Ruby Hunter Recording ‘Louis St John’

Ruby Hunter Recording ‘Louis St John’
Archie Roach
WARNING: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are advised that the following program may contain images and/or audio of deceased persons
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This clip of home movie footage shows Ruby Hunter recording vocals for the song 'Louis St John' from the 1997 album Looking For Butterboy.

Archie wrote the song about the racially-motivated murder of Perth teenager Louis St John Johnson (Warren Braeden) in 1992. Ruby's raw vocals evoke a powerful sense of love and loss.

Bill and Pauline Johnson, Louis's foster parents, asked Archie to write a song about Louis and gave him a photo of Louis to guide him. In his autobiography Tell Me Why (2019) Archie says 'Ruby had a big part in the song as well. She was the spirit, the voice from the Dreamtime, calling Louis back home.'

This is a beautiful example of behind-the-scenes footage capturing a musician's creative process and offering us an intimate look at the recording of an album.

The poor lighting reflects the choice to record in a house in Port Fairy, Victoria, rather than a traditional studio, which also gives the recording and the footage an intimate, down-to-earth feel.

Notes by Beth Taylor and Adam Blackshaw