History of Rock n Roll Dancing in Melbourne

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2020 The Year of Cancelled Rock n Roll Festivals

Posted by [email protected] on September 10, 2020 at 8:10 PM Comments comments (0)

2020 - Year of Cancelled Rock n Roll Festivals

After a great start to the year with rock n roll festivals held in Geelong, Rosebud foreshore, Parkes Elvis Festival, Gippsland and even a slim down version in Ballarat, rockers everywhere were eagerly awaiting for more festivals to enjoy the music and dancing that these festivals bring.

 

Unfortunately due to severe health risks associated with Covid-19, it has now come to a shattering halt with news of cancellations for all the remaining 1950's style themed festivals. Firstly, Coolangatta Cooly Rocks and Wintersun 2 were cancelled followed by Camperdown Rock n Roll Festival. Chromefest in Lake Entrance was next. Even regional rock n roll festivals such as those held in Barham, Horsham and Mulwala were cancelled. It was hoped that GreazeFest in Brisbane might proceed after it was initially postponed from August to November. But it has since been announced last week that it too has been cancelled.

 

The decision to cancel all these festivals is totally understandable and even prudent in the circumstance. Covid-19 is a world wide pandemic and Australia is not immune to it. The health and safety of patrons is paramount. It would not be financially sound nor logistically feasible to hold rock n roll festivals with Covid restrictions introduced and international and State borders closed. Lets hope the much anticipated Covid vaccine is found soon and we can return to some normality to resume dancing and attending music & dance festivals next year.

 

In the meantime, please stay safe and let's hope we 'll meet up again somewhere at a rock n roll festival in 2021.

Jitterbug Copied with permission from Vicrock.com.au

2020

Posted by [email protected] on April 11, 2020 at 2:00 AM Comments comments (0)

What a year!!  2020 started off with bushfires everywhere. The 2019–20 Australian bushfire season, known as the Black Summer, began with several serious uncontrolled fires in June 2019. Throughout the summer, hundreds of fires burnt, mainly in the southeast of the country. The major fires peaked during December–January. By March 2020, the fires burnt an estimated 18.6 million hectares, destroyed over 5,900 buildings and killed at least 34 people. An estimated one billion animals have been killed. At its peak, air quality dropped to hazardous levels. The cost of dealing with the bushfires is expected to exceed the A$4.4 billion of the 2009 Black Saturday fires, and tourism sector revenues fell by more than A$1 billion. By 7 January 2020, the smoke had moved approximately 11,000 kilometres across the South Pacific Ocean to Chile and Argentina.  Source Wikipedia.


The rock and roll community got together and held several bushfire fundraiser dances.  Adrian Spadaro held several dances over February and March raising a total of $15,135 which was donated to the CFA on the 13th March at the Polish Club dance.


2020 saw the development of the corona virus Covid-19, which developed into a world wide pandemic.  By the middle of March all dances and dance classes had been shut down and Australia was put into a lockdown to try to control the spread.  Some performers like James Bookman, Rick Charles and Frankie Stevens started do live Facebook performances in April to keep the rockers entertained.  Some dance schools like Alley Catz, Adrian's Red Hot Rockers, Linda's Rockers, Hooked on Rock etc, started to use facebook to live stream dance classes to keep rockers moving and engaged.  These became must see events with many joining in at home to learn new line dances. Several isolation party nights were also organised on Facebook starting with an Alley Catz dance class, followed by live music from James Bookman and then various DJ's live streaming music.


The VRRDA state championships were postponed in May and recheduled for August.


Life in Victoria in 2020 with COVID-19

March 2020, the world slowed down, the roads were quiet, petrol prices were at a record low and the skies were empty. Weddings limited to 5 people, family celebrations banned, holidays banned, gatherings banned, funerals allowed only 10 attendees. No church services - worshipping online became the new norm. Schools were closed, but some stayed open for keyworker’s children only while our medical staff fought on the front line. Teachers were teaching online, keyworker employees still went to work everyday and a nation of homeworkers tried to keep the country going. Farmers kept farming, working to produce food for our tables. Carers carried on looking after the elderly and most vulnerable. There was panic buying of toilet paper, disinfecting supplies, paper towel, hand sanitiser and a whole bunch of foods. Social distancing became the new catchcry.  Supermarkets put tape on the floor to help keep shoppers 2 metres apart,and limited the number of people allowed inside stores. Non-essential stores and businesses closed. Hotels, pubs, club were all closed. Employees were put on unpaid leave or let go. Many jobs were lost and there was hardship for lots of people.  Cafes and restaurants could stay open but only to serve takeaway.Concerts, tours, festivals, entertainment events were all cancelled. Entire sports seasons halted. Olympics postponed by a year to be held in Tokyo, 2021. No gatherings, no social events - all cancelled. Playgrounds closed and no group sports.


We were allowed to leave home only to exercise close to home, get food and essentials, visit a doctor, provide care, or to go to work. Grandparents couldn't see their grandchildren.  Police started to book people for being out and about if they were not doing one of the allowed activities.  A huge amount of governement bailout money, in the trillions, was promised to try to prop up the economy. But the birds kept singing and nature carried on around us.  Smog cleared in India, in Venice the water cleared up so people could see fish swimming - some say the earth breathed again. We socially distanced from one another and stayed home.  Families were separated in isolation and quarantine. Relationships were put on hold, weddings cancelled, but technology has enabled us to stay connected with FaceTime - WhatsApp - Zoom - Messenger - Houseparty - TikTok. There was a massive demand for masks, gowns, gloves for our front line workers.  A desperate need for respirators for the critically ill. Manufacturers, distilleries and other businesses switched their production lines to help make visors, masks, hand sanitiser and PPE. Communities came together, looking out for neighbours, friends and strangers - doing what they could to help.  People put rainbows in windows to symbolise hope, left chalk messages on footpaths, recorded songs about corona, washing your hands and staying home. We did as we were told and followed the advice to ‘Stay at home,and save lives’ - it’s the least we could do. It all started in Wuhan, China in Nov 2019 and by March had spread all over the world. Sadly hundreds of thousands affected, dead, dying, critically ill.

This is the Novel Coronavirus (Covid-19) Pandemic, declared March 11th, 2020.


What will come next for the rest of 2020????



2019 review

Posted by [email protected] on January 22, 2020 at 7:50 PM Comments comments (0)

New Year's Eve Dance and Review of Victorian Rock n Roll Scene in 2019

Rockers everywhere celebrated New Year's Eve in several dances held around Melbourne and in country Victoria. The Uptown Catz played in Rosebud, Fender Benders in Pakenham, Kid James in Wheelers Hill, Moonlighters in Altona, Straight 8's in Bacchus Marsh, and the Rockin' Tones in Maryborough were just some of the many gigs held on New Year's Eve. I too joined in the fun by attending the dinner dance with Honky Tonk Rockers at the Dandenong Workers Club.

 

So we bid farewell to 2019.... a year with many highlights and some lows. Our Melbourne and Victorian rock n roll scene continue to be vibrant and very much alive with live bands and dancing every weekend and, on a week day as well, at the Freccia Club in Keysborough which has continued on the rock n roll tradition for nearly 20 years. There's new dance venues started this year at Hampton Park with a regular monthly dance and at the Bayswater Senior Citizens Hall. The Pirates Tavern in Williamstown also hosts regular gigs with live rock n roll bands from time to time. It was also very pleasing that Fast Eddies Poolroom once again has opened its door for live music and rock n roll dance on Sunday evenings.

 

For those rockers looking for an alternative live music & dance scene, look no further than to our Melbourne's very vibrant pub scene where great bands and music is available every weekend at the Gem bar, Dog's bar, Transport bar, the Lomond, Rainbow hotel and Oak Tree Tavern just to name a few of these venues. Many of these bands such as Louis King & the Liars Klub, Scotty Baker, Ezra Lee, Hanks Jalopy Demons, Kieron McDonald etc are not usually seen playing in our "classic" traditional rock n roll venues but nonetheless, these bands are internationally acclaimed and get invited to play in international music festivals around the world.

 

There have been at least a couple of new bands started in 2019 like Kid James Trio and the Uptown Catz whilst other bands such as the Straight 8's and the Vincents have been rockin' Melbourne for over 25 years. Sadly, a couple of bands - the Speedsters and the Jump Devils, finished up in 2019 and they will be sadly missed in our dance scene. We shall also miss the dynamic work of DJ Ashley and his wife, Leanne, who decided to retire from the dance scene due to Ashley's health issue. Thank you for the music Ashley as we have been the beneficiaries of your work in introducing the very best bands in Victoria.

 

Rockers continue to be blessed with choices in terms of the multiple music festivals they could attend in 2019. In Victoria, we have Camperdown's Rock The Clock, Rosebud's Rock by the Bay, Ballarat Rock (to be revived in 2020), Geelong Rock n Roll Festival, Gippsland Rock n Roll Festival, Ararat Jailhouse Rock and several other county Victoria rock n roll music festivals in Bendigo, Mulwala, Horsham and in Cobram.

 

For those rockers who are prepared to travel, there's Cooly Rocks On which continues to draw a large contingent of rockers from Victoria and other states every year, Greazefest in Brisbane which is a rockabilly music festival celebrating its 20th anniversary this year with more international acts and the ever popular Chromefest held at the Entrance and Kuri Kuri Nostalgia festival. One could also attend Adelaide Rock n Roll festival as well as Victor Harbour Rock n Roll Festival in South Adelaide.

 

One highlight for 2019 is the VRRDA annual Rock n Roll Dance Championship which continues to showcase the best of competitive rock n roll dancing. Dancers from Sydney's Swingcatz continues its dominance in winning the top events including the Senior Open titles. Another very pleasing feature of this year's VRRDA dance championship has been the increase participation of young rock n rollers thanks mainly to the work done by Grant & Maryanne Richards. For those interested in competing, there's also Alleycatz's Melbourne rock n roll dance competition and several other Victorian country dance competitions held in Geelong, Gippsland and in Camperdown held as part of their music festivals.

 

The VRRDA continues the tradition to recognise individuals who have made a huge contribution to Rock n Roll. For 2019, Linda Smyth and Bill & Maree Oldham were deservedly rewarded for their immense contribution to our Rock n roll scene and were inducted into VRRDA's Hall of Fame.

 

Rockers continue to participate in this year's Good Friday Charity dances with proceeds going to the less fortunate. Unfortunately, the very popular Rock n Suzie's Good Friday dance in Berwick did not proceed this year but DJ Ashley and another one held in the Northern Melbourne suburb were very successful in raising money for charity.

 

2019 has a been a big, eventful year for rock n roll music and dancing. Thank you to all the great work done by VRRDA, events holders and promoters and the many venues that have been actively supporting the promotion of our 1950's style rock n roll scene. Thank you also to all our bands for the rockin' music that we have enjoyed dancing to. But most of all, thank you to all you rockers who have come along to enjoy and support rock n roll music, dancing, cars fashion & culture. I feel confident we can again all look forward to more happy, rockin' times in 2020......keep rockin' everyone!

Paul Wan

Copied with permission from Vicrock.com.au

1996

Posted by [email protected] on April 23, 2019 at 1:50 AM Comments comments (0)

March 1996.

50's Rock & Roll dance teachers Carol and Kevin became engaged.  They were teaching on Mon nights at the Anglican Church on Burwood Hwy for $5 a class. Ray was starting up junior dance classes, Teresa Mileto started running monthly dances at Coburg Town Hall from March 1996, with dance competitions, $12 entry, with Adrian running dance classes there as well.  Adrian Spadaro and Chris Black ran a dance at Mordialloc Community Centre with band "Brassworks" and guest teacher Sylvia Sykes from the US taught the shim sham.  Merv Benton played at the Moorabbin Town Hall, the Starliners and Wild Turkey with DJ Wolf played at the Waltzing Matilda Hotel, The Premiers and DJ Jeff played at Clayton RSL, $8 entry.  Ararat Jailhouse Rock festival was held in March with bands including Eddie Youngblood and Flashback.  The Rebel Tavern in Seaford had bands every Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights with $5 entry.  The Straight 8's played at the Monash Hotel, $8 entry, Aspendale, Box Hill, Clayton, Frankston, Spotswood, Rye, Springvale RSL's all had live bands on Fri or Saturday nights, Just Rock in Kilsyth had Fri and Sat night monthly social dances, Pitrones in Keysborough had bands every Wednesday night, Good Friday Children's Hospital appeal was held at the Moorabbin Town Hall on 4th April with the Allstars, Donna Fisk, Johnny Chester, Andrew Portelli, Bill O'Rourke, Grantley Dee, Steve Lawson and Oscar Swaru, $20 entry. The Australian Rockabilly Accociation held a dance with the Straight 8's and Jump & Jive at Caulfield Secondary, $15 entry.  Line dancing / bootscootin was popular with classes held all over Melbourne, live bands playing on Wed nights at Italo Australian Club Dandenong on Wed nights and San Souci in Moorabbin on Thurs nights, plus a monthly gig guide / booklet "Heart of Country News".

1995 Snapshot

Posted by [email protected] on February 2, 2019 at 12:00 AM Comments comments (0)

In 1995 the following rock n roll dances and classes were being held around Melbourne.  Large town halls were popular venues, line dancing was very popular, and Lindy Hop was starting to be danced.


Dance Classes


Andy's flipside, Tues nights at Springers in Keysborough.  $8 with Andy Zammit


Adrian and Chris dance classes, Camberwell, Coburg town hall, Clayton RSL $8.  Adrian Spadaro and Chris Black


Carrum RSL Tues nights with Joe and Marnie $3


Dance Away at Mt Eliza


Dance Tyme International in Croydon Sunday night


Glenys Southside Rockers, Frankston on Mon nights


Just Rock in Kilsyth Sunday nights $6


Rock n Roll with Lindsay and Heather in Mornington Wed nights.


Rock n Soul Boronia with Michael and Sheryl sunday nights $4


Rock Plus in Sunshine with Denise


Rock n Roll with Laurie and Claudette in Braebrook wed nights


50's Rock n Roll with Kevin and Carol Ross Burwood, Mon nights, $5


Rock with Us, Deer Park with John


Sebastians Rock n Roll & Swing, Preston Mon night, Moonee Ponds Tues night, Blackburn Thurs night and Glen Iris Sat arvo, $9.  Also line dancing lessons on the same nights.


Dances held in 1995


The Allstars played at Chelsea Town Hall

Derek Gray opened a dance at the Malvern Town Hall

Dave Rama started 50's rock n roll at the Monash Hotel

Lindy Hop started to become popular

Rockabilly dance at the Walzing Matilda Hotel in Springvale with bands and DJ Dr. Wolf cost $10

Elvis Presley Fan Club ran dances at the Chelsea Town Hall

Mordi Rock dances were held regularly at Warren Rd Community Centre, Mordialloc

Fabulous 50's Rock n roll dance run by Teresa held at community centre in Thornbury, $12 entry

Pitrone's on Springvale Rd Keysborough had bands and dancing every Wed night, $10 entry included a 2 course meal

DJ Jeff Pool played for social dancing every Thur night 8.30-11pm, after Adrians dance class in North Balwyn 

Line dancing / bootscooting classes and dances were held in many venues

Box Hill RSL had bands and dancing Fri and Sat nights

Clayton RSL had bands and dancing Fri nights with $8 entry

Old Dandenong Inn had bands on Fri and Sat nights with free entry

Aspendale Edithvale RSL had bands Fri and Sat nights

Cranbourne RSL had bands Fri and Sat nights

Just Rock in Kilsyth held dances once a month

Carrum RSL held monthly bands


Bands Playing in 1995

Allstars

Cadillacs

Calico Band

Country Brew

Cut Loose

Drifters

Everest

Flashback

Flying Tigers

Frankie and the Highlighters

Gentry

Itchy Fingers

Jump & Jive

Kathy Raydings

Mustangs

Playback

Premiers

Rebel Rousers

Rimshot

Rough Cut

Shades

Steppin' Out

Straight 8's

Teddy Boys

Texas Touch

Tony Dee

White Lightening

Wild Turkey





2018

Posted by [email protected] on January 24, 2019 at 10:55 PM Comments comments (0)

2018 Highlights.


Flipside dance at the Hungarian Club closed after 5 years of fortnightly dances.


Speedsters band retired after 30 years of playing at rock n roll dances.


Adrian Spadaro held a retirement dance in April at the Whitehorse Club to say goodbye after 25 years of teaching rock n roll and running dances.


RocketApp was launched by Jon and Zoe Hannon.


Buckley Park dance taken over by Phillip Pananche and Agatha, 2018, then Rhonda and Phillip alternating.


Cool Cats Club established with Facebook page and Website with the same name designed to promote not only Buckley Park events but all R&R events happening across Victoria.

1999 rock n roll snapshot

Posted by [email protected] on December 28, 2018 at 4:50 AM Comments comments (0)

In 1999 the Rock & Roll News cost $3.50.


Bleyer Shoes were sold by Glenn and Rachel with Lindy hoppers costing $105, jitterbug $85 and Spectator $155.  Glenn and Rachel ran Hop 2 It classes in Malvern and at Dandenong Workers club on Sundays.


The first rock n roll dances were held at the Whitehorse Club with an Anzac day fundraiser for World Vision and Legacy organised by Adrian Spadaro, followed by the first of many years of regular Fri night dances being held on 21st May 1999 with the Speedster and DJ Adrian.  Entry cost $8.


The Strutters dances run by Kevin and Carol Ross of Fourmost were held at the Chelsea Town Hall.


Teresa was running the "Fabulous 50's Rock n Roll Dances" at Fawkner Community Centre, and on the 17th July the dance ran a Rockabilly Dance Competition.  The band was Itchy Fingers with DJ Antony.


Melbourne Rockhop Easter Dance Championships were heldt at the Chandler Secondary College in Keysborough.


Renegade Rockers were running dances at the Williamstown Town Hall.


Boulders dance club had a dance competition at the Istra Club in Campbellfield.  They ran classes at Craigieburn and Dallas.


Pitrone's was the place to rock n roll on Wednesday nights.


Collingwood Town Hall dances were run by Roz and Antony of Swing n Rock.


The Speedsters celebrated 10 years of playing for rock n roll dances.


The Impalas played their first ever gig, playing at the newly renovated Box Hill RSL.


Dance classes.  Lots to choose from and costs ranged from $5 -$8.:


Adrian's dance classes were held at the Furlan, Camberwell and Cheltenham RSL.


Southside dance classes with Glenis were held at Frankston and cost $5


Just Rock classes on Sundays at Just Rock Club Rooms, 257 Colchester Rd Kilsyth cost $5


Tush Push rock n roll classes at St Albans with Noel Hume


Renegade Rockers classes with Jason and Rhonda in Sunbury, and Altona cost $6


Andy's Cats Corner classes with Andy Zammit at Noble Park, and Edithvale teaching rock n roll and lindy


Swing n rock with Roz and Antony classes at Footscray, Reservoir and Yarraville cost $7.


Carol and Kevin Ross of Fourmost were teaching at Ashwood


Nicky and Barry of Fourmost were teaching at Mt Martha and Narre Warren


Mi Style classes with John Payne at the Basin cost $8


CC's rock n roll classes with Carmen in Deer Park cost $5.


Lets Rock classes with Chris in Hoppers Crossing

2016

Posted by [email protected] on December 25, 2018 at 9:45 PM Comments comments (0)

New Year's Eve Dances & Celebrations 31st Dec 2016


Several gigs were held last night throughout metropolitan Melbourne and in regional Victoria to usher in the New Year for 2017. There was of course fireworks display in the city plus several other places like in Mornington & the Frankston foreshore.


Amongst the bands that played last night were the Straight 8's at DJ Ashley's, The Fender Benders at Rock 'n Suzie, the Vincents at Rye RSL, the Honky Tonk Rockers at Dandy Workers Club plus dances at Adrian's Red Hot Rockers, in Ballarat etc. I went and saw the Jump Devils at the Heritage Tavern in Balnarring and later the Rockin' Daddies playing for Rosebud Rockers on the Mornington Peninsula.


Another big year of rock & roll and rockabilly in 2016 and I expect more of the same again for 2017. The New Year usually kicks off with the National Kustoms hot rod show & rockabilly bands on Phillip Island in January around the same time as the rock & roll festival in Geelong. This is followed by music festivals like Ballarat Beat and Barham's Rock By the River in February. Also in February 2017, we 'll see a new rock & roll/rockabilly music festival, the Shepparton Shakedown, to be staged for the first time and already it is generating a lot of interest. Long standing rock & roll festivals in Ararat, Mulwala, Tallangatta, Hamilton and several other Victorian regional areas no doubt will continue to be held in 2017. However, Greazefest will not be staged in Melbourne this year as well as the Camperdown rockabilly festival although I have heard of news that plans are afoot to stage a replacement festival in Camperdown but we shall see if it comes to fruition.


In terms of dance gigs around Melbourne, I expect DJ Ashley & Leanne at Fast Eddies to continue to draw a good crowd every Sunday night. Ashley & Leanne also run regular monthly dance gigs at the Menzies Hall in Dandenong as well as at Highett Bowls Club. Milton & Sue's Flipside rock & roll dances will be back along with Jonathan & Zoe's Alleycatz dances, Adrian's Red Hot Rockers, Rock 'n Suzie dances as well as dances on the Mornington Peninsula by Rosebud Rockers and the Peninsula Rockers. There are other regular rock & roll dances all over Melbourne plus live bands and dances at Dandenong Workers Club, various RSL clubs, Heritage Tavern and Daveys Bar on the Frankston foreshore. Not forgetting there is also a vibrant live music scene at several city pub venues as well as the Dogs Bar in St Kilda.


In terms of rock & roll dance competitions, this kicks off with the Geelong Rock & Roll festival in February. I understand there is also an "open" dance competition for Shepparton Shakedown. The big ones of course are VRRDA's Victorian rock & roll dance championship as well as Alleycatz $1,000 "shoot out" Melbourne dance competition. Dance competitions are very important in showcasing the competitive side of rock & roll dancing that one does not normally see in social dancing.


No rest for the wicked. Get those dancing shoes polished for another big year ahead of live rock & roll and rockabilly music and dancing all over Melbourne, and in regional Victoria. Keep rockin' everyone!


Jitterbug (Paul Wan) copied with permission from Vicrock.com.au

2018 awards

Posted by [email protected] on December 25, 2018 at 9:30 PM Comments comments (0)

Each year Jitterbug, (Paul) the moderator of Vicrock website nominates people for his yearly awards. Copied from http://www.vicrock.com.au


2018 R&R Person of the Year


This is only my personal opinion as someone who has been in our 1950's style music & dance scene for a number of years in Melbourne. There have been so many people & bands who have contributed greatly to our 1950's scene during 2018 and I am sure many of you have your own personal favourite(s) as well. I would be happy to hear from you of your favourite people, bands, festivals and dance teachers.


2018 Melbourne Rock n Roll Person of the Year - Jocelyn B O'Mara


So many people caught my attention in 2018. Jonathan & Zoe continue to spread the message of R&R dancing far & wide in Melbourne with their classes and "8 Week Wonder" and also their $1,000 shoot Out Dance Comp. Their dance gigs are usually well attended and they have brought out Si Cranstoun and A Band Called Twang for our enjoyment. DJ Ashley & Leanne Lonel impressed me with their energy & passion in promoting live music and R&R dancing bringing us top bands week in week out. DJ Ashley's photos and videos are legendary keeping our memories of happy times alive for many years to come. Suzie from Rock'n Suzie is another who needs no introduction teaching hundreds of students over the years and holding dances monthly in Pakenham. Her contribution for so many years in staging the Good Friday Charity dance event raising money for a good cause will always be remembered. But the person who I think deserves to be our Melbourne R&R Person of the Year is Jocelyn B O'Mara. I have known Jocelyn in our R&R scene for many years. She has been an active contributor on Vicrock (arguably the world's first website totally dedicated to 1950's style music and dancing) for many years and continue to share her views online. She was also one of a small group of people who came up with the idea of staging the R&R Flashmob dance at various locations in Melbourne city as well as at the Doncaster Shopping centre. But what I am most impressed is her dedication and passion in wanting to preserve the history of R&R music and dancing in Melbourne for future generations by starting a website called "History of R&R Dancing in Melbourne" specially for this purpose. Everyone can go onto this website and make a positive contribution with your knowledge, photos and videos of our 1950's scene in Melbourne. Wouldn't it be a fantastic outcome & achievement if the data and knowledge captured of our 1950's scene for posterity will be taken up and accepted by our university's history departments as well as Australia's museums and Australian Historical Archives.


Other Awards for 2018:


2018 Band of the Year - Shane Magro Trio


So many great bands in Melbourne with some like the Straight 8's and the Vincents having been in our dance scene for over 25 years or more. Sadly, the Speedsters are no more having played their last gig recently. We all have our local favourites such as the Fender Benders, the Detonators, Louis King & the Liars Klub, Honky Tonk Rockers, Rockin' Daddies, Itchy Fingers, the Rockin' Tones, the Jump Devils and later the Jump Cats, Hank Jalopy Demons, the Firebird etc but to me, the most exciting band to have come into our 1950's style R&R live music scene in recent times has to be the Shane Magro Trio comprising the very youthful & dynamic Shane Magro & James Schembri and well supported by Frank D'abaco on drums and the stylish Robin Sharrock on the double bass. Hope to see Shane Magro Trio continue to grow in popularity in years to come.


2018 Dance Promoter of the Year - DJ Ashley & Leanne Lonel


Great to see many taking the risk and spending huge amount of time and commitment to promote our R&R scene usually for very little reward. Some have been doing this for many years such as Cliffy & Maryann and also Jonathan & Zoe. Special mention must also go to promoters at the Furlan Club, Renegade Rockers, Rosebud Rockers, Peninsula Rockers, Rock'n Suzie, Geelong Jukebox Rockers, Triple F's etc. Special thank you to Milton, Sue & Big Al for staging Flipside for 5 wonderful years. It was a sad day with their last dance in December. But to me, the promoter of the year goes to DJ Ashley & Leanne Lonel who have kept dancers busy on the dance floor for so many years and keep introducing so many new and great bands to our scene. DJ Ashley is someone who never say never, and he just keep on surprising us to keep our dance scene rockin'. Thank you DJ Ashley and Leanne Lonel for your dedication in promoting 1950's tyle live music and R&R dancing.


2018 Dance Teachers of the Year - Jonathan & Zoe


Thanks to the many dedicated R&R dance teachers, so many people have now found a new passion in life dancing R&R in Melbourne. Some have been teaching for many years like Glenys at Southside, Anne Truex in LaTrobe Valley, Adam & Deanne in country Victoria and Sue in Pakenham whilst others such as Brian & Marge and Charlie & Karen Toia took up the baton to keep R&R dancing alive. Special mention must go to Adrian who had taught thousands to dance over the years before his retirement from teaching. Linda Symth is another who has taught for so many years and continue to do so today, and many have found the joy of dancing through her special skills & dedication especially amongst those new to R&R dancing. I must mention also Grant & Maryanne Richards for their passion in competing but especially in bringing R&R to young people who are our future in keeping R&R alive. But to me, Jonathan & Zoe embodied what is great & the future for R&R dancing. Not only are they State Champions but they have taught R&R to a large number of people in different age groups with classes all over Melbourne for many years. I love especially their innovative and fun "8 week Wonder" classes.


2018 Social Dancers of the Year - Karin & Erwin


To me, it's not so much the showy dance moves you exhibit but how much joy & fun you have on the dance floor. And it's also about you supporting our the various dance gigs week in week out that matters. Without your support there'll be no more R&R dances as we know it today. So many dancers I can mention that have supported our dance scene for many years and continue to do so today - Coral, Inga, Paul & Maree, Rob & Margie, Vince & Joyce, Laura & Manny, Italia, Glenda Raka, Maria Stolnik, Wayne, Mick, Bernie, Laurie, Jocelyn, Denise Winter, Irene, Denise & Les, Lynn & john, Linda etc. But to me, the social dancers I most admire and hope to emulate dancing right through my seniors years have to be Karin & Erwin. Just like the "Swingchesters" who have been dancing since the 1950's, Karin & Erwin have been dancing for so many years that I have lost count of. They have been featured in newspapers article and on TV so they are our very own "A list" rock & rollers in our dance scene.


2018 R&R Festival of the Year - Camperdown's "Rock the Clock" R&R Festival


R&R Festivals have the potential to really promote R&R music, fashion and dance far & wide and to have that massive impact in the general public arena. We are lucky in Melboune & in Victoria generally to continue to enjoy & attend various R&R festivals although it was sad to see some closing down like Shepparton Rockabilly festival and the Tallangatta R&R festival. Geelong Jukebox Rockers' Summer R&R festival continues to be staged after so many years and continues to draw a large crowd. Rosebud R&R festival is growing in popularity with some dance events sold out weeks before. Ballarat rockabilly festival which I attended was quite popular with the general public especially the open stage area on Lydiard street where bands performed and with dancing on the main street. But the festival which gains my admiration & support is Camperdown's "Rock the Clock" R&R festival. From what I understand, the people & businesses in Camperdown came together to support and stage the festival after Camperdown rockabilly festival was closed. It's in this spirit of togetherness exhibited by this small country Victorian town to bring alive our 1950's music, cars, fashion and dance scene that I most admire. For this reason alone, I nominate Camperdown's "Rock the Clock" to be the R&R festival of the year.

Jitterbug (Paul Wan)