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Culture Corner: Good news travels fast

Townsville’s finest song-smith Chris Missen has heard about Tony Maloney’s poem ‘The man who made Slim Dusty famous’ – and has turned it into a song.

Watch the video to hear about how Gordon Parsons ripped off legendary Abergowrie poet Dan Sheahan’s poem ‘A pub with no beer’ – and turned it into Slim Dusty’s first global hit

Thank you Chris – it’s good to hear from an honest song-smith

Here is the poem:

The man who made Slim Dusty famous

A world-famous song called ‘The pub with no beer’

Brought belly-ache laughs and made broken men cheer

It was the first hit of an iconic Aussie

Slim Dusty the legend – but then again was he

The man who despaired as he sat in the pub

And strung-out the lyrics while munching his grub

Back in ’43 when he asked for a beer

To be told: ‘There’s none left – for the Yanks have been here’

That man was Dan Sheahan – a bush ballad poet

For years those who sang to that tune didn’t know it

Because Gordon Parsons claimed it as his own

And not for some time did that fact become known

Slim Dusty got famous and Parsons got riches

Sod all for the man who first had folk in stitches

But that was just one of his lyrical prose

That laugh at man’s follies and lament our woes

There’s ‘Venables’ Cat’ and the ‘Bull with no balls’

Slim Dusty – he could have had hits with them all

So let’s raise a glass – although Parsons was shameless –

And drink to the man who made Slim Dusty famous.

By Tony Maloney

There’s only one ‘Pub with no beer’!

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