Enjoying Music in the Fifties

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.

Renee Rose FrocksSo 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  .

Renee rose receipt  13-8-1951 bI’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

Laurie fuller Piano Tuner  1955 Fitzroy bThe 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.

Olympic anthem

Olympics ticket 27-11-1956 MCGI 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.

Irish Guards ticket  18-9-1957 b

Irish Guards program 1957 bThese 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,

a - Playing the organ 3More music from the fifties over at Sepia Saturday


13 thoughts on “Enjoying Music in the Fifties

  1. La Nightingail

    Obviously you save receipts & stubs. I wish I had done that when I was young & single, but I wasn’t so inclined until after I married & we were buying items for the house like washing machines & vacuum cleaners. I was surprised by the picture of (you?) at the organ. Everyone was standing around under umbrellas, but they left the organ & pianist uncovered in the rain???


  2. Little Nell

    I am amazed that you have kept these recipts from so far back, but what an interesting story they have to tell. That seems like a lot of money for a dress in 1952, but I bet you made the most of it!


  3. gluepot

    I am so pleased to see someone else who keeps their receipts for posterity. Not all of them, of course, and till slips nowadays don’t do justice even to the minimum effort that has gone into their purchase, do they. They give such insight into the time. A receipt for the amount paid by my gg-uncle for the graveyard plot where he and his wife would subsequently be buried, for example. makes such an appropriate accompaniment to a photograph of the headstone and the memories of when I visited it a few years ago. Thanks for sharing yours.


  4. Pingback: A 1950 Wedding Dress for the Bride – A Treasure from Trove | Bound for Australia

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