Archie Roach: Ruby Hunter on Writing ‘Down City Streets’
In this clip, Ruby Hunter offers a frank retelling of her beginnings in the music industry. It includes footage of her and Archie Roach singing a live version of Archie's song, 'No No No' from his album Charcoal Lane (1990).
Ruby's candid telling of her story is appropriately captured by the simplicity of the production. There is no need for multiple camera shots or elaborate editing. Ruby talks of the honour of having her song 'Down City Streets' included on Charcoal Lane.
Archie and Ruby were a couple long before they became recording artists and their musical partnership is beautifully encapsulated in this clip.
Archie says proudly in his autobiography Tell Me Why: The Story of My Life and My Music (2019) that all he did was teach Ruby a few chords on the guitar and some basic stuff about structuring a song, but the rest of her abilities were innate. She was an incredible performer and all of this charm comes across in this clip.
The excerpt is from a short film titled They Took The Children Away: Archie Roach and Ruby Hunter, An Inside Story (1990). It was produced by Townsville Aboriginal and Islander Media Association, which is now the Townsville Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Corporation for Media.
Notes by Beth Taylor and Adam Blackshaw