'I Was Only 19' musician to tour Timor

By Samuel Cardwell, AAPNovember 18, 2009, 9:07 pm

The artist behind the famous Vietnam war anthem - I Was Only 19 - will tour East Timor next month to entertain Australian soldiers.

John Schumann wrote the famous song with his band Redgum back in 1983 and it has been on the request list for soldiers ever since.

"It has been a long time coming," Schumann said.

"We've had so many requests from serving men and women of the Australian Defence Force that it's nice to be able to finally go."

I Was Only 19 is so popular with defence personnel that Schumann was made a lifetime honorary member of the Vietnam Veterans Association of Australia after donating proceeds from the song to help support veterans.

"We have heard a lot of artists who have been on these tours have played our songs for the troops, in particular I Was Only 19, so it will be fantastic to be able to perform these tracks myself," he said.

Schumann will be joined by his band The Vagabond Crew, which includes former Redgum bandmate Hugh McDonald.

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