Author Topic: Christmas Anytime!  (Read 142 times)

Bill

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Christmas Anytime!
« on: January 15, 2018, 08:17:54 PM »
Today as I was doing chores around the house I noticed three albums sitting there that I had not listened to during Christmas.  So instead of just putting them back on the shelf Christmas returned to my house. All three were Theater Pipe Organ recordings, go figure!   One was Dick Leibert at Radio City, one was Dick Leibert at the Alabama Theater, and one was Leon Berry at the Hub Roller Rink.  Actually that one wasn't Christmas but I listened to it anyway.  All three were new recordings to me as I had picked them up this fall at a local antique shop who was just getting their Christmas stuff out which included the records.  Perfect timing!  All three records were in excellent shape which made listening even more enjoyable.  The records are now on the shelf, whether they stay there until next Christmas or not is yet to be determined.  Christmas in music can be anytime the heart desires.  :)

Bill 

19and41

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Re: Christmas Anytime!
« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2018, 05:30:33 PM »
I love the sound of a theater organ.  For me it is one of the repro jobs a good console can do so well.
"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."
Arthur C. Clarke

TC Chris

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Re: Christmas Anytime!
« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2018, 08:02:47 PM »
I've got a wonderful CD called "Singin' in the Bathtub," playing the Alabama Theater organ.  I also bought a copy for my mother, who as a child would see movies there.

Chris Campbell

19and41

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Re: Christmas Anytime!
« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2018, 10:41:16 PM »
I had never paid much attention to the theater organ 'til I watched an episode of A&E's Americas' Castles  and they were showing the mansion that a prominent financier had built at Death Valley.  He had a nice sounding one as his entertainment center.  It may be on YouTube.
"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."
Arthur C. Clarke

TC Chris

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Re: Christmas Anytime!
« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2018, 11:55:32 PM »
When I was a student in Ann Arbor, the movie "That's Entertainment" came out, showcasing excerpts from the great old MGM musicals.  I saw it at the Michigan Theater, now owned by the city.  It was really good.  But after the show, the theater organ rose and the organist began playing and it was this enormous happy sound.  I had never heard one live before.  What a revelation.

Chris Campbell

Bill

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Re: Christmas Anytime!
« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2018, 06:29:40 PM »
Thanks Guys!

There are fellow Theater Organ Lovers on this forum besides me.  ;D  And yes Chris there is nothing like seeing and hearing one live especially in the hands of a master.  The Barton organ in the Michigan Theater in Ann Arbor is a great instrument.

Bill

19and41

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Re: Christmas Anytime!
« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2018, 09:51:20 PM »
A while back I got to listen to this organ before a stage show at the Fox in Atlanta.  That day the resident organist was playing "In The Money" fron "42nd Street.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lE5p_BVD8hA
"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."
Arthur C. Clarke

Bill

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Re: Christmas Anytime!
« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2018, 08:33:08 AM »
Hey Rex,

Thanks for the U-tube link....I still have not had any luck putting in links.  I'm doing something wrong!

Also on U-tube is Hector Olivera playing Old Man River at the Atlanta Fox.  That track is awesome!!!  He is a master and uses all the correct stops to make the organ sound like the composer would want if he had written it for organ.  Take a listen.

Bill

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Re: Christmas Anytime!
« Reply #8 on: January 19, 2018, 10:10:21 AM »
I did listen to it Bill, and the accompanying scenery gives an idea of the splendor of that theatre.  That place is worth a visit when visiting Atlanta.  Most people think they've had the treatment when they see the Varsity drive-in.  :D
"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."
Arthur C. Clarke

Bill

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Re: Christmas Anytime!
« Reply #9 on: January 19, 2018, 01:21:23 PM »
Rex,

I guess I need to Google the Varsity drive-in.

Most of my trips to Atlanta were through the Airport.  I did drive to Florida years ago passing through Atlanta.  Back then my knowledge on organs and their theaters was limited.  This was way before Google and that everyone has a computer. 

As I write this I'm listening to Simon Gledhill playing a concert at the Senate Theater in Detroit. If you are not familiar the Senate is the home of the 4/34 Wurlitzer that was originally in the Fisher Theater in Detroit.  That organ is on U-tube as well.  :)

Bill

walyfd

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Re: Christmas Anytime!
« Reply #10 on: January 19, 2018, 05:04:36 PM »
I have a lot of Radio City recordings and have been there more times than I can count.  Hearing one of these instruments live is something everyone should do once. 

First Sunday of the month, WRTI FM, Temple University's public radio station from Philly, broadcasts live recordings of the Wanamaker organ.  It's worth checking out. 

I recently got my Fisher Spacexpander back and it really brings a live dimension to organ music... 

Bill

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Re: Christmas Anytime!
« Reply #11 on: January 21, 2018, 07:47:55 AM »
Ok Walyfd.....I'm really jealous!!   I have a couple of Radio City Recordings but have never been there but it's on my bucket list.  I would love to arrange being there when I can hear the organ.  Have you heard the organ live?  Are you from that area?  I'm from the west side of Michigan so probably can't pickup the station from Philly unless it's broadcast on the computer.  I give that a look and see if I can find it. 

As a side to everyone that is interested in Theater Pipe Organ and it's music please check out the American Theater Organ Society website, better known as ATOS.   It's full of info, history, things going on, local chapters, and Theater Organ Radio.  Check it out and give it a listen.  www.atos.org/

As a second side note please check this out:

The upcoming PIPEDREAMS Program (#1804, Pipedreams Live! at the Rochester, NY Auditorium Theatre) will present two hours of concert performances on a splendid 23-rank Wurlitzer (1928, Opus 1951) by students of the Eastman School of Music, emeritus Eastman professor William Porter and special guest artist Justin LaVoie (2013 ATOS Young Artist Competition Winner).

Audio and detailed webpage can be found at: http://pipedreams.publicradio.org/listings/2018/1804/, with online audio accessible beginning January 22, 2018, and likely broadcast of the program, on stations that carry PIPEDREAMS, at various times during the following weekend. http://pipedreams.publicradio.org/stations/

Bill

walyfd

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Re: Christmas Anytime!
« Reply #12 on: January 21, 2018, 12:41:43 PM »
I'm from the Scranton area, 125 miles from 50th and 6th Ave!  I must have been to the Christmas show over 20 times.  Its used a bit during the show as a member of the orchestra.  After the show, when the orchestra disappears back into the floor, one or BOTH organ consoles roll out of the stage wings and serenade everyone out of the theatre with Christmas music...  puts you in a great mood to spend money at Sak's...  I think it depends on if they can find a second organist.  And it really can shake the building...

Of course, when Radio City was a movie theatre, it was played before and after every movie.

I did the tour once but it was right before the Tony awards so they didn't want us around the stage.  I was hoping to actually see part of the mechanics of the organs.  All those openings you see in the "sunrise" arch around the stage are openings for the pipes and ventilation system.

Bill

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Re: Christmas Anytime!
« Reply #13 on: January 22, 2018, 08:13:18 AM »
I have been to the Fox Theater in Detroit several times.  That organ is what they call a "Fox Special" and was installed in all the big Fox theaters except the Atlanta Fox, which is a 4/42 Moller.  The Fox Specials are Wurlitzer and they are 4/36 and all hi pressure, some pipes on 25".  The Detroit Fox can shake the building as well.  It's amazing when you stop and think of it....the power of the organ...can shake a 5000 plus seat theater.  By the way for those that don't know 4/36 stands for 4 manual console and 36 ranks of pipes which is a lot of pipes.  Radio City Music Hall is a 4/58 Wurlitzer.

Bill