Sunday 29 January 2017

The early Bush Bands October 1954 to March 1955

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Article on 
Minutes of the Bush Music Club, 14th October 1954 to 11th March, 1955

The finding of the minutes changes accepted BMC history - unchanged is the fact that our founders The Bushwhackers (1953-1957) were the first bush band & that the South Coast Bush Band (early 1954 to late 50s-early 60s) was the second band, but Melbourne's Billabong Band wasn't the third band as their foundation was announced in January 1956 in the first issue of our first journal, Singabout. 

There were at least 8 other bands formed between The Bushwhackers & The Billabong Band.

Named bands -
Overlanders (Leichhardt, formed by 28th October)
Ringers (Arncliff)
Spraggers (Lithgow)
Un-named bands -
Lithgow (2nd band, named elsewhere as the Wombat band with a live wombat as mascot),
Junior Eureka League (St George)
North Sydney
Portland (near Lithgow)
Groups hoping to start a band -
Sutherland (Mirrabooka Youth Group)
Kings Cross

The minutes of 28th October mention Leichhardt's Overlanders, with members playing Banjo, Violin, Button Accordion and Bones. Musicians at Granville were hoping to start a band soon, as were groups at Sutherland (Mirabooka Youth group), St George (Junior Eureka League) and perhaps Kings Cross & Como.

12th November minutes mentions performances by Overlanders & Rousebouts, and minutes of 3rd December note that an Arncliff factory had a group called The Ringers

By 7th January there were 2 bush bands in Lithgow, but only one was named - Spraggers (Made up mainly of miners the name refers to one of the miners occupations. A "spragger" being the man, or boy, who turns the points and guides the skips to the desired place) and a bush band was also under way in Portland.

Article from Tribune Wed 27th October, 1954 (August, 2018),
found by Mark Gregory in TROVE, 2 weeks after the initial meeting of the Bush Music Club.

Minutes of 14th January report the first performance of the Drovers and by January 21st a Bush Band had been formed in the Junior Eureka League.

18th February minutes report a that North Sydney group was being formed & by March 4th they were preforming.

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