Within Coo-ee

Photo courtesy of Pittwater Online News In 1898 Johs Richter trademarked both the Coo-ee and Kookaburra name for mouth organs. Seydel took over the name of Kookaburra and produced them and in 1910 they trademarked the name Coo-ee for mundharmonikas. We know one exists (just beyond coo-ee) as the owner, the editor of the Pittwater … Continue reading Within Coo-ee

Bush King

Kookaburra sits on the old gum tree, Merry merry king of the bush is he. Laugh, Kookaburra, laugh, Kookaburra, Gay your life must be! (Kookaburra Mouth Organ from Doug Dawson’s collection) The name Kookaburra has its derivation from the indigenous Wiradjuri word Guuguubarra, which is onomatopoeic for the bird's distinctive laughter call. To many they … Continue reading Bush King

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

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

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

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

Decalcomania

One of the favourite items in my Fitzroy football memorabilia is the 1974 Laurie Richards caricature sticker collected from a Kellogg's Corn Flakes cereal box. These stickers sell today for $100 plus if they are still in their cellophane packet. Being in the right place at the right time is extremely important in the recording … Continue reading Decalcomania

It’s All Good (ya know)

An interestingly named mouth organ that sold Down Under in the 1920's (I think) is the Budgeree - pictured here in Seydel's 1923 catalogue. Budgeree is an East Gippsland town (for want of a better description) which is a relatively short journey from our abode. Blink and you'll miss it as there's only a few … Continue reading It’s All Good (ya know)

Via et Veritas

The elusive Hohner Auto Valve Vamper! One in the flesh - picture courtesy of Riff Raffer Mark Hand, all the way from Okriftel. If your interested in detail about this oxymoron there's information here - Hohner’s Hollandia (Nova) Harp. Ray Grieve has published his revised edition of Boomerangs & Crackajacks with newly researched material on … Continue reading Via et Veritas