As the upcoming recipient of one of the music industry’s highest honours, the Ted Albert Award for Outstanding Services to Australian Music, Joy McKean will be celebrated this week.
Set to be awarded at the 2021 APRA Music Awards in Sydney, Joy McKean will add to her collection of seven Golden Guitar awards, her two inductions into the Australasian Country Music Roll of Renown and her Industry Achiever Award, from the Country Music Association of Australia, which she co-founded back in 1992.
To build on the upcoming celebration this Wednesday night, we asked a few people in the industry who have been influenced by, and are still in awe of, McKean’s work. Check out testimonials from artists Georgia Mooney, Kasey Chambers, Fanny Lumsden, Lachlan Bryan, The McClymonts and Troy Cassar-Daley, and industry figures Chris O’Hearn, Jeremy Dylan and Dean Ormston.
The influence of Joy McKean
GEORGIA MOONEY, CO-HOST, 2021 APRA MUSIC AWARDS:
“Joy is the very definition of a quiet achiever. Humble, wise, tough and profoundly talented. Her contribution to Australian music is too immense to measure. I’ve no doubt she will continue to inspire songwriters for years to come, especially women.”
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JEREMY DYLAN, CEO POTTS ENTERTAINMENT:
“Joy McKean’s songs are part of the fabric of Australian country music, indeed you could say they define it. Even today, almost fifty years since she wrote iconic songs like ‘Lights on the Hill’ and ‘The Biggest Disappointment’, there isn’t an aspiring or established country artist in Australia who couldn’t sing them at a moment’s notice.
“For too long, not enough people in the general public have known Joy’s name, even as everyone knows her songs, but the recent ‘Slim and I’ documentary and this well-deserved honour from APRA are doing much to change that. It’s hard to imagine anyone more deserving of this award than someone who, like Ted Albert, has blazed a trail that will continue to inspire new music and musicians into the future and beyond her lifetime.”
“Joy McKean has paved the way for so many of us in music from both out on the stage and behind the scenes. Her hard work, determination and strength of character has inspired my my whole life and there is no one more deserving for this prestigious award”.
LACHLAN BRYAN, LACHLAN BRYAN AND THE WILDES:
“Joy McKean’s songs have helped define not only Australian music, but Australia itself. Her influence runs deep – she’s affected positive change to the lives and careers of hundreds of artists, writers and music business people, including many who have barely even heard of her. And she’s done it all with grace, humility and a truly inspirational sense of artistry.”
DEAN ORMSTON, APRA AMCOS CEO:
“It is truly APRA’s honour to present Joy McKean with the Ted Albert Award. Joy’s many and unmatched achievements start with songwriting – from performing with her sister Heather, to the beloved Slim Dusty hits she penned like ‘Lights on the Hill’ and ‘The Biggest Disappointment’. In addition to her songwriting and performance credits, Joy has been one of the Australian music industry’s most formidable and savvy artist managers.
“Joy’s personal support and contribution to Australian songwriters, and country music is nationally significant. Last year I asked Joy what she thought about current country songwriting, “I think they should just get on with it, cut to the chase, tell the story!” For over 70 years, Joy has walked the talk, she has had an enormous influence and she is someone who just gets on with it. For her songwriting, her storytelling and her vision, she is a national treasure.”
“Joy McKean has quietly and unassumingly trailblazed a path through the back roads and highways of Australia and into the hearts of everyday people through her story telling, songs and dedication to keeping the show on the road. What a woman. What an artist. What a legacy.”
“If you mention female writers and trail blazers in the Australian country music industry, Joy McKean’s name would be at the top of that list. With over 70 years in the business, writing hit after hit and being the backbone to Slim Dusty, we are in awe of such a magnificent woman who has led an exceptional career. We continue to see Joy at events, encouraging new musicians and always being a force for Oz Country Music. Congratulations to Joy on this incredible award.”
“Joy McKean has seen it all, every inch of this country by road and much of it done in conventional vehicles. But when it comes to her songwriting she was far from conventional, she bent every rule and told stories of this great land in her own unique way with many songs I still class as my absolute favourites.
“She is a pioneer for many Women in country music and stood her ground in the male dominated arena of the Aussie show ground circuit, I don’t know many other women who could have done that. As a songwriter she is my hero and always will be, because like her, her songs are timeless and will forever reach the hearts of new generations.”
CHRIS O’HEARN, DIRECTOR THRILLHILL MUSIC:
“Joy McKean has done it all, and every step has been achieved with a dignity and strength that has, in turn, guided so many, and there is not a touring act in this country that shouldn’t be thankful for the pioneering path carved across our country by Joy, along with Slim. From Broome to Sydney, from Peppimenarti to Nulla Nulla Creek and everywhere in between, they enriched so many lives.
“The shows, the tours, the miles travelled, the songs, the fans, and the respect they always gave to our First Nations people are all part of an incredible canvas that has left a mark on Australia and who we are as people that can never be diminished. The truth is I learnt more about Australia sitting at Joy’s kitchen table with a cuppa and cake, listening to the tales from the road than all my years at school, and for that, I will be forever grateful and feel truly blessed. I respect no one in our industry more.
“Congratulations to the 2021 recipient of the Ted Albert Award for Outstanding Services to Australian Music, the remarkable and most loved lady of song, Joy McKean.”
Visit APRAAMCOS.com.au for the full list of nominations.