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Martin Henderson, concertina player

GUEST,George Frampton 04 Nov 16 - 11:22 AM
Alan Day 04 Nov 16 - 12:47 PM
Alan Day 04 Nov 16 - 12:58 PM
Guran 05 Nov 16 - 02:26 PM
GUEST,George Frampton 07 Nov 16 - 07:05 AM
OldNicKilby 07 Nov 16 - 07:44 AM
Ross Campbell 07 Nov 16 - 08:48 AM
GUEST,SqueezeMe 08 Nov 16 - 08:58 AM
SqueezeMe 08 Nov 16 - 09:05 AM
GUEST 09 Nov 16 - 09:28 AM
GUEST,SqueezeMe 24 Apr 17 - 11:18 PM
Peter the Squeezer 25 Apr 17 - 02:23 AM
GUEST 25 Apr 17 - 10:47 AM
G-Force 25 Apr 17 - 01:15 PM
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Subject: Martin Henderson, concertina player
From: GUEST,George Frampton
Date: 04 Nov 16 - 11:22 AM

Martin Henderson was 'famed' as a blind concertina player. Born in Cullercoats in 1881, he was booked around the halls from 1899 until his death in 1941.

I am trying to find more from a biographical angle, but moreso his repertoire. There is a little on the internet, but his presence seems to have evaded the 'folk' spotlight.

Is anyone else out there researching him or know or someone who is?


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Subject: RE: Martin Henderson, concertina player
From: Alan Day
Date: 04 Nov 16 - 12:47 PM

I think I have a picture of him George ,certainly a blind Music Hall player.
PM me with your Email address and I will send it over.
Regards
Alan Day


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Subject: RE: Martin Henderson, concertina player
From: Alan Day
Date: 04 Nov 16 - 12:58 PM

This is interesting because the blind concertina player I was thinking of had two stage names George Young and George Leonard.Surely he didn't go out under a third name and that there were two blind concertina players working the Music Hall?
Al


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Subject: RE: Martin Henderson, concertina player
From: Guran
Date: 05 Nov 16 - 02:26 PM

Hello, check this site where you get some biographic notes:

https://hungerfordlodge.org.uk/2015/02/21/martin-henderson-freemason-entertainer/

Cheers/Goran


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Subject: RE: Martin Henderson, concertina player
From: GUEST,George Frampton
Date: 07 Nov 16 - 07:05 AM

Judging by British Library Newspapers, there indeed was more than one blind concertina player.
Thanks for the tip off re- the Hungerford masons website. To date, it is the only one I've found or been aware of.
There are refs to him on the BBC Genome website.
However, it looks like a newspaper slog may be in order!


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Subject: RE: Martin Henderson, concertina player
From: OldNicKilby
Date: 07 Nov 16 - 07:44 AM

Try posting on Concertina.net. I bet Stephen Chambers will have something


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Subject: RE: Martin Henderson, concertina player
From: Ross Campbell
Date: 07 Nov 16 - 08:48 AM

Search on Concertina.com produces only one reference to "blind harper M. Henderson" from Dan Worral's "Notes"

http://search.freefind.com/find.html?id=41202650&pid=r&mode=all&n=0&nsb=&css=&query=martin+henderson&search.x=13&search.y=8&sear

Stuart Eydmann's paper on Scottish concertina players is available to read -

http://www.concertina.com/eydmann/life-and-times/

It's from pre-internet days, so he may have more information since then. I used to have contact details from when I passed him info about my friend Joe Maley/Jack Easy, can't find at the moment. I have no doubt Joe would have encountered Martin Henderson, though unlikely to have been booked on the same bill!

Good luck with the search.
Ross


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Subject: RE: Martin Henderson, concertina player
From: GUEST,SqueezeMe
Date: 08 Nov 16 - 08:58 AM

A little information which may be of use....

Henderson undertook a 16 week tour of Australia from December 1907 for the Harry Rickard vaudeville circuit. Far too many press notices to quote here, but a search of this site http://trove.nla.gov.au/ could prove useful, George.

One or two interesting paragraphs I will quote though, as follows:


from The Daily News (Perth WA) Wed 4th December 1907:

A BLIND MUSICIAN, MR MARTIN HENDERSON.
Traveling to Melbourne on board the RMS Omrah which passed through Fremantle today was a gifted musician in the person of Mr Martin Henderson. Although blind, Mr Henderson is a most wonderful player of the concertina, and is now about to enter into an engagement with Mr Harry Rickards for a tour throughout Australia. "I never in all my life", said Mr Herbert Fleming to a Daily News representative on the mail boat this afternoon, "listened to such sweet and beautiful music as supplied by this blind performer. He played for us right from the time of leaving Tilbury, and so entertained and delighted were the passengers by his playing that they subscribed a large sum. (A) portion of this will go (to)purchase a medal for Mr Henderson, and the balance is to be sent to his wife in England."


and from The Kalgoorlie Miner (WA) newspaper, Thursday 9th April 1908, where his repertoire and performance is described in some detail

Another newcomer was Martin Henderson. The same providence
that deprived him of his eyesight endowed him with remarkable musical gifts, and he deserved success, for he commanded it by virtue of his undoubted talent. The English concertina in his hands was a musical instrument in the truest sense of the term. There have been concertina and accordeon players galore on the variety stage. Few,if indeed any, have excelled Martin Henderson. He proved himself a thorough master of the instrument, with which his name is indelibly
associated.

Directly he commenced to play the audience recognised the hand of a master. They were hushed to silence, and a pin could have been heard fall while he played 'The Lost Chord' with superb skill. His soft and delicate, yet withal firm touch of the keys, and his manipulation of the instrument generally produced sweet sounds, the like of which have rarely been heard here. The people were spell-bound by the wonderful melody, and when the. last strains had ebbed away the applause was vociferous and genuine. Then he played a brief solo upon the piano, after which he gave a duet of exceeding beauty upon the piano and the concertina. He swept the keys of the former with his left hand and manipulated the concertina with his right. Having bowed in response to augmented applause, he illustrated medley methods in the use of the concertina, choosing 'The Blue Bells of Scotland' for
his theme. 'Variations,' according to the Maccabee in the old days,'consist of the worrying of a tune.' Variations with Martin
Henderson, only made the tune more delightful. His melodious rendering, was so heartily appreciated that he was compelled to submit to an encore, for which he gave an imitation of a church organ. His voluntary was excellently given. His illustration of the ringing of church bells was decidedly realistic, and his imitation of a school bell was droll in the extreme. The audience could 'Hear the Pipers Calling' when he reproduced Scottish bagpipe music upon the concertina, for which he obtained another recall. Martin Henderson scored heavily with patrons in all parts of the house.

So it would appear that Martin Henderson's repertoire consisted of similar material to that of his contemporaries, the likes of Prof Maccann and others who took a light classical approach to the music hall and variety stage of the period. Whether he had any "folk" influence to his playing is probably unlikely, but again, some of the top violinists of today's classical scene delight in playing jazz or bluegrass on their "days off"....

Apologies for the length of this post, but as the OP seems not to be a subscriber here, I am unable to send a PM.


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Subject: RE: Martin Henderson, concertina player
From: SqueezeMe
Date: 08 Nov 16 - 09:05 AM

Just signed in to prove my credentials as a member re. the above post. Sorry about the line breaks....my computer hates me :-)


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Subject: RE: Martin Henderson, concertina player
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Nov 16 - 09:28 AM

From the description of his playing, it is most likely that the concertina was a Maccann duet system, as favored by the top players of the day.


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Subject: RE: Martin Henderson, concertina player
From: GUEST,SqueezeMe
Date: 24 Apr 17 - 11:18 PM

Apparently not, Guest above, as I've just been shown a photo of him holding what appears to be an English tenor-treble. However, the paragraph above states:

" ... he gave a duet of exceeding beauty upon the piano and the concertina. He swept the keys of the former with his left hand and manipulated the concertina with his right"

This would seem to indicate a duet concertina rather than an English, as this would seem an unlikely feat on the latter.


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Subject: RE: Martin Henderson, concertina player
From: Peter the Squeezer
Date: 25 Apr 17 - 02:23 AM

From Squeeze Me -

"This would seem to indicate a duet concertina rather than an English, as this would seem an unlikely feat on the latter."

I agree. This seems most likely, as broadly speaking, in those days the Anglo tended to be the instrument of the Tap Room, the English of the Drawing Room, and the various Duet systems of the Music Hall. The Salvation Army used both English and Duets.


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Subject: RE: Martin Henderson, concertina player
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Apr 17 - 10:47 AM

Born in Cullercoats in 1880, died in 1941 - and now you can buy his (English) concertina here:
http://theboxplace.co.uk/product/aeola23657/


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Subject: RE: Martin Henderson, concertina player
From: G-Force
Date: 25 Apr 17 - 01:15 PM

Surely he didn't go out under a third name and that there were two blind concertina players working the Music Hall?

Thinking about it, the concertina is ideal for blind people, as even sighted people can't see what their fingers are doing when they play it, so blind people aren't at a disadvantage in that respect.


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