Kevin Gunn 7 February 2011
by Mark Bin Bakar
Kevin was born under a Coolabah tree at Gogo station near Fitzroy Crossing.
Kevin Gunn is/was a household name all around Australia, particularly in the Indigenous community. His magnificent control of his Black Fender Telecaster, well groomed dress and that big cowboy hat with all its shining insignia made him look not only smart, handsome and stunning but also made him look the part as a true professional Country Music Star and Guitarist, which he was.
All the names like Lindsay Butler, Troy Cassar-Daly, Lee Kernigan, Casey Chambers, The Emmanuelle Brothers, the late Barry Thornton and many more, all knew and played with Kevin Gunn. He was highly respected as a musician and for his lightning skill as a country guitarist. His good looks and profile were the epitome of all great Australian Country singers and guitarist. He also had a brief stint in Nashville USA.
But the loss of so many dear and very close family members took its toll on this very humble man, the many years away on the road country, family and language created a hole in his heart and soul that retired him into a great memory.
As a young man he toured extensively through Australia, totally supported and encouraged by his late mother and wife, to places that many would have never even heard of. After leaving his Halls Creek band The Mysteries in 1979 he left home as a professional musician to tour with the Rick and Thel Country Show for five years. The Guinness Book of Records later listed this as the longest flying tour in the world with the Brian Young Show etc. Kevin was highly respected in Tamworth circles. The heights he reached have left a huge mark on our nation as one of the richest talented Aboriginal country music stars, and his impact is still alive through great memories and his recordings. A product that comes out of Halls Creek and conquering the nation in his own unique way and becoming one of the most requested artists on the Earl Reeve Country Music Show on ABC state radio with the 1980 smash hit “Heartache Blues”.
Kevin Gunn was the first Kimberley Artist to travel extensively throughout Australia and achieve star status, but as a pioneer, never really had the full support that he needed. We are richer for having him and also sad for not having him still perform. He laid some major foundations for Kimberley artists and created many opportunities by simply being a Kimberley Star.