2002 release at the Compton Organ of The Plaza, Stockport.
Released on the Audicord label in 2002.
Running time: 69.01.
Code: ACD 244.
Zip-a-de-do-dah / Winnie the Pooh / When You Wish Upon a Star / Be Our Guest
No Matter What / Love Changes Everything
Neighbours / Blackadder / Tales of the Unexpected
Cheek to Cheek / Easter Parade / A Pretty Girl is Like a Melody / You’re Just in Love
Tweenies / Telletubbies / Wallace and Gromit
Mazurka / My Heart at thy Sweet Voice / Aragonaise
If I Had My Way / Getting Sentimental Over You / If I Had You
I Cain’t Say No / Out of My Dreams / Oh What a Beautiful Morning / People Will Say We’re in Love
Hi-Ho Silver Lining / Atmosphere / Beautiful Sunday
Johnson Rag / Back Home in Tennessee / Avalon
Unchained Melody / King of the Road / I Love You Because
Birth of the Blues / Singin’ the Blues / Happy Birthday Sweet Sixteen
Twelfth Street Rag
Ain’t Misbehavin’ / What’ll I Do / Crazy
Wish Me Luck / Goodnight Sweetheart / Goodbye
The Plaza is no ordinary theatre. This striking building was unlike anything Stockport had ever seen when it opened in October 1932, heralding an exciting new era of cinema shows with variety turns on stage. In 1966 the Plaza succumbed to the decline of cinema-going and became the inevitable bingo hall for the next 32 years. Millennium year 2000 then saw the Plaza incredibly defeat the odds and reopen for shows and films, thanks to the local Council and an army of enthusiasts and volunteers, who are still mainly responsible for the entire venue. By now it is feted as the only building In Stockport able to house full-scale entertainment, and the finest survivor of those sensational 1930s super cinema buildings im the whole of northern Britain.
Pride of place in the Plaza goes to the dazzling mighty Compton organ, with its illuminated console, rising out of the depths before an awe-struck audience, its 11 ranks of pipes and special effects tantalisingly hidden behind a decorative grille to the right of the stage. It is a rare example of such an instrument in its original venue, and its distinctive sounds have been heard by thousands since the Plaza reopened, adding a unique touch to the Stockport theatregoing experience.
The maestro of the Mighty Compton for many shows has been none other than Paul Greenwood from Blackpool, that other famous organ-lovers’ paradise, where Paul has played the legendary Tower Ballroom Wurlitzer, but has most often been associated with the lesser known but superb Wurlitzer in the Opera House, as well as playing the electronic organ in the Cliffs Hotel for many years. When the Plaza reopened, Paul headed inland to try his hand at this Compton, which in the 1930s was the main British rival to Wurlitzer. Liking what he heard, he has since featured it for countless interludes, especially during the Christmas pantomimes, and in concert.
So “Be Our Guest” and enjoy this special souvenir of those rumbustious occasions when the Plaza is fizzing with festive fun and Paul Greenwood brings the Mighty Compton to life in his own distinctive style – with just a little touch of that “Blackpool Breeze”! And do come again and “Be Our Guest” at the Plaza, which needs your continued support to keep this unique cinema theatre preservation project alive, and where amid its 1930s splendour we pride ourselves on giving all our Guests a special warm Plaza welcome.
Production & Recording by John Greenwood.
Sleevenotes by David Blake.
With sincere thanks to the Plaza Theatre Trust.
CD re-design by MSS Studios.
Organ maintenance by Brian Chantry & Derek Chester.