Playing for Laughs
Rodney Walker’s Unique One-Man Band Ensemble
A multi-instrumentalist, clown and busker, Rodney Walker is a retired Australian country music artist. His home-made eccentric musical contraptions combine as many as thirteen instruments, secured together with steel brackets. Carried on his head and shoulders, his instrument ensemble allowed Rodney to play guitar, sing, and use his feet to sound the percussion, all at once.
One of the best-known stars of Tamworth’s iconic Country Music Festival Cavalcade, Rodney appeared in countless parades and festival events. From the 2000s he performed on a float, alongside to his freestanding one-man-band arrangement. Walker’s wit and love of entertaining shone through his performances of comic and novelty songs, bush ballads, rock ‘n roll pieces, and his quirky costumes.
Born and bred in Tamworth, Walker lived and breathed the country music spirit that the town became increasingly known for from the late 1960s. He was president of local music organisations and performed with many local groups including Country Gold and Shroud as we as the Indigenous band Country Shade.
Walker’s handprint in the ‘Hands of Fame’ outdoor monument at Tamworth celebrates his great contribution to country music and Australia’s largest music festival, which is known worldwide.