First Nations Legend Jimmy Little’s Biography Coming This April

25 February 2023 | 8:55 am | Mary Varvaris

Written by his daughter, Frances Peters-Little, the book recalls the story behind Jimmy Little's ascent to stardom.

(Source: Jimmy Little: A Yorta Yorta Man)

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National Treasure and pioneering Indigenous musician Jimmy Little passed away, aged 75, in April 2012.

A pioneer for Indigenous musicians, his track Royal Telephone (1963) was the first song by an Indigenous performer to top the pop music charts.

He received several accolades for his contribution to music and Aboriginal people, including National Living Treasure, Order Of Australia, ARIA Hall of Fame and APRA's Ted Albert award.

Despite a kidney transplant in 2004, Little only retired from the music industry in 2011. Even after that, he endeavoured to improve the living conditions of Indigenous Australians living in rural areas through the Jimmy Little Foundation.

This April, fans can celebrate the life of an Australian music legend in the form of Jimmy Little: A Yorta Yorta Man, the first-ever biography about Jimmy Little.

Written by his daughter, Frances Peters-Little, the book recalls the story behind Jimmy Little's ascent to stardom. The book description reads:

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At just 16 years of age, Jimmy Little travelled to Sydney to make his radio debut on Australia’s Amateur Hour. The eldest of seven children and born on the Cummeragunja Reserve on the Murray River, Jimmy’s entry into the entertainment industry came at a time when First Nations people were not counted in the census.

In the face of indescribable barriers and discrimination, Jimmy would go on to woo the nation. His immense talent, charm and heart saw him become a household name and national treasure. Jimmy’s songs consistently topped the music charts of the 1960s, and he won several of Australia’s most prestigious lifetime achievement awards, including the ARIA Hall of Fame, NAIDOC Person of the Year, and Officer of the Order of Australia.

For though this is a story about a pop star and national celebrity, it is also the story of a gentle man who always stayed true to himself and his cultural identity – a man who believed in the power of living your dreams.

Weaving together stories both known and unknown to the public, Jimmy Little: A Yorta Yorta Man will take you on a remarkable journey through a life of music, love and advocacy.

Pre-order Jimmy Little: A Yorta Yorta Man here.

In 2015, the musical play that followed the life of Jimmy Little, Country Song, was brought to the Illawarra Performing Arts Centre. The Wesley Enoch-directed play came from the actor and musician Michael Tuahine, who had the original idea after being inspired by Walk The Line. The story was further developed by award-winning playwright Reg Cribb (The Damned, Last Cab to Darwin).