It's ominous when city writers refer to a modern country music artist as a C & W singer.
It happened last week in a daily newspaper preview for the excellent SBS docco, The Indian Cowboy: One In A Billion.

Now, that can be excused if the artist refers to his music as C & W.

That was the case when Indian singer Bobby Cash was interviewed with a cast of Aussie country acts.

But the biggest blooper was when two legendary country artists - the late Slim Dusty and very much alive Smoky Dawson, 90, MBE and OAM - had their IDS swapped.

Or maybe stolen.

A classical music writer for one of the world's great newspapers did the swap in his docco preview.

Bobby Cash with Smoky Dawson

The show featured Smoky and Cash doing an impromptu acoustic duet on the Jimmie C Davis classic You Are My Sunshine.

The columnist duly reported it was recently deceased Slim who was the duet partner.

But it was Smoky, who turns 91 in March, not Slim who died at 76 on September 19, 2003.

The writer nailed it when he described it as perfect harmony - shame about Slim, not, old Smoky winning the praise.


Smoky and Slim have long worn striking headgear but even their trademark chapeaus are stark contrasts - like country and, ah, classical music.

Smoky was the Abbotsford born and Warrnambool reared pioneer who chanced his voice and arm as actor, singer and knife thrower on the highly competitive U.S. circuit in 1950.
It was there Dawson performed on shows with Louisiana Governor and actor Davis who shared longevity by being recently deceased at the ripe young age of 100.

Dawson was the first artist to record for the Acuff-Rose label Hickory in 1951 before he hosted the Kellogg's syndicated breakfast radio show from 1952-62.

And, unlike many peers, he never lost timbre in his voice.

He still performs and has hosted a national community radio show for 20 years with wife Dot - a spritely 96 year old.

Dot, about to celebrate 61 years of marriage, accompanies Smoky to gigs and is happy to be awoken from the sleep of the just to give Smoky her opinion on new songs.


Smoky and Cash - that's Bobby (not Johnny) - both play Melbourne in February.

Smoky performs with Howie Bros at Whittlesea country music fest - February 6-8

Other acts include Troy Cassar-Daley & singing spouse Laurel Edwards, Leslie Avril, Sovereign, Pigram Bros, Breakers and Travis Sinclair.

Cash follows Dawson into Melbourne with gigs at Moorabbin Town Hall - February 21 - and Southern Star Saloon on February 22.

We plan to interview both artists for Nu Country TV.

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