Koori King of Country
After connecting with the stories of Slim Dusty and Aboriginal country singers Col Hardy, Jimmy Little and Harry Williams in his teens, Roger Knox's story is the stuff of legends, surviving two airplane crashes in one day, almost burnt to death, before going on against all odds to launch the Koori music boom of the eighties with his band Euraba, singing uplifting songs of struggle, heartbreak and hope.
Known as the Godfather of Koori music, the Black Elvis and the Koori King of Country, Roger Knox’s story is a remarkable one. Born in the glow of the famous Min Min light, ROGER KNOX arrived in Tamworth from the infamous Toomelah Mission. After singing at the legendary Joe Maguire’s Pub he was encouraged by local artist Geoff Brown and Hoedown Deejay John Minson.
Survivor of two air crashes in one day.
Roger toured the Northern Territory, Queensland and Western Australia with Brian Young in 1980 then the following year set out for more of the same but was almost killed in an air crash. He received first, second and third degree burns to seventy percent of his body. The rescue plane also crashed. That same year he lost his mother, father and twenty-one year old sister. Two years later he was not the first Aboriginal artist to record but he was the first to record modern music with a strong Aboriginal content, soon to be labeled Koori Music.
As the Koori Mail told it in May ’93, “It’s hard to believe now… but when Roger Knox first visited Enrec Studios it was a radical idea to record references to Aboriginal issues. Much to Roger’s surprise not only did these songs win high acclaim… they also created a new and much needed category of music: Koori Music.”
Knox is famous and loved for his regular tours of the New South Wales and Queensland prison systems, where many Aboriginal men and women are incarcerated.