Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians

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Whitty, Mark (Graeme)

Whitty, Mark (Graeme), singer, piano, orgran, trumpet, mellophone; b. Hawthorn, Victoria, Australia, 4 January 1938. He grew up in Hawthorn East. His father was Percival James Whitty He was born in Whitfield, Victoria Australia 13th Jan 1882 and died in Melbourne Vic 3rd July 1944. He was a dance band piano player in Whitfield area circa 1912. His mother was Maggie (nee) Morrison, born Greta, Vic 15th Jan 1890 died Kew Vic 23rd Aug 1964. His siblings were Mary Evelyn Collins (born Moyhu Vic 6th Feb 1911 died Melbourne 9th Oct 1989), Avis Powell (born Moyhu Vic 31st Oct 1912 died Upwey Vic 1992), Lawrence Raymond Whitty (born Moyhu Vic 14th Apr 1915 Died Robinvale Vic 1993), Maurice James Whitty (born Moyhu Vic 31st 1919 died Tepuke New Zealand 1980), Francis Joseph Whitty (born Hawthorn Vic 8th Apr 1921 died Sydney NSW 9th Oct 1998), Patrick Bernard Whitty (born Hawthorn 17 Mar 1926 died Kalgoolie WA 10th Sept 1975), John Percival Whitty (born Hawthorn 13th Dec 1928 died Mildura NSW 20th June 2001) and Margaret Carmel Nicholson (born Hawthorn 13th July 1935, now living in East Ringwood Vic).

From 1948 to 1952, he had choir training at Marist Brothers College Hawthorn. From 1960 to 1964, he learned trumpet from George Dobson (Vic Tpt Trio) in Melbourne. From 1964 to 1966, he learned cornet from Bob Dunne in Prahran City Band. From 1965 to 1969, he learned piano from Ronald Hall "The Tortoise" George (jazz piano player). From 1972 to 1979, he learned music arranging & band leading from Tommy Davidson Melbourne & Narooma. From1979 to 1982, he learned trumpet from Harry Berry in Sydney. From 1982 to 1983, he learned music arranging and trumpet tips from Fred Thomas Narooma & Melbourne.

Choir singer from childhood, then jazz singer, piano, trumpet in small groups, brass bands, dance and classical orchestras and multi-instrumentalist as a soloist or with his sons Patrick, Richard and Mark II. Professional career spans 45 years. Five years in Sydney as a vocalist at various clubs and hotels. Back to home base Melbourne on trumpet for 10 years, then based at Narooma playing from Brisbane to Melbourne on varied types of gigs predominantly playing mainstream and his originals.

In the fifties, he sang at North Bondi RSL, Swansea Worker's club, Charles Hotel Wollongong, Zetland Hotel, etc. In the sixties, he played trumpet in Southern Cross Hotel orchestra lunchtime Fridays, one occasion receiving a handshake and congratulations from Howard Hughes. He played countless gigs for Denis Farrington in Melbourne. Fashion parades, balls, dance etc. Played Trumpet & Mellophone on two occasions with Benny Featherstone at Melbourne Muso's Club. Played mellophone with best friend Des Edwards on trumpet for the opening night of Frank Traynor's new Jazz cellar.

In the seventies, he played Hammond Organ and trumpet with vocals along the coast around Narooma with a residency at the cabaret room of Highway Motel. Developed one-man act and polished up many tunes, some still in his repertoire today. In 1978, he formed Doctor Jazz & Sons with Patrick and Richard. They made their first appearance at 2nd Merimbula jazz festival.  In 1981, they were guests of friend Tommy Davidson at Melbourne Muso's club. Doc Ford on piano and Lindsay Copeland on drums.

He played the Manly Jazz Carnival with John Speight piano, John Morrison drums, James Morrison bass. A news article and photos were in Manly Daily & Daily Telegraph.
 
In 1988, he played with Richard and Patrick at Kiama Jazz Festival with own keyboards and a live drummer. He played a concert for the Governor Sir James Rowland in Martin Place, Sydney. In 1989, Patrick joins Army Band and Doctor Jazz & Sons folded.

In 1992, he commenced a residency on Banquet Express as solo act, later adding Sydney bass player Bruce Hyland doing three -day trips from Canberra to Melbourne Taking 220 passengers on a private train c/o ACT Historical Railway Society. He met up with Des Edwards again. Idea forms to write songs about Des and other musicians who were lifetime friends.

He's forming an act with Mark II on drums. Starting with the snare drum and high hat,
Mark is overcoming his Autism disability and is now bravely facing large audiences. His latent singing ability is also emerging making his father extra proud of him.

His wife is Isabel Rose (b. 21 - 10 - 1942), a choir singer. His daughter is Annabelle  (b. 21 - 1 - 1970), classical piano. His son Patrick (b. 6- 3 - 1971) plays clarinet, sop, alto, tenor, bari, saxes, flutes, drums, didgeridoo. His son Richard (b. 22 - 12 - 1972) plays trombone, piano, guitar, and is a singer. His son Mark (b. 15 - 12 - 1982) plays drums and handles vocals.

Recordings:
Records cassette at Accent Studios Sydney (1983); A Bit Like Old Times (1998); Under the Influence (2000)

Radio broadcasts:
2001 Interview, ARTSOUND Radio FM Canberra.

Bibliography:
A photo and article was on front page of Melbourne Sun in 1981
A centrefold colour photo and article appeared in Australasian Post Magazine in 1988.

Contact information:
www.finetunes.com.au
Email: markwhitty@dodo.com.au
PO Box 314 Narooma NSW 2546 Australia. PH 02 4476 2102

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