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Stan Coster, Manilla, NSW
, 1994 (printed 2004)

by John Elliott

type C photograph (sheet: 76.0 cm x 50.5 cm, image: 64.0 cm x 42.2 cm)

Stan Coster (1930-1997) was one of Australian country music's greatest songwriters - between 1956 and his death in 1997 Stan wrote a total of 161 songs, 72 of which were recorded by his great mate Slim Dusty. The pair met in 1961, while Stan was working in Longreach, Queensland. Less than a year later Slim made his first recording of a Coster composition, "The Return of the Stockman." In 1978 the producer Ross Murphy convinced Coster to record an album of his own material. My People (1979) would be the first of Stan's 14 albums as a recording artist. In the same year he began touring Australia as a singer-storyteller. His travelling show also featured contributions from his wife Dot and daughter Tracy, who is now a successful country singer in her own right. Her album Coster Country (2004) is a tribute to her father featuring a selection of his bush ballads. Stan Coster won 3 Golden Guitars and, in 1990, was elevated to Australian Country Music's Roll of Renown.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery, Canberra
Gift of the artist 2005
Accession number: 2005.46