Rex Franklin Profile

aka Rex and Noelene Franklin, Sun Valley Trail Singers
Chris Bourke
3 Feb 2016

When Rex Franklin was a boy visiting Takapau, Hawke’s Bay, in the 1940s, he saw Tex Morton’s car parked outside a hotel. Franklin couldn’t go in and say hello, let alone see the show; he was the oldest of eight children. But he did notice Morton’s guitar in the back seat. It was a pivotal moment for a boy who was always wandering about with a straw hat on and cap guns strapped to his hips.

Born in 1935, Franklin grew up in the nearby settlement of Kopua, south of Takapau. The closest he got to cowboys and country music was the films and comics of Hopalong Cassidy and Gene Autry, and listening to Tex Morton, Wilf Carter and Slim Dusty on the radio. “We used to go to dances and the pictures on the back of a pony, park the pony in a paddock close to a hall and put a saddle under a tree. I used to live it to the full.”

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Rex Franklin and Noelene Anderson grew up on either side of the Manawatu Gorge, and met at a Palmerston North talent quest in 1954. 
Photo credit: Ron Haywood collection
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Rex and Noelene Franklin give an in-store performance, circa 1960
Photo credit: Ron Haywood collection
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The Sun Valley Trail Singers (Rex and Noelene Franklin) - Serenading In The Evening
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Rex and Noelene Franklin - Is My Home Still Up There
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Rex and Noelene Franklin, 2012
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The Ruahine Ramblers from Manawatu, 1954. From left: Tui Hartley, Rex Franklin, Horace Hartley.
Photo credit: Ron Haywood collection
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Tex Morton's Wild West Comic, circa 1949 with an advert for Tex's guitar on the back
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Rex and Noelene Franklin - My Love's Wedding Band (Balclutha, 15 January 2012)
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Rex Franklin and Peter Posa - Amigo's Guitar
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Rex Franklin - Silver Bell (New Plymouth, 18 February 2012)
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Rex Franklin - The Cowhand Swing
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Rex Franklin - Riverbank Ramble (New Plymouth, 18 February 2012)
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Tanza


Viking


Bear Family Records

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