GUITAR HERO: Phil Emmanuel on stage during the SESions cyclone benefit gig last year.
GUITAR HERO: Phil Emmanuel on stage during the SESions cyclone benefit gig last year. Andrew Pattinson/ VAMPP

Popular guitarist honoured with OAM

THE late legendary guitarist Phil Emmanuel, a regular face and staple performer for the Airlie Beach Festival of Music, has been awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia for his service to the performing arts, particularly through music.

From modest beginnings in the family band, The Emmanuel Quartet, Phil rose to fame with The Trailblazers, playing guitar alongside his brothers Tommy and Chris, and sister Virginia.

In 2000 the Emmanuel brothers played at the closing ceremony of the Sydney Olympics, and Phil was inducted into the Hands of Fame in the Australian Country Music Hall of Fame in 1991 and the Roll of Renown, also Australian Country Music Hall of Fame, in 2011.

Performing alongside an extensive list of the who's who of the music industry spanning multiple genres, Phil's collaborations included Elton John, Eric Clapton, Hank B Marvin, Slim Dusty, Dolly Parton, Midnight Oil, Jimmy Barnes and John Farnham.

His OAM comes a month after his death from an asthma attack at age 65, joining his brother Tommy who was made a member of the OAM in 2010.

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