Geoff McElhinney was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia in 2005 for his service to country music, and his support of community and senior citizens’ groups.
Geoff’s musical career was established during World War II. He enlisted in the RAAF, and whilst serving in Borneo his ability to play the guitar and sing was noticed, and he was seconded to entertain the troops with visiting guest stars.
At the end of the war Geoff went to Japan with the Occupation Forces to perform, and was appointed to Radio WLKS as the voice of the British Commonwealth Occupation Forces.
In 1959 his song, “I’ve been everywhere” was a hit in Australia and was later at the top of the song charts in the USA, Germany and Japan. The song has now been recorded in 131 different versions. Geoff was inducted into the International Songwriters Hall of Fame in Nashville, Tennessee in 1963, into the Hands of Fame at Tamworth NSW in 1978, and he received the Tamworth Song Writer’s Association Song Maker Award in 1997.