Aeroplane Jelly and it’s famous jingle have strong ties to the Marrickville area.
The ‘Aeroplane Jelly Song’ was composed in 1930 by wholesale grocer and wines-and-spirits merchant, Albert Francis Lenertz, better known locally as ‘Frank Leonard of Marrickville’(he resided at 284 Victoria Road Marrickville). Lenertz was a co-partner with Adolphus ‘Bert’ Appleroth in the firm Aeroplane Jelly.
According to the Australian Dictionary of Biography Frank was a managing director of the company, which was originally in Sussex Street in the City, but moved to Alice Street Newtown in 1927. Traders Ltd grocery manufacturers first appears in the Sands Directory in Alice Street in 1930, on the north side, between numbers 41 & 49.
Originally, the Aeroplane Jelly song was a tribute to Prime Minister Billy Hughes, with lines such as “Folk in the city and folk on the plain, Billy’s great deeds for our land can acclaim”. He rewrote the lyrics and it became a popular advertisement around 1930. (The jingle was added to the National Film & Sound Archive’s ‘Sounds of Australia’ in 2008).
|Lenertz, Albert Francis, 1891-1943.
The Aeroplane jelly song words and music
The jingle was first recorded by Amy Rochelle, a music hall entertainer who did child imitations.This version of the song was used from 1930 to 1938.
But the best known recording is the 1938 version sung by seven-year-old Joy King (later Joy Wigglesworth). She was chosen after a state-wide competition in New South Wales (the only state marketing the jelly crystals at this time). Her recording was used for more than fifty years.
The song was eventually broadcast one hundred times each day as it was the signature tune on the radio programs Lenertz produced and announced for Sydney stations 2KY & 2SM.
Frank wrote a song about Newtown – Newtown is an Old Town That I Love, the score is available at http://www.nla.gov.au/apps/cdview?pi=nla.mus-vn4502111-s1-e , the lyrics include lines such as “I’ve roamed about it’s streets & lanes, I’ve heard both laughs & sighs, I’ve gazed on many scenes that bought the tears into my eyes” and “where pals know how to play the game, and sweethearts all love true”