Vale John Minson


On Friday evening, 10th March, Australia lost a legend of the Australian Country Music scene in John Minson aka ‘Mr Hoedown’. John hosted his own country music programme, which had a huge following on 2TM – Tamworth, back in the 60’s through to the late 80’s. The title “Mr Hoedown” was born in 1967 when John changed the name of his country music program to “Hoedown”. John was also a recording artist in his own right but it was as one of the instigators of what is now the annual Australian Country Music Festival that he became a legend. John was a man of many talents, as you can read here.

John approached us back in 1982 about the possibility of sponsoring the suggested Hohner National Bluegrass Harmonica Championships at the 1983 Australasian Country Music Awards Festival, which we (Hohner and KJ’s) did for the next 33 years as it morphed into the Hohner Golden Harmonica Championships. Many of Australia’s top harp players have played and won at Tamworth! Jac and I and our 5 kids have many great memories of our trips up the Putty Road to Tamworth and camping at the Hockey fields.

John, who became a great friend, was a man of integrity, vision and humility. He loved Hohner harmonicas, country music and the City of Tamworth and worked tirelessly to promote them. He will be greatly missed by so many, including his wife Ann, son Lawrie, who is also an award winning country music identity, daughter Kate and Son James, the community of Tamworth and the tens of thousands of listeners he introduced to Australian Country Music via his ‘Hoedown’ programme.

Rest in Peace John ‘Mr Hoedown’ Minson, you’ve earned it.

Tricia Smits