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Leon Berry

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  • Leon Berry

    Leon Berry was an organist at the Hub Skating Rink in Chicago, playing a Wurlitzer Theater Organ.

    He also had a pipe organ in his home, called "The Beast In The Basement".

    He made record albums of both organs in the 1960's.


  • #2
    Originally posted by HiDesertHal View Post
    Leon Berry was an organist at the Hub Skating Rink in Chicago, playing a Wurlitzer Theater Organ.He also had a pipe organ in his home, called "The Beast In The Basement".He made record albums of both organs in the 1960's.Hal
    I got two of his records, good player adds percussion and lays it down on the pedal compared to others who use Percussion sparingly it's a totally different style compared to others.
    22/8 Button accordion.


    • #3
      Leon Berry has cost me tens of thousands of dollars! If I hadn't purchased his LP album "Beast in the Basement" (in the sale rack for $1.99) when I was a sophomore in college I probably would never have gotten into theater organs and automatic musical instruments. I would have been happy playing my mom's Hammond M-3 spinet for the rest of my life. Sigh.
      Larry is my name; Allen is an organ brand. Allen RMWTHEA.3 with RMI Electra-Piano; Allen 423-C+Gyro; Britson Opus OEM38; Saville Series IV Opus 209; Steinway AR Duo-Art, Mills Violano Virtuoso with MIDI; Hammond 9812H with roll player; Gulbransen Rialto; Roland E-200; Mason&Hamlin AR Ampico piano, Allen ADC-5300-D with MIDI.


      • #4
        I tried my darndest to make a circa 1959 Lowrey Holiday sound like Berry's records (save the traps and bells) when I was a kid in the '60's. Couldn't ever do it.

        Even now, all this time later, my phone ringer is his El Relicario recording.
        Allen MDS-317 at home / Allen AP-16 at Church / Allen ADC-3100 at the stake center


        • #5
          I am another big fan of Leon Berry. I also am a big fan of Wurlitzer Organs period. I do realize there are other theater organs that sound quite well also, but I can always tell when I hear a Wurlitzer. Hammond does sounds cheap compared to some of the nice electronic organs that the various companies build over the years.

          Baldwin Church Organ Model 48C
          Baldwin Spinet 58R
          Lowrey Spinet SCL
          Wurlitzer 4100A
          Crown Pump Organ by Geo. P. Bent, Chicago, Illinois

          Organs I hope to obtain in the future:

          Conn Tube Minuet or Caprice even a transistor Caprice with the color coded tabs
          Gulbransen H3 or G3, or V.
          Wurlitzer 44, 4410, 4420, ES Reed Models, 4300, 4500, Transistor Models


          • #6
            I was fortunate as a child to hear him play. I remember climbing the ladder and watching all of the stops he used. Still one of my favorite theater organists!

            - - - Updated - - -

            I remember one of my first organ contest songs was Glow Worm!


            • #7
              I have always loved Leon Have all of his Audio Fidelity records I think six in all. 3 and 4 or my favorites. Used his records to test new speaker we built back in the sixty's still have and used them sound great.


              • #8
                I have one of his first albums: "Leon Berry at the Giant Wurlitzer Organ".

                (This was the Hub Rink organ)



                • #9
                  Any one wants any of those records? free. PM me.
                  Can't play an note but love all things "organ" Responsible for 2/10 Wurli pipe organ, Allen 3160(wife's), Allen LL324, Allen GW319EX, ADC4600, many others. E-organ shop to fund free organ lessons for kids.


                  • #10
                    I believe that the house with the "Beast in the Basement" was willed to another Chicago-area organist Paul Grosnick, I met Paul at the North Avenue Rollerway in Melrose Park, IL some 15+ years ago. I visited the Chicago area on business and always tried to go there for a skate and to hear the theatre pipe organ music. I was about 55 years old at the time, but on the weekday evenings that I went there, I was the youngest one skating. ...using in-line skates, not quads, no less! The other couples and singles were gracefully gliding around the floor.

                    The rink is now a gas station, and the rink and Beast organs likely dispursed. I don't skate any more, either.

                    Does anyone know how to contact Paul Grosnick?


                    • Admin
                      Admin commented
                      Editing a comment
                      The "Beast In The Basement" is in the Phoenix metro area slated for a residential install but I'm not sure that will ever transpire.