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Return of the singing cowboy

Part myth, part legend, 100 percent western. Jock Hume, best known as The Singing Cowboy, is saddling up for a trip to Gisborne.

Despite the cancellation of the A&P Show where he was set to perform, Jock rang up The Herald saying he was coming to Gisborne regardless to bring some joy.

“There's been a whole lot of bad news lately, so I thought that it would be good to start a little something to brighten everyone's day,” Jock said.

He will arrive in Gisborne around October 15 — when the A&P Show was scheduled to start — and spend the better part of a week busking around Gisborne.

Pushing 70 years of age, Jock has spent 51 years performing on the streets — at festivals, bars and saloons.

Born in Auckland in 1947 and the fourth of five kids, it was never in the cards for Jock to follow a traditional path.

At the age of 17, Jock suffered from chronic stress and weight loss and dropped to a mere 32kg on the scales.

Jock entered a psychiatric ward at Auckland Hospital, where he had some excellent food and company, before coming right after three months.

He tried his hand at various jobs over the years but faced a “nervous system collapse” and kept cycling through work.

Then in 1970 Jock took his first steps on the dusty trail for the next five decades at The Singing Cowboy.

“I was sitting on the porch in the sunshine when I thought, ‘Gee, wouldn't it be nice to be an entertainer?' ” Jock told New Zealand Woman's Weekly in 2017.

“I knew a few songs on the guitar, so I bought a cowboy outfit and got cracking on learning some more songs.”

Music changed his life.

“The feeling was just marvellous,” Jock said in the interview.

“It really was the whole turn-around of my life.”

The Herald is keeping in touch with Jock and will provide more details about where he will be busking in town.

ON THE DUSTY TRAIL: Back on the road again, Jock Hume, pictured in 2005, also known as The Singing Cowboy, has plans to bring a little joy to Gisborne despite the A&P Show being cancelled. Bay of Plenty Times file picture