The Laurie Paddi band, at the Majestic Cabaret,
probably playing at a dance for US servicemen, circa 1942-45.
Laurie Paddi is in the dark suit.
Photographer unknown. Alexander Turnbull Library.
The Laurie Paddi band provided the dance music at the Majestic Cabaret during World War Two. After the war, dances, fashion parades, and other events kept the Cabaret busy. Along with the Majesitic Theatre, the Cabaret fell to the wrecker's ball in June 1987.
Bob Barcham, a well-known Wellington "session musician" in the decades after WWII, reflecting on Laurie Paddi's role as a mentor observes:
"Another mentor was an ex muso I worked with at Beggs. He was Laurie Paddi, who had been a very popular band-leader at the Majestic Cabaret during the war. He advised me not to be too 'clever' - don't try to 'educate' the public, indeed, play what the public wants and you will always be in demand. He was 100% correct. Dear old Laurie."
More on the history of New Zealand musicians whose stories might otherwise be lost at Andy Shackleton's Memories of New Zealand Musicians web site.