Australian music legend Jimmy Little has died peacefully at his home at the age of 75.
Jimmy had been ill for some time and died this morning in his own bed with his daughter nearby.
James Oswald ‘Jimmy’ Little was born on March 1, 1937 at the Cummeranunja Mission in New South Wales. He was a pioneer country singer in Australia and the first Australian Aboriginal to receive mainstream success nationally.
Jimmy was one of the first acts to sign with Festival Records. His biggest hit was ‘Royal Telephone’ in 1963. Barry Gibb wrote the song ‘One Road’ for Jimmy in 1964. It was another Top 40 hit for him.
Jimmy was also an actor and had a part in Wim Wenders 1991 film ‘Until The End Of The World’.
In 2001, Brendan Gallagher of Karma Country put together Australia’s finest musicians including Paul Kelly, Bernard Fanning and Don Walker to record the album ‘Resonate’ with Jimmy, featuring contemporary songs. In 2004 he recorded his 34th album ‘Life’s What You Make It’ featuring songs by Neil Young, Elvis Costello and U2.
In 2004, he was diagnosed with kidney failure and underwent a kidney transplant. From that he launched the Jimmy Little Foundation to help indigenous Australians suffering from kidney disease.
Jimmy was awarded the APRA Ted Albert Award for Outstanding Services to the Music Industry in 2010.