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 Post subject: A very talented theater organist that many know
PostPosted: Sep Sat 11, 2021 10:45 pm 
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Location: Townsend, Ma.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8nrEpUuB46k

David Peckham is the organist at the Clemens Center organist in Elmira, NY.
Many of us new him at the early AWA meets in the 70's when he was a kid tube collector - son of Lauren and Joyce Peckham. He accompanied old time movies on the Marr & Colton organ at the Ford Museum in Dearborn at a late 70's AWA meet there. He was 16 at the time.
I wonder what it is like to be talented!


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 Post subject: Re: A very talented theater organist that many know
PostPosted: Sep Sat 11, 2021 11:20 pm 
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Location: Puyallup, WA 98371
Thanks for sharing this- at first I was afraid it was an obituary :<) What an amazing project to bring it back to life. There used to be a place near here, in Tacoma, called "Pizza and Pipes". As the name suggests, it was a pizza parlor with an old theater organ installed. It was amazing- pretty much wrapped all the way around the walls of the restaurant with percussion, xylophones, a player piano, etc, all controlled by the organist. Their main business was kid's parties. In the 1980s or 90s, the whole thing burned to the ground. The family that owned it was devastated, as were the fans of the organ. There can't be too many of these things still around. Hats off to the people who save and restore them, and to Mr. Peckham for his performance and presentation of the instrument's history.

Dale


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 Post subject: Re: A very talented theater organist that many know
PostPosted: Sep Sun 12, 2021 1:14 am 
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Pizza and Pipes was a chain of sorts. I know there was one, maybe two, in the San Jose peninsula area. Expansive open spaces for the Wurlitzer to breathe in, but too symmetrical for a good acoustic field.

Dallas had at least one theater [Palace, I think] with the original Wurlitzer performing nightly into the 60s or beyond.

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 Post subject: Re: A very talented theater organist that many know
PostPosted: Sep Sun 12, 2021 1:33 am 
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Heard that instrument at the 2019 ATOS convention, with both David and Simon Gledhill at the console. Simon told the audience that he sat down to practice and didn't get up for six hours, which is easy to understand given the sound of the organ, which IMHO is first class. Thanks for mentioning David ! :)

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 Post subject: Re: A very talented theater organist that many know
PostPosted: Sep Sun 12, 2021 3:15 am 
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The Pizza and Pipes restaurant in Tacoma, Washington had, as one of several organists there, the extremely talented and well known local organist the late Andy Crow. He was a friend of mine I had known for over 40 years.

That particular location burned down completely around 1994. It was located near the AMC Narrows Plaza 8 screen theater.


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 Post subject: Re: A very talented theater organist that many know
PostPosted: Sep Sun 12, 2021 3:53 pm 
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I would find it much more enjoyable waiting for my pizza to the sound of a Pipe Organ. That tacky fetish of playing strident sounding 1890s, or was it Roaring Twenties? bad piano roll as a mandatory requirement to be suffered by waiting customers constitutes cruel, but sadly not unusual punishment.

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 Post subject: Re: A very talented theater organist that many know
PostPosted: Sep Sun 12, 2021 5:45 pm 
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Thanks for sharing! That was a fascinating demonstration as well as a history of the theater and the organ.

I do love the sound of a good pipe organ! :D

-Steve

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 Post subject: Re: A very talented theater organist that many know
PostPosted: Sep Mon 13, 2021 3:08 pm 
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I had the 78rpm record of Jesse Crawford playing Meadow Lark. I wore out the record. I thought it was odd how the music started out soft and about 1/2 way thru the recording got much louder.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VnODrFSZKcg


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 Post subject: Re: A very talented theater organist that many know
PostPosted: Sep Mon 13, 2021 4:14 pm 
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I have always loved the theatre organ, 5-manual Wurlitzer etc. I have just about every record that George Wright did, I have reel-to-reel, 33 RPM records and re-mastered CDs. Kinda hard to have amplifiers and speakers that properly reproduce those 32 ft. "C" notes! Quite a challenge for a tube amplifier.

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 Post subject: Re: A very talented theater organist that many know
PostPosted: Sep Mon 13, 2021 4:50 pm 
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a huge room with a couple Electrovoice Patrician IV folded horn speakers will do the trick! :D

-Steve

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 Post subject: Re: A very talented theater organist that many know
PostPosted: Sep Mon 13, 2021 5:03 pm 
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azenithnut wrote:
a huge room with a couple Electrovoice Patrician IV folded horn speakers will do the trick! :D

-Steve

If one could:

- Find a pair
- Afford a pair!

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 Post subject: Re: A very talented theater organist that many know
PostPosted: Sep Mon 13, 2021 5:08 pm 
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Don Cavey wrote:
azenithnut wrote:
a huge room with a couple Electrovoice Patrician IV folded horn speakers will do the trick! :D

-Steve

If one could:

- Find a pair
- Afford a pair!


Or build a pair.
I made a copy of the Electrovoice manual which shows every dimension of each piece.
Granted finding the 18WK as well as the other drivers may be difficult.
I was going to build only the Klipsch enclosure and I found someone had an 18 inch speaker for sale new with similar specs at the time, but that was back in the 1990s and I never pursued the project.

-Steve

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 Post subject: Re: A very talented theater organist that many know
PostPosted: Sep Mon 13, 2021 6:09 pm 
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azenithnut wrote:
...
I was going to build only the Klipsch enclosure and I found someone had an 18 inch speaker for sale new with similar specs at the time, but that was back in the 1990s and I never pursued the project.

-Steve
I know that there are a lot of speakers out there today that can pump out the sound. But I kinda feel that speakers are like internal combustion engines, "There is no substitute for inches".

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 Post subject: Re: A very talented theater organist that many know
PostPosted: Sep Tue 14, 2021 4:08 am 
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Quote:
Piano Roll (or Organ Roll)
Those were still in the Gay 90s nickelodeon re-creations of the 60s and 70s. Lots of grampas and grammas dragged their grandkids to `em so they could hear ``real'' music (vs Dave Clark Rolling Stones Black Sabbath etc)

A few of us ended up liking that turn-of-the-century-esque music and started to sing along. Course we were the same ones that couldn't be tortured like the older kids were by e.g. Mitch Miller and Ray Conniff and New Christy Minstrels records in grade school.
Quote:
Pizza Organ Restaurants)
The Midwest was full of them - mostly competition for e.g. Shakey's Pizza which was also all over the Great Lakes with their heyday also being in the 60s and 70s.

About the only time they had adults' parties was the Saturday nearest Halloween.

This was years if not decades before Matt's Hairy Farm (that's like the 3-Up pop* and Rice's Peanut Butter Candy you get up North at camp) and Eerie Haunted Maze and March of Dimes ``Portable'' Haunted House (two 18-wheelers full of reinforced stage flats that would get put up different places every year - mostly in different configurations).

* I used to ask my Granddad what happened to the other 4-Up and he said They moved to Hollywood made friends with the Kingston Trio and got signed to Capitol.

For the kids in the e.g. Organ Piper and Pipe Organ Pizza and Pizzalodeon and etc etc etc the guys would rewrite then-current kiddie-movie favorites (Toot Sweets - Chitty, (1968) Talk to the Animals - Dr. Doolittle (1967) Zap the World - Pufnstuf (1970) Pure Imagination - Willie Wonka (1971) and make FULL use of all the little add-ons drumming monkeys and the Bimbo Box type affair and all kinds of little treats.

A favorite with young and old alike was Stormy Weather - the ``edited for time and content'' version popularized by Carol Burnett where she acts like she's in a very spliced-up copy of a Telescription.

For the adults on Halloween the music was the ubiquitous Carmina Burana, Toccata and Fugue in D- (Phantom of the Opera/Dracula) Toccata Adagio and Fugue (played at lots of funerals) and other similar fare.

The last year most of them were open (1978/9 a few into 1980/1) they put the Haunted Maze up in the restaurant and around the rest of the property with similar kinds of stage flats and lighting borrowed from all the schools.

A lot of us (junior high) kids got to play either Scare Bodies or else Tour Guides. I did one the first year and the other one the next year before they went out of business and never could decide whether it was more fun to DO the scaring or more fun to narrate terror of the mind.

Anymore you can't pry kids away from their phones and tablets long enough to care about it - or if you do - they wander in and around and out and don't pay any attn to the scenes or the people bec they got headphones on and their face buried in their phones.

My two junior high nephews we ``dragged'' there for their one-night-only 30th anniversary treat a few years back along with a few of their friends. I saw their phones after and all they were doing texting each other was complaining about how ``lame'' it was and how it was interrupting their gaming time.

So much for the Family Affair and they said Buffy and Jody died a long time ago same with the Beaver and Ozzie and Harriet.

So now the kids go to their soccer games or video tournaments or whatever and we just shrug and shake our heads.

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 Post subject: Re: A very talented theater organist that many know
PostPosted: Sep Tue 14, 2021 8:44 am 
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The most impressive pipe organ I've ever heard in person was at Wanamaker's department store in Philadelphia, back in the early 70's. They had a daily public concert (at around lunch time, I think). Massive organ. The one at Clemens Center might be even larger. Wanamaker's may be gone, but the organ is still there and in use, last I heard.

Dale


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 Post subject: Re: A very talented theater organist that many know
PostPosted: Sep Tue 14, 2021 2:06 pm 
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What I liked most was the way the sound seemed to fill up the store. The Wanamaker organ has had extensive restoration for a number of years now and is now in excellent condition. I was overwhelmed by it 20 years ago when I did some service work at a university down in Philly.
That organ, the Chicago Stadium organ, and the one at Atlantic City are the largest to my knowledge. It is nice to know that in these times compared to the 1960's great theaters and organs have gained respect and more are not wantonly being destroyed. I think today the San Francisco Fox ("The Last Word") never would be considered for demolition. At least the organ has survived.
Alan Douglas was a great organ fan and I inherited his his interest and his collection of organ magazines and records. They are very nice but I need to part with them soon. They are mostly classical organ.


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 Post subject: Re: A very talented theater organist that many know
PostPosted: Sep Tue 14, 2021 4:52 pm 
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The Chicago Stadium organ was the largest theatre organ in the world, but from what I read on a youtube video of the organ everything except the console was in storage. Also another fully restored organ that was meant for a church was in the same storage building. Anyways a propane tank exploded and all was lost.

The console however survives as it was stored elsewheres. I think the console is used to control some sort of computer now that makes the organ sounds.

I wouldn't mind making a trip to Atlantic City and hear that organ once fully restored.

From what I understand Atlantic City is the largest organ, but Wanamaker's is the largest fully playing organ.


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 Post subject: Re: A very talented theater organist that many know
PostPosted: Sep Wed 15, 2021 12:50 am 
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The Lincoln Theatre in Mount Vernon, Washington was built in 1926 and has a nice Wurlitzer.

https://lincolntheatre.org/wurlitzer

-Steve W.


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 Post subject: Re: A very talented theater organist that many know
PostPosted: Sep Wed 15, 2021 4:13 pm 
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I have a booklet, c.1923 that describes the Great Organ at Wanamakers and the broadcasts over station WOO which was owned and operated by the store between 1922 and 1928. One can imagine the difficulty picking up and transmitting the full range of any organ at the time given the crudeness of these pioneer broadcast stations, viz. carbon mics, transmitters not designed for 100% modulation, motor-generator power supplies and inadequate pre-quartz crystal frequency control.

There's a wealth of information about both Wanamakers and WOO on the Internet but in summary, the Great Organ was manufactured in LA and shipped to St.Louis for the 1904 World's Fair. Somewhat later, Wanamakers bought the organ and installed it in their Center City Flagship store where it is in daily use today.

WOO was one of four radio stations operated during the 1920s by Philadelphia department stores. When the AM broadcast band was opened up with 10kc channel spacing on May 15, 1923, WOO settled on 590 kilocycles where it shared time with WIP which was owned by Gimbels. The two other Philadelphia department store broadcasters were WLIT owned by Lit Brothers and WFI, the Strawbridge and Clothier station.

In-studio organs were often a big deal at certain, generally larger stations.

When KMOX, St. Louis moved into the Mart Building on 12th St. in the early 1930s, Kilgen, a well-known local organ manufacturer installed a studio organ that was featured in daily broadcasts on the CBS-owned station for a number of years.

After KMOX left the Mart Building, the organ was sold to a local industrialist who had it installed on his estate in West St. Louis County. A friend familiar with the installation told me the lack of three-phase power in the area for the blower motor forced the installer to devise circuits to overcome that deficiency.

Was the large organ in the Atlantic City Convention Hall ever broadcast over Station WPG? Both WPG and the Conventional Hall were owned by the Municipality of Atlantic City. WPG -- "World's PlayGround" operated on 1100 kilocycles, a clear channel with 5,000 watts sharing time with WLWL, New York ("We Listen, We learn"). WPG with the majority of time on the air was widely known and very popular for a number of years.


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 Post subject: Re: A very talented theater organist that many know
PostPosted: Sep Wed 15, 2021 5:38 pm 
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algermond wrote:
A friend familiar with the installation told me the lack of three-phase power in the area for the blower motor forced the installer to devise circuits to overcome that deficiency.


One way to overcome the lack of three phase power is to connect a second three phase motor of equal or greater horsepower.

Think another way is with capacitors.


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