Dr Charlie Teo operates on Wollongong entertainer

Time of need: Wollongong's singing guitar man Graham Wilson is recovering from brain surgery in Prince of Wales Hospital. Picture: GREG ELLIS

Time of need: Wollongong's singing guitar man Graham Wilson is recovering from brain surgery in Prince of Wales Hospital. Picture: GREG ELLIS

Graham Wilson has been described in Wollongong as a local icon and a favourite son.

But, after being diagnosed with a massive tumour on the brain late last week, Wilson has been feeling that and more love from many friends and adoring fans, including one very significant one he never knew he had.

An important one, because Dr Charlie Teo operated on the Wollongong entertainer on Saturday just two days after meeting him and telling him the news he needed an urgent operation.

During the initial visit, Dr Teo asked for a photograph with the former member of the Four Kinsmen.

"I love that group," he said.

Then, when Wilson went into surgery at 7am on Saturday, instead of operating to ABBA, as he usually does, Dr Teo had a Four Kinsmen CD playing in the theatre.

Dr Teo told him afterwards that, while he was going under anaesthetic, Wilson was actually singing along.

While the surgery was a success, it will be several days before he finds out what the actual tumour was and what the prognosis is.

He was told it was unusual in shape and size.

Wilson is having more tests at Prince of Wales Hospital on Tuesday and Wednesday and is earning a reputation for making the doctors, nurses and other patients all laugh with comments about false advertising because he has not seen any whales.

When they held up fingers after the operation and asked him how many, and then when was he born, he said "I'm afraid I can't remember ... I was too young".

Wilson has not only been surrounded by family but has been deeply moved by the level of support from many of his friends such as Scott Radburn, Rikki Organ, Peter Newell, Leigh Stewart, Frank Ifield and Susie Elelman who have been calling regularly to check on his progress.

Wilson has also received thousands of text messages .

"I wasn't expecting all this," he said.

"It has been very comforting. It is almost like a reunion. I've been talking to people from all over the place I haven't seen for years."

There is already talk from friends such as Andrew Harrison about a fund-raiser to help Wilson, who these days teaches guitar and entertains at local restaurants, to cover his medical costs.

Wilson has recently been involved in contributing to a new documentary being made about the Four Kinsmen and still regularly supports many charity events such as a fund-raiser to help his good mate Rikki Organ with his ongoing battle with cancer.

Every May, Wilson is always eagerly sought after as the singing angel for Angels at Work in support of the Leukaemia Foundation.

Donned in angel wings and his guitar, he is famous for singing the Elvis song Devil in Disguise on the streets of Wollongong while collecting gold coin donations.