Slim Dusty

About Slim Dusty

As Australia’s most prolific and recognized country icon, Slim Dusty achieved a status that is nothing short of mythic with his everyman-friendly folk songs. He was born David Gordon Kirkpatrick in 1927 in New South Wales, but shortly after writing his first song, “The Way the Cowboy Dies,” at age 10, he chose the moniker that would become a household name in his home country. By the time he was 20, he had a classic in his quiver with “When the Rain Tumbles Down In July,” a sentimental, shuffling bush ballad that showcases his reedy voice. A decade later, in 1957, he released his version of “A Pub With No Beer,” which made him the first Australian to have an international No. 1 hit. While Dusty’s trucking songs, like 1972’s “Lights On the Hill”—a rumbling tune about a doomed driver’s final thoughts—make up a big part of his catalog, his songs celebrating Australia, like 1988’s “G’day G’day,” comprise his most lasting legacy. At the time of his death by cancer, in 2003, Dusty had released more than 100 albums and earned a permanent place in Australian music lore.

Nulla Nulla Creek, New South Wales, Australia
June 13, 1927
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