Australia’s International Country Entertainer, Wayne Horsburgh has been based in Branson, Missouri U.S.A since 1997 (Branson attracts 8 million visitors annually). In 1998, Wayne first represented Australia at the International World-Fest at Silver Dollar City, Branson, along with 500 other International entertainers. He has returned for this huge festival nearly every year since then, flying the Aussie flag.
In April 2006 during the World-Fest he was backed by a Czech Republic Orchestra. He represented Australia once again at World Fest in April 2009. Wayne has also performed at the ‘Great American Music Festival’ at Silver Dollar City, over the past 12 years for hundreds of shows, backed by the Horse Creek Band.
In 1991, Wayne represented Australia at the Nashville ‘International Fan Fair’, where he performed on the grandstand stage. He then had his own booth at ‘Fan Fair’ each year until 2003 signing autographs for the fans alongside many of the legends of American Country Music.
Wayne’s career has taken him all over the world, developing a huge fan following in Australia, New Zealand, Britain and the United States. His big break in the U.S. came when he was invited to perform at Wisconsin’s Hodag Country Festival in 1989, sharing the stage with country music stars Emmylou Harris, The Oak Ridge Boys, Freddy Fender and Ricky Van Shelton. The Festival attracts an estimated crowd of 40,000 people. Critics applauded him with “…it would be a mild understatement to say that Wayne Horsburgh was the hit of the show… in fact he should have been arrested for the brazen way in which he stole the show”. Recognizing his talent and popularity, the organizers booked him back eight more times! Since then, he has also performed at many other County Fairs, Festivals and Theatres throughout the United States over many years.
Wayne has become well-known in Wisconsin, not only for Country Music, but also for his performances in the Polka music scene. Since 1999, Wayne has appeared at many County Fairs in Wisconsin, backed by The Music Connection polka band, and they also performed at the Hodag Country Festival in Rhinelander, Wisconsin, July 11th 2002. Appearing with Wayne that night, were Lorrie Morgan and Sammy Kershaw, while also appearing over the weekend were Toby Keith, Neal McCoy, Alabama, Leroy Van Dyke and many others. In 2007 Wayne performed at the 30th anniversary Hodag Festival, being his 9th appearance on this huge show.
Born and raised in the Victorian countryside near Benalla, Wayne Horsburgh started singing at a young age, forming his own dance band at age 11. Some of his early musical influences were Frank Ifield and Slim Whitman, hence the love for yodelling – a crowd pleaser at his shows.
With 21 album releases throughout the years, Wayne records on Rotation Records (Aust) Pty Ltd, the latest CD’s being ‘Born Free‘ and ‘I Still Call Australia Home’. There are two releases distributed on the Jasmine Records label. These are Songs of the Islands Volume One and Can You Hear Those Pioneers?. Other titles include A Salute To Slim Whitman, An Aussie Ozark Christmas, Memories & Guitar Strings, Land of Enchantment and The Old Country Church.
Wayne has won 2 ACE Awards and 5 Australian Entertainment ‘MO’ Awards and notched up 22 nominations for excellence in live entertainment in the’Best Male Country Performer’ category. In 2004, Wayne was also nominated for the ‘MO’ Award in the prestigious ’Australian Showbusiness Ambassador Of The Year’ category, alongside Barry Humphries (Dame Edna), Hugh Jackman, Kylie Minogue, James Morrison and Keith Urban.
After 25 years of performing in the USA Wayne Horsburgh has become a trailblazer for other Australian performers in international markets. Returning to Australia in 2010 he will continue to perform and record his unique brand of musical style – very much established as ‘the people’s entertainer’.