CD Duration: 59.05 / Year: 2012
2012 release featuring Vic Hammett, Bryan Rodwell and Arnold Loxam.
Playing the organs at the Manchester Odeon, Leeds Odeon and Dale Hall, Hampsthwaite.
All Organists Were Recorded at Organ Club Concerts in 1966 & 1967.
VIC HAMMETT AT THE ODEON, MANCHESTER:
Birth of the Blues
I Give You My Heart
Blow the Wind Southerly
Begin the Beguine
I Love Paris
Night and Day
BRYAN RODWELL AT THE ODEON, LEEDS:
A Foggy Day
Bach Goes to Town
ARNOLD LOXAM AT DALE HALL, HAMPSTHWAITE:
Walk in the Black Forest
Come to the Cabaret
St. Louis Blues
Twelfth Street Rag
Bye Bye Blues
The OE Dictionary gives one meaning of the word warrior as a “redoubtable person” and from “redoubtable” we can find the word “mighty”. A not uncommon word when Wurlitzer organs are described. Nor perhaps is the word “battle”, as many a cinema organist had to play badly maintained organs in their travels around the country. Our three combatants on this recording were all born into an age when warfare had swept across Europe leaving a trail of economic strife and depression that would linger into the 1930s.
Vic Hammett was to have first hand knowledge of the repercussions of war while playing at the Scala, Berlin in 1939. He became a “prisoner of war” until release in 1945. With normality returning to the world of cinema organs, he joined Gaumont British, his first appointment being at the Broadway cinema, Stratford, east London. Vic enjoyed the larger Wurlitzer installations which suited his ‘big style’ of playing and which is demonstrated on this recording at the Manchester Odeon.
Bryan Rodwell was known as the ‘Musicians Musician’. His selections of chords on some organ orchestral compositions were so rich in content that Ernest Broadbent once commented, “when Bryan played, the audience heard it and the Building felt it”. Although commencing as a cinema organist, like so many others, it was to the world of electronic organs that he turned for his regular income. He became associated with Hammond and Elka organs and following the boom in home organ sales, he opened a shop in Chesterfield which became something of a mecca for organ followers.
Arnold Loxam began his career almost at the beginning of radio broadcasting (or wireless to those of a more mature age). He gave his first broadcast in 1925 as a child pianist. He first played a Wurlitzer organ at the New Victoria cinema in Bradford in 1930 (This organ is still being played at the New Victoria Centre, Howden-le-Wear, Crook, County Durham). He had a long association with the Bradford organ and began broadcasting from the New Victoria cinema in 1946, continuing until 1962 when the BBC switched its broadcasts to the Odeon Leeds. During his career he was also part of the team of organists playing what has become probably the best known organ in Britain and beyond. This is the 3 manual Wurlitzer in the Tower Ballroom at Blackpool. A venue that suited Arnold’s bouncy style of playing.
Recording Engineers: Les Brumpton & Ken Mellor.
Tower of London Photo: Bob Collowan/Commons/CC-BY-SA-4.0.