Dance Bands

The following information was provided by Brian Day.

 I played piano in a group of varying personnel over the period 1944 to 1988. The number of players in the band varied according to the size and importance of the occasion. For small functions such as weddings, birthday parties etc there would be 3 or 4 in the group and when playing in Sydney Town Hall for the Dutch community, there were 9 in the group“.

Bernie Brien’sGroup

When the new (previous) Town Hall was opened in 1973, Bernie Brien’s group did the job for the Lady Mayoress’s ball.

Alec Langlands Band

In 1974 the group led by the late Alec Langlands, trumpet player, supplied the music for the Mayoress’ Ball. Alec led the group for 38 years from 1950.

I will never forget that night, as I (Brian Day) realised a boyhood dream. Bob Dougherty was the mayor and during a break in proceedings he invited me to play a tune on the Wurlitzer. I approached the mighty instrument in fear and trembling – it was a very interesting experience – I have had a small electric organ for many years, but to confront the King of Instruments was something not for the faint hearted

Kevin Dean’es Northside Quartet

Another local group was Tenor Saxophone player Kevin Deane’s ‘Northside Quartet’. In those days ballroom dancing was very popular and there were public dances all over the north shore.

‘Tut’ Coleman;s Band

‘Tut’ Coltman’s band played Thursday nights at the Dispensary hall,

Bill Barret’s Big Band

Bill Barret’s Big Band played Friday and Saturday nights at the Lane Cove Town Hall (now council offices)

Mr Gross’s band

Mr Gross’s band played in the old Chatswood Masonic hall and a number of bands played in the 1906 built Chatswood town hall, including ours.

Fred Schweicke Group

The late Fred Schweickle, trumpet player who had led the band at Luna Park from the opening in 1936 until it closed was a dear friend, a top musician and a top bloke. I spent many a pleasant evening with him on the band stand over many years, not at Luna Park but at small private parties.

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