Paul McCloud Biography
AN INDEPENDENT JOURNEY
Paul released his first album in August 1982 titled “The Sensitive Sound of Paul McCloud” which was recorded at Hadley Studios in Tamworth. He followed that release the same month with an appearance on the “Must Be Country” television show out of Tamworth, hosted by the legendary Terry Gordon.
During the 1980s Paul released a total of seven albums on LP and cassette. By 1985 with three successful albums to his credit, and accompanied by his wife Hele, he pioneered shopping centre promotions around Australia, singing live and selling thousands of record albums. This resulted in a solid base of fans and supporters which allowed him to tour successfully in concert, bringing his music to wider audiences throughout the country.
Although the pigs have long since gone, the property Hartwood is now the setting for one of the most popular country music festivals in Australia, held over the Easter long weekend. People come from all across the country to camp on the property for up to 2 weeks and enjoy the friendships, camaraderie and the music.
Paul, with his parents and wife Hele, started the festival on the family property in 1988 and it has grown steadily, through word of mouth, to become one of the most popular festivals on the country music calendar. Hartwood is now owned by Chrys and Maria Kelly, who with Tom and Lyn Maxwell and many volunteers, keep the festival going from strength to strength.
From 1982 through to early 1995, Paul and Hele were often accompanied by Paul’s father and mother affectionately known as The Roadie and The Shirtmaker. A song by that title was written by Paul as a tribute to his parents following their passing in the late 1990ies, which has become a special favourite with fans that knew them both.
Paul’s father Bob, at 79 years of age had left his stud pig farm (Hartwood, near Tambar Springs NSW) in the capable hands of his grandsons and went on the road as sound and lighting man. His mother, Mavis made a habit of calling into all the Op Shops along the way buying old wedding gowns etc. and turning them into Paul McCloud stage shirts. His mother also featured as a songwriter on Paul’s earlier recordings.
Some of the highlights in Paul’s career have included two performances at the Sydney Opera House with the Tamworth on Parade group in the early 1990s. He was also voted Most Popular Artist on Tour in 1999 and again in 2001 and was inducted into the Hands of Fame in Tamworth in 2003.
In 2017, Paul was honoured to be presented with the Living Legend Award at the Slim Dusty Festival in Kempsey.
April 2018 saw Paul release his 18th album “Remember Me” at Hartwood Festival. Although mostly retired, Paul still makes the occasional appearance which he enjoys.