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

Besses & Beatles

Besses o' th' Barn Band's visits to Australia, by the sound of it, had many similarities with the wild scenes experienced when the Beatles landed Down Under in the sixties. It wasn't just in the popularity stakes either, but also in the proliferation of punters taking up playing a brass instrument (or mouth organ - … Continue reading Besses & Beatles

Harpin Ringside

(1898). [Tom Fatts versus Hock Keys, at the Golden Gate Club, Sydney, November 29th, 1898 - http://nla.gov.au/nla.obj-148541703%5D Late nineteenth century/early twentieth mouth organ bouts were held between pugilistic fights. Australia’s first mouth organ champion was Walter Omond in 1899, blowing on an Albert’s Boomerang at the Golden Gate Club in Sydney. He only had to … Continue reading Harpin Ringside

Perfection King

An early Christmas present. You wouldn’t believe how much I paid for it. Less than a ‘Pineapple’! I had no inclination of purchasing a Large Professional Boomerang. I was researching online for information on a Crackajack model when this struck me firmly between the eyes - for sale and not at an auction site. The … Continue reading Perfection King

At the Bridge Hotel

There’d be a few Bridge Hotels on the planet I would think, but the one I’m highlighting here is the Pub advertised in Mordialloc, which was actually located in Aspendale being south of the creek (the geographical boundary). Come to think of it Mordialloc High School was too! This was my first venue of worship … Continue reading At the Bridge Hotel