2005 release at the Shrewsbury Buttermarket Wurlitzer.
Originally released as an Audicord cassette in 1995 (AC231).
Running time: 75.04.
Rosebud Waltz / The Snowdrop
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Selection
South Rampart Street Parade
Largo From The New World Symphony
By The Fireside / Two Sleepy People
At The Jazz Band Ball
Rock Gospel Medley: In My Heart There Rings A Melody / Since Jesus Christ Came Into My Heart / O That Will Be Glory
Ça C’est Paris
The Second Waltz
Intermezzo from Cavalleria Rusticana
The Beer Barrel Polka
Cocktails For Two
Down By The Riverside
Original Sleeve Notes by John Greenwood (1995)
The lovely 3-manual 8-rank Wurlitzer organ in the Buttermarket, Shrewsbury has, over recent years, become one of the most popular in the country. When Arnold Loxam played it in concert in October 1994, he found the experience so enjoyable that he expressed a desire to make a recording on it. We are particularly proud to present the end product to you. Originally released as a cassette in 1995 to celebrate Arnold’s 70 years of broad-casting it is now released here on CD to celebrate 80 years!
Arnold Loxam’s first broadcast was on September 22nd, 1925 on the 2LS Leeds Bradford Station of the BBC, hence the album title and the march of the same name which Arnold wrote especially for the occasion, and is based on a song the Aunts and Uncles of the 2LS Children’s Hour used to sing, together with snippets of Ilkla Moor and My Gal’s a Yorkshire Gal to give it a true local flavour. The Rosebud Waltz and The Snowdrop are the two tunes Arnold played on the piano on that very first broadcast. By the Fireside was his signature tune in those days. Down By the Riverside seemed appropriate to include as the Buttermarket is only 100 yards from the River Severn. Every item has been broadcast or played at organ concerts by Arnold over the years, and as each means something special to him, he hopes you get as much pleasure listening to the music as he did recording it.
Arnold is truly an international organist and pianist, for as well as playing concerts all over the country, he regularly visitited America and Canada until 1999 and still visits Holland. At a stage when most people live a life of total leisure, Arnold is still devoted to music making, with no plans to retire, having vowed to go on playing for as long as God gives him health and strength. Let us hope he continues to do so for many more years to come and thank him for the last 80.
Musical arrangements by Arnold Loxam.
Production & recording by John Greenwood.
Original sleeve notes by John Greenwood.
Arnold and John offered most sincere thanks to Tony Byrne and the Shropshire Theatre Organ Trust, also to Keith and Janet, managers of the Buttermarket, for their friendly co-operation in the production of this recording.
The producer also offers very special thanks to Arnold, with whom working was a real pleasure.
This text has been modified from the sleevenotes on the original cassette released on the Audicord label in 1995 (code AS231).
Alan Ashton’s Organised Keyboards Review (from ORGAN1st Magazine Issue 29)
As you will have no doubt seen from the last edition of this publication, the entire stocks from the Audicord catalogue have been acquired by MSS Studios, and they have wasted no time in releasing a CD version (the first on their own new label) of a 1995 recording made by Arnold Loxam at the 3m 8r WurliTzer in the Buttermarket, Shrewbury. Originally recorded in celebration of Arnold’s 70th year of broadcasting, it now appears in celebration of his 80th… though one has to say it’s a rarity these days to hear him on the one remaining BBC programme devoted to organ music.
The rather unusual title of 2LS LEEDS BRADFORD STATION (MSSCD03) has nothing to do with railways, but was one of the many BBC local regional stations, and the one from whence Arnold made his very first broadcast on September 22nd 1925. Following the opening March, which carries the CD title, and is one of his many compositions, Arnold plays two delightful pianoforte items by the prolific 19th Century composer William Smallwood. Smallwood lived all his life in Kendal and is reputed to have made a small fortune from the publication Smallwoods Pianoforte Tutor, and I’ll guess that a copy is owned by the artist himself. If so, he’s chosen two delightful pieces: THE ROSEBUD WALTZ and THE SNOWDROP and quite naturally they feature the ‘phantom piano’.
Back in 1937 Walt Disney released his first feature length cartoon, and by doing so was awarded an Oscar, and seven miniatures, for his significant screen innovation SNOW WHITE & THE SEVEN DWARFS. The music in this lengthy medley has lost nothing of its romantic charm. You have to imagine the famous Loxam ‘bounce’ in SOUTH RAMPART STREET PARADE, but you can’t mistake that distinctive pedal line. Shades of the famous Hovis TV advert and dear old Joe Gladwin, will always go hand in hand with the LARGO FROM THE NEW WORLD SYMPHONY. Next comes BY THE FIRESIDE, which I seem to think was used as a signature tune for a BBC Midland Regional organ music programme of days gone by, and TWO SLEEPY PEOPLE. A nice change to hear another composition other than Tigar Rag, by La Rocca, and which comes in the form AT THE JAZZ BAND BALL, and then for the next two items Arnold goes into a religious mood with GENTLE SHEPHERD and a three-part ROCK GOSPEL MEDLEY. This is not the first time he’s featured such a group of tunes on his recordings, and they stand as testimony to their concert popularity. As all the items in this recording are those which he has played at sometime or another in broadcasts GROOT ROTTERDAM will no doubt have been featured in some of his Dutch broadcasts. Following on from this rumbustious composition the tone colours mellow in order to play the charming but rarely heard SKYLARK, and then in the same vein, RENDEVOUS.
A quick dash across the channel for a bit of o’la la in the way of CA C’EST PARIS, is followed by a piece that at least one electronic organist has, of late, seen the potential. Dimitri Shostakovich’s lilting SECOND WALTZ from his 2nd Suite for Jazz enjoyed more general popularity after it was featured in the Stanley Kubrick film Eyes Wide Shut. Remaining in a classical mood we next hear the INTERMEZZO from the one act Opera CAVALLERIA RUSTICANA by Italian composer and conductor Pietro Mascagni. The rhythm changes now to the up-beat BEER BARREL POLKA with a typical Blackpool style finish with the xylophone, working overtime, and Arnold’s footwork again much in evidence. Next come the exotic POINCIANA and the quixotic COCKTAILS FOR TWO in which the lovely piano is featured throughout. By now the CD is coming to a close, but before it does there’s just time for a trip to MANHATTAN, and then the oft and much requested DOWN BY THE RIVERSIDE brings this celebratory recording to an exhilarating close.
Our thanks must go to John Greenwood who recorded this session in the days when he wore his Audicord producer’s hat, and despite the fact that it is ten years old, this is the first time I have ever heard it. The jewel case has a very attractive colour shot of the artist at the organ console, which is in turn replicated on the actual disc, and comes with brief informative notes.