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Australia’s king of country ‘Slim Dusty’ statue unveiled in Tamworth

24 January 2014
NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell and Member for Tamworth Kevin Anderson have unveiled a statue paying tribute to Australian country music’s first couple in Tamworth.
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The bronze statue of Slim Dusty and Joy McKean was unveiled during this year’s Tamworth Country Music Festival.

Mr O’Farrell said the statue of Slim Dusty and Joy McKean recognises the enormous contribution the couple made to Australia’s music heritage.

“This year marks the 10th anniversary of the passing of the Australian icon and country music legend, Slim Dusty, who was a regular headline act at the Festival,” he said.

“The NSW Government is a strong supporter of regional arts and culture, particularly events such as the Tamworth Country Music Festival that celebrate local artists, provide a launch pad for emerging talent, and supports jobs.

“Having a statue immortalising Australia’s King of Country will no doubt become another drawcard for visitors to the area.

“The NSW Government is proud to support the initiative and contributed $30,000 toward the establishment of the statue.

“Contributions were also made by the Tamworth community and local MP Kevin Anderson did a great job throughout the fundraising process,” Mr O’Farrell said.

Mr Anderson said the statue recognises the part Slim Dusty and Joy McKean played in establishing Tamworth as the nation’s country music capital.

“Tamworth is regarded, both locally and internationally, as the home of country music in Australia thanks to influential artists such as Slim Dusty,” Mr Anderson said.

“There is no better place for this statue to be located than Tamworth.

“The couple has been captured as they were in 1957, the time of the release of the classic song, Pub With No Beer.

“The tribute has been sculpted by Tanya Bartlett who also created the Smoky Dawson statue, which also features in Tamworth.

“The statues pay tribute to these iconic figures and to the traditional Country Music scene they helped create in Australia,” Mr Anderson said.

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