Dinger Bell


It seemed like a good idea at the time, but the proprietors of a particular South Island hall were not impressed when country and western singer Dinger Bell set his lasso alight, and it went up in smoke and flame quicker than even he was expecting.

Bell had perfected a bevy of rope tricks during several years on the rodeo circuit in both New Zealand and Australia, and introduced them into his stage act while the band played on behind him. The fire was a new addition, but the ire of the hall authorities – not to mention the unwillingness to attract attention from provincial fire brigades – ensured it was short-lived. The pyrotechnics were dispensed with for the immediate future, in favour of straight-ahead rope work and whip-cracking to accompany his songs.

Dinger Bell - back cover of The Challenge LP (Viking, 1968)
Dinger Bell - Whalego Snow EP side 2 label (Viking)
Country singer Dinger Bell performs rope tricks at the Anglican Church Hall, Renwick, Marlborough, in the early 1970s, while local band the Shades play on behind him.
Photo credit: Graham Brooks collection
Before his recording career started in 1967, Dinger Bell was a rodeo cowboy, pictured here riding on the South Island circuit.
Photo credit: Dinger Bell collection
Dinger Bell - Ring Of Fire (Viking, 1973)
Dinger Bell article by Christchurch writer John Knowles. 
Photo credit: The Press, 13 February 1968
Dinger Bell features on the 1972 Southern Country Folk compilation from Mainland Records, singing Bob Dylan's 'It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry'
Dinger Bell - Whalego Snow and other Country Songs EP (Viking)
Dinger Bell - The Challenge, side 2 label (Viking, 1968)
Dinger Bell - Will It Ever End? (2008)
Dinger Bell - The Challenge, side 1 label (Viking, 1968)
Dinger Bell, from the cover of 1968's The Challenge (Viking)
Dinger Bell - Whalego Snow EP side 2 label (Viking)
Dinger Bell covers Marty Robbins' 'I Think I'm Beginning To Forget You' (Viking, 1973)
Dinger Bell - The Challenge (Viking, 1968)
Dinger Bell in Marlborough Pictorial, April 1972
Country Folk 2: a double-album compilation featuring tracks by Dinger Bell, Garner Wayne, Dusty Spittle, Rusty Greaves and others (Viking, 1974). 
Dinger Bell features on the 1972 Southern Country Folk compilation from Mainland Records, singing Bob Dylan's 'It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry'
Advertisement for Rodeo Time! South Island Rodeo Finals, Addington Showgrounds, Christchurch. Entertainers included Dinger Bell, John Hore (John Grenell), Danny McGirr.
Photo credit: The Press, 24 February 1972
Dinger Bell - I'm on The Dole (1968)
Viking Records artist Dinger Bell as he appeared in the Marlborough Pictorial of April 1972. A skilled leather worker, Bell stands before a hand-tooled roping saddle which took him 12 months to complete.
Photo credit: Graham Brooks collection
Advertisement for a dance featuring Dinger Bell at North Beach Memorial Hall, Brighton, Christchurch. 
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