Jump to content

Mystery Concertina player?


Ptarmigan
 Share

Recommended Posts

I recently acquired this lovely 62 key Wheatstone Aeola Baritone Treble English Concertina, which I'm told used to belong to a musician in Aberdeenshire. Apparently he played this & a Treble, but mostly the Treble.

 

Unfortunately his son didn't play so, after his father passed away, he sold them on eBay & I was lucky enough to get this big one from the eBay buyer.

 

2227594650102727105S425x425Q85.jpg

 

Anyway, I was wondering if anyone here might know who this player in Aberdeenshire might have been, as I'd be keen to learn a little more about him & his music, if possible.

 

I have a few feelers out for info. up in Scotland & although I'm not too hopeful, it's got to be worth a try.

 

One suggestion I've had, is that it may have belonged to Peter Hall of the Gaugers, but although I know he played a Baritone instrument from seeing him back in the 70s & 80s at the Aberdeen Folk Club, I wasn't interested in English Concertinas back then, but I seem to remember that he played a wooden ended instrument, but my memory may be playing tricks on me. :unsure:

 

I can't seem to find any photos of Peter Hall on Google either. Does anyone here remember what his instrument was?

 

Another suggestion was the main "professional" concertinist from Aberdeen, one George Dod Morris, but it is thought he played a Duet, not an English. :unsure:

 

Anyway, I'll keep poking about, just in case there is some interesting story out there, just waiting to be found! :D

 

Cheers,

Dick

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Would anyone like to hazard a guess as to what sort of Concertina he's playing in that tiny photo .... i.e. English or Duet?

My first guess was Duet, because of its size and therefore probable weight; but as your newly acquired "big one" has additional wrist straps, it might be yours as well..., but then again the thumb is not in the position as one would anticipate regarding any EC... :unsure:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My first guess was Duet, because of its size and therefore probable weight; but as your newly acquired "big one" has additional wrist straps, it might be yours as well..., but then again the thumb is not in the position as one would anticipate regarding any EC... :unsure:

 

Well here's a clip of George playing

 

Track 12: The Buchan Scottische

 

Hopefully the playing will help to verify that he is playing an English Concertina.

 

In any case, according to this CD review Stuart, George Morris did indeed play an English Concertina:

 

".. there are also a couple of pleasant surprises, in the form of a pair of English concertina tracks by George Smith Morris (known as 'The Buchan Cheil') .."

 

Sook & Blaw

 

Certainly tracks 4 & 11 read as follows:

 

4 : George Smith Morris (English concertina), William S Morris (piano); mid August 1931; Beltona 1753

11 : George Smith Morris (English concertina), William S Morris (piano); mid August 1931; Beltona 1753

 

So who knows, maybe this Concertina I have now, was indeed the one played by George Morris. ;)

 

Anyway, how about this interesting quote:

 

"One glaring typo leapt out: George Morris apparently played 'an eight sided Wheatsheaf concertina' (not mentioned but nevertheless actually depicted on the cover photo). One wonders what Messers Wheatstone and Co. would have made of that."

 

Ahhh you can't beat those great old WHEATSHEAF Concertinas, can you! :P

 

Cheers,

Dick

Link to comment
Share on other sites

RE: George Morris.

 

I was just speaking to a good friend & fellow Oldmeldrum musician, who told me that George had a son, Bill, but he died 5 or 6 years ago.

 

This friend was also involved in sorting out all the items of his estate, but she said the one thing they didn't find were his Concertinas.

 

So it looks unlikely that this Concertina I have now, belonged to George Morris.

 

Cheers,

Dick

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, who ever was the original owner we should at least congratulate you on your recent arrival... a nice fat Baby !

 

So, it's a welcome to the Bart/Treb club Dick... a very exclusive group .

 

Geoff.

 

Thanks Geoff. I took her out for a test drive last night, to my local Tuesday night session, but sadly the snow kept nearly everyone at home, so we ended up with two musicians, one punter & the barmaid! :(

 

Still, my new Bart/Treb as you call it, sounded mighty fine playing along with the harp. B)

 

Cheers,

Dick

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, who ever was the original owner we should at least congratulate you on your recent arrival... a nice fat Baby !

 

So, it's a welcome to the Bart/Treb club Dick... a very exclusive group .

 

Geoff.

 

Thanks Geoff. I took her out for a test drive last night, to my local Tuesday night session, but sadly the snow kept nearly everyone at home, so we ended up with two musicians, one punter & the barmaid! :(

 

Still, my new Bart/Treb as you call it, sounded mighty fine playing along with the harp. B)

 

Cheers,

Dick

 

 

Shame about your snow Dick,

it is lovely weather here in central France.... pelting rain and heavy winds... reminds me of summer days in Co.Clare.

 

Keep warm,

Geoff.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I remember an English concertina player from Tomintoul, whose name I can't remember, playing as a guest at some of the early Keith Festivals in the 70s/80s.

I must see if I still have the Festival programmes.

 

For more information about G. S. Morris see Doric Heroes.

I thought from the CD cover that he was playing a large duet, although it sounds like he is playing a single melody line with piano accompaniment.

The tracks consist of a medley of his own song tunes.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I remember an English concertina player from Tomintoul, whose name I can't remember, playing as a guest at some of the early Keith Festivals in the 70s/80s.

I must see if I still have the Festival programmes.

 

Mmmm that sounds very interesting David.

According to the guy who bought them on eBay, he reckoned that the Treble was well played, but that the Baritone / Treble had not been used very much, so perhaps, if this is the same bloke, he would have just been playing his Treble at Keith.

Good Luck on your hunt through the programmes. ;)

 

Sounds like it might be worth my while to contact the TMSA to see if they have any info. on him. Although I don't hold out much hope, because I have contacted them in the past, but received no reply. :( Still, nothing ventured, nothing gained. :)

 

For more information about G. S. Morris see Doric Heroes.

I thought from the CD cover that he was playing a large duet, although it sounds like he is playing a single melody line with piano accompaniment.

The tracks consist of a medley of his own song tunes.

 

Thanks for that link, lots of interesting info. there. I'm particularly interested because of the Concertina of course, but I did play with the Oldmeldrum Fiddlers, many years ago, when their regular meetings were in a loft in the old Brewery ... a great place to practice! :D

 

As for which Concertina he played, well according to this CD review David, George Morris played an English Concertina:

 

".. there are also a couple of pleasant surprises, in the form of a pair of English concertina tracks by George Smith Morris (known as 'The Buchan Cheil') .."

 

Sook and Blaw

 

Certainly tracks 4 & 11 read as follows:

 

4 : George Smith Morris (English concertina), William S Morris (piano); mid August 1931; Beltona 1753

11 : George Smith Morris (English concertina), William S Morris (piano); mid August 1931; Beltona 1753

 

You'll enjoy this quote on that page too David:

 

"One glaring typo leapt out: George Morris apparently played 'an eight sided Wheatsheaf concertina' (not mentioned but nevertheless actually depicted on the cover photo). One wonders what Messers Wheatstone and Co. would have made of that."

 

Aye ye canny beat thon grand auld WHEATSHEAF Concertinas! B)

 

Cheers,

Dick

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, I managed to track down the dealer who originally sold it.

 

It turns out that he is actually based in Oldmeldrum, Aberdeenshire! :)

 

Unfortunately, he was unable to furnish me with the name of the person he bought it from, due to client confidentiality, but he was happy to tell me that he knew for a fact that it hadn't been played for 40 to 50 years, because the person he got it from, had inherited it & wasn't actually a player himself.

 

Interesting eh, ..... especially when you consider that George Morris, of Oldmeldrum, died in 1958 & his son Bill didn't play.

 

Of course, that may just be putting 2 & 2 together & getting 37!

 

Anyway, you can guarantee that the next time I find myself passing through Oldmeldrum, I shall have this Concertina under my arm & I will be knocking on a few doors! :-)

 

Cheers,

Dick

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, I just received a copy of a photo from the Elphinstone collection, from the Director, Prof. Ian Russell, which clearly shows George Morris playing a 7 fold bellows Concertina.

 

2392993210102727105S600x600Q85.jpg

 

So, as 62 & 64 key Baritone / Trebles like mine, had 8 fold bellows, it would appear that the instrument George played was in fact a Baritone after all & certainly not the Concertina I now have, which has 8 folds.

 

So the search for my mystery player goes on ........

 

However, it is interesting to know now that obviously, at least three Concertina enthusiasts in Aberdeenshire did favour the Baritone instruments.

 

Cheers,

Dick

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, I just received a copy of a photo from the Elphinstone collection, from the Director, Prof. Ian Russell, which clearly shows George Morris playing a 7 fold bellows Concertina.

 

2392993210102727105S600x600Q85.jpg

 

So, as 62 & 64 key Baritone / Trebles like mine, had 8 fold bellows, it would appear that the instrument George played was in fact a Baritone after all & certainly not the Concertina I now have, which has 8 folds.

 

So the search for my mystery player goes on ........

 

However, it is interesting to know now that obviously, at least three Concertina enthusiasts in Aberdeenshire did favour the Baritone instruments.

 

Cheers,

Dick

When researching Anglo and English Internationals I found it worthwhile getting in touch with the Library in the area you are investigating.You have to provide as much information as you have and you may hit the jack pot. However they may tell you to clear off. Normally however most are very helpful.

Al

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
  • 9 years later...
On 12/13/2011 at 4:23 PM, Wolf Molkentin said:

My first guess was Duet, because of its size and therefore probable weight; but as your newly acquired "big one" has additional wrist straps, it might be yours as well..., but then again the thumb is not in the position as one would anticipate regarding any EC... :unsure:

 

Hi Wolf,

 

Regarding the position of the thumb strap, I agree that it usually sits behind centre on a 64 key model, but as you'll see in this photo, on my 62 key instrument on the right, the thumb trap is actually bang in the centre. 🙂

 

Also, on this page which gives details of old recordings, those of George Morris detail him playing an English Concertina.

https://www.mustrad.org.uk/reviews/sook.htm

 

The fact that the population of Oldmeldrum stands at only around 2,000 folk, I reckon it's highly unlikely that there were two men who owned a large & small English Concertina, who's son didn't play the instrument, so at the moment I'm convinced that this was George's Concertina.

 

Cheers,

Dick

 

 

 

 

wheatstones.* copy.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...