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Edinburgh Entertainers

James Brown

Melodeon Player

who set up a

Dance Hall

possibly in Picardy Place

 

James Brown, Melodeon Player

  Reproduced with acknowledgement to Angela Miles

James Brown

Melodeon Player

Thank you to Angela Miles, Colchester, Essex, England for sending me the photograph above of her Great Grandfather, a well-known Edinburgh Melodeon player, 1879-1919, who made a record in 1909.

 

Recollections

1

Angela Miles

Colchester, Essex, England

James Brown

Melodeon Player

Angela Miles sent the following details to me.  If you have any comments in response to her message, please e-mail me so that I can pass on your comments to her.    Thank you

Question

Dance Hall

After James Brown's death his wife was left with nine children (plus one on the way!) and started up a dance hall, which featured a band led by one of her sons, and a daughter as mascot and occasional singer and dancer.

I believe it was in Picardy Place. Do you know of anyone who could tell me the names of dance halls in that area during the 1920's please?

Angela Miles, Colchester, Essex, England,  25 July 2005

Comments

I have checked some of the Edinburgh trade directories for the 1920s and found no reference to a dance hall in Picardy Place,

However a series of articles on the history of Dance Halls in one of the Edinburgh newspapers included the following: comments:

Unfortunately, I have not been able to discover  which paper published this report or when it was published

"The casual visitor would perhaps be most inclined to visit the hall from which the band has been broadcasted.  In this case, he or she would go to the Dunedin Palais de Danse in Picardy Place.

At this dance hall novelty and originality attract large audiences, which remain undiminished even in the height of summer ...

It is enchanting to enter the ballrooms when a foxtrot is in progress;  the swift-moving white forms give a suggestion of the delightful coolness of a tennis club dance.

If, on the other hand, one enters during a twilight waltz the scene is like one from Fairyland, the multi-coloured ever-changing lights gleaming in fantastic splendour."

The article above also spoke of:

-   The dance hall's 2 balconies and mirrors round the walls

-   Recent novelties, the 'Snow Dance' and the 'Storm Dance'.

-   'The Romany Revellers' band of ten or twelve  musicians.

-    Mark Griver, the singing banjoist.

-    'The Midnight Revels' cabaret show.

-   The well-equipped instructional staff of 25 ladies and gentlemen who made a point of obtaining the latest dances from London:  the newest one appears to be the three-step waltz.

Peter Stubbs,  26 July 2005

Thank you to Jennifer Greenhill-Taylor, Florida, USA, who read the comments above then e-mailed me with further details of Edinburgh Dance Halls, telling me that her grandfather played in one of the bands in the 1920s.

 

Recollections

2

John Brown

Japan

About seven years after adding Recollections 1 above to the web site, I received a message from another descendant of James Brown.  It came from John Brown who wrote:

James Brown

"I am a grandson of James Brown and I thought you might like this photo of him."

James Brown

John Brown, Japan:  October 3, 2012

The Group

In this photo James Brown is the Melodeon player on the left.  I've sent an email to John Brown, asking him if he knows who the other two musicians are in this photo, and if the group had a name.

I've also asked if he can provide a larger copy of this photo.

 

Musical Groups               Dance Halls - List             Dance Halls - Recollections

 

__________________

 

Links to Other Pages

EdinPhoto - Home Page  Please send me an e-mail ...  with your questions, comments, suggestions or news.   At any time, you can search for a word  -  perhaps a photographer's name or a photographic topic.  The search will produce a list of pages on the EdinPhoto web site where this word appears.     At any time, you can search for a word  -  perhaps a photographer's name or a photographic topic.  The search will produce a list of pages on the EdinPhoto web site where this word appears.  

Photographs and Other Images  -  These include portraits of photographers  -  photographic outings -  Princes Street views  -  Newhaven Fishwives  -  etc.  Early Photography in Edinburgh  -  Talbot, Brewster, Hill & Adamson, Early Professional Photographers in Princes Street, etc.  Professional Photographers in Edinburgh  -  1840 to 1940  -  Their names, dates of business and studio addresses.  The Photographic Society of Scotland  -  1856 to 1873  -  Lectures, Exhibitions, Outings, etc.  The History of Edinburgh Photographic Society  -  1861 to date  -  Lectures, Exhibitions, Outings, Poems, etc.  EPS Publications - EPS Handwritten Records  -  Photographic Journals  -  Trade Directories  -  Books  -  etc.  Thanks to all who have encouraged and supported me in creating the EdinPhoto web site  -  including descendants of photographers  -  researchers  -  providers of photographs and other material  Background notes on the research thal led up to the creation of this site  -   together with lists of new material added to the site since its launch.  Brief comments on how this site might be used  -  Just browsing?  -  Seeking specific information?  Please add your questions, suggestions or other comments to the Guest Book.  Links to other web sites  -  Photographic Societies  -  Photographic History  -  Family History  -  etc.  Click here to find the link to the Edinburgh Photogrpahic Society web site.

 

A selection of my photographs, many from Edinburgh throughout the year.   Also photos from Scotland, London, Iceland, Italy, Hong Kong and elsewhere    Many old maps of Edinburgh (Old Town, New Town, while City), Leith and Newhaven.  Includes several old transport maps and a comparison of old maps with recent aerial photos.   Old engravings, mailly of Edinburgh scenes.  Some from the 1820s, some from the 1890s,  some others - includes many hand-coloured examples from the 1820s.   News from Edinburgh today  -  Events, Collections, Buildings and Gardens, Transport   This site includes     1. Post card portraits taken in studios in Edinburgh:    2. Post card views either takeen/published by Ediburgh photographers or views of Edinburgh, or both.y Edinburgh    Views of Edinburgh, grouped into three sections:     1. Street views:    2. Buildings:    3. Around Edinburgh   Views of transport around Edinburgh  -  Horse drawn trams and buses, cable cars, electric trams, buses and a few railway photos.  Also several maps of Edinburgh's bus and tram routes.   Links to pages with Photos of Groups   Frequently Asked Questions

  Summary of the updates added to this site each month since the site was launched   Links to Dumbiedykes pages  Link to Granton pages  Link to Leith pages   Link to Newhaven pages   Links to Portobello pages   Link to My Recent Talks