Sampson the Israelite (Ohhh ohh)

I had a sneak peak of the box (first time) for the unfortunately named Boss Cracker and managed to snap a photo before it disappeared (just as quick as it appeared) off the ether (internet). Interesting to see the claim, ‘The World’s Best Vamper’, wonder who judged that – F A Rauner? This mouth organ first appeared as #4 on the Crackajack line in December of 1903 and it was still in production in the 1930’s. I was able to upgrade the top of the box (with a few Shep touch ups) thanks to good friend of HRR, Mark Hand, who somehow had second dibs on the item and sent a better quality snap. The photo of the actual harp is taken from Doug Dawson’s collection.


Recently picked up this 1950’s Sampson 10 lesson Mouth Organ course. I wondered if Guru Pat (Missin) could shed some light. “James Sampson was the guy behind the 10 lesson course. He registered a copyright for it with the LoC in 1951 and that’s pretty much all I know. I assume he was American, so his use of the term ‘mouth organ’ is a little odd.” Perhaps he wasn’t an Israelite. Not sure he was the actual author (he may have been extremely talented) as there were courses for piano, piano accordion, hillbilly guitar, steel guitar, banjo, mandolin, button accordion, ukulele, clarinet and saxophone. I wonder if he had long hair?

1950’s Women’s Weekly Advertisement and from lesson four the Gliss.

I questioned Pat Missin if the Silvertone harmonica below was the one sent with the lessons. “A few different companies have made “Silvertone” models. At a guess, this one might have been a Sears model, but I can’t say for certain.” Pat

An album and two singles up for a quick review this month. First up is a classic, the album ‘I Love This Rodeo’ by Lynchburg. This is Alan Caswell and Lindsay Waddington’s second album release within twelve months and to say this collaboration is working well, would simply be an understatement. Each of the fourteen tracks are single material. Nice to see Lawrie Minson providing harp on two of the tunes, diatonic on OK With Me and chromatic on Wouldn’t Change Me If I Could. He even offers pedal steel and accordion on tunes. Brendon Redford (acoustic guitar) returns from the first album to blow some notes over He Liked Horses More Than People – no, the song wasn’t penned about yours truly. The instrumentation throughout is something for the ear to behold. If I have to pick a standout I’ll go for That’s Just The Way It Goes. Check it out on good and bad streaming platforms, but even better, buy the hard copy here CD. If you like single grain whiskey, horses, harp and Willie Nelson you’ll love this wonder duo (and their friends). Speaking of Willie, he has a new single out featuring fantastic harp from Mickey Raphael. The album will drop April 29 on Willie’s 89th birthday. He’s more than iconic! Is there a word for that?

The evergreen The Bushwackers have a nice little ditty out now titled This Little Town. It has a catchy hook and you will find yourself singing this through the day. The song could have been written about our little town here in the Dandenongs or your country town. It’s over on those streaming platforms.

Richard Madden has lifted another single from his album Second Nature which features the fruity harmonica of David Blight (ex Cold Chisel, The Flyers). Tasty to say the least, as is the tune Tale of Lee Malone – it’s hotter than a firecracker. Head over to the good streaming platform (you guessed it) Bandcamp.

A new addition to the vinyl collection Area Code 615 (Nashville’s telephone area code) self titled debut album of 1969. WOW was I blown away – loved Charlie McCoy harpin’ out of my right speaker. This is a New Zealand pressing hence the different cover. I was familiar with the harp on Southern Comfort (Side one – Track one) due to Steve Williams (John Farnham Band) and when I put in on the turntable a different tune played – the labels were put on the wrong sides (must be even more of a collectable). Area Code 615 were a group formed by Nashville session musicians that produced two albums. The second in 1970 was titled Trip In The Country and is well known for the tune Stone Fox Chase.

A few more additions to the ebook that never was – check it out over here Aussie ‘Arps. Also a photograph added to Sounds Of Cockatoo establishing the true location of the old creek fed Cockatoo Swimming Pool.


Might be the first time I’ve headed out of the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s for ‘Name That Riff Before Ol’ Shep Sings’. From 2009 it was Do The Stomp by The Snowdroppers. If you’ve seen the movie Red Dog you’ll know it. Vinnie from Altona knew it – goodonya mate. Was just a bit of huffin’ and puffin’ in G. New music from MIK’s Reaction and Daxton and the blast from the past (Something From Short Stop) was from Spot The Aussie.

No show next month as Peej is taking a sabbatical (we thinks). You could relive last month’s here 📻 (2 hours and 1 min in).

Tale of Two Jacks

Feedback from this month’s feature article Jack’s Congregation has gone through the roof and I have to say it was one of my favourite to research and write. Thanks to Pierre harp player from France (and anonymous), who replied directly to the post, and he also enjoyed Busker Buttons.

If only there was more information on the lad. I’ve tried all the war records. He could have been too young for the first and too old for the second. No death or marriage records either. I tried. As always any help is appreciated. You may also want to check back on the photograph at the tea. Appears to be some shenanigans going on right side of the table.

Just a little addition to the Jack Church 1909 tale. Jack Murdoch (pictured) of Wynyard Street South Melbourne was the youngest newsboy vendor in Melbourne of the previous year – he was seven and half years old. Jack was in the news of January 1909 as he was a recipient of Dame Melba’s Christmas gifts back to Australia. She was keen for the youngest newsboy to receive an autographed photo of her along with a box of sweets. I reckon the other Jack (Church) would have loved to have jammed with her.

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