The son of British migrants, Jim Haynes attended Sydney Boys’ High and Sydney Teachers’ College. He has taught in schools and universities in NSW and Britain, has two Masters’ degrees in Literature, from New England University and the University of Wales in the UK, and is the author of 25 books.
Jim formed the Bandy Bill & Co Bush Band in 1978 and the band recorded several albums in the 1980s and became popular on ABC’s Australia All Over. He has been a professional entertainer since 1988, has recorded for Festival, Sony and ABC Music. He has had many songs in the country music charts, including a number one with ‘Since Cheryl Went Feral’ and a national hit with ‘Don’t Call Wagga Wagga Wagga’. He won the Comedy Song of The Year award four times and toured his own show for many years.
As the originator of morning shows at the Tamworth Festival, Jim has hosted his own shows there for twenty-seven years and this year celebrated thirty two years at the festival. He still performs as an entertainer and speaker, has presented the Spoken Word section of the Port Fairy Folk Festival for over 20 years and works in radio as the Australiana expert on 2UE and also has a weekly spot on ABC Riverina.
Jim was awarded the Order of Australia Medal in the Australia Day Honour’s List in 2016, ‘for service to the performing arts as an entertainer, author, broadcaster and historian’.