Located opposite the Barmera Visitor Information Centre, this Country Music and District History Museum was established by the late Dean ‘Rocky’ Page (1928-1997), a travelling showman who spent much of his life entertaining Aussie crowds with his musical talents, together with a little theatrical hypnotism. Also dedicated to the many pioneers of the Berri Barmera District, the museum was officially opened by country music legend Slim Dusty on 10 June 1995.
On display there are cartoons and photos, musical instruments and a variety of memorabilia including the console from the original 5RM radio station studio, where Rocky spent many years behind the mike in a broadcasting career spanning three decades.
Rocky’s list of honours and awards reflect his community spirit and devotion to the industry, and includes Riverland Citizen of the Year, a South Australian Music Industry Award, a Golden Guitar, induction into the Australian Country Music Broadcasters Hall of Fame and an Order of Australia Medal. He was also founder of the Riverland Country Music Festival – now the South Australian Country Music Festival – held annually in Barmera and incorporating the South Australian Country Music Awards.
Behind the museum there is a well-maintained garden, in the shape of a 35 metre long Maton Guitar, an Australian made instrument, played by many country music stars. Framing the body of the giant Maton are 193 cement guitars each containing the handprint of a country music performer including Slim Dusty, Troy Cassar-Daley, Ted Egan, Kasey Chambers and Tex Williams.
Staffed by volunteers, Berri Barmera Council own the building which is the former site of the Barmera Fire Station.