2022 release at the 65-Key Gaudin Victory Fair Organ.
The original 1974 LP released on the Amberlee Records label in 1970 (AFL 102). Previously released as a cassette on the Audicord label in 1987.
This was Volume 2 of their “Fairtime Organ Series”.
Digitally remastered from the original master tapes.
Running time: 40.31.
Code: ACD 205.
Puppet On A String / Tritsch Tratsch Polka
The Happy Wanderer / I’ve Got A Lovely Bunch Of Coconuts
Moonlight & Roses / On The Street Where You Live / I’m Getting Married In The Morning
Down On The Farm / Donkey Serenade / Semper Fidelis
Mexican Hat Dance / Turkey In The Straw / Dream Boat
It Had To Be You
Swannee / Dixie / Toot Toot Tootsie Goodbye / For Ever & Ever
Friends & Neighbours / If You Knew Susie
Fifty Years Of Waltzes
C’est Paree / Temptation Rag
ORIGINAL 1974 LP COVER NOTES BY MIKE FINCHAM
The Fairground organ was introduced to this country in the form of barrel organs in the middle of the nineteenth century. In the late 1890s an Italian named Gavioli developed and patented, at his Paris works, a system whereby mechanical organs could greatly increase their repertoire without the task of changing the pinned barrel. The basis of the system was that a row of keys was installed in a mechanism where a “book” of perforated card was passed over them to play the tune. This system brought about a complete change in the fairground organs of the day. Instead of the organs playing only six tunes all day long, the showmen could choose any tune that they thought their customers would like.
The organs ranged in size from the 28-key organ in a children’s ride to the massive 110 or 112-key organs that formed the front of Bioscope and Novelty Shows and Scenic Rides. The organ on this record was used in a ride that has never lost popularity — The Galloping Horses.
THE 65-KEY VICTORY GAUDIN FAIR ORGAN
The Victory fairground organ was built by the Paris firm of Gaudin about the time of the First World War. In its original form the organ was only a 59-key instrument. It came to England early in 1919 to the works of Chiappa Ltd. of London who converted it to its present 65 keys which greatly increased its tonal range.
The organ consists of five operating registers — Piccolo and Dulcimer; Clarinet: Saxophone; Violin; Trombone — containing the following selection of pipes — Piccolo, Stopped Flute, Open Flute, Reed Clarinet, Baritone Saxophone (both Reed and Flue), Violin, Reed Trombone and Stopped Bourdon.
In addition to the registered pipes, the organ has a percussion section consisting of a Bass Drum, Cymbal and a Snare Drum. The Bandmaster figure on the front of the organ has three movements, the right arm holding the baton beats in time to the bass drum, the left arm and head are linked to the clarinet register, the head moving to the left and the arm down when the register is cancelled and vice versa. The organ was owned by Bob Wilson, a Midland showman, to provide music for his ride, “Bob Wilson & Sons Grand Midland Victory Galloping Horses” — hence the name “Victory”.
The repertoire presented on this second album featuring the famous “Victory” organ has a range to suit all tastes.
The music “books”, which are completely hand made, are of the folding cardboard type with holes punched according to the tune to be played. These books are passed through the key frame where a row of keys are positioned between two rollers. Where there is a hole or slot in the music book, the key rises, opening a valve which in turn allows air to enter the appropriate pipe or pipes, thus making it sound. The life of a music book can be anything up to 40 years if handled properly. Total playing time of all the tunes in the Victory organ is nearly 4.5 hours without repeat. Originally the organ was supplied with wind by a pair of bellows; the key frame rollers which draw the music books through were worked by a catgut belt driven from the crankshaft of the bellows action. This action was driven by a belt from a small steam donkey engine mounted on the main driving engine of the fairground ride.
The bellows action was later removed and a centrifugal blower installed, the blower being driven by a 2 h.p. electric motor and with this alteration the wind pressure was increased giving a much more robust tone. The key frame rollers are now driven by an eighth h.p. motor with a reduction gear to drive the rollers at 35 r.p.m. A rheostat is provided in order to very the speed of the rollers according to the meter of the music.