Tuesday, 22 June 2021

Bush Music Club Collection & other BMC-related material, National Library of Australia

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Bush Music Club Collection 1958-1981,  Folkloric recording. 
Bush music concert at the Opera House 5 October 1980 featuring Warren Fahey, Cathie O' Sullivan, Jacko Kevans, Jamie Carlin, Hammer and Tap, Bluetongue, William Lancian, Sylvia Salisbury, Chris Kempster and Ironbark.

Bush concert at the Opera House 18 October 1981 featuring Alex Hood, John Dengate, Kate Delaney, Gary Tooth, Ryebuck Bush Band, Vinegar Hill, Sydney Colonial Dancers and Alex Richards.

Commercial recordings by Festival records.  9 audiotape reels + 3 gramophone records (approximately 314 min.) Recorded by Wally Bolliger.

Folk concerts recorded on 5 October 1980 and 18 October 1981 at the Opera House, Sydney, N.S.W. Commercial recordings published by Festival Records between 1958-1962.

Donated by Bob Bolton.  Commercial recordings donated by Carol Mills in December 2010. 

Other items in this collection -   

16,000 miles from home with the Bush Music Club in the Bush Music Club collection 
1960, 1 audio disc (approximately 10 min.) 
Folkloric recording Gramophone record published by Festival Records . No. FX 10-459.
Tracks - 16,000 miles from home, Paddy Fagin, The Flash Stockman, The Ryebuck Shearer.
Donated by Carol Mills in December 2010.


9 miles from Gundagai with the Bush Music Club in the Bush Music club collection.
1962, 1 audio disc (approximately 8 min) Folkloric Recording, 
Tracks - Nine miles from Gundagai,  Jog along till shearing, The Drover's Dream, To the shores of Botany Bay.
Gramophone record published by Festival Records. No. FX 10-464.
Donated by Carol Mills in December 2010. 


Bush Music Club traditional Australian bush songs   
1958 July, I audio disk. Folkloric recording. 
Tracks - Side One: Charlie Mopps, Ballad of Catalpa, Denis O'Rielly, Ram of Dalby
Gramophone record published by Festival Records. No. FX 10-516.

John Fraser Folklore Collection - donated by John Fraser 2014.

Bob Pomeroy performs at the National Folk Festival 1975  in the John Fraser folklore collection,  Sydney, 1975 March 29. Contents - Poem Spider of the Gwyder, Kiwi Song, She'll be right. 

Sound effects of horses for Reedy River performance at the National Folk Festival 1975 Sydney, in the John Fraser folklore collection. Sydney 1975 March 29, summary - Horse walks on and stops, Horse gallops on and stops, Horseman arrive with cattle, Herd of cattle rush off, Cattle lowing.

Bush Music Club perform at the National Folk Festival 1975 in the John Fraser folklore collection. Sydney1975 March 29

Folk dance music in the John Fraser folklore collection, 1975 37 mins,

Bush Music Club and others perform at the National Folk Festival 1975 in the John Fraser folklore collection. Sydney1975 March 29

Manning Clark and Glen Tomasetti at a Ned Kelly weekend event at Wangaratta in the John Fraser folklore collection,  1976, September 1, 113 mins.

Dennis Kevans recites poetry and Bush Music Club performs at the National Folk Festival 1975 in the JohnFraser folklore collection,  Sydney, 1975 March 29, 74 mins Partial contents - Hello Patsy Fagan, Denis Kevans recites Bastard poem, Great prawn war, Noel Ricketts recites, John Dengate sings Road to Gundagai, Indolent Harold's, Dennis Tracy sings Cruising around Yarmouth, Red Dottsy, Colin McJannett Miller's song, Red haired Mary (song), Carrion crow (song), Three jolly huntsmen (song), Noel Ricketts recites.

Various artists perform at the National Folk Festival 1975 in the John Fraser folklore collection,  Sydney 1975 March 29, Folkloric recording - Five miles from Gundagai (Dog on the tuckerbox), Bluey Brink (song), John Miller sings and recites On the Queensland railway lines (song), The gentle hint (poem by Edward Harrington), Chris Shaw sings Little sparrow, Richard Leach 'Screech' recites Georgie Barnfield, True love, Insurance Co (poem), Bastard King of England (song), Justin Murphy sings Baby down the plughole (song), Bernard Bolan sings AMP lift song.

John Carrick and Shanty Singers Canberra perform at the National Folk Festival 1975 in the John Fraser folklore collection, Sydney, 1975 March 29

Wednesday, 26 May 2021

The Willis collection of Australian Life Stories and Traditions

reprinted from Verandah Music with permission

Sunday February 28, 2021

Rob Willis has been collecting oral history and folklore since 1982. Initially in the company of John Meredith, John Harpley and others, he was later joined by his wife, Olya Willis. Together, they have created the most extensive archive of Australian lives and traditions yet recorded. At the time of writing (2021), the Willis Collection consists of over 2,250 hours. As well as sound recordings, the collection includes film, video, still photographs, ephemera and manuscripts of interviewees.

Olya’s method of summarising at the point of interview is unique and allows a seamless, digital transition from the field recording to the NLA online catalogue. All relevant details of, time, place, names, topics and key words are included. Olya is also the sound recordist and photographer.

Taken together, this is an historical resource of great importance, covering every state and territory – and beyond.

The contents of such an extensive collection can only be summarised but include music, song, verse, dance, customs, beliefs, stories, crafts, together with the life experiences of a diverse number of Australians, young and old, living and dead, rural, regional and urban, from many of Australia’s diverse cultural groups, lifestyles and occupations.



https://www.nfsa.gov.au/collection (Search for ‘Rob Willis’)
NFSA YouTube search ‘Real Folk” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NkDSUGwOG5o

Several items from the collection have appeared on the VERANDAH MUSIC BLOG:


ROB WILLIS YOUTUBE https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCOrA5H7ULWbJG4vyiLslzAQ

Many recordings made in Western Australia as part of the Western Australian Folklife Project are available in the WESTERN AUSTRALIAN FOLKLORE ARCHIVE (2004-2016) in the John Curtin Prime Ministerial Library at Curtin University

ROB AND OLYA WILLIS can be contacted at robwillis44@gmail.com

John Meredith camping on a field trip with Rob Willis near Mt Hope, NSW

Monday, 24 May 2021

Newspaper & magazine clippings - Part 2

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Newspaper & magazine clippings - Part 1

1. Dance Sydney, BMC, Playford &
Folk Fed, SMH, Oct 18, 1983

2, Undated article about Duke Tritton, from The Sun 

3  & 4 - undated article by Warren Fahey about
Independent Record companies


5. unknown source, Article about
2nd Port Jackson Folk Festival, Jan 1973

6. Original photo by Bob Bolton used for newspaper article

7 & 8, John Meredith, Daily Telegraph, 25/05/2004

9.  Parramatta Advertiser, 06/11/1996 -  Railway celebrations

10-13 - Southern Cross, April 1982




14. Parramatta - The Advertiser, 04/04/1984
Heritage Week 

15. Obit - Declan Affley by Bob Hudson, The National Times,
July 5-11, 1985 

16. Obit - Edgar Waters, by Kevin Bradley, SMH 13/05/2008



17. Obit - Ron Edwards by Keith McKenry, SMH, 07/02/2008


Sunday, 23 May 2021

Poems about John Dengate

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From John Warner, master of Parody, about the Grand Master of Parody

The Dengate Pen

In its time this Parker must have cost a well earned quid,
And spare me days, it’s come to me without its bleedin’ lid.
The master must have took it off the day that it was bought,
And put it somewhere on the desk without a moment’s thought.
With inspiration flowing, our John began to write,
And soon the ink was steaming hot, full speed by day and night.
Perhaps the Dengate needed sleep and dropped it in its case,
And just forgot the poor old lid a-lying round the place.
There’s probably some lost graveyard where bits and pieces go,
And there the the lid has wandered off, no doubt we’ll never know,
For the lid was never needed, it was never used again,
This old Parker kept on writing, for it was John Dengate’s pen.

Many, many thanks Dale, for your words and for this memorial of a great bloke. Hey, and I’m not dropping any hints about the lid.

John Warner. 19/10/2014


Poem by Doug Jenner, recited by Doug's brother Pete at John's wake, & first published by an anonymous Guest in John's memorial thread on Mudcat Cafe  

Guest - 
 At the funeral, John's son Sean delivered a brilliant eulogy which summed the man up to a tee. One of Sean's abiding observations of his father was his ability to keep it all simple: "Don't get distracted from doing the things you love, with the people you love. And according to John Dengate, that's all you need to do to have a good life."

I found myself going down a similar path in my own tribute to him:

The One To Leave
(For John Dengate)

Schooners of Coopers
and a golden afternoon before us,
aglow with beer and banter,
Dengate and I share cricket yarns,
and evidence in broken fingers.
In beery mind’s eye I picture the wiry John,
head in Kokoda with the Aussie militiamen,
blocking wooden answers
to questions fired down 22 yards,
organised for survival,
And sure of the ball to leave.

Now, in the pub
When he’s in free flow,
Timing strokes, punching lines
onto the comic sweet spot,
Middling them Mark Waugh-like
to the boundary fence,
He’s not just the life and soul,
He’s a whole party in one man,
And he sets the room aglow.
Even so, even then, he knows
Whether to play, or whether to let it go.

Sometimes, many schooners on,
adrift in poetry and song,
you think, quite suddenly,
like that bird that sits on water
and instantly isn’t there, he’s gone.
then quick, like the diving bird, he’s back,
In the beak a rhyme, a limerick,
a new-spun funny line.
And along with warmth, with humour that you feel,
You also sense a discipline
As strong as Kembla steel

Today, across the continents
came news that he was gone,
so comrades line those schooners up,
Australia toast your son!
For the gifts and the heart of Dengate
make that ceilidh roar,
Sing loud for one of our ‘valiant men
That we never shall see more.’
And when in quiet moments, you open your hearts to grieve,
Remember how much of his genius
Was knowing the one to leave.

Doug visited Australia in August 2016, and recited it at the Memorial Get Together (email from Margaret Walters, 31/8/2016) 

Pete reciting Doug's poem at John's Wake

Doug at 2016 Memorial 

Tuesday, 20 April 2021

Bob Bolton collection - Index to Stringybark & Greenhide, 1(1) to 6(2), 1979-1986?

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Poems, Songs and Tunes not ascribed - Thus, are presumed to be trad. or anon. - informants are shown in brackets (Thus). BANDS are shown in capitals in all entries except Record Reviews.


National Library catalogue entry

Friday, 19 March 2021

From the Archives - Social nights at the Hut, 2005 and 2009

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Sunday 11th March, 2005  Photos © Sandra Nixon

Mulga Wire no. 167, Feb 2005

Lorraine's granddaughters


Kyrill & Dorothy Taylor

Kathy Chapman, Dot Dawson

Dot Dawson, Mark Poleson, Pete Cahill, Bob Bolton

Eddie Sampson,   Dorothy & Kyrill 

Kyrill Taylor



Sunday 16th November, 2008

Mulga Wire, no. 189, Oct 2008, p.4

Dave Johnson, Anne Pidcock, Sam O'Brien

Dave & Anne with concertinas

Pete Cahill, Eddie Sampson, ?

Sam O'Brien, Anne Pidcock, Dave Johnson, Pete Cahill,
Eddie Sampson

Sandra Nixon, Bob Bolton

Eric Eisler, Sam O'Brien, Anne Pidcock, Dave Johnson,
Michaela Simoni, Pete Cahill

?, Eric Eisler, Sam O'Brien

Bob Bolton

Bob Bolton

Concertina, whistle


Dave Johnson, Michaela Simoni, Pete Cahill, 
Eddie Sampson

Eddie Sampson

Chris Poleson, Pete Cahill

Eddie Sampson

Eric Eisler, Dave Johnson

Anthony Brauer

Pete Cahill, Eddie Sampson

Margaret & Emily Poleson

Dave Johnson, Anne Pidcock

Dave Johnson, Anne Pidcock

Chris Poleson, Pete Cahill