Who knew that Australians love country music until Nicole Kidman married Keith Urban (who was actually born in New Zealand). But they do. And even I recognize some of the names on wikipedia's list of Australia's country music stars.
When I lived in Sydney in 2000, my friend's mom insisted that she and Reba MacIntyre were old friends and on a first name basis. And this was before the sitcom "Reba" was on the air.
A small town in New South Wales called Tamworth, is the Australian tourist equivalent of Nashville, Tennessee. In a week in mid-January, Tamworth is home to a week long Country Music Festival. Like the South by Southwest Festival in Austin, Texas, this festival takes over dozens of night clubs in town.
The above pictured 40 foot golden guitar replica of the Country Music Awards trophy can be found next to the Gallery of Stars Wax museum. Every few years, another figurine of an Australian star is added.
I'm thinking that Australia and Texas have more in common than I ever knew.
p.s. Apologies to Australians, my family and friends included, that hate country music : )