Bill, Ross and Max Kettle
- Bill was born on the 15th
December at Retreat via Lillydale, Tasmania.
1943 - Ross was
born the 24th
of April 24
1950 – Max was
born on the 14th
of January at Lillydale, Tasmania
Age 15 his uncle gave Bill his first guitar and Bill taught
himself to play Wilf Carter’s A Cowboys Best
Friend is His Pony, using two chords
learned from a chord book
Ross copied Bill and later Max copied Ross. They progressed
until they were able to form a trio.
1952 – Bill and Ross won a talent quest on Radio 7LA (at this
time Max was too young to join) at
Windmill from 7LA made a tape of
The Singing Kettles
and played it on his western show every
1955 – The boys became well known and made acetate recordings
for Radio 7LA, Launceston.
1957 – Eric Scott began recording the Kettles as well as other
Northern Tasmanian singers on the new
1961 – Hadley Records (Tasmania)
recorded and released Kettles’ first record
Judy I Miss Holding You. The record was a
success. It was followed by another single.
1963 – Young brother Max was added to the team. They released
their first EP which included White Silver
1965 – 1969 – Recorded the
LP. Further singles released included the highly successful
and a version of Johnny Ashcroft’s
Little Boy Lost.
The Kettles based themselves in
Tamworth but only stayed 12
months. In that time they gained so much recognition it became
apparent they would have to move to a bigger centre. All the
travelling was wearing them out, so they moved to
1969 – The trio went to Vietnam.
They were part of an all-Tasmanian group who performed 25 shows
in 18 days. After moving to Sydney,
they signed with EMI and recorded their most successful album,
Kettle Country. Two
more EMI albums followed.
1970 – They were voted “1”of the top 10 Australian acts.
1971 – On January 22, Max died from an asthma attack. He had
turned 21 a week earlier.
Bill and Ross continued as a duo. Eric Scott had recordings of
Max on tape and they managed to release more LP’s. Eric’s
dedication to the project was rewarded as the tracks became the
Kettle trio’s biggest hits.
The Kettles formed their own
Van Dieman 2 Records.
The first album released on the label featured several of their
1978 – They are inducted
into The Hands of Fame
1984 – Celebrated 20 years in the industry.
1988 – Their act
changed. Ross became a solo artist and Bill performed with his
fiancé, Kathy Thompson.
1989 – Bill and Kathy
marry on October 10 in Launceston.
1996 – Due to Bill’s ill health
announced their retirement at a Vietnam veterans reunion with a
big show that included many of their mates - Patti Newton,
Denise Drysdale, Normie Rowe, Bobby Limb, Lucky Starr and Col
Elevated to the Australian Country Music’s Role of Renown.
2006 - Ross recorded two solo albums – “Words Say It All" and
“All That I Am”.
2007 - Ross recorded his final album, “Waltz of Life”.
2007 - ROSS KETTLE died peacefully
at his home in outer
on Wednesday, September 12, surrounded by his loving family. He