Rex Franklin

aka Rex and Noelene Franklin, Sun Valley Trail Singers

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.”

Rex and Noelene Franklin, 2012
The Sun Valley Trail Singers (Rex and Noelene Franklin) - Serenading In The Evening
Tex Morton's Wild West Comic, circa 1949 with an advert for Tex's guitar on the back
Rex Franklin - Riverbank Ramble (New Plymouth, 18 February 2012)
The Ruahine Ramblers from Manawatu, 1954. From left: Tui Hartley, Rex Franklin, Horace Hartley.
Photo credit: Ron Haywood collection
Rex Franklin - Silver Bell (New Plymouth, 18 February 2012)
Rex and Noelene Franklin give an in-store performance, circa 1960
Photo credit: Ron Haywood collection
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
Rex and Noelene Franklin - My Love's Wedding Band (Balclutha, 15 January 2012)



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