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Slim Dusty at Carlton Hill Station, WA
, 1993

by John Elliott

gelatin silver photograph (sheet: 50.5 cm x 40.5 cm, image: 46.5 cm x 32.0 cm)

Slim Dusty AO MBE (1927-2003), born David Gordon Kirkpatrick, was Australia's most prolific recording artist. He wrote his first song, 'The Way the Cowboy Dies', when he was ten years old, and styled himself Slim Dusty at eleven. He launched his travelling show in 1954; a decade later he made the first of his many round-Australia tours. His song 'The Pub With No Beer' (1957) was the first international hit by an Australian recording artist, and was awarded Australia's first gold record. It remains the only 78 rpm gold record in Australia. Dusty held more gold and platinum records than any other Australian artist, and won 32 Tamworth Country Music Festival Golden Guitars. Although he was never Australian of the Year, in 1999 he was named Father of the Year and inaugural Senior Australian of the Year. His hundredth album was released in July 2000, shortly before he reduced the nation to tears by singing 'Waltzing Matilda' at the closing ceremony of the Sydney Olympic Games. His first volume of autobiography, Walk a Country Mile, was published in 1979, and his second, Another Day, Another Town in 1997.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 1999
Accession number: 1999.9