8. ALBERT KERSEY’S SOLO BAND

THE SYNCARMONY DANCE BAND. Jim is the banjo player (Photo by kind permission of PW)

THE SYNCARMONY DANCE BAND. Jim is the banjo player (Photo by kind permission of PW)

Several people have been in touch with me asking about the old photo that I am using as a header for my blog. This is of ALBERT KERSEY’S SOLO BAND; and dates from sometime between 1910 – 1930. They were an early English Jazz band. They probably played around the London area. I intend to find out more about them if I can. I’d love to know exactly what they played. There were apparently recordings of them made – but not yet found.

The reason I have this photo is because my Grandad’s brother Jim was a member of the group – he is the banjo player standing third from the right (in the header photo). He also played saxophone. Apart from being a member of ALBERT KERSEY’S SOLO BAND, he was also at one time a member of THE ORIGINAL SYNCARMONY DANCE BAND. Jim unfortunately died when I was only three years old, so I don’t remember him. But family stories about him have made him an inspiration to me. Not only was he an accomplished musician, he also played football for (the now defunct team) St.Botolph’s FC. During the Great War he was a despatch rider for the Royal Artillery, and was captured during the terrible ‘Kaiserschlacht’ in 1918. He kept his fellow POWs entertained with his musical skills, but sometime near the end of the war, he escaped with some mates and they made their way to the coast where they were rescued by a patrolling British warship. Jim was a bit of a ladies-man too, by all accounts! What a hero!

If anyone knows or comes across any info regarding Albert Kersey’s Solo Band, or The Original Syncarmony Dance Band, I’d be very pleased to hear from them. My thanks to those who have shown an interest in the old photo. Phil The Music Quill

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10 thoughts on “8. ALBERT KERSEY’S SOLO BAND

  1. Pingback: 46. RANCE’S ROCKIN’ CHAIR BAND at Brentwood Bowls Club, Essex. Saturday, 18th April, 2015. | Phil the Music Quill

    1. PTMQ Post author

      Hi John. Thanks for your message
      Jim’s surname was Coker.
      If you know anything of him or of his bands, I’d love to hear of it!
      How did you find me?
      Regards, Phil

      Reply
  2. John Wright

    Hi, one of my colleagues in a Facebook group (Golden Age Of British Dance Bands) had found your photo of Albert Kersey’s Solo Band so we are trying to find out more. The comprehensive dance bands discography we have doesn’t include the band as having made any commercial recordings. But, interestingly, in the index, there is a C. Coker (banjo) who played in a band that made records in 1928 (Lloyd Shakespeare’s Band). So did Jim have another name C. or is C. a relative?

    Reply
  3. PTMQ Post author

    That’s very interesting John. I’m not at all familiar with the name Lloyd Shakespeare’s Band. There was no C Coker in the family at that time for sure; and Jim definately had no middle name. I am not aware of him using a pseudonym either. It does seem a coincidence though that ‘C’ is also a banjo player, as the name Coker is not too common (although not rare). It could be a misspelling – or a different banjo player! Do you have anything on The Original Syncarmony Dance Band, I wonder? Also, Jim was married to Emily Lucas, whose whole family were practicing musicians from Kent. Jim played with them too. They may have gone under the name The Lucas Family Band, but I’m not sure. Everyone who may have known has passed away, unfortunately.

    Reply
    1. John Wright

      I will post your enquiries on the Facebook page, there are researchers there with access to all the back issues of the musicians’ magazine Melody Maker, in the 1920s and 30s it listed gigs and names of the bands’ musicians.

      Reply
      1. PTMQ Post author

        Thanks John; I appreciate your interest. I look forward to finding out something more and Jim’s bands.

  4. John Wright

    There’s a short notice in the Sevenoaks Chronicle & Kentish Advertiser for 29 May 1925 which mentions the Syncarmony Band, (‘from Sevenoaks’) performing at a dance at the Church Hall in Shoreham – a further item in the Croydon Advertiser & East Surrey Reporter, dated 9 January 1926, reports a dance at St. Phillips Hall, Norbury at which, ‘The G. W. Thompson Syncarmony Orchestra’, provided the music – this would appear to be the same outfit – but sadly no further information is provided – we couldn’t trace any mention of a Lucas Family Band.

    Reply
    1. PTMQ Post author

      That’s great info John; thanks! This early date implies that Jim was in The Syncarmony Band before Albert Kersey’s. He certainly had associations with the Kent area …also Essex and East London at around that time. I now have some definite dates for Jim’s activities…although of course, we don’t know if he was in the Syncarmony at that time! Thanks again; I appreciate your interest.

      Reply
  5. Pingback: 112. LASTING PERCEPTIONS OF THE GREAT WAR DISCUSSED IN FOUR RECENT SONGS: By Larry Miller; Amy Goddard; Reg Meuross, and Del Bromham. | Phil the Music Quill

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