Slim Dusty

Regal Zonophone Collection

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Slim Dusty's long recording career, which began in the '40s, has given him a stature in Australia similar to that which George Jones enjoys in America. Regal Zonophone Collection is one in an excellent series of multi-disc anthologies devoted to early Australian country artists. Slim Dusty's volume is a three-disc set that covers his early recordings for the Regal Zonophone label from 1947-1958. Dusty says in the liner notes that the label was unwilling to pay for accompanists, so most of these performances feature Dusty alone with his acoustic guitar, yodeling and singing Western-style songs about the Australian outback. "A Pub With No Beer," Dusty's signature song, is presented here in its early rendition from the late '50s, which is also the version that Capitol released in the U.S. at the same time. "Rusty It's Goodbye," co-written with Thel Carey, is a real classic and one of a handful that feature duet vocals by Dusty's wife, Joy McKean. Dusty himself wrote the liner notes, and although they are interesting it would have been nice to have a historical perspective as well. Encompassing 68 slices of vintage Australiana, Regal Zonophone Collection offers a definitive look at the early years of Australia's most prominent country singer.

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