On last weekend's fiftieth anniversary of the 1967 Referendum that accorded Australian Aboriginal people citizenship in their own country – a time when Aboriginal people were making more history with the Uluru conference on constitutional recognition – I was honoured to be asked to go into ABC Local Radio in Sydney and, with the ABC’s Indigenous Affairs Editor Stan Grant, go on a ‘Sonic Journey’ on Simon Marnie’s morning show through some of the pertinent music of the era. Stan is a long-standing Buried Country fan (“It’s the soundtrack to my life,” he said!), and a top fella who really knows his tunes. If you want to listen to all the tracks and talk, go to the second half of the two-hour podcast of Simon’s show here, although hurry because it might not last long.
Here’s a lure: the hour includes the unveiling of a recently remastered version (thanks to Darren Hanlon and the guys from Vinyl Frontier) of Jimmy Little’s legendary B-Side from 1958, “Give the Coloured Lad a Chance,” which was written by his father and is surely the first-ever Aboriginal ‘protest’ song committed to wax. Given the nature of the song, the nature of Australian radio back when and the rarity of the record (I’d not even seen a copy until just recently, when Bruce Milne gave me this one; thanks Bruce), it’s possible that this is the first time it’s ever been heard on air period! The track will hopefully be included on a new Buried Country vinyl LP coming out of America soon; but that’s another story…