Slim Dusty Biography, The Life and Achievements of the Australian Country Music Man


Who was Slim Dusty? Information about the life, achievements and music of Slim Dusty, an Australian country music person who has become a cultural icon of Australia.

Slim Dusty

David Gordon “Slim Dusty” Kirkpatrick (Kempsey, New South Wales, 13 June 1927 – Sydney, New South Wales, 19 September 2003) was an Australian singer-songwriter. He has sold over five million albums in Australia during his career.

Slim Dusty was born on 13 June 1927 in Kempsey, New South Wales, the son of a rancher. He adopted the stage name of Slim Dusty in 1938 at the age of eleven. Among the musicians who influenced him is Jimmie Rodgers. Slim Dusty released his first recording in 1945 at the age of 18. In 1946, he signed a new contract with Columbia Graphophone Company and Regal Zonophone Records.

Music Career

In 1951, Slim Dusty married singer-songwriter Joy McKean. In 1954, they both devoted themselves entirely to their careers, performing the Slim Dusty Traveling Show. 1957’s “A Pub with No Beer” was Australia’s best-selling single at the time, the first Australian single to be certified gold, and the first and only vinyl record to achieve this distinction.


Throughout his career, Dusty has broken more gold and platinum records than any other Australian artist. In 1959 and 1960, a cover of Bobbejaan Schoepen’s A Pub with No Beer topped the charts in Belgium, Austria and Germany. In 1964, Slim Dusty traveled all over Australia , traveling 30,000 miles (48,280 km) over a period of 10 months .

Dusty not only recorded songs written by himself or other Australian musicians, but also recorded classic Australian poems by Henry Lawson and Banjo Paterson with new beats. An example of this is The Man from Snowy River.

He became a member of the Order of the British Empire in 1970 for his services to music. She won the Best Single Award at Australia’s Country Music Awards in 1971 at the Tamworth Country Music Festival. She won 35 of these awards during her career.

In 1997, the general manager of the Grand Ole Opry radio show invited Slim and his wife to a concert in Nashville, Tennessee, for their contributions to country music. In January of the following year, he was made an Officer of the Order of Australia for his service to the entertainment industry. Slim Dusty has the honor of singing “Waltzing Matilda” at the closing ceremony of the 2000 Sydney Olympics.


Slim Dusty was working on his 106th album, Columbia Lane – the Last Sessions, when he died in 2003. It debuted at number five on the Australian charts and won a gold medal in less than two weeks. Slim Dusty died at his home in St Ives, New South Wales, at the age of 76, after a long battle with cancer.

He was honored with a doodle by Google on October 24, 2022.


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