Tamworth Rage Page
Slim Dusty
1927 - 2003
19th September 2003
"Gone to have a drink with Johnny" (Cash)
Slim's Funeral
The funeral celebrating the life of one of Australia's greatest pioneers of country music was held at St Andrews Cathedral in Sydney Friday, 26th September 2003.  The Cathedral was filled to capacity with friends and relatives and several thousand mourners gathered outside following the service on a huge screen.  Slim's long time Travellin' Country Band of Mike Kerin, Rod Coe, Robbie Souter, Ian Simpson and Jeff Mercer played "When the rain tumbles down in July" as the mourners were seated.   The service was conducted By Chris Moroney the Cathedral's senior minister and Phillip Jensen, Dean of Sydney. A very moving eulogy by  Slim's son, David Kirkpatrick, followed by Slim's daughter, Anne Kirkpatrick, who also had a video clip of the song she wrote about Slim's life "Travelling still, always will". Peter Garret spoke glowingly of the contributions Slim has given to Australia.   A very emotional musical tribute was performed by Kasey Chambers and Troy Cassar-Daley, "Walk a country mile". John Williamson spoke of the legend that Slim has become and made a career out of singing Australian songs. Dick Smith, a long time friend, talked of  some good memories and what an inspiration Slim has been to the young and aspiring artists of today.  A prayer by Chris Witt from the Salvation Army was followed by Graeme Connors, without musical backing, singing "Amazing grace" and was joined, after the first verse, by the mourners in a very moving and heartfelt performance that had many lumps in the throat.  Bill Crewes from the "Exodus Foundation"  spoke of the sad loss of Slim and was followed by Dean Jensen leading the crowd in a verse of "The pub with No Beer".  Lee Kernaghan with James Gillard harmonising and Laurie Minson playing a harmonica sang "The old rugged cross".  This was very special and touched everyone   A video of Slim looking through his photo album and singing "looking forward, looking back" reinforced to everyone what a sad loss to Australia is the passing of Slim Dusty.  The coffin draped in the Aussie flag with Slim's Akubra hat and a spray of wild flowers on top was carried to the hearse by Slim's son David, son in law Greg, grandsons Daniel and James, Rod Coe and Mike Kerin to the tune " Until we meet again". As the funeral, led by four mounted police, moved off to the tune of "Waltzing Matilda the crowd outside of thousands all joined in until the cortege was out of sight. A truly good send off for a truly good man.  As Slim has said many times at the end of his concerts "Goodbye, God bless and many happy campfires".             .  . 
Slim Dusty Funeral
A STATE funeral will be held for Slim Dusty at 10.30am this Friday, September 26, 2003 at St Andrews Cathedral in Sydney.

Australia, and particularly the Australian music industry, is mourning the loss of its greatest name ­ Slim Dusty ­ the King of Australian Country Music.

Slim died at home in Sydney at 9.10am today in the company of his wife and soulmate Joy McKean and his two children, Anne and David, after a lengthy battle with cancer.

For all his life, Slimıs passion for Australia was reflected in the songs he sang about people and places all over the continent. With his wife, Joy McKean, Slim travelled millions of kilometres with his country music show, taking their music to every corner of the nation from major cities to remote Aboriginal communities.

Born David Gordon Kirkpatrick on June 13, 1927, at Kempsey, NSW, the superstar-to-be called himself ³Slim Dusty² for the first time at just 11 years of age in 1938. He wrote his first song ­ The Way The Cowboy Dies ­ the year before that and made his first, self-funded, recording just four years later in 1942... Song For The Aussies and My Final Song... little could he have known what was to be his destiny over the next 60 years as he became one of the nationıs best known personalities and one of the most awarded Australians ever.

Slim 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.

In his amazing career, Slim won 36 Golden Guitars (an achievement unlikely ever to be equalled), more Gold and Platinum Record Awards than any other Australian artist, Australian Record Industry Association (ARIA) 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.

Slim achieved national and international success in 1957 with his worldwide hit single A Pub With No Beer which became the first official Gold record achieved in Australia. And many famous songs and recordings followed right up to 2000 when he released his landmark 100th album Looking Forward Looking Back. This year Slim celebrated his 60th anniversary as a recording artist, all of them with EMI, amassing an amazing catalogue of 106 albums with estimated career sales of some six million, more than any other Australian in this country.

Slim Dusty played an active role in the Australian country music industry. In 1992 he was one of a small group who formed the Country Music Association of Australia becoming its founding President, serving in that position until his retirement in 2001.

In a special tribute, CMAA President John Williamson said Slim Dusty was a true Australian legend, a pioneer and would be sorely missed by Australiaıs country music family and his mountain of fans. See detailed statement following.

Australia salutes Slim Dusty ­ an outstanding Australian ­ a man who has helped shape the face and character of our nation.

Slim Dusty was a true Australian legend. He was a pioneer and will be sorely missed by Australia's country music family and his mountain of fans.

With Buddy Williams, Stan Coster and now the King of Country Music gone it is nearing the end of an era in Australian folklore. Smoky Dawson is still with us, and so is Chad Morgan and Shorty Ranger. Men who have been known as much for their hats as their music, and their hillbilly tags.

Slim was the voice that kept the link with "Banjo" and Henry Lawson. He was the star that our bush ballad writers could sing through. He was "the keeper of the flame" that crackled on a gidgee campfire. He sailed through the rock 'n' roll era that nearly stole our identity. And when we sing Waltzing Matilda we will think of Slim around the campfire, outside the caravan that brought country music over gravel and dirt roads to all bush Australians. He was God to itinerant workers and truck drivers. He was God in aboriginal settlements.

What kept him going? I guess it was his love of recording another song and travelling with it around a wonderful land; the addiction I know only too well.

Slim's intensely competitive nature I'm sure came from the old days. From the in-the-face battle between tents at the showgrounds, where success was measured by drawing a bigger crowd than the bloke down the line.

Slim showed me the strength of a simple Aussie ballad. No frills. As pure and as straight to the point as the characters he sang about. And in my opinion we must make sure we never lose the essence of how we describe true blue Aussies.

And to Joy McKean, the woman behind him; she will always be the tower that supported the icon. I hope she continues to write great songs like "Lights on the Hill". For she too, is an icon to be recognised. My heart is most heavy for her and the family.
I know Slim would love me to say, on his behalf, Happy Campfires.

We'll miss you mate.

John Williamson
Country music legend Slim Dusty dies
Legendary country music entertainer Slim Dusty has died.
Slim Dusty passed away at his home at 9.46am (AEST) 19th September 2003 after a protracted battle with cancer, EMI marketing manager Chris O'Hearne told AAP.
Born David Gordon Kirkpatrick at Kempsey, on the NSW mid-north coast, in 1927, he wrote his first song The Way the Cowboy Dies at the age of 10.
A year later he changed his name to Slim Dusty and later went on to record a string of hits including The Pub With No Beer, the biggest selling record by an Australian.
He was the first Australian to receive a Gold Record, the first to have an international record hit, and the first singer in the world to have his voice beamed to earth from space.

In June this year, Dusty was recording his 106th album and at the time his management denied he was battling cancer.
Dusty had his left kidney removed after a cancerous tumour was detected in November 2001 and received continuous treatment.
His wife Joy, son David and daughter Anne were at his bedside when the 76-year-old singer passed away at his home in Sydney, Mr O'Hearne said.



THE SLIM Dusty Heritage Centre project at Kempsey has been officially handed over to the newly established Slim Dusty Foundation.
Foundation Chairman Doug Thompson, accepted the Deed for the Slim Dusty Museum Trust Fund at the site of the proposed Museum, Kempsey Showground, on Saturday.
The Deed was presented by Chairman of Macleay Valley Community Projects Reg Brain.
"(We are) proud to have assisted in the development of this project from the initial stages, to the point of a completed architectural concept design." he said.
Doug Thompson said: "Kempsey is very lucky to be the beneficiaries of the generous donation of memorabilia from the Slim Dusty family, and the Foundation is also very fortunate to take on a project that has such sound beginnings and overwhelming local support. We are all very honoured to be a part of the Kempsey Slim Dusty project story, and look forward to more exciting progress in the coming months".

Newly appointed General Manager of the Slim Dusty Foundation, and former Project Manager, Kathryn Yarnold, believes the involvement of the Foundation at this stage will be crucial to ongoing success.

"The Foundation is a resolute mix of representatives from the Dusty family, the Macleay Valley, and a cross section of skills from many business and community sectors," she said.

"With Slim's wife, Joy McKean as Deputy Chair, and son David Kirkpatrick as the alternative Deputy Chair, together with daughter and country music talent Anne Kirkpatrick as a Director, the family's strong dedication to the project is clear. It is essential that the family are heavily involved and we are thrilled to have them on board at this level."

Slim has recently purchased back his boyhood family home at Nulla Nulla, with the intention to eventually open it up to the public as a tour link to the Museum in Kempsey. "This is our way of giving back to my home town and it almost feels like a homecoming," Slim said.

"We're looking forward to spending more time at the Nulla now, and seeing how the new cattle go on the property."

In addition to Chairman Doug, Slim Dusty Foundation Directors include radio announcer and sports commentator Ray Hadley, Business Affairs Director with EMI Louis Calleja, lawyer Peter Townsend, accountant David Sieff and former Vice President of the Country Music Association of Australia Max Ellis.

The Board also has a solid representation from the Macleay Valley Community Project ­ Steve Read, Les Partell, Kevin Farrawell and Gwen Norris.
Click here for more Information

2006 -Slim, who is still one of the biggest current selling artists in the nation some two and a half years after his death.  His record sales have passed seven million

Released March 11 2006 - Slim Dusty Live CD and DVD packages portraying Slim onstage, arms outstreched one hand holding guitar receiving applause from his fans.   The DVD features previously unseen performances at the Mike Walsh Richmond Regent Theatre in 1987 and a 1992 concert in Geelong.

Slim's wife, Joy McKean as Deputy Chair

Part of the Macleay River Area

Slim Dusty (from CMAA)

AUSTRALIA'S KING of Country Music Slim Dusty is to have a major road from his hometown of Kempsey (NSW) named after him.   "The Slim Dusty Way."
The local Kempsey Shire Council has decided to name part of the Kempsey to Armidale Road, from the Pacific Highway at Kempsey west, following Belgrave, Elbow and River Streets to the heritage-listed village of Bellbrook, "The Slim Dusty Way."
Slim said "I am indeed proud and truly honoured to know that the road I walked as a child will always carry the name Slim Dusty"
From CMAA Web Site
NSW PREMIER Bob Carr joined country music legend Slim Dusty and his wife Joy McKean at State Parliament recently to announce the appointment of the design team for the proposed Slim Dusty Heritage Centre at Kempsey.
Mr Carr also announced further State Government support for the project with assistance towards establishment of a dedicated website for the project.
The state-of-the-art museum ­ to be built in Slim's home town of Kempsey on the Mid North Coast ­ would be dedicated to his life and his music.
Tony Sattler and Craig Pattinson of the Wintergreen Arcoessence Group (the same team responsible for creating Sydney's much acclaimed Mary McKillop Museum) will design the Slim Dusty Heritage Centre. Once built, the museum would create up to 18 direct jobs for the local area and boost local tourism.
It is planned to include a museum featuring Slim Dusty memorabilia, a retail section and dining facilities, an entertainment venue to host some of Australia's best country music talent; and a state-of-the-art recording studio.
Mr Carr said that EMI Australia, which had a long history with Slim Dusty, would also provide sponsorship for the project. "This is a fitting tribute for Kempsey's hometown hero," he said. "The Centre will not only honour and pay tribute to Slim and his achievements, it will inject millions of tourist dollars to the Mid North Coast region."
During the announcement, Slim presented Mr Carr with a signed copy of his latest album ­ Travelling Still... Always Will ­ and his pictorial book "On The Road With Slim" and acknowledged the State Government and EMI's support for the project.
"I'm a Kempsey boy," he said. "I was born there and it's where it all started for me. I did my very first professional performance at the Kempsey showground way back in 1944. Joy and I appreciate the Carr Government's support, and feel it is very fitting to also see the great team at EMI step in so early on. We are all very excited about the future of the project and confident in the architects' ability to design something exceptional, and now with EMI's help, it will become reality."
Dr. Dusty 
From CMAA 
(Awarded an honorary doctorate by Western Australia's Edith Cowan University 
in recognition of his contribution to Australian music over six decades)
SLIM DUSTY swapped his trademark bush hat for a mortarboard as he was awarded an honorary doctorate by Western Australia's Edith Cowan University in recognition of his contribution to Australian music over six decades, reports The West Australian.
"This award recognises Slim's lifetime service to music by capturing and epitomising the spirit and history of Australia in such a rich vein of bush ballads," said University Vice-Chancellor Professor Millicent Poole.
The University made special arrangements to allow Slim to wear his bush hat throughout the graduation ceremony and to swap if for a mortarboard when he was presented with the award. The 350 faculty of business and public management graduates and guests were given a rare glimpse of Slim without his bush hat and a performance of When the Rain Tumbles Down in July."
Photo ­  Cap fits: Slim tries his mortarboard for size but keeps a firm grip on his trademark bush hat after the presentation of his honorary doctorate in music. Picture: Greg Burke, The West Australian.
A painting of the house that Slim grew up in at Nulla Nulla Creek
with a signed album by Slim.  This was auctioned at the Newcastle Steel City Festival 2005

Print out and have the memories

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