Slim Dusty & Joy McKeanPrint Page Print this page

Slim Dusty & Joy McKean : Feb 2014
Slim Dusty & Joy McKean : Feb 2014

Photographs supplied by David Evans OAM

Statue of Slim Dusty and his wife Joy McKean recognises the contribution the couple made to Australia's music heritage. The statue was unveiled during the Tamworth Country Music Festival in 2014.

David Gordon Kirkpatrick, known professionally as Slim Dusty AO, MBE (13 June 1927 – 19 September 2003) was an Australian country music singer-songwriter and producer, with a career spanning nearly seven decades. He was known to record songs in the legacy of Australian poets Henry Lawson and Banjo Paterson that represented the Australian Bush Lifestyle, and also for his many trucking songs. Dusty was the first Australian to have a No. 1 Hit song with Gordon Parsons("A Pub with No Beer"). He received an unequalled 37 Golden Guitar and two ARIA awards and was inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame and the Country Music Roll of Renown. At the time of his death at the age of 76, Dusty had been working on his 106th album for EMI Records. In 2007, his domestic record sales in Australia surpassed seven million.

Joy McKean OAM, born 1930, is an Australian country music singer-songwriter and wife of the late Slim Dusty. Known as the "grand lady" of Australian country music, McKean is recognised as one of Australia's leading song writers and bush balladeers and wrote several of Dusty's most popular songs. McKean won the first ever Golden Guitar award in 1973, for writing "Lights on the Hill", performed by Slim Dusty. Other popular songs written by McKean for her husband include: "Walk A Country Mile", "Indian Pacific", "Kelly's Offsider", "The Angel Of Goulburn Hill" and "The Biggest Disappointment.


Address:Peel Street, Tamworth, 2340
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -31.091033
Long: 150.929998
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
View Google Map


Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:People
Monument Designer:Tanya Bartlett


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Friday 24th January, 2014
Front Inscription

Slim Dusty and Joy McKean
Slim Dusty and Joy McKean have touched the hearts of all Australians. The music they created together over seven decades articulates the very spirit of our nation and reminds us why we are all proud to be Australians. Born 13th June 1927, David Gordon Kilpatrick started writing and performing bush ballads on a dairy farm at Nulla Nulla Creek in the Macleay Valley, NSW, adopting the name Slim Dusty while still a boy.
He was an established recording artist when he met Joy McKean in Sydney in 1951. Joy was also a singer songwriter and with her sister Heather, performed as the successful McKean Sisters Duo. They were married in 1951 and in 1954 set off on the first journey on what was to become a lifetime of taking their music around Australia.

In 1957 A Pub With No Beer, written by Gordon Parsons, became an Australian and world hit, the first and only Gold record on 78 rpm records, making Slim Dusty  famous all over the country. Over the years Slim’s following grew rapidly. Many of his famous songs were penned by Joy, classics like Biggest Disappointment and the Indian Pacific. Joy won the very first Golden Guitar presented in Tamworth in January 1973 for her song Lights On the Hill,  later winning another five. Slim won a record thirty-seven Golden Guitars. Their contribution to country music was unmatched. They inspired and nurtured many talented young artists. Under their leadership the Country Music Association of Australia was formed and their unqualified support Country Music capital gave a significant boost to Tamworth.

Slim and Joy toured untiringly to every corner of the continent making friends and fans everywhere they went, performing in tiny country halls to major city venues. In 2000 Slim closed the Sydney Olympic Games singing Waltzing Matilda to a world audience of hundreds of millions. Slim’s album sales broke every record for an Australian artist running at over seven million units by 2013. In 2000 he celebrated his 100th album Looking Forward Looking Back. Slim died on 19th December 2003. Mourned by all Australians he was given a State Funeral. Joy has continued to contribute to our nation’s culture particularly through her leadership of the Slim Dusty Foundation in Kempsey. Slim Dusty and Joy McKean share a close and professional partnership working in harmony to create a genuine and accessible Australian musical heritage that has inspired and entertained generations of Australians and will continue to do so for generations to come.
Unveiled 24.1.2014
Sculptor Tanya Bartlett

Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
Proudly sponsored by UBC Web Design