CD Duration: 63.41 / Year: 2012
2012 release playing the Kingston upon Thames Granada Wurlitzer, the Birkenhead Plaza Compton, the Llandudno Astra Christie, the ABC Regal Chester Compton, the Cecil Theatre Hull Marshall Sykes 3/15 and the Town Hall Ossett Compton/Christie. Recorded around 1966-1967.
Code: OK 28.
Granada, Kingston upon Thames, Wurlitzer 3/1:
Plaza Plaza, Birkenhead, Compton 3/12:
The Trolley Song / I’m in the Mood for Love / How About You / Evening Primrose
Astra, Llandudno, Christie 3/6:
Roses of Spain / Opus One / Whispering Grass / Sentimental Journey / Georgia / Buglers Holiday
Granada, Kingston Upon Thames. Wurlitzer:
I Surrender, Dear
Cecil Theatre, Hull, Marshall Sykes 3/15:
Strike up the Band / Lady Be Good / Rhapsody in Blue / S’Wonderful / Love is Here to Stay / The Man l Love / I Got Rhythm
ABC Regal, Chester, Compton 3/6 and Melotone:
Ritual Fire Dance
Town Hall, Ossett, Compton/Christie 3/13:
Stormy Weather / Memory from “Cats” / Someday My Heart Will Awake / I Can Give You the Starlight / The Music in May / We’ll Gather Lilacs / Waltz of My Heart / My Dearest Dear / Love is My Reason / Rose of England
Like so many before him, Norman’s career started with piano lessons which then led to an early appointment as a church organist. His first experience with a cinema organ came in 1959 when he began as Minors’ organist at the ABC Regal, Chester. A post which was to last until 1967 when ABC took their organs off the maintenance list and subsequently sold them. During the early 1960s, Norman received further tuition from Charles Smitton. This led to a lasting friendship until Charles died. However, the influence of his style is clearly heard in Norman’s playing, where full use of the organ and long held chords bear the hallmark of C.S.
His first radio broadcast was in February, 1969 from the Plaza, Birkenhead as the week’s guest organist on Sam Costa’s Lunchtime programme on B.B.C. Radio Two. Since that time there have been other broadcasts from Marston Green, Birmingham, The Granada, Kingston upon Thames and the BBC Theatre Organ in the Astra, Llandudno. But for longevity, Norman’s post as Organist/Musical Director at the Floral Pavilion Theatre, New Brighton must break all records. It is now fifty years since taking over. The list of stars that he has accompanied reads like a variety music hall who’s who and includes, Vince Hill, Bob Monkhouse, Nat Gonella, Frankie Howerd, Tommy Trinder and Pearl Carr & Teddy Johnson.
Throughout his career, Norman has collected recordings of his work and now has his own archive of organ recordings, from which those featured on this CD are taken. These are now regarded as a unique audio anthology of organ music, especially when one considers that many of the buildings which once housed them have been demolished along with some of the organs.
… Ken Mellor.