CD Duration: 46.42 / Year: 2011
At the Wurlitzer in the Granada Cinema Bedford. Recorded at an Organ Club Meeting in 1966.
Cuban Mambo / Skipping Samba / Tico Tico
June is Busting Out All Over / I Feel Pretty / Climb Every Mountain / Carousel Waltz
New Bond Street Rag
Delicado / Jamaican Rumba
Charade / How Soon / Baby Elephant Walk / Moon River
Matinee March / Waltzing Matilda
South Rampart Street Parade / Bye Bye Blackbird
Don’t Bring Lulu / Pasadena / Hello Dolly
Twelfth Street Rag / Around the World
The producer wishes to crave the indulgence of the listener to accept that at organ club concerts in the 1960s, the audience were not always aware of the proximity of the microphones.
In the days when organ broadcasts from local cinemas could be heard every weekday at 10.00am, the distinctive sounds that came from the Capitol Cinema, Aberdeen, and then later from the Astoria in the same City, would herald the ‘Cock O’ the North’ GEORGE BLACKMORE. When LP recordings of organs became the obvious choice to show off the frequency range of HiFi installations, some of the first featured this Chatham born organist who played, broadcast and recorded organs too numerous to mention for over sixty years.
Like many cinema organists, his background was that of the classical or church organ, and by the age of twenty he had gained his A.R.C.O diploma, as well as making his debut broadcast the same year; 1941. He served in the RAF for four years and in 1949 married Joyce Hampton, herself a broadcasting soprano; a partnership which often saw them appearing together. Although he was now the resident organist at the Astoria it didn’t prevent him from accepting the post of organist and choirmaster at a local church, and also going on to gain his F.R.C.O diploma.
The late 1950s found him leaving Aberdeen and journeying to the south coast where he was in demand for many spheres of organ playing ranging from summer shows, music publishing, demonstrating instruments for the Hammond and Conn organ companies, and even a spell with ABC Cinemas. Such was his popularity he accepted concert engagements in Australia and the USA and where he recorded an LP on the famous Foort Möller organ, on which he’d played the last live broadcast when it belonged to the the BBC. I last saw him playing in a venue above Yates Wine Lodge in Blackpool and by then his diabetic health problems had begun to make playing physically enduring. Ever the one to believe in the maxim ‘the show must go on’ he played his final concert at the Odeon, Weston-Super-Mare in February 1994, and passed away that same month. This recording was made during an organ club meeting at the 3-manual 8-rank (& grand piano) Wurlitzer organ in the former Granada Cinema, Bedford in 1966.
…Alan Ashton – ORGAN1st Radio (OrganRadio.com).