– Kenneth James Kitching was born August 4th
Kenny came from a musical family background.
Uncle Mick 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.
– Followed music of Jim Snelling and American Sol Houpu.
His lasting idols.
– 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
Worked in 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
Ken bought a Fender 400.
– Kenny was resident steel guitarist on LeGarde Twins TV
series “Country Style”.
Musician Maurie Culluma had a strong
influence on Ken’s musicianship with pedal steel.
– Played at “The
in Kings Cross.
Stayed for 4 years with “Nev Nicholls
Here he met American Jazz Steel
Guitarist Buddy Emmons (travelling with Roger Miller).
Kenny bought from Buddy a double neck 10
– 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 to
– Elevated onto
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
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.