Roley Manton, a Country Music Icon

Roley Manton entertaining the crowd at Nelson Bay Markets on Sunday. Photo by Jewell Drury
Roley Manton entertaining the crowd at Nelson Bay Markets on Sunday. Photo by Jewell Drury

Roley Manton is an Australian country music cultural icon and we are lucky enough to be able to call him one of the Bay ‘locals’.

Playing alongside Australian Country Legends including Slim Dusty at the Denman Hall, has given him notoriety in the Country Music Scene.

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With a career spanning several decades, Roley began his singing career at five years of age with a ukulele, which he still has as part of his treasured keepsakes.

His Father was a great ukulele player and guitarist and they would often perform together in shows when Roley was younger.

Roley’s mother played piano and his brother a mouth organ and in a few short years Roley had progressed from playing the ukulele to playing a steel string guitar and later to playing a hillbilly or Spanish guitar.

Roleys first concert was at the Denman Hotel with Australia’s well known country singer Reg Lindsay.

Another highlight of Roley’s musical career was when he played with Buddy Williams as well as performing a full show at the Aberdeen RSL with the great guitarist and singer the late, great Tim McNamara.

Roley played for many years at the Tamworth Country Music Festival, singing in the ‘Hands of Fame’ park and in the Southgate shopping Centre.

“While I have the capability of playing music and singing, I will hopefully continue to till I am 100 years old,” Roley Manton told Bay News Of The Area.

“ I love playing in our local area at different venues and in my spare time I love to go fishing,” Roley said.

A singer songwriter, Roley Manton has recorded many of his songs including, ‘Farewell Gunsynd’ a song about Australia’s famous racehorse Gunsynd or better known as ‘The Goondiwindi Grey’.

The flip side of the record was a song called ‘The Man from Barrington’ which was based on Noel Roley Everett, and had many sales earning Roley with a special award.

Most of Roley Manton’s younger years involved him as a rodeo competitor winning many awards including Murrurundi NSW Championship as well as All Round Cowboy at Denman.

Roley has performed every year at The Murrurundi King of the Ranges Stockman’s Challenge since it’s inception.

Today you will find Roley Manton performing at the Nelson Bay Markets, various festivals, in clubs, at Christmas concerts as well as being asked to perform on a regular basis in various venues in the Nelson Bay area.
‘Hey Hey Nelson Bay’, a Manton original, can be often heard played over the airwaves on Port Stephens 100.9 FM.

By Jewell DRURY

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