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Joan MARTIN (1978)

Joan Martin

1921 – Born on July 2nd in Orange N.S.W. Her family was musical - her grandparents came from Ireland and brought their music and dances with them. Joan spent her early years on a farm, until her father was forced off the land during the great depression.  

1933 - Family moved to the Darling Downs in Queensland. Joan was soon singing regularly on Toowoomba's 4GR Radio also acting in Radio plays and appearing in pantomime.  Later she met Eric Tutin, a music teacher, who in the 1930's formed the musical groups, the Sundowners.  Eric and Joan were both songwriters, and it was while performing with the Sundowners, Joan became the first female country singer in Australia to record for the Regal Zonophone label, as part of the Sundowners.  The group was Joan Martin (vocals, guitar), Eric Tutin (accordion) and Ted McMinn (fiddle).  It's believed that Joan recorded several tracks for Regal Zonophone.

1942 – Joan retired from recording and show business and moved to Sydney to care for her family.

1976 – Dave Ovenden from the Victorian Country Music Guild persuaded Joan to come to the Tamworth festival. She was amazed that people still remember her.

1977 – 35 years after retiring Joan released the album “Darling Eyes” for her mother’s 78th birthday. She wrote the 12 songs on this album

1978 – Released the album “Home Music Days”. Inducted into the Hands of Fame.

1979 – Released the album “Pioneer Lady”.

1980 – Released the albums “The Search” and “Younger Every Day”.

1981 - Joan and her daughter Ellen appeared in a television special with the Blanch family called 'The Lady and the Cowboy' which was eventually sold to US cable TV.

1983 - Another TV special came about when the ABC filmed a half hour segment of the Pioneer Lady of Australian Country Music for their 'Big Country' series.

In 1982 Joan produced her daughter Ellen's first solo album.  Nothing is known about Ellen's career, however in 1983 she joined her mother (Joan) to complete a recording of Australian Pioneer Dance Music to accompany their book 'Introduction to Australian Pioneer Dances'.