Monday, April 02, 2012

Jimmy Little RIP

As a young boy picking up the new wave of "Rock Music" I vividly remember the "Royal Telephone" with its catchy country melody and the rich sound of Jimmy Little coming through my parents old radiogram The song wasn't in any of our Hymn Collections of the day and  didn't get a gong from the latest approved hymns by the Australian Catholic Bishops.

And today as I mourn the passing of a great Indigenous leader and singer I wonder if that tune will do more to speak "Good News" to our country than all the ritual language of our worship.For behind the tune was a man who lived  a life of service integrity and commitment to his Indigenous culture.  And as obvious in an interview with Today's Christian Music Jimmy was man of faith. In 2002 the Governor General presented Jimmy Little with the Yamaha Golden Gospel Award.

In my work as a photographer I had two wonderful opportunities to hear and photograph Jimmy Little. One was at The Musgrave Park Family Day Concert in 2006 and a few years later Jimmy was in Brisbane again for a  concert to support young Indigenous people. My tribute album from these events can be seen here.

May the spirits sing you home to join your ancestors. May your music and vision for justice continue in our work of reconciliation and solidarity.. RIP Jimmy and thanks for the music.

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