Roger Knox

Roger Knox

Name: Roger Knox
Orign: Gamilaroi Man, Moree NSW
Genre: Folk, Country
Instruments: Vocals/Guitar
Associated: Eura Band
Website: Knox_Roger.htm

Roger Knox

Roger Knox is often referred to, in the Aboriginal community, as the black Elvis. He is a Gamilaroi man who was born at Moree, northwest NSW and grew up at Toomelah mission near Boggabilla on the NSW QLD border.
Roger started his musical career as a gospel singer and in the early 1980's defied the odds surviving not one but two plane crashes, suffering burns to most of his body. With his band, Euraba he has dedicated his life to sharing the gift of music with the world, spending much of his time playing to neglected Aboriginal audiences in remote communities and prisons, as well as touring detention centres and Indian reservations in the US and Canada.

HE was a boy from the bush with dreams of making it as a boxer, but fate and a musical gift paved a different path for Roger Knox. Today Mr Knox is a grandfather and a vocal ambassador for the Kamilaroi people, but despite country music stardom his roots remain firmly embedded in the dry soil of northern New South Wales. Roger was born in a time of racial segregation; his childhood was spent at Toomelah Aboriginal Mission south of Goondiwindi. He grew up fearing police, welfare workers and white people, was short-changed on formal education and joined the workforce in his early teens.

"I never drank alcohol or did drugs and we grew up knowing we had to work hard, he said. He put the latter into practice early leaving school to work on a tobacco farm near Tamworth. "The Tamworth country music scene was just kicking off and my cousin told someone, who told someone else, I could sing," With the modesty of a man who became known as the Black Elvis and the King of Koori country that turned into a string of successful country albums, a national fan base and international tours.

But it wasn’t a road to stardom without hurdles. In 1984 shortly after Roger was discovered by country music talent scout and performer Brian Young his dreams came crashing down. Or more accurately a light plane he was travelling in as part of a national tour came down in Central Australia. A shaken Mr Knox was one of just two survivors from the crash near Oodnadatta and spent two months in intensive care with second and third degree burns to 95 per cent of his body. He spent the next six months in hospital, then the following two years in bed tormented by physical pain and emotional turmoil. "My hands were so badly burnt I couldn't play guitar," In pain and desperation he returned to his childhood home and the bush medicine of his aunts. "They bathed my sores with a solution made from the Euraba bush and I started to get my life together again,".

What came from that dark time in the musician's life was upbeat music created with the input of his sons and nephews, who formed the aptly named Euraba band to play alongside him. Today he has become a role model and mentor for young Aboriginal Australians.

Visit Roger Knox Here.

Next Month's Indigenous Artist . . . David Arden

Last Month's Indigenous Artist

Shellie Morris

Shellie Morris describes herself as an Australian Indigenous Singer, Songwriter performing and recording earthy and honest acoustic songs with contemporary instrumentation . Others have been moved to grander descriptions. The Australian newspapers Nicholas Rothwell, for example, described her as the Janis Joplin of Jingili, an Aboriginal chanteuse of rare seriousness and grace. Territorians diva and intriguing and passionate are just some of the plaudits Shellie has been collecting in the emergent years of her musical career.

Information on Shellie Morris here