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Professional Organist Compromises

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  • #16
    Originally posted by toodles View Post
    I have a small folio of Bob Ralston arrangements for which he limited the playing to one note in each hand and pedal--the arrangements are quite nice, more difficult that you might imagine, and quite professional. I don't think it is any way an inferior set of arrangements. The sound, of course, is very clean, since keeping it to 3 notes, the sound never gets thick and that's nice for variety.
    Oh those good ole days of watching The Lawrence Welk Show!! Bog Ralston helped to endorse the Thomas organ, did he not??

    Craig

    Hammond L143 with Leslie 760

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    • #17
      Originally posted by myorgan View Post
      I've recently done some searching on eBay for older organ music, and have noticed a proliferation of music for what some would consider "lesser organs" by notable musicians. Musicians like Ethel Smith, Mark Laub, George Wright, Eddie Baxter, Lenni Dee, Bob Ralston, and several others have either played for recordings, arranged music, or endorsed spinet organs, and other organs which many professional musicians would consider "inferior." Organ makes include Hammond, Lowrey, Conn, Wurlitzer, Thomas, and many others.

      What compromises would any of us be willing to make in that field? Is your endorsement or talent available at any cost, or do you insist on certain standards? Is it true that a truly professional organist could perform music satisfactorily on any organ, including a spinet organ? Is it truly the lesser-talented musicians who insist on having a "concert" organ at their disposal?

      What do you all think? Please keep the worms in the can (even though I probably just opened a can of them!).

      Michael
      Michael, you mentioned Ethel Smith in your post. That really brings back some memories from when our kids used to watch a video called "Melody Time". It featured Ethel playing Flight of the Bumble Bee on a Hammond. If you do a search for her on Youtube, there are a number of video clips of her in some movies. She was actually a very talented keyboardist. She's playing what looks like a B-3 when she did "Tico Tico". Who would have known back then that the B3 would become the most sought after of the Hammond organs??
      Craig

      Hammond L143 with Leslie 760

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      • tpappano
        tpappano commented
        Editing a comment
        In those older clips of Ethel Smith, I believe she was playing a BC, and I think she stayed with that model even as newer ones came out. I think she did a lot for Hammond, publishing music and various guides, etc. for getting the most out of the instruments. She was amazing!

    • #18
      Yes, Ethel Smith was pretty amazing. Next year will be the 120th anniversary of her birth. And Tico Tico was the song every kid wanted to (or had to by parental request - HA!) learn, even into the 60's, whether on piano, organ or accordion. For the benefit of our younger readers, I've included the videos below - Ethel's Hammond version from a movie clip and Carmen Miranda's vocal version (also from a movie) which is a lot of fun too.

      George



      My instrument: Allen MDS-65 with a New Century Zimbelstern
      Former instruments (RIP): Allen ADC 420; Conn Minuet

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      • sandstone42
        sandstone42 commented
        Editing a comment
        Ethel Smith was instrumental (can't avoid the pun) in introducing Latin American music to the United States.
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