TAMWORTH and the country music industry farewelled bush balladeer Brian Young in style on Friday.

EVERYONE’S MATE: Brian Young’s family – at the back: Jack Mount, Linton Young, Aaron Bell, Tamara Bell-Fahey, Mervyn Parker, Dalene Eadie, Vonnie Young, Darren Young, Clinton Bell, Sharon Young and, in front, Calena Young, Abby Young, Kahlia Bell and Taylor Young. Photo: Geoff O’Neill 200516GOC01

About 300 people celebrated his life with a service at Lincoln Grove Memorial Gardens followed by a wake at the Oasis Hotel.

Daughter Dalene Eadie remembered her dad as a “man of the people”.

“Musically, he thought about everyone else’s career before his own,” she said.

“He was a hard taskmaster, though – boys went out on the road with him and came back men.”

Young was highlyrespected in the Indigenous community.

“We received a letter from some Indigenous elders this week and they had given him a replacement name, because once you die, they don’t say your name again, they give you a replacement name,” Mrs Eadie said.

“That showed how respected he was.”

Mrs Eadie said her dad was “a mate to everybody” and didn’t care where you were from, who you were or whether you were rich or poor. She said a highlight of the funeral service was the Welcome to Country by Len Waters.

“It was all about the coming together of well-known country entertainers, including Beccy Cole and an audio tribute from Troy Cassar-Daley, who were joined by the general public,” she said.

“Everyone loved him and Dad was a storyteller. He’ll be remembered for his love of country and the Aboriginal community.

“It was lovely mixing the personal and professional and how everyone put their personal touch.”

Beccy Cole said Youngie had had a huge and significant impact on her career, prompting her to make the trip from Adelaide to Tamworth to say goodbye.

“I couldn’t miss the chance to say goodbye,” she said.

“Doing that tour in 1994 shaped who I became as far as my attitude to touring and the audience. He was a gentleman and everything was to precision, from the banner at the back needing to be straight.

And yet, he would chuckle at me because I put on makeup every night in the outback and he said I was the only woman he knew who put on makeup every night, but I took my lead from him. No matter how far away you were from civilisation, everything had to be right.”

Cole said he did “more for reconciliation than any politician has done because of his approach to the people” and her highlight of the ceremony was also the Welcome to Country.

“That is such an honour for a white fella and he would have just loved that,” she said.

“It was such a pleasure to have come all this way and catch up with old friends and just to see such a beautiful sendoff.”

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