Orchestras and Bands [A-L]

BERT RALTON & HIS HAVANA BAND:  See entry in Practitioners [B]



aka Charleston Symphony Band / Charleston Symphonists

Charleston Symphony Six [with Stiffy and 'Erb](1925-ca. 1928) Jazz band.

Described as “modern American jazz without drums or noisy trick effects,” the Charleston Super Six Symphonists was an Australian jazz band which toured the Australasian region for Fullers’ Theatres Ltd. The initial line-up was Norman Stewart (leader), Cyril Douglas (violin), Les Clements (piano), Martin Matthews (banjo/guitar), Bede Lewis (sax), and Robert Graham (bass sax). By 1926 it comprised Clements, Douglas, Lewis, Art Dewar (banjo), Frank Morton (cornet) and multi-instrumentalist Frank Wilson. In October 1926 the band began a two year association with Nat Phillips, touring with both his Whirligigs and Stiffy and Mo companies.

Violinist Syd Clarke replaced Tiny Douglas prior to the band touring New Zealand with Stiffy and Mo in 1928. Norman Stewart possibly played one of the horn instruments.
Image: Charleston Super Six Symphonists with members of the Whirligigs troupe. Source: Nat Phillips Collection, Fryer Library, University of Qld.



aka Five Flaming Youths

(1928- ca. 1930) Jazz /pit band

With its name referencing either or both the 1927 W.C. Fields and Chester Conklin film, Two Flaming Youths, or the 1923 cinematic adaptation of Warner Fabian’s Flaming Youth, this five-piece jazz band served as both a pit band and feature act with the George Wallace Revue Company during the late 1920s and early 1930s. No details regarding the band’s line-up have yet been located, although George Wallace found excuses to regularly perform with it (on drums) as part of most of his shows. The instruments played are believed to have included piano, saxophone, drums, banjo and trombone.



Flying Squadron Orchestra [CAP 29 Apr 1922, 27](1908-1925) Formed in late-1908 by G.C. Boyle and D.W. Mederaf, the Flying Squadron Orchestra established itself as the Rockhampton region’s premiere band for balls, concerts, local and touring theatrical companies, and at moving picture houses (often supporting between-films vaudeville acts). Although the orchestra’s membership, which comprised both men and women, changed personnel over the years it maintained a constant level of activity, and was eventually accorded vice-regal patronage. Among the theatrical organisations it accompanied were Allan Wilkie’s Shakespearean and Philip Lytton‘s Dramatic companies, the Sistine Choir, and Ben Goodson‘s Concert Company (1910-11). The Flying Squadron also played a vital role in raising funds and boosting the region’s moral during the war years.

1: Known members are. Miss M. Cranston (piano), Miss M. Devaney (violin), W. Franks (drums), J. Griffiths (cornet), A. Higson (bass), Miss A. Kennedy, M. Mareusen (trombone), D.W. Mederaf (conductor), A. Neddrie, Miss V. Parker (piano), Miss G. Power (viola), R. Richardson (bass) Mrs J. Sandberg. The longest-serving member was Will Franks. He remained with the Orchestra for the entire 17 years, also serving in the capacities of manager and secretary.
2: The Flying Squadron Orchestra provided entertainment for several horse racing clubs during the 1910s, most notably the Rockhampton Jockey Club (11 years). Other clubs included those at Blackall and Peaks Down.
Image: Capricornian (Rockhampton, Qld) 29 Apr. 1922, 27.


THE JAZZ BAND (aka “Australia’s first jazz band”):  See entry in Practitioners [I-J]


KEITH’S SYNCOPATING JESTERS: See entry in Practitioners [K]


LYNN SMITH’S ROYAL JAZZ BAND (aka Lynn Smith Jazz Band): See entry in Practitioners [L]


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.
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Published on March 2, 2014 at 1:59 am  Comments Off on Orchestras and Bands [A-L]