Country music favourite remembered fondly by mate
WHEN Woolgoolga's Trevor Day died late last month he took a little bit of Australian country music history with him.
Friend and long-time country music broadcaster Garry Coxhead said Trevor, who died on July 31 just three months short of his 88th birthday, was still writing songs, still singing and doing occasional shows.
"Despite having to slow down, he was still the consummate showman and was in his seventh decade as an entertainer," Garry said.
"In 1978, Trevor was inducted into the Hands of Fame at Tamworth and was succinctly described as an astute student of the nature of mankind, one of Australia's top songwriters, singer/storytellers and entertainers."
"He had a unique ability to capture the simple joys and sorrows of human existence.
"Over the years his down-to-earth, easy-going way won him a legion of fans."
The former 2SERFM Sydney and 2TM Tamworth Hoedown host said Trevor was born in 1931 - a tough time for rural families during the depression and leading into WWII.
"Trevor grew up on NSW north coast properties, already gaining his PhD through the University of Life, cutting timber in the bush, driving log jinkers and low loaders, all before he was 18," Garry said.
"From five years of age, he developed his lifelong love of country music through the music of Jimmie Rodgers, Tex Morton, Buddy Williams, Wilf Carter and Hank Snow.
"Trevor once said: 'It was the lyrics that got me, and I remember when I first heard Tex sing You'll Only Have One Mother - it shaped my outlook on life'."
In 1953, Trevor was wrongly diagnosed with TB and told he had three months to live, only finding out a few weeks later that it was in fact, pneumonia.
"Trevor told me it made him think how precious life was and from that day on, every day has been a treasure, it spurred him to explore more of the things he wanted to achieve," according to Garry.
It was an event that spurred him on to catch a train to Sydney and become involved in the vibrant Sydney country music scene, singing around the circuit and on the showboat Kalang, performing on 2SM's On the Trail program and touring, firstly with Rex Dallas, then Reg Lindsay and Judy Stone, Ashton's Circus and Chad Morgan.
Trevor believed that "to be a little part of the industry was a little bit of heaven".
He recorded his first songs on an acetate disk in 1954 and following huge public feedback to this disk, managed to convince EMI's A&R Manager, Ron Wills, to sign him to a contract. In 1959 he released the single The Boy Soldier and travelled with Rick & Thel. However, at the height of his popularity he put music on the backburner and over the next few years he ran his own transport company, was vice president of Seven Hills chamber of commerce, a director on several companies, built boats and houses, had a service station and raced motorbikes.
"Vale Trevor Day, a quintessential Australian, who has left a tremendous legacy of songs and stories for future generations that capture the very essence of Australian culture over the period of his long and productive life," Garry said of his friend.
Great examples of Trevor's work can be found on YouTube and his final album Me and the Gibson is available on Rodeo records.