Thursday 31 December 2020

From the Archives - Lazy Harry's

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Mulga Wire, no. 146, August 2001 - Archives and the WWW on The Road to Gundagai, plus Son of Lazy Harry, and version of Lazy Harry's collected in UK.   

Lazy Harry's Collected in England, probably carried by Australian troops - from Songs sung in Suffolk, Vol. 3, field recording, 1985-87 .


From the Archives - Tune and Song Sources by Bob Bolton, Mulga Wire, April & June 2000

Mulga Wire no 138, April 2000. 

 Mulga Wire no. 139, June 2000. More song books and music 


From the Archives - Memories and Accounts of Bush Music Club and its Origins, by Dale Dengate

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 Mulga Wire no.s 164 & 165, August & October 2004

Part 1 See REEDY RIVER proclaimed the large painted sing on the exposed sandstone above the wharves.  One of my vivid memories travelling to school through the Sydney Rocks area, during the late 1950s ... My favourite teacher was Helen Palmer ...

2. ... Most of the administration of BMC was left to the women. Over the following years we would get together with our babies and ensure the bills were paid for the BMC ... Ronda Carlin ... treasurer and Singabout evening organiser  ... Two performers stand out for the incredible clarity of their singing ... Jeannie Lewis and Sally Sloane ... Ann Maher was BMC President and sang with the Concert Party ... these memories cover the late sixties and early seventies. 

3. Part 2 BMC Memories - 1950s  ... We learnt about the decade before us ... from the reminiscences told by Merro at dinner parties .especially those held for his birthday with Chris and Virginia Woodland ... the 50s Merro had moved to a double fronted brick house opposite Waverley Cemetery near Coogee. The tenants then started to enjoy music together, Joy Durst ...

4. ...  they sang Russian folk songs in English ... Maori songs and from Vance Palmer and Margaret Sutherland's album of Old Australian Bush ballads ... People's Choir. Among it's members were Bill Berry and Chris Kempster and it was conducted by Doreen Jacobs (Bridges) ... Doreen encouraged Chris to set Australian poems to music. ... cultural evenings ... Dorothy Hewlett ...  Faith Mussing (later Bandler) singing Aboriginal lullabies, as well as songs from the People's Choir ... Hilda Lane ... Jack "Hoopiron" Lee ... Joe Cashmere ...

5. Merro recalls that about this time he formed a "small ensemble" ... Brian Loughlin,  Jack Barrie ... deciding on the name The Bushwhackers after much discussion ...  Sally Sloane ...  Chris Kempster, Harry Kay, Alex Hood, Cecil Grivas ... "Thus the Bush Music club, the first of it's kind came into existence" in 1954. By 3/9/55, the First Folklore Festival was held in Sydney with Alfred Hill as enthusiastic member and Patron. On the program were The Bushwhackers, Beth Schurr, Sally Sloane (and Fred), Joe Cashmere, Herb Gimbert, Barbara Lysiak, Jeff Way and Mary Byrnes. The ABC & People Magazine gave it good coverage. 

From the Archives - Deaths of early members & friends as recorded in Mulga Wire and other sources

Founder member Tom Durst, 21/2/1983 - Mulga Wire no. 36, April 1983. Obituary by Alan Scott - Tom was inside a dog suit pretending to be the Dog on the Tuckerbox when I first met him in 1954, playing the fiddle and reciting his lines in a thick Viennese accent in the Bushwhacker's HOW MANY MILES TO GUNDAGAI sketch ...

Tasmanian member Clarence Strochnetter, 23rd August, 1991 aged 52 - Mulga Wire no. 88, Dec 1991. Obituary by Jamie Carlin.  We first came to know Clarrie in 1960 when he began contributing items to Singabout magazine ... When John Meredith and I visited Tasmania a couple of years ago we stayed with Clarrie & Barbara ... (perhaps this visit in 1987 when Tony Rees took this photo)  ...

Rex Whalan, 1936-1991- Mulga Wire no. 89, Feb 1992. Obituary by Jamie Carlin  ... Rex and I both showed our faces at the very new Bush music club in 1954 ... and with Bill Berry making up a third ... roared around in Rex's infamous string of old bomb cars ... he collaborated with John Meredith in the writing of 'Frank the Poet', the standard work on convict  poet Frank MacNamara ...


Rod Shaw 17/9/1915-Dec 1992  Mulga Wire, no. 95, Feb 1993 - Obituary by Jamie Carlin  ... the funeral service was attended by  large cross-section of literary, theatrical, artistic and political figures ...  Rod in his printing and publishing business was a  much sought after illustrator ... Singabout ...   Rod was a great artist ... a man of social conscience ...   


Nancy Keesing - Mulga Wire no. 95, Dec 1993 ... we hope to publish a tribute to Nancy in our next issue. Bob Bolton.   Unfortunately this tribute was not published.

Leonard Teale (1922-1994)  - Mulga Wire, no.104, August, 1994, p.11


Janet Wakefield   (- 19th September, 1995) Mulga Wire, no.111, October 1995.


Don Francois   see photo P024, Sydney Morning Herald,  Sat 20th March 2021 (supplied by Barbara Gibbons)

From the Archives - Phyl Lobl's Woodturners Love Song

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Mulga Wire no. 132, April 1999, pp. S.2-3  A song of a trade, A Song of Love

Woodturners Love Song (click for audio) was written in the early seventies. I wanted to write a song about industrial realities for wood-turners.
I interviewed a woodturner Neil Bollingmoore and it became a love song when he spoke so lovingly about wood that I wrote a love song about someone who had much love to give but was shy and un-sure.
Some years later he rang and asked for the song as he was getting married. A few (too few) years after that his widow rang and wanted the song again to play at his funeral.
Some years later I asked an instrument maker (ROCKY CREEK STRINGS) to make me an all wooden Banjolele of those woods. I added a verse. I also now repeat the last line of each verse. (Phyl Lobl's website) 
Tuning as for Ukulele, large one is a Baritone & is made of woods mentioned in the song (email, Phyl 3/1/21)

Neil Bollingmore, 1967,  Neil used to come to BMC in the 60s.  
(photo © Bob Murray, email Dec 2020)

Ralph Pride, Neil Bollingmore, Skippy (Ray Goninon), Bob Murray, taken at a festival. Photo Bob Murray collection

Bob & Neil, November 2005, shortly before Neil's death (photo Bob Murray collection)  

Neil was a master wood turner. He was the bloke that was responsible for the woodworkers tent at the NFF, it's funny that all the blokes would do their own things until Neil went on the lathe, they then would all gather around to watch him. (email from Bob, 27/5/18) 

From the Archives - Interview by Bob Bolton with John Kell about his family's music and dance history

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Mulga Wire, no.90, April 1992 - The following article is a selection from the twenty two page transcript of an interview I did some time back with John Kell, whose family farmed, played cricket and danced down Wombeyn way. 

The interview is in our Library. 

Singabout  April 1992, p.S1
Singabout April 1992, p.S2

Singabout April 1992, p.S3

Singabout April 1992, p.S4

From the Archives - Dance in Mulga Wire - Interviews with Nell Challingworth and Noreen Grunseit

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Mulga Wire no. 87, Oct 1991, pp.10-13. Nell Challingsworth, dance historian, ballroom dance/liturgical/folk dance teacher and Founding Director of the Australian Heritage Dancers, Inc interviewed by Linda Scott & Colin Fong, 10th August 1991,. 


Mulga Wire, no. 105, August 1994 - Noreen Grunseit

Wednesday 30 December 2020

From the Archives - Interview with Shirley Andrews, Mulga Wire no.92, August 1992

Interview with Shirley Andrews on 19th April 1992 at the National Folk Festival, Canberra, Conducted by Colin and Karen Fong and Denis Wright.  Mulga Wire no. 92, pp.11-15

Shirley at our 1993 Colonial Subscription Ball  (Bob Bolton photo) 

 Shirley and Colin at our 1993 Colonial Subscription Ball  (Bob Bolton photo)