Monthly Archives: July 2019

Climb every mountain …

In August 1858, 12 men, including 7 members of the Yreka Brass Band (John Murray, leader; I.G. Murray, W.I. Mayfield, John Garner, A.J. Starling and Louis Detarre) walked to (50 miles or so) and then ascended Mt Shasta, California, with … Continue reading

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Unknown bandsmen

There are thousands of photographs of bandsmen, and the occasional bandswoman, that are sadly totally anonymous. Most have no identifying features, either on their uniforms, instruments or the backgrounds, and only a chance comparison with another known picture can give … Continue reading

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Bum Notes – a look at some brassy raspberries

I came across the first of these images “Our Prize Band” many years ago, and largely dismissed it as a humorous postcard, poking fun at bands, since then I have seen two other versions, in French and German, so the … Continue reading

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A Musical Prize Fight at Loftus, 1859

In September 1859 a “Grand Village Band Contest” was held in Loftus, a village on the North Yorkshire coast. John Hollingshead reported the event in “All the Year Round” later that year. A transcription of the report, together with some … Continue reading

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Comic Bands – Kazoo and Zobo

During the 1890s and early parts of the 20th century a type of band arose using kazoo-type instruments as an alternative to the more expensive (and harder to play) brass instruments. Zobo instruments, based on kazoo principles, were invented and … Continue reading

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Tissue paper commemorative programmes & napkins

I spent a fascinating few hours with Steve Hughes last week, discussing and examining the wealth of Besses o’ th’ Barn historical material he is working on. During that time I came across something I had not seen before – … Continue reading

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Brass Band Archive Recordings

Brass Band Archive Recordings – a brief guide to recordings of brass bands in libraries, museums and other archives Brass bands are, of course, musical organisations first and foremost, and the bulk of their heritage is bound up in the … Continue reading

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