Australian singer songwriter, poet and author Joe Daly died Dec. 22 in Broken Hill, New South Wales, after a battle with cancer. He was 78.
Daly wrote more than 50 songs with late country icon Slim Dusty, including the hit “Trumby”. The song tells the tale of an indigenous stockman who drank from a poisoned lake because he could not read the warning sign in English. It reflected Daley’s love for stories from the Australian desert and outback.
Born in 1927 in Broken Hill, a mining town, he left school at the age of 11 to work on cattle stations. The people he met during his various jobs — including cattle drover, bush race jockey, kangaroo and rabbit hunter, and miner — inspired his lyrics. A chance meeting with Dusty in 1965 led to a successful collaboration.
In 1984, Daly was inducted into the Hands of Fame in the Australian country music capital of Tamworth.