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carrick

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  1. Well. Here it is, the recording that sparked it all off. Reg Dixon at the 2/10 Wurlitzer of the Tower Ballroom, Blackpool in 1932, with Guilty, even complete with Vocals. Compared to the contemporary Blackpool style we all know today, it is very tame, but at the time it was revolutionary! https://youtu.be/u8Zn3M3lMcI
  2. Personally, I would have liked to have seen the return of Richard Hills on the R.A.H organ. The concert he performed a few years back for the proms was absolutely superb, and it was a good opportunity for people to hear the organ in a way they wouldn't normally, as the concerts are typically "organ music" centric.
  3. Another broadcast from the Empress Ballroom, this time from it's resident organist, Horace Finch. This was broadcast way back on the 21st of June 1937 at 3:45pm, there are a couple of pieces to mark the coronation too. This broadcast is extremely rare, one of the very few examples I have heard of Horace on the Empress from the 1930s. Despite the quality of the recording, Horace's clean, crisp and articulate playing shines through, coupled with his colourful and varied registrations making the best of the 13 ranks he had available to him. This is what you call PIPING HOT playing!
  4. A rare Reginald Dixon broadcast at the Wurlitzer of the Empress Ballroom, Blackpool, from 1957. In December 1956, Blackpool Tower Ballroom was badly damaged by fire. For the following year, whilst restoration was underway in the Tower Ballroom, Reginald Dixon was transferred a few hundred yards up the road to the much larger Empress Ballroom to play the 3/13 Wurlitzer there, whilst resident organist Horace Finch was transferred to the Pavillion Theatre next door.
  5. If you have a large format tablet, then you could always upload your sheet music to that. I'm not 100% sure on exactly how it works, but I think it works by the tablet recognising a physical signal from you, it could be a nod of the head or something like that, in order for it to turn the page for you, allowing you to keep your hands on the manuals.
  6. A toe tapper from a very famous Ballroom on the English coast, released in October 1940, just over a year after the start of WWII.
  7. The reason "Blackpool ballroom" became popular was because toe-tapping stuff was played there. Your comment makes little sense.
  8. The key word I think, is, entertainment. If it's not entertaining to the man on the street, then are they going to come? I find many an organist play for no one other than themselves and a few friends who may be attending. The audience can be often skipped over as some sort of by product, when really, they are the people you should be playing to, even if it is "low-brow" - the man on the street will think it high brow purely because it's an organ concert anyway.
  9. Saddening to hear this. My thoughts are with all those who work at Manders.
  10. This coming Friday 15th of May at 9pm BST (4pm EDT/1pm PDT/6am Saturday AEST) sees a broadcast of Nicholas Martin at the 3/19 Wurlitzer of Turners Musical Merry Go Round. Make sure to set your reminder to tune in!
  11. Still quite a number of people with cinema organs in their homes. The grand daddy of them all, for me, was Len Rawles Ex Empire Leicester Square Wurlitzer, which at 25 ranks, took up a space half as big as the house again. Lots of people build small extensions onto their detached or semi detached homes to make chamber space for smaller instruments.
  12. On Wednesday at 8pm (GMT+1) there will be a "live" broadcast concert with Simon Gledhill at the Opera House, Blackpool. This was recorded on the 25th of June 2016. Make sure to tune in and see the Worlds newest original Wurlitzer installation in action!https://youtu.be/pTaSBmAEzm0
  13. Something different to keep everyone sane during these times. Nigel Ogden at the new Empress Ballroom Wurlitzer with music from Erno Rapee and Lew Pollack.
  14. carrick

    David Clegg

    The Tower Ballroom Wurlitzer was installed in the Tower Ballroom in 1929 - hence my reference above to James Hodgetts FRCO taking the job there after being at the Empress Ballroom for 4 years. The image shown on Wikipedia is of the new organ and I can assure you that it is a pipe organ, and speaks through the grilles above the stage. The new instrument utilised the disused chambers that were constructed for the original Wurlitzer in 1934. Regardless of all that though, if possible, to find out more of the original Clegg/Cookson organ.
  15. carrick

    David Clegg

    Being involved with the newly installed Empress Ballroom organ in Blackpool, I find it sad there is so little documentation of the original organ installed by Clegg and its subsequent rebuild by Cookson under the direction of G.T Pattman in 1924. All there seems to be is a specification on NPOR, and some information a trusted source managed to dig out of his extensive archive which was all hand written copied information from newspaper accounts of the time. I've pieced together what I've managed to find out below. The first pipe organ in the Winter Gardens, Blackpool, was originally a travelling organ built by an unknown Blackburn firm for David Clegg. It was installed in the Winter Garden's Indian Lounge (now gone, the space it was is now known as the Arena) in the first half of 1913, The Blackpool Herald, dated Tuesday 17 June 1913, lists David Clegg and his Military Band Organ in the Indian Lounge twice daily and Sundays at 8pm. It had eight manuals, not all of which were full compass, and they controlled the various divisions and effects of the organ. Over the summer season of 1913 the recitals on the organ grew in popularity and by October/November of that year, the organ was relocated from the Indian Lounge, next door, to the upper east balcony of the Empress Ballroom. David Clegg delivered the opening recital on the 12th of November and continued playing it for recitals, dances, and silent picture/film accompaniment right up till his death on the 31st of October 1923. Newspaper accounts vary the number of manuals during this time, from anything between eight and fourteen. It is possible that it was enlarged over the years and at the point of David Cleggs death, it had fourteen manuals. At the time of David Cleggs passing away the organ still belonged to him. The announcement of the organ being for sale by auction seemed to have triggered a public outcry and the people of Blackpool did not wish it to depart from the town. In May 1924 the Gazette and Herald reported that: "It is suggested that the employment of some progressive firm of organ builders, who would re-build the organ on more-or-less standard lines, whist retaining all the effects and material (which I assume is the rest of the organ), then tune it to concert pitch, is desirable. Two separate consoles should be provided, one in the traditional place and one “in the orchestra”. An expert organist should be called in to advise". The rebuild was completed by E.Cookson, an organ builder from the North East of England. The organist advising on the scheme was G.T Pattman. G.T Pattman left his position at the Empress Ballroom in 1925 and the position of recital organist was taken up by James Hodgetts F.R.C.O. Hodgetts remained at the Empress Ballroom until 1929, when he took up residency at the Tower Ballroom on the new 2/10 Wurlitzer. His position at the Empress Ballroom was taken up by William C. Vann, who later became depute organist to Reginald Dixon. William C. Vann was also organist at the Palladium and several Blackpool Churches. With the installation of the new Wurlitzer organ in the Empress Ballroom during the winter if 1934/35, it appears that the concert organ was, discarded unless someone knows otherwise. Attached is a photo of the ballroom in the late 1920s. The organ case can be seen on the far balcony, which is 15ft deep and spans some 90ft, and the ceiling topping out 45ft above.
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