MSS Studios is a small father and son home-based business established in 1969 by Gerry King for the purpose of Music Engraving (MSS stands for Music Setting Service). Some of our engraved publications include 76 books for Yamaha, over 120 books for Music Sales Ltd., (including many Kenneth Baker organ and keyboard books), PVG books from Paul McCartney, Eddi Reader, Robert Plant, The Bee Gees, Andrew Lloyd Webber, The Complete Beatles and many ‘busker’ books. Our most recent work includes Cambridge University Opera Journal as well as various examination papers, although the mail-order side has all but taken over from music engraving now.
We started publishing our own series of books called “Key Expressions for Organ” in 1996 and later that year expanded into selling organ & keyboard recordings under the name ORGAN1st (Organ-First). We now stock over 1000 organ & keyboard CDs and DVDs from electronic and theatre to Hammond jazz (we probably have the biggest selection in Europe).
In 1999 our small catalogue was expanded into a quarterly magazine, with music, features and profiles from the organ world and this is was available to subscribers (most back issues also are now available as free PDF downloads for everyone at organists.co.uk). The last issue of our magazine was published in November 2006 (after eight years and 32 issues), but we are continuing with A5 full-colour catalogues and updates which we send to all our UK customers free of charge. These are less-regular now with our free eNewsletter being the main source of contacting our customers (www.organists.co.uk/subscribe).
In November 2003, MSS Studios/ORGAN1st bought the stock of the “Piping Hot Recording Company” from Stephen Ashley. This included the remaining stock of self-produced CDs on the “Piping Hot” label, plus their stock of imported theatre organ recordings.
In September 2005 we took over the organ side of the Audicord label, founded in 1963 by Ken Mellor. Early releases of steam trains were later expanded to include organ recordings (with 24 cassettes produced in a two year period at its peak). Audicord also took over Amberlee Records in the 1980s and in 1993 Audicord (and Amberlee) were taken over by John Greenwood who ran the business until 2005 and its hand-over to us (which included the 70+ original master tapes). John recorded new CDs for Doreen Chadwick, Arnold Loxam, Peter Jebson, Peter Lish, Paul Greenwood and Kevin Morgan, as well as re-releasing some of the older Audicord/Amberlee material on CD. He also expanded the mail-order side to include other labels including Grosvenor, Grasmere and OS Digital. Also in 2005 we took the remaining stock of Accordion CDs from UK dealer TREVANI (see the accordion section on our websites).
Since then we have continued selling CDs and DVDs as well as starting out own ORGAN1st record label, with new recordings by Alan Haven