THE famous Henty Machinery Field Days song has been dumped, ending the catchy jingle's 30-year run.
It is understood the song was replaced after a souring of the relationship between the field days management and the Sydney-based marketing firm IMC, which has copyright of the tune and has promoted the event for more than 20 years.
The parties' contract was terminated about six months ago and a new song penned for the September event.
“(IMC) are no longer representing us so we’ve just decided to make a complete change of direction,” field days chief Doug Meyers said yesterday.
“The new jingle, with its catchy ‘heading to Henty for a brighter farming future’ line, is fresh and points to Australian agriculture as a high-tech, forward-looking industry.”
Albury-based musician Paul Gibbs was commissioned for the high-pressure task of replacing the iconic tune, and initial reaction suggests he has succeeded.
Nearly all Henty district residents approached by The Border Mail voiced approval.
“I think the new one is a hell of an improvement,” Henty resident Stan Bryant said yesterday.
“Whenever I go somewhere and tell people I was from Henty, some joker always started singing that ridiculous jingle.
“They should have done this a long time ago."
Henty publican Paddy Hodgkin was similarly positive about the change.
“I don’t mind it,” he said.
“The other one had been around for a long time.
“It’ll be interesting to see the reaction. I guess a lot of people don’t like change.”
The new song went to air on television this week and will run continuously on the airwaves until the event at the end of September.
Mr Meyer said the new song had been approved by the field day’s 60-strong membership.
“The membership is mainly made up of farmers from between Wagga and Albury and most really liked it,” he said.
“It’s not all that hard to learn and it’s fresh."
The original song was devised by three people in the late 1970s — Mike Cahill, an advertising executive and former The Border Mail journalist, Bruce Haddon, a Brisbane singer-songwriter and Melbourne radio announcer Rich Stone.
Stone sang the jingle, which was the longest running in continual use in Australia.
A 2003 survey found 80 per cent of farmers in the region could recite the entire song by heart.
The plan is for Mr Gibbs to perform the new anthem at this year’s event, which starts on September 20.
Mr Gibbs — who produced the song from start to finish and performs on piano, guitar and drums for the tune — said the key to creating a catchy jingle was to “not waste a word”.
“Foremost in my mind was the need to create a song with a down-to-earth rural feel, which also shows farming involves cutting-edge technology,” he said.
“It’s not the first time I’ve made a jingle but this is the most high-profile.
“Hopefully I’ve hit the right note - produced something fresh that people will like.”