BILL, ROSS and MAX
1940 - Bill was born on the 15th
December at Retreat via Lillydale, Tasmania.
1943 - Ross was born the 24th
Retreat via Lillydale,
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 Launceston. Clive
7LA made a tape of The Singing
Kettles and played it on his
western show every afternoon.
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 tape facility.
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 Sands.
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 Sydney.
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,
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 label, Van Dieman 2
Records. The first album released on the label featured several
of their own compositions.
1978 – They are inducted into
The Hands of Fame
1984 – Celebrated 20 years in the industry.
1986 – Their act changed. Ross became a solo artist and
Bill performed with his fiancé, Kathy Thompson.
2005 – Elevated to the Australian Country Music’s Role
of Renown. They performed on the Roll of Renown Concert (the
first time in 19 years) and had Max’s son Grady joining them on
1986 – Bill became very ill.
1988 – With the success of the duo, Bill and Kathy
record an album at Albert’s Studios. They performed on the Bet
Newton Show, John Mangos show and many television shows in
1989 – Bill and Kathy marry on October 10 in Launceston.
1994 – Due to Bill’s ill
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 Elliot.
Bill now only performs occasionally.
1986 – Ross worked the club circuit around Sydney
2005 – Ross’s health deteriorates as he underwent double
hip replacement and then was diagnosed with breast cancer.
2006 - Ross recorded two solo
albums – “Words Say It All" and “All That I Am”.
2007 - Ross recorded his final album, “Waltz of Life”.
On this album he was joined by his granddaughter Madison on his
original composition “Daddy, What If?”
2007 – Ross Kettle died peacefully at his home in Sydney
on Wednesday, September 12, surrounded by his loving family. He