Joy gives a woman’s insight into life on the road in her new book

ON THE ROAD: Joy McKean signed copies of her book for Tamworth fans yesterday. Photo: Geoff O’Neill 170714GOD02

ON THE ROAD: Joy McKean signed copies of her book for Tamworth fans yesterday. Photo: Geoff O’Neill 170714GOD02

TAMWORTHIANS are getting an insight into a woman’s life on the road with Joy McKean signing her new book yesterday.

McKean, the widow of Slim Dusty, traversed Australia numerous times as they took their travelling country show to all corners of the nation. 

She has documented her life as Dusty’s wife and their life on the road in her latest book, Riding This Road.

McKean won the first ever Golden Guitar in Tamworth in 1973 for writing Lights On The Hill and returned to Tamworth yesterday for a book signing at Collins Booksellers, attracting plenty of country fans to meet one of their idols.

So far, the tour has taken her through Queensland and NSW across to the coast and now to the New England and to the Hunter region today for signings in Maitland and Toronto.

Tamworth will see McKean again in January. 

“I might do another signing in January or I might be doing something else that’s not a book,” she said.

McKean said people had been speaking to her all the way about their memories of Dusty and where they had seen them around the country.

“It’s been happening all the way – hearing people’s stories is the best thing about it and meeting people,” she said.

“I was in Hervey Bay and a woman came up to me and said she was the wife of the stock inspector in Top Springs at the time we were there and there was a huge blue that I write about in the book. She gave me a few details that I didn’t know about.”

McKean said the book had been so well-received because people were keen to know about life on the road.

“They want to know and are getting to know that in the book,” she said.

“They’ve heard Slim’s story, now they are hearing about how it was to be a woman on the road.”

She said one of the best parts about writing the book was the memories it brought back.

“I’d be looking at something I wrote and then it brought on other memories and memories of people,” McKean said.

“I loved all the things and people I remembered when I was writing.”

The legendary country music singer-songwriter said she was writing “flat-out” to get the book finished. She began in July last year and, after a few hold-ups, really got into it in August and it was released on March 29.

“I was writing day and night, but it was fun” she said.

“It was very, very different to songwriting.

“With a song, you’ve got to tell a story quickly, but with a book you can write so much more and put your memories into it. Then there’s the editing.” 

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