Redback on the Toilet Seat
Hello, I am Rex Franklin, I live in New Zealand, and I became interested in music at an early age, but I was 12 years old when I first sang in public, I sang "Silent Night" unaccompanied , in church, at a Salvation Army Sunday School day, and that would have been 1947. The following Sunday, I was lucky enough to have a pianist accompany me, which must have improved my performance no end!! In 1950, I left home and began working as a roustabout in a sheep sheering gang in the area of Porangahau, Central Hawkes Bay, and at the end of that shearing season, I obtained a job on a farm that we had worked on, and with my first monthly cheque, I bought my first guitar. That farm was a long way from any guitar teacher, indeed, I did not see, or hear anyone playing a guitar, till a friend tuned my guitar for me, on a bus to a game of rugby, which I enjoyed playing, at the time. My guitar never sounded so good, but some time would pass, till I was working at a different job, at a dairy factory in Norsewood, before I had some time on my hands, I learnt the rudiments of the guitar, by listening to records, and perusing chord charts from song books published by the likes of Buddy Williams, Wilf Carter, and Hank Snow. By September the 29th 1953, I was confident enough to enter a talent quest in Dannevirke, being able to sing two songs to my own guitar backing, and those songs were "Beautiful Girl of the Prairie", and "Have you ever been lonely?" While I did not have too much faith in my ability, even turning-down a request to purchase an acetate recording of my performance, I did meet two nice people who were in search of a singer for their band, so I received a personal call, a couple of months later, and so began several very enjoyable months with a group called THE RUAHINE RAMBLERS. Horace and Tui Hartley made me most welcome, and we all grew musically from the experience, with many "live to air" radio shows, concerts, dances, and talent quests. It was at one of those talent quests, that I met Noelene Anderson, who wowed me with her looks, and her singing, and in 1955, we got together and began singing , with our first public engagement in Ormondville on the 25th of November of that year. We followed this with some radio broadcasts and other personal appearances, and then we approached some record companies in the big smoke of Wellington, and were fortunate enough to land a contract, which led to our first 78rpm recording in October 1956, on the TANZA label. After a second release in 1958, we were aware that the record industry was changing, 45s and LPs were the in thing, so 1959 saw us signed-up with VIKING RECORDS, and our first release on that label took place in 1960, to be followed by several more 45s and Long-play records, and eventually, cassettes (See Bear Family Records) It was suggested that I try recording solo for a time, so I reluctantly did that, and then I was approached by a representative of the Philips label, and so I recorded several tracks for that company, and it is the material from those sessions that this CD called The Redback on the Toilet Seat came about. Noelene sang her own composition "It's getting back to me (that you don't care)" as the only duet on the album, adding some glamour, and her undoubted talent, to the session. You will notice a sort of Bluegrass style to these recordings. ENJOY.