Within the Australian music scene it is a well known fact that without the contribution of Swiss born Jacques Albert you may never have heard of Australian rock bands "The Easybeats", "Billy Thorpe and the Aztecs ", nor even " AC/DC " ! But the Boomerang Mouth Organ???
Jacques Albert (1850-1914 ) was born in Fribourg, Switzerland in 1850, the son to Otto Albert, an optician, and his wife Rose (née Lachôme). Jacques became a horological engineer specialising in clocks and watches, however he had a passion for music. In 1884 Jacques and family migrated to Sydney and opened a small shop in Enmore, in the inner West of Sydney, repairing clocks and watches, and also repairing violins, and eventually selling a range of musical instruments and sheet music. This business thrived and in 1890 Jacques was able to secure a larger shop in King Street in Central Sydney.
In 1893 Jacques bought his son, Frank Albert, ( 1874-1962 ) into the business and Jacques and his son Frank began importing and selling a wide range of musical instruments including the now famous "Boomerang" range of mouth organs. Albert & Son had trademarked the word " boomerang" and by 1987 were importing and selling a huge amount of German made, Boomerang branded mouth organs. ( Powerhouse Museum estimate Albert & Son sold 44,000 units of mouth organs over 1896 and 1897 !!! )
After the passing of Jacques Albert in 1914 the Albert & Son business continued to thrive, by signing music lucrative licensing agreements , and also setting up the Albert College of Music in Sydney. Frank Albert also helped establish the "Australian Broadcasting Co.Ltd. " which successfully tendered to the Australian Commonwealth Government to provide radio programs. When this contract expired in 1932 the ABC was established.
Frank's son Alexis assumed the role of Managing Director of J.Albert & Son in 1931 and over the next 50 years the Albert Empire expanded and acquired radio stations, and became a major shareholder of ATV Chanel Seven. Edward Frank " Ted " Albert ( 1937-1990 ), the son of Alexis, became a pioneer in the Australian music scene and was the founder or Albert Productions. Ted Albert famously hired EMI's Abbey Road Studios in London, to record The Easybeats " Friday on My Mind " song voted the top Australian song of all time at the 2001 APRA awards.
Having it's roots in Switzerland, and after 131 years in business Alberts was sold to the German multinational BMG in 2016 …