Graham was born at Castlemaine (Victoria) in 1936 and is known to friends and family as "GB". He's been singing country and popular music since age seven, initially influenced by such great pioneers as Smoky Dawson, Tex Morton, Buddy Williams, Harry Torani, Gene Autry and Wilf Carter. His first guitar was bought in 1955 from a mate who taught him the basics of playing, then with Keith Walters and John Lupton, formed a group known as "The Castlemen". Bruce Merlo (Lead) and Kent Clunes (Drums) were added and the group performed at many venues around North-Central Victoria until 1965, when GB joined the Army and had to leave the band to pursue his career.
He continued singing during his years of service - mainly in the Messes and for parties - returning to civvy life in 1973, with a Transport Company in Sydney, but maintained his part-time interest. A transfer to Darwin in 1974, introduced him to Cyclone Tracy and the rebuilding of his Company's operations. Later he joined the Darwin Country Music Association and has remained closely involved in the country music scene since then.
In 1998 Graham and wife Kay, moved to Glasshouse Mountains in Qld. They joined Homestead Branch of the Australasian Country Music Association at Caboolture and both competed successfully at many competitions around SE Qld. GB's singing style reflects his appreciation of American greats, Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, Marty Robbins, Charlie Pride and others, whilst his repertoire of Australian Country Songs, leans mainly towards the works of Buddy Williams, Slim Dusty and Stan Coster. Some of his family members, including sister Cheryl Lethlean and stepsons Allan and Lee Hubble (who both sing and play mean guitars), share his interest in performing country music.
Graham has received many awards for his singing in Victoria, Northern Territory and Queensland and he has written several songs about life in the "Top End", some of which have recently been recorded. The highlights of his singing career are; Representing the NT at a National Busking Competition in Adelaide; A support act to "The Bachelors" at Darwin Performing Arts Centre - and also for "Tamworth On Parade" at the same venue; Meeting and talking with Charley and Rozene Pride after their show in Darwin; Finally getting to meet his childhood hero Buddy Williams at Maguire's Pub in Tamworth; Meeting and knowing Stan, Dorothy and Tracy Coster pretty well - and always making new friends in the Country Music scene.
Graham and Kay returned to Victoria in 2002 (very much due to the call of "kids" & grand-children) and settled at Rochester. They joined CM Clubs at Echuca, Kyabram and Bendigo - regularly performing at other Clubs, charity events and Nursing Homes. Graham is currently the Secretary of Tamworth Songwriters Association (Vie Branch) and a Member of the Australian Bush Balladeers Association. He performs in "walk-up" venues each year at the Mildura, Barmera and Tamworth Festivals. The urging of brother-in-law, Richard Lethlean, resulted in his first recording, a CD entitled "GB's Favourite Americans" which was released at Barmera in 2004 (still a few available on request).
Graham's new CD, "Shades of Green", is an All-Australian presentation of Ballads written by some well-known and a few "not-so-well-known" writers (including GB), available for sale from April 2005.
For any expressions of interest, contact "GB" on;
Picture by I Fisk June 2005 Barmera