Ian Quinn

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Many regions have a song that depicts its lifestyle, scenery and is used as a vehicle to promote the area.

A new song has been released about the Manning Valley and should be considered for adoption as a vehicle to promote the Valley and promote tourism.

After all, nothing is better than a catchy, well written song to entice people to a region. Singer/songwriter Ian Quinn has penned a song about the Manning Valley which is available on his latest album, titled ‘Quinny’.

Ian has plenty of talent – his ability has been widely recognised in the music world. He has been the recipient of many awards, including a Tamworth Golden Guitar award in 2008 – a follow on from his 2007 success, when he claimed the Tamworth People’s Choice trophy.

His expertise as a singer/songwriter has seen him become a Tamworth Golden Guitar finalist eight times, gaining him a huge following over the past 20 years.

Where were you born?

I was born in Bundaberg.

When did you first start playing a musical instrument?

I first began learning to play the bagpipes when I was thirteen.

What was your first job?

My first job was a part time storeman at the Coles Supermarket in Bundaberg.
> How did your musical career come about?

I started learning guitar when I was fourteen and then started playing in the clubs and pubs in the area when I was fifteen. I had to be driven to venues by my parents, who had to wait until I was finished so they could drive me back home. Then in 1983 I was invited to go on the road with an old showman, Tex Williams, with a travelling show.

Does songwriting come naturally, and what inspires you?

It does seem to come naturally, even though there are some times when there are periods that I do not write much. I like to call my songs unique and inspirational stories that are able to give something back to the people through songs. 
> What have been the influences on your music?

There are many. But it is the other artists who genuinely sing and write about the Australian landscape and culture of our past and the Australia we are today through their lyrics.

You have been honing your skills for a long time. Do you have any long term ambitions?

To continue being successful and to write and record music, plus write songs for other people.

You have won many awards in your 20 year career. What has been your biggest achievement?

I have had many milestones, but winning the Golden Guitar in 2008 was fantastic.

You were inducted into the ‘hands of fame’ in 2009, what does that represent?

The ‘hands of fame’ is to acknowledge individuals for their contribution to Australian country music. The hands of fame park in Tamworth is where the acknowledged individuals make imprints of their hands in wet cement.

You put a lot back into the music industry. Where do you direct your enegies?

I am heavily involved in the Mildura Country Music Awards, with Australian Independent Music.

How many albums have you released?

Including the latest, six.

What inspired you to write a song about the Manning Valley?

A mate of mine I went to school with from grade one in Bundaberg, Craig Huth, who you all know from MAX FM and 2RE radio station has been a great supporter. We have kept in contact since school, and he asked me if I could write a song about the Manning Valley. It was with great pleasure that I could co-write this song with my producer Roger Corbett.
> What are your thoughts on Australia and its future?

Australia’s culture is changing rapidly. We have now become a multicultural and cosmopolitan nation. We are such a unique country, but rapidly we are becoming more influenced by America.

Our sense of dress, food, music and in some cases our sport, have all begun to conform around American ideals. I personally would like to see Australians become more patriotic – not only on Australia Day and ANZAC day, but embrace and be proud of our heritage and history and for our children to be taught and understand the values and way of life our Australians soldiers fought and died for.

Any tours planned on the Mid North Coast?

Hope to be in the area some time around May this year.

I know Craig Huth is keen to adopt your song as the theme for our region. Would you share the words with our readers?

It is my pleasure.


Where the Manning meets the ocean, she’s the only one.

With two river mouths down there at Harrington

From Old Bar to Beradi Creek her gentle waters wind.

Ghini Ghini takes you to the dreamtime.

Meet me by the river with a rod in your hand.

Lose your blues and shoes and take a walk in the sand.

Laze around like drift wood upon the ocean shore.

Paradise is right at your front door.

So come and see the Manning Valley, come along with me.

Come and climb our mountains in the land of the giant trees.

Cruise our mighty river, as she flows into the sea.

And come and see Australia the way it’s meant to be.

Bring along your surf board, or your scuba gear.

Have a Chardy at the vineyard, or a barbie and a beer.

Why not climb big Nelly, see the view from Crowdy Bay.

It’ll take your breath; it’ll steal your heart away.

Thank you Ian.

Story by Peter Lyne.

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