Slim Dusty Day celebrations at Kempsey

TYSON LUCAS: “I want to bring the focus back to classic country in Australia"
TYSON LUCAS: “I want to bring the focus back to classic country in Australia"

ALL are invited to head along to The Slim Dusty Centre at Kempsey on Saturday for the official Slim Dusty Day celebrations, with entertainment from 10am through to 2pm.

A highlight will be performances by young country music artists Keely Johnson and Tyson Lucas.

Both of these talented young musicians are set to have an incredible career in country music.

Keely Johnson is mentored by Lee Kernaghan and has performed across Australia. She was recently in Nashville where she was being coached by Renee Grant-Williams, who has worked with artists such as Carrie Underwood and Keith Urban.

In addition to her music career, Keely has raised over $700,000 for children’s cancer charities and founded her own ‘The Golden Octopus Foundation’, which is raising money to allow children to be able to stay in their own hometowns, instead of having to travel and stay for long periods at major hospitals in the State.

Keely was awarded the Queensland Young Achiever Award in 2017, and has been nominated for the Young Australian of the Year. Keely is currently recording her first album.

Keely Johnson and Lee Kernaghan

Keely Johnson and Lee Kernaghan

Meanwhile, love and respect of traditional country music sets Tyson Lucas apart from many other artists. He received his big break playing a young Troy Cassar-Daley at the Tamworth Country Music Awards and released his first EP It’s OK to be me at the 2018 Tamworth Country Music Festival.

“I want to bring the focus back to classic country in Australia,” Tyson said. The award winning singer/songwriter has successfully released two singles; one of them titled We Just Want To Be With You reached No.2 on the Country iTunes Chart.

On Saturday, there will be a barbecue, live music, lucky door prizes and more.

Slim Dusty’s wife and partner of more than 50 years, country singer/songwriter Joy McKean will be there on the day.

People are invited to head along and be surrounded by the awards, memorabilia, music and memories of a lifetime as the centre celebrates the life of Australia’s King of Country, Slim Dusty.

Joy and Slim

Joy and Slim

Who was Slim Dusty?

Slimy, was born David Gordon Kirkpatrick on June 13, 1927, at Nulla Nulla Creek, near Kempsey. He was an Australian country music singer-songwriter, guitarist and producer, an Australian cultural icon and one of the country’s most awarded stars, with a career spanning nearly seven decades.

Slim was the first Australian to have a No.1 international hit song, with a version of Gordon Parsons’ A Pub with No Beer.

He received an unequalled 37 Golden Guitar awards, as well as two ARIA awards and was inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame and the Country Music Roll of Renown.

The 2000 Sydney Olympics was special for Slim. As he had sung it in a hundred country halls and as many tent shows, his rendition of Waltzing Matilda went out to to an estimated global audience of nearly four billion.

The Slim Dusty Centre is the home of the Slim Dusty Museum. In addition to paying tribute to the country music icon, it helps to tell the story of Australia and its history.

The centre also hosts a travelling exhibition gallery and a function centre. There is an onsite gift shop selling Slim Dusty merchandise, souvenirs and locally made products, and also a café.

The centre successfully opened its doors to the public on October 17, 2015, with over 200 people per day visiting the multi-purpose facility during the first weeks.

Since opening the centre has received multitudes of visitors of all ages from all over Australia, and has also welcomed many international visitors.