Tex Morton (born Robert William Lane in Nelson, New Zealand, also credited as Robert Tex Morton 30 August 1916; died 23 July 1983) was a pioneer of New Zealand and Australian country and western music, vaudevillian, actor and circus performer.
Morton, in his career, capitalized on American cowboy and “Wild West” images, and was sometimes billed as “The Singing Cowboy Sensation,” performing for rodeos, and singing in a yodeling style that drew heavily on those of American singers such as Jimmie Rodgers. His yodelling was influenced by Rodgers, Goebel Reeves and the British Alpine yodeller, Harry Torrani. Although Morton chose to sing in an American (rather than Australian) accent and sang many songs with American subject matter, several of his recorded songs (such as “The Ned Kelly Song,” “Beautiful Queensland,” and “Murrumbidgee Jack”) feature Australian themes. (“Beautiful Queensland” was a simple re-write of W. Lee O’Daniel’s “Beautiful Texas”, however.)
He lived his later years in Manly, and was a dedicated and well-known amateur radio (ham radio) user with contacts all over the world – including the US Navy. His broadcast handle was VK2AHZ.
Morton died in Sydney’s Royal North Shore Hospital on 23 July 1983, after a short battle with lung cancer. His long-time partner, Kath, was by his side.