SLIM
SLIM DUSTYBIO

Slim is the most prolific and biggest selling recording artist in Australia with more than 5 million of his recordings sold on the domestic market.

One of the most-awarded Australians ever, Slim has been with the one record company for more than half a century and in 2000 will release his official 100th album. Click here for Slim's Top 100

The Slim Dusty Story starts back in the 1940s on a remote dairy farm in the hills behind Kempsey, NSW, when a 10-year-old boy dreamed of being a country music singer. His name was David Gordon Kirkpatrick... he called himself "Slim Dusty" and began to live that dream.

But even the most optimistic farm boy would never have imagined the life that was to unfold... a life that would establish Slim as the voice of the nation, the chronicler of Australian history in song.

As the world enters a new millennium, Slim is as strong as ever, still building, and living, the dream.

Slim has managed to hold on to those early visions of writing and singing about the bush because during his lengthy career, he has kept in touch with his audience. And he has done this in a very real and meaningful way, so much so that his fans would feel that Slim is one of their mates and his songs "just a good yarn you might hear from a mate at the pub, around a camp fire in the bush or at a back yard barbie".

He describes his music as "songs about real Australians. I have to be fair dinkum with my audience. I can't see any other way of doing it," he says. "You have to believe in what you are singing about."

To quote a London Country Music People magazine review: "Three things are certain in this life. Death, Taxes... and Slim Dusty. This man has been making music and epitomising the spirit of Australia for 50 years. Although he had a massive worldwide hit with A Pub With No Beer in the late '50s, few outside his home country are aware of the continuing popularity and reverence in which Dusty is held Down Under, not only by the public but by his fellow musicians and artists, including those who hang their hat under the New Country sign."

Slim Dusty was the first Australian to receive a Gold Record (still the only 78 rpm gold record in existence in this country), the first Australian to have an international record hit, and the first singer in the world to have his voice beamed to earth from space (in 1983, astronauts Bob Crippen and John Young played Slim singing Waltzing Matilda from the space shuttle "Columbia" as it passed over Australia).

His amazing career spans six decades, has him holding 32 Golden Guitars (an achievement as yet, and unlikely to be, unequalled), more Gold and Platinum Record Awards than any other Australian artist, ARIA Awards (Australian Recording Industry Awards) including induction into the ARIA Hall of Fame, video sales Platinum and Gold Awards, an MBE and Order of Australia for his services to entertainment, and he was one of the earliest inducted to the Country Music Roll of Renown.

Just last year (1999) Slim was named Father of the Year and Senior Australian of the Year... two more accolades added to numerous other awards and honours.

He is rightly known as the "Historian of the Bush" but his songs and his stage performances reflect the changing face of Australia in the country as well as in the city, and his touring show is as popular now as it has ever been.

1927 Born Kempsey, 13th June. Named David Gordon Kirkpatrick. Brought up nearby at a Nulla Nulla Creek dairy farm.
1937 Aged 10, writes first song, The Way The Cowboy Dies.
1938 Calls himself Slim Dusty.
1942 Gate-crashes Radio 2KM Kempsey. Makes his first recording at own expense... Song For The Aussies and My Final Song.
1945 Still living at Nulla Nulla Creek, writes his first country music classic When The Rain Tumbles Down In July.
1946 Signs first recording contract with the Columbia Graphophone Co. for the Regal Zonophone label. Records six titles including When The Rain Tumbles Down In July.
1948 Part-time show business career. Intermittent radio, hall show and tent show appearances.
1951 Marries country singer-songwriter Joy McKean.
1952 Daughter Anne Kirkpatrick born.
1954 Commences full-time show business career. Launches first travelling Slim Dusty Show.
1956 Establishes partnership with showman Frankie Foster, which established the Slim Dusty Show as a large tent show on the showground circuit.
1957 Records A Pub With No Beer -- at that time the biggest selling record ever by an Australian.
1958 Son David Kirkpatrick born. Received Australia's first Gold record, for A Pub With No Beer.
1960 Releases first LP album Slim Dusty Sings.
1963 Ends showground partnership with Frankie Foster.
1964 Establishes annual round Australia Slim Dusty tour - a 30,000 mile, 10 month journey.
1969 First tour outside Australia, in New Zealand, with New Zealand's Hamilton County Bluegrass Band. Also tours Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands.
1970 Awarded an MBE for services to music.
1973 Tamworth's first Australasian Country Music Awards. Awarded Best LP for Me And My Guitar, Best EP or single for Lights On The Hill. Joy wins Song of the Year, also for Lights On The Hill.
1978 First Sydney Opera House performance (live recording of The Entertainer).
1979 Daughter Anne wins Best Female Vocalist at Tamworth; Joy wins Song of the Year for Beat Of The Government Stroke with Tom Oliver. Slim elevated to the Roll of Renown.
1979 Publishes best selling autobiography Walk a Country Mile. Identically titled album has achieved Platinum status in sales.
1980 Records super hit Duncan, achieving Gold status.
1981 Releases 50th album, The Golden Anniversary Album, reaching multi Platinum status in Australia.
1984 Release of feature film, The Slim Dusty Movie. A video also released.
1985 Trucks on the Track album achieves double award at Tamworth, Album of the Year and Top Selling Album.
1986 In November, celebrates 40 years commercial recording with the one company, EMI Australia. Honoured at a 350 guest dinner attended by music industry figures and artists. EMI announces that Slim's latest album, Beer Drinking Songs Of Australia, had gone Gold in the first three weeks of release.
1987 At Tamworth (Country Music Awards), truck album Neon City wins Album of the Year.
1988 In Australia's Bicentennial Year, travels right round Australia at the head of the biggest country music show to tour the nation. Mt Bukaroo wins Heritage Award.
1989 Heritage Award for We've Done Us Proud. Album G'day, G'day goes Gold. Records first duo album with daughter Anne.
1990 Appears in Papua New Guinea as Australia's representative at the Southern Highlands Province's Independence Celebrations. Takes show right around Australia.
1990 Releases double album Coming Home. Presented with special award acknowledging Slim as the "Artist of the Decade". Named an "Achiever of the Year" by the Australia Day Council.
1991 Two Singers, One Song duo album awarded Top Selling at Tamworth; Coming Home takes out Album of the Year. November 19 marks the 45th anniversary of Slim's first commercial recording When The Rain Tumbles Down In July (1946).
1992 Involved in the formation of the Country Music Association of Australia holding the position of Chairman since its inception. Recorded top selling video Live Into The Nineties.
1993 Celebrates 50th anniversary of continuous recording in Australia. As guest of Aboriginal band, Yothu Yindi, Slim and his band tour the Northern Territory and Bathurst Island.
1994 Marks 40 years since Slim Dusty and Joy McKean established their touring Slim Dusty Show. Wins Golden Guitar with Lee Kernaghan for Vocal Group or Duo of the Year with Leave Him In The Longyard. Tours New Zealand extensively for the first time in many years. Presented with a double Platinum award for sales in excess of 20,000 video cassettes for Slim Dusty - Live Into The Nineties and a Platinum award for sales in excess of 10,000 video cassettes for Slim Dusty - Across Australia.
1995 On January 20, the Slim Dusty Exhibition opens at the Australian Country Music Foundation museum in Tamworth. A professionally designed display of memorabilia collected by Slim and Joy, a vivid history of country music performing and recording in Australia over a long span of time. (Exhibition continues as the centrepiece of the ACMF's Australian Country Music Hall of Fame.)
1996 Completes his 91st album and an accompanying long-form Video recording, both aptly titled 91 Over 50, commemorating Slim's 50th Year with EMI Australia. Re-records his 1980 #1 Australian hit Duncan with Rolf Harris, the first time the two have recorded together.

1997 Awarded Golden Guitars for Bush Ballad of the Year and Heritage Song of the Year. Released album A Time to Remember of war-time favourites, launched at the historic Rocks on Sydney's waterfront. Part royalties from this album went to Legacy. In May, crossed the Nullarbor Plain in two Kenworth roadtrains from Thompson's Transport collecting material for his next truck album. Opened the Kempsey exhibition "Made on the Macleay" (his home district). July saw the release of Slim's second autobiography Another Day, Another Town, and the recording of Makin' A Mile the truck album released in October this year. Appeared on the Grand Ol' Opry in Nashville (15th August) by special invitation from the Country Music Association of America to mark his 50 years of commercial recording for the one company. On his return to Australia, received the Special Achievement Award from the Australasian Record Industry Association at the ARIA Awards.

1998 Awarded another Golden Guitar, for Bush Ballad of the Year (Lady is a Truckie). At the Tamworth CM Festival, made over 50 appearances and interviews in 10 days, and unveiled the Stan Coster plaque at Manilla. In February, voted a National Living Treasure by the public, a very special honour. At the APRA (Australasian Performing Right Association) Awards in May, awarded the Ted Albert Award for Lifetime Achievement. The Not So Dusty tribute album released in June... recordings of Slim's songs by his peers in the music industry (including a number of rock and folk artists and bands). Besides touring during the year, Slim visited his home town of Kempsey where the Country Music Heritage Festival committee awarded him the Living Legend Award and he recorded much video footage around his old home in Nulla Nulla Creek. In September, Slim, Joy and the Travelling Country Band travelled to the Solomon Islands to participate in the opening celebrations of the Gold Ridge gold mine outside Honiara. The closing open air concert was attended by as many as 30,000 islanders. Altogether, a varied and satisfying year for Slim.

1999 For only the second time in the history of the Australasian Country Music Awards, Slim missed being in Tamworth due to sudden and urgent cardiac surgery early in January. He made a very good recovery and was filming in March for the BBC from Wales, working on two albums and sitting for portrait painter Judy Cassab. Big surprise to discover that he was working on his 99th album, which was finally called '99 and released late this year. Named "Father of the Year" by the NSW Council, and in September, named the inaugural "Senior Australian of the Year" by the Commonwealth Government.

2000 At the Tamworth Country Music Festival in January, Slim was awarded the Australian Bush Laureate Awards Golden Gumleaf Heritage Award for his contribution to upholding the heritage of bush balladry and poetry over the years and saw the launch of personalised postage stamps with his image on a special issue. In his new 'Columbia Lane Studios', Slim has now completed his 100th album, a landmark for the Australian recording industry. Titled Looking Forward, Looking Back, the album was released just four weeks after a giant tribute concert to Slim (Hats Off To Slim) in Tamworth, Country Music Capital, on the Saturday of the June long weekend organised and staged by the CMAA. Two weeks after that, "the country music industry" paid tribute to Slim at a special function in Sydney's Theatre Royal organised by EMI, following which Channel 9 rolled in the production crew for a special one hour Slim Dusty -- This Is Your Life, the second time Slim has starred in the show... the first one was in 1974. Looking Forward, Looking Back was certified Gold within three weeks of release and Slim was on the road again from August in an extensive tour to promote the album. In September, Looking Forward, Looking Back surpassed the 100,000 sales mark and on Sunday, October 1, Slim was the final act at the Closing Ceremony of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. Preceded by a star-studded programme of entertainers, Slim walked on to stage just prior to the official announcement of the closure leading a jam-packed audience of 100,000 plus spectators in a rousing rendition of Waltzing Matilda! A fitting end to the Games, a fitting tribute to Australia, a fitting statement for Australian country music!

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