78rpm and Vintage Music Researches and Discussions

from 2007

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this page first published by John Wright, 22 June 2006
last update 31 May 2011vintage@r2ok.co.uk

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

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October 2007

George Spence, piano, Aldro Dance Band
Linda mellows has kindly submitted the photo and memorabilia below of the Aldro Dance Band, from Dewsbury, west Yorkshire who broadcast on BBC radio late 1930s. Her great uncle, George Spence, piano, is 1st left: and June Howard has written to say her father, Harry Lees, is second from the right. He could play: Alto and Tenor Sax, Clarinet, bango, guitar and piano !

August 2007

Al Tabor
Gordon Conway has kindly submitted the photos below of band leader Al Tabor and his band in 1937 and 1939:


Dick Ball with friends
The family of Dick ball (bass player with Ambrose, mainly) provided many photos of Dick, including the one below, saying the lads were having a drink and Dick managed to break a bottle of whisky or something and the others gave him some stick for doing so (hence he's not looking happy), that might explain why one of them is holding a dustpan with a bottle in it!!. 3rd from left looks like George Chisolm. Can anyone identify the other musicians? Dick Ball is second from the right.

Joe Moore has written to say the the photo has been clipped on the left, and the full photo is in Albert McCarthy's book "The Dance Band Era", and shows Danny Polo and indicating a session date 1938. There seem to be too many people for one of Danny's sessions?

Ray Starita with friends
Ray Starita's daughter proivided this site with several photos of her father including this interesting one taken outside the Boosey offices (music publishers). Ray is on the left, but who are Ray's friends?

Jackie Coogan in London
Harold Aherne has written to say "On the Al Starita photo page (photo is also below this report) there is an interesting photo of Jackie Coogan with the Savoy Orpheans. There was some question as to when the photo was taken, but some vintage newspaper articles give us a good idea. Coogan went on a highly publicised trip to London in 1924 and got a rapturous reception, as outlined in the New York Times piece of 14 Sep. 1924, "Throngs in London greet Jackie Coogan; women fight to get near child". That same day the Washington Post reported that "Women Mob Coogan at London station".  Checking the Google news archives, I don't find any further reported Coogan visits to London until November 1928, by which time he'd be 14 (and probably not dressed in a sailor suit!). Thus   we can probably say that the photo dates from Sep-Oct 1924 (I haven't yet found his departure date). I do hope this tidbit proves to be of some use".

Thanks Harold. This information may help researchers confirm the identities of the band members, and confirming/placing them with the Orpheans at that time in 1924.

James Evans with the Melody Men in London, 1920's
Nick Roche has written to say:

I'm trying to find out a bit more about my grandfather's musical career. His name was James Evans, the pianist in the attached picture. I believe the band played at ballroom dancing championships and the like in the twenties and thirties. My grandfather lived all his life (apart from 1914-18) in South London and I believe the band played mainly in "the west end".

I was told as a child that they played at the world ballroom dancing championships at a time when Victor Sylvester was one of the dancers and I remember hearing that on one occasion they had to play "Yes we have no bananas" twenty times in a row to accompany the competitors. (Jim was a bit of a joker though so all of this may just have been a tall tale). NOTE: check out the update on The Melody Men in 2011 researches.

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