Industry : Misc 2

Music Publishing



aka Dinsdale’s Pty Ltd/ Dinsdale’s Song Shop

A. M. Dinsdales [Public RO, Vic]

(ca. 1909-1921) 105-107 Bourke Street, 260 Swanston Street, 83 Swanston Street,

A.M. Dinsdale possibly established his Melbourne music, book and stationary store sometime in 1909. Initially advertising itself as a seller of phonographs, musical instruments, sheet music, books, stationary, postcards and magic tricks, the business also operated as an art printer and agent for music publishers J. Albert [above], W.J. Deane and Victor J. Draper. By 1910 Dinsdale’s had also entered the music publishing business and over the next eight or so years published many locally written songs, some by high profile variety artists including Charlie Vaude, Arthur Morley, Tom Armstrong, Joe Slater and Bert Warne.

The earliest record of Dinsdale’s located to date is a position-wanted advertisement for a piano-playing sales girl in 1909 (Argus 29 September ). In 1921 the business appeared in advertisements for Melbourne’s Athenaeum Theatre up until early April. From 19 April, however, the Athenaeum advertisements record that the box-plans could be viewed at “Faulkner Smith Song Shop (late Dinsdale’s), 83 Swanston Street.” No other mention of Dinsdale’s has yet been located after that date.
Image source: Public Records Office Victoria.



(ca. 1866- 1890s) A series of pocket-sized booklets containing the words to popular songs, The Australian Melodist was an imprint of the Melbourne printing and publishing firm Clarson, Massina and Co (also the proprietors the Australian Journal among other periodicals). Its early covers typically described the series as “containing the most popular songs, as sung at the theatres and concert halls, by the several minstrel troupes which have visited the colonies.” No 11 (1869) was devoted largely to the songs performed by Weston and Hussey’s Minstrels.

Although first and last known publishing dates for The Australian Melodist have not yet been identified, the earliest volume could only have been published after 1866, when the original printing firm, Clarson, Shallard and Co (1859-66) was re-organised as Clarson, Massina and Co. The last established volume to date is No 20 (1892). A publication date for  the reported No 21 is yet to be verified. The company also published two volumes of The Weston and Hussey Minstrels Book of Songs in 1869.



aka Alberts / Albert Music

Albert and Son [NLA](1885-) One of Australia’s oldest independent music and entertainment companies Alberts was initially established in Newtown (Sydney) as a clock and violin repair shop by Swiss-born watchmaker and musician, Jacques Albert (1850-1914). By 1890 he had moved his premises to King Street in the city and was importing violins and publishing a variety of handbooks. Four years later his son, Michael Francois (1874-1962), better known as Frank, joined as a partner. With its distinctive boomerang logo J. Albert and Son eventually became one of Australia’s largest music publishers. During the early 1900s the company published numerous songs by variety-based songwriters.

  • For further details see: Jane Albert. House of Hits: The Great Untold Story of Australia’s First Family of Music. Prahran, Vic. Hardie Grant, 2010 • “Our History.” Alberts Impact Capital [sighted 21/04/2020]
Australian variety industry songwriters to have their works published by Albert & Son included: Nat Phillips, Tom Armstrong, Arthur Morley, Vince Courtney, Harley Cohen, D.H. Souter, Fred Whaite, Andrew McCunn, Frank Dix, Thomas Hilhouse Taylor, George Wallace, Bert Reid.



Joe Slater Publishing

(1893-ca.1935) Joe Slater set up his own publishing company in Leichhardt, Sydney, in 1893, with his first release possibly being Eddie Sampson’s Empire Songster. By late 1894 his Imperial and Silver songsters were being sold throughout Australia via booksellers, music stores and newsagents. In January 1895 he published his first Tivoli songster in association with Harry Rickards. He continued producing these well into the 1920s. Slater’s close association with the Australian variety theatre industry saw him also publish a great many local-written songs (including his own). He also went on to establish his reputation with overseas composers and publishers, released numerous international songs (many of them hits) throughout Australasia.

1: Slater initially set up his operations in Leichhardt. He later moved to the Haymarket district in Sydney’s CBD.
2: No year has yet been determined for the end of Joe Slater Publishing. See research notes for addition information.
Image source: National Library of Australia



Songster collage

In Australia the term songster refers to a commercially distributed book of songs (or a song album) rather than a performer of songs. Our earliest recorded publication was Smalls Colonial Songster which first appeared in 1857 during the gold rush era. An almost constant stream of songbooks featuring the latest popular songs continued appearing well into the mid-20th century through small-time and established publishers alike – the most notable being Joe Slater [above], J. Albert and Sons [above], and Allan’s. Among the specialty vaudeville titles were: Boomerang, Imperial, Wattle, Silver, Tivoli, Gaiety, Broadcast and Crackerjack.

  • For further details see: Warren Fahey. “Songsters and Songbooks.” Australian Folklore Unit [sighted 21/04/2020]
Image source: Nugrape Records (


Image citation details for entries without expanded biographies are noted at the bottom of the overview. All other image details are provided in the expanded PDF biographies.
For information concerning copyright issues see “Copyright” attachment in the AVTA “About” page.

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Published on October 23, 2012 at 9:50 pm  Comments Off on Industry : Misc 2