Born: Established: 17 Jan 1920 Holbrook Culcairn - Holbrook area Riverina - Murray area New South Wales ; Died: Ceased: 18 Feb 2001
Australian pioneer folklorist. With Jack Barrie and Brian Loughlan, John Meredith formed the first Australian bush band, the Heathcote Bushwhackers, later known as the Bushwhackers, in 1952. In December 1953 the band performed in the Sydney New Theatre amateur production of Reedy River (q.v.), an Australian musical featuring bush and Australian folk music. Some of the songs and music in the production had been collected by Meredith. The success of Reedy River inspired the Australian folk music revival of the 1950s. In 1954 Meredith was one of the founding members of the first club set up to cater for this interest, the Sydney Bush Music Club.
Meredith published song books and wrote on bush music and the folk tradition in Australia. He also wrote unpublished ballad opera and rock opera and plays including The Wild Colonial Boy (with Joan Clarke) first produced by Brisbane New Theatre in 1955 and How Many Miles from Gundagai performed by the Bushwhackers.
Meredith continued to collect field recordings of traditional songs and music throughout his life. His recordings are housed in the Meredith Collection at the National Library of Australia. (Music Australia website and Information provided by John Meredith held by AustLit at the Australian Defence Force Academy, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory)