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From country singer to writer: How Norwich personality Don Woods found his second calling

PUBLISHED: 16:40 30 March 2017 | UPDATED: 16:40 30 March 2017

Don Woods who had to give up his country and western singing career, and has turned to writing poetry and short stories. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Don Woods who had to give up his country and western singing career, and has turned to writing poetry and short stories. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Copyright: Archant 2017

When country and western singer Don Woods lost his hearing following a serious road accident in Norway, he thought his career was over.

Country and western singer, Don Woods, travelling in his camper van. Picture: Courtesy Don WoodsCountry and western singer, Don Woods, travelling in his camper van. Picture: Courtesy Don Woods

But now he is celebrating publishing more than 500 poems and a string of novels after finding his true calling as a writer.

Mr Woods, originally from Trowbridge, Wiltshire, ventured into the world of show business at the age of 23 after serving in the army for three years.

He later moved to East Anglia where he performed in clubs and pubs within the Great Yarmouth area.

In 1976, he bought himself a motor home and headed for Europe for stardom, eventually moving to Norway to perform in 1989. Then in 1993, the brakes failed on his motor home and life made a dramatic turn.

The camper van that Don Woods travelled around Norway in when during his time as a country and western singer. Picture: Courtesy Don WoodsThe camper van that Don Woods travelled around Norway in when during his time as a country and western singer. Picture: Courtesy Don Woods

“Although I seemed to have emerged physically unscathed it turned out that the trauma of the crash had triggered off a cancerous growth that was eating away at my inner ear and then attacked my central nervous system,” Mr Woods said.

“After being nursed by a family of Laplanders who found me wandering alone in the mountains, I tried to continue with my singing but kept suffering from blackouts where I could not remember what I had been doing for weeks on end.”

Mr Woods eventually visited a doctor who advised him to return to Norwich immediately.

He was told he had less than six weeks to live unless he had an operation, which might leave him completely deaf.

The lapland family who rescued country and western singer Don Woods in Norway after he crashed his camper van. Picture: Courtesy Don WoodsThe lapland family who rescued country and western singer Don Woods in Norway after he crashed his camper van. Picture: Courtesy Don Woods

“The doctors were so kind and tried three times to rebuild one of my ears so I could sing again but said I was too old for the implants to take so my career as a singer was finished.”

Mr Woods, who has been singing since he was a child, said he felt “heartbroken”.

“I had to find some other way of releasing my creative instincts. I bought a second hand typewriter and turned to writing short stories and poetry. Since that day I have had ten short stories, three full length children’s adventure novels, one book of my poetry, and had my autobiography published.”

Mr Woods has also had more than 500 poems published in various newspapers, magazines, and poetry anthologies both here and in America, with around 180 published in Poet’s Corner in Norwich Evening News.

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