1916- Born Robert Lane on August
30th in the New Zealand township of Nelson.
1920's- Was in the Boy Scouts and
became one of two scouts to achieve the coveted Kings Scout
1930's- Attended Nelson College
for less than two years. At age of 14 he ran away from home.
1932- Took the name Tex Morton
and made first recording, 16 sides on aluminium discs
recorded in Wellington on Speakphone. At 16 he joined the
"The Gaities" travelling show.
age 17 he moved to Australia. He became the top selling
artist in Australia during the 1930's, outselling Bing
Crosby, Gracie Fields and Frank Sinatra.
1934- Worked as an electrical
hand for Neon Signs in Sydney.
1935- Travelled with the Circus
across the top end to Darwin.
1936- Rode a motorbike at the
Sydney show in the "Wall of Death".
1936- Cut his first records with
EMI's Regal Zonophone label. "Happy Yodeller" being one of
the songs recorded. Appeared on the radio serials on Radio
1936 to 1943- Recorded 93 sides
on Regal Zonophone label.
1939- World War 2- The army had
taken over some of Tex's trucks and with petrol rationing
placing a strain on transport, Tex worked a lot of shows for
the War Effort Entertainment for the troops in Australia and
1941- Released "Mandrake" with
the Rough Riders Band, Australia first country music band.
Dick Carr on non electrified steel; Sister Dorrie on piano
accordian; George Raymond of fiddle and Tex on rhythm
Ceased recording due to dispute with record company.
1945- Reformed his travelling
show and published a series of comics, "Tex Morton's Wild
West Comic" which had a circulation of 100,000 copies a
month in Australia and New Zealand.
1949- While travelling with "Franquin
the Hypnotist", Franquin became ill and Tex did the show by
himself. Recorded in New Zealand for new company formed by
Ralph Peer, an American who discovered Jimmy Rodgers and the
Carter Family. Tex cut 24 sides (in one session) on the
Tasman Label (released as Rodeo in Australia) Offered
a recording contact in America by Ralph Peer.
1950's- Travelled to the USA and
Canada. First Australian to appear on "The Grand Ol' Opry"
in Nashville. Spent a couple of years as one of Hollywood's
most sort after TV character actors. Obtained a B.A. and PhD
from a Canadian University in hypo-therapy. Toured with Hank
1959- Returned to Australia.
Brought to Australia a "Grand Ol' Opry" show which included
Roy Acuff. Took out a small touring show, but as things had
changed with economic conditions and the introduction of TV
it was not well received.
1960- Recorded 3 albums of
monologue of poems of Banjo Patterson plus 2 albums of C.J.
Dennis poems. Set out on a tour to the Far East,
England and Europe as "The Great Morton".
made a sentimental journey to the Australian outback, taking
his two-way shortwave radio and travelling in a station
wagon with three companions - a cat, a terrier and a magpie.
1966- Formed partnership with Athol McCoy and toured
Australia as "The Morton and McCoys".
1967- Returned to New Zealand to compare and star in
a TV show "Country Touch". On return to Australia he brought
The Hamilton Country Bluegrass Band with him. They
eventually went on to tour with Slim Dusty.
1972- Tex and Buddy Williams combine their talents
for a joint show and album release.
1973- Changed record label from EMI to Picture
Records and recorded "The Goondiwindi Grey" and folk poem
monologue album "Tex Morton's Australia". Produced
1974- Winner of Golden Guitar for APRA Song of the
Year- The Goondiwindi Grey, written by Wallace and Hauritz.
1975- Appeared on TV shows "Matlock"; "Class of
'75"; "Stir"; "We Of The Never Never"; plus others. Also
appeared in films and TV shows in the States.
1976- First to be elevated to the Roll Of Renown
after being named "Father of Australasian Country Music". A
bronze bust was erected in Bicentennial Park, in Tamworth.
1977- Recorded voice over for television and radio
advertisement "Where do ya Get It?". Also won the "Raw
Prawn" award for Australia's worst TV commercial.
1977- Inducted into the Hands of Fame in Tamworth.
1982- Final public performance to a crowd of 5000 in
2TM's Big Top in Tamworth during the Country Music Festival.
Died on July 23 aged 65 in Sydney from lung cancer. He is
buried in his hometown of Nelson, New Zealand along side his
parents in Marsden Valley Cemetery.
His Epitaph reads- "A millionaire
in the experience of Life"