Blog

Kilburn Queen

I’m a Crackajack man (nobody knows or understands). Have to be, being born in Melbourne. Boomerangs were Sydney - sold by J Albert & Son. Crackajacks were vended in Melbourne by Allan & Co. This affinity originated with the find of an early Crackajack Concert Grand on a family holiday in Rye and it sent … Continue reading Kilburn Queen

Bakelite Brevities

Prominent world harmonica collector Harland Crain sent HRR this photograph of a Crackajack Miniature Concert (with bakelite frame). In the Melbourne Weekly Times (Saturday 10th November 1934) advertised alongside the Crackajack Miniature Concert was Ludwigs "Improved Bakelite" mouth organ (maybe the Antoria Concert). It had me reminiscing on the bakelite devices in our family home … Continue reading Bakelite Brevities

Spring has Sprung

New tunes to review this month. Three local with two out of the same recording studio and one from overseas by two old blues travellers. Spring has sprung and local songwriter (expat banana bender) Stephen Grady has a short little ditty with a sprinkling of harp celebrating the City of Melbourne in Spring. Spring is … Continue reading Spring has Sprung

Mulga Bill’s Mouth Organ

Our harmonica scout in Okriftel Germany, Mark Hand has done it again - he's gone and discovered another Aussie harp held at the Museum in Trossingen Germany. With the aide of the museum's curator Martin Haffner we have a few more photos - one that displays the maker's mark, another of the top of the … Continue reading Mulga Bill’s Mouth Organ

NAWFOS #9 – Top Notch

Today’s blog is brought to you by Paling’s Topnotcher Mouth Organ. For a replay of my monthly Huff’n’Puff radio segment on Peej’s brekky show (on 3MDR Mountain Radio) - click on the radio (starts a wee bit before the two hour mark) or tune in live (sort of – we’re doing it remotely) last Toosday … Continue reading NAWFOS #9 – Top Notch

Two Jacks

Riff Raffer Mark Hand has been assisting the author with photos of Aussie harps both from within his own wild and wonderful collection and from the Harmonica museum in Trossingen, Germany. He planned another visit to the museum and asked which harmonicas I was seeking. One of many mentioned was the Topnotcher, which Mark had … Continue reading Two Jacks

One Link In A Chain

Thirty years to the day the stars aligned for Steve Williams to play harmonica on a John Farnham tune that would change his life forever. A remarkable set of circumstances, links in a chain reaction, would take him from Melbourne's Pub music scene into the heady heights of the concert arena. To celebrate the anniversary … Continue reading One Link In A Chain

Professor & Paderewski

Finally I've been able to peek inside the Crackajack tutor booklet. A few gems were discovered from within its pages. The diamond was the Professor's tips on playing the instrument that fits in a waistcoat pocket. Was the Professor the one they termed the Paderewski of the mouth organ? What is a Paderewski? More on … Continue reading Professor & Paderewski