Singing Kettles

1940 - Bill was born on the 15th December at Retreat via Lillydale, Tasmania.

1943 - Ross was born the 24th of April at Retreat via Lillydale, Tasmania

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   Windmill from 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 Country Harmony LP. Further singles released included the highly successful Toy Telephone 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, 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 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 in Tamworth.

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 stage.

Bill Kettle

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 Tasmania.

1989 – Bill and Kathy marry on October 10 in Launceston.

1994 – Due to Bill’s ill health  they 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 Elliot.

Bill now only performs occasionally.

Ross Kettle

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 was 64.