Pre-order Along the Road to Gundagai, the Biography of Jack O’Hagan,  now at final draft and soon to be published.


Sign up to receive exclusive content, the latest news, more on his story and upcoming events.


Jack O’Hagan, a Melbourne composer of Irish background and one of Australia’s most prolific popular song writers, was known in his time as ‘The Irving Berlin of Australia’. This great songwriter wrote a swinging Australian soundtrack from the Jazz Age to the Beatles, publishing around 200 songs and leaving a legacy of approximately 600 compositions to Australian social, cultural and musical heritage.

Jack O’Hagan’s tunes are instantly recognisable. Most Australians know the classics ‘Along the Road to Gundagai’, ‘Where the Dog Sits on the Tuckerbox’ and ‘Our Don Bradman’. Jack also wrote songs for musicals and revues, ‘talkie’ film scores and radio jingles. In 1920’s Melbourne, the likes of gangster Squizzy Taylor and sexy ‘Phyrne Fisher’ flappers danced to his tunes and bought his records. His career spanned many disciplines – as a composer, performer, recording artist, actor, radio personality, music publisher, a producer, director and writer of radio plays and an advertising agency Radio/TV director. His music chronicled an era and is part of the Australian psyche – from Dad and Dave to the Sydney 2000 Olympics.

Jack O’Hagan’s achievements earned him an MBE and an APRA Platinum Award for his great contribution to music and entertainment in Australia.

The official Jack O’Hagan website (About Us) is managed and curated by Jack’s grand-daughter and biographer, Jo Gilbert (About the Author).

"Jack was the first man to prove that Australians could create and enjoy their own popular music."

Frank Van Straten

"The legacy he leaves behind is a great one, an amazing character, you can pigeonhole him quite easily, Australia's best and best-known composer."

Bert Newton3DB Radio tribute to Jack O'Hagan, 16/7/87

"If Jack had been born in America he would have been world famous."

Barry Humphries

"It sounds like the kind of music Andrew Lloyd Webber wishes he could write."

Dame Edna EverageSaid of Jack O'Hagan's 'Flame of Desire".

"Peter & Jack was a major historic ‘piece de resistance’. It was an incredible artistic achievement of national significance. We all learned with great pride what great artists Peter and Jack were.”

Frank FordAdelaide Cabaret Festival, June 2015.

"Jack O'Hagan, the most famous Australian songwriter of the 1930s and '40s... were he an American, would have been honoured in some Hall of Fame and celebrated at The Lincoln Center."

Barry HumphriesComic Controls Cabaret, Upfront, Qantas, June 2015.