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

Mick’s Perla

This was meant to be a simple tale about Mick Simmons’ Perla mouth organ - first sold in 1927. It became something extra due to information obtained on Mick and his family. I’ll begin when Henry Michael Mitchell Simmons (better known as Mick to his mates) first toddled onto the shores of the new colony. … Continue reading Mick’s Perla

Doin’ a Melba (or a Farnsy)

Number 20, pictured here in this Geo. Borgfeldt 1899 Catalogue, is an Aussie branded mouth organ named in reference to our world famous opera singer Dame Nellie Melba. Nellie was born Helen Porter Mitchell in Richmond (an inner city suburb of Melbourne, Victoria Australia) and while learning the ropes in London in 1886, she adopted … Continue reading Doin’ a Melba (or a Farnsy)

Triller Thriller

I’d often wondered about this mouth organ named the Triller that was referenced to in a 1899 W H Paling’s advertisement. Just recently Mark Weber discovered it in a job lot and bought it. It just might be the only one in existence. Interestingly the trilling effect is provided by a slider button identical to … Continue reading Triller Thriller

Fluted Harps

My recently acquired Crackajack Artist had me delving into the world of harps with fluted covers. The Crackajack Artist (1926) manufactured by F A Rauner is shaped like their fluted World Master mouth organ. ‘Down Under’ we also had the Rozella (1913) by F A Bohm and the Perla (1926) both with fluted cover plates. … Continue reading Fluted Harps

Aussie Models-Timeline

A timeline of Australian models (an attempt), as promised a while back. An up-to-date remastered version is out now. Just click here Remastered. No no no, not that type of model, sorry! Australian brand harmonicas up to WWII. Like this.1890’s-The Scorcher (F A Rauner/Feldheim, Gotthelf & Co)-up to 1920 1895/99-The Melba (?/H S Chipman-TM 1895), … Continue reading Aussie Models-Timeline

Quest For The Maker

Hi Riff Raffers The epic journey set out on the first of October, 2018. The trekking party consisted of Pat Missin, Ray Grieve and myself. We were in search of a gold nugget. Just as George Leavis Allan had done in 1853 when he took out a gold licence (#88) and went prospecting at Campbell’s … Continue reading Quest For The Maker