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In memory of....

the many organ/keyboard players have devoted their lives to entertaining and giving pleasure to music lovers.    It is always sad when they depart from this world, especially if it is at a comparatively early age.

Some players stand out in the minds of music lovers more than others for one reason or another and it is with these that we start this memory website.

The list will. of course, be never-ending as time goes on and as music lovers remind us of their favorite star player who is no longer with us.  It should be noted that all the players featured on this website have appeared at UK keyboard music festivals.

In the world of music, organ/keyboard players seem to stand out more than other musicians because people relate to the instruments they own at home.  Another reason goes back to the 1930/70s when the Hammond Organ Company [1] encouraged their dealers to form local Hammond Organ Societies and provided a team of star players to give concerts and demonstration at local venues.

In the 1980s many societies changed their name to become independent and to take advantage of all the makes of electronic organs springing up to compete with Hammond.

When the first Home Electronic Organ Festival took place at Pontin's in 1980 there were around 25 different makes of instruments, many having their own star player.

In 1981 over 2,000 music enthusiasts attended the second festival in North Wales, which was a week-long event.   At these festivals, the interest in star players developed even further and people made friends with others attending the event, including the players who conducted master classes.

The popularity of organ/keyboard special events developed still more in the 1990/2000s when enterprising players started doing their own productions at hotels throughout the UK.  These were the years when digital technology changed the sounds of instruments to make them sound more like orchestras and big bands.

It all added up to a sort of keyboard community where players became star attractions and role models for home and amateur players.   This memory website will hopefully reflect the golden years of keyboard entertainment.

Perhaps it should be said that all this follows on from the 1920/40s  when the keyboard personalities were the cinema [2] organists and the time when the BBC had its own pipe organ and featured programmes.  

It just shows that we are living in a changing world and nothing stops the same forever.


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The administrators of this website are not responsible for the advertisements that are put on by the hosting service and do not endorse them in any way whatsoever.
No responsibility is accepted for any errors, omissions or the content of any third party website linked with this one.
Format and design are copyright and all rights are reserved - 2018


Produced by Cled Griffin, Keyboard Music Festival Producer 1980-2010


 

The introduction of entertainment organs to the UK

[1]  The Hammond organ is an electric organ, invented by Laurens Hammond and John M. Hanert and first manufactured in 1935. Various models have been produced, most of which use sliding drawbars to specify a variety of sounds.   Robin Richmond imported the first example to Great Britain from the United States in 1935.  It carried the serial number "001".

 

[2] The first Wurlitzer theatre organ shipped to the UK was dispatched on 1 December 1924, and shipped in via Southampton Docks. A very small, six-rank instrument, it was installed at the Picture House, Walsall, Staffordshire, where it opened on 26 January 1925. After a period in private ownership in Sedgley, also in Staffordshire, during the mid-1950s, it is now installed and operational in the Congregational Church in Beer, Devon.

 

 

 

 

 

 




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