Saturday 27 April 2024

Compilation - Articles about our founder, John Meredith OAM, 17th January 1920 - 18th February 2001

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Merro at Yass, 1988 ( Peter Ellis collection - taken by Merro using timer) 


1.   A few comments on John Meredith by Chris Woodland

2.   Memories of Reedy River & The Bush Music Club by Silvia Salisbury

3.   The Bushwhackers (Some recollections - Chris Kempster, February 2002)

4.   In The Beginning … The formation and early history of the Bush Music Club, by John Meredith

5.   Reports on launches of Keith McKenry's biography of John Meredith

7.   The Ballad of the Heathcote Bushwhackers   In 2013 long time members Jamie Carlin, Fank Maher & Ralph Pride presented the Ballad of the Bushwhackers to an enthusiastic audience. Eric Eisler produced the show & Ian Hamilton was narrator.

8.   The Great Pesto Showdown - memories of John Meredith, By Jan Fallding (nee Howe), November 2003

9.   John Meredith, The Bush Music Club & The Australian Folk Song Revival (1950’s)

10.   Wake for John Meredith, AM (1920 - 2001) - 24th March 2001

11.   Extracts from Singabout - the early songwriters - John Meredith (1920-2001)

12.   Bob Bolton Collection - Launch of Folk Songs of Australia, Vol. 2, 29th May 1987

14.   John Meredith - photos from the Rob Willis collection

15.   John Meredith - photos from the Peter Ellis Collection.

16.   Chris & Virginia Woodland Collection - Photos of John Meredith

17.   Centenary of the birth of John Meredith OAM (17 January 1920 – 18 February 2001)

18.   From the Archives - John Stanley's squeeze-boxes called the tune at a thousand bush dances.

19.   Publications of the Bush Music Club, 1950s to date

20.   From the Archives - Merro's music comes to Jamberoo, Illawarra Folk Festival September 2001

21.   Singabout - Journal of Australian Folksong, Volume 1(2), Autumn 1956

22.   Singabout - Journal of Australian Folksong, Volume 1(3), Winter 1956

23.   FOLK SONGS OF AUSTRALIA and the men and women who sang them - Celebrating the centenary of John Meredith's birth - Script part 2

24.   FOLK SONGS OF AUSTRALIA and the men and women who sang them - Celebrating the centenary of John Meredith's birth - Script Part 1

25.   Singabout - Journal of Australian Folksong, Volume 4(1), October 1960

26.   Singabout - Journal of Australian Folksong, Volume 5(1), January 1963

27.   NLA Oral Histories - Bushwhackers & other early members

28.   Life members - Information on our 25 life members - part 1 - Sally Sloane, Duke Tritton, Clem Millward, Val Hennessy, John Meredith

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

30.   Newspaper and magazine clippings - Part 2

31.   From the Archives - Forum for Folklore Collectors, University of NSW, 4-6 December 1987.

32.   From the Archives - On the track of the Shed Rep by John Meredith, Parts 1 & 2

33.   From the Archives - review by Alan Scott of John Meredith's Gallant Peter Clark

34.  From the Archives - Memories & Accounts of Bush Music Club and it's Origins, parts 1 & 2 by Dale Dengate

35.   From the Archives - Send Round the Hat, Duke Tritton by his mates. Collected & edited by John Meredith - Part 1

36.   From the Archives - Send Round the Hat, Duke Tritton by his mates. Collected & edited by John Meredith - Part 2

37.   Chris & Virginia Woodland Collection - Miscellaneous photos

38.  John Burch's memories of John Meredith

39.   From the Archives - Tales from the Upper Murray - John Meredith's original field notes & typed copy

40.   From the Archives - John Meredith's Old Bush Songs series in The Bulletin, March - May 1955

41.   From the Archives - The Merro Scrapbooks - a very incomplete collection of articles by John Meredith found in other publications




Wednesday 24 April 2024

John Burch's memories of John Meredith

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As promised, with our 70 year anniversary this year, here is a short history of my association with BMC.

Around 1957/58 when I was at school, I had a friend by the name of Bob Smith. We were both in the cadet band at school. Bob's Mother was a friend of John Meredith and John came to our school a few times and played and taught us some Australian bush songs. He was a great ambassador for BMC.

Bob made a Bush Bass with the help of John, and I would go to his place on some weekends where we would play around with some Aussie music and bush songs. Bob also made a Lagerphone so we could make plenty of noise with not much music - lots of fun. John was there on a few occasions as well. I think Bob and I attended BMC one time with John M.

I had decided to try and teach myself to play guitar around this time and I learnt to play by watching someone else and following them. That was my first contact with BMC.

Later in the early 60's I had a friend, Barry Collerson who was a member of BMC and we used to play some music together, usually around a campfire.

Fast forward to 1974 when the production of Reedy River started at the New Theatre in Newtown. That show required a band for every performance (about 5 a week) and the show ran for a long time. Barry was a part time musician in the band and asked me if I wanted to play a few nights. I did so and played once or twice a week until the show finished. That's when I first met Jamie Carlin,  Frank Maher and Ralph Pride, (among others) whose names I don't remember.

When the show finally wound up, the Reedy River Bushmen band was formed, and we played as a band for a number of years.

Photo from John's collection 

My career and family then took priority and I quit the band and lost contact with BMC.

I still had occasional jam sessions with Barry from time to time but didn't play very often.
About 10 years ago I took up the guitar again and then decided to re-join BMC and have enjoyed it ever since!

John celebrating his 80th birthday, Feb 2024  (Sandra Nixon photo)



Tuesday 23 April 2024

Saplings Session @ The Hut Saturday 20th April 2024

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(Photos © Sandra Nixon)

Although local schools were contacted, unfortunately no locals joined us - this time!  If it wasn't for the Polesons - Lynne & John, Chris, Mark, Stephanie, & grandkids Emily & Jack  ...

1. Helen, Beck, Chris, Emily, Jack, Vanessa
2. Chris, Emily, Jack

3.  Daisy a music-loving dog

4. Stephanie 

5. Chris, Emily, Jack, Nola, Elaine, John, Tony

6.  Chris, Emily, Jack, Nola, Lynne

7.  Chris, Emily, Jack, Nola, Elaine, John, Tony, Helen, Stephanie

8. Emily, Jack, Chris, Lynne, John, Tony, Helen

9. Vanessa, Beck, Mark, Helen, Tony 

10. Emily, Jack, Chris, Nola 

11. Elaine, Vanessa, Beck

12.  Beck, Mark, Helen, Tony 

13.  Emily, Jack, Chris, Nola

14.  Emily, Jack, Chris, Nola, Lynne

15.  Mark, Beck, John, Vanessa, Helen, Tony 

16. Mark, Chris, Beck
17. Stephanie, Daisy, Jack 

18.  Mark, Beck, Helen, Vanessa

19. Mark, Jack, Stephanie, Beck, Helen

20. Emily & concertina

21. Post-session discussion

22.  Vanessa, Nola, Elaine 

23. Two-handed guitar 

23. Helen sees herself in an archival photo

24. piano duet 

25.   Post-session discussion continued



Tuesday 16 April 2024

National Folk Fellowships 2004 to 2024

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National Folk Fellowships were offered by the National Library for established and emerging folk practitioners from 2004 to 2024. The Fellowship is not being offered in 2025.

The outcome of this residency at the National Library would result in a performance at the following National Folk Festival and a presentation at the National Library. It was a requirement that Folk Fellowship creates material suitable for inclusion in the Library’s Oral History and Folklore collection

The Fellowship provided support for professional development of artistic practice through research in the Library's extensive folklore and related collections, as well as the documentation of the Fellow's work for the Library’s Collection.


Details of all winners are here with links to their presentations

2024   Mr John Shortis   Worth Fighting For (Australian protesters and their songs) - songs from Phyl Lobl & Dale Dengate were included in his presentation! 

2023 - Ms Martie Lowenstein "What Wendy Found" - The Story of the 1950-60's Australian folk music revival, the 1st National Folk Festival in 1967, and the 1969 outback "Australian Folklore Expedition"  BMC Archival material contributed to this presentation. 

2022 - Dr Mahesh White-Radhakrishnan - Quadrilles

2021 - Archer  - Dougie Young,  In the Land where the Crow flies backwards: The songs of western NSW

2020 - Luke Byrnes - Songs of the Northern Rivers NSW

2019 - Shane Lestideau Scottish-Australian musical traditions after the first waves of immigration to Australia in the early 19th Century.

2018 - Dr Salvatore Rossano - Italian Folk Songs 
2017 - Jessie Lloyd - Mission Songs, Indigenous songs from Christian missions, Aboriginal reserves and the fringes of townships where Indigenous people were relocated.

2016 - Chris Sullivan - concertina music 

2015 -  Miriam Jones - bluegrass & old time music

2014 - Jan Wositzky -  WE (Bill) Harney (1895-1962)

2013 - Cath Ovenden - traditional fiddle music, Joe Yates 

2012 - Emma Nixon & Chris Stone - Australian Scottish fiddle music, early 20th century 

2011 - Toby Martin - Indigenous country music 

2010 -  BMC Member Christina Mimmocchi - Australian folk songs for choirs 

2009 -  Dr Jennifer GallPicking up the Threads: Australian women’s folk music

2008 - Dr Ronald McCoy - the contribution of the Scots and Gaels to Australian folk culture

2007 -  Ian Blake - create a suite of musical and sound works combining live and electro-acoustic music drawing on children's songs and games found in the Library's folklore recordings.

2006 -  Ben Stephenson and Adrian Barker
- Australian dance music of Irish origin

2005 - Graham Dodsworth  - songs that have "slipped through the net of attention"

2004 -  Dave de Santi & Jane Brownlee -  unpublished recordings in the Folklore collection, in particular the collections of Chris Sullivan, Norm O'Connor, John Meredith, Rob Willis, Alan Scott and the Wattle Records collection.




Sunday 14 April 2024

Report on BMC members & friends gigs @ NFF 2024

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(photos © Sandra Nixon)

1. Protest Songs with Kate Delaney, Moya Simpson, Margaret Walters,
& Christina Mimmocchi
2. Young dancers

3.  Shiny Bums - Arminal Ryan, Chris Clarke, Pat Ryan

4. Shiny Bum Frankie Seymour

5.  Morris hats

6.  Lost Quays shanty workshop

7. Kathie Potter & daughters sold beautiful hats & tiaras at Happenstance Hats

8. Happenstance Hats

9. Visiting UK-based traditional singer Linn Phipps singing in the stairwell

10. Paramedics enjoying the dancing 

11. Not so many posters & leaflets this year - saving trees!

12. Posters & leaflets 

13.  Workshop with Gay Charmers 

14. Old time Ball with Gay Charmers

15. Gay Charmers workshop 

16. Gay Charmers Old Time Ball 

17. Scottish Ball 

17. Scottish Ball with Catherine Fraser Trio 

18.  Workshop for the Shirley Andrews Tribute Dance with
Victorian Folk Music Club's Billabong Band  

19. Billabong Band 

20.  Billabong Band playing for the Shirley Andrews Tribute dance 

21. Shirley Andrews Tribute Dance 

22.  Moir Holmes playing for dancers in the Session Bar 

23. Bill & Margaret Winnett & friends dancing in the Session Bar

24. Heather Clarke's Workshop for Callers

25. Heather & friend

26. Fans of Black Joak Morris  

27. Scandinavian dancers & musicians heading for the dance floor 

  28. Bruce Watson with Zampoñistas, Melbourne's Bolivian Panpipe marching band

29.  Bruce Watson, singer/songwriter/folklorist 

30.  Singing session 

31. Tunes session in the Session Bar 

32. Tunes session 

33. Concertina player at tunes session 

34. Strings at tunes session 

35. Mouth organs at tunes session 

36. 2024 National Folk Fellowship Winner, John Shortis with Moya Simpson & 
Worldly Goods Choir present Worth Fighting For (Australian protesters and their songs)
- Songs of Protest discovered in the National Library

37. John with choir members

38.  Alistair Hulett Award for Songs of Social Justice concert of recent winners.
2017 winner Miguel Heatwole with Bob Fagan

39.  Easter was very early so the famous red tree was barely coloured! 

40.  Sunset