DIARY - 13 JANUARY 2004 - PETE HAYES RIP
HAYES RIP AT 57
BORN ENGLAND - MAY 4, 1946.
DIED KEMPSEY, NSW, NOVEMBER 30, 2003.
DEATHS IN KEMPSEY
Progressive country and bluegrass was dealt a double death dose when brothers
Mike and Pete Hayes died within 10 months of each other in 2003 in Kempsey.
were punctuated by a more high profile passing of another former Kempsey
identity and peer Slim Dusty on September 19 at 76.
Elder brother Mike, a journalist nationally known for his ABC radio-show
The Prickle Farm, died on February 10.
And Pete followed on November 30 after a spirited and protracted battle
The singing siblings and multi-instrumentalists were among the many unsung
heroes who shaped the Australian roots country scene.
MELBOURNE LAUNCH PAD
Brothers migrated to Melbourne in 1949 with their parents - they were
playing a variety of instruments and singing by the late 60s.
Peter chose fiddle, banjo, mandolin, and guitar.
The Hayes Brother and their Bluegrass Ramblers released the first Australian
bluegrass record - an EP - in 1963.
They followed with two albums, The Bluegrass Ramble and Hello
City Limits, for the W & G label.
On their debut the band was Mike Hayes on mandolin, Pete Hayes on banjo,
Roy Taylor on fiddle, Alan Pope on bass and George Taylor on guitar.
Guitarist Doug Wallace joined the band on its second album.
The brothers worked as session musicians and played and harmonised on
albums by artists diverse as The Hawking Brothers and Kevin Shegog.
They played on Shegog's 29 song Cane Toad records retrospective Ballad
Of A Hillbilly Singer featuring the liner notes of Nu Country archivist
After the Hayes Bros split in the early 70's Pete toured with Rick &
Thel Carey before joining The Hawking Brothers in 1977 after the death
of Russell Hawking.
Hayes played banjo, guitar, jews harp and sang harmony on Country Travelling
- he also did a solo version of the Goebel Reeves Hobo's Lullaby.
He also toured nationally with the late Laurie Allen in bands for deceased
U.S. country stars Red Sovine, Boxcar Willie and Don Gibson.
Hayes and Allen, who died on June 13, 2002, were also in Lionel Rose's
touring band when he worked the Ashton's Circus circuit.
also in pioneer progressive Melbourne country group The Promised Band
who recorded a single Got To Get Back To Tamworth.
The band morphed into Saltbush with Bernie O'Brien, Paul Pyle and Ross
Nicholson but not Pete and Mike who were inducted into Tamworth Hands
Of Fame in 1978.
Hayes also performed in Tamworth with Andy Baylor's Cajun Combo and Saltbush
co-founder Harold Frith's recent band Nite Trane with Allen.
He wrote Everything To Me for the Nite Trane disc on which he played
bass, banjo and fiddle and sang.
Pete also released a 12 track solo album Life Goes On, including
some of his originals.
He recently worked with his brother Mike in a bluegrass band called Bubbly
Mary and played Tamworth last year with Hillbilly Love Child.
In 1979 Mike
Hayes was in progressive Canberra country band Cactus Jack who played
the famed Tamworth Workmen's Club.
After Jimmy Carter was elected U.S. President the elder Hayes brother
wrote The Wrong Carter Family In The White House.
But it was Hayes yarn spinning on the famed ABC series The Prickle
Farm and writing for the Sydney Sun Herald and now defunct Australasian
Post won him wide acclaim.
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