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"I'm so lonesome i could cry" - Smithfield RSL
On the beach at Waikiki. Kenny Kitching on Dobro
"Tennessee Waltz" - Smithfield RSL


Kenny Kitching

Internationally acclaimed for his playing on pedal steel and dobro and  Hawaiian lap steel, Kenny is a respected veteran  in these fields, both in Australia and the USA.


Adding to his expertise on the Hawaiian guitar in the 1950s, he was invited to join  Edward ‘Ned’ Kelly’s band in 1955, and in no time he was immersing himself in the music of Hank Williams as a member of Ned Kelly and his Western Five’. He loved the challenge and his first country song was Your Cheatin’ Heart. At this time he played a 1940 model Rickenbacher Lap Steel.


Kenny has been in demand as a session musician over the years, and has played on many albums for a lot of famous Australian recording artists- such as Frank Ifield, George Payne, Slim Dusty, Arthur Blanch, Johnny Ashcroft, Lionel Rose, Tex Morton, Buddy Williams, John Williamson, John McCall, Wendy Mathews, Kate Cebrano, Emma Hannah,  Jade Hurley, Kevin King, Nev Nicholls and Jimmy Little to name just a few.

In 1964 he met up with Speedy West, who was in Australia to do some tv shows.  Speedy encouraged Kenny to take up the pedal steel.  He said “Don’t be frightened of these guitars Kenny, It’s just like driving a truck”. further explaining and adding hand gestures, “ Excelerator! Clutch! ! Excelerator! Clutch!  This led Kenny to getting his first pedal steel; Fender 400  with no knee levers. He practiced on it for 2 weeks before using it at his regular gig at the time, at the Texas Tavern in Sydney.

Kenny was among the first generation of Australian steel and pedal steel players and felt very honoured to have played in the Palace of Queen Salote of Tonga in 1955, for the birthday of the Queen’s three year old granddaughter.  Twenty years later Kenny was working with Kevin King and the Country Sound, at the Transport Club when a group of young Tongan ladies from the University of New South Wales asked for him.  One of them was that little girl he played for back in 1955.  One of his favourite memories.


As Eric Watson wrote in his book ‘Country Music in Australia’ (volume 2) about Kenny:‘His name was Kenny Kitching and he was to become known as the greatest exponent of the pedal steel and dobro that Australia has produced.’ He has a great affection for his fellow musicians,  and takes every opportunity to play and be among them.



Kenny has been honoured overseas and in 1977 was honoured by the Steel Guitar Hall of Fame in St Louis Missouri, USA, by being presented with a plaque of appreciation  “To Kenny Kitching, for your artistry on steel guitar and Dobro”.  Also that same year he was presented with the coveted Steel Guitar Hall of Fame Jerry Byrd Lifetime Achievement Award, for steel guitar players.   He’s also been to the US on further occasions to play and record.

In 1989 he was invited by Jerry Byrd to represent Australia in Hawaii to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the founding of the Hawaiian Steel Guitar.

Honours in Australia include the Tamworth Roll of Renown, Hands of Fame, and Steel Guitar Hall of Fame.


Kenny has made many TV appearances including  the  series, “Travellin’ Out West” for the Grundy Organisation and “That’s Country” in NZ with the John McCall Band, and has worked with many bands and on many recording sessions throughout his long career. 


Still today, Kenny finds great joy in playing his guitars, and along with wife Emma, music is a huge part of his life.  Practice every day is his mantra, and one of his greatest joys.

Emma Hannah

Emma has had a very busy career in the music industry  from her teenage years. She became very involved in the flourishing Folk movement after early classical training, and has been a professional singer and musician from that time on. 


Appearing on a variety of TV shows she made regular appearances on Gary Shearston’s ‘Just Folk’ TV Show during the mid 60s, along with concert performances across a wide area of the Eastern states of Australia


Then in the early 1970s along with Ricky & Tammy she became a regular on John Williamson’s popular ‘Trav’lin Out West’ TV series, further enhancing her national profile with personal concert appearances and regular club spots.  Later on she made many appearances on television, including ‘Reg Lindsay’s Country Homestead’ and other variety TV shows of the 70s and 80s.


Since that time Emma has continued to travel widely, appearing at a variety of venues right across Australia.


To date, Emma has recorded four solo albums, and a joint CD with Kenny.

Her single ‘Angel of The Morning’ did well in the Australian pop charts in the late 1970s.

Available now are her last two albums ‘Wayfaring Stranger’ recorded in 2006, and ‘Songs To Dream On’ which was recorded in 2011. 


In 2012 she was the recipient of the Frank Ifield International Spur Award – with her song “I’ll Walk Beside You” reaching No 4 on the UK and European Radio Charts.


Emma continues to perform with her husband Kenny Kitching.

They have collaborated on their latest music release called ‘Sit With Me By The Water’




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