78rpm and Vintage Music Researches and Discussions

from 2011

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this page first published by John Wright, 2 March 2011
last update 15 August 2011vintage@r2ok.co.uk

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

E-mail me and share your interest with me or all our visitors

July 2011
Billy Sawford (25/12/1903 - 27/11/1982)

I have been contacted by Jerry Sawford, son of pianist Billy Sawford.

Billy Sawford was a member of The Embassy Six, a band who were heat winners in the ERA Dance Band Contest in 1927 and who went on to make recordings on the Piccadilly record label, some accompanying popular singers of the time circa.1929.

In the Rust/Forbes Discography of British Dance Bands On Record Billy's name is listed in error as Billy Lawford. I have taken steps to ensure that Billy's name is corrected in any future editions of the discography.

The personnel of the Embassy Six on the Piccadilly records is listed as :

director Erick Orlick (banjo, guitar), T.Greenwood (trumpet), Dick Ballinger and Berg Larsen (reeds), Billy Sawford (piano), Ernie Weaver (drums).

Pat O'Malley is the singer on some of the band's records, including a recording of the tune Ten Little Miles From Town, and you can hear what a fine band the Embassy Six were, on Youtube at


Below is a copy of the ERA Contest Certificate of Merit issued to heat winners The Embassy Six, signed by some important names from the dance band world
including Ronnie Munro, Percival Mackey and Debroy Somers, on the 8th April 1927.

June 2011
Photo of Liverpool dance band, Sam Bonner's Band
Jeanette Keel has sent me this fine photograph of the Sam Bonner Band.

It's possible the photo was taken at a venue on a New Years Eve in Liverpool late 1920s or early 1930's. Might be the 'Aldephi Hotel', Liverpool.

Personnel information so far: Sam Bonner is playing the piano, Sam Brennen is sat on top of the piano and playing the banjo and to their left is a chap possibly called Jack Terry playing violin?

Any information on the Sam Bonner band and the musicians would be much appreciated. Sam Bonner died in 1940

April 2011
Photos of 1920s British Band, The Melody Men.
Back in 2007 Nick Roche wrote to identify his grandfather James Evans as the pianist in a photo of the Melody Men, see top photo below.

In 2011 Richard Field has now written to identify his father as the drummer, Hedley Spencer Filed, and has provided information suggesting the Melody Men were a relief band, or played in one of the smaller restaurants, at the Savoy Hotel in 1924.

Richard has also provided another photo and provided information to identify Doug Bastin in both photos (Doug Bastin also played and recorded with Arthur Roseberry's Band where he is listed as playing trumpet, clarinet and alto sax, instruments he has on these photos).

February 2011
Michael Danso has written to me requesting information on his mother, Pinkie McKenzie, who entertained and recorded in Britain during the WWII years. She recorded "More Than You Know" with Leslie "Jiver" Hutchinson & his Coloured Orchestra for Decca on 31st July 1944, but that recording and three instrumentals were rejected. The recording may have been issued on a set of Proper CDs 'Black British Swing' (to be confirmed).

Here is a photo of Pinkie McKenzie

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