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• 1952: At 18 became the youngest ever professional Stage Hypnotist.

• Formed a country band in Victoria and won a national radio contest with
his own composition. Martin went on to host his own weekly radio show.
• 1953: Martin found himself broke, down and out with another child on the way. He worked at menial tasks to make ends meet- working by day and performing by night. He left the eastern states and returned to Western Australia working underground in the gold mines. He was almost killed in an underground accident and decides to leave the mines behind.

• He meets Fred the owner of a small travelling show, who had the audacity to call it a "Rodeo and Circus". The only entertainer was a hypnotist named Lee Saxon, who together with Martin (now named Rocky Martin the Singing Cowboy by Fred) doubled as a tent hand and rouseabout. They remained friends for many years until Lee passed on.
• 1954: Martin embarks on a trip across the desert with a broken-down one-camel circus. With rations to last only a few days, the trip took several weeks after surviving car break-downs and near starvation and having to eat the performing goat. Martin hopes to one day make a movie of this comedy of errors.
• Eventually after travelling thousands of miles and performing in almost every small town on the Eyre Peninsula of South Australia, Rocky decides to settle awhile in Port Lincoln on the Ocean. Together with his wife Colleen, and baby Caylene, they worked at every possible employment to make a living. Taxi driving, bar tender, bottle shop, butcher, car salesman, cook, to name a few of the jobs. Within a year the small trailer home was turned into the "BRIGHT SPOT", a successful hamburger bar. The yearn of show biz raised its ugly head again after Rocky saw a travelling hypnotist show. He was back on the road again. Barely able to survive. Sleeping in their car, eating where they could, life became a series of disappointments as they face the daily struggles. Fate made a turn when Stan Gill who owned a very popular small travelling circus invited Rocky to perform in his tent as an audition.
• Rocky joined Stan Gill's wild west rodeo circus and became an overnight success. Crowds flocked to see "The Singing Cowboy Hypnotist". Every day was an adventure. Behind the fun exterior of the rodeo circus there were fights and Martin was threatened when he wanted to leave.

• Martin meets an Indian fakir who claimed to have materialised- Martin's first encounter from beyond the known.

• Performed in most towns, large and small, throughout Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia, with his own "one-man hypnotist show".

• He has his first experiences with painless surgery under hypnosis when he hypnotises an accident victim and a dental patient.


• 1956:
Martin was conscripted into the National Service. He hypnotised his Sergeant Major, a willing subject who wanted to stop smoking. After only five weeks in the army photos appeared in the newspapers of the Sergeant Major peeling potatoes, rock'n'rolling and polishing Martin's boots. Martin was discharged and became the only soldier on PLWP (permanent leave without pay!) At his discharge party the commanding officer proposed a toast and described Martin as the most amazing man he had ever seen, But The Most Appalling Soldier. A movie script has been written based on these comical events.

• Practised unorthodox hypnotherapy and successfully helped people with unorthodox problems. Martin helped groups of people to stop smoking.

• Operated three hypnosis centres for the first time which were eventually closed down by medicos who claimed that Martin was an unqualified practitioner. They didn't care that Martin was getting results where others had failed. He was forced to discontinue hypnotherapy and went back to performing as a stage hypnotist- combining his singing and writing talents.


• Around this time Martin heard the soundtrack to the movie Blackboard Jungle- "Rock Around the Clock". He loved the beat and organised the first rock band in Australia. He wrote several country-rock style songs and they made their debut at the Southwalk Hall, South Bunbury, Western Australia. Religious fanatics believed it was "the devil's music".
Other towns had the same reaction. Martin and his wife and family moved on to New South Wales country towns where over the next few years he became a legend. In the beginning he performed in small town halls and due to being unable to afford accommodation, they were forced to sleep in the car or in the back of halls. Soon word of mouth spread Martin's reputation as an excellent performer and larger venues were filled to capacity. Records were broken in larger towns for the length of runs from 15 to 20 and sometimes 30 nights in Dubbo, Orange and Bathurst to name a few. The entourage took up half the main street of many of the towns- the vehicles, trailers and equipment arriving like a circus. Then it all changed again.

1958: Signed a lucrative contract to go to the USA and write songs for Elvis Presley however, the contract was never honoured. The publicity in Australia was huge. Click here for the story- The Songwriter.

• Martin performed on the famous Nashville country and western show "The Grand Ole Opry" on tour in australia. He was fired after taking several encores. The star, an icon of country music couldn't follow him and walked offstage as the crowd yelled for Rock Martin (Martin's stage name at the time).

• 1959: Martin divorced his first wife, Colleen. They had been through many hard times. A pillar of strength, she had been with Martin since they were thirteen years old. They travelled with two young children most of the time and eventually it became too much for Colleen. A few years later she passed away from lung cancer. Martin believes this tragedy was the catalyst for him to follow his quest to "stop the world from smoking". Colleen had assisted Martin with his famous ESP demonstrations.

• 1960: The same year that Martin had two hit records is one that he would rather forget. They were cover versions of popular American songs- "Dear John Letter" and "Oliver Cool". He had recorded them as a joke. Martin had left Australia when the recordings were released. He was on his pursuit of work overseas and was on his way through the South Pacific Islands to the USA. He intended to locate Oscar Davis who had not honoured his contract. Martin had not heard from him or received the promised visas and airline tickets. He felt that recording companies were now treating him as a joke. He wanted answers and revenge. The going was tough as he sold trucks, luxury cars, homes, trailers and equipment. Tex Morton, an Australian icon and Martin were partners. "Tex was a fantastic showman," says Martin, "But his business acumen was just the opposite." They parted good friends.


• Learned to speak enough French to perform in the Polynesian Islands. Martin breaks all attendance records in New Caledonia, Tahiti and other South Pacific Islands.


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