Ross Baker alias Gummy Bill
|Ross's interest in country music began at an early age
while living on the family farm at Nangari, in the Mallie country of
South Australia by listening to the Hill Billy shows on the radio. In
1955 after leaving the farm the family moved to Gawler and Ross brought
a guitar, he began receiving lessons from Howard Michael who at that
time was a music teacher with the Adelaide College of Music, Ross later
appeared on the 5AD Saturday morning country program hosted by Bob Fricker,
he also appeared on 5KA's Bobby's community sing along- In 1957 Ross
joined a country band called 'The South Aussie Ramblers" which
consisted of Howard Michael (lead guitar) and Phil Holiday (bass guitar),
the band was kept busy playing at parties and many other venues around
the Gawler and Adelaide Districts- The South Aussie Rambles later appeared
on Dick Fairs "Australian Amateur Hour" in which they proudly
came second against some very stiff opposition.
Ross has also appeared on television, the first was "Stairway to the Star's" in 1960, soon after this appearance Ross moved to the Riverland and his first big break there came when Rocky Page invited him to sing on the 5RM "Sunset Trail Shows", which were recorded live in the 1950's and 1960's. Ross then appeared on stage in Rocky's charity shows with many top Australian artists in the many country towns of South Australia and Victoria. In the early 1970's Ross appeared on the Channel 9's "Show Case" and came third, he also appeared on Channel 10's "New Faces", In the meantime, Ross married and hung up his guitar for 18 years while the children grew up. but with encouragement from family and friends took up country music again and created his "Gummy Bill" act which has been very successful for him.
In 1988 he made his first cassette - Ross Baker alias Gummy Bill - at Rocky Page's hall of fame. it sold well for him. Ross has appeared on the buttercup concert at Tamworth and has busked in the streets of Tamworth during the festival.
He has had guest spots with Tex and Paula Williams in New South Wales in 1989, 1991 and more recently in 1993 with an invitation (o return in 1994. Ross has toured and entertained tor 4 months in the Northern Territory.
Since then he has made three more cassettes, all contain original
compositions by Ross:
During 1992 Ross won the Buskers award at Gawler's first Country Festival in October, the trophy is proudly on the mantel place in his home at Meribah. Ross was invited to Victoria by Chris Shalders who has loured with Chad Morgan. He was made welcome by her Club at Beaufort, the weekend was a great success and was invited to return to the Club by Officials for a repeat performance.
Words from 17th SA Country Music Festival & Awards 1995 Souvenir Programme
Ross is a regular at Riverland Country Music Festival at Barmera.
Ross has a number of CDs available, contact him for details.
Ross and Gummy at Barmera 2005 pictures by I Fisk