Image of big golden guitar and visitor centre in Tamworth

Newscaf: A Visit to Tamworth

Slim Dusty and Joy McKean honoured in Tamworth

Statues of country music legends Slim Dusty and Joy McKean

As the annual Tamworth Country Music Festival rolls around again for 2019, we're turning the clock back five years as part of our Newscaf Across Australia online collection. 

Bronzed Aussie Legends

At the 2014 Festival, husband and wife music legends, Slim Dusty (born David Gordon Kirkpatrick), who passed away in 2003, and wife Joy McKean, were honoured for their contributions to country music in Australia. 

This news story, courtesy of Prime Media, shows large crowds coming out for the unveiling of the couple's bronze statues. Another music legend, John Williamson, was on hand to do the honours, with McKean and members of the family in attendance. 

McKean, known as the 'Grand Lady of Australian Country Music', was obviously moved by the statues, saying 'I can hardly believe sometimes that this is all happening'. 

Slim Dusty and Joy McKean statues unveiled in Tamworth, Prime7 News, 24 January 2014. NFSA title: 1216809. Courtesy: Prime Media

Golden Guitar Hero

Slim Dusty's achievements are unparalleled. He's recorded over 100 albums (all on the EMI label); won a total of 37 Golden Guitar awards; has been inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame, awarded an AO and MBE; and was the first Australian to have a gold record and an international number one hit – 'A Pub with No Beer', which was included in the NFSA's Sounds of Australia for 2008.

Together with Joy McKean, his wife and manager for more than 50 years, they were a pioneering force in the Australian country music scene. 

The Tamworth Country Music Festival has been running annually since 1973 and is the second-largest country music festival in the world, after Nashville. To highlight the role of regional television networks in bringing us news such as this, we've gathered more great stories from regional and remote areas of the country in our Newscaf Across Australia online collection.

You can explore more amazing Newscaf stories and find out about the NFSA's Newscaf program on our Newscaf 30th Anniversary page. 

Main image: 'Tamworth_Bingara' by NVictor. Used under Creative Commons License (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)