Dusty Spittle Profile

Glen Moffatt
7 Jan 2019

Balladeer and songwriter Dusty Spittle’s first album was released in 1967 and was followed by another 15 or so brimming with his own songs well into the 2010s. It felt as if his lopsided grin, vice-like handshake and black hat had been around New Zealand country music forever and would continue to be.

Several flirtations with Australia included his first radio broadcasts, in Tasmania and Victoria in 1962. He even had an EP released there wrongly credited as “with The Hamilton Blue Grass Band” instead of The Hamilton County Bluegrass Band.

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Dusty Spittle - Country Boy's Dream (Viking)
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Dusty Spittle singing 'Mother, the Queen of My Heart' on Dixie Chicken (1987)
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In the studio recording Dusty Spittle's Kiwi Storyteller LP, 1980. From left: unknown, Jeff Rea (front), Pete Hansen (rear), guitarist Dave Johnston, unknown, Spittle's then wife Merelda, Dusty Spittle, pedal steel guitarist Jim Lange.
Photo credit: Jeff Rea collection
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Dusty Spittle (left) and Max McCauley in the 1960s. Photo credit: Max McCauley collection
Photo credit: Max McCauley collection
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Dusty Spittle and the Mountaineers - Cardigan Bay and Other Cowboy Songs (La Gloria)
Photo credit: RNZ collection
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Dusty Spittle - Country Boy's Dream back cover (Viking)
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Dusty Spittle with the Hamilton County Bluegrass Band - The Kingston Flyer & Other Country Favourites
Photo credit: RNZ collection
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On the way to Duvauchelle Bay. Clockwise from top left: Malcolm Marshall, John Cooke, Dusty Spittle, Glen, Dave Johnston, Val Elliott, Les Thompson, Val’s mother and Brian Cross.
Photo credit: Val Elliott collection
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The Country World of Dusty Spittle
Photo credit: RNZ collection
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Dusty Spittle - Kiwi Storyteller
Photo credit: RNZ collection
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Dusty Spittle - Songs For Country Folks (Viking)
Photo credit: RNZ collection
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Dusty Spittle as he appeared in the Southland Times, January 2011.
Photo credit: Publicity photo
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Patsy Riggir is cradled by fellow That's Country stars (from left) Noel Parlane, Jeff Rea and Dusty Spittle
Photo credit: Jeff Rea collection
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Dusty Spittle With The Hamilton Blue Grass Band 7" EP (CM Twin City Sound, Australia)
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On the way to Duvauchelle Bay. Clockwise from top left: Dave Johnston, John Cooke, Malcolm Marshall, Val Elliott, Dusty Spittle.
Photo credit: Val Elliott collection
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Labels:

La Gloria


Viking


CM Twin City Sound


Wells Fargo


Music World


Kiwi

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Trivia:

Dusty Spittle put melodies to some of Naseby bush poet Ross “Blue Jeans” McMillan’s poems and the two became good mates after Spittle encountered some of McMillan’s work in a Canterbury museum.