Nevill Sherburn OAM

The contribution to Australian jazz of Neville Sherburn was recognised today in the 2017 Queen’s Birthday Honours when it was announced that Neville has been posthumously awarded an Order Of Australia Medal for services to Jazz.
Known affectionately as Mr Swaggie Neville purchased the Swaggie label from the Graeme Bell Band Co-Operative in 1954 and immediately began issuing Eps and 10” LPs of Australian jazz and from 1960 onwards he released 12” and 7” 33 & 1/3 RPM albums known as the Jazz Collector Series. These recordings were renowned for their high quality content of sound reproduction , art work and detailed cover notes and are treasured by collectors today.
As Sydney writer Bill Haesler OAM wrote shortly after Nevill’s death “ Without Nevill Sherburn there would have been very little Australian jazz recorded during the 1960 – 1980s “. This is particularly apt as major record companies lost interest in producing Australian jazz whereas Nevill continued to release Australian and overseas jazz on CD. Despite being seriously ill for a number of years Nevill continued to manage Swaggie Records culminating in the issue of two major restoration works titled Ade Monsbourgh – A Vintage Selection and Roger Bell & His Pagan Pipers – A Vintage Collection which were released just weeks before his death on the 16th of October 2015. Australian jazz is very much indebted to the unstinting work of Nevill Sherburn and it is fitting that he is recognised today.
Bill Armstrong of Bilarm Music has recently taken over the distribution of the excellent Swaggie Record CD collection which are available from Thomas’ Records in the Melbourne CBD and from all Readings Bookshops.

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