He’s known universally as Australia's King of Country, and it’s a title to which Slim Dusty can still lay an unchallenged claim, close to a decade after he passed away and took up his place at the head of the table in Country Music Heaven.
Slim has been the face of Australian country music for its entire history – close to 70 years, since its early roots in hillbilly and folk music. In that time, he evolved with the industry – setting the agenda and changing with the times.
Born David Gordon Kirkpatrick in 1927, at Nulla Nulla Creek near Kempsey, changed his name in 1938 at the age of 11 and never looked back.
In 1951 he married fellow country singer Joy McKean, and the pair set off on a lifetime of travelling Australia, performing the music that emerged from their much-loved homeland, and that conveyed its passion and spirit so well. Along the way, they brought daughter Anne Kirkpatrick and son David Kirkpatrick into the world.