Sunday, 24 November 2019

From the Archives - Workshop nights held in the early days for learning & rehearsing songs

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Every Friday night Sydney members of the Club gather at Video Studios, 149 Castlereagh Street, for the purpose of learning and trying out new songs and rehearsing old ones.There is usually an unusual collection of musical instruments and informality is the key-note. In addition to the musical items there are always plenty of volunteers with recitations and yarns. Traditional bush songs are interspersed with modern topical and work songs, and we learn at least one songs a week. Visitors are always welcome.
Newsletter 1(1), Oct 1955


Every Tuesday evening the Bush Music Club holds an informal Workshop Meeting to learn Australian songs and dances, swap tunes, listen to records or rare recordings and generally socialise. Supper follows the meeting, and there is a small charge of 2/6 which goes towards the cost of supper and hire of the rooms. Visitors (and their instruments) are always welcome. Come at 7.30 any Tuesday evening to 38, Carrington Street, just behind Wynyard
Station.   Newsletter July 1964

memories of Chris Woodland, who joined BMC in the early 60s & was MC when he left Sydney in 1967.

Yes, we did recite and tell yarns at those workshop nights (Tuesdays), though I always included 2 dances each evening. Mostly it was a singalong, but with a period where we gave every one present the opportunity to sing, tell a yarn, play an instrument, play their saw or whatever. It was always anticlockwise (for no apparent reason). John Dengate was usually the highlight in that round!

Ralph Pride who joined with  a group of his mates, including Bob Murray & Bob Bolton, soon after attending Pete Seeger's Sydney concert in 1963 recognised the red folder as one used on those nights. Folders contained issues of Singabout, Songs from Lawson & Songs from Kelly Country.



Singabout folder belonging to the late Arthur Dearn, and donated by his widow Marilyn in 2018




Newsletter May 1968

Newsletter Nov 1968

Newsletter, Dec 1970

Workshop nights continued on Tuesdays into the 70s, though by the time the first issue of Mulga Wire was released in June 1977, the first Tuesday was the Beer & Cheese night with a theme (Songs of the Shearers, The poets ... ) & the 3rd was the Workshop night catering to the needs of aspiring bush musicians of every type. 


1.  Singabout, 2(1), April 1957, p.15

2  Singabout, 2(3), Dec 1957, p.16

3.  Singabout, 3(3) p.20, 1959

4.   Singabout, 4(1)Oct 1960

5.   Singabout, 4(2) May 1961

Singabout, 4(3) Sept 1961

Singabout, 4(4) July 1962

8.  Singabout, 5(2), Oct 1964

9. Singabout, 5(3), July 1965

10. Singabout, 6(2), 1967

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