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Sylvester Ellis and Bill Lowe interviewed by Barry McDonald in the Barry McDonald folklore collection, 1970-1989 [sound recording]
Bib ID 1779333
Format AudioAudio [sound recording]
Ellis, Sylvester, 1886?-, Performer
Access Conditions Written permission required for both research and public use during the lifetime of the interviewer. 
Description 1984 May 16 
3 sound tape reel (ca. 75 min.) : analog, 3 3/4 ips, half track, mono. ; 5 in. 

Barry McDonald folklore collection, 1970-1989.


Folkloric recording: Sylvester Ellis and Bill Lowe discuss their life, family, other folk musicians, the music and songs of Guyra from the New England Region, N.S.W.; Ellis and Lowe discuss accordion playing and accordion player Charlie Gordon; Ellis talks about his father playing the concertina with both hands; Ellis discusses the song Johnny Lad; Ellis tells the story about the song The darked eyed sailor, taught by his mother; talks about his repertoire about 300 songs; his singing after cricket matches on his way home; the song Dingo Flat; the deaths of two men on Bald Blair Station; Lowe talks about Dingo Flat; being a reciter; Ellis discusses the song Dolly Gray and Ken Newberry's songs; Wally and Ernie Wesley; whistling his first tune 'Dark eyed sailor' at the age of 9; his mother's singing; playing music for surprise parties; his mother's singing of Barbara Allen, Banks of Cloddy; his wedding; 'Ninety' Hibberd's recitation; and Doug Lowe.

Full contents
  • REEL 1, Sylvester Ellis: Why did my mother sell me (fragment) (accordion)
  • Give my love to Nancy (fragment) (recitation)
  • REEL 2, Barry McDonald: Black velvet band (humming and singing)
  • Sylvester Ellis: Barbara Allen (fragment) (his version corresponds to that of Jack Lawler) (recitation)
  • Banks of Cloddy (fragment) (recitation)
  • William and Mary (fragment) (recitation)
  • Barry McDonald: Air, 10,000 miles away (fragment) (humming)
  • Sylvester Ellis: Diggin' spuds and eating pumpkins (recitation)
  • (unidentified ship wreck song) (fragment) (recitations and singing)
  • (unidentified ship wreck song) (fragment) (recitations)

Recorded on 16 May 1984, at Guyra, N.S.W.

Digital master available National Library of Australia

Index/Finding Aid Note Summary available (4 p.) 
Subjects Ellis, Sylvester, approximately 1886- -- Interviews.  |  Lowe, Bill (William Arthur) -- Interviews.  |  Folk musicians -- New South Wales -- Guyra -- Interviews.  |  Folk songs -- New South Wales -- Guyra.  |  Accordion music -- New South Wales -- Guyra.  |  Recitations.  |  Guyra (N.S.W.) -- History.  |  New Engalnd Region (N.S.W.) -- History.
Occupation Folk musicians.  |  Folk singers.
Other authors/contributors McDonald, Barry, 1955-, Interviewer


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    Details Collect From
    ORAL TRC 2720/24
    Copy: Recording
    Special Collections Reading Room
    ORAL TRC 2720/24 (summary)
    Copy: Summary
    Special Collections Reading Room

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