A Pub With No Beer [music videos, sung by Slim Dusty]

“A Pub With No Beer” was written by Gordon Parsons, performed by Slim Dusty (David Gordon Kirkpatrick), and released in April 1957 as the B side to one of Slim Dusty’s other recordings; it was enormously popular, becoming the only Australian 78 rpm song to be made a “gold record”, and it reached #1 on the music charts in September 1958.

The song was based on a poem written by Dan Sheahan, a Queensland farmer (who was born in Ireland). The background story is that in 1943, during the Second World War, Sheahan had gone to the Day Dawn Hotel in Ingham (Queensland), but found, to his horror, that American soldiers had drunk the place dry of beer the previous day. Sheahan wrote a poem about the incident, “A Pub Without Beer”, which was published in the North Queensland Register the following year. Gordon Parsons was said to have heard the poem and adapted it as a song, which his friend Slim Dusty then recorded.

A Pub With No Beer, sung by Slim Dusty


A Pub With No Beer, sung by Slim Dusty and Gordon Parsons


A Pub With No Beer, sung by Slim Dusty (original 1957 version)


References and further information:
A Pub With No Beer (1957) [curator’s notes], Australian Screen (National Film and Sound Archive) (accessed 28 September 2012)
A Pub With No Beer (1957), Australian Screen (National Film and Sound Archive) (accessed 28 September 2012)
Slim Dusty, Slim Dusty Enterprises (accessed 28 September 2012)
Australia’s first hit single ‘a pub with no beer’ turns 50 years old , The Slim Dusty Centre Project (accessed 28 September 2012)
Slim Dusty, Wikipedia (accessed 28 September 2012)

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