After working in music for the past 60 years, Evelyn Bury has been awarded an OAM for her service to the industry.
The Bundaberg country music singer has received some of the highest honours awarded to the Australian country music fraternity, now adding an Order of Australia Medal to her list that already includes a Golden Guitar.
The award came as a surprise to Evelyn, who said at first she thought the email was a joke.
“Wow, I mean at first when I saw the email I thought it was someone having a laugh but being recognised with this award means a lot to me,” Evelyn said.
“I have been in the music business for almost 60 years and so to get an award for something you love is amazing, I was blown away.
“Looking at the list, I am in some amazing company; I don’t quite feel I fit in with the crowd to be honest.”
Evelyn said she had called Bundaberg home for many years now and was not able to ask for a more supportive community.
“Bundaberg has always been such a supportive community and I wouldn’t choose to live anywhere else,” she said.
“I want to thank everyone for the wonderful response they have given to my music and since the OAM award has been announced.
“I also want to say thank you to my friends and family who have supported me every step of the way, even when my ideas may have been a bit out there.”
Connections and Golden Guitar highlights for Evelyn Bury
Evelyn said she has had many highlights during her time in the music industry and said that it was hard to pick just one standout.
“It is hard to pick a highlight as a lot of it has been the people that you work with and the people you meet,” she said.
“I was lucky that I was in an era where I was working with people like Smoky Dawson and Chad Morgan and that was quite surreal because I had looked up to them since I was a kid.
“I am going back over a long period of time but the Golden Guitar was a major highlight for me, as well as the song writing awards.
“They are also very nice to get because I recorded 40 of my own songs but for someone else to pick them up or get an award for them.”
Having entered the industry when she was just 16 years old, Evelyn said she had played across a number of genres with a wealth of experience behind her.
“I started when I was 16, mainly back then it was the local dances or the jazz clubs so you sang a variety of music like the wool shed dances it was always country,” she said.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed every part of the journey though.”
Evelyn said the recent Covid pandemic and the change to digital music streaming had changed the way the music industry operated.
“Once Covid hit, it made it very hard to tour as once you left one state, you couldn’t get back in and vice versa,” she said.
“It has forced me to start to put my feet up, but I feel for the younger generations who are trying to make a living.
“I feel blessed that I was in that era that I was in, as it is getting harder and harder.
“For example, there are hardly any record shops that sell CDs these days, instead you now put a single up on iTunes for $1.69.”
Evelyn Bury had one piece of advice for those who were trying to make it in the music industry with all the challenges in today’s world.
“My advice would be to hang in there,” she said.
“If you have that talent, you will get through.”
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