The idea for this album came from Marcus Herman, whom I first met when I was a kid, back in the days when he was recording Australian stars like Malcolm Arthur, Barry O’Dowd, Judy Banks, The Trailblazers, Judy Jacques, The Blue Jays, and international artists such as Bill McCormack, comedians Dave Barry and Ugly Dave Gray, Derek Nimmo and Irish tenor Patrick O’Hagan. It has taken all these years for Marcus to record me in his famous Marco Natural Sound. This is a collection of works by people well known, not so well known, and some unknown until you play this CD. A few have been read previously on my 3AW radio programme. ‘The Highwayman’ was forced upon me at school, where sadly I did not appreciate it as much as I do now. And Banjo Patterson, without peer as a writer of Australiana, is represented. What a pity my grand- kids will probably not learn his works at school. However, they will certainly be read to them by me! Two mates, the infamous Bruce Gow of Echuca, and that outback legend Nick le Seouff, have also contributed original works. Although I have recorded before, this project was one hell of a challenge. The enthusiasm of Marcus Herman kept me going when I had well and truly had enough, as did the encouragement of Peter Sullivan and Graeme Howie who produced the musical backings. And, of course, Mavis Ellis, a regular and muuch loved guest on my programme. Mavis has been kind enough to help me correctly read various works, and also helped find material. I am so glad she agreed to do ‘The White Magnolia Tree.’ Mavis has been giving recitations, telling yarns, and entert- -aining people for more years than she would want me to reveal. In April 2002 my father Vic passed away. I could not have guessed how much this was to affect me. Dad and I shared a common interest in radio, and until a couple of years before his passing, he was keenly involved with his local radio station 3CCC-FM, conducting his own programmes which he spent hours prep- aring. I dearly would have loved to have had the opportunity to discuss and plan this album with him, but sadly it was not to be. So I dedicate it to his memory, and also to all my listeners who give me such wonderful feedback and support. – Keith McGowan