MP3 Rex and Noelene Franklin - Out Behind the Barn
Good traditional country music in the older style, with acoustic guitar instrumentals, and lots of good harmonies.
14 MP3 Songs
COUNTRY: Traditional Country, COUNTRY: Honky Tonk
REX AND NOELENE FRANKLIN
Rex and Noelene met when both were competing in a talent quest in Palmerston North, New Zealand, in May 1954.
Rex was the vocalist/guitarist in a trio called The Ruahine Ramblers, and they were lucky enough to be recalled to the finals the following week. (Noelene just missed-out) and Rex was delighted, when Noelene arrived back-stage, on Finals night, to wish him(and the group) the very best.
To cut a long story short, Rex and Noelene began seeing each other on a regular basis, and on the 25th of November 1955, they performed in their first public music appearance, together, at Ormondville, Hawkes Bay.
Rex had earlier been doing radio shows, and public appearances with the “Ramblers”, so it was a natural step for Rex and Noelene to follow this , and they broadcast from several radio stations around the country in the following years, at first, a radio announcer would introduce them, and their songs, until they asked Rex, if he would like to do this, and so began a trend for many of the following radio shows they were to do.
Many private bookings followed, and of course they wanted to make records, so they took some of their privately-made acetate discs (78rpm) to Wellington, where they called-on some record companies, and one company executive by the name of Murdoch Riley, showed a distinct interest in their recordings, he selected one track, and asked them to go home and work on some other songs, and to come up with a song for the other side.
This eventually led to the release of their first commercial record, on the TANZA label, a coupling of two songs that had been made popular by one of their favourite artists, HANK SNOW, “Would you mind?” and “ I wonder where you are tonight”.
This was a big thrill to the young couple, and the record sold very well, and was played regularly on radio stations all over the country.
A follow-up release eventuated in 1958, a coupling of two of Rex’s own compositions, “Rocky Mountain Lullaby” and “Oh Why can’t you say?”
About this time, 78s were being fazed-out, and 45s and LPs were being introduced, and Murdoch Riley had started his own label, VIKING RECORDS.
Mr Riley arranged, in late 1959, to sign-up Rex and Noelene, and in 1960, their first VIKING recordings were issued, two extended-play 45s, “The Shearers’ Jamboree”, and “Serenading in the Evening”, and their first long-play record, “A Thousand Miles out Yonder.”
These sold well enough to warrant more releases, and Rex and Noelene issued several more Eps, LPs, and singles, over the next few years, and they even released two LPs, and two singles, for the Philips label.
During this period, their songs appeared regularly on “Cowboy Corners”, on local radio station Country Music Top Tens, or similar, reaching number 1 on the Christchurch Top 10, and the songs, “Shackles and Chains”, and “Mansion on the Hill” featured on a Country Music Top 20 on FCWE in Holland, for 20 straight weeks, with one of them reaching the number 1 spot.
In 1999, The world-famous BEAR FAMILY RECORDS released a package of two CDs, featuring 63 tracks from the Tanza, and early Viking releases, and to this day, it is understood that Rex and Noelene are the only artists from New Zealand and Australia, to feature on the Bear Family label.
Rex went on to conduct his own disc-jockey style radio show, from 2ZA Palmerston North, (this was also broadcast on the Masterton station) and later, on 2ZN in Nelson. He received mail from all over New Zealand over this period, (from 1969 to 1976) and the very first artist he interviewed for radio, was none other than the late and great, SLIM DUSTY, who proved a real gentleman.
He went on to feature interviews with HANK SNOW, CONNIE SMITH, WANDA JACKSON, JOHNNY CASH, MOTHER MAYBELLE CARTER, ANITA CARTER, BUCK OWENS, SUSAN RAYE, and numerous others.
Rex and Noelene decided in 1993, that they would self-fund their own cassette tape (later, CD) called “OUT BEHIND THE BARN”, which sold extremely well, and they followed this with “Trip to Paradise”, “The Redback on the toilet seat”, and more recently, “Silver Bell”.
Rex has the honour of having his handprints in the Tamworth “Hands Of Fame”, and both Rex and Noelene are featured in the “Hands of Fame” at Gore, New Zealand.
In the Professional Country Music Recording Industry Awards in 1988, they were presented with “ The New Zealand Country Music Pioneer Award”, at the Michael Fowler Centre in Wellington.
They have done tours to Tasmania, Vanuatu, and to most parts of New Zealand, and they perform at festivals and resthomes, and private bookings, and clubs.
Television shows they have featured in, are “Have a shot on Television”, (in the formative years of the medium) “Country Touch” (with the great TEX MORTON),(Rex) “Studio One”, where Rex sang one of his own compositions, and more recently, Rex and Noelene appeared on Southland Television’s “Y’All Come” Show, which was also shown on SKY Television, and on the local station, “7 Taranaki”, where they received much exposure.
Today, Rex and Noelene entertain at the occasional Country Music festival, Rest homes, Clubs, and private bookings, and they live a quieter life in New Plymouth, New Zealand, spending valuable time with family as time permits.
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