Australian country music legend Lee Kernaghan can now add film star to his already impressive curriculum vitae if he was ever that way inclined.
Naturally, the down-to-earth Corryong-born and Albury-bred musician is taking the release of his new movie, Boy From The Bush, all in his stride.
"I didn't really have high expectations as to where it would be seen or where it would go," he said.
"But I went into Reading Theatre on the Gold Coast to see Top Gun and I couldn't believe it they were also playing the trailer to Boy From The Bush! Then they're telling me it's at HOYTS and it's all across the country so it's quite a surprise."
Winner of 37 Golden Guitar Awards - a record he now shares with the legendary Slim Dusty - Kernaghan said Universal Pictures asked him to make a part-concert film and part-road movie just before the global pandemic hit.
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"There's a lot of archival footage, which brought back a lot of great memories," Kernaghan said.
"Boy From The Bush all began down in the Riverina, kicking around at the B and S balls and the country pubs.
"That's where it all began with my grandfather droving sheep and cattle along the Three Chain Road just north of Wangaratta.
"It's changed to Federation Way; too many people were knocking off the signpost that said Three Chain Road. They were using angle grinders to cut it off and bringing it along to the show and asking me to sign it because Three Chain Road was the title track of my second album; that was a big one, a double platinum album."
In his late 20s, Kernaghan wrote smash hit Boys From The Bush in 1991 at his mum and dad's Lavington home on a hire-purchase piano.
Kernaghan said he wrote his debut album, The Outback Club, on a shoestring.
"I presented it to all of the record companies in Australia and they didn't feel it had a commercial market," Kernaghan said.
"But luckily Meryl Gross had just taken over at ABC Music Records and she called to say they were going to sign me."
This year Queensland-based Kernaghan released The Very Best of Lee Kernaghan - Three Decades of Hits. He was also working on a new album.
"It feels like I'm getting back to my roots," he said.
"Often when you make an album you think which way is the wind blowing, where is the market going. On this one, it feels quite comfortable to let it all come straight from the heart."
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