Slim Dusty MBE(C) - 1979

Slim Dusty

1927 - Born in Kempsey on the 13th June. Named David Gordon Kirkpatrick. Brought up nearby at a Nulla Nulla Creek on his parents dairy farm.

1937 - Aged 10, writes first song, “The Way The Cowboy Dies”.

1938 - Calls himself Slim Dusty.

1941- Around the age of 14 Slim bought his first guitar.

1942 – Sang on 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 his 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”. This was the B side of the record but it became the biggest selling record ever and still the only gold 78.

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 Golden Guitars for 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”.

1974 – Featured on the television program “This Is Your Life”. Golden Guitar for Album of the Year with “Live at Tamworth”.

1975 – Golden Guitars for Album of the Year with “Australiana” and Male Vocalist of the Year with “Biggest Disappointment”.

1976 – Golden Guitars for Top Selling Album with “Worst in the World” and Album of the Year with “Lights of the Hill”.

1977 – Golden Guitars for Top Selling Album with “Things I See Around Me”, Album of the Year with “Angel of Goulburn Hill” and Male Vocalist of the Year.

1978 – Golden Guitar Top Selling Album with “Indian Pacific”. First Sydney Opera House performance - live recording of “The Entertainer”.

1979 – Golden Guitar for Male Vocalist of the Year. Slim elevated to the Roll of Renown. Publishes bestselling autobiography “Walk a Country Mile”. Identically titled album has achieved Platinum status in sales.

1980 – Golden Guitars for Top Selling Album and Album of the Year with “Walk a Country Mile” Records super hit “Duncan, achieving Gold status.

1981 – Golden Guitars for Top Selling Album and Album of the Year with “The Man Who Steadies the Lead”. Releases 50th album, “The Golden Anniversary Album”, reaching multi Platinum status in Australia.

1982 – Golden Guitar for the Heritage Award with “Where Country Is”.

1983 – Golden Guitar for Heritage Award with “Banjo’s Man”. Astronauts Bob Crippen and John Young played Slim singing “Waltzing Matilda” from the space shuttle "Columbia" as it passed over Australia. Inducted into the South Australian Country Music Festival Awards Hall of Fame.

1984 – Golden Guitars for Album of the Year with “On the Wallaby” and Heritage Award with “Australia’s On the Wallaby”. Release of feature film, “The Slim Dusty Movie”. A video also released.

1985 – Golden Guitars for Album of the Year and Top Selling Album with Trucks on the Track”. Mo Awards for Male Country Performer of the Year.

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 – Golden Guitar for Heritage Award with “Mt Bukaroo”.

1988 – Golden Guitar for Album of the Year with “Neon City. In Australia's Bicentennial Year, travels right round Australia at the head of the biggest country music show to tour the nation. Inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame.

1989 – Golden Guitar for 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 – Golden Guitar fors Top Selling with Two Singers, One Song” a duo album with Anne Kirkpatrick and Album of the Year with “Coming Home” takes out 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. 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. 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. ARIA award for Outstanding Achievement.

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 “Duncanwith Rolf Harris, the first time the two have recorded together.

1997 - Golden Guitars for Bush Ballad of the Year with “Must’ve Been a Hell of a Party” with Tom Oliver and Heritage Song of the Year with “Old Time Country Halls”. 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, he crossed the Nullarbor Plain in two Kenworth road-trains from Thompson's Transport collecting material for his next truck album. Opened the Kempsey exhibition "Made on the Macleay". 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. 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 - Golden Guitar, for Bush Ballad of the Year with “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. At the APRA  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). The Kempsey 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 that 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 completed his 100th album, 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. “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! ARIA award for Outstanding Achievement.

2001 - Golden Guitars for Top Selling Album of the Year and Video Clip of the Year with “Looking Forward Looking Back” Bush Ballad of the Year with “Paddy Williams”. The Australian country music industry pays a unique tribute voting unanimously to make Slim Honorary President for Life of the Country Music Association of Australia (CMAA). Australia Post pays national tribute by naming Slim among its Legends stamp series. In August, Slim performs with fellow "national treasures" Richard Tognetti and Roger Woodward at a National Trust dinner in the Sydney Town Hall to honour Australia's living national treasures and to raise funds for the work of the Trust. “Looking Forward Looking Back” wins the 2001 ARIA Award for Best Country Album. Fund-raising commences in earnest in Kempsey for a Slim Dusty Heritage Centre. Two new albums released... “West Of Winton” and “The Men From Nulla Nulla” with Shorty Ranger. Towards the end of the year, Slim undergoes successful surgery to remove a kidney. People’s Choice Awards – for Best Song and Best Album with “Looking Forward Looking Back”.

2002 - Golden Guitar for “West Of Winton” for Bush Ballad of the Year. Sold out family concert in Tamworth's Town Hall. Slim performed “Lights On The Hill” as part of the finale to the Awards presentation which went to air the same night Australia-wide on the Seven and Prime television networks.

2003 – Golden Guitar for Bush Ballad of the Year with “Just an Old Cattle Dog”. June 19th releases album number 106 "The Very Best of Slim Dusty" on DVD.
2003 - Passed away on September 19th. He was recording material for his next album when he became ill. A State Funeral was held for Slim Dusty making him the first entertainer to be offered a State Funeral.

2004 – At the January Tamworth Festival a special tribute concert was held at the TRECC. On March 1st the release of the material he was recording at the time of his death- album number 107 "Columbia Lane, The Last Sessions" was released and went gold in 2 weeks. Slim Dusty Tribute DVD released.

2005 – Golden Guitar for Video Clip of the Year with “Get Along”.