Before the war he had his own band and played for 'Tea Dances' in a large hotel on the Eastbourne Royal Parade.
When WW11 broke out he enlisted, hoping to join the RAF but he was slightly colour blind and had flat feet so was no good for the Army. So he was drafted into ENSA (Entertainments National Service Association) and was able to take his band with him. He assembled a 14 man band and travelled round entertaining the troops and being used as a decoy.
When we moved to Northern Rhodesia (Zambia) after the war he joined the Central African Broadcasting Service. There was very little traditional African music to broadcast so my father, together with a sound engineer and African interpreter, travelled around the countryside to find villagers who would sing traditional songs for them to record on a huge reel to reel recorder. Occasionally my father felt a tune being sung could be played for a European audience and he would rewrite the music to fit the piano. One such tune was purchased by Decca Records and recorded by Bert Kaempfert and his orchestra and forms the basis for African Safari, a piece I still hear played on the radio today. Pity he did not keep some of the rights, he was only played £80.00 for it.
Me, I was just not interested, which I regret so much today. My father had been forced to learn to play and practice the piano and said he would not force me. I much preferred to be off riding my horse than practicing the piano!! So today all I can do is play 'God Save the Queen' and some African Kwela music on a Recorder both very badly!! The only musical instrument we have in the house is a Mbira or Marimba - an African Thumb Piano.
So I'm afraid I don't have any real musical pictures so that's it for this week and month. Now off to see what others have done with the prompt.