“Arthur led a remarkable life and is leaving a wonderful legacy to be celebrated by us all.”
Arthur Blanch, a Golden Guitar winner and “true country music ambassador,” per his fans on Facebook, passed away on Wednesday, 26 July, the Country Music Association of Australia (CMAA) revealed on Sunday, 30 July. He was 94 years old.
With the releases Life’s Been Good To Me, How Can I Thank You – a tribute to Australian soldiers, Whatever Floats Your Boat, Blanch Family Memories, and many more, a greatest hits album called The Best Of Arthur Blanch, and a book telling the story of the Blanch family, Wollun One, Arthur Blanch was a significant part of Australian country music history.
In 1982, Blanch and his daughter, Jewel, took home the Album Of The Year award at the Golden Guitar Awards for their collaborative release, The Lady And The Cowboy. Jewel also won the award for Best Female Vocalist for the single I Can Love You.
As well as winning a Golden Guitar award with his daughter, Arthur Blanch took home solo awards for Album Of The Year in 1983 (Too Late For Regrets), Male Vocalist Of The Year (for the single I’ve Come A Long Way) in 1984, and in 1985, Male Vocalist Of The Year again for What Do Lonely People Do. In 2001, Blanch was inducted into the Australian Roll Of Renown for his contributions to country music in Australia.
In 1968, the Blanch family – Arthur, his wife Berice and their daughter Jewel – travelled to the US to follow their musical ambitions. By 1980, the calling of Australia brought them back home.
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CMAA’s obituary to Blanch began at his birth. Arthur Blanch was born 1 November 1928 at Wollun, near Tamworth. “As was very typical of the times, in the late 1940s Arthur began to enter talent quests, gaining him considerable success,” the CMAA statement continued.
“He won the coveted Australia’s Amateur Hour in 1949. In the 1950s, Arthur was signed to the first of what would become several recording contracts over his highly successful 70+ year career, with labels such as Rodeo, EMI, Capital Records, W&G and RCA, along with Sundown Records and ENREC.”
Countrytown, CMAA, and everyone who grew up with his music sends our thoughts to the Blanch family. As the CMAA said, “Arthur led a remarkable life and is leaving a wonderful legacy to be celebrated by us all.”