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I just cannot believe that Reginald Dixon would have suvived so long had he been guilty of the things suggested by MM.

However I do agree with the comment regarding the increasing age of audiences, and I recall that in my AP days many years ago, many of the concert goers were in wheel chairs, or walked with sticks or zimmer frames. There were so many infirm people you did worry how long they would be attending, especially as AP was not easily accessible.

I admired their loyalty for travelling long distances in all kinds of weather, and if we did happen to see a young person we would grab him and attempt to persuade him to take a permanent interest in the Willis organ.

Perhaps Reginald Dixon attracted the younger element at his popular concerts.

Colin Richell.

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WHAT RUBBISH.

 

You have obviously havent listened to Dixon in his prime. He didnt use quint n teirce (which was used to cut through the noise from the dancers, it was there to do a job, and it did it) that much, not compared to the amount it is used today, he played "simple", clean arrangements with ALOT of off the cuff improvisation. There is more variety of sounds from the Blackpool style than any of the others. You also had the other Blackpool organists, Watson Holmes, Horace Finch, Earnest Broadbent and Ena Baga. His 10 year tour after he left the tower in 1970 was sold out everywhere he went (George Wright also came over, but he didnt manage to fill the theatres, as much of a good organist he was, he couldnt have been so much in the publics taste)

 

While Dixon was at the Tower, it has been calculated that he would have been heard by at least 1,200,000 people each year (He was at the tower from 1930-1970), put on top of that, world wide broadcasts, T.V appearances, recordings.

I know of one organist who plays in the Blackpool style, and he has had over 300 bookings this year alone (does that not say what people want to hear?!). Alot of societies avoid booking "certain" organists because of attitudes, and the lack of people attending certain organists concerts would cause them to run at a loss.

 

 

=======================

 

 

You should not assume anything!

 

In fact, between 1959 and 1962, I heard Reginald Dixon live quite regularly at Blackpool; not least because my uncle was a "Reg" Dixon addict, and dragged me there on a regular basis because I liked the organ. Indeed, my first exposure to the organ was the man himself, so he must have done something to enthuse me at an early age. Later on, I discovered classical organ, and then Brian Rodwell, who was really the doyen of British organists involved in light-music by that time.

 

I could suggest that "tonal variety" at Blackpool is partly the effect of over-amplification, a big acoustic, a quite small specification, those awful tierce couplers and a bad chamber position over the stage procenium arch; speaking through quite small grills. (13 or 143 ranks, is it?)

 

That does not compare with the 40+ rank monsters in the USA, which have far more variety of tonal resources.

 

You mention 1,200,000 people having heard Dixon, but how many survive to-day? This is the problem you have to face as time drags on, and there will be no-one to replace them.

 

Out of interest, I asked ten local kids and youths, (who thought I was mad), if they had heard of "Reg" Dixon.....score Nil.

 

Fred Astaire scored one, (little girl who does tap-dancing), Frank Sinatra scored two, ("My grandad liked him, but he died"), Whitney Houston scored 5 and Lady Ga-Ga scored ten. In other words, popular culture has a distinct shelf-life, after which it becomes a niche market. (If it's any consolation, Handel scored one, Mozart scored two and none of them had heard of Beethoven). :lol:

 

More seriously, it is important to realise that every single piece of music played on a theatre organ, (with a few tiny exceptions), is a transcription of something or other, and more to the point, because it is not possible to play anything very close to the original scoring, every piece is also an arrangement. So at the absolute heart of the instrument is the art of arranging; usually from useful piano-score reductions initially. (I have quite a lot of them).

 

So what do expect from a theatre organist?

 

If you want the original scoring, go out and buy old 78 rpm shellac. (I've got quite a few of those also).

 

Even then, you will find that no two readings are the same, and if you take a well known song by Irving Berlin, "There may be trouble ahead" from the film "Top Hat," you will discover a nice Quick Step in the original Astaire movie, and much different tempi and arrangements on re-releases and covers by Ella Fitzgerald, Sinatra and even Robbie Williams a few years ago, when he recorded the American Songbook album called "Swing when you're winning."

 

So why do you pick on George Wright, who was remarkably close to the original; considering that he was trying to imitate a show orchestra while playing an organ?

 

Say what you will, but when George Wright wasn't camping it up and wearing women's clothes under a different name, (there is an amusing commercial story here), he was incredibly clever at what he did, and that made him the doyen of the American organists of his generation. In fact, I'll stick my neck out and suggest that even to-day, he is still listened to by rather more than the 1,200,000 who went to hear Reginald Dixon over a forty year period.

 

Still, you can compare for yourself without my opinion getting in the way:-

 

- Rhapsody in blue - Reginald Dixon

 

- Rhapsody in Blue -Quentin Maclean

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WZeVLCCE2KY...feature=related – Let's face the music and dance - Original version - Fred Astaire

 

 

Probably sung by Nat King Cole

 

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OiWDIb_nph0...feature=related - Frank Sinatra – Let's face the music

 

 

- George Wright -– Let's face the music

 

 

MM

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=======================

 

 

You should not assume anything!

 

In fact, between 1959 and 1962, I heard Reginald Dixon live quite regularly at Blackpool; not least because my uncle was a "Reg" Dixon addict, and dragged me there on a regular basis because I liked the organ. Indeed, my first exposure to the organ was the man himself, so he must have done something to enthuse me at an early age. Later on, I discovered classical organ, and then Brian Rodwell, who was really the doyen of British organists involved in light-music by that time.

 

I could suggest that "tonal variety" at Blackpool is partly the effect of over-amplification, a big acoustic, a quite small specification, those awful tierce couplers and a bad chamber position over the stage procenium arch; speaking through quite small grills. (13 or 143 ranks, is it?)

 

That does not compare with the 40+ rank monsters in the USA, which have far more variety of tonal resources.

 

You mention 1,200,000 people having heard Dixon, but how many survive to-day? This is the problem you have to face as time drags on, and there will be no-one to replace them.

 

Out of interest, I asked ten local kids and youths, (who thought I was mad), if they had heard of "Reg" Dixon.....score Nil.

 

Fred Astaire scored one, (little girl who does tap-dancing), Frank Sinatra scored two, ("My grandad liked him, but he died"), Whitney Houston scored 5 and Lady Ga-Ga scored ten. In other words, popular culture has a distinct shelf-life, after which it becomes a niche market. (If it's any consolation, Handel scored one, Mozart scored two and none of them had heard of Beethoven). :lol:

 

More seriously, it is important to realise that every single piece of music played on a theatre organ, (with a few tiny exceptions), is a transcription of something or other, and more to the point, because it is not possible to play anything very close to the original scoring, every piece is also an arrangement. So at the absolute heart of the instrument is the art of arranging; usually from useful piano-score reductions initially. (I have quite a lot of them).

 

So what do expect from a theatre organist?

 

If you want the original scoring, go out and buy old 78 rpm shellac. (I've got quite a few of those also).

 

Even then, you will find that no two readings are the same, and if you take a well known song by Irving Berlin, "There may be trouble ahead" from the film "Top Hat," you will discover a nice Quick Step in the original Astaire movie, and much different tempi and arrangements on re-releases and covers by Ella Fitzgerald, Sinatra and even Robbie Williams a few years ago, when he recorded the American Songbook album called "Swing when you're winning."

 

So why do you pick on George Wright, who was remarkably close to the original; considering that he was trying to imitate a show orchestra while playing an organ?

 

Say what you will, but when George Wright wasn't camping it up and wearing women's clothes under a different name, (there is an amusing commercial story here), he was incredibly clever at what he did, and that made him the doyen of the American organists of his generation. In fact, I'll stick my neck out and suggest that even to-day, he is still listened to by rather more than the 1,200,000 who went to hear Reginald Dixon over a forty year period.

 

Still, you can compare for yourself without my opinion getting in the way:-

 

- Rhapsody in blue - Reginald Dixon

 

- Rhapsody in Blue -Quentin Maclean

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WZeVLCCE2KY...feature=related – Let's face the music and dance - Original version – Fred Astaire

 

 

Probably Nat King Cole

 

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OiWDIb_nph0...feature=related - Frank Sinatra – Let’s face the music

 

 

- George Wright – Let’s face the music

 

 

MM

Kids will NOT know what your talking about when it even comes to the word organ. Even with a good description, they dont know what your talking about. The nearest Ive got to them knowing what one is was the description "a big piano thing with loads of keys in a church".

As for Dixon being sloppy btw, there was hardly a mistake in ANYTHING he recorded. How many of the 40+ rank Wurlitzers in the US were built by the Wurlitzer company?!! Not very many, the vast majority of the instruments they built were smaller than 20 ranks!!

The Tower organ is one of the best organs that Wurlitzer ever built. It was there to do a job, to be played for dancing, bright strings, brassy reeds etc, and the Q n T couplers are there for a reason, to CUT through the noise of the dancers (which they did VERY well when used properly!!) It was NEVER amplified to the levels it is now (which isnt needed). It is STILL in its original home doing the same job it was always intended to do. Its obvious to me (and several others who have read whats been said) that you dont have a CLUE what your talking about, because if you did, you wouldnt be saying what you are!!!

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Kids will NOT know what your talking about when it even comes to the word organ. Even with a good description, they dont know what your talking about. The nearest Ive got to them knowing what one is was the description "a big piano thing with loads of keys in a church".

As for Dixon being sloppy btw, there was hardly a mistake in ANYTHING he recorded. How many of the 40+ rank Wurlitzers in the US were built by the Wurlitzer company?!! Not very many, the vast majority of the instruments they built were smaller than 20 ranks!!

The Tower organ is one of the best organs that Wurlitzer ever built. It was there to do a job, to be played for dancing, bright strings, brassy reeds etc, and the Q n T couplers are there for a reason, to CUT through the noise of the dancers (which they did VERY well when used properly!!) It was NEVER amplified to the levels it is now (which isnt needed). It is STILL in its original home doing the same job it was always intended to do. Its obvious to me (and several others who have read whats been said) that you dont have a CLUE what your talking about, because if you did, you wouldnt be saying what you are!!!

 

 

====================

 

 

 

Fair enough.....but I do play them and I have worked on them. :lol:

 

MM

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====================

 

 

 

Fair enough.....but I do play them and I have worked on them. :lol:

 

MM

 

As do I, with a very successful team.

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As do I, with a very successful team.

 

 

=======================

 

We're never going to agree, but apart from the "few" from the past, and a handful of the current crop of younger theatre organ performers, the standard of playing is lamentable.

 

It was a very well known theatre organist who once said to me, "They wouldn't put up with it in the Brass Band world."

 

I must be one of a handful of British organists who once wrote a piece for theatre organ, and the late Bill Davies played it and enjoyed it very much. (Dedicated to Ena Baga, incidentally).

 

When people tell me that I talk rubbish, I don't feel very inclined to repeat the exercise with a second composition; not that many theatre organists could play the first one.

 

As for my written arrangement of "Nola," which manages to work in simultaneously the tune of "Polly," with snatches of "Ain't she sweet" and "Put me amonhgst the girls," it does require a certain trio-sonata technique, which at a guess, would confuse all but two or three British theatre organists.

 

Bill Davies roared laughing when he read through it, declaring it to be, "Almost impossible, but great fun."

 

Simon Gledgill was less impressed. "Why would anyone WANT to play it?"

 

It is a bit Reginald Porter-Brown, I have to admit....definitely not Simon's style!

 

MM

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Oh yes, when i mention 1,200,000 per year hearing Dixon LIVE in person, dont forget to add it up over 40 years (48,000,000 LIVE at the tower), then the ten year sell out concert tour, weekly broadcasts around the world, plus his recordings which are still being heard today. Wether or not you think his playing was sloppy, unmusical (which is claptrap), the PUBLIC were obviously VERY interested in him and he was and is known all round the world, ALOT of people know of him. It is STILL the Blackpool style organists today who pack venues, where as the likes of Simon Gledhill and Richard Hills are lucky to get 150 through the door. This isnt to say they arent good organists, but its what the public want that matters, and bums on seats and rating show what the public want at the end of the day. They want to be entertained, and to take part in the music.

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Oh yes, when i mention 1,200,000 per year hearing Dixon LIVE in person, dont forget to add it up over 40 years (48,000,000 LIVE at the tower), then the ten year sell out concert tour, weekly broadcasts around the world, plus his recordings which are still being heard today. Wether or not you think his playing was sloppy, unmusical (which is claptrap), the PUBLIC were obviously VERY interested in him and he was and is known all round the world, ALOT of people know of him. It is STILL the Blackpool style organists today who pack venues, where as the likes of Simon Gledhill and Richard Hills are lucky to get 150 through the door. This isnt to say they arent good organists, but its what the public want that matters, and bums on seats and rating show what the public want at the end of the day. They want to be entertained, and to take part in the music.

Slightly apprehensively, I'm venturing into this heated theatre organ discussion to point out that argument from popularity is no argument for greatness, otherwise McDonald's outlets would carry Michelin rosettes and we would all take our holidays at Disneyland.

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Slightly apprehensively, I'm venturing into this heated theatre organ discussion to point out that argument from popularity is no argument for greatness, otherwise McDonald's outlets would carry Michelin rosettes and we would all take our holidays at Disneyland.

Goodness me! Such vociferous debate on what is usually such a civilised forum.... :lol:

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=======================

 

I must be one of a handful of British organists who once wrote a piece for theatre organ, and the late Bill Davies played it and enjoyed it very much. (Dedicated to Ena Baga, incidentally).

 

When people tell me that I talk rubbish, I don't feel very inclined to repeat the exercise with a second composition; not that many theatre organists could play the first one.

 

As for my written arrangement of "Nola," which manages to work in simultaneously the tune of "Polly," with snatches of "Ain't she sweet" and "Put me amonhgst the girls," it does require a certain trio-sonata technique, which at a guess, would confuse all but two or three British theatre organists.

 

MM

 

MM, I, and I am sure others. would love to see these pieces of yours of which you speak. Any chance of that?

 

For my money, John Giacci takes some beating though Richard Hills' Tiger Rag which you posted in phemomenal.

 

Peter

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Oh yes, when i mention 1,200,000 per year hearing Dixon LIVE in person, dont forget to add it up over 40 years (48,000,000 LIVE at the tower), then the ten year sell out concert tour, weekly broadcasts around the world, plus his recordings which are still being heard today. Wether or not you think his playing was sloppy, unmusical (which is claptrap), the PUBLIC were obviously VERY interested in him and he was and is known all round the world, ALOT of people know of him. It is STILL the Blackpool style organists today who pack venues, where as the likes of Simon Gledhill and Richard Hills are lucky to get 150 through the door. This isnt to say they arent good organists, but its what the public want that matters, and bums on seats and rating show what the public want at the end of the day. They want to be entertained, and to take part in the music.

 

 

=========================

 

 

You can tell it's a Bank Holiday Monday; windy, wet and definitely not the sort of day to head off to Blackpool. However, at risk of Reginald Dixon leaping up from beyond the grave and slapping me around the head, as I'm sure he would, I think it is important to de-bunk a few statistical myths and aberrations for the sake of clarity.

 

48,000,000 people did NOT go to hear Reginal Dixon at the Tower Ballroom, because that would have been the entire population of the country almost, and we know that not to be true. (This is why there are lies, damned lies and then statistics).

 

Let's flick the pages of the calender and go back to the days of "the great British holiday," which I remember well.

 

Once the country settled down again after the war years, it was the usual thing for the factories and mills to close at very specific times of the year for a two week break. In other words, the summer break was a fixed date in the calender, and EVERYONE would pack their suitcases, gather on the station platform and await the "Seaside Specials" to take them to Blackpool, Morecambe etc. (Whole industrial ghost-towns were the result, until the chimneys started smoking again and people returned home). It was also a regional phenomenon, and elsewhere, people would go to Filey, Scarborough, Skegness, Cromer, Margate, Brighton, Weston-super-Mare, Bognor Regis, Rhyl....and so on.

 

Blackpool was therefore the playground where northern people went, but of course, others also made their way there; especially those who had come to love Blackpool during the war-years.

 

Even if the 48,000,000 figure is correct, it is more likely that 1,200,000 people went to Blackpool forty times, or perhaps 2,400,000 went twenty times....it is academic. What it means, is that your statistical evidence is at best dubious, and may even be totally misleading.

 

(Incidentally, the usual thing was for people to pre-book the next year's holiday while they were holidaying in Blackpool, to avoid disappointment, so the repeat visit was very much a part of the Blackpool economy, not to mention the growth of coach transport and then automobiles, which boosted the day-trip market).

 

However, let's not get bogged down, because there can be no denying that Blackpool was a fantastic escape with some fabulous attractions.....top shows, a permanent circus, the famous pleasure beach, the Tower complex, the Golden Mile, the trams and wonderful beaches etc etc. Sadly, it is now run down and blighted by a major drink and heroin problem, but if you pick your way among the empty needles and broken bottles, a little bit of what Blackpool was still remains, including the Tower Ballroom and the organ. (It's a bit like Detroit and the ghosts of Motown).

 

Now going back to "Reggie" Dixon, I take my hat off to his showmanship and strict rhythm playing, because "Mr.Blackpool" really was a household name....hence the MBE award. Even if the worst storm I ever witnessed was not the one which washed away the pier, but the one "Reggie" played on the Wurlitzer, his appeal was real and it was sustained over a very long period. If you include Phil Kelsall, (a wonderful hymn accompanist) as a part of the Blackpool phenomenon, the popularity of the Tower Wurlitzer actually covers an astonishing 60-70 years, which must be unique in the history of entertainment. Nothing else survived that long.....Variety Shows, Cabaret, the theatres, Music Hall, ten pin bowling, bingo halls, ice skating, the big cinemas.....all largely vanished, even if a few such venues remain open in Blackpool and elsewhere.

 

However sad it may be, all good things come to an end, and my worry is that the theatre organ, which is now a very small niche activity, could easily die out completely; especially in these recessionary days. (How many excellent electronic organ exponents remain these days? The memories of Harold Smart and Brian Rodwell are part of my personal ghosts....great players who brought a unique quality to light-music organ entertainment).

 

Digressing slightly, and speaking as someone who has achieved a modest success as a classical organist and heard some of the best in the world, I can put my hand on my heart and state that one of the finest musical treats of all, was to hear Brian Rodwell and a dozen session musicians play together as a a big band with theatre organ. It was absolutely extraordinary, and brought home to me the fantastic years of swing bands and the jazz era at its best. (I admit that I may be slightly biased, for I believe that Brian dated my mother in his youth, and hailed from my home town. People still talk about him to-day).

 

 

No we can all live in the past and hope that others will see the light, but if your particular church or music venue is slowly going bankrupt, there's not much hope frankly.(Even well endowed churches have to face the realities of financial constraint).

 

However, to quote awell hackneyed cliche, even in the gloom there is a tiny dot of light at the end of the tunnel, and it is to be found among the sound and film archives, (and the collected manuscripts) of previous generation, and this is why I emphasise the importance of absolute quality in broadcasting standards and content. It is the only way that all that was great (rather than merely enjoyable, popular or entertaining), can transcend time and inspire new generations.

 

I can virtually guarantee, that fifty years down the line, young organ students in Germany will discover a box full of dusty "old technology" CD's, and some bright spark will find something to play them on. The name on the CD might be that of Heinz (not Klaus) Wunderlich, and I can absolutely state with certainty, that they will be blown away by what they hear, just as I was 45 years ago; such is the outstanding quality of the playing. It's exactly the same process which taught me to appreciate the very real genius of Billy Thorburn and Billy Meyerl, whom I am far too young to have heard live.....not just fabulous musicians, but fabulous entertainers in their day. I feel exactly the same about Gershwin, "The hot club of Paris," the great exponents of "The American Song-Book" such as 'Nat' King Cole, Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald, as well as the great jazz exponents such as "Dizzy" Gillespie, Art Tatum and Oscar Peterson. Don't even get me started on Fred Astaire's perfection; though Ginger Rogers was just as good but did every move backwards!

 

Why else did a young man from Stoke-on-Trent pick up the American Songbook after years as one of the most successful pop-artists of his day?

 

Robbie Williams brought out the album "Swing when you're winning" to international acclaim, and Rod Stewart has done something similar. Robbie Williams is too young to have known almost any of the great American crooners, or anyone associated with them, but he grasped the genre with both hands.

 

I think I can also safely suggest, that the music of Whitney Houston will also pass into the archives, and be heard by generations to come; such is the quality of what she has done.

 

You know, in many ways, both classical organ enthusiasts and theatre organ enthusiasts share a common problem; that of declining support and distinctly insecure venues. There are those in the classical organ-world who would perpetuate or even revive choral settings, surpliced choirs of men and boys, anthems, psalm singing and the BCP, but is that a viable proposition in the world of to-day?

 

I don’t know what lies over the future horizon, but I do know that it will not be the past, or things which are slowly dying out now; especially things which do not quite reach the sort of quality which makes people react instinctively from a purely musical point of view rather than an “entertainment” point of view.

 

The problem we ALL face, (especially Organist’s Association), is that of securing some sort of future and passing on that which is artistically valuable to future generations. We should always be aware that Bach’s music died out and was re-discovered, and I have no doubt that there were those who tried to keep it going while Mozart was wowing people with a new style of music.

 

Perhaps our task and mission should be, in the words of playwright Alan Bennett, to “pass it on.....not for me....not for you.... but for someone.

 

It is up to the young and unborn future generation, to decide what is worth reviving and what is best left buried in the past, and that can only be achieved if all that is best in quality is properly archived and aired from time to time. Simply pandering to the status quo by placating the needs of the increasingly elderly, is not going to serve the best interests of future generations or the survival of that which we hold dear, and simply liking something is no measure of potential survival.

 

MM

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Your missing my point here. NO MATTER HOW MUSICAL OR UNMUSICAL the organist is, it is the popularity that counts. If it is NOT popular, it will die off. The Blackpool style in THIS country is most popular. Im going to give up now, its like trying to talk to a brick wall. Brian Rodwell?? Takes half an hour to work out what he was playing.

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Your missing my point here. NO MATTER HOW MUSICAL OR UNMUSICAL the organist is, it is the popularity that counts. If it is NOT popular, it will die off. The Blackpool style in THIS country is most popular. Im going to give up now, its like trying to talk to a brick wall. Brian Rodwell?? Takes half an hour to work out what he was playing.

 

====================

 

I expect the dinosaurs thought they would inherit the Earth.

 

Your audience will be gone within the next decade.

 

MM

 

PS: I know someone who has a second-hand Stylophone for those who want to keep tunes simple.

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MM, I, and I am sure others. would love to see these pieces of yours of which you speak. Any chance of that?

 

For my money, John Giacci takes some beating though Richard Hills' Tiger Rag which you posted in phemomenal.

 

Peter

 

 

========================

 

 

There may be a problem, or there may not be a problem....I don't know until I dig. Trouble is, I've moved three times since I last set eyes on them, and Ena Baga got the final copy of the original composition, and promptly entitled it "Caprice"l, and she's now deceased.

 

I have got the Caprice somewhere, or at least the final rough drafts which I could tidy up if anyone is seriously interested.

 

The "Nola" arrangement, (and for that matter an arrangement of the C P E Bach 'Solfeggio') will be in a box somewhere,

and that could prove troublesome, but I'll give it a go.

 

Bear with me.

 

MM

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====================

 

I expect the dinosaurs thought they would inherit the Earth.

 

Your audience will be gone within the next decade.

 

MM

 

PS: I know someone who has a second-hand Stylophone for those who want to keep tunes simple.

Yes, looks like it when the organ world is filled with SNOBBERY like yourself.

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Yes, looks like it when the organ world is filled with SNOBBERY like yourself.

 

 

Steady on - that's downright rude! Muso wrote a long, carefully considered and grammatically polished exposition. You may not agree with it - I don't agree with all of it - but he at least took the trouble to be polite and literate.

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Steady on - that's downright rude! Muso wrote a long, carefully considered and grammatically polished exposition. You may not agree with it - I don't agree with all of it - but he at least took the trouble to be polite and literate.

 

Theres nothing rude, I said it as it is.

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Steady on - that's downright rude! Muso wrote a long, carefully considered and grammatically polished exposition. You may not agree with it - I don't agree with all of it - but he at least took the trouble to be polite and literate.

 

 

====================

 

No David, he's absolutely right. I much prefer listening to Dolly Parton rather than Florence Foster-Jenkins.

 

"Working nine to five, what a way to earn a living......" :lol::lol:

 

MM

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Oh, MM, don't be so placatory. I'm not even halfway through my bag of popcorn yet. :lol:

 

 

=======================

 

Ah! The guilty pleasure of pop-corn. That brings back memories.

 

As a kid, I used to virtually hurdle across the cinema seats, just to get to the front of the circle, from where I could bombarde those below with sticky toffee popcorn, or try to flick a piece down the usher's cleavage.

 

The number of times I've had to dive out of the way of a powerful torch-light beam cast in my direction......it was like something out of "The dam busters."

 

I now know better, but heckling the matinee organist when he popped up on the Compton during the intermission was just the best fun, and if you could hit the top of his bald head with a Kia-Ora carton, you were the school marksman.

 

Shame on me!

 

MM

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Just listened to the YouTube of Nigel Ogden at the Gaumont State, Kilburn. Great playing! I loved the way the colours changed so subtly in different phrases. And a great organ too. I remember it from the Robin Richmond days on 'The Organist Entertains' and I had a go on it on an Organ Club visit.

 

I think this is the organ where a cellist from the pit orchestra leaned his instrument against the console and had it smashed to smithereens when the console spiralled down to the basement.

 

I also listened to Quentin Maclean's Rhapsody in Blue - so very clever. I liked Reg Dixon's version also, but Macleans displayed such an insight into the original orchestration. I heard the 78rpm record of this about 40 years ago in D.J.T. Bowman's collection - does anyone know if he's still around?

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Just listened to the YouTube of Nigel Ogden at the Gaumont State, Kilburn. Great playing! I loved the way the colours changed so subtly in different phrases. And a great organ too. I remember it from the Robin Richmond days on 'The Organist Entertains' and I had a go on it on an Organ Club visit.

 

I think this is the organ where a cellist from the pit orchestra leaned his instrument against the console and had it smashed to smithereens when the console spiralled down to the basement.

 

I also listened to Quentin Maclean's Rhapsody in Blue - so very clever. I liked Reg Dixon's version also, but Macleans displayed such an insight into the original orchestration. I heard the 78rpm record of this about 40 years ago in D.J.T. Bowman's collection - does anyone know if he's still around?

 

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Here, Robinson Cleaver, ARCO is enjoying himself. Very clean playing and barely a tremulant in ear-shot. He is seldom referred to nowadays, but he was very good.

 

http://theatreorgans.com/southerncross/Rad...Sweethearts.wma

 

It's a great pity that the State Kilburn has now closed. I used to bump into Carlo Curley at some of the concerts, and I think the last time I saw him there, Carol Williams was performing.

 

MM

 

 

MM

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------------------------------------

 

Here, Robinson Cleaver, ARCO is enjoying himself. Very clean playing and barely a tremulant in ear-shot. He is seldom referred to nowadays, but he was very good.

 

http://theatreorgans.com/southerncross/Rad...Sweethearts.wma

 

It's a great pity that the State Kilburn has now closed. I used to bump into Carlo Curley at some of the concerts, and I think the last time I saw him there, Carol Williams was performing.

 

MM

 

 

MM

Carlo Curley...theres a great organist...................................so great that people just get up and walk out!

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I remember it from the Robin Richmond days on 'The Organist Entertains' and I had a go on it on an Organ Club visit.

 

I think that possibly I was there too - didn't the same OC trip include Nigel Allcoat at St Augustine's just across the road? An interestingly different pair of venues!

 

A

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