Country music, one of America’s quintessential cultural confections, grew out of the hollows, lonely valleys and hills of Appalachia.  So it is somehow appropriate that India’s sole internationally recognised country and western singer was born and grew up in the Doon valley, snuggled between the Siwalik and Garhwal Himalayan ranges.

Bobby Cash certainly is not shy about hitching his wagon to one of the most shimmering stars of the country music galaxy. The selection of his stage name leaves no doubt as to what his aspiration and passion are – to be one of the all-time greats!

Born into a Christian family, Bal Kishore Das Loiwal was surrounded with music. The family's collection was regularly supplemented with Country and Western records from a relative who lived in Music City, USA (Nashville) itself.  It didn’t take much effort (and an astute marketing eye) to transform his pet names Babu and Kish into Bobby Cash.  His big break came when he performed at an open mike session at Rodeo, a Tex-Mex eatery in Delhi's Connaught Place. The management was so impressed that they offered him a regular gig, playing to an audience that included a regular chunk of homesick expats.

One of those expats, an Aussie, reckoned that Cash was fair dinkum (the real deal, in Australian English) and invited him to play at the biggest, most important country music festival in the southern hemisphere in Tamworth, New South Wales.  While it would be over-egging the pudding to suggest he took the festival by storm, it would also be churlish to say he made no impact.  Bobby “The Indian Cowboy” Cash won over fans and critics alike. Indeed, he left Australia with a film deal and has developed a strong fan base in country music-mad Australia.

Blessed with a smooth baritone perfectly suited to country music, outstanding skills on the guitar and an accent that is thoroughly authentic, Bobby Cash is no weekend warrior.  Here are some clips of the Indian Cowboy doing his stuff (very nicely).


With an impeccable American country accent and the motif of the wind-blown tumbleweed, one of country music’s beloved tropes, Bobby takes us on his journey all the way from Hindustan to Australia and the Grand Ole Opry.

 I Can’t Help Falling in Love With You

No country music repertoire can miss some interpretations of Elvis. Though known as the King of Rock ‘n Roll, Elvis’s first recordings were of old country and blues songs.  I Can’t Help Falling in Love With You first appeared in the 1961 film Blue Hawaii, and in the 1970s many of the King’s concerts ended with this grand weepy finale. Bobby’s rendition show off his warm voice and considerable facility on the guitar.

Train Train

Given the ubiquity of trains in India and the number of train songs in country music, it was only a matter of time before the two came together in some way.  With a crack country band and the chick-a-chick sound immortalised by his idol Johnny Cash, Bobby adds a wonderful contribution to the genre.

Daddy Sold the Cadillac

This modern country rock song in the vein of Garth Brooks or Alan Jackson was apparently written by Bobby Cash himself.  It’s a strong number in its own right, suggesting that Cash is a talented composer and not just as a performer. But it’s also interesting for its subject matter. Cash’s own father was a man of considerable wealth which he acquired hosting American movie stars on safaris and ski trips in the Alps.  After an accident, he turned his attention to disposing of his wealth, which, given the era and his clients, could have included some Cadillacs.

Help Me Make it Through the Night (with Val Shipley)

The sound of this clip is not the best but it is priceless.  Made in Shimla with the great guitarist Van Shipley’s nephew, Valentine, crooning his heart out on this Kris Kristofferson-penned hit, and Bobby driving and soaking up the fun on guitar.

In addition to his passion for country music (he’s released three albums, all available from his website), Bobby is committed to giving back to his community and for the past several years has focused on his educational projects in Dehradun.