2019 CD release of his classic 1986 Audicord cassette playing the 3c-8 Compton organ at the Regal Cinema in Henley-on-Thames. Now digitally remastered from the original master tapes. Running time 47:24.
These tracks were recorded in July 1986, a few weeks AFTER the cinema’s closure. As far as I am aware, these are the final recordings made on the organ in situ at Henley-on-Thames.
This is the first time this recording has been available in a CD format.
Twentieth Century Fox Fanfare
Diane (from Seventh Heaven)
Spitfire Prelude (from The First of the Few)
Charade (from Charade)
Wedding Processional (from The Sound of Music)
Tara’s Theme (from Gone With The Wind)
Exodus (from Exodus)
Lara’s Theme (from Dr Zhivago)
Somebody Loves Me (from Somebody Loves Me)
I Didn’t Know What Time It Was / I Could Write A Book (from Pal Joey)
Thoroughly Modern Millie / Poor Butterfly (from Thoroughly Modern Millie)
A Summer Place (from A Summer Place)
Summer of ’42 (from Summer of ’42)
Warsaw Concerto (from Dangerous Moonlight)
The Regal Cinema, Henley-on-Thames
The Regal Cinema, Henley-on-Thames was built on the site of the Picture Palace/New Palace Cinema and was opened on 14th May 1937. When the restaurant/café was converted into a bar in 1972, a Compton 3-manual 7-unit organ was installed. This organ was previously installed in the Ritz/Essoldo Cinema in Tunbridge Wells. An illuminated surround was added to the console in 1975 when the organ was also installed into a lift removed from the Regal, Kingston-upon-Thames.
The Regal Cinema closed suddenly on 29th May 1986. Unfortunately, a long battle to save the building was lost and the Regal was demolished in December 1993. The site was cleared and made way for a Waitrose supermarket, with a new twin-screen Regal Cinema built on an adjacent site (opening in February 1997).
Prior to demolition, the Compton organ was removed and re-installed in the Burtey Fen Collection in Pinchbeck, Lincolnshire, where it remains.
ORIGINAL SLEEVE NOTES (1986)
As one of the most versatile of our present-day performers, William Davies is equally at home on church and concert organ or piano, with a repertoire ranging from the classics to jazz. A prolific broadcaster on all of these instruments, both as a solo performer and with symphony and concert orchestras, Bill’s playing has featured in many TV programmes and films plus his own radio series ‘Just William’. It is, therefore, appropriate that for his first recording on the Regal Compton organ he has chosen some well-loved melodies from the heyday of the cinema. So whether you are an organ buff, a film buff or even better, both, sit back and enjoy his selection from thirteen screen classics.
Originally installed in the Ritz, Tunbridge Wells, the 3c-8 Compton organ was opened by Reginald Dixon in 1971 after being saved from demolition. Since that opening, a grand piano has been added together with a lift and console illumination. At the time of the recording in July 1986, the future of the Regal Cinema and it’s organ looked very bleak following proposals to re-develop the site. The producers wish to thank Gordon and Dorothy Mintern of the Regal Cinema for their invaluable assistance, also the Henley Theatre Organ Trust for the use of the instrument.
Location recording by the Audicord Mobile Unit. Production, Notes and Photo by Noreen and John Foskett.
Original cassette release © 1986 Audicord Records.
Digital remastering and new sleeve design by MSS Studios 2019. ORGANS.uk.