On 13 June 1927, Slim Dusty, AO MBE – Australian music’s “King of Country” and Aussie cultural icon – was born in Nulla Nulla Creek near Kempsey, New South Wales.
Born David Gordon Kirkpatrick and son of a cattle farmer, “Gordon” (as he was initially known) began performing country music and adopted his stage name “Slim Dusty” at age 11. He wrote his first song, “The Way the Cowboy Dies” at age 10 and released his first record, “When the Rain Tumbles Down in July” in his late teens (1946).
In 1951, Slim married fellow country singer and his lifelong love, Joy McKean, his music partner and manager for over 50 years too (until his death, due to cancer, in 2003). Apart from raising two talented children (Anne and David Kirkpatrick), Slim and Joy toured Australia over the following decades, producing and performing the music inspired by their experiences of country people and their lives, encapsulating so quintessentially the spirit and essence.
Slim’s biggest hits (and possibly his best known) are, “A Pub with No Beer” and “[I’d love to have a beer with] Duncan” – both of which topped the Australian charts (in 1958 and 1980 respectively).
Slim remains the iconic image of Australian country music, producing 106 albums and selling more than five million records over six decades. He received an unequalled 37 Golden Guitars and was inducted into the Australian Record Industry Association (ARIA) Hall of Fame. Slim was also the final act at the Closing Ceremony of the Sydney 2000 Olympics performing “Waltzing Matilda” and featured on two stamps in Australia Post’s 2001 Australian Legends stamp series.
Celebrate this Aussie country and cultural icon by:
• having a beer at “your local” in salute to Slim
• listening to some of his classic songs/albums and the soulful pictures they paint, such as this Medley
• reflecting on Aussie country life, authenticity and values from the late 1920s to the early noughties (the span of Slim’s illustrious life)
• celebrating Australian music more generally by listening to the Australian Conservatives “#AC100” playlist on Spotify including Slim Dusty’s famous song “A Pub with No Beer”
• looking up some of Slim’s other Aussie country inspirations (eg Buddy Williams, Henry Lawson and Banjo Paterson), and/or
• sharing this Action Plan post on social media with family, friends and those still proud of our country, rich history, culture and heritage.
The Pub with No Beer: