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The Story Of The Victorian Country Music Dynasty Begins In The Early Thirties When Young Les Keats
Entranced By The Sounds Of Tex Morton, Jimmie Rodgers, & Vernon Dalheart And Later On
Developing A Lifelong Admiration For The Music Of Hank Snow Decided It Was His Turn To Sing.

Young Les Keats 1939 Tasmania
 
Les Found Himself A Guitar A Hat And The First Of A Lifetime Of Audiences

Les Keats 1948 Tasmania Dressed To Play
He Also Found Himself A Cute Little Girl Way Back In The Hills Of Tasmania
In A Little Town Called Scottsdale Named Kathleen Joy Boden

Her Father Had Planned To Marry Her Off To The Son Of The Local Mill Owner
Where He Was Employed As A Sawmiller He Didnt Take Too Kindly To Young Les But
The Guitar Pickin Country Singin Cowboy Soon Had Himself A Brand New Bride
 

Les & Joy Keats Melbourne Show 1949
A Son Was Born In July 1947 Garry David Keats Followed By Brother Kerran Geoffrey Keats In Dec 1948
The 40s & 50s Saw Les & Joy Keats Rise To Become Nationally Known
Radio Stars For Their Radio Show On 7LA

Some Shows Were Recorded On The First Wire Recorder Ever Used In Tasmania
Sadly The Family Does Not Have Any Copies Of These Original Radio Shows
Although We Do Have A Very Poor Transcription Platter Of One Show
Which Time Has Rendered Almost Unplayable
Moving To Melbourne In The Early 50s Les Rose To Fame
With A Version Of The Slim Dusty Hit A Pub With No Beer.
Backed With His Own Original Composition A Pub With More Beer
This Single On The Now Defunct Planet Label (If You Are On Planet You Are Out Of This World)
Featuring Melbourne Radio Stars The Trailblazers
Soon Had Les Regularly Featuring As One Of The Bands Lead Singers
Along With Other Melbourne Country Music Luminaries
The Hawking Bros, Elsie Darling, George Mack, Jack Johnson, Stan Green & Many Others.
Before Too Long The Husband And Wife Team Added A Promising Young Singer Guitarist To Their Ranks.
Young Merv Lowry Was A Yarrawonga Boy With A Smooth Voice
And A Heavily Influenced American Guitar Style.
With A Brand New Name The Dakotas\"
The Blend Of These Three Voices Soon Had The Gigs Pouring In.
With The Addition Of Drummer Michael (Mick) Baines
 & The Young Legendary Melbourne Steel Man Johnny Rodgers
Les Had Ideas For The Direction Of His Sort Of Country Music
That Now Came One Step Closer To That Of His Idol Hank Snow
This New Band Underwent A Name Change To The Country Styles
As Son Warren Born In October 1961 Recalls
Dad Couldnt Pick Like Hank Snow But He Sure Could Sing Like Him
The Picking Fell To Merv Lowry Who To This Day Is The Only Aussie Guitar Player
Ive Heard Who Could Make Ya Think Hank Was In The Room.
With Johnny Rogers Playin Steel Merv And Dad And My Mum In Harmony
It Was As Close To The Record As I Ever Heard
In Fact When I Eventually Did Get To See Hank Live At Festival Hall at About 9 Years Of Age
I Remember Thinking My Dad Sounds More Like Hank Snow Than This Feller Does.
All In All They Were A Very Good Band.
Before Long Australian Boxing Champion Lionel Rose Selected The Country Styles
As His Backing Band For Live Appearances Which Added Steadily To An Already Heavy Workload
 
 As Time Went By Merv Moved On To Front His Own Very Succesful Band
The Country Ramblers Which Over Its 30 Years Of Work
Featured Both Kerran And Warren As Lead Guitarists
As Well As Many Other Melbourne Musicians
Melbourne Singer And Guitarist Ray Moore Joined The Country Styles Replacing Mervs>
 
 
 
 
 
Warrens First Gig Also Featuring Young Melbourne Steel Legend Bruce Green From Left Joy Keats Les Keats Ray Moore Warren Keats Bruce Green
The Country Styles As The Band Now Became Known
Began To Show A Little More Of Joys Influence
With More Than A Couple Of Buck Owens Songs Entering The Repertoire
Joys Uptempo Almost Rockabilly Tastes Subtly Foreshadowing
The Heavier Changes That Were To Come In Country Music Scene.
With A New Lineup Featuring Again Johnny Rogers And His Steel
Along With Son Kerran On Bass Guitar And Vocals
This Second Incarnation Of The Country Styles Continued On Succesfully For Several Years
The Country Styles MK2 From Left Ken Davis Kerran Keats Johnny Rogers Joy Keats Les Keats
 
When The Country Styles Eventually Folded Les And Joy Continued On
In The First Of Many Lineups Featuring The Name The Keats Family
 Featuring Son Garry On Lead Guitar Kerran On Dobro
And The Occasional Appearance Of Youngest Son Warren
This Band Continued On Its Merry Way For Several More Years
Being A Regular Fixture On The Country Music Festival Circuit And Holders Of Many Long Time Residencies
Les Keats A Country Music Gentleman
 
Joy Keats Melbourne\\\\\\\'s Queen Of Country Music
 
Outside 48 Marie Ave West Heidelberg 3081 As It Was Then Known
 
Garry Keats Reservoir Hotel 1978
 
Kerran Keats Reservoir Hotel 1978
 
Debney Park Community Centre 1976 Warren On Vocals From Left Garry Keats Joy Keats Kerran Keats Warren Keats Nigel AItken Les Keats
Reservoir Hotel 1978 From Left Kerran Keats Warren Keats Robin Keats Joy Keats John Hunter Les Keats Garry Keats
 
Throughout The 80s & 90s The Keats Family Band Came Together For Special Appearances With Les And Joy Continuing To Work As The Les And Joy Keats Band
They Held Down Several Long Standing Residencies
At Many Melbourne Hotels One In Particular At The Commercial Hotel In Northcote
For 14 Years A Record Equalled By Very Few
 
 
After A 60 Year Career Dad Called It A Day In About 98 Handing The Reins Of The Family Band To Youngest Son Warren The Keats Family Mark 2 Gigged On For Another 5 years
Keats Family MK2 From Left Warren Keats Ian Langford Joy Keats Joy Keats At Fairfield rsl August 2000
 
 
It Would Be Remiss Of Me To Not Mention My Mother Joy Keats
Who As You Can See By The Photos Above Was Equally At Home
In A 3 Peice Country Rock Band Playing Thru A 600 Watt 3 x 15
Biamped Yamaha JBL Rig And Kicking Ass Playin Boogie\\\\\\\'s
As She Was In 1940 With Her Acoustic Guitar Yodelling With Dad.
Its A Long Way From Listening To Shirley Thoms Records And Admiring
Jean Sheppard And Yodelling With My Dad To Playing Rock And Roll
And Crunchy Boogie.
She Came To Fill In On Bass For Me For Six Months
And Stayed for 4 Years
Her Innings In The Melbourne Music Industry Started In 1951
& She Did Her Last Gig With Me In 2001 50 Years And A Whole Lot Of Gigs
Joy Keats 1975 Tony Lee Stan Green & Kerran
Les Joy And Warren Keats 1966 

The Story My Father Started In The 1930s
Continues Today With A New Generation Of Keats
My Eldest Daughter Michelle Granddaughter Of Les Keats
Recently Made Her Debut With The Family Band
Michelles First Gig Country Music Guild Of Australasia From Left Warren Keats Michelle Keats Les Gough Kerran Keats