Tuesday, 18 August 2009

From The Bandstand - the photography of Ron Falson

This is my friend Gill Falson (right) with Sydney radio presenter, Angela Catterns, at the opening of a wonderful exhibition of photos, exhibited under the title From The Grandstand. Gill was interviewed by Angela the week before.

This exhibition showcases a unique collection of photographs that take a glimpse at and celebrate Sydney’s music scene from the 1940s to the 1970s. They are on display at the historic Sydney mint until November 6.

They were all taken by Gill's husband, Ron, who died last year, on stage, having completed a set with his band, the Ozcats. Not only was Ron one of Australia's great musicians (a trumpeter), who played in many of the great bands in Australia, and onstage with many of the top international artists, he was also a photographer. Ron's photos were taken, mostly with available stage light, literally "from the bandstand" where he was playing.

The photos include many depicting Sydney jazz venues long lost: cool jazz in nightclubs, swing
bands in surf clubs, the heyday of the Sydney stadium ‘big shows’, behind the scenes images in Sydney recording studios, and on set in the early days of Australian music TV, local jazz greats and international stars…from swing to rock & roll.

Ron began playing in a schoolboy band, and by the late 1950s was backing mega-stars like Sinatra and was involved with TV shows such as Six O’clock Rock, The Don
Lane Show, and The Midday Show

On display in the Members Lounge from Wednesday 5 August until Friday 6 November.

At left is one of Ron Falson's outstanding photos: Sammy Davis singing Mr Bojangles, Festival Hall, Melbourne, 1959.

More tomorrow from the opening night.


  1. You have so many nice and interesting blogs.
    I have even been "back" to Sorrento !:-)
    Thanks for sharing!

  2. Be good to see some more of his work, if the example you've put on is anything to go by.

  3. Sounds interesting. Will try and have a look one lunchtime.