COVID-19 has quashed dances with live music in the foreseeable future, so the Times is remembering days gone by with a photo from the Trail Historical Society of the The Serenaders playing a Valentine’s Day Dance in Trail, circa 1936.
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The Times did not have details about this image, which is where Terry Jesudason stepped in to help as her father, Sandy DiPasquale, was a long-time member of this well known Trail band.
In the back, standing with the megaphone is singer, Archie Bishop. Seated (L-R) Jack Vellutini, trombone; George Watson, clarinet; middle on drums/trumpet is Sandy DiPasquale; George Tognotti, sax; Curly Salsiccioli, sax; and playing piano, Irma Salsiccioli (later married band mate George Tognotti).
“I even have an accounting journal where my Dad (treasurer) was keeping track of money in and out from the dance jobs they played in 1938,” Jesudason shared. “For instance Canadian Legion Labour Day dance at the KP Hall, income $35; Tank Room Dance at the Italo Canadese Hall, income $30; New Years Eve dance for Gyro Club at Palm Room, $50. Under expenses for their regular Saturday night dances at the KP hall, they were paying the Trail Times possibly for advertising, anywhere from 50 cents to $2.65. Some of those Saturday night dances were broadcasted by CJAT radio,” she said. “I remember them playing dance jobs at the Skylark dance hall in Shavers Bench in the 1960’s too. Jack Vellutini is the only one of the originals that is alive now and living in Trail at Poplar Ridge.”
Jesudason also included a document dated 15 April 1946, signed by five orchestras from Trail and three from Rossland, stating:
“We, the undersigned Orchestras of the City of Trail, Rossland and Vicinity, hereby do agree that: A) When promoting dances, all dances shall terminate not later than 1 a.m. (Intermission included); B) When engaged to play dances, all engagements shall terminate not later than 1 a.m. (Intermission included); The only exceptions to the above clauses A and B are: Christmas Eve (and) New Years Eve. The time when the dance shall terminate on these two nights shall be determined by the Leader of the Orchestra in Question.”
Trail orchestras which signed the agreement were; Kootenay Boys, Rhythm Kings, Scandinavian Swingtette, The Serenaders and Men of Note. The Rossland orchestra signees were the Harmony Swingtette, Rossland Old Timers, and Rossland Ramblers.
“Wow – talk about making great music,” Jesudason said. “Those were the days.”
The Times thanks Terry Jesudason for sharing details about this wonderful part of Trail history.