Heather McKEAN (1977)
1932 – Heather McKean born of
1939 – Family moves to Yanderra
(Blue Mountains) where the
sister’s music begins.
Joy learns to vamp on the piano
and accomplishes the steel guitar. Later added the ukulele with
the aid of the EZ Tutor and later the bass guitar and piano
accordion. Heather becomes absorbed in the
ukulele and they both start learning songs from their dad’s
1940 – The sisters begin to make
public appearances in school concerts, charity shows and fund
raising for the war effort.
Joy begins to write her own material.
1941 – Joy and Heather separated
for a time as Joy enters a remedial hospital in Sydney regarding the
polio in her right leg.
– They spend 6 weeks at their grandmother’s house where they
listen to the 78’s and playing guitar. They get into full swing
with their act at the
They appear on the Dick Fairs
“Australian Amateur Hour Show” and later appear on the Tivoli
Theatre for the Diggers Show.
Move to Murwillumbah when their father enters into the army.
They are regulars of the wartime fund raising shows around the
– Joy 14 and Heather 12 – move to
continue with the charity concert pattern around
They join a
concert party, which visits prisons and other institutions.
– Joy gains her Intermediate Certificate and leaves school.
Heather is in her last year of school at this time.
on promoter, Dick Sawyer talent quest which starts Joy and
Heather to the first All Country Hall Shows run by Sawyer and
– The girls worked in the Record Bar at Albert Radio,
and Heather get their own Radio Show on 2KY and runs for 7
– Tim McNamara asks Joy and Heather to do back up vocals on his
recording “Follow the Hill Billy’s Down the Main Street”.
It is their
first time in a studio. Joy meets Slim.
– Joy and Heather pass up an audition with EMI when Tim McNamara
persuades them to try for Rodeo
They record 18 sides of cover
versions from popular American hit songs plus their own
They never recorded together
again after that although they each had produced solo albums.
They did a two week tour west of
NSW with Shorty Ranger, Gordon Parsons and Tim McNamara.
Heather meets Reg Lindsay.
1952’s - The McKean Sisters are
billed among the top stars along with Slim, Reg, Teg Quigg and
Tim and Daphne McNamara. Anne is born on July 4.
1954 – Heather and Reg marry.
1956 – Joy and Heather both
leave their radio show at 2 KY because of the other commitments
they have with their music and tours.
1973 – Heather is asked to
in the International Show in
She is the first woman to achieve this
distinction. Joy receives the first issued Golden Guitar for
APRA Song of the Year with “Lights on the Hill”.
1976 – Heather wins Best Female
Vocal at the Tamworth Country Music Festival.
With “I Can Feel
– Joy and Heather inducted into the Hands of Fame in
2002 – Inducted into the
Broadcasters Hall of Fame.
2010 – Heather receives the TSA
Tex Morton Award.
2013 - Heather awarded the Order
of Australia Medal in June.