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The ancestor of every action is a thought
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Hillbilly Mountain

Has a song ever been written about Mt. Morgan? If not why not and what genre should it be? Hillbilly; please don’t take this as a joke; the location and supposed repute of the town could in fact be used as a strength. Mt. Morgan the Hillbilly Bluegrass Music Capital of Australia.
On what existing platform do you establish that title you may be thinking; build it.
Hold an annual week-long festival. Start small and invite regional Queensland performers to come to Mt. Morgan. Or go big from the start and invite an international artist to perform and build an event around their performance.
Tamworth has done it, Gympie has too, why not Mt. Morgan.
The setting would be perfect. Performances could be held at the dam, showgrounds, School of Arts building, mine site, rail station, the pubs. Fantastic unique locations that would inspire songs. A golden banjo award presented from the once richest gold mine in the world would have genuine appeal.
Why establish Mt. Morgan as the Hillbilly Bluegrass Music Capital of Australia?
Hillbilly Bluegrass may not have a huge local following, but it does have a dedicated international fan base. A good festival would attract thousands from all over. Develop the concept further and Mt. Morgan would attract additional tourists throughout the year.
Through merchandising (‘I’m a Mount Morgan Hillbilly’ could go global), song writer retreats, leasing recording studio time, even a spin-off festival “Hillbilly Jazz’, Mt. Morgan would have other sources of income to compliment the strengths the town already has.
Imagine the music videos that could be shot on location. The swinging bridge, the mine site stack, the surrounding countryside could be seen by the dedicated hillbilly bluegrass fans across the world.
This idea is not new, it’s been talked about for around 20 years, maybe longer. There’s no business plan behind it and even if it did, persistence, actually ‘grit’ would be identified as the necessary element to make it succeed. Hopefully there are some hillbilly bluegrass lovers that may read this and want to see it become a reality. Search the history of the Gympie Muster to see how it could happen.
Rockhampton Regional Council in their present entrepreneurial ‘give it a go’ mood might encourage some public meetings to gauge interest. After all it would fit in with the ‘Cultural Capital of the North’ image they are developing. But it needs strong local grass roots passion to get a festival then the capital status a reality. Here’s hoping the passion is there.
By the way there are at least 2 songs about Mt. Morgan, one actually called Mount Morgan you might describe as hillbilly bluegrass.
As a footnote search http://mountmorgan.org.au/concert for details of the Sara Storer Legend and the Locals concert in Mt. Morgan’s School of Arts on 7th October. This could be the catalyst for a future festival.

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