Ken KITCHING (1977)
– Kenneth James Kitching was born August 4th
Kenny came from a musical
Kitching noted guitar player and brother Stan played lap steel
guitar (not Hawaiian style).
– Age 10 – He had his first experience with electric music when
close friend George Bowman was playing for Bill Kelly who owned
one of Australia’s first electric guitars.
1940’s – 1950’s
– Followed music of Jim
Snelling and American Sol Houpu.
– Age 16 - Made his first electric steel with the help of his
– Had his first professional engagement at the Auburn RSL Club
with his Uncle Mick and bass man Ron Martin.
– (Early) Joined the Maori Club.
– Kenny was the first ever white musician to play for Queen
Salote of Tonga at
her palace. – Same year enticed into Country music by “Edward
“Ned” Kelly and His Western Five”. His first recordings were
hotels, showboats, radio etc.
Kenny built his first console 8 stringed electric guitar
and began recording sessions with “Frank Ifield” and “Jimmy
– Age 26 – Kenny made his first double neck steel guitar and
then a triple neck.
– Played in Mulers chain of hotels with Rex Dallas and
1963 – Resident steel guitar player for the TV series
– Met American “Speedy West”
who introduced him to pedal steel playing.
Ken bought a
– Kenny was resident steel
guitarist on LeGarde Twins TV series “Country Style”.
Maurie Culluma had a strong influence on Ken’s musicianship with
– Played at “The
in Kings Cross.
Stayed for 4
years with “Nev Nicholls Band”.
Here he met
American Jazz Steel Guitarist Buddy Emmons (travelling with
from Buddy a double neck 10 “Emmons”.
– Kenny played on over 250 recorded tracks.
– Released his first single on Apogee Label “Here comes
– First recording on a single on Apogee Label “Here Comes the
Dobro” and “Hands of Steel” both original compositions.
– Met his major idol Jerry Byrd who flew out from
Hawaii to be
special guest at the Tamworth Steel Guitar Convention. Kenny was
made a life member of the Steel Guitar Club of Australia.
- Inducted into the Hands of Fame in
Tamworth – Recorded LP in
“From Sydney to
was chosen to represent
at the 6th
International Steel Guitar Convention in St Louis,
– Met New Zealand John McCall
joined a tour of Kiwiland and joined the group when they moved
The Roll of Renown in Tamworth.
Kenny is also noted exponent
on Dobro and has loaned his expertise to almost 95% of
recordings in Australia.
He has had a
19 year association with Slim Dusty.
He has played
and recorded with – Johnny Ashcroft, Buddy Williams, Smoky
Dawson, Judy Stone, Tex Morton, Jade Hurley, Barry Sisters, Rex
Dallas, Singing Kettles, Rick and Thel, Webb Bros, Buddy
Williams plus many more.