Photo Sandra Conte
Maurice Hardy was born in Wynyard, a small seaside town on Tasmania’s North West Coast, his family were farmers and had a property 40 kilometers inland. He was the seventh child of eight and in those days money was not plentiful so all the siblings had their jobs on the farm. His was helping clean up after the milking and what he liked most was to sing into the milk vats. Maurice was a dreamer and started putting words together in song at an early age. His mother told me he would walk home from the school bus and she always knew when he was coming because she could hear him singing Slim Dusty songs.
He did not start playing a guitar until he was eighteen, from then the journey began he entered two songs in the then Barcoo Bush Ballad awards and received recognition for both. He appeared the Chubby Brain radio shows, entered Tasmanian New Faces and was runner up with his song “ Brady’s Lake”. He formed his first band in 1982 “Maurice Hardy and The Country Boys” they worked the Pubs, Clubs and Festivals in Tasmania until the late eighties. Then in 1990 he formed a new band ‘The High Country Band’ 5 members including lead guitarist Gary Smith and on bass guitar Don Herron, Maurice played rhythm Guitar and shared main vocals with Alice Vernon. The group worked all over Tasmania and at the Tamworth Festival. During this time Maurice wrote many songs and received awards from all over the country and New Zealand.
In 2004 he relocated to Caboolture, Queensland, now working solo he travels extensively through Queensland, NSW, Victoria and Tasmania, Maurice has made his mark both as a singer and songwriter.
In 2005 his singing came to an abrupt halt when his wife was diagnosed with hodgkins lymphoma and underwent chemotherapy and radiation for the best part of that year, during this time he wrote a swag of songs and also started on a fiction novel. He resumed his travelling and entertaining in late 2005.
They say lighting never strikes twice in the same place but in early 2006 Maurice himself was diagnosed with prostate cancer and underwent radical surgery, and another few months went by without doing any shows. By April of that year he was given the all clear and was again on the road performing at Clubs, Pubs, Festivals and Shopping Centres along with a number of private functions.
In 2009 Maurice started writing more stories, he has now completed five novels and several short stories and poems. Has had three of his short stories published along with two poems, these are part of two anthologies published by the Caboolture Writers Link and Pine Rivers Arts Alliance.
Go to amazon.com to order hard copys or to download one of his novels.
During 2010 Maurice and his wife Vandra have spent many months putting together a DVD - this is made up of sixteen videos, almost one hour of song and vision 'The Journey' is now available - follow album links.
Maurice Hardy is an exceptionally talented singer / songwriter, capturing the audience with his easy listening style and relaxed manner. With 2000 or more songs in his repertoire the show includes a variety of numbers ranging from traditional country, folk, country rock to middle of the road, soft pop and rock ‘n’ roll. He is a solo entertainer with full band sound, but also, when the moment presents, reverts to ballad style with just his own acoustic guitar accompaniment.
Tasmanian Golden Guitar Award winner, he was recognised for his contribution to the industry when in 1994 he was inducted into the Tasmanian C.M. Hands Of Fame.
Apart from being the winner of the Golden Guitar Award for best overall performer in 1993, Maurice was named Tasmanian Country Music Awards Male Vocalist in 1992, 1993 and 1995, the Golden Guitar Duo section in 1993, 1994 and 1995 with his regular singing partner. 1995 saw him also take out the song writing award. In January 1994 Maurice released his first CD album “IN REALITY” 15 tracks of his original songs.
He released “Requests” his 22nd CD album in 2009.
Tamworth 1995 saw Maurice appearing as one of 15 featured songwriters on stage at the TSA Songwriters’ Concert and Awards night, and on the “It’s Country Today” Concert in front of an estimated 12,000 people. Maurice was the winner of the Song Writing Section of the CCMA 29th Jamboree Awards (Tamworth 1995) and also took out the award for best performance of an Australasian composition at the same awards with his song “Never Saw The Danger”.