78rpm and Vintage Music Researches and Discussions

from 2006

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this page first published by John Wright, 22 June 2006
last update 5 December 2010vintage@r2ok.co.uk

Do you have an interest to share?Was there an important musician in your family?

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August 2006

Jack Potter with Bill Prendergast and the Rialtonians in York, 1930's
I was contacted by Chris Potter who stated that his father Jack Potter was the drummer with the Rialtonians, in York, in the 1930's.

Chris kindly submitted these photos relating to his father Jack. The signatures of the judges on the 1938 certificate are of Percy Mathison Brooks and Edgar Jackson

Here is an example of the Octacros record label. The Rialtonians recorded 8 sides for this company in August 1934
For more information on dance bands in York see York Bands

August 2006

Alec Avery, reed player with British dance bands
I'm delighted to report that the family of Alec Avery have been in touch, and are assembling some memorabilia of Alec who played with several fine dance bands in the 1920's and 1930's.

Grandson Nick Ward submitted the attached photograph of one of Bert Firman's hotel bands, at the Carlton Hotel. The Rust/Forbes discography indicates that Alec Avery attended recording sessions at Zonophone from 21/09/25 to 02/03/26 so the photo may have been taken during that period.

Knowing how Bert made and issued records at that time, we can't assume records issued as by the Carlton Hotel Dance Orchestra in 1925/26 featured all the musicians in the photograph. For example Max Goldberg was present as the star trumpeter on records but is not seen in the photo, and that might also be the case with other musicians on the records like Vernon Ferry (trumpet), Ted Heath (trombone), Herb Finney (reeds), Arthur Lally (reeds), Cecil Norman (piano), Joe Brannelly (banjo). The photographed musicians are likely to be almost a completely different set of people, with the exception of Alec Avery and Bert, and the instrumentation seen is Bert Firman(conductor, violin), John Firman (piano), Alec Avery (reeds), another reed player, string bass, drums and banjo with no trumpet or trombone. Robin Firman wrote to confirm John Firman's presence on the photo, 5/12/2010

Bert Firman is standing centre while Alec Avery is second from the right. I'd be intertested if anyone can name the unidentified musicians.

July 2006

Lee Young and 'Rock, Rock, Rock'
David Haley in Australia wrote to me saying : "We are about to re - release the first ever British "rock" record, by Lee Young and featuring Woolf Phillips and the Skyrockets."

Have to say I had never thought about what the first British 'rock' record was, and at a guess I'd have said Billy Fury. But here we had a candidate from 1953!

David kindly sent me the CD of songs and interviews and I have to say now that I regard the 'Rock, Rock, Rock' recording as a swing big band record rather than a 'rock' record but I'm sure the record will be of some interest to music fans here so I recommend supporting David's efforts and order a CD now, there will be a limited number available.

You can contact David Haley at david.haley@sttc.com.au or visit the website, learn about how Lee Young and his record was re-discovered, and order the Lee Young CD at Encore Presentations

May 2006

Spinelly's Band
A correspondent from Netherlands wrote to say: "I have found a test record on the Edison Bell Label of Spinelly's Band".

Side A: Sunny Skies

Side B: Day Dreams That Never Come True

I replied saying that there was a band led by Fred Spinelly in Britain in the late 1920's which made recordings at six studio sessions. Some of the record labels suggest that the band played at the Lido Club in London.

The songs mentioned on the test were issued on Edison Bell No. 4816. Checking the run-off groove area on your discs confirmed the numbers stamped there as 11522- (1 or 2) and 11523- (1or 2) confirming those recordings were made 8 March 1928, but the take number (1or 2) has not been confirmed yet.

The vocal may be by John Thorne. The sessions also suggest there was a very talented trumpet player featured in the studio band, Sylvester Ahola, if you can play the records you might hear him clearly playing better than the rest of the band!

When Edison Bell 4816 was issued in Britain they changed the name on the label to say Gaiety Dance Band.

An interesting and very rare record.

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