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.
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.
Coffs Brass Band 1950s
Our first Dance Band
The OLYMPIANS 1950s
Bill Cheal Band at Hotel Motel
Barry Cheal Bass, Bruce Hogan Organ
Coffs Harbour 1950s
The Olympians playing at Bonville Hall late 1950s
Coffs 50s and 60s
Harry and I First Job in Sydney
Ushers Hotel George St.
Drumming in Sydney
Playing Sydney Clubs 1970's
Tony Ansell composed music themes for the ABC News, Channel 10 News, ABC Current Affairs, 7.30 Report and many others.
Tony Ansell played in our Band.
Graham Fitzgerald Band
Hotel at Parramatta
"The Storm Brothers"
Belfieds Hotel. Sydney
Harry joined the Army Reserve Band.
He was involved for 38 Years
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.