– Born Herbert Joseph Banes
had no known relatives anywhere, but during his long and mostly
happy life, he made more friends than could be numbered. He
spent his earlier years in the St Vincent de Paul Orphanage in
fellow country music veteran Smoky Dawson..
Here he learned the rudiments
of music, sang in the choir and played cornet in the band.
– Age 13 he was given a chance to work on a farm near
He was expected to work 12
hour days for five shillings a week plus keep.
– Moved back to the orphanage after a bout of asthma.
– Bought a portable gramophone along with a Jimmy Rodgers
bought his first guitar.
He joined the Vic, Banjo Club
to learn to play.
The same year war broke out
and at the age of 18 enlisted immediately. Formed a concert
party to entertain the troops.
he applied for leave to go on to Dick Fair’s Australia Amateur
Hour, then in its infancy.
He sang “Happy and Free
He got third place with over
- Won first prize for best - dressed cowboy at the
He made the outfit himself.
He won again in 1943.
– Due to another asthma attack he was discharged from the army
and went back to the country for a while.
He worked at a leather factory
for 7 years then moved on to a brewery where he stayed until
– Formed “The Hayseeds” (consisting of himself, Tich and Mary
Woodhouse, Jack Johnson, Joy Carrol, Joan Lewis and Tom Heany)
and played together for 13 years. Others have played with the
Hayseeds over thoseyear with no consistent lineup. They were
never short of work and when not doing paid jobs they played for
charities or just practiced. Tex
often used his “hootenanny” – a one man band combination of
washboard, horns, cowbells and all sorts of noise making
Their repertoire consisted
mainly of Carson Robison and Sons of the Pioneers American
western type music with some Buddy William’s and Tex Morton’s
and after a while, comedy.
1948 to 1949-
and the Hayseeds were on the 3UZ label.
These have been remastered in
by Cattle Records and released on LP.
– “The Hayseeds” call it a day only to reform for special
Another notable “Hayseed” was
a dog named Snifter.
He was fitted out in check
shirt and pants and was trained to feature as a fully-fledged
member of the group.
Snifter lived to 18 years of
– Inducted into the “Hands of Fame” in
– Golden Guitar Country Music Capital Award.
– Received the “OAM” (Order of Australia
– Died on 19th
Tex Banes was noted for his comedy
and Hootenanny antics.
He was an honourary director
of the Jimmy Rodgers Foundation. His home was filled with CM
memorabilia of jackets, hats, a wagon wheel, cowboy boots,
photographs, newspaper clippings, records and other countless
souvenirs he obtained while in the
He was known and respected
equally in both Australia