Monday, 10 July 2017


Leslie John Partell was born July 1930 in Sydney. Les received early guitar lessons from Clive Beeton before joining the Victorian Banjo Club. He worked a lot on the ABC, 3XY and 3UZ and other stations around the state. In 1947 Les entered Australia’s Amateur Hour and ran third. After this Les commenced writing his own material. He made dozens of custom recordings on Elrae Records which were distributed to radio stations. With Allan Hawking, Bill Earle and Jack Johnson he formed The Trailblazers which could have been the first fully professional country music show in Australia.

In 1954 Les travelled to Sydney to try for a recording contract. He recorded his first single on Regal Zonophone- “Hitting the Hobo” and “Homeward Bound”. He then became involved in the Sydney country music scene, which included taking over the 2SM radio breakfast show. Shortly after he moved his family to Sydney from Melbourne and started recording on the Round-Up Label (a subsidiary of the Spotlight label). During his career he recorded on many labels and scored a gold record with "Song and Dance Man" for the Bullet label. He toured the country with many shows including Chad Morgan and Rick & Thel Carey etc. He appeared on many live radio shows including the well known Bonnington Bunkhouse Show, Ted Quigg and Harmony Trail.

In 1979 Les received the prestigious Living Legends Award and inducted into the Hands of Fame. Hat maker Akubra, honoured Les by naming a hat The Mate after his Akubra Hat song. In 1994 he was inducted into the Hall of Fame at the South Australian Country Music Festival Awards. In 2014 he was elevated to the Roll Of Renown in Tamworth. He co-founded the Australian Country Music guild and instigated the ‘Living Legends’ Awards and has been a guest broadcaster of country music for the ABC for more than 30 years.



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