KEN LINDLEY at 81, has a spirit and talent which defies his age, although he says he’s an old hillbilly.
A Yamtji man, he spent his childhood at the Moore River Mission growing up with Graham (Polly) Farmer.
Ken had an interesting working life from starting an apprenticeship as a commercial artist in the 1950s at Gibney and Sons, to travelling the country working as a jack of all trades on farms.
At 58 Ken returned to university to become a school teacher and taught at Balga Primary School until retirement at 75.
His one great love in life is music.
“I got a taste for country music as a child during WWII when me and 180 other children were shipped to Greenbushes.
“As a treat we would all sit in the big loungeroom and listen to the 6IX’s Hillbilly roundup on the radio once a week,” he said.
In 1953 he bought his first guitar and as a left hander taught himself to play a right-handed guitar.
He was one of the first to play country music in the state with Wayne Pride. From those concerts the WA Country Music Club was established.
“I hired a hall in Midland and we got all these mums and dads to come along and it just grew from there,” he said.
Music shaped him and with his late wife Frances, they spent their life together enjoying playing and singing music.
“Although Frances was very sick we recorded two CDs together before she passed,” said Ken.
Ken has a collection of 29 guitars and said that at his 80th birthday party a guitar was passed around for everyone to sign at the party.
Music is still very much part of his life and he says that every Tuesday night he and a group of musicians enjoy a jam at his house.
Ken can belt out a variety of genres from country, yodels to old classics and pop tunes.
He’s written a lot of songs, recorded albums and played all over WA. His new album is called Down Under Country.
Ken looks forward to playing at the Music Extravaganza concert to be held at the on Saturday 9 June at the Morley Sport and Recreation Centre from 12.30pm to 5pm.
He will be joined by Brian Letton, Sarah Broome, Moira J Scott, Terry Bennetts and many other artists to present a fun-filled afternoon playing a selection of popular music with a country slant.
Tickets available from 9492 9771 and includes afternoon tea.