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This photograph from the Tom Lennon archive shows Eric Sheldon, drummer, dance band leader and editor of the music industry magazine The Australian Music Maker and Dance Band News, on the right shaking hands with fellow band leader Jim Davidson who is pictured with other members of his band at Central Railway Station after returning to Sydney from Melbourne following a season at the Palais de Danse at St. Kilda Beach. The photograph was published in The Australian Music Maker and Dance Band News on 1 May 1934. The band had returned to Sydney to open the winter season at the Palais Royal in Moore Park. They played to up to 5000 people per night without amplification. As Davidson wrote on page 31 of his autobiography A Showman’s Story:
The enormous ornamental shell behind the band was made of specially tempered steel and it reflected the sound out across the ballroom. The acoustics were perfect and we made the most of them.
During this time the band also made a number of recordings at Columbia Studios in Homebush which sold very well and broadcast regularly on Radio Station 2FC.
Again on page 31 of his autobiography Jim Davidson mentions that at this time his band comprised Ray Tarrant as first trumpet, Jimmy Gussey on second trumpet, Dudley Cantrell on trombone, and Tommy Stevenson on second trombone and guitar. Other members of the band were Frank McLoughlin on first alto saxophone, Peter Cantrell on third alto saxophone, Chic Donovan on second tenor saxophone, Orm Wills on bass and Gordon Rawlinson on piano. Davidson played drums and percussion.
Please let us know if you can help put names to faces from the list of band members.
Tom T. Lennon, was a commercial photographer whose studio was at 64 Victoria Road, Drummoyne. At the time that this photograph was taken, Lennon was also the official photographer for The Australian Music Maker and Dance Band News. The 1796 negatives in the Powerhouse Museum Tom Lennon archive are largely of balls and dinners held in Sydney, but also include weddings, funerals, work events, parties, portraits, pets, fashion, horse races, and various places and events. Many images from the Tom Lennon archive have been posted previously on Photo of the Day.
Post by Paul Wilson, Acting Archives Manager
Photography by Tom Lennon
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