Born 6 November, Frederick Amos Doblein Wallerawang, a small mining town near Lithgow, New South Wales, Australia.
Like many a country boy before him, Rex began his career as an
entertainer at local dances, and made his first radio appearance
at the age of sixteen.
In his childhood, he would rise early to listen to the
programme "Hillbilly Trail"
on the old home town radio station, 2LT Lithgow.
Later he was to co-host this programme with his old radio
announcer mate, Jack Griffith.
1950’s –1960’s – Appeared on the Lee Gordon Shows.
Traveled to Sydney
after hearing about the Cowboy Shows being presented down there.Worked at Sutton’s Music Store.Tried out for Australian Amateur Hour
but did not get anywhere but did receive his “first fan mail!”
Co-hosted a 15 minute radio show in Lithgow.Played on the Australia’s
Amateur Hour, dance hall shows and with Buster Noble.Co-hosted radio show “On the Trail” on
radio 2SM and a Sunday show on 2KS at Katoomba.Lasted two years.
Wins the Reg Lindsay Talent Quest in Bankstown,
Sydney.Performed with the Ted Quigg Shows and
hotels in and around Sydney.
1956 – Wrote “Yodelling Cowboy Joe”.
1957 - Recorded an unreleased 78 at Harmony House in
March, headed to the Riverina
for the shearing sheds in April returned to Sydney
and formed a partnership with Trevor Day and the All States Road
Quigg. And remained for 18 years.The hall
shows included, The Pioneer Hall, Wollongong,
Union Theatre, Lithgow, School
Nowra, Showground Hall, Wauchope, Town Hall, Parramatta.1958
1958 – 1960’s – (from) The Golden Era of Country Music.
Mid 1950's -1960's -
Rock ‘N’ Roll starts to affect the Country Music Scene.
Col Joye introduces Rex to Brian Henderson of Bandstand.Was asked not to sing “Hillbilly”Rex sings a rocked up version of Webb
Pierce’s hit “I Ain’t Never”.Has three appearances on Bandstand and
was the only artist to yodel on the show.Recorded the hit song” Bicycle Wreck”
for EMI after good reception when sang on Bandstand.
1960 – Released “Bicycle Wreck” becomes a hit.
Went to Cooma with Bill Kelly with the offer of playing
the Dodds Hotel this was the time the Snowy Mountain Scheme
project began. Bill went back to Sydney.Rex forms a trio and stays on for
another 18 months or more..
- Toured with Rick and Thel Carey (first tour).Met Johnny Heap and offers him a
position at the Dodds Hotel, accepts offer.Johnny joins the band and Rex moves on.
1965 – Second tour with Rick and Thel for a further 10
Sydney teams up again
with Bill Kelly and together with a five piece band “The
Telstars” worked the hotel circuit.Also toured briefly with Buddy Williams.
- 68 -Returned to Sydney
once again and teams up againwith Ted
Quigg.Has spots on
the ‘Rose and Crown, Sydney Tonight, Studio A and Country Style.
Third tour with Rick and Thel.
Wrote “Old Wallerawang” after
Grandad “Pop” Smith died.He was a coal
1972 - Decided to take his
family out of Sydney.
He took up an offer from Eric Scott of Hadley Records to record
there and be part of Country Music Capital of Australia, Tamworth.
For the next eight years he was based in Tamworth,
his time divided between recording, touring and club shows.
recording for Hadley with the novelty song “The Australian Hot
Meat Pie” which becomes a hit throughoutAustralia.
1975 – Records “Harry Torrani Yodelling Albums“ with
1975 - Australasian Country
Music Awards: Gold Guitar for Best EP Record - "Old
1976 - Australasian Country
Music awards: Gold Guitar for Best Male Vocal - "My Lancashire
1977 - Inducted into the
"Hands of Fame", Tamworth.
1980 - Moved to Fassifern,
just outside of Newcastle.
road show which covers all corners of Australia
including the Aboriginal Settlements and Missions.
to 1985 – Keeps up the road shows along with his family.
Adrienne, looks after door sales and promotion and with his
three sons, Brett-lead guitar – Colin, drums, Jeff on bass and
youngest son Shannon who at this stage sways along to the
with family two other acts are included in the show each year
Golden Guitar for APRA Song of the Year written by Rex
and son Collin for “His Spurs are Rusty Now”.Celebrates 25 years with the association
with the Country Music Industry.Novocastrian Awards: "Best Country Band"
1986 – With his contract with Hadley having expired he
set up Briar Records and fulfilled a long time dream to record
his songs on his own label."
1987 Novocastrian Awards: "Best Country Band"
Novocastrian Awards: "Best Country Band"
1989 - Purchased the property
in Moonbi. Here he set up a memorabilia tea room and
entertainment complex from which he presented country music
concerts during the Tamworth Country Music Festival."
1992 –Golden Guitar Heritage Song of the Year for “The
1997 - South Australian Country Music Festival Awards-
Inducted into the Hall of Fame.
1999 - Builds
on his property called “The Western Man” after his 1992 Heritage
Song of the Year.
2000 – Inducted into the Roll
of Renown in Tamworth.
2001 - TSA Songwriter Tribute
However, the words ‘never again’
should never be spoken by one so rich in talent and surrounded
by a family steeped in the country music tradition. The
temptation to record again was there from the moment he
completed his so-called ‘farewell album’ 40 Years Down The
Rex then decided to record a
test CD in son Brett’s brand new studio and the result was the
limited release CD Sunrise On The Outback, not released
commercially, but a sell-out nevertheless, through his own
label, Briar Records.
In his new, commercially
released comeback album, Working Man, the ‘Boy from Old
Wallerawang’ has created a solely family affair, with sons
Brett, COLIN, JEFFREY and SHANNAN and grandchildren LINDSAY,
ASHLEIGH, JESS, LUKE, JACK and JORDON contributing both vocally,
instrumentally and technically. Even Rex’s lovely wife ADRIENNE
contributes by taking the photographs for the album, making this
an album involving three complete generations of one family