MR DON ALLEN - ( THE DON )
Don was born and raised on a dairy farm in New Zealand, but has proudly called Australia home for the last 35 years. He always had a keen interest in country music even as far back as age 10, sparked by one of his school teachers who would play guitar and sing country music to his pupils.
During his teenage years his family lived in Tauranga NZ and Don belonged to the Tauranga Country Music Club. At age 21 Don became the president of the club, hosting 2 of the Star Awards Shows which was a big awards show (back in those days in New Zealand).
At age 25 Don moved with his wife and two children to Sacramento USA. Whilst there Don won a major Sacramento Talent show and at that show was approached by Mr Joey Mitchell of KRAK Radio and a TV producer and was offered a spot on a USA nationwide TV show called Ron Schmeck’s Easy Living Country.
Due to problems with visas Don decided it was time to move home, but instead of going directly back to NZ made a stopover in Melbourne Australia. That stop over has now lasted 35 years!
In 1983/84 Don entered himself into the Queensland Country Music awards where he won the award for Best Male Vocal. After winning this award Don decided to move to Queensland. Once in Queensland he formed a group – Don Allen and the Federation. One of their best gigs was performing for the week in the main event space at the Expo 88 held in Brisbane Australia.
In 1990 recorded his first solo studio album – Let It Be Me. Then tragedy struck, over the years Don’s hearing was deteriorating, but one morning out of the blue Don woke with one ear almost totally deaf. He had lost all the high frequency sounds in that ear and could only just hear the low frequencies. He prayed that it would just be a temporary issue, but it was not. Being too proud for his own good, the man didn’t want anyone to know (and didn’t want to wear a huge old hearing aid), so stubbornly refused to seek help.
The years passed by and Don was no longer gigging or recording, he just couldn’t do it anymore – he couldn’t hear!
15 years later, he decided he better go and get some help for his problem! Technology had made incredible advances and the hearing aids now so small inside the ear that you cant see them. The man finally got a hearing aid.
In his own words “my whole world came to life again – I could even hear the birds chirping”. And so his love affair with making country music was reignited and the albums started to flow.
In 2008 Don was back in the studio and recorded his 2nd album – For the Life Of Me, which featured a swag of his own original music and one cover hit from Prince Tui Teka – For The Life Of Me.
In 2012 he joined the crew at Cross Cut Records (Australia) and recorded another album – One For the Road.
Whilst Don was at the January 2013 Tamworth Country Music Festival with the Cross Cut Team, Don met Mr Jimmy Parker who was signed with the Nashville record label CMG at the time. The two men swapped albums and from there, Don was approached by CMG Nashville to come and record with them under their label.
He jumped at the opportunity – it was a lifelong dream of his to just go to Nashville, but the sweetener was that he was to recorded a whole album there. He worked alongside some very talented musicians with this album and enjoyed every minute of making the album.
During his time with CMG records, he made some good contacts and was introduced to another excellent Nashville producer – Mr Kenny Lee of KLP Records.
Kenny loved Dons voice and wanted to work with him to recreate some of his previously recorded originals. In June 2015, Don made his 2nd trip to Nashville and recorded a brand new Nashville album with KLP Records.
The new album is called 90 Proof. It features 7 of Don’s originals and 3 covers and 3 other original tracks and Don hails this album as his best one yet!