Wednesday August 12, 2015.

Slim's first Golden Guitar

It might be surprising for Slim Dusty fans to learn that the number of Golden Guitars won by the legendary Australian, Slim Dusty, has increased from 37 to 38, despite the fact that Slim died some 12 years ago in 2003. In fact, neither Slim nor his music, has won another of the prized trophies presented in Tamworth each year in January. It’s simply a matter of rectifying a mistake that was made in the statistics many decades ago.

The inaugural Australasian Country Music Awards were staged by Radio 2TM in the Tamworth Town Hall on a very hot Sunday night on January 28th 1973. The initial Award that compere Kevin Knapp announced that historic night was for APRA Song of The Year. To present the Award, well known composer, George Dasey (They’re a Weird Mob), was invited to the stage and he presented the first ever Golden Guitar to Joy McKean for her composition “Lights On The Hill”.

For many years Slim has been credited for winning only two Golden Guitars at those first Awards in 1973. One was for the Best EP or Single (Lights on the Hill) and another for the Best 12” LP Album (Me And My Guitar). But, recently, Joy McKean and Anne Kirkpatrick have been going through the collection of Slim memorabilia, preparing it for the move to The Slim Dusty Centre in Kempsey later this year, and discovered an extra Golden Guitar from 1973 and were puzzled about it. They wondered if it could be a duplicate they had acquired for some reason.

However, after checking a rare tape recording of the first Awards in 1973, from the Tamworth Sound and Film Archive, it was discovered that Slim had also been awarded a Golden Guitar as the artist who sang Joy’s Best Composition, (Lights On The Hill). So now we know that Slim won three Golden Guitars in January 1973, and not the two that had been counted previously. Things changed considerably in later presentations; 2TM dropped the Golden Guitar for the singer of the Best Composition and also, Golden Guitars given to winning record companies were dropped.

With the Slim Dusty Centre in Kempsey nearing completion, it is appropriate that the great Slim Dusty is now credited with the third forgotten trophy he won in 1973, bringing his grand total up to 38 Golden Guitars awards, unmatched to date.

Commenting on the change, the Secretary of the Country Music Association of Australia, Meryl Davis said, “It’s great to see Slim’s tally of Golden Guitars being updated. As a person who contributed so much to Australian country music, Slim deserves all the recognition and thanks we can give him. It will be exciting to see the Golden Guitars he won, on display in the Slim Dusty Centre.” 

All of Slim’s 38 Golden Guitars awards will be on display in a special feature at the Slim Dusty Museum in Kempsey when it opens in October this year.

For more information: Slim Dusty Centre (02) 65626533 or Max Ellis 0438667314 or gmaxellis@icloud.com.