The Keil Isles Profile

Chris Bourke
11 May 2013

The Keil Isles’ place in New Zealand’s music history has often been understated, even though they were a drawcard in Auckland playing rock and roll well before Johnny Devlin left Wanganui.

Why? Possibly because they were mostly an Auckland phenomenon, or that cover versions dominated their set lists, or just that New Zealand’s rock history needed an iconoclastic lone ranger like Devlin to be its first star.

Show more +
ImageableImage
Hero thumb keilisles
The Keil Isles in the early 1960s. Clockwise from bottom left: Bill Fairs, Olaf Keil, Lou Miller, Brian Henderson and Klaus Keil. In the centre is Herma.
ImageableImage
Hero thumb a1391
The Keil Isles' debut album for Viking, Take Off, issued in 1961
EmbeddableItem EmbeddableItem! type = Person
ImageableImage
Hero thumb k5
The Keil Isles in Wellington, circa 1964. Left to right: Herma Keil, Lou Miller, George Barna, Brian Henderson , Klaus Keil and probably Doug Jerebine.
ImageableImage
Hero thumb a1395
The Keil Isles' 1963 Viking EP, Do The Limbo
ImageableImage
Hero thumb gpn99 19620906 012c
Keil Isles in Gisborne
EmbeddableItem EmbeddableItem! type = Person
ImageableImage
Hero thumb 44 1767
The Keil Isles circa 1961/62. Clockwise from bottom left: Bill Fairs, Klaus Keil, Lou Miller, Brian Henderson, Olaf Keil and Herma Keil. Tina Millar is in the centre.
ImageableImage
Hero thumb hk2
Herma Keil, 1967
EmbeddableItem EmbeddableItem! type = Person
ImageableImage
Hero thumb k6
The always suave Herma Keil, 1966
ImageableImage
Hero thumb a1398
Eliza Keil
EmbeddableItem EmbeddableItem! type = Person
ImageableImage
Hero thumb k4
The Keil Isles circa 1961/2. Clockwise from lower left: Bill Fairs, Brian Henderson, Olaf Keil, Lou Miller, Klaus Keil and Herma Keil.
ImageableImage
Hero thumb k3
ImageableImage
Hero thumb k8
The Keil Isles change labels from Viking to Philips in October 1964, as noted in Coundown magazine. They would record only one single for Philips, a cover of Buddy Holly's Peggy Sue, before moving to the new Salem label.
EmbeddableItem EmbeddableItem! type = Person
EmbeddableItem EmbeddableItem! type = Person
ImageableImage
Hero thumb herma keillp
1966 album recorded for Salem Records, one of the earliest releases on the label founded by Peter Caithness in 1965. In the late 70s Salem was purchased by Viking Records, for whom the Keil Isles had recorded 5 albums, 7 EPs and numerous singles between 1961 and 1965.
ImageableImage
Hero thumb herma keil
Herma Keil
ImageableImage
Hero thumb dw12
The Keil Isles, mid 1960s - front: Jimmie Sloggett, Herma Keil, Dave Williamson, centre: Brian Henderson, George Barna, Doug Jerebine, back: John Blake
ImageableImage
Hero thumb rh5
Teen Beat hails the Howard Morrison Quartet, Ronnie Sundin, The Keil Isles and Red Hewitt as the successors to Johnny Devlin, late 1959
ImageableImage
Hero thumb k2
The Keil Isles (without Herma), 1967. L to R: Roger Skinner, Brian Henderson, Billy Karaitiana (AKA Billy Kristian), Jimmy Hill
ImageableImage
Hero thumb hk1
Herma in the 1967 C'mon tour programme
ImageableImage
Hero thumb k7
The Keil Isles in Oct. 1961 with the Cliff Richard & The Shadows NZ tour party. (Rear L-R) Doug and Leo deKroo, Andy Ellis, Brian Henderson, Lou Miller, Bruce Welch, Brian Bennett, Judy Cannon, Frankie Davidson, (Centre L-R) Herma Keil, Cliff Richard, Jet Harris, (Front L-R) Olaf Keil, Bill Fairs, Hank B. Marvin, Klaus Keil
EmbeddableItem EmbeddableItem! type = Person
3 col el, class=LabelPerson::ActiveRecord_Associations_CollectionProxy
Labels:

Tanza


Zodiac


Viking

3 col el, class=ExternalLink::ActiveRecord_Associations_CollectionProxy 3 col el, class=RelatedPage::ActiveRecord_Associations_CollectionProxy 3 col el, class=CollaborationPerson::ActiveRecord_Associations_CollectionProxy
Members:

Olaf Keil - guitar

Freddie Keil - guitar

Herma Keil - guitar

Klaus Keil - drums

Rudolph Keil - bass

Heke Kewene - piano

Eliza Keil - vocals

Lou Miller - bass

Bill Fairs - saxophone

Dave “Red” Williamson - drums

Warren McMillan - bass

Brian Henderson - piano

Roger Skinner - guitar

Billy Kristian - bass

Jimmy Hill - drums

Norman Akers - piano

George Barna - saxophone

Doug Jerebine - guitar

Jimmie Sloggett - saxophone

3 col el, class=Trivia::ActiveRecord_Associations_CollectionProxy
Trivia:

Founding member Olaf Keil later worked for Fender guitars in the USA, custom-building instruments for Buck Owens, Johnny Cash, Glen Campbell, Jimi Hendrix and others.