". The Daily Telegraph. News Corp Australia. Retrieved 28 December 2017.
  29. ^ "Lindsay Stable After Hemorrhage". The Canberra Times. Vol. 70, no. 21, 836. 29 January 1995. p. 3. Retrieved 27 December 2017 – via National Library of Australia.
  30. ^ "Surgery for Singer". The Canberra Times. Vol. 70, no. 21, 861. 23 February 1995. p. 5. Retrieved 27 December 2017 – via National Library of Australia.
  31. ^ Shedden, Iain (6 August 2008). "Country Music Veteran Reg Lindsay Dies at Age 79". The Australian. News Corp Australia. Archived from the original on 11 August 2008. Retrieved 28 December 2017.
  32. ^ "People's Choice Winners". Country Music Bulletin. 27 January 2017. Retrieved 28 December 2017.
  33. ^ a b Evans, Isobella (21 January 2021). "Reg Lindsay's widow officially opens a 'memory barn' in his honour". NBN News. Nine Entertainment Co. Retrieved 10 January 2022.
  34. ^ Falkenmire, Anna (18 March 2020). "Country music legend Reg Lindsay has had awards, photos, keepsakes preserved in a memorial barn at Spring Ridge". Namoi Valley Independent. Australian Community Media. Retrieved 10 January 2022.
  35. ^ "Past Winners". Country. Retrieved 9 October 2020.
  36. ^ "Roll of Renown". TCMF. Archived from the original on 4 September 2018. Retrieved 21 August 2018.
  37. ^ "Roll of Renown – Inducted January 1984". Australian Country Music Foundation. Archived from the original on 22 February 2010. Retrieved 29 December 2017.
  38. ^ "MO Award Winners". Mo Awards. Retrieved 16 March 2022.
  39. ^ "Lindsay, Reginald John". It's an Honour (Australian Government honours database). Retrieved 28 December 2017.

External links[edit]