Mr. Versatility

Barry Sandford promoted himself as Mr. Versatility as he was not just a harmonica virtuoso. He also had exemplary talents in a variety of disciplines, which included (and were not limited to) model making, archery, comedy, magic and juggling. He is however most notably known for being an all round, knockabout good guy. Barry grew … Continue reading Mr. Versatility

Hammerin’ On The Blow

Back in 1971 Daddy Cool released their Lollipop Extended Play. The ‘A’ side was titled the ‘Jump Side’ and the reverse the ‘School Side’. The idea was to feature each of the lads vocally on one of the songs and, in one case, his instrument of choice. Now I wasn’t a big fan of their … Continue reading Hammerin’ On The Blow

Leather Earache & Graphite Dogbeard!

Max Geldray If you’re wondering why the title (What! What! What!) it is taken straight from Neddy Seagoon’s (Harry Seacombe) ‘north and south’. Neddy introduced Max Geldray’s harmonica interlude on a Goons’ episode (extract below) with this unique reference to Max’s instrument. Needle nardle noo! Although a wee bit before my time, repeat episodes of … Continue reading Leather Earache & Graphite Dogbeard!

The House Of Spouse

Aerial view of Atheneum (front) and Coliseum (behind) -corner of Little Bridge and Grenville Streets in Ballarat Welcome to the house of Spouse a large edifice that went under an even larger title, the Coliseum. It was on a cool, late October afternoon in the historic gold mining town of Ballarat that P. C. Spouse … Continue reading The House Of Spouse

Football Notes

With the Australian Rules football season commencing, I thought it appropriate to fly this article from the grand old (flag) days of the great game. Who would have thought footballers and umpires singing from the same hymn page. I don’t reckon the Mordi Bloods or Frank Vergona ever did. From 1935 to 1940 a Melbourne … Continue reading Football Notes

Jack’s Congregation

Melbourne, 1909 1909 was an eventful year for young newsboy Jack Church and his Crackajack mouth organ. He was providing news content in all the Melbourne papers he was selling; The Herald, The Punch and The Argus. It’s probably fair to say Jack had been dealt a pretty rough hand in life with little chance … Continue reading Jack’s Congregation

Robbo’s Lauder Melodies

W V Robinson (1869-1926), a Canadian raconteur and mouth organ exponent, spent nearly a year ‘Down Under’ late 1924 into 1925 performing on the Tivoli circuit with J C Williamson Limited. He was on the undercard for popular Scottish comedian and singer Harry Lauder. W V was born in Quebec and lived in London opposite … Continue reading Robbo’s Lauder Melodies

Western Providence

"Trying to leave behind this insincerity leave it to die in the burning ruins." (Providence) For some time I have had a desire to write about Matt Taylor's venture with country rock band Western Flyer in the late seventies. Within my vinyl collection is their fine debut album First Flight. In my research I stumbled … Continue reading Western Providence

Busker Buttons

Visitors to the fine city of Perth will be aware of a striking hand standing statue in Hay Street of a gentleman by the name of Percy Button - often misspelled by pluralising his surname. A prominent street entertainer in his day, he performed dynamic acrobatics and blew the odd tune on a mouth organ … Continue reading Busker Buttons