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Joy McKean honoured with the Roll of Renown

25 January 2020

Joy McKean, Australasian Country Music’s most loved and venerated leader, tonight was elevated to the Australasian Country Music Roll of Renown in Tamworth.

It was a fitting climax to a Festival long celebration of Joy’s 90th birthday which, she reached last week. One of the highlights of the Festival was a special Concert for Joy at which many major stars performed in a tribute to country music’s “grand” lady.

Joy’s Roll of Renown Award is in recognition of the extraordinary leadership role she has performed over many decades, mentoring and supporting the country music industry and its members in so many ways.

But it was her unmatched skills as one our nation’s most prolific and talented songwriters, that has given Joy McKean a status and and respect among fans as well as the artists who make and perform the music.

Her widely acclaimed music, generally written for and performed by her husband Slim Dusty, included classic songs, such as Lights On The Hill, Indian Pacific and The Biggest Disappointment. These and many other of Joy’s renowned bush ballads and her constant support and involvement, helped propel Slim into becoming one of Australia’s most successful recording artist and ensured that Joy herself was widely known and recognised.

Her songs have also been covered and tributes written and recorded by many of today’s stars including Lee Kernaghan, Troy Cassar-Daley, Sara Storer and Keith Urban.

In keeping with her record as the very first person to receive a Golden Guitar on the inaugural Country Music Awards, staged in1973, Joy became the first person among the 51 honoured on the Roll, to feature twice, once as a member of the popular McKean Sisters Duo in 1983 and now again in her own right. She now joins daughter Anne Kirkpatrick who was elevated to the Roll in 2010 and of course her late husband Slim Dusty who received the honour in 1979.

Since the Roll was inaugurated in 1976 with the naming of legendary pioneer Tex Morton, there have been only 50 other stars selected for the honour and Joy becomes the 51st recipient.

In making the presentation to Joy, Country Music legend Troy Cassar-Daley, a close friend of Joy’s said she had been an inspiration to him and most of his generation. Co-presenter and Chairman of the independent Selection Panel, Max Ellis, said the genuine affection which Joy attracted from the Australasian music industry in general was remarkable and reflected her wonderful strength and generosity and the huge contribution she had made over the past 8 decades.

Joy’s plaque on the famous Roll Of Renown granite boulders outside TREC in Country Music Capital, will be unveiled tomorrow morning at 10.30 am. It will be adjacent to Slim’s on one of the granite rocks.

Tamworth Regional Council acknowledges the Gamilaroi/Kamilaroi people, who are the Traditional Custodians of this land. We would like to pay respect to Elders past and present, and extend that respect to other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples living in and visiting our region.