This year in 2021 we have one inductee to the Hands of Fame

Paddy Long

Paddy started playing 6 string guitar as a 12 year old, and was introduced to Pedal Steel in his mid twenties.

Since then he has become a long time professional musician, playing Pedal Steel guitar, Dobro and 6 string guitar — TVNZ’s “That’s Country” TV show house band for 5 years, playing with such artists as Emmylou Harris, Connie Smith, Dobie Gray, Little Jimmy Dickens, Diana Trask, Tompall and the Glaser Brothers, Dave and Sugar, The Burrito Brothers, Becky Hobbs,  Freddy Fender and Stella Parton.  Paddy has also been on the Dixie Chicken TV Show house band, numerous TV Specials and Telethons, and he has toured Canada and the US with Suzanne Prentice and the Roger Fox Big band for several years.

Paddy continues to work and tour regularly with the Suzanne Prentice Show.  He is a longtime member of the “Huckleberries” – the backing band for the annual Norfolk Island Country Music Festival in the South Pacific,  and toured NZ with Austin Texas native, Rosie Flores.

Paddy was a guest artist at the Texas Steel Guitar Convention 2016, and 2018 Dallas Texas. A regular guest artist at the Australian Steel Guitar convention in Brisbane since 2006. Currently, as a session musician,  he has played on more than 230 recording sessions in NZ and Australia, including 170 albums, numerous jingles, TV sound tracks and music videos! Paddy has continued to work regularly as a session and performing musician.  He was inducted into the Australian Steel Guitar Hall of Fame in 2011.

Paddy’s plans going forward are to continue improving his playing technique and musical knowledge – and maybe take on a little more touring if the opportunities present themselves. 

A BRIEF HISTORY

In 1981 members of the Gore Country Music Club Inc. first debated the idea of a Hands of Fame structure in the shape of a guitar to substantiate Gore’s claim of being the New Zealand capital of country music. Discussion began between club members of what, how, when and where the tribute should be. Errol Alison was approached, a New Zealand artist who lived in Gore, to draw up some concepts of plans. These were taken to the Gore District Council for approval to erect the structure where the brown trout stands now. This initial proposal was turned down and the discussion among club members continued.


In 1992 the members of Gore Country Music Club Inc. had the insight to start collecting hand prints set in concrete of country artists both local and international. Prints were collected from Kenny Rogers, Slim Dusty, Patsy Rigger, Garner Wayne, Suzanne Prentice, Ricky Skaggs, Jade Hurley and many other worthy recipients. During the following years members continued to re addressed the idea of a structure to display the Hands of Fame. A few years later the members asked Errol Allison again for a structure that would depict what country music means to the people of Gore. Errol presented his design ideas to the members and the project was adopted at a meeting of the club.

Every year since names have been put forward to become part of the selection process to be eligible for the induction ceremony that year. The club members who were voted onto the Hands of Fame committee made the final decision. This committee spent years fundraising and working towards a debt free structure, prior to commencement of the building project. This committee also organized and ran the show for several years.

At the show during the induction ceremony, a history of the recipient is read out. Many people are amazed at the varied and interesting history of New Zealand Country Music. Not all the recipients are singers and the criteria to be inducted is decided by the club members. There were some sizable donations from people such as Jessie McChlery-Tytler.

Some of the people instrumental in the final structure being erected are:

Murray Bruce
Sue Bruce
Jessie McChlery-Tytler
Laurel Turnbull
Murray Kirk
Marlene Kirk
Gray Tytler
Audrey Winsloe

The construction began in 2004 and dedicated in the week prior to New Zealand Gold Guitar Awards on May 31st 2005. All the plaques were installed and spaces for new ones to be added. A few years later ownership of the statue was passed over to the Gore District Council.

Below is a list of the recipients.

Hands of Fame Inductees:

2019

Ginny Peters

2018

No Inductee

2017

Tami Neilson and Jim Sutton

2016

The Warratahs

2015

The Hamilton County Bluegrass Band

2014

The Topp Twins

2013

No Inductee

2012

Brendan Dugan, Pat Dugan

2011

Barry Skinner, Dennis Marsh

2010

Marion Burns

2009

Ray Columbus

2008

Possum Pickers – Peter Hayes, Lindsay Broad, Denise Hayes, Marilyn Hayes, Rae Cavanagh, Barrie Gill, Alf Pope, Steven Hayes

2007

Brian Ringrose, Camille Te Nahu, Jim Lange, Glen Campbell

2006

Roger Tibbs, Johnny Morris, Trevor Dawe

2005

John Grenell. Peter Posa

2004

Les Thomas, Reg McTaggart, Gary Morris, Ernie Andrew

2003

Bob Mason, Peter Cairns, Fay Charlett, Rocky Don Hall, Mary Duff

2002

Garner Wayne, Toni Williams, Jenny Blackadder

2001

Maureen Thomson, Jeff Rea, Canadian Sisters – Violet Williams, Irene Hume

2000

Paul Walden, Garth Gibson, Rex Franklin, Noelene Franklin

1999

Danny McGirr, Caroline Ramblers – Malcolm Marshall, Malcolm Lilley

1998

Noel Parlane, Margaret Bates, Ian Murdoch, Craig Giles, The Plainsmen – Norm Stringer, Claude Stringer

1997

Kenny Rogers, Jessie McChlery-Tytler, The Tumbleweeds – Cole Wilson, Myra Wilson, Colin McCrorie, Nola McCrorie

1996

Jade Hurley

1994

McKean Sisters – Joy McKean, Heather McKean,  Slim Dusty, Anne Kirkpatrick, Wayne Horsburgh, Dusty Spittle, Gray Bartlett, Ricky Skaggs

1993

Patsy Riggir, Max McCauley, Suzanne Prentice, Eddie Low, Evan Beale

1992

Bobby Bare, Max Whitehouse, Alan Barron, Noel Burns