Arthur Blanch

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b. 1929, Wollun, near Tamworth, New South Wales, Australia. Blanch grew up on the family sheep farm and, encouraged by his parents who both played instruments, he learned to play guitar and sing as a…
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b. 1929, Wollun, near Tamworth, New South Wales, Australia. Blanch grew up on the family sheep farm and, encouraged by his parents who both played instruments, he learned to play guitar and sing as a child. In the early 50s, he began entering talent contests and his successes soon led to him recording some singles for the Rodeo label. In 1954, he married singer Berice Collins, after which he toured, sometimes working solo and sometimes with his wife. In 1958, their daughter, Jewel Evelyn, was born. In 1961, they worked as a duo for ABC-TV in Brisbane and recorded for EMI Records. They recorded their first album, in Melbourne, for W&G in 1963, billing themselves as the Blanch Family. In 1964, they toured in America but failed to establish themselves and returned to Australia. They played the Sydney club circuit and appeared on major television shows from 1965-68, during which time a second album was recorded. In 1968, they returned to America, where they worked for the next 10 years as the Blanches. Jewel was signed to RCA Records and as a child actress, she began to appear on television and in films. In 1978, she gained Billboard chart success with ‘So Good’. Not to be outdone, her father charted ‘The Little Man’s Got The Biggest Smile In Town’, recorded on Mike Curb’s MC label. They each achieved another hit in 1979, Arthur charted ‘Maybe I’ll Cry Over You’ and Jewel ‘Can I See You Tonight’. Berice, using the name Ida Collins, turned to management.

In 1980, the Blanch Family, somewhat homesick, returned to Brisbane and relaunched their Australian careers. Arthur and Jewel wrote a television special, The Lady And The Cowboy, which featured several noted Australian acts including Smoky Dawson. In 1982, they won a Gold Guitar for the Duet Album Of The Year and the following year Arthur gained the Album Of The Year award. In 1980, Jewel returned to Nashville, where she married Australian Barry Coburn and together they went into the management of country artists. In the late 80s, Arthur and Berice also relocated to Nashville. In 2001, Blanch received the honour of being elected to the Country Music Roll Of Renown in Australia.