Famous singing actor Smoky Dawson celebrates 70 years in the saddle with release of his new album The Homestead Of My Dreams at the ripe young age of 92.

We scoop 60 Minutes and Australian Story in an amazing interview with Smoky - the highlight of Nu Country TV this Saturday - September 24.

Smoky tells all of a drama-drenched life that began in Abbotsford and Warrnambool and took him all over the world.

He talks of being married for 62 years to his wife Dot, 98, after nine years of courting after his radio debut in Preston station 3JR in the thirties.

The couple met seven decades ago while working together on radio and still host their own syndicated show from Sydney.

Smoky tells of hosting the national Kelloggs wireless show The Adventures Of Smoky Dawson from 1952 for a decade.

Dawson recalls his life in Warrnambool where he headed the 1917 Anzac Day march and finished 27th in a field of 400 in the 1932 Warrnambool to Melbourne bike race.

The singer reveals the Dawson recipe for longevity - he included My Wonderful Four Legged Friend about his horse Flash who died at 35 in 1982.

He also talks of other wise men with whom he has performed - including the former Louisiana Governor and fellow singing actor Jimmie Davis who lived to 100 and Roy Acuff who went to God at 89 in 1992.

Dawson was the first artist to record for Acuff-Rose Nashville record label Hickory in 1951 - 10 years after his Aussie debut in 1941?

Smoky made his first movie The Cowboy From Down Under in 1950 and reveals how he made international headlines when his kangaroo escaped while promoting the New York premiere of Peter Lawford-Richard Boone movie Kangaroo.

The singer also details the saloon light shooting out escapades of the late Gene Autry and Tex Morton during his U.S sojourn.

He also reveals he recorded his new disc in his home studio with producer Lorenzo Toppano whose dad Enzo and uncle Lou worked with him in the thirties and forties.

Dawson's album sleeve is adorned with paintings by Pro Hart who was inspired by the singer's poetry.

CLICK HERE for a Smoky Dawson feature from the Diary on January 23, 2004.


Mississippi minstrel Faith Hill is competing with singing spouse Tim McGraw in movies and on radio, TV and charts.

McGraw, 38, won critical acclaim for his role in acclaimed movie Friday Night Lights and Hill appeared in The Stepford Wives.

Although Hill and McGraw cancelled an Australian promo tour because of terrorism threats in the aftermath of September 11 she has strong local links.

She cut expatriate Port Douglas singer-songwriter Kylie Sackley's song Sunshine And Summertime on her sixth album Fireflies.

But this Saturday it's another tune - featuring Sackley's co-writer John Rich of Big & Rich - that is featured on Nu Country TV.

Faith, 37, performs smash hit Mississippi Girl from the disc that sold 329,000 copies on debut as it topped pop and country charts.

Hill has now sold 25 million plus albums sold in an 11-year recording career that began when she fled her ironically named hometown Star.

CLICK HERE for a Hill feature from the DIARY.


Expatriate Kiwi singer Camille Te Nahu and Stuart French perform a video clip of the title track of their duet album Not Without You.

Van Dieman's Land refugee French and Emily Taheny penned the song for the disc that was released earlier this year.

French produced the disc at his Swingin Door studio - locale for Camille's solo debut and projects by Felicity and his band Feral Swing Katz.

Camille arrived in Australia from Gisborne in 1999 and was immediately renowned for local and overseas tours with Kasey Chambers and other major artists.

CLICK HERE for a short feature from the Diary.


Robinvale singer Paul Costa performs a video clip of the Will Kimbrough song House of Mirrors.
Kimbrough, a prolific songwriter, also worked as Billy Joe Shaver's guitarist after the death of Eddy Shaver when Jesse Taylor was ill.

Costa and brother Rod, a featured artist on the Warrnambool Hank Williams birthday bash last week, have made six albums.

But this song is from Costa's new indie album Walkin' In These Shoes.

CLICK HERE for a Costa story from the Diary on July 12, 2005.


Country singer Craig Giles vies with Brownlow medallist and dancing actor Shane Crawford as the best-known export from Riverina township Finley.

Giles performs Who Said Girls Can't Drive on Nu County TV this week and denies it's about Finley born Nu Country DJ and treasurer Barbara O'Neill.

Crawford has his name on welcome signs to the pretty township - also home to former Geelong champion Jack Hawkins and his son, future AFL draftee Tom.

But Craig is not about to be banished to the back of the bus.

He has released 11 indie albums in 20 years plus and performs the country cabaret and festival circuit with his band Ambush.

Finley honoured Craig with a plaque containing his photo framed by a hand carved wooden scroll, baring the inscription Finley - The Home Of Craig Giles.

The plaque is now mounted in the Finley Mall and vies with the O'Neill family farm as one of the area's tourist attractions.

Further info - www.craigiles.com

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