1913- Born Herbert Henry Dawson on
March 19th in Collingwood, Victoria.
1923- Placed in St Vincent Orphanage aged 10.
1926- Ran away from the Orphanage aged 13. Worked various jobs,
started singing and playing concertina at local dances.
1932- Formed a double act with brother Ted. Recorded a number of
blue vinyl discs at Collingwood.
1934- Played steel guitar with "Smoky and the Pepsodent
1935- Went from 3JR Amateur Station to 3KZ.
1937- Sponsored by Pepsodent for his show on 3KZ. Formed the
"The South Sea Islanders" and had two radio spots per week.
1940- Worked as The South Sea Islanders with Isador Goodman's
theatre orchestra at the Capitol.
1941- March. Celebrated 400th broadcast over 3KZ. Got a
recording contract with Columbia Records (EMI) which lasted over
1942- Second recording session at the Price Edward Theatre with
backing by Bert Howell's Band. Recorded 26 episodes of radio
1943- Joined the Army Medical Corps. Later transferred to the
1st Australian Army Entertainment Unit. He was in Darwin when it
1944- March 13- Marries Dottie.
1945- Discharged from the army. Started script writing and
producing his own radio show.
1946-1948- Busy with radio, theatre and travelling shows.
1948- In July recorded at Homebush, Sydney, 6 tracks including
"My Heart Is Where The Roper River Flows" and "Tonight".
1950- ABC commissioned Smoky to write a series of songs and
stories for a new show "Inlander". Received a draft treatment of
"The Cowboy From Down Under" in the U. S.
1951- Went to the UK and performed at the Festival of Britain.
Visited America and had his own TV show "Australiana".
1951-1958- Recorded 6 records per year.
1952- Appeared in Nashville with Ernest Tubb. Signed by the
world's largest country music publisher "Acuff and Rose".
Recorded song "The Last Supper" on the Hickory Label which went
to number 1. Contracted to 20th Century Fox to promote
Australian film "Kangaroo". Also appeared in Broadway musical
"Kiss Me Kate".
1952-1962- Signed with Kellogg for "The Adventures of Smoky
Dawson" and broadcasted through 69 stations.
1957-1979- Opens the "Ranch" in Inglewood, Sydney< for country
music shows, film making, holiday camps, riding school, stunt
school and amusement park. Raised money for charity for 20
1973- Recorded another album for EMI "Back At The Ranch". Joins
TV Station Channel 9.
1975- In February mad a film documentary for the "Far West
Children's Home". Featured on "This Is Your Life" (then on
1976- Glenn Campbell and co star Olivia Newton-John film a TV
special "Glenn Campbell Down Under" at Smoky's "Ranch".
1977- Inducted into the Hand of Fame in Tamworth.
1978- Elevated into the Roll Of Renown, in Tamworth.
1978- Invited to Nashville to appear with "The All Time Greats"
by the Country Music Association and Grand Ol' Opry and
presented with "The Pioneer Honour Award".
1979- Smoky and Flash immortalised in wax at the Tamworth Wax
Museum Gallery of Stars.
1980's- Has a guest spot on two episodes of "A Country
1982- Flash, Smoky's horse and co-star dies at the age of 35.
the Order of the British Empire (Civil) in recognition to
service to country music.
1985- His book "Smoky Dawson A Life" which is illustrated by Pro
Hart and introduced by R. M. Williams is released.
1988- Won the Heritage Award at the Gold Guitars Awards for "The
Days Of Old Khancoban" with Trevor Knight and the Newport Trio.
1989- Smoky wins his second Gold Guitar for Best Group or Duo
with Trevor Knight for "High Country".
1995- Inaugural Patron of the Australian Country Music
1999- Awarded the Order Of Australia Medal (O.A.M.)
in recognition to service to country music.
2001- Made patron of the Stockman's Hall of Fame and was the
first of the Galleries set up for the pioneers.
2001- Won the Rotary International Award with the song "Follow
Your Dream". Recorded in English for Rotary by a choir of 18
exchange students who also recorded it in their native language
for use in their home country. The song was recorded with the
2004-2005- Signed with Sony Label to record poems written by
2005- Inducted into the Australian Record Industry Hall of Fame.
Released his last album, which made him the oldest recording
2008. Smoky passed away on 13th February.
A wax sculpture
of Smoky and Flash are in the Big Golden Guitar Wax Museum.
Smoky has a "Star" in the Gallery of Stars in the forecourt of
the Tamworth Regional Entertainment and Conference Centre.