A love story set to music

Archie Roach and Ruby Hunter were partners in life and music for more than 35 years before Ruby's death in 2010.

It was Ruby who encouraged Archie to make his first album when he was reluctant, telling him 'it's not all about you, you know. How many blackfellas you reckon get to record an album?'.

A musician and author in her own right, her song 'Down City Streets' was included on Archie's debut album Charcoal Lane (1990). She went on to record her own solo albums Thoughts Within (1994) and Feeling Good (2000) and sang and toured with Archie.

Ruby (1955–2010) was a Ngarrindjeri, Kokatha and Pitjantjatjara woman born on the banks of the Murray River in South Australia. Archie is a Gunditjmara and Bundjalung man, born in Mooroopna, Victoria in 1956.

To coincide with the release of Archie's autobiography and companion album Tell Me Why (2019), the NFSA is honouring Archie's four-decade career with an online exhibition and two curated collections filled with rare footage, live recordings, photographs, home movies and excerpts from an online-exclusive interview.

This collection explores the collaboration between Ruby and Archie. To explore our online exhibition visit Archie Roach: His Story in Song, and for even more Archie, follow this link to the Archie Roach collection, which includes a Japanese news story about Archie and a Beijing Olympics-themed Coke ad from 2008 featuring a jingle sung by Archie.

WARNING: this collection contains names, images or voices of deceased Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.