"The Morton Fraser Gang"

by Brian Leslie Holland



WHEN APPEARING IN 'VARIETY' ON THE "OLDHAM EMPIRE" STAGE.
MORTON FRASER'S FAMED HARMONICA GANG WITH US WERE ALL THE RAGE.
FOR A VIRTUOSO SOLOIST ONCE KNOWN AS 'MANNY FISH'.
FORMATION OF THIS CRAZY CREW FULLFILLED HIS LIFE-LONG WISH.


AS A 'I'EAM OF MAD MUSICIANS IN RAG-A-MUFFIN GUISE.
THEY MADE MUSIC ON MOUTH-ORGANS OF EVERY SHAPE AND SIZE.
CLEM RATCLIFFE, HENRY SAMUELS, MICHAEL JACKSON, TONY ROUSE.
FOUR 'CLASS' CHROMATIC PLAYERS CHARGED WITH 'BRINGING DOWN THE HOUSE'.


STAN KAYE PLAYED CHORD ACCOMPANIMENT TO TONY VINCENT'S BASS.
WHILST NAT LEES, THE ACE ACCORDIONIST, ENSURED THEY STOOD THE PACE.
A STAUNCH AND STALWARD MEMBER WHO CONSIDERED 'HE' WAS 'BOSS'.
WAS THE SMALLEST GIANT OF THEM ALL, WALTER 'TINY' ROSS.


DAVE KING AND JIMMY GARSIDE, DON CAMERON THEN DON PAUL.
SANG VOCALS FOR THE 'POLECATS' AND WITH 'TINY' WOULD 'PRATT FALL'.
MANY MORE ASPIRING YOUNGSTERS WHO GUESTED IN THE 'RANKS'.
FOR THE CHANCE TO RISE TO STARDOM TO THE GANG OWED GRATEFUL THANKS.


PLAYING "PALACES" AND "HIPPODROMES" IN TOWNS THROUGHOUT THE LAND.
SOME VENUES VERY HUMBLE BUT OTHERS 'OH' SO GRAND.
SUCCESSES IN SOUTH AFRICA THE "MOULIN ROUGE" IN FRANCE.
AND LONDON'S GREAT "PALLADIUM" THEIR STATUS DID ENHANCE.


WE HEARD THEM ON 'STEAM RADIO' VIEWED THEM ON T-V-
BUT IN THIS AGE OF PROGRESS THEIR LIKES WE SELDOM SEE.
INSTEAD OF 'MELODY AND MIRTH' WE NOW HAVE 'BUMP AND BANG'.
SAD SUBSTITUTES FOR SUCH GREAT ACTS, AS "THE MORTON FRASER GANG".

Brian L. Holland
March 1999.

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