Peter Hayes


Peter passed away 1st December Kempsey Hospital
He was a great bloke & will be sadly missed.

Peter was cremated privately in Port Macquarie Wednesday morning, a memorial service was held at 4.30 in the Millbank hall near where Peter lived

Information courtesy of Peter Lackey

Family and Friends

Peter arrived in Australia from Sri Lanka on his fourth birthday with his mother and brother.  They lived in Bacchus Marsh for some years before moving to Melbourne.    During his recuperation after a bout of illness, he took up the guitar and taught his brother, Michael.   In the early Sixties they formed the Hayes Brothers and released two bluegrass albums.   At 18 he went on the road with the Rick and Thel Show and in 1966 celebrated the birth of his son, Patrick.

His career spanned more than three decades and years of studio work and tours with both National and International artists.  

In 1978 both Peter and Mike were inducted  into the "Hands of Fame" for their contribution to Australian Country Music.

In 1977 Peter met Maree and in 1982 they moved from Victoria to Milbank and married in 1985.

Peter played in numerous bands and with many musicians throughout the Macleay Valley, touring nationally.    Peter was greatly respected as a most proficient musician mastering many, many instruments his latest acquisition being a Bouzouki.  

In his life away from music, Peter delighted in his Sri Lankan/Irish heritage and in later years established a strong relationship with his family whom he met when he returned to Sri Lanka in 1995. 

Apart from being a musician, Peter was a competent  mechanic, builder, gardener, environmentalist and composer. 

He was compassionate, passionate, gentle, wise , gracious and graceful and had a great love of animals.    His great capacity for love was returned many fold and he was a wonderful husband, father, grandfather, brother, brother-in-law, uncle, mentor and friend.

He will never be forgotten and in his own words
 "Life Goes On"
Anna Rose Remembers Peter Hayes


PETER HAYES, one of the fabulously talented Hayes Bros, died Monday 1st December in Kempsey Hospital, aged 58.
Pete had been battling cancer for a long time, although you would never have known it to talk to the man or to watch him play his beautiful banjo, mandolin, guitar - or practically anything with strings. And that road-weary voice of his - to die for.
Pete and his brother Mike began their professional music careers in 1959. In the early '60s, their Bluegrass Ramblers became known as the first performing bluegrass band in Australia.
Peter toured with Rick and Thel, and because of his mastery of stringed instruments, was much in demand as a session player when not on the road.
He played in many bands over the years, including The Hayes Bros Band, The Promised Band and Homestead, with my late partner, Jazzer Smith, during the '70s.
Mike ("the Prickle Farmer") and Pete were inducted into the Hands of Fame in Tamworth in 1978.
He was a welcome stranger five years ago, returning to the Tamworth Country Festival to play with fellow Victorian Harold Frith as part of Andy Baylor's Cajun Combo.
The following year, Harold and Pete came back as Nite Trane with wonderful Melbourne singer-songwriter Bernie O'Brien and the equally talented Laurie Allen (now also gone), with the band going on to win a TIARA for Best Group.
Pete was a regular contributor at the Bluegrass Breakfasts held in Legends Bar of Wests.
You might also have spotted him playing with Chris Cook, Karen Williams and Wayne Bromwich in Hillbilly Lovechild, a simply superb acoustic outfit from the North Coast.
His last recording was a solo effort, titled prophetically it seems, Life Goes On.
It will always remain one of my most treasured discs.

Peter Hayes started  playing music in 1959 and along with his brother Mike (who died earlier this year), learnt to play chords to Australian Hillbilly songs.  

In the early 60's the brothers formed "The Bluegrass Ramblers" and shared influences with people such as Russ  and Alan Hawking ( They received a golden guitar while he was with them).

The Hayes Brothers released  2 albums in the 60's and became notable as the first Bluegrass band to perform in Australia. 

  At 18, Peter went on the road with the Rick and Thel Show.   He played alongside  most of the greats in the business, earning, over the years a deep respect, from his fellow musicians and artists.    His career spanned more than 3 decades and comprises years of studio work and tours with both National and International artists.

In 1982, Peter moved to the Mid- North Coast of New South Wales.    He continued to play in local bands, tour with other artists and do studio work throughout Australia.

Whilst with Cedar Creek playing fiddle &  guitar he sang a great version of Fly Like A Bird & some Hank Williams numbers and also Bubbly Mary with his brother Mike .

Peter was a multi-instrumentalist and well known for his vocal and harmony work.    He was a highly respected musician throughout the industry.      

Print out and have the memories

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