U3A at NFSA: Carrying their Voices Home

U3A at NFSA: Carrying their Voices Home

Fri 12 Apr 10:00 AM

General Admission
All Ages
150 Mins
Presented by Dr Jeff Brownrigg 

This presentation will examine the careers of some of the most successful Australian vaudevillians, at home and abroad. It will be lavishly illustrated with their records. 

Australia produced many international stars who built significant overseas careers in vaudeville and variety. Artists often started out on the amateur stage in Bendigo or Toowoomba (or elsewhere) before finding their way into professional entertainment, especially in Melbourne or Sydney.  Sometimes they were discovered by visiting performers who suggested that going to London or San Francisco might provide opportunities to be heard by much larger audiences.  

From English and North American stages, many launched recording careers in England, the USA and Germany; recordings that carried their voices home.  Many of the great pioneering names of Australian recorded performances have left substantial numbers of discs and cylinders, such as Leonard Nelson (‘Goodbye Melbourne Town’), Hamilton Hill (‘Goodbye, Dolly Gray’ which became ‘Good Old Collingwood, Forever’), Florrie Forde (too many ‘great’ hits to mention), Billy Williams (‘When Father Papered the Parlour’ and many more. Where would Canberra Reps’ Old Time Music Hall and other evocative evocations of the late 19th and early 20th centuries have been without them?
Part of a series of free U3A events exploring audiovisual history, presented by NFSA Owls at the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia (formerly NFSA Alumni). Session includes a tea break.  


1 McCoy Circuit Acton, Australian Capital Territory, 2601