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The Mighty Wurlitzer
The Roaring Hi-Fi Twenties

Leonard Leigh

Leonard Leigh - The Mighty Wurlitzer and The Roaring Hi-Fi Twenties Leonard Leigh - The Mighty Wurlitzer and The Roaring Hi-Fi Twenties
33ILeonard Leigh1

RCA Victor Records...LPM 1665...[1958]...33 1/3 LP...High Fidelity

Side 1
1) Valencia - Grey/Padila...NTG
2) ´S Wonderful - George and Ira Gershwin...NTG
I May Be Wrong - Ruskin/Sullivan...NTG
3) Memory Lane - De Sylva/Speir/Conrad...NTG
I Wonder What´s Become Of Sally - Yellen Ager...NTG
My Buddy - Kahn/Donaldson...NTG
4) Birth Of The Blues - Henderson/De Sylva/Brown...NTG
5) Indian Love Call - Harbach/Hammerstein/Friml...NTG
Rose Marie - Stothart/Friml...NTG
6) Bye Bye Blackbird - Dixon/Henderson...NTG
Hello Bluebird - Friend...NTG
I´m Looking Over A Four Leaf Clover - Dixon/Woods...NTG

Side 2
1) Hallelujah - Young/Robin/Grey...NTG
2) Deep In My Heart, Dear - Serenade (from The Student) - Donnelly/Romberg...NTG
3) Crazy Rhythm - Meyer/Cheser/Kahn...NTG
Fascinating Rhythm - George and Ira Gershwin...NTG
4) Barney Google - Rose/Conrad...NTG
Black Bottom - Henderson/De Sylva/Brown...NTG
Charleston - Mack/Johnson...NTG
5) Breezing Along With The Breeze - Gillespie/Simons/Whiting...NTG
Blue Room - Rodgers/Hart...NTG
Am I Blue - Clark/Akst...NTG
6) Strike Up The Band - George and Ira Gershwin...NTG

Leonard Leigh - The Mighty Wurlitzer and The Roaring Hi-Fi Twenties Leonard Leigh - The Mighty Wurlitzer and The Roaring Hi-Fi Twenties


Leonard Leigh - At The Wurlitzer Pipe Organ

The Mighty Wurlitzer and The Roaring Hi-Fi Twenties

These are mighty sounds indeed - mighty sounds from a mighty instrument - the magnificent Wurlitzer organ that for years enthralled patrons of St. Paul´s Paramount Theater and which is now housed-pipes, consoles and all-in TV station KSTP´s studios in Minneapolis, where all the Midwest can thrill to its sumptuous sounds.

And now for the first time, thanks to some highly specialized recording know how, the world at large can also hear this Wurlitzer at its mightiest. Using the same portable hi-fi equipment by which the company has captured the music of the Chicago Symphony, RCA Victor recording supervisor Lee Schapiro and engineer John Norman have recorded with amazing accuracy and exceptional in-person presence the persuasive depth and colors that emanate from this massive instrument.

Employing a modern, three-track recording technique in conjunction with Telefunken-47 microphones, Schapiro and Norman deftly fed the organ´s high tones into the right track, its lower sounds into the left track, percussion and special effects into the center track. Such a method was possible because of the separation of most of the pipes into two distinct lofts. Then, through judicious editing plus painstaking care in the transference of sound from tape to master to disc, RCA Victor has succeeded in reproducing for the first time the enormous range and power of this gigantic instrument.

The music that they have captured with such telling accuracy was (soaxed from this extraordinary organ by Leonard Leigh. Mr. Leigh, theater organist and former musical director at KSTP, now plays the Mighty Wurlitzer regularly on that station´s radio and television broadcasts. His experience and obvious technical facility enable him to re-create these truly authentic portraits of the Roaring Twenties, beginning with the stirring Valencia with its trumpet-like introduction, through the delightful medley of standards that conclude Side One. (Only top-notch hi-fi equipment can capture them adequately.) The novel medley that begins with Barney Google features a honky-tonk piano (part of the organ), and the concluding Strike Up the Band creates a potent climax, with its drum roll, cymbals and bass drum.

Here then is organ music of refreshing variety and powerful impact. The huge range of tonal colors is made possible by a vast array of pipes. The bass pipes, each sixteen feet long, include diaphone, tuba profunda, bourdon and tibia. The foundation pipes feature open diapason, flute, dulciana, quintadena, salicional, plus four sets of strings. The solo voices are two tibias, vox humana, oboe horn as well as a special French horn (one of the few found in organs of this type). And then, of course, there are the percussion instruments-piano, marimba, xylophone, orchestra bells, glockenspiel, chrysoglott, harp, vibraharp and chimes plus the usual drums, castenets, tambourine, cymbals and Chinese gong.

Impressive indeed, these mighty sounds from a majestic instrument. And here they are in full array, excitingly reproduced for your listening pleasure.


© by Radio Corporation of America, 1958
Cover Photo by Philp Lustig

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