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Mervyn Byers 1924-2011


James Goldrick
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May he rest in peace. He let me loose on the organ at Selby when I was a callow youth of 14. Francis Jackson let me play at York the same week, and Peter Sykes at Bridlington Priory.

 

 

He was perhaps at Selby when Germani recorded for EMI? I still have that 'King of Instruments' record, and remember that the 32' pedal entry in the Widor Toccata would always cause the needle of my record player to jump off!

 

CP

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He was perhaps at Selby when Germani recorded for EMI? I still have that 'King of Instruments' record, and remember that the 32' pedal entry in the Widor Toccata would always cause the needle of my record player to jump off!

 

CP

 

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I think David Gedge was at Selby at the time of the Germani recording, but no matter. It was an early EMI release, probably 1964?

 

More importantly, Selby Abbey was extremely fortunate in securing not only very fine musicians as organists, but some of the nicest people I have ever met.

 

David Gedge was absolutely delightful, and so too was Mervyn Byers. The metnion of Widor is appropriate, because the most outstanding memory I have of Mervyn Byers, was an absolutely brilliant oerformance of the Widor 6th which he just happened to demonstrate the organ with, when our Organist's Association went to visit Selby.

 

It';s intereeting that when all sorts of clergy wars and ill-feeling lowered the tone at Selby, it was the organists who set the best example.

 

So fond memories of Mervyn Byers, and may he RIP.

 

MM

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He was perhaps at Selby when Germani recorded for EMI? I still have that 'King of Instruments' record, and remember that the 32' pedal entry in the Widor Toccata would always cause the needle of my record player to jump off!

 

CP

 

 

As has already been said, we are certainly of the same vintage, and I well remember getting into serious trouble with my dad, having just blown up the RH channel of his new Philips record player playing that Selby Abbey recording. It wasn't really hi-fi as we would know it today, and the record player usually got used for the playing of Stanley Black and His Orchestra, and the Music of Mantovani and the Mountains, and the ubiquitous James Last - You must all know these wonderful 60s light music recordings. I was grounded for a week, by the way!

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