Ernie was born on 12 May, 1950 in Cooma on the Monaro and has lived and worked all his life “on the Monaro”.
He spent well over 30 years as a very accomplished shearer while he was building up his sheep and cattle grazing property “Burrunga” in the locality of Peak View. He is still the hardworking owner-manager of his now extensive holdings.
Ernie”s country music career has been an evolution, from a boy who loved the old ‘cowboy’ songs; he grew up listening to Slim Dusty, Trevor Day, Buddy Williams, Chad Morgan and Rick and Thel Carey.
Ernie started writing verse in the early 1970’s and began sending it to his idol Slim Dusty soon afterwards. His big break came when Slim recorded “Things I See Around Me” in 1975. Slim eventually recorded 16 of Ernie’s compositions. Ernie has also had approximately 16 songs recorded by other prominent bush ballad artists. Ernie’s performing career started in 1983 when he began singing at charity and other events in his local area.
With a backlog of unrecorded songs Ernie recorded his first album “When the Currawongs Come Down” at LBS Studios in 1993 and the “show was on the Road”.
With an album to promote Ernie started appearing at festivals and shows including Tamworth and Bungendore, including quite a few years busking on the street at the Tamworth Country Music Festival.
After recording 5 albums with LBS, Ernie moved to Stuie French’s Swingin Door Studio to record his much acclaimed album “Milestones” in 2009. This has proved to be a big step-up for Ernie and he is now up to his third album produced by Stuie “Lead a Horse to Water”.
Ernie has twice been a finalist in the Gold Guitar Awards, and has won many TSA, Stan Coster Memorial and Gidgee Coal Awards over the years.
Ernie lists his greatest musical achievements and honours, not as the awards, but as having Slim record his songs, having Charley Boyter work with him when doing shows over the years, touring Tasmania with Dianne Lindsay and Peter Simpson, and having the privilege of working with Stuie French in the studio in recent years.
Due to his ongoing love for and commitment to his grazing property, Ernie still only appears at selected Festivals and venues.