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My Sincere thanks to
Cowboy Bob for the photos as well as some of the stories.
And to Monica Allan for other stories from the "Tamworth Country Music Festival Book".

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Born in West Wyalong New South Wales Australia on the 10th September 1937 a sixth generation European/Australian, nurtured and raised by Grand Parents Robert Leonard and Linda Sarah (nee Humphries) Elbourne. Bob was educated in West Wyalong leaving school at age 14 years and 6 months to enter the bakery trade. Industrial dermatitus ended that first career path. Bob then took on the hard work as a labourer and seasonal worker till 1958-9 when he settled in Sydney where he started a gardening business with the proceeds of his last cane cutting job.
After three years in the gardening sector Bob became a truck driver till entering the Country music business in 1969 with the help of Bill Kelly, Bob's tells me his mentor back then was Kevin King. Bob first experienced television with thanks to Reg Lindsay at QTQ9 Brisbane on Reg's Country Music Show after which Bob made another 9 appearences.

In 1974 Bob made his first album released on the Festival label and recorded in the Col Joye Studio. His first radio show was on the John Burles 2KY program in


Cowboy Bob Picture To Come
Bob with his now famous Bat Masterton cane.
1975, after these appearences and the success of the first single Bob won a Gold Guitar at the Tamworth Country Music Awards in 1976.
Things really started to move for Bob with air play on South Australian radio, then interviewed on Sydney radio 2UE. October 1981 Interview with Phil Hunter 2KY's "KY Country" then with Nick Erby Radio and TV
in Canberra for a pilot show "Town & Country" followed by another album "Cross Country Cowboy" at Smokey Dawson's Ranch, next "The Frank Ifield TV Show", followed by the release of yet another album "Black Sheep" recorded on the Nev Nicholls Nicholls 'N' Dimes Label released through RCA Victor. Bob's wife Elaine now owns all tapes and the rights to the "Black Sheep" album.

Bob has worked on stage with Laurie Allen who also produced Bob's "Cross Country Cowboy" album, co-writer of songs on album and award winning single A side "Motivation Day", B side "Truckers Lullaby".
--------------Now available on CD for just $15.00 + Postage
Others to have helped Bob's career were; Comedian Tommy Mac, [Tim McNamara's brother] live shows, Mike McClelland [ABC TV Queensland] Tim McNamara who had the first Country Music radio show which was on Radio 2SM Sydney The "Singing Kettles" Ross & Bill from Tasmania, Heather McKean of the McKean Sisters Donita Dey who Bob says was always offering encouragement, Ben McCauley of the McCauley Raiders, Geoff Quinton, Kenny Kitching Great steel guitarist, Bill Mostyn, Gordon Parsons, and Greg Parsons of the band Country Shuffle. Others to help along the way were; Revel & Doug Towers, Ian B McLeod both live shows, Jan Kelly with backup vocals. Col Joye & Kevin Jacobson ATA recording, Lee Britton (Good Companions' Hotel Tamworth) ten years of vocals and guitar, Journalists who have helped, Mort Fist (Blues Harp)Monica Allan Jazza Smith and David Latter

Order CDs by sending payment to PO Box 2523 Smithfield 2164 - Add $5 to cover postage for 1 or both
Reg Lindsay has been a part of Bob's career from the very early days when Bob used to buy all his stage clothes from Reg Lindsay Country Stores at East Concord & Parramatta. Bob has always believed that stage appearence was an important part of any act and he surely did dress that part. Suits, Shirts, Hats and Boots all came from Reg. One of Bob's suits has quite a history, when after appearing on Reg's Country Music Show at QTQ Brisbane and in a hurry to return to Sydney Bob hung his suit on the hand rail at the rear of the studio, raced back inside to get something he had forgotten then off he went only to realise later he had left his suit hanging over the hand rail. There was one good thing about it all, just about everyone knew the suit belonged to the smart dresser Cowboy Bob Purtell so it found its way back to Sydney and a very relieved Cowboy Bob. That same suit now resides in a museum in Tamworth. Bob says "I loved that suit so much I had a replica made which I still have (its a cheap copy). Bob did a couple of movies and some advertising and says Thanks Reg for the smart gear I think the movie people and advertising gurus only wanted me for my clothes.
Somehow Bob, I don't think that would be right. NC.


--Bob places his hand print in the hands of fame cement in Tamworth ---------Just off stage, Cootamundra Fair

Some great information found in a country music book of a few years back is a must for re-print here.
Discribed as "The notorious rootin', tootin', shootin' Cowboy Bob Purtell. At age 31, with a marriage busted over trucking, he lost his truckers' licence and went on the dole; that was the turning point.
"I locked myself in a garage for 6 weeks, painted the whole thing black and just listened to Hank Snow, Hank Williams, Slim Whitman and Bob Dylan - yeah, I reckon he's country. I felt I had to wipe the first part of my life and rethink.
Motivatin' Day, his first single, was written by esteemed Country Music songwriter Laurie Allen and won him a Golden Guitar at Tamworth, where he sings every year with mate Lee Britton.



Cowboy Bob Purtell, one of the best dressed performers of any era.
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