I didn’t know who Frank Traynor was until a few weeks ago.  And I apologize!

My friend John Trudinger sent me a CD called TROMBONE FRANKIE — a production of the Victorian Jazz Archive — and I confess that because none of the names were particularly recognizable to me in my mind-glossary of Australian musicians (no Bob or Len Barnard, no Fred Parkes) I let the CD sit to the left of my computer monitor for a perversely long time.

One morning, looking for something new to play in the car on the way to work (an ineffable mixture of craving novelty and feeling guilty) I slipped the CD into my pocket and then into the player . . . also because I had been thinking of Bessie Smith’s performance of TROMBONE CHOLLY — a raucous paean to Charlie “Big” Green, who’s Bessie’s partner on that joyous record.  So I began listening to Frank Traynor’s Jazz Preachers with the alternate take of TROMBONE FRANKIE, vocal by one Judith Dunham, someone also new to me (although I learned that she became world-famous as a member of the Seekers).

Here’s a version of what I heard — and the elation I felt meant that I played this one track over until I arrived at work.  Listen for yourself:

If you’d like to know much more about Traynor and his singular adventures — including a remarkable folk / jazz club, click here (there’s also a beautiful biography and discography):



  1. Bill Lowden ( Jazzbobill)

    An excellent article Michael. Like you, there are still many out there who make jazz their lifework and receive little recognition. Jazz has always been in my life and I really do appreciate the effort that you are giving , by spreading the word and keeping jazz alive. I always loved Bessie’s “Trombone Cholly” (in 1927 with Charlie Green on trombone) and Frank Traynor’s band did a great version of it. Great trumpet playing also on this CD.

  2. Pingback: Tweets that mention CELEBRATING FRANK TRAYNOR | JAZZ LIVES -- Topsy.com

  3. There’s been a misfire on load up. Nothing plays on clicking the arrow, it just brings up the large photo of Frank.

    Hope I’m not the only one with this, if so can anyone forward their copy to me?
    Many thanks
    Carl Spencer.

  4. I just tried it and it works (after clicking on the central arrow) so don’t give up! It’s worth the attempt. Cheers, MS

    If all else fails, go directly to YouTube and search “Trombone Frankie” “Judith Durham”

  5. The link to the Traynor’s folk history website has changed. You should replace the ip address with http://www.franktraynors.net.au


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