Many readers will know about the Brill Building on Broadway in Manhatta. For those of you who haven’t heard of it, it’s a 1931, 11-storey building which has been amazingly significant in the USA music industry. Incidentally, for those with a QI sort of mind, it got its name from a haberdasher with a store on ground level. Must have been a good shop because he bought the building!
It’s almost impossible to list the talent who went through that building – Burt Bacharach, Hal David, Gerry Goffin, Carole King, iconic names that all of us have heard at one time. In 1962 there were 165 music businesses in the building. It was a hit factory.
Australia has its own version of this sort of enterprise – very much scaled down, but still producing amazing music and an icon in the Australian music scene. Albert Music may not be as big as the Brill Building, but the firm was around a good 40 years before the Brill kicked off. They started off selling musical instruments and expanded to publishing in 1902. They were also key in establishing APRA to collect royalties for performers, and Frank Albert was a founding member of the ABC Board.
Anyhow, returning to the music aspect of the business, their entry into the modern era probably came with The Easybeats in the early 1960s. The band was not only internationally successful, but had their own TV show – the first band to do so. Harry Vanda and George Young emerged from The Easybeats’ breakup and became stalwarts at Alberts, working with AC/DC, Lee Kernaghan, Richard Clapton, Mike Brady and a stack of others.
Now, where this is going is an introduction to Geelong’s own Wayne Jury, who has worked with Albert’s and which must have been an amazing experience, unique for a Geelong musician. As a musician, he’s opened for blues greats Robert Cray, Albert Collins, Buddy Guy and the great B.B. King and made his mark on dozens of great pubs and other venues with his soul-drenched voice, great songs and distinctive guitar style.
Wayne currently teaches singing and guitar in Geelong and has conducted vocal workshops and performances. He is very well-regarded in the blues scene for organising the Blues Boot Camp locally and the Youth in Blues project with the Melbourne Blues Appreciation Society.
But Wayne is best known for his performing. He’s performed, toured and recorded with various groups including Sydney’s blues kings Ron and Jeff King (an acoustic blues trio), The Foreday Riders, Bridie King and her Boogie Kings, pianist Alison Penney and spent six years with young guitar prodigy Nathan Cavaleri. He then formed with his own seven-piece band Drybones, playing original songs alongside some classic soul, funk and blues.
If he’s new to you, or especially if he’s a favourite, then the next SHBC gig on the 26th of October is where you should be. Wayne will be playing in a quartet as the Wayne Jury Four, and it should be a great session.
Geelong has sensational local musicians playing at international standards – you should get out and support them. See you there!
By John (Dr John) Lamp