There would be very few of us whom aren't familiar with Greg Champion's radio work. His humours music lyrics, included "I made a hundred in the backyard at mum's" saw Gregs prominence as one of Australia's true funny-men grow, with regular work as part of the long running radio program "The Coodabeen Champions".
His song "Thats the thing about football" became an anthem for the AFL througout the mid nineties, earning him repeat performances on centre stage at many AFL grand finals. Greg's lyrics relate to all of those whom love our sport, making him an ideal choice for your next function.
Greg Champion is part humourist, part folkie, half hippy, half bogan, part Victorian and completely South Australian.
Champs has probably crossed your radar through his shows around Australia at rural Community Halls, Sports Clubs, corporate gigs and folk and country music festivals as a musician, comedian or compere.
Greg drifted into radio in 1983 on a fledgling public radio program, The Coodabeen Champions. He’s now been a member of the institutional Coodabeens on ABC radio for twenty-three years, developing and sharing his particular brand of Aussie songs along the way.
It was 1985 when Macca of ABC’s Australia All Over started flogging Greg’s I Made a Hundred in the Backyard At Mum’s. Since then Champs has become known for songs like Cricket’s On The Radio, May Your Fridge Be Full Of Coldies, Still Haven’t Been on Burke’s Backyard, That’s The Thing About Football, Sensitive New Age Guys From the Bush, his Aussie Christmas CDs with Colin Buchanan and a collaboration with Jim Haynes & Ted Egan on Don’t Call Wagga Wagga Wagga.
And now, launched at Tamworth 2006, Greg’s latest album The Shack Tapes explores the restless spirit through a melodic collection of songs in a more adult contemporary style.
Greg Champion has followed his own path through the Australian musical landscape, and in the process he’s released seventeen albums reflecting his distinctive take on the way we live.
He’s produced a uniquely Australian body of work and it’s been said of Greg, that he’s contributed to the fabric of Australian culture.
Part humorist, part songwriter, part folkie, part hippy, part ABC radio bloke, part fruitcake, part Victorian, and completely South Australian, Champs has released more than twenty CDs on country, Christmas, cricket, comedy, folk, Theosophical and Australian themes.
Song titles include May Your Fridge Be Full Of Coldies, I Made a 100 In The Backyard At Mum's, Roll Over Rolf Harris and Yasser Arafat Has A Funny Hat.and.
Greg Champion has been a member of long-running national ABC radio show The Coodabeen Champions, for twenty-five years. A two-time runner-up in the Australian Underachiever Awards, he has no criminal record.
The Coodabeen Champions
In 1981, two University pals in Melbourne, Simon Whelan and Jeff Richardson, approached 3RRR with the idea of doing a funny radio show about AFL football, and 'The Coodabeen Champions' was born. Being humorous about sport was almost a groundbreaking concept back then.
Over the next two years, Ian Cover, Greg Champion and Tony Leonard joined the Saturday morning programme. This line-up remained unchanged for twenty years, until 2003 when five Coodabeens became four after Tony Leonard elected to stay at 3AW while the Coodabeens returned to ABC radio.
After seven years honing their 'make it up as you go' style on public radio, the Coodabeen Champions accepted an invitation to join ABC radio in Melbourne. One year later, in 1988, the oft-called 'wacky funsters' were asked to take up an additional national Sunday night timeslot, where, for three hours each week they delivered a show that ultimately ran for seven years.
Form 1988 till 1992 The Coodabeens enjoyed national prominence and a devoted following on a Sunday evening, while also presenting their AFL show on Saturday mornings to the Southern states.
However, for various reasons, some of which were out of their control, in 1993 the Coodabeen Champions found themselves taking their footy show to 3AW, commercial radio in Victoria. The 'zany larrikins' continued their Sunday nights on ABC for a further three years, while spending their Saturdays on the other network.
Eventually Auntie decreed that being on two stations was a bit too weird, and the lads were relieved of their Sunday show on the last day of 1995. The protests resounded across the country, but the umpire never changes his/her mind. The Coodabeens continued their now epic adventures at 3AW for ten straight years, before, in a final ironic twist, announcing a joyful return to the national broadcaster in 2003.
Almost as if never having been away, they resumed their original two ABC programmes on Saturday mornings and Sunday evenings. It was at this point that one of the five, Tony Leonard, decided his future lay at 3AW and opted not to join the gang in the 'homecoming'.
The Coodabeen Champions has had many other contributors in their twenty-two years on air. Long loyal service has come from Torch McGee, Darren James, Billy Baxter, Julian Ross, Helen Molnar and several more.
There have been many attempts at describing the Coodabeens' radio style: "like eavesdropping on a pub conversation between a group of mates", it's been said. And still The Coodabeen Champions continue to enjoy wonderful support from loyal ABC listeners all across this 'big wide brown sunburnt country of ours' '. The group have shared their 20s 30s and 40s together, raised families, enjoyed solid external careers, and been feted as a national treasure. And there's no sign of weariness or decline. In fact, they would suggest their best work is still ahead of them.