b. 27 May 1930, Casino, New South Wales, Australia, d. 25 March 1997. A popular songwriter and singer Coster quit school at 14 and travelled around Australia. He worked on many jobs, including fencer, slaughterman, horsebreaker, kangaroo shooter, bulldozer driver and, at one time, was a rough rider with a travelling rodeo. He began to write songs in 1956, using his experiences of life on the road to provide the stories of and inspiration for his songs. His success as a songwriter was sealed in 1962, when Slim Dusty recorded his first song ‘Return Of The Stockman’. Dusty has since recorded more than 60 of Coster’s songs which have also attracted the attention of other Australian stars including Buddy Williams (Dusty and Coster combined their writing talents to co-write ‘By A Fire Of Gidgee Coal’, now a classic Australian country song).
In 1979, Coster made his first recordings and also formed his own roadshow, which toured extensively in various states. His daughter Tracy (b. 12 April 1966, Winton, Queensland, Australia) became a member of his show at the age of 13, playing bass and singing with his outfit, the Blue Gum Band. Coster was widely recognized as Australia’s top bush ballad writer and more than 100 of his songs have been recorded. In 1977, ‘Three Rivers Hotel’ won him a golden guitar for Best Composition in the Australian Country Music Awards and in 1982, he picked up the first ever Song Maker Of The Year award at the prestigious Tamworth Country Music Awards. He was awarded the Australasian Country Music Roll of Renown in 1990. Coster died in March 1997.