Southland country music legend Barry Skinner is slowly making a name for himself on the West Coast of the South Island with the opening of his museum in Hector.
Barry and his wife Judy shifted to Buller from Invercargill for a change in lifestyle in 2000 and since that time the former part-time radio announcer and judge of the Gold Guitar Awards in Gore has been working tirelessly on his own country music museum to showcase his huge collection which he has accumulated privately over the last 35 years.
It took Skinner six and a half days just to pack away his music collection when he made the big move to the Coast which consists of about 10,000 records, 3,500 cassettes and just as many compact discs, and thousands of '45's and '78's.
Skinner also has 600 signed autographs of country music stars from all over the world and his New Zealand memorabilia includes that of music star Tex Morton, the first Australasian country music artist to record in the mid 1930's.
Tex Morton went on to produce his own brand of guitar and his playing style was the first introduction to the instrument for thousands of New Zealanders in the 1940's and 50's.
Various guitars, banjo's, lap steel-guitars, mandolins and accordions also feature.
Skinner says that many of these instruments still play beautifully and it almost seems a shame to put them behind glass.
The collection represents Skinner's devotion to country music and his 30 plus year involvement in the scene, including having his own band for 12 years.
Skinner also fronted Foveaux Radio's award winning country music show for 12 years where he interviewed international names like Glen Campbell and Slim Dusty.
A museum is ongoing ... it is never finished and Barry is always interested in any old memorabilia people may wish to donate.
Contact: Barry Skinner
22 Ives Street,
Phone/Fax 0064 3 7828 400
Click here for Photo's of Hector Country Music Museum
Click here for information about the Taranaki Country Music Hall Of Fame
Click here for information about the Elvis Presley Memorial Record Room
HARD TO FIND
Barry Skinner is soon to launch into a new music venture focusing on 'Hard To Find Music'.
Over the years he has acquired an amazing music collection and is in the process of listing the tracks from thousands of CD's, Records and Tapes.
Very soon you will be able to type in the song and/or artist you have been looking for and chances are - Barry will have it.
He has clearance from Apra/Amcos to copy songs and you will pay according to what you order.
Barry has so far catalogued more than 361,000 titles covering traditional country, gospel, modern country and other various styles.
This is just the tip of the iceberg and this service will be up and running shortly.