We're deeply indebted to our loyal Nu Country TV and Nu Country FM pioneers Mid Pacific Bob Olson and Rod Browne who left us within eight days in March this year.

Former Nu Country TV Vice President, disc jockey, drummer and guitarist Rod died at 75 on March 15 after a 60 year plus music and carpentry career.

Expat Californian athlete Mid Pacific Bob Olson - former Nu Country TV treasurer and TV and radio host and long-time Northcote High School mathematics teacher - died on March 23 at 77.

Rod was farewelled by his wife of 48 years Elvie and son Callan and daughter Narelle at Nelson Brothers Funeral Chapel and capacity crowd of friends and fellow musicians at his Pirates Tavern wake in Williamstown on March 25.

Bob will be celebrated by his wife of 36 years, Gayle, their daughter Julia and son Carlos and extended family, friends and TV viewers at Tobin Brothers Funerals in North Melbourne at 10.30 am on Thursday April 11.

Both Rod and Bob were involved in hosting shows on Nu Country FM at Beer Can Hill on Ruckers Hill in Northcote and the Paris, Texas, end of Collins St in the city from 1994 -2001 after the station's Northcote studio burned down on June 26, 2000.

Bob was recruited by fellow Nu Country DJ, actor and voiceover maestro Peter Hosking to host shows on Nu Country TV that he created after the radio station was not granted a radio licence.


“We got in my pick-up/ we started to back up/ we headed on down the road/ we went to mi casa/ate tortillas de masa and made guacamole all night long/Guacamole-Guacamole/ we'd been making guacamole all night long.” - Guacamole - Augie Meyers-Freddie Fender.

Mid Pacific Bob Olson was a talented athlete when he grew up in northern California and before he became a teacher.

Bob made the U.S. Olympics team squad in 1968 as a 100 metres sprinter and was recruited as an expat Californian teacher in Australia in 1972.

He taught mathematics at Northcote High School with fellow teacher Peter Staubli who also became a Nu Country TV producer while living in Glen Iris.

Peter continued producing Nu Country TV when he moved to Tura Beach on Sapphire coast of NSW and recruited singer-songwriter Cameron Cusack as a show host.

Staubli's then teenage student daughter Anneliese interviewed Cusack and hosted four Nu Country TV episodes on the Sapphire Coast

Meanwhile Bob, who worked on TV with Staubli in Northcote, and Hosking ascended from Nu Country FM hosting to fronting the TV show.

Mid-Pacific Bob was filmed by Staubli and current Nu Country TV producer and co-host Laith Graham cooking his favourite meals in his cosy Northcote kitchen.

They became a delicious delight on his show hosting.

Olson was also filmed in hosting roles in Glen Iris and his gardens as his popularity soared in his sixties and seventies.

His mathematics teaching was a major tool in his dual role as Nu Country TV treasurer for more than two decades while he long supported Hawthorn football team in the AFL.

Bob continued his Nu Country TV hosting and treasury roles until he became ill late last year and was nursed by his wife Gayle and their children before having palliative care.


“Well, the folk scene's dead, but he's holding out in the Village/ he's been writing songs, speaking out against wealth and privilege/ he says, "I don't believe in money, but a man could make him a killing / cause some of that stuff don't sound much different than Dylan/ he's gone country, look at them boots/ he's gone country back to his roots/ he's gone country, a new kind of suit/ he's gone country, here he comes.” - Gone Country - Alan Jackson-Robert Lee McDill.

Nu Country TV Vice President and pioneer Nu Country FM disc jockey Rod Browne soaked up country music from the day he was born in Footscray.

Rod used his hard-earned hand skills as a meticulous carpenter and builder while playing drums and guitars in many country bands in the western suburbs.

The multi-talented musician recruited his son Callan as a fellow radio show host at Nu Country FM and later joined him in England where Callan developed many skills.

Rod and wife Elvie shared their love of country music with their daughter Narelle who sourced an excellent videography of Rod's life for his funeral.

Narelle and Callan also supported Elvie - who worked in local sales and community clubs - in her 48 years of marriage to Rod.

They also joined Rod in his passionate love for the St Kilda football club in the VFL and AFL as he watched games near the cheer squad.

Rod was also a guest on major AM commercial country music station 3UZ in its halcyon era and hosted shows on WRB and other community stations.

He also played in many bands in Williamstown and way beyond as he developed their fan base on commercial and community radio and other media outlets.

Rod and younger brother Greg followed their music passion to Nashville, Texas, Calgary in Canada, Europe and other music meccas where they caught their idols including George Strait, Alan Jackson, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, The Highwaymen , George Jones, Merle Haggard and Johnny Cash.

Rod built many houses, flats and apartments and won acclaim for his attention to detail and design.

That lasted until his arthritis prevented him toting the tools of his trade and playing drums and guitar with his favourite bands.

Surviving members of those many bands honoured Rod at his funeral and wake and shared their memories of his kindness.

The loss of Rod Browne and Bob Olson leaves huge gaps in radio and TV but those musical memories continue as their peers pick up batons and shoot high for new goals on Nu Country TV each Saturday at 6.30 pm and other community stations and commercial TV shows.

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