So in memory of Gordon Dando, and in the wake of his funeral yesterday in England, I’ve transferred and am posting here what must be among, if not the most, ultra-rare recordings of William Ball, here accompanied on guitar and announced by Mr. Dando in one of the circulating “BM&G Tape Club” reel-to-reel tapes which were largely made by Charles Mansell but were also recorded by others in the club, having recently acquired the originals from my generous and good friend Pat Doyle — and with the blessing of Mr. Ball’s son, Fred Determann. Many of the recordings are in a somewhat degraded state, but I’ve done my best to filter out and repair the problems here without compromising the actual sound or feeling of the recording session itself.

The selections here are almost all Morley, but there’s an especially cool version of Ragtime Episode by Eno. (Is this the first recording of William Ball? Perhaps someone out there in the banjo-ether can advise.) Either way, I don’t believe it’s available anywhere else, so my warmest of new listening wishes to everyone. Though I’ve broken it into separate tracks, I’m attaching the original track listing here in case you’d like to keep them in the order “as performed.”

Presented in honor of, still reeling from, and sent in solidarity with what appears to be have been our own “Brexit” on Tuesday — ours albeit being an exit from decency, tolerance and the common goals of civilization, formerly known as “The New World,”

Chris W.

P.S. Ian, I’m posting this from my DropBox, so if you’d like to add the files to the site Jukebox, please be my guest.










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What a wonderful thing to do. Thank you!

Fantastic, well done Chris. Pat

Indeed, thank you very much Chris for this rare find. I have added audio players for each of the files so it is more convenient to hear them.

Both Charles Mansell and William J Ball were great players... but I think Bill Ball had the edge :-)

Brilliant stuff... Classic Banjo is ALIVE and WELL !

A request.. does anyone have the notation score for Tickled Pink and is there a piano part? I like the tune and would like to give it a go but don't seem to have it anywhere!

Thank you so much, Chris - a real treat to listen to.  I have never heard 'Tickled Pink' before - great tune.  I have an old music folder of the BMG club Croydon of first banjo pieces that has another piece by Phil Barker: 'Jackpot'.  Unfortunately, the music sheets in the folder are all cellotaped to brown paper so are quite yellowed around the edges (and also smell of 'attic') but I will see if it is scannable. 

Thanks Carrie, but check out the MUSIC LIBRARY as we have a few of Phil Barker's compositions: 

Bone Idle

Country Life


and I have just added:

Etude No. 3



ps. Don't you just love the smell of musty old sheet music, almost as much as old banjo cases ;-)

Do we have a date for these recordings, Chris?

One of my references shows "Tickled Pink" as a plectrum solo in one collection. I don't know who's collection it is in though...
thereallyniceman said:

A request.. does anyone have the notation score for Tickled Pink and is there a piano part? I like the tune and would like to give it a go but don't seem to have it anywhere!

Thanks for the kind notes Carrie, Marc, Ian — and, of course, Pat. Ian, I’m attaching a scan of "Tickled Pink" from the October 1953 BMG, which Pat pointed me to, and which I conveniently have. As Marc points out, it’s a plectrum solo, but Mr. Ball shows us it’s more than possible to play finger style, too. No piano there, though, I'm afraid.

Russ, the only BM&G Tape Club tape around here for which I have any indicated date is number 613, June 22, 1978; this one, tape number 47, according to Pat, is early 1960s. One assumes that the numbering system was consecutive, chronological and more or less orderly, but jeez — were there actually 613+ tapes?! That’s enthusiasm!

Warmest of wishes to all,



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