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Back to Vol.1 No.21 02 March 1940

Band Wagon Vol.1 No.21 02 March 1940 0002

Band Wagon Vol.1 No.21 02 March 1940 0002

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PDDIE GRIFFITHS, after years of ^ orchestrating for dance bands, films and radio, will once again substitute a conductor's baton for his pen when “ Silver Patrol ” opens at the New Theatre in a few week's time.

Book and lyrics for the show were written by Bruce Sievier, now with the R.A.F., whilst Pat Thayer wrote the music.

Mr. John Abbot of Francis, Day and Hunter, who own the musical copyrights, told Band Wagon that the show was originally intended for production as a film.

At the time it was written British films were at a low ebb and the project was a little too ambitious. The show has since been successfully performed by amateur societies.

The present company, with Gene Qerrard as comedy lead, look like repeating those successes.

Margot, one of the lovelies in the Revudeville star factory, better known as the Windmill Theatre, celebrated her twenty-first birthday last week.

Photo: Houston Rogers.

Swing is the Thing

doubt is now left in Tony Kar-meli's mind as to the type of show the public at Weston-super-Mare want.

“If Weston is representative,” Tony told Band Wagon, “ of the West of England then the advice I give to any bandleader working there is ‘ give 'em swing.’ I went down to the Odeon with a twelve-piece outfit and two girl vocalists, and from the moment I stepped on the stage the crowds shouted out for it. They got it, including a jam session the boys fixed up whilst I was off the stage.

“ The manager of the theatre told me that we had broken the record for bands: over two thousand people having paid to go in.”

THE Ilford Swing Club met at the Mayfair Café, Cranbrook Road, Ilford, on Sunday evening.

The next meeting will take place at the Mayfair on Sunday next, (March 3), from 6.30 p.m. All instrumentalists are welcome to bring their instruments.

For Ifurther particulars communicate with Alan Mead, 28 Brancaster Road. Ilford. 'Phone Seven Kings 5842.

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BOURNEMOUTH Rhythm Club is going strong and meetings are held every Tuesday at the Psychology Hall.

Swing sessions, record recitals, and lectures are supplemented by the Club orchestra directed by Bobbie Greene.

SOUTH West London Rhythm Club holds usual Sunday meetings at 15 Streatham Hill.

Bud Riddich and his Band appeared last week with Rexie Lee in a song and dance routine.

Committee hints at big future attractions. Enquiries to Mr. L. Murray, 345 Brixton Road, S.W.9.

Back in England, March Nth

Scintillating • Snappy

• Exquisite • Superb

ftaidence Skmuvc

“ Her blonde silky hair ; her white skin ; that expression of sauciness in her eyes as she slowly drops fragments of her costume to the floor ; all combine to make her one of the most perfect dancers in cabaret “—Count Vargas

All enquiries : Band Wagon, 178 Charing Cross Road, London, W.C.2

The Thin End oj the tVedge

DESPITE threatened opposition from Church organisations and the usual platitudes about the “thin end of the wedge,” broad-minded municipalities appear to be taking the view that in the drab industrial North some form of Sunday entertainment for the troops is essential.

On Monday of this week Salford (Lancs.) Watch Committee approved the proposal for Sunday cinemas.

Manchester, toq, realises the importance in war-time of Sunday entertainment and the city’s virile Alderman George Hall intends to put the proposal before the Watch Committee.

AMAZED AT B.W. PULL

London.

lyf AURICE FROLIC told Band Wagon " j was amazed at the number of bands who applied to me for a summer engagement and summer concerts. You only made a small reference in your columns and I have received over one hundred and fifty applications.

" Next Sunday my band and I will be at Chester."

Bitter

Bill Ruff* goes through the Bill

\ FORTY minutes wait for a train at Waterloo Station made me late, so ] missed the first two acts at the Kingston Empire this week.

1. Reading and Grant—Tramping the Highway.

2. Nixon and Morrison—Canadian Gagsters.

3. Marcel do Haes listed as “ from the Bat Tabarin, Paris.” He has good style, sings French songs. Tries to make the audience sing Bnom in English and his act cashes in on Anglo-French sentiment. He got a big hand. Pit drummer Tommy Redman did some big staff in this act.

4. Kimberley and Page. Two Americans from England. Should polish up their American accents and cut out the woman mauling—it gets very tedious. Lack of American acts should give this one a big opportunity. Pep it up a bit.

5. Maeari and His Dutch Accordion Serenaders. features Van I.uin, Larry and Rosa Macari, l.es Childs, Sam Hcrmon and Jack Lawton on the electric organ. A colossal noise. The house amplifiers much too loud. All artists in this show sing too near the mike. Why have a mike at all ? It is not a large theatre. This act an ear splitting triumph. The biggest hand of the evening.

6. M. D Oily Aston. Pit orchestra works very hard.

7. Della's Dogs—Canine Wonders. Nice if you like performing dogs. Only one dog barked at the end. Marvellous how they keep terriers quiet during the act.

8. Payne and Hilliard almost broke down when one of Della's lost dogs came on the stage. Plenty of thought put in to this act. Why take off Napoleon when you have all the German leaders to have a go at? Give us a Mitford for your Josephine.

9. Costelo and Tania. Dance of Desire. Good cabaret act. Oodles of sex appeal.

10. Tommy Trinder. A bit too cheeky. Speaks loo quickly—not sufficient variation in tone of voice. Gets a good hand, of course. Act lacks variety. He sang excellently.

11. Boy Foy. Juggles sitting on a one wheel bicycle. Slick—polished—clever. A real artist, knows his job to a lick. Anyone can book this act with confidence. A great success.

The Empire should use spot lights from the sides, the centre spots are not enough.

A TERRIFIC SWING HIT

IN BIG DEMAND

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TOURING the “ Valentine Ice Gala,” at the Nottingham Ice Stadium recently, one of the Stadium staff had an unusual thrill. He had gone up to the roof to release the balloons suspended above the ice rink, and in order to release them had to walk over the glass roof under the roof proper.

Patrons and skaters were horrified to suddenly hear the sound of breaking glass and see the Stadium employee fall through a hole in one of the glass panels. Fortunately, the man was able to grab hold of one of the girders in the glass roof as he fell through and hung on, suspended sixty feet above the rink, until rescued by a fellow-worker.

No Panic

A few minutes before the accident, Billy Merrin, who with his Commanders was supplying the music for the evening, had announced Little Mary Naylor, the juvenile broadcasting, television and music-hall starlet. This artist had just commenced the first of three numbers when the above incident occurred.

Like everyone else, Mary looked up at the sound of breaking glass, but on seeing the cause quickly looked down again; pale and obviously shaken she continued with her playing and singing, and taking their cue from her the band followed suit.

Afterwards, Billy Merrin was heard to say that, in carrying on with her numbers, Little Mary Naylor had helped to prevent any panicky rush for exits.

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“SCHOOL MA’AM CINDERELLA

West Hartlepool. 'C'OR four long, uneventful years, twenty-four-year-old blonde Jessica James, of West Hartlepool, Co. Durham, taught kindergarten scholars the rudiments of music.

Every Christmastide, however, there was a break in the doh-ray-me routine, and the scholars were packed off home for the holidays. Then the demure music mistress, transformed as a radiant Columbine, took her place behind the footlights in the annual local charity pantomime. Every Christmas it was the same, and at the end of the show's three-night run the Singing Cinderella went back to her kindergarten class.

Apart from these appearances and an occasional concert, Jessie was no nearer to the fulfilment of her one ambition—to be a variety star.

Last week she decided to try her luck at a Carroll Levis audition. Levis' brother Cyril heard her and fixed her for his Discoveries show at the Empire Theatre, West Hartlepool, where she went over big. ______________

Scottish New«

UNION DRIVE

SUCCESSES

TT is two or three years now since the Musicians’ Union started its recruiting campaign in earnest among dance men, but even yet it is a source of wonder why the lads in the “ provincial ” towns seem to show a great deal more enthusiasm than the supposedly busier big-shots. Thus, one of the newer of the M.U. branches, that at Greenock, is still mentioned frequently at meetings as a sample of what a go-ahead branch should be.

Greenock staged the first real big Jamboree, in aid of funds—a venture which looks like being copied all over the place with profitable results.

Organiser McBean was able to report not so long ago the formation of a further branch at Kilmarnock, as a result of his missionary efforts. This branch is now firmly established, with prospects of reaching out to Ayr, where something of the kind is badly needed.

The membership of these branches is small, of course, but their spirit more than makes up for any deficiency in numbers.

* * *

/GLASGOW Locarno is having a war-^ time swing band contest on Thursday, March 7, one condition being that the contesting bands must feature at least one of a group of war tunes. Manager Gray, who succeeded Larry Kirsch, is keeping things moving at the Sauchiehall Street Hall, where business is fully equal to pre-war. Chip Wilms and Bobby Hogg continue on the stand.

One of the best-known local trumpeters, Duggie McBrayne, who combines dance-banding with brass-banding, has been in the news recently by reason of his leadership of a band known as the Brass Hats, who go the rounds at some of the big troops-charity functions held here.

Jack Britton, who was recently band leader at F. and F. Ballroom, is now at war work and doing a few gigs when he can. He recently resumed bandstand acquaintanceship with Jimmy Bentley, with whom Jack was associated ’way back in the old days. Jimmy, a banjo player in these days, is now on bass and has been leading a successful gig outfit for some time.

BERTINI’S PROBLEM

(From Our Own Reporter)

Manchester, Saturday. TN his dressing-room at Salford Hippo* drome, Bertini, at present touring his “ Band Parade of 1940,” gave Band Wagon reporter, Tommy Heaney, some facts about how calling-up is likely to affect his band.

“ Only a week ago,” he said, “ my first trumpet was called up at two days’ notice. Two days isn't long in which to find a suitable man, but I was lucky and signed up Roy Underhill, of Warrington. I might not be as lucky next time. . . .

“ It is a problem which is going to be much more serious than many leaders imagine, and I have already made my plans. I am concentrating on the encouragement of juvenile talent and have already several promising youngsters in mind.”

“Band Parade of 1940” is booked solid until July, 1940, and later bookings are coming in fast.

SHOWMAN’S

DEATH

Blackpool. TPHEY'LL miss him no end, on Central Pier, Blackpool, this summer, grand little showman Tom Vernon, who died last week, and was brought to Blackpool to be buried in the cemetery on Tuesday (February 27). Tom's Royal Follies have delighted Blackpool visitors and residents for years now. He was known far and wide, too, as pantomime and revue producer, and as the man who saw possibilities of “ Love on the Dole ” the minute he watched the play.

Dancing Plans

Central Pier open-air dance stand is now being extended. Floor for dancing space will be twice as long as before. Also a handsome modern café is going up adjacent to the dancing. The Central Pier is preparing for Easter.

Toni and the North Pier orchestra will play over Easter week-end on the Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Webster Booth will be the artist at an Easter Sunday concert.

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