Posts Tagged ‘Wilf Lancaster’

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The Pyranon Ballroom Chatham

July 12, 2010

Venue: The Pyranon Ballroom
What: Chatham’s premier dance hall
Location: Chatham Ontario
Year: 1945

Note:
   When record hops were the in thing, as many as 1,600 young people would come out on a Friday night to dance. The music they were excited about was Elvis Presley, Pat Boone and the likes of.
   Many big acts of the time played this venue on Colborne Street.  The Wilf Lancaster Orchestra was the local band that performed there regularly.

The Pyranon was constructed by Maurice Smyth. The first group to play the hall was Al Edwards and his band from Windsor.
Other events at the Pyranon: Bingo, wrestling, proms, fashion shows, banquets, social and political gatherings.

Big Bands that played: Sammy Kaye, Victor Lombardo, Vaughn Monroe, Cab Calloway, Duke Ellington, The Glen Miller orchestra, Les Brown, and Gene Krupa. The local ‘Big Band’ Wilf Lancaster Orchestra performed there regularly.
 
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Wilf Lancaster Retires 1970

December 11, 2009

Click the pictures above to enlarge

Musician: Wilf Lancaster
Position: Band leader and drummer
Year: 1970

The following news was written in the CDN Monday November 2nd 1970. The concert advertisement ran in the CDN around the same period. No Author name posted.

Wilf Lancaster Retiring Big Band Sound Goes On

   Wilf Lancaster is retiring as leader of Chatham’s best known orchestral group, but the “big band sound” he initiated will linger on.
  Mr. Lancaster, who will pack up his drums following the band’s engagement at the Pyranon Ballroom Nov. 13th, has decided to listen to his physician, who told him “You will have to give up something”. His work at the International Harvester and Chatham Blueprinting has precedence, he says, so the band work has to be curtailed.
    However, his name will still be connected with the band, which was reactivated four years ago following a long lay off. Fred Foster has been named musical director and Dr. W. Pritchard business manager.
    During the last four years the band has played 27 engagements to more than 13,000 fans.
    “I’m glad the band will carry on and I am flattered they are going to use my name”. Mr. Lancaster said today.  “But it is going to be hard to quit because it has been  a tremendous thrill having such a grand group and playing for the best audiences in the world”.
     Mr. Lancaster said he played his first summer engagement at a resort on Lake of Bays in 1930, which makes more than 40 years of music.

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