CD Duration: 39.06 / Year: 2011.
Recalling the BBC Organ Broadcasts of Days Gone By…
A 1989 recording featuring the Former Manchester Odeon Wurlitzer in The Free Trade Hall, Manchester.
Recorded in April 1989, shortly before he died.
Compiled and introduced by Alan Ashton.
Life is Nothing Without Music / La Mer / Clair de Lune / Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams
Kisses in the Dark / Ah, Sweet Mystery of Life
When the Organ Played at Twilight / Somewhere a Voice is Calling
Try a Little Tenderness / The Very Thought of You
My Heart and I
Love Walked In / Our Love is Here To Stay / Dream a Little Dream of Me
When Day is Done / Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams (reprise)
Eric Lord, or ‘Lord’ Eric as I sometimes called him when presenting him at concerts, had an easy recognisable style of playing. His idol was the late Jesse Crawford, the American organist who was well known for his unique style of playing. Eric would say that as a young man he had spent hours mastering the art of playing glissandos with smooth swell pedal control and melodic feeling. I well remember Eric saying to me, “It isn’t music if it doesn’t come from here,” his hand, patting his heart.
One day in April, 1989 after he had retired from his own retail electronic organ business in Urmston, Manchester, Eric arranged for a practice session on the ex-Odeon Manchester Wurlitzer, which at that time was residing in the Free Trade Hall in the City. It’s uncertain after all these years what the purpose of this session was. Maybe an LP or possibly inserts for his popular Organ Showcase programme on BBC, Radio Lancashire. In any event what you will hear now is an attempt to recreate those wonderful days when organ music filled the airwaves on a daily basis, to which programmes Eric was a regular contributor.
We entered the Hall, the console was situated on the balcony to the prompt side of the stage, Eric began playing, the reels of the recorder were turning and gorgeous sounds rolled round an otherwise empty hall.
Sadly the LP never materialised and I believe this must be the last time Eric played or recorded a theatre pipe organ. It was shortly after this event that Eric’s health rapidly deteriorated and he passed away in a nursing home shortly after playing an electronic organ, entertaining fellow patients with his daily mini concert.
My personal memories of Eric are of sadness and gratitude. Every one who admired the lush flowing melodies this quiet gentleman could coax out of any organ, either a small electronic model or a large theatre pipe organ, particularly a Wurlitzer, will be thankful we have on record his lovely music.