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Bands and Music 

Graham Bell is a Coffs Harbour musical icon, with a long-established career in music & radio. This is his story, and how started his music & radio career in the 1950’s and throughout until the 2000’s.

The 1950’s

 

I was 12 years old when the family moved to Coffs Harbour. Harry and I joined the Brass Band. It wasn't long before Harry, Vonda and I, along with a mate Geoff Fawcett, We formed a dance band we called the "Olympians". We would play at balls and local dances as well as the High School Socials while we were all still going to the Coffs Harbour High School. After leaving High School Harry and I both went to Sydney where we re-formed the dance band with Ken Bourne who was also in our band in Coffs Harbour. Ken was at the time working for the Rural Bank in Sydney.  Our band could play "Old Time Dance Music" and we could always get work in Clubs for dancing and for weddings.

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e Olympians early days we were 15-17 yea

 Music began

Coffs Brass Band 1950s

Our first Dance Band

The OLYMPIANS 1950s

WEB.Olympians 1957 CWA Room Coffs Gloria
WEB.Bill Cheal Bruce Hogan Barry Cheals1

Bill Cheal Band at Hotel Motel

Coffs Harbour

Barry Cheal Bass, Bruce Hogan Organ

Olympians

Coffs Harbour 1950s

e Bonville Olympians Dance Band 1957 rs.
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The Olympians playing at Bonville Hall late 1950s

Coffs 50s and 60s

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WEB First Job in Sydney 1958 Ushers Hote
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Harry and I First Job in Sydney 

Ushers Hotel George St.

Drumming in Sydney

Playing Sydney Clubs 1970's

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Tony Ansell composed music themes for the ABC News, Channel 10 News, ABC Current Affairs, 7.30 Report and many others. 

 

s Tony Ansell Piano Savoy Quarte 1975.rs

Tony Ansell played in our Band.

WEB Graeme Fitzgerald Band Hotel Parrarm
s Storm Brothers Jerry McCullum and Bass

Graham Fitzgerald Band

Hotel at Parramatta

"The Storm Brothers" 

Belfieds Hotel. Sydney

Harry joined the Army Reserve Band.
He was involved for 38 Years

WEB. Harry 23.4.64Army Band Army Band 04
WEB Harry Army Band Army Band 04.jpg

Harry Conducting 2nd Div RAA Band at the Army School Artillary North Head Sydney 1980s

Harry Drum major 4th Btn Martin Place saluting  Anzac Day Parade 1965

 
We played at the Head Quarters of the RSL in Elizabeth Street in Sydney for a few years, Ken Bourne our piano player left the band and Tony Ansell joined the band. Tony was just a teenager and would ride his pushbike from Toyer Av, in Sans Souci to our place in Kogarah for band practice. A couple of years later Tony left our band and formed his own Jazz band "Gallapidus Duck". Tony became well known in Sydney for the music themes he wrote for ABC News, Channel Ten News, ABC current affairs, 7.30 Report and many others. He was a real musical genius and we knew when he started playing in our band he would go on to greater things. Tony Ansell passed away at 55 years old in 2000.

We were also the very first band to play at the NSW RSL Bowling Club at Tempe where they bought us "Tux" coats and had band stands made with our band name on them. 
Jade Hurley would come and sing a few songs after he finished playing at a local pub. 
I enjoyed the six years I lived and played in Sydney. I was entertaining with Jerry McCullum as a stage act we called "The Storm Brothers" before I left Sydney. We were the entertainers at "Eastern Suburbs Leagues Club", "Redfern RSL", "Balmain Tennis Club", and "Burwood RSL" regularly. They were great days. In 1965 I married Dorne and left Sydney and spent two years working at different jobs around Australia. We finally settled down back in Coffs Harbour and still live there.

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