June 22, 2024 4:29 PM

Oh, the Memories of Music



Bob Henderson’s love of music peaked when he was asked to join the jazz band of well-known Australian musician Graeme Bell.

Bell was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire in 1978 and an Officer of the Order of Australia in 1990 for his service to jazz music.

It was a proposition Bob could not refuse but he has never forgotten his roots and his musical background that he continues to treasure to this day.

Bob was the guest speaker at the Singleton Historical Society & Museum Inc. annual luncheon, and it was a great opportunity to reminisce his days living in Singleton and playing alongside Brett Slattery and Richard Roffey in the Jazz Katz.  Not to mention pianist, Coral Bates, who they needed to be part of the band.

“At the time we all thought she was old, (Coral was all of 33), but given she had a licence she provided both transport and piano,” Bob laughed.

The Jazz Katz played at dances from Jerrys Plains, Broke, Bulga, Glendon, Singleton Golf Club, all Saints’ Anglican Hall and the CWA Hall.

Bob often headed to Newcastle to listen to jazz and when he moved to the city, he soon formed the Harbourside Six that played across this region.  He also studied musicianship at Newcastle Conservatorium.

Bob was also a member of Singleton Town band, joining when his family arrived in Singleton in 1954.

His career began with an apprenticeship at The Singleton Argus as a hand compositor before heading to Newcastle to work at the Newcastle Sun before his talent on the trumpet saw his professional music career take off.

Bob’s speech last week focussed on his involvement in Singleton and the many friendships he made and still continues to enjoy.

“It was lovely catching up with some old faces and I visited the museum which really is a treasure for the community,” Bob said.