Singer Max Maher with poet Ray Essery.
Singer Max Maher with poet Ray Essery.

Max remembers tunes from the old days

WHEN Max Maher was 12 years old, he was invited to go on tour with Buddy Williams.

Mr Maher had sung on stage with Mr Williams at Nimbin Hall and impressed the country music star.

His parents said he couldn't go.

It's just as well, because he might not be here to organise Back to the Old Days at Evans Head.

Now, 62 years later, and a country music singer in his own right, Mr Maher is bringing back the free concerts he loved to go to when he was a teenager at Evans Head in the 1950s.

The concert on December 30 wouldn't be happening if not for Mullumbimby bush poet and long-time friend Ray Essery hassling Mr Maher to pick up his guitar again.

Mr Maher played country music for 53 years and after a hiatus of 13 years, Mr Essery urged him to play again.

Mr Maher lives in Casino and grew up "out of Lismore”.

"We used to go to Evans Head as teens,” he said. "Everyone went to Evans Head at Christmas.”

Mr Maher comes from a musical family. His mother played piano and his brother Darrel Maher sings at the Clydesdale Steakhouse in Casino most weeks.

The free concerts in the 1950s were packed, Mr Maher said. There was one at Evans Head, Ballina and Brunswick Heads, all raising money for the surf clubs.

Mr Maher remembers how those concerts brought people together.

He has found support for the concerts from the Holiday Park Trust, the Evans Business Chamber, the Casino Richmond River Country Music Club and Richmond Valley Council.

"Everyone is excited when I tell them,” Mr Maher said.

Mr Maher's first band choice was Grafton's Suburban Country, who play 1950-60s music and are booked to play. Other artists include Rosanna Ruddick, John Warren, Diana Alvos, Jeff Gibson, Hannah Oliver, Laetitia Binetruy, Jade Gray, Rozanna Muscat and Max Maher.

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