Dulcimer, Guitar, Mandolin, Tin Whistle
I first sang at Frank Traynors when it had already relocated from the corner of Little Lonsdale and Exhibition Streets to the tiny lane behind the large hotel that was eventually built on the corner where Traynors had been. The same hotel that later, ironically, curtailed the hours of Traynors by complaining about the loud Jazz late at night.
Initially I rotated with the rest of the performers of the time, John Graham, Peter Parkhill, Michael O'Rourke, Julie Wong, Margret RoadKnight, John Crowle, Phil Day, Dutch Tilders, Danny Spooner, Gordon McIntyre, Carl & Janie Myriad (Tregonin & Conway), John & Juanita and many others. Eventually I was invited to share every Tuesday night with Peter Parkhill and after a few months I moved to sharing every Monday night with Mike O'Rourke. I remember O'Rourke sensing that I was keen on a young ballet student that came to listen each week, thought he would point out to me that I was cradle-snatching by asking her what year she was born. When she answered '1956', I responded that I too was born in 1956. Michael said 'No Graham, you weren't born in 1956'. I replied that I definitely 'was' born in 1956 and then he said words to the effect, 'No, that would make you "SIXTEEN" Graham'. He was very mirthful about it and I responded, 'That's right, I'm sixteen. I was born on the 25th of January in 1956 '. People often mistook me for being older. The occasion marked quite clearly in my mind that the year was 1972. I had been performing at the Outpost Inn coffee house at 52 Collins Street for about a year previous to this, and on weekends at Traynors around 6 months previous (when I was 15).
There was an atmosphere at these two venues that could only be found at a handful of other venues throughout Australia and seldom found to the same degree today. They were both accoustic (although at one point the Outpost had a single mic dangling above the stage that piped the performances thinly into a back room) and Traynors was lit mainly by candle light, with one straw coloured spot light directed towards the stage. The little canvas camp style chairs and barrels are well known trademark features of Frank Traynors, along with the mugs of coffee that, where performers were concerned, sometimes carried 'Black Death', a blend of coca-cola and red wine. Many of the performers partook in this, however Parkhill used to stir his to get rid of the fizz so he wouldn't burp while singing.
The main differences between Traynors, Outpost Inn and The Dan O'Connell was that at Traynors everybody listened quietly regardless of who was performing. At the Outpost you had to earn the audience's attention to get them to listen and at the Dan O'Connell the audience would talk noisily regardless of who was performing (although they always listened if Liz Johnston sang - quite rightly so). Frank Trayor's virtually became a household name with a great many people today confessing at least a knowledge of it's former existence, when prompted.
- More recent Photographs of Graham Dodsworth — by Graham Dodsworth — last modified Sep 05, 2010 06:11 AM
- various photographs depicting Dodsworth with or without beards and long hair etc., (long hair was cut in 1996, beard shaved for 1986 and again from 1995 to 1997 and new year's eve 2009 until present time). Further photographs and biographical material can be found at dodsweb dot com.