Vale John Dengate. A True Australian Son.

Shoestring Records is very sad to inform you that John Dengate, passed away at his home yesterday 1/8/2013.
The funeral is scheduled for Thursday, 8/8/2013. The funeral service will be held:
1.15pm, Thursday 8th August 2013
Northern Suburbs Crematorium (North Chapel)
199 Delhi Road
North Ryde NSW
In lieu of flowers consider a donation to Garvan Research Foundation.

A beautiful Retrospective on John is available at

Tributes for this page can be emailed to



Dobe Newton "Without the pioneers and true believers like John, our music community and the nation would be a poorer place. Great memories and legacy old mate - you'll be with us all for many, many years."

Warren Fahey I championed John's music for nigh on 40 years. Sadly missed but his songs will live on. 'Macca' host of the (deservedly) hugely popular ABC radio program 'Australia All Over' will feature a half hour tribute to three great Australians next week - 9am 11th August. Warren Fahey will reminisce about the contributions of three of his mates - Gary Shearston, John Dengate and Peter O'Shaughnessy. All three men gave Australia a unique voice - Gary and John as songwriters and singers and Peter as an actor specialising in colonial readings. Warren worked with all three, releasing recordings of Gary and John on Larrikin and, over the past decade, several new albums of Gary Shearston on Rouseabout Records. He produced Peter O'Shaughnessy in the award-winning ABC series 'The Great Australian Legend' which also featured the sorely missed Declan Affley.
Life is too fleeting

Peter Galvin "I called him a worship, yer bastard."

Keith McKenry We have few giants alive in Australia, and now we have one less. John Dengate has not however passed into the silence ­ he has instead embraced his forebears and now provides from a different side of the mortal divide a navigable bridge between the troubled Australia of the present and that of its Irish-Australian past. As he rejoins bare-legged Kate and the peach-pickers of his childhood, the kids at Carlingford for whose cricket games cars would drive off the single-lane bitumen road, his father the orchardist and sheet metal worker, and drinks Coopers Ale with his uncles, sprawling with them on the grass in the sun, he will continue to haunt conservative politicians, bumbling administrators, dodgy bookmakers, corrupt businessmen and tall poppies of all descriptions. And he won't merely do it from the grave, he will do it with the living voice of all those he inspired, who will sing his songs, recite his poems, and create new works spurred on by his example. There has never been a more potent songwriter in this country, and nor has there been a more dedicated Australian. He loved this country with a passion for which words are manifestly inadequate, and he spurned with a vengeance cant and toadyism of any colour or dimension. Had he been prepared to sell his genius to the highest bidder, to kow-tow to the sanitized sensitivities of television executives and advertisers, or even to make the slightest effort at self-promotion, his would be a household name across this country. Instead, he chose passionately to identify always with Bill from Erskinville and all his battler mates, to spurn compromise and live forever an indominable free spirit. His is a life to celebrate. Let us do that, and by our actions do justice to his memory.

Steve Wigham Very sad to hear about John's passing, I remember performing at the Battle of Vinegar hill bi- centenary celebrations and having a yarn with him about song writing. He invited me around to his place for a beer and a strum but I never got around to it! my big loss...

Barbara Morison RIP John, a wonderful remarkable and unique singer songwriter.

Andrew Kaye:-( A great loss The world is going to wonder why it is a little sadder tonight ....vale

Doc Wright: We just lost one of the premier wits of the nation. Vale, Mr Dengate.

Robert Brock A great loss to Australian Folk Music RIP John

Alan Blackshaw A sad loss.

Karen Lynne :-( A great loss

Christine Clapp Malcolm and I are very sad to hear the news

Lisa Pegler I'm so sorry, my best thoughts to his family

Anne-Marie Bland RIP John Dengate... such memories!

Thegypsyjack Boggleshow Australia is a lot poorer because of his death. At least we have the treasure of the heritage he left the nation in his recorded songs, beloved poetry and yarn recitals. Vale John Dengate you will be long respected & remembered.

Carolyn Stuart-Dalton A legacy of memories left behind.

Doug Jenner Feeling the loss of a  best man and special mate I loved. So many shared laughs, yarns, tunes songs, meals, beers and  cricket moments over 28 years. 

Australian Roots Series

John Dengate's Brilliant new double set. Recorded live in concert. Political parody and poignant pieces of poetry, prose and song

from one of Australian Folk Musics living treasures. A terrific retrospective of John's fifty year contribution to Australian herritage.

John's Double Set is Available by phone order 02 4788 1157 or emailed to

Produced by Keith McHenry in Canberra, ACT some real and genuine warmth from deep in the cold, cold heart of the Nation's political capital

Back to the Australian Roots Home Page / Back to the Shoestring Records Homepage

Welcome to

Shoestring Records, Australia

02 4788 1157

The Home of Fine Australian Music and Bush Poetry since 1976


Best viewed at '800x 600'

(All Computer animation by Drummond Design Website by Pattern Pat Websites