Saturday, November 9, 2013

THE Aussie Legend ...The Slim Dusty tale


Slim Dusty, I can easily say that his one of my favourite song writers and performers ...yeah his "Country" BUT a outstanding tune smith is a outstanding tune smith

He’s known universally as Australia's King of Country, and it’s a title to which Slim Dusty can still lay an unchallenged claim, close to a decade after he passed away and took up his place at the head of the table in Country Music Heaven.

Slim has been the face of Australian country music for its entire history – close to 70 years, since its early roots in hillbilly and folk music. In that time, he evolved with the industry – setting the agenda and changing with the times.

Born David Gordon Kirkpatrick in 1927, at Nulla Nulla Creek near Kempsey, changed his name in 1938 at the age of 11 and never looked back. 

In 1951 he married fellow country singer Joy McKean, and the pair set off on a lifetime of travelling Australia, performing the music that emerged from their much-loved homeland, and that conveyed its passion and spirit so well. Along the way, they brought daughter Anne Kirkpatrick and son David Kirkpatrick into the world

Slim and Joy wrote several of Slim's most popular songs, including: "Walk A Country Mile", "Indian Pacific", "Kelly's Offsider", "The Angel Of Goulburn Hill" and "The Biggest Disappointment".  Although himself an accomplished writer of songs, Dusty had a number of other songwriters, including Mack Cormack, Gordon Parsons, Stan Coster, and Kelly Dixon, who were typically short on formal education but big on personal experience of the Australian bush. Drawing on his travels and such writers over a span of decades, Dusty chronicled the story of a rapidly changing postwar Australian nation. 

Nevertheless, the arrival of rock and roll music saw major metropolitan music radio stations abandon support for country artists, and despite record sales in the multimillions, after the 1950s, Dusty was rarely heard on-air outside regional centres in Australia.

 He was known to record songs in the legacy of Australian poets Henry Lawson and Banjo Paterson that represented the Australian Bush Lifestyle, and also for his many trucking songs. Dusty was the first Australian to have a No. 1 Hit song with Gordon Parsons ("A Pub with No Beer").

 He received an un-equalled 37 Golden Guitar and two ARIA awards and was inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame and the Country Music Roll of Renown. 

At the time of his death at the age of 76, Dusty had been working on his 106th album for EMI Records. In 2007, his domestic record sales in Australia surpassed seven million.

Dusty's 1957 hit "A Pub with No Beer" was the biggest-selling record by an Australian to that time, the first Australian single to go gold, and the first and only 78 rpm record to be awarded a gold disc. 

Over the course of his career, he collected more gold and platinum albums than any other Australian artist. (The "Pub with No Beer" is a real place, in Taylors Arm, not far from Kempsey where Slim was born). In 1959 and 1960, Dutch and German cover versions of the song became number one hits (even evergreens) in Belgium, Austria and Germany, brought by the Flemish country singer-guitarist and amusement park founder Bobbejaan Schoepen....I was there in 87 and can confirm that Bobby did do a version thereof

Dusty recorded and released his one hundredth album, Looking Forward, Looking Back, in 2000. All 100 albums had been recorded with the same record label, EMI, making Dusty the very first music artist in the world to record 100 albums with the same label. 

He was then given the honour of singing Waltzing Matilda in the Closing Ceremony of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, with the whole stadium (officially 114,714 in attendance, the largest in Olympic history) singing along with him.

Dusty died at his home in St Ives, New South Wales, on 19 September 2003 at the age of 76 after a protracted battle with cancer....

Thousands gathered (me included) at St Andrew's Cathedral, Sydney, on 26 September 2003 at a state funeral attended by the Prime Minister of Australia John Howard, and the federal opposition leader Simon Crean. Anglican Dean of Sydney Phillip Jensen's tribute included leading the congregation of family, statesmen, fans, and musicians in the singing of "A Pub With No Beer". 

The funeral featured tributes from Slim's children as well as words from other national music stars (Peter Garrett and John Williamson) and music from Graeme Connors, Kasey Chambers, and Troy Cassar-Daley. Thousands of fans travelled from around Australia to stand outside the cathedral.

At the time of his death, Dusty had been working on his 106th album for EMI. The album Columbia Lane – the Last Sessions debuted at number five in the Australian album charts and number one on the country charts on 8 March 2004. It went gold after being on sale for less than two weeks.

Columbia Lane is a tribute to the laneway juxtaposed to Parramatta Road in Strathfield (near the railway bridge link), where the EMI studios once stood (now Kennards Hire), and it is where he traversed to begin his music career.....

In 2004, Tamworth hosted the "Concert for Slim" as a memorial tribute featuring more than 30 Australian musical artists including Paul Kelly, Keith Urban, Lee Kernaghan and Kasey Chambers

In 2005, a statue of the "Cunumulla Fella" was unveiled in Cunnamulla, Queensland, in tribute to Dusty and Stan Coster and to the iconic song of that name performed by Dusty with lyrics by Coster.

The song recalls Coster's days working as a sheep-shearing "ringer" around Cunnamulla in the 1950s. Dusty recorded the song and it became an enduring country music hit, later covered by Lee Kernaghan. The statue was unveiled by country music personalities Anne Kirkpatrick (Dusty's daughter), Jayne Kelly, and Tracy and Russell Coster.....EMI Records' Australian sales of Slim Dusty records surpassed 7 million in 2007.

Honours and milestones

The first Australian to receive a Gold Record.

The first Australian to have an international record hit (A Pub with No Beer).
made a Member of the Order of the British Empire and an Officer of the Order of Australia for services to entertainment.

The first artist broadcast from space when astronauts played his rendition of Waltzing Matilda from Space Shuttle Columbia as it passed over Australia on its maiden flight in 1981.

The winner of an unequalled 36 Golden Guitar awards from 72 nominations at the Tamworth Country Music Festival.

One of the earliest members of Australia's country music Roll of Renown.
The achiever of more Gold Record and Platinum Record Awards than any other Australian artist.

Inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame and the ARIA Special Achievement Award.
The Royal Australian Mint issued a coin celebrating his life.

Chronological list of all of Slims albums
(and WHAT a list)

Slim Dusty Sings
Songs For Rolling Stones
Along The Road Of Song
Aussie Sing Song
Songs In The Saddle
Another Aussie Sing Song
Songs Of Australia
People And Places
Australian Bush Ballads
The Nature Of The Man
An Evening With Slim And Joy
Essentially Australian
The Best Of Slim Dusty
Songs My Father Sang To Me
Songs From The Cattle Camps
Sing Along With Dad
Cattle Camp Crooner
Slim Dusty Encores
Sing A Happy Song
Songs From The Land I Love
Glory Bound Train
Live At Wagga Wagga
Me And My Guitar
Foolin' Around
The Best Of Slim Dusty/Country Living (WRC)
Live At Tamworth
Dusty Tracks
Tall Stories And Sad Songs
Slim Dusty - Australiana
Dinki Di Aussies
The Best Of Slim Dusty (Vol 2)
Lights On The Hill
Way Out There
Things I See Around Me
Give Me The Road
Slim Dusty - This Is Your Life
Songs From Down Under
Just Slim - With Old Friends
On The Move
Travellin' Country Man
To Whom It May Concern
Slim Dusty Sings His Favourite Songs (2 LP Set/WRC)
The Entertainer (Live At The Sydney Opera House)
Spirit Of Australia
Slim Dusty Rarities
Rodeo Riders
Walk A Country Mile
A Guitar And A Hat (3 LP Set WRC)
The Man Who Steadies The Lead
No 50 - Golden Anniversary Album
Slim Dusty Family Album
Where Country Is
Vintage Album (Vol 1)
Who's Riding Old Harlequin Now
Vintage Album (Vol 2)
On The Wallaby
I Haven't Changed A Bit
Trucks On The Track
Slim Dusty Movie (Soundtrack)
The Best Of Slim Dusty (6 LP Set/Reader's Digest)
I'll Take Mine Country Style
Singer From Down Under
To A Mate (Mack Cormack)
Australia Is His Name (3 LP Set)
Live Across Australia
Stories I Wanted To Tell
Vintage Album (Vol 3)
Slim Dusty's Beer Drinking Songs Of Australia
Neon City
Country Living
Cattlemen From The High Plains
The Heritage Album
Slim Dusty - Sings Stan Coster
G'day G'day
King Of Kalgoorlie
Morse Code and the Sauce (with Matthew Morse)
Slim Dusty - Henry Lawson And Banjo Paterson
Vintage Album (Vol 4)
Two Singers One Song7
Coming Home
Vintage Album (Vol 5)
A Land He Calls Our Own
Slim Dusty Sings Joy McKean
Travellin' Guitar
Live Into The '90s
That's The Song We're Singing
Ringer From The Top End
Anniversary Album No 2 (1943–1993)
Natural High
Country Way Of Life
Live At Townsville 1956 (Theatre Royal)
Country Classics (3 CD Set/Reader's Digest)
91 Over 50
A Time To Remember
Makin' A Mile
Talk About The Good Times
Land Of Lots Of Time - Songs Of Australia (2 CD Set)
Down The Dusty Road-Old Time Drover's Lament (2 CD Set)
The Very Best Of Slim Dusty
'99 (1999)
Looking Forward, Looking Back (2000)
West Of Winton
The Men From Nulla Nulla - Reunited And Revisited
Travellin' Still...Always Will (with Anne Kirkpatrick)
The Very Best of Slim Dusty - Bonus edition (2003) contains "Waltzing Matilda" and "Looking Forward, Looking Back"
Another Day, Another Town (2003)
Columbia Lane - the Last Sessions (2004)


  1. A really nice tribute to one of Australia's best.

    On Ya Recky !

    1. thanks Aus...your no slouch yourself at a tribute or the cudo is much appreciated