Original Tunes Competition

When Graeme Bell’s Dixieland Jazz Band recorded the first genuine Australian jazz records for a major company, Regal Zonophone, at Columbia’s Sydney studios in April 1947 the band decided to include three original tunes. This did not present a problem, as Australian jazzmen had been writing and recording originals for private jazz record labels since the early 1940s. However, it was not until the advent of the Australian Jazz Convention that the practice came to prominence. For the 2nd AJC someone (thought to be Dave Dallwitz) suggested an Original Tunes Competition and (except for 1953) the popular event has become an integral part of the annual AJC programme. Similarly the annual Australian Jazz Bell Awards (to honour jazz pioneer Graeme Bell), which originated in Melbourne in 2003, has a category for Best Australian Jazz Composition of the Year.

No Year Location Original Tune Composer
1 1946 Melbourne No Competition
2 1947 Melbourne Boot Hill Bob Wright
3 1948 Cootamundra NSW Ragtime Tuba Dave Dallwitz
4 1949 Melbourne Clarinet Sugar Dave Dallwitz
5 1950 Sydney Hilarity March Frank Johnson
6 1951 Adelaide Stomp Miss Hannah Ade Monsbourgh
7 1952 Melbourne Reed Warblers Dave Dallwitz
8 1953 Hobart No Competition
9 1954 Sydney That Ain’t Right Peter Pretty
10 1955 Cootamundra NSW Take It Away Henry Peter Pretty
11 1956 Melbourne Old Nick Rag Ross Collins
12 1957 Adelaide Green Jar Grind Col Nettleback
13 1958 Sydney I Know The Feeling Well Bob Cruickshanks
14 1959 Cootamundra NSW Bondi Babes Ade Monsborough
15 1960 Melbourne I Don’t Know Yet Neville Stribbling/Ken Colyer
16 1961 Adelaide Black Diamond Strut Alex Frame
17 1962 Sydney Joe Blow King Fisher
18 1963 Melbourne Jop John Roberts
19 1964 Newcastle NSW B for A John Bishop
20 1965 Sydney Nickin’ Off Nick Polites
21 1966 Melbourne Teardrops Dave Hetherington
22 1967 Hobart Helping Hand Rag
Late Hour
Nick Polites
Tom Pickering
23 1968 Adelaide Goolwa Grind Chris Kelsey
24 1969 Ballarat Vic Alone John Colborne-Veal
25 1970 Dubbo NSW Hourigan Swing Paul Furniss
26 1971 Hobart If You Don’t Know The Words Tom Pickering
27 1972 Adelaide Bean Bag Strut Peter Voss
28 1973 Queanbeyan NSW Minor Iginal Alex Frame
29 1974 Melbourne Vy Vee Adrian Ford
30 1975 Balmain Ex and Bacon Adrian Ford
31 1976 Brisbane JB Stomp John Bates
32 1977 Hobart ‘Twas A Time Paul Furniss
33 1978 Adelaide The Golden City Strut Herb Jennings
34 1979 Fremantle WA Melaleuca Murray Williams
35 1980 Forbes NSW Christmas Stomp Ken Evans
36 1981 Geelong Vic Roll On Friday Alex Frame
37 1982 Toowoomba Qld Late Again Adrian Ford
38 1983 Forbes NSW Don’t Waste Your Time Ken & Betty Evans
/Danny Moss & Digby
39 1984 Wollongong NSW One For You
Tich Bray
Tony Faulkner
40 1985 Ballarat Vic I Love That Jazz Ken Sutton
41 1986 Adelaide Sauerkraut Stomp Chris Kelsey
42 1987 Armidale NSW Dance of the Yowies John Roberts
43 1988 Sydney Wistful Eric Holroyd
44 1989 Perth My Sweet Toute Suite John Roberts
45 1990 Launceston Golden Blues Rag Chris Kelsey
46 1991 Newcastle NSW The New Newcastle
You Never Care
John Bates
Geoff Bland
47 1992 Geelong Vic Noalimba Breakout
Like Fire (Young Composer)
Eric Holroyd
Ben Johnson
48 1993 Adelaide Crown and Anchor Stomp Herb Jennings
49 1994 Gold Coast Qld Forty Nine and Stoked Mal Jennings
50 1995 Melbourne Thinking Of Yourself Mal Jennings
51 1996 Bathurst NSW Someday You’ll Know The Blues John Bates
52 1997 Launceston Adina John Roberts
53 1998 Geelong Vic Why Should I Be Blue
Serenity (Young Composer)
John Bates
Ben Calderazzo
54 1999 Perth Leneva John Roberts
55 2000 Forbes NSW Welcome To Jazz Land Ade Monsborough
56 2001 Adelaide Kangarilla John Roberts
57 2002 Launceston Bev’s Washboard Stomp in B# Graeme Bell
58 2003 Forbes NSW Poor Forgotten Sweetheart John Bates
59 2004 Stawell Vic Bonza Stomp Herb Jennings
60 2005 Lismore NSW Scuttly Butt Swing Mal Jennings
61 2006 Adelaide Christabel Danny Hodgson
62 2007 Goulburn NSW Silent Movie Peter Wolstenholme
63 2008 Lismore NSW I Know That My Wife Cares Adrian Ford
64 2009 Melbourne Use It Or Lose It John Bates
65 2010 Orange NSW This Is Paradise Adrian Ford
66 2011 Bundaberg, Qld Welcome The Day Fred Clough
67 2012 Forbes, NSW Sweet One Jim Mills
68 2013 Goulburn, NSW Bit of Fun
If Not For Billie
Fred Clough
Anne Syer
69 2014 Swan Hill, Victoria Up and Down Bruce Gourlay