Rex Dallas was born in 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. Rex's story in his own words .....
"I love the old bush ballad songs. That was the title of one of my many albums, and how true and part of me those words are! In my childhood, I would rise early to listen to the 5.30am programme "Hillbilly Trail" on the old home town radio station, 2LT Lithgow. Later in my youth, I was to co-host this programme with my old radio announcer mate, Jack Griffith. We changed the name to "Early Morning Country Sounds" and ran the programme five days a week."
"It was during this early part of my life that my love for the bush, its characters and the songs written about them, grew."
"It was a sad day when my family moved away to take up residence in Sydney. I sang around the city hotels and the few and far between country and western concerts for little or no money. Times were hard for the boys from the bush, and many fine writers and performers fell by the wayside."
"Then came the clubs, and with them, the promoters and agents with work for those who could adapt to the new scene, so I changed my act to the demanding variety performance that the clubs required. I successfully auditioned for Ted Quigg, who eventually became one of country music's greatest promoters. At that time, Ted was running shows on 2SM Sydney and 2KA Katoomba in conjunction with hall shows in the city and suburbs. A host of hopefuls - like Frank Ifield, Rick and Thel, and Tim McNamara - were all on those shows. It became a golden era for country music in Sydney!"
"About this time, I recorded "Bicycle Wreck" for Festival Records, and the song reached the pop charts."
"All this activity gave me a strong following, and because of my specialising in yodelling, I was chosen as the featured country and western act for the legendry Lee Gordon Shows. This was the start of a wonderful time for me, touring to every corner of Australia, firstly for Lee Gordon, then for a number of years with the Rick & Thel Carey Show."
"I appeared on TV in "Bandstand", "The Rose and Crown", "Country Style", "Studio A" and feature spots on other variety shows. I buried myself in the Sydney club scene for eight years, but during that time in the city I can honestly say that I never found the fulfilment for which I was seeking. The Bush was still part of me! I was still writing about it in my spare time, and even tried a few of my own writings on club audiences, but found that if they didn't know a song, then they didn't want to hear it."
"In 1972, my wife Adrienne and I decided to take our three boys and 'get out of it'. We would take 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 I was based in Tamworth, my time divided between recording, touring and club shows. However, the relentless pressure of travelling every few days to Sydney and Newcastle for the club dates began to take its toll, so we reluctantly sold our beautiful rural home in Moor Creek, close to Tamworth, and in 1980, re-established operations in Fassifern, just outside of Newcastle."
"In 1986, my contract with Hadley Records having expired, I set up Briar Records and fulfilled a long time dream to record my songs on my own label."
"Our years in Fassifern saw the Dallas family band doing a 3 year stint at the Shortland RSL Club with the "Happy Hoedown Show". Then the lure of the road drew us back for four years, and I took the Rex Dallas Variety Show to play Aboriginal missions and reserves throughout all mainland states. Eventually, though, the changing pattern of live music and the slow decline in viability of travelling shows brought us yet another change, and again, the pull of the country way of life resulted in Adrienne and I turning our eyes back towards Tamworth. On 5th June, 1989, we purchased our present property "Gully Park" in Moonbi, which is a short run from Country Music Capital. Here we have set up a memorabilia tea room and entertainment complex from which we present country music concerts during the Tamworth Country Music Festival."
AWARDS 1975 Australasian Country Music Awards: Gold Guitar for Best EP Record - "Old Wallerawang". 1976 Australasian Country Music awards: Gold Guitar for Best Male Vocal - "My Lancashire Yodelling Lass" 1977 Inducted into the "Hands of Fame", Tamworth. 1982 Australasian Country Music Awards: A.P.R.A. Award for best Australasian composition - "His Spurs are Rusty Now". (Rex & Colin Dallas.) 1982 Novocastrian Awards: "Best Country Band" 1985 Novocastrian Awards: "Best Country Band" 1987 Novocastrian Awards: "Best Country Band" 1988 Novocastrian Awards: "Best Country Band"