The Music of Dane Zanes and Friends


I have just returned from a week in Melbourne, visiting my daughter and her family. Last year my two year old granddaughter Eloise introduced me to one of her favourite performers, Dan Zanes. She had attended two of his concerts and when staying for Christmas shared her DVD and CDs of this American singer. I was hooked and said that if he ever visits again, count me in.

This year Dan Zanes and his band of friends were invited back to Melbourne for the International Arts Festival. So down the Hume Highway I journeyed to attend two concerts. We actually had a bonus as Dan and his friends opened the festival with a free evening concert and we happened to see their sound check for this as well.

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Smoky Dawson Remembered


It was with great sadness that I heard that Smoky Dawson had died. I am one of the many Australians whose lives were touched by this remarkable man.

Smoky first rode into my life on the radio airwaves, astride his palomino, the wonder horse Flash. As a child in the 1950s, there was no better way to spend a Thursday evening than glued to the radio listening to another adventure of “Hup, Flash, hup, hup, hup… Smoky Dawson”.

I met Smoky later in life and found him to be a humble, gentle man with a passion for life and a readiness for a chat. He leaves behind a valuable legacy in the songs he wrote, many about Australia, its people and history. I believe that we are all richer for the lives led by people such as Smoky.

Back in 1988 I wrote a song about Smoky, The Man with the Smile and Song .

I have also included a link to an article I wrote in 2004.