Albert Francis Lenertz – 1891-1943 – “Aeroplane Jelly”

Albert Francis Lenertz (1891-1943), resided at one time at 284 Victoria Road Marrickville, and was known as Frank Leonard,[1] or Albert Leonard of Marrickville.[2]He was well known for writing the words and music for the Aeroplane Jelly song, the longest-running advertising jingle in Australia.[3]

Lenertz had a wholesale grocery and wines-and-spirits business in Sydney. [4] He joined A.H.F.N. Appleroth’s jelly manufacturing company Traders Ltd, (later the Aeroplane Jelly Company) as a partner in 1926. According to the Australian Dictionary of Biography he was managing director of the company, which was originally in Sussex Street in the City, but moved to Alice Street Newtown in 1927. [5]Traders Ltd grocery manufacturers first appears in the Sands Directory in Alice Street in 1930, on the north side, between numbers 41 & 49.[6]

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).[7]

The first person to record the Aeroplane Jelly Song was “child imitator” Amy Rochelle, a Sydney music hall entertainer. This version of the song was used from 1930 to 1938.[8]

Another version was recorded in 1938. This was sung by Joy King, seven-year-old winner of a singing competition. Her recording was used for more than fifty years[9]

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.[10] 

He 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”

 

He also wrote Co-Operation, and a number of unpublished works [11]

 



 

1. National Library of Australia. Catalogue. Aeroplane Jelly Song [music], available at http://catalogue.nla.gov.au/Record/194879

2. Birkorama blog, available at http://birko.blogspot.com/

3. Australian Dictionary of Biography. Online Edition. Appleroth, Adolphus Herbert Frederick Norman (1886 – 1952), available at http://adbonline.anu.edu.au/biogs/A130075b.htm

4. Music Australia. National Library of Australia. Albert Francis Lenertz, 1891- 1943, available at http://www.musicaustralia.org/apps/MA?function=showDetail&currentMapsRecord=ANL:MA~460610

5. Australian Dictionary of Biography. Online Edition. Appleroth, Adolphus Herbert Frederick Norman (1886 – 1952), available at http://adbonline.anu.edu.au/biogs/A130075b.htm

6. The Newtown Project. City of Sydney Archives. Sands Directory, 1930, available at http://www.newtownproject.com.au/sands-1930

7. Music Australia. National Library of Australia. Albert Francis Lenertz, 1891- 1943, available at http://www.musicaustralia.org/apps/MA?function=showDetail¤tMapsRecord=ANL:MA~460610

8. Ibid

9. Australian Dictionary of Biography. Online Edition. Appleroth, Adolphus Herbert Frederick Norman (1886 – 1952), available at http://adbonline.anu.edu.au/biogs/A130075b.htm

10. Ibid.

11. Music Australia. National Library of Australia. Albert Francis Lenertz, 1891- 1943, available at  http://www.musicaustralia.org/apps/MA?function=showDetail¤tMapsRecord=ANL:MA~460610

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