1913 - Born Herbert Henry Dawson on March
19, in Collingwood
Both his mother and brother passed away soon after the war
setting in motion a set of events that would see Herbert living
on the streets.
1923 - He entered the St Vincent
De Paul orphanage where he met Tex
Banes. It was in the mid twenties that Herbert acquired the
nickname of “Smoky”.
- Formed a double act with his brother Ted. Recorded a number of
blue vinyl discs at Collingwood.
- Played steel guitar with "Smoky and the Pepsodent Rangers".
- Went from 3JR Amateur Station to 3KZ.
Sponsored by Pepsodent for his show on
3KZ. Formed the "The
Sea Islanders" and had two
radio spots per week.
1938 - Smoky and Dot formed
first hillbilly club in
1939 - His first songs were published by
leading Publisher of the time Allen’s.
1940 - Worked as
Islanders” with Isador Goodman's theatre orchestra at the
1941 - Recorded
“I’m A Happy Go Lucky Cowboy” at Homebush under legendary
producer Arch Kerr
with Columbia Records (EMI) which lasted over 30
years. March - celebrated 400th broadcast over 3KZ
Second recording session at the Price
Theatre with backing by
Bert Howell's Band. Recorded 26 episodes of radio adventures.
Joined the Army Medical Corps. He was in Darwin when it was bombed.
Later transferred to the 1st Australian Army Entertainment Unit
he returned to Australia after
falling seriously ill in Borneo..
1944 - Smoky married Dot (who’s real name
Cheers) on March 13. They met at radio station 3JR in Melbourne
in 1933 when Dot was performing her radio Programme. While Dot
is famous for many things, the one thing she will always be
recognized for is being the founder of Melbourne’s
Carols by Candlelight event in 1946. It was at this inaugural
event that Norman Banks of radio station 3KZ organized for Smoky
to launch the night shouting “coo–ee” from horseback to a
worldwide listening audience.
- Discharged from the army. Started script writing and producing
his own radio show.
- 1948- Busy with radio, theatre and travelling shows.
- In July recorded at Homebush, Sydney, 6 tracks including "My Heart Is Where
The Roper River Flows" and "Tonight".
1949 - Smoky create “The Inlander” show
for ABC Radio. The show ran for three years touring Australia’s
capital cities. It was during this time that Smoky got the
chance to perform with the great Peter Dawson on 5CL in
ABC commissioned Smoky to write a series
of songs and stories for a new show "Inlander". Received a draft
treatment of "The Cowboy From Down Under" in the U. S.
Went to the UK and performed
at the Festival of
and had his own TV show "Australiana".
Roy Acuff and Wesley Rose started the
Records label in Nashville USA.
Smoky became the first artist to record for
when he recorded “The Lord’s Last Supper”.
1951-1958- Recorded 6 records per year.
Appeared in Nashville with Ernest Tubb. Signed by the
world's largest country music publisher "Acuff and Rose".
Recorded song "The Last Supper" on the
Label which went to number 1. Contracted to 20th Century Fox to
promote Australian film "Kangaroo". Also appeared in Broadway
musical "Kiss Me Kate".
In September Dot and Smoky landed back in
at Kingsford –
they were met by a large cheering crowd that included a
cinesound news film crew. They were returning to
to start a national radio show that was sponsored by Kellogg’s
and was called “The Adventures of Smoky
and broadcasted through 69 stations.
1952-1962- Signed with Kellogg for "The Adventures of Smoky
Adventures of Smoky Dawson"
show goes to air
and the song “Riding With A Smile And A Song” becomes the show’s
theme song. It was also this year that Smoky forms a
relationship that lasts for about three decades when he acquires
a three month old palomino that becomes known to the world as
- 1979 -
In March for his
45 birthday Dot gave Smoky the keys to a block a land at
Ingleside which becomes “Jindawarrabel” Smoky’s fabled radio
show ranch. The Ranch becomes the home of TV Shows, an
entertainment venue, riding school and holiday camp. At its
first rodeo Chips Rafferty, Lance Skuthorpe and Big Chief Little
wolf helped raise funds for Rotary.
Raised money for
charity for 20 years.
1963 - Hopalong Cassidy comic strips were
replaced by Smoky
comic strips in the
morning Herald for five days of the week in 1963.
1973- Recorded an album for EMI "Back At
The Ranch". Joins TV Station Channel 9.
February made a film documentary for the "Far
West Children's Home". Featured on "This Is Your
Life" (then on channel 7).
and co star Olivia Newton-John film a TV special "Glenn Campbell
Down Under" at Smoky's "Ranch".
Inducted into the Hand of Fame in Tamworth.
Elevated into the Roll Of Renown, in Tamworth. Invited to Nashville to appear with "The All Time Greats"
by the Country Music Association and Grand Ol' Opry and
presented with "The Pioneer Honour Award".
1982 - His
beloved sidekick Flash died on April 23.
1983 - Smoky received the Member of The
Empire Award (MBE) on
New Years Day.
1985 - Wax replicas of Smoky and Flash are
added to the Gallery of Stars in the Tamworth
South Australian Country Music
Festival Awards- Inducted into the Hall of Fame.
1988 – Had a guest staring role in
the TV series “A Country Practice”.Smoky
wins his second Gold Guitar for Best Group or Duo with Trevor
Knight for "High Country".
1991 - Inaugural
patron of the Australian Country Music Foundation.
- Awarded Order Of Australia Medal (O.A.M.) in the Australia Day
Awards. Received Rotary Club’s highest award.
Along with Dot
was inducted into the Broadcasters Hall of Fame at the Country
Music Hall of Fame in Tamworth.
patron of the Stockman's Hall of Fame and was the first of the
Galleries set up for the pioneers. Won the Rotary International
Award with the song "Follow Your Dream". Recorded in English for
Rotary by a choir of 18 exchange students who also recorded it
in their native language for use in their home country. The song
was recorded with the Howie Brothers.
2002 - Smoky and Dot were made honorary
life members of the Country Music Association of Australia
for their contribution to the Australian Country Music Industry.
2004 - The Australian National Interest
Program presented by Peter Hughes made the episode “Smoky Dawson
- Country Music Legend”.
Signed with Sony Label to record poems written by Smoky.
Smoky released his album “Homestead Of My Dreams” to again create
another milestone in his life as this release made him the
oldest recording artist in the world. The revamped
Diggers Club that is owned by the West
Leagues Club had Smoky help launch “Smoky’s Bar and Grill” as
it’s named in Smoky’s honour.
Inducted into the Australian Record Industry Hall of Fame.
2006 - Held in
Tamworth, Australia's Country Music Capital, during the January
Festival, the inaugural ACMF dinner paid tribute to Australia's
best loved country music couple, Smoky and Dot Dawson.
2007 - On his final visit to
in 2007 he was inducted into “The Galaxy of
during the Country Music Festival. Mo Awards- Outstanding
Contribution to the Australian Country Music Industry.
- Smoky passed away on 13th February.