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Antique Phonograph News
Canadian Antique Phonograph Society


Mar-Apr 2004

Jan-Feb Mar-Apr May-Jun Jul-Aug Sep-Oct Nov-Dec
The Billy Hall Story
by Jack Litchfield

The Canadian Antique Phonograph Society CD entitled "Dance Bands From Canada 1922-1930" contains three tracks by the New Princes Toronto Band. The trombonist was Billy Hall.

The presentation at the December 2003 CAPS meeting was given by long-time member Jack Litchfield and by Chris Hall who is Billy's grandson and is himself a professional musician. During the talk Jack played five records and Chris projected ninety-eight slides.

New Princes Toronto Band, 1926
(note the maple leaf and beaver design on the drum)

Billy Hall played with orchestras in Toronto, St. Marys (Ontario), London (England), Belgium, and Germany, and with military bands of the Canadian Army. While serving in France in 1916, he was wounded at the Somme, and eventually died from his wound.

More than a sought-after musician, he was also a family man, with two children and a lovely wife. His life story is an interesting combination of music and family.

New Princes Toronto Band, 1926

Billy Hall with wife Frances and son Manning, London, 1926
Bettini And The Artists:
A Glance Back At His Life In The Sherwood Social Scene

by Robert Feinstein

In 1892, Lieutenant Gianni Bettini and his wife, Jeanie E. "Daisy" Abbott Bettini, moved into a lofty, red brick house at the corner of Fifty-seventh Street and Sixth Avenue, New York City. This was the Sherwood, the up-town headquarters of Art. Accounts by live-in Sherwood manager and unofficial master of ceremonies for its several restaurants, painter J. Carroll Beckwith, as well as others who chronicled events involving the Sherwoodites, as the residents called themselves, have provided us with revealing glimpses of the lieutenant's life.

A 1902 Ad

Bettini may have initially met some of those who recorded for him, including Mark Twain, through the Sherwood social scene and his penchant for displaying his inventions at world fairs was undoubtedly influenced by his Sherwood friends. Several of them, including Beckwith, showed their work at the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition, Chicago, and Gianni Bettini was there too, with a space in the Italian Pavilion.

Harper's 1901