The Black Talent Agency was at 14 Castle Street. Is this building still going ?
The eight members of the Titanic's orchestra were employed by the Liverpool firm, C.W. and F.N. Black. Prior to 1912 the ships dealt with the musicians directly (rather than through an agency), the pay was £6 10s. With this agency, the musicians now got only £4. The terms of employment were also hard: if the steamship company objected to any musician, the Blacks had the right to remove the man without any investigation or explanation. The Amalgamated Musicians Union protested without success. Bruce Ismay, President of the White Star Line replied that if the union objected to White Star carrying its bandsmen as members of the crew at a shilling a month, the company would carry them as passengers. It means the musicians had to appear before the immigration officials in the usual way and all had to produce $50 in cash (10 months' salary) to show that they were not destitute. So, they were listed as second class passengers but certainly none of the "perks" of passengers (Source : http://home.earthlink.net/~rlbroberg...ndOfMusic.html)
No members of the band survived.
After the ship floundered, nobody wanted to take responsibility for the lives of the Bandsmen. It seems they weren’t covered by anybody’s insurance policy. The White Star Line said that the Band worked for the Blacks and therefore covered by them, and the Blacks argued that the Band was listed as passengers and therefore covered as such. (Source : http://cruiselinehistory.com/?p=1757)
The agency sent the violinist's family a bill for $3.50 for the cost of the unpaid and unreturned uniform!