My musical memories of the fifties are much more sedate than jukebox music . In fact I can’t even remember jukeboxes being around , that is how much effect they had on me.
But there was always music that made your feet tap and functions to attend where there was ballroom dancing. But to go dancing of course you needed a pretty dress and where better place to go in Melbourne than to Renee Rose in Swanston St, on the corner of Little Collins St at the base of the Century Building.
So in 1952 I went to Renee Rose and bought a very demure dress with a blue lace bodice, It had a Peter Pan collar and extended shoulder line and the full blue tulle skirt fell to mid calf, which was called a ballerina dress. The cost was a mere £11-19-6 .
I’ve often wondered about the street address of the place where I was living that year and lo and behold the receipt gives it to me. And most importantly it told me that the dress was an SSW. I can barely remember fitting into a dress that size.
And another correct address comes to me through another receipt with musical connections. In Pianists from the Past I mentioned how we came to buy a piano. After it was transported from the country it needed some attention and this was done in 1955
The Closing Ceremony at the Olympics in Melbourne in 1956 was memorable and moving when a choir sang the anthem to the tune of Waltzing Matilda with especially written words, and then wove in that old phrase “Will ye nae come back to me” to its own special tune.
I had been to the Olympics three times, twice with properly purchased tickets and once in a group of four with one ticket between us. I presume there’s a statute of limitations on that little bit of activity. But the Olympics were a really really big deal and we couldn’t get enough of them
All this time there were plenty of stage musicals to enjoy, finishing the decade in 1959 with My Fair Lady in Melbourne for the first time. Along the way there was also a visit from The Band of the Irish Guards to enjoy The concert was held at the New Olympic Swimming Pool which had been built for the Olympics, with a floor placed over the pool.
These are just highlights but music was there every day through radio, TV, a growing collection of vinyls and occasionally our own efforts such as playing the organ for an initial service of a church whose building had only reached the concrete slab state,
More music from the fifties over at Sepia Saturday