DUSTY KING SR. (2001 Inductee)

Dusty King was born Robert Dustin in Sherbrooke, Quebec in 1938. Growing up in the Eastern Townships, he began to play country music as a teenager in the Ayerscliffe/East Hatley area, quickly developing a local following. He cut his first records in the early 60’s for the Dominion label, subsequently switching to Arc Records, one of Canada’s best known labels at that time, where he recorded several top-selling albums. Around that time, he scored a number one hit with a song called, "This Old Heart", on CFGM Toronto, Canada’s first full-time country music radio station, a feat literally unheard of in a time before there was a Canadian country chart or a Canadian Country Music Association.

Dusty performed on Sherbrooke TV’s "Des King Show" and on the "OK Jamboree" on CJSS Cornwall, sharing the screen with Embrun’s Brisson Brothers. The mid-60’s found him leading the house band at the "Country Palace" in Montreal, which became the most prestigious venue for country music of its time. "Dusty King & The Kountry Kats", including such well known musicians as guitarist/singer Paul Gurry, steel guitarist Neil Flanz, bassist Don Sailor, and keyboardist Wayne King, entertained six nights a week and, on weekends, hosted Nashville acts like Billy Walker, Del Reeves, Jean Shepard, Mel Tillis and Bobby Bare. Through his contacts with these entertainers, Dusty became a regular visitor to Music City USA.

In the 1970’s, Dusty and his band hit the road, playing clubs from Western Quebec through Ontario to Toronto. Towns like Pine Hill, Brownsburg, Lachute, Buckingham and Masson were regular stops on the Quebec side, and their Ontario gigs included Kingston, Ottawa, Peterborough, Toronto, London and Hamilton. Dusty continued to record, and his last project, produced for Rodeo Records by Elmira, Ontario country singer, Lynn Russwurm, is entitled "Something to Say". Dusty passed away on January 8, 2003.


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