Smoky Dawson AM MBE (19 March 1913 – 13 February 2008) born as Herbert “Herb” Henry Brown, was an Australian country music performer, radio star, entertainer, and icon. He was widely touted as Australia’s first singingcowboy complete with acoustic steel string guitar and yodel, in the style of American Gene Autry: Dawson had an extraordinarily long and prolific career, releasing his first single in 1941 and his last album in 2005, aged 92, making him at the time the world’s oldest recording artist (now surpassed by Dame Vera Lynn who released an album aged 97, in 2014). The Powerhouse Museum described him as “a singer, showman, songwriter, scriptwriter, knife and double-headed axe thrower and all round performer who has lived a long life entertaining audiences. Through his high-rating syndicated radio serials (at their height broadcast on 100 stations) television appearances, comic books and songs he created the persona of a happy-go-lucky singing cowboy”. In 1985, he published his autobiography, Smoky Dawson: A Life. He entertained fans and was a staple of the music industry, right up until his death in 2008, a month before his 95th birthday.

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