Organs '70 ... A Pictorial Review

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At almost any single period during the years 1970-1985 there were over 45 brands of new electronic organs on the UK market: Between them they managed to produce, 183 models under £1000, 137 models between £1000 & £2000 and 201 models over £2000+

Organs '70 ... A Pictorial Review

Postby Mike Bracchi » 11 Dec 2013 21:54

Wotcha folks,

Another one that I couldn't pass over, in the 'Keyboard' magazine dated June 1970 I found this great article on Organs for the Home & Clubs - it makes great reading 8)

I did the best I could with the scans, both pictures and text are reasonable quality given the age and condition of the magazine.

Check out some of the prices - £.s.d & gns :D

I hope that you find it as interesting as I did, your comments and observations are welcome ;)

Organs for Home & Club

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Check the address out on the Miller advert ... was my favourite place to be in the mid 70's ... must say I can't remember ever seeing any 'Miller' organs! :)





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Re: Organs '70 ... A Pictorial Review

Postby andyg » 12 Dec 2013 00:51

Great read, Mike. Hope you've got some more of the original 'Keyboard' mag from way back then!

Even has my first organ, the Gulbransen Pacemaker 2102. 475 guineas? Vince gave me a good deal, only paid £375 for mine.
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Re: Organs '70 ... A Pictorial Review

Postby Rev Tony Newnham » 12 Dec 2013 14:45

Hi

Fascinating stuff. I remember seeing & playing some of those back in the day. Any chance of a copy of the scans Mike? Just for my files.
(And to read at leisure).

Every Blessing

Tony
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Re: Organs '70 ... A Pictorial Review

Postby Mike Bracchi » 14 Dec 2013 14:53

Rev Tony Newnham wrote:Hi

Fascinating stuff. I remember seeing & playing some of those back in the day. Any chance of a copy of the scans Mike? Just for my files.
(And to read at leisure).

Every Blessing

Tony


Hiya Tony,

Yes me too, I was just starting out in the organ business, if I recall correctly it was later that year that George Blackmore fixed me up with an interview with Gene Ashworth for a job as an organ salesman (or should I say 'salesperson') @ Chingford Organ Studios ... was living in Bedfordshire at the time I got the job ... it was up at 5am, catch a bus into Bedford, a train to Kings Cross, two changes on the underground to Walthamstow and then a bus ride to Chingford - that would get me there around 9:20 :lol: anyway I digress ... it was at Chingford Organ Studios I came across a lot of those instruments for the first time :wink:

I have attached a pdf file of this topic for your files, early today I put details on the 'How To' forum on creating a pdf from any topic - viewtopic.php?f=24&t=2080 this will allow you to create pdf's at will on any subject that you find interesting :wink:

All the best,

Mike

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Re: Organs '70 ... A Pictorial Review

Postby Rev Tony Newnham » 15 Dec 2013 10:20

Very many thanks for the pdf Mike.

I met George Blackmore many years ago when I was recording the Rye Wurlitzer for the forerunner of the current support group. Nice guy.

I played one of his Christmas carol medleys in my concert yesterday (it may appear on You Tube in due course - as long as the odd mistakes aren't too glaring!)

Thanks again

Every Blessing

Tony
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Re: Organs '70 ... A Pictorial Review

Postby andyg » 31 Mar 2015 23:09

That brings back more memories. George B was a true gentleman of the organ, was very encouraging to me in my early days at the keys, and became a good friend a few years later.

As for dear old Gene and Jerry, two stories spring to mind. The first is of a very embarrassed G &J on stage at the Winter Gardens in Eastbourne. Brian Sharp was doing a Gulbransen show for them, he'd just got into the second half of the show on the Theatrum model when he stood up at the end of his opener, Ballet Egyptienne, and snapped a wooden bass pedal clean in half! He wouldn't play the Paragon even though it was identical in spec, as it didn't have a leslie cabinet on it, so G & J had no option but to stop the show early and send everyone home. Alas, that did nothing for the reputations of G & J, Brian, Gulbransen or Chingford Organ Studios Eastbourne. :(

Then, a year or two later, I also had an interview for G & J, when they were planning their Brighton store. I didn't want the job, I was 'spying' for the opposition, but half way through, I got the distinct impression that they were going to offer it to me, so I had to sabotage my efforts! Ithink they twigged what I was doing at the end, there were a couple of knowing smiles from both of them.

I have a 1971 copy of Keyboard with the details of their Gala Concert in Tunbridge Wells. I'll scan it when I get the chance and upload it. Alas, I missed out on that evening - doing school homework, I think! I've reset and corrected the music to Harold Smart's Holiday for Organs, composed especially for the night. (I hasten to add that the mistakes are more likely due to the mag's typesetting than what Harold wrote, but there were a couple of howlers.) If anyone wants to have a go, feel free, but the compere for the night, Derek Cadde, said that most of them couldn't read all the notes, let alone play them! I played it successfully a couple of times and managed to record it once. Both the music and the mp3 are on the downloads page of the my website.
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Re: Organs '70 ... A Pictorial Review

Postby dragon » 01 Apr 2015 11:14

Funny how all the organs sold in those days were only available in black and white! .. Fred
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Re: Organs '70 ... A Pictorial Review

Postby Mike Bracchi » 01 Apr 2015 11:45

dragon wrote:Funny how all the organs sold in those days were only available in black and white! .. Fred


:D :D
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Re: Organs '70 ... A Pictorial Review

Postby papadeedee » 02 Apr 2015 16:42

I think I saw a Hammond X66 going for a song on ebay several months back, I really wanted it but due to distance and practicality I had to let it pass.( boo hoo)
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Re: Organs '70 ... A Pictorial Review

Postby andyg » 02 Apr 2015 23:56

There were only around 40 imported into the UK. They do crop up on eBay with some regularity, probably the same ones being sold on! I missed out on one a few years back. My maximum bid was £300 and it sold at the last moment for just a few pounds more. I'd have fitted it in somehow, but don't tell my better half!

The world's X66 centre has to be Mexico. There are guys out there like Paco de la Rosa, who have collections of them!
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