Rex and Noelene met when both were entered in a radio talent quest at the Regent Theatre in Palmerston North New Zealand in May 1954. They were attracted to each other, but Noelene already had two other boyfriends, so it was not till November 1955 that they actually sang together on stage for the first time, at a Womens' institute meeting in Ormondville, Hawkes Bay. They began doing radio programmes, live to air, from stations 2ZA Palmerston North, 2XA Wanganui, 2YZ Napier, and to a lesser extent, from other stations . In 1956, they signed-up with the TANZA label, and recorded four songs, with just Rex's guitar for backing. This was done in a living room of the recording engineer Ivan Tidswell, in Dannevirke. From this session, a 78rpm recording was released in October 1956, with the coupling of 'would you mind'/'I wonder where you are tonight', and this became very popular right throughout the country, and was played on most regional radio stations, especially on request sessions, and 'Cowboy Corners'. In 1958, their second release involved two of Rex's own songs, 'Rocky Mountain Lullaby', and 'Oh why can't you say?'. The following year, they signed to VIKING RECORDS, and in 1960, they released two 7inch extended-play 45rpm records, and their first 12inch long-play record, entitled 'A thousand miles out yonder'. Around this time, Rex was writing several songs, and they included many of these songs on their radio shows, and later, on record. They went on to record a further five EPs, onr single 45, and another six long-play records, before being asked by the Philips company to record two LPs and two 45s. About this time, the sales tax on records was raised dramatically, and record companies cut back on recording. So there was a break of nearly 20 years, when Rex and Noelene decided to self-fund their own cassette recording, 'OUT BEHIND THE BARN', IN 1993. This sold exceptionally well, and they followed it up in 1997, with 'TRIP TO PARADISE'. These were later released as CDs, and they continue to sell well today. They also released all the material they'd recorded for the Philips label, on a CD called 'THE REDBACK ON THE TOILET SEAT', and in 2005, they recorded yet another CD called 'SILVER BELL'. On all their independent releases, they have a refreshing variety , of duets, solos, and guitar instrumentals by Rex, on his Washburn 'Prairie Song' acoustic guitar. A big plus for Rex and Noelene, happened in 1999, when Richard Weize from the world-famous BEAR FAMILY RECORDS , contacted them, wishing to release some of their early recorded material, so, two CDs were released, and are still available, titled 'A REAL NEW ZEALAND COWBOY SONG', and UPON THE OUTLAW TRAIL'. A total of 63 titles are featured, including the tracks from their 78rpms, for TANZA, and many of their earliest VIKING - released songs. Over the years, Rex and Noelene have done concerts, dances, talent quests, festivals, several television shows, (including 'Have a shot on Television' in the earliest days of television in NZ) Rex sang his own song on 'Studio One', and featured on thr TEX MORTON show 'COUNTRY TOUCH'. They've toured the South Island of New Zealand, Tasmania, and Vanuatu,(the latter-named country with guitarist Peter Posa in 2001) Rex has toured with EDDIE LOWE, AND LOU AND SIMON, they did their own Western Variety shows around Hawkes Bay in 1958, Rex had his own radio disc-jockey show on 2ZA Palmerston North 1969 - 72, and 2ZN Nelson 1972-76, where he featured and interviewed artists like Hank Snow, Buck Owens, Susan Raye, Gray Bartlett, Brendan Dugan, The Webb Brothers, Slim Dusty, Dusty Spittle, Connie Smith, Wanda Jackson, Johnny Cash, Mother Maybelle Carter, Anita Carter, Rex Dallas, and many more. Rex features in Tamworth's Hands of Fame, and both Rex and Noelene were honoured at the Gore Hands of Fame. In 1988, they received the Pioneer Award at the 'Professional Country Music Industry Awards' at the Fowler Centre in Wellington. Hank Snow asked Rex to introduce 'The Rainbow Ranch Boys' on stage in Nelson in 1973, and Rex was the sole Country Music representative at the memorial service of the passing of TEX MORTON in Nelson in 1983. These days, Rex and Noelene entertain at resthomes, festivals, and private bookings around the country. For the past 18 years, Rex has played in the band for the Old -time Country Music concert in Napier, firstly as rhythm guitarist, and then as lead guitarist. Rex also does session work on several recordings. They still love to entertain, and Noelene's humour 'goes down a treat'. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Get news, entertainment and everything you care about at Live.com. Check it out!
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