George XANTHOS (1977)

George Xanthos  Location- Block 1; position 24

1928 – Born in Adelaide on February 28th.

1936 – He grew up listening to “hillbilly music”. Country music was in his blood.

1939 – Age 11 he used to listen to an Hawaiian Music program on the radio.

1940 – Age 12 his mother took him to the Adelaide College of Music to learn guitar. He wanted to play like his idol Tex Morton. He found himself in a class for steel guitar and fell in love with the sound and so learnt to play the steel guitar.

1948 – 1951- Had his own Hawaiian group. Also a member of the Matariki South Seas Island Club.

1952 – Asked to join “The Trailblazers” a country music group who performed on stage and radio. Stayed with them for 8 years until they disbanded.

It was through this group that he met Russ and Alan Hawking who were working as a duo and joined the Hawking Brothers Band.

1953 – Met with one of the world’s best steel guitar players – Speedy West and bought his Fender 1000 pedal steel.

It was this sound that became synonymous with the Hawking Brother as he was associated with them and “The Hawks” for 27 years.

1977 – Inducted into the Hands of Fame.

2007 – June 24th. Inducted into Australia's Steel Guitar Hall of Fame at the Brisbane Steel Guitar Festival

2007 - 28th June.  George Xanthos passed away at 4.00 pm in hospital surrounded by his family, wife Lorna and son and daughter Ricky and Kaylene.