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Organist Directory :- Theatre H - L

Quick link to Surnames names beginning with :- A - B - C - D - E - F - G - H - J - K - L - M - N - O - P - Q - R - S - T - U - V - W - Y
Frederick Haig 5th Mar 1894
Frederick Haig was born 5th March 1894 in Halifax, Yorkshire.
Began his musical studies under Ernest Cooper, starting with piano then moving on to the organ.
His first appointment was at The Picture House, Huddersfield as a pianist.
Joined the Army serving in France, Germany and in the Rhine Army of Occupation.
On being demobbed returned to Huddersfield and secured an appointment as orchestral organist at the Hippodrome, Stoke on Trent.
He then worked on ocean liners as a pianist. Returned to the cinema where he obtained a position as musical director at the Grand Cinema, Huddersfield, stayed for three years then moved to the Scala Manchester as pianist and relief organist.
Other appointments include; Ambassador, Pendleton, Manchester; Lido, Bolton; Carlton, Salford; Broadway, Eccles. Toured the A.B.C. circuit then resident at the Grand, Stockport. In 1946 was resident at the Regent, Hanley, the last organist to have a residency at this venue.
Broadcast from the Ritz, Stockport in 1939.
Extract:- Theatre Organ World by Jack Courtnay (1946)
Cathie Haigh c.1916 - 15th Aug 2001
Cathie Haigh organist
Cathie Haigh
Logo, Newspaper article Obituary
Cathie Haigh, the variety artist best known as one of the most famous of all Blackpool Tower Ballroom organists, died on August 15, aged 85.
Born in Liverpool she was a child prodigy at the piano and by the age of five was appearing in variety billed as Baby Cathie. By her teens she was already allowed to lead the orchestras that accompanied her act, such was her musical knowledge.
In her twenties she worked both as a principal boy in pantomime and as a comedienne. She appeared on bills with such greats as Jimmy James and Harry Korris and on radio she was a regular on Variety Bandbox and Ernest Longstaffe's Palace of Varieties.
In the fifties she semiretired from the variety circuit and took a temporary position demonstrating pianos and Hammond organs in a shop in Blackpool. This led to the start of her career as an organist and she was engaged by Bass Charrington Breweries as their staff organist, billed as Mrs Cleveleys.
She later joined the Tower Ballroom Team of Organists (her signature tune was Life is Nothing Without Music) where she was one of the most popular attractions, dressed immaculately in black with a swathe of pink chiffon.
She was a regular guest artist for many organ societies throughout the UK and made numerous appearances for the Blackpool Keyboard Club.
Towards the end of her life she was active as a teacher at the Camera and Organ Centre. She was also a popular member of The Grand Order of Lady Ratlings.
Stephen Austin of The Blackpool Keyboard Club told The Stage: " Cathie was always modest about her organ technique and often bewildered by the way people raved about it. She would say I'm not a good organist, but I'm a damn good musician'. She will he sadly missed."
Patrick Newley

The Stage
Thursday 20 September 2001
Image © The Stage Media Company Limited
Logo, Newspaper article

BLACKPOOL theatre organist Cathie Haigh is the new president of Blackpool Keyboard Club in succession to the late Violet Carson. The special musical event was staged at Blackpool Limes Hotel on March 5.
Haigh, a former Howard and Wyndham revue principal and principal boy now living in Blackpool, has been continuously engaged in the resort for more than a decade including the last five summer seasons for the Blackpool Tower Company. She is an accomplished keyboard entertainer with a vast and wide ranging repertoire.

The Stage
Thursday 08 March 1984
Image © The Stage Media Company Limited
Logo, Newspaper article
Cathie Haigh organist
For me the sound of good music is an irresistible force of attraction and so it was the strains of a simple melody, "Out of Nowhere," ventilated via an open window which drew me inside the Cleveleys Hotel, near Blackpool, on Guy Fawkes Night, the better to appreciate the range of the Hammond from which the magical fingers of a lady organist coaxed thrilling sounds.
The resident m.d. in the Concert Room of this richly-appointed N.W. coastal retreat is the former pantomime star, Cathie Haigh who, some of us may have thought, had retired from the business. Good looking, accomplished and au fait with modern taste, Miss Haigh - who once played principal alongside Mavis Whyte and Terry Wilson in a succession of Bert Loman panto-mimes, held a major part in company with Dave Willis and Jimmy Plant in a number of "Half Past Eight productions, and collected bouquets for filling the Grace Fields role in a "Mr. Tower of London" tour is in fact busier (and better off) than ever before in her 30-year-long career.
It may be recalled that Cathie's most favoured variety spot was a piano act. Following her father's death five years ago she moved home (with mum) from Liverpool to Blackpool. And that was how her grand piano came to be damaged and she had to call in a local music store to restore it. That lucky accident led to her becoming the store's organ demonstrator.
Subsequently a customer persuaded her to play the organ she sold him for his guests in a North Lancs. hotel where a director of the CleveIeys happened to hear her and offered the very convenient appointment she has been holding for the past two years.

The Stage
Thursday 12 November 1964
Image © The Stage Media Company Limited
Cathie Haigh was born c.1916 in Liverpool.
Cathie was a child prodigy on the piano, by the age of five she was appearing in variety billed as Baby Cathie.
By her teens she was allowed to lead the orchestras that accompanied her. In her twenties she worked as principle boy in pantomime and as a comedienne.
In the fifties she semi retired and took a temporary position demonstrating pianos and Hammond organs in a music shop in Blackpool. This resulted in her being engaged as staff organist for Bass Charringtons Breweries.
She later joined the Tower Ballroom team of organists, appearing in a black with a swathe of pink chiffon.
Cathie died 15th August 2001.
Extract:- Cathie Haigh obituary
Ernest Hall
Ernest Hall opened the Regent Cinema, Portsmouth
Frieda Hall 1913 - 2002
Frieda Hall organist
Frieda Hall
Frieda Hall
Discogs page

Hammond Organ Club logo Frieda Hall
Hammond Organ Club of Holland page

Logo, Newspaper article Obituary

Ian Woolstenholme interviews Frieda Hall

Frieda Hall Organ Celebreties page
Click Icon
Frieda Hall (Queen of the Keys) was born in 1913.
In her younger days she played the organ at chapels in Keighley, and she had also enjoyed playing on cruise ships.
At the end of 1966 she toured Belgium, France, Germany and Switzerland, doing radio work as well as gigs.
The Stage
19 January 1967
Image © The Stage Media Company Limited

Frieda broadcast from the Odeon, Leicester Square, April 1970
Extract:- BBC Radio Times

1952 was a demonstrator for Mastrovox
Lady Mayoress during her years living in Keighley
She had her own LaFleur Hammond
LaFleur Hammond
J.Percy Hall
J.Percy Hall opened the Victory Palace, Sheffield.
He was regularly mentioned as organist at classical concerts in the Sheffield area.
Margaret Hall
I Don't Need Anything But You
A Whole New World
Tango in D
Stevie Wonder Medley
Voices of Spring
Deep Purple concerto
When The Roll Is Called Up Yonder
Me & My Girl Medley
margaret hall organist
Margaret Hall
Wynne Hallford
Wynne Hallford 1946 working for Associated British.
Extract:- Theatre Organ World
David Hamilton
You Tube link iconAs Long As He Needs Me
You Tube link iconSomewhere
You Tube link iconThe Green Leaves of Summer
You Tube link iconLimelight
David Hamilton organist
David Hamilton
David Hamilton
Discogs page
David Hamilton was born in 1944 in Melrose, Scotland.
David started his musical education at the age of 10 on the piano, graduating to the church organ when he was 14.
When David left school he trained as a catering manager, this involved studies in Geneva, Paris and Bradford. While he was at Bradford he heard Arnold Loxam on the Wurlitzer, this sparked David's interest in the theatre organ.
David took a catering management post in the South of England, fortunately close to a number of theatre organs, including the Gaumont Theatre Wurlitzer.
In 1962 David became one of the resident organists at the Gaumont theatre playing the Wurlitzer organ.
David went on to work for C. G. Conn (UK) Ltd as marketing director. In this role he travelled the world.
In 1977 David was offered and accepted a post with the Conn parent company in America. David moved to America where he presented and promoted the Conn organ.
Extract:- Various
Cecil V. Hammett 19th Jan 1918 - 1974
Latin American Selection - Granada Tooting Wurlitzer
You Tube link iconVic Hammett plays
You Tube link iconVic Hammett plays
Sentimental Gentleman From Georgia
YouTube linkVic Hammett plays
When I Fall In Love
Stanford Hall Theatre
YouTube linkVic Hammett plays
Latin American Selection
Granada Tooting
YouTube linkVic Hammett plays
Medley #Two
Regal Edmonton
YouTube linkVic Hammett plays
Medley #One
Regal Edmonton
YouTube linkVic Hammett plays
If You Don't Love Me
Regal Edmonton
YouTube linkVic Hammett plays
Buckingham Town Hall
YouTube linkVic Hammett plays
I'll Always Be In Love With You
Buckingham Town Hall
YouTube linkVic Hammett plays
Buckingham Town Hall
YouTube linkVic Hammett plays
Just For A While
Buckingham Town Hall
YouTube linkVic Hammett plays
Poor Butterfly
Buckingham Town Hall
YouTube linkVic Hammett plays
If I Had You
Buckingham Town Hall
YouTube linkVic Hammett plays
Ye Banks and Braes
Buckingham Town Hall
YouTube linkVic Hammett plays
Sweet Georgia Brown
Buckingham Town Hall
YouTube linkVic Hammett plays
The Birth Of The Blues
Buckingham Town Hall
YouTube linkVic Hammett plays
A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square
Buckingham Town Hall
YouTube linkVic Hammett plays
Buckingham Town Hall
YouTube linkVic Hammett plays
Somewhere A Voice Is Calling
Buckingham Town Hall
YouTube linkVic Hammett plays
Horse Box
Buckingham Town Hall
YouTube linkVic Hammett plays
Buckingham Town Hall
YouTube linkVic Hammett plays
Song Of Alassio
Buckingham Town Hall
YouTube linkVic Hammett plays
Can't We Talk It Over
Buckingham Town Hall
YouTube linkVic Hammett plays
Bye Bye Blues
Granada Tooting
YouTube linkVic Hammett plays
I've Got Rhythm
Granada Tooting
YouTube linkVic Hammett plays
Bugle Call Rag
Granada Tooting
YouTube linkVic Hammett plays
Sentimental Gentleman From Georgia
Granada Tooting
YouTube linkVic Hammett plays
One Dozen Roses
Granada Tooting
Cecil V. Hammett organist
Cecil V. Hammett

Origin:- Theatre Organ World
Vic Hammett
Discogs page
Cecil Victor Hammett (Vic Hammett) was born 19th January 1918 at Windsor.
A Student chorister at Eton College Chapel he studied organ and piano under
Dr. Henry Ley
Henry George Ley
English organist, composer and music teacher.
E.J. Ducket Edward James Duckett
His first appointment was in Slough, playing the Rutt at the Palace Cinema and Congregational Church.
He then moved to the Plaza, Iver
No record of a cinema at Iver found
followed by being assistant to Leslie Jamesplaying the Wurlitzer at Madam Tussauds.
Cecil joined Gaumont British in 1935, leaving a year later to play the Regent, Lemington Spa. He then moved to play the Shipman and King group playing their theatres between 1936 and 1939. He left them to join Doorlay's Review
Mentioned in 'Popular Musical Theatre in London and Berlin'
, he was Musical Director and Hammond organist, the show was to be a world tour starting on June 1st 1939 in the Scala, Berlin. He ended up interred as a prisoner of war until May 1945. (Read his war story here)
He re-joined Gaumont British on the 16th July 1945. In 1946 playing at the Broadway, Stratford.
During his career he recorded at Lewisham Town Hall and broadcast from Scala, Berlin; Operetten Theatre Leipzig and the New Broadway, Stratford.
Cecil Hammett died in 1974.
Extract:- Theatre Organ World by Jack Courtnay (1946)
Esme Hand 30th Jan 1916
Esme Hand organist
Esme Hand
Esme Hand Organ Celebreties page
Click Icon
Esme Hand was born Esme Sanford, 30th January 1916 in Ossett, nr Leeds
Esme trained from school as a classical pianist, and opera singer (contralto), and worked occasionally at the BBC and Glynedbourne.
She later transferred to the Hammond Organ, and later the Lowrey organ.
She also played the Tower Ballroom organ.
She worked for several years in Jersey, and later performed at The Palace Ballroom, Buxton playing for Tea Dances.
Esme died shortly before her one hundredth birthday
Gilbert Handley
Gilbert Handley opened the Regal Cinema, Hammersmith.
Gilbert Handy

1946 Regal, St Leonards on Sea
1946 working for Associated British. Playing at the Ritz, Leeds and Regal St Leonards-on-Sea
Extract:- Theatre Organ World
Ronald Hamner 2nd Feb 1917 - 23rd May 1994
Some of Ronalds compositions played by various orchestras.
You Tube link iconPastorale (Theme from Blue Hills)
You Tube link iconPicking Strings
You Tube link iconHeavy Seas
You Tube link iconSkyscraper City
Ronald Hamner organist
Ronald Hamner
Ronald Hanmer was born 2nd February 1917 in Reigate, Surry.
He won a scholarship to Blackheath Conservatoire of Music and studied under
Harry Farjeon Harry Farjeon
Harry Farjeon
1878 - 1948
British composer and teacher
. The following year he won a composition prize and had his first work broadcast 'Overture to a Comedy'.
In April 1935 he Joined Granada (then Bernstein) Theatres, and apart for a short break serving in the RAF (he was discharged on medical grounds)stayed with then until 1948.
1950s and 1960s he directed his own Latin-American percussion ensemble called "The Marimberos" on BBC radio.
Ronald was a prolific composer and arranger, his works include Bouquet de Paris, Capstan and Windlass, The Heather and the Thistle, Heritage of England, The Holly and the Mistletoe, The Oak and the Rose and Memories of Hungary.
After emigrating to Australia in 1975, he was an arranger and conductor for the St Lucia Orchestra in Brisbane.
He died in Brisbane on 23rd May 1994.
Stella Hannan
Stella Margaret Hannan was at the Elite cinema, Nottingham in 1945.
Extract:- Nottingham Evening Post
Wednesday 02 May 1945
Image © Trinity Mirror.
Image created courtesy of
Ryan Hardy YouTube logo
Jack Moelmann interview
Anything Goes - Fargo Theatre Wurlitzer
Trumpet Voluntary - 4 manual classical organ at First Lutheran Church
From This Moment On - Wurlitzer
Master of the House - Wurlitzer
Hungarian Dance No. 5 - 4 manual classical organ at First Lutheran Church
Bumble Boogie - Wurlitzer
Little Drummer Boy - Wurlitzer
Organist Ryan Hardy
Ryan Hardy
At 18, Ryan Hardy was the youngest member of the Red River chapter of the American Theatre Organ Society (ATOS) and the organization's President.
Ryan started playing piano at 6 years old and moved onto organ aged 11 after hearing the organ at the Organ Stop Pizza
Ryan Hardy was awarded second place in the 2015 National young organists competition at the ATOS Convention in Philadelphia.
Lew Harris 14th Aug 1906 -
Lew Harris organist
Lew Harris

At the Rex Theatre Hazlemere, Theatrone
Extract:- Theatre Organ World by Jack Courtnay (1946)
Logo, Newspaper article Article on the Compton Theatrone by Lew Harris
Lew Harris was born 14th August 1906 at Pembroke Dock, South Wales.
He began his musical studies at the age of five. Did two pianoforte recitals from the Bournemouth studio when he was seventeen years old.
Then he took up violin and organ, the organ was with Reginald Foort.
Lew was solo organist for 3½ years at the Commodore, Southsea; 2 years playing and broadcasting the Conacher at the Forum, Coventry; 2½ years playing the Compton at the Majestic, Rochester; then 3 years in London, first with Gaumont British then with Granada Theatres; left that company in 1941 to undertake work of national importance.
On being released in 1944 took a position playing the Compton Theatrone at the Rex, Haslemere.
Did a number of solo piano broadcasts from Bournemouth.
He was a fully qualified engineer and spent four years of war service in the engine rooms of motor torpedo boats
Motor Torpedo Boat
and other light naval craft.
Extract:- Theatre Organ World by Jack Courtnay (1946)
Edgar Harrison
1946 working for Gaumont British.
Extract:- Theatre Organ World
Elizabeth Harrison
Elizabeth Harrison
Elizabeth Harrison
Elizabeth Harrison (also known as Liz) was born 1st December 1976 just outside Preston, Lancashire.
Elizabeth has established herself on the concert circuit not only as a musician but also as an entertainer. Her varied musical repertoire along with her cheerful Lancashire humour has made her one of the country’s favourite performers.
Elizabeth has been playing on the concert circuit for over 24 years. She has a wealth of experience playing both electronic and theatre organs.
Elizabeth plays her portable Roland Atelier AT350C and also owns a beautiful Allen MDS theatre 3 organ which is kept at home.
Extract:- Elizabeth Harrison Organfax page
Stanley Harrison 8th Aug 1915 - 12th Nov 2007
Stanley Morris Harrison was born 8th August 1915
He studied piano and organ at an early age. In 1937 he took up theatre organ under Eric Spruce and .
After a period of relief work in the Midlands for Gaumont British was appointed resident at Princes Park Theatre, Liverpool, then playing the Aeolian organ at the Palladium, Southport, followed by the Rialto, Hall Green.
He also played the Majestic Cinema in Cradley Heath, ending up as organist manager of the cinema
Extract:- Black Country Bugle

Stanley Harrison died 12th November 2007
Syd Harrop b. c. 1913
Logo, Newspaper article HE'S GOT RHYTHM
Mr. Syd Harrop, 35-year-old resident organist at the Commodore Cinema, Hammersmith, believes in giving his audience something different in the way of organ recitals. So last week, at the Commodore, after coming up on the console playing his signature tune, "I've Got Rhythm," he gave his audience a surprise. He played three popular straight tunes on the organ, and then, after climbing on to the stage. he played the piano. His programme was Carroll Gibbons' "Garden in the Rain"; then "So Tired," "Some of These Days," and "Margie" in the style of Charlie Kunz, and finally his own arrangement of the "Warsaw Concerto."
We do about two or three different shows a month," he told a "W.L.O" reporter. "I try to put on something a little different to other organists."
Of Hammersmith audiences. he said "They are very good. They are absolutely quiet; I have never had any interruptions from them."
Mr. Harrop, who lives on the other side of London, was born in the Midlands. He started his career, as did many other famous organists, as a church organist, and then "graduated, to the cinema organ."
Before he came to the Commodore Cinema, three weeks ago, he was touring all over England for Associated British Cinemas. He says that organ-playing is his hobby, as well as his career

West London Observer - Friday 17 December 1948
Syd Harrop was born c.1913 in the Midlands.
He started playing on church organ, he also played piano, sometimes including piano in his cinema performances.
His Signature tune was 'I've Got Rythm'.
In 1946 Syd Harrop was working for Associated British.
Extract:- Theatre Organ World

December 1948 he started playing at the Commodore Hammersmith.

Other information;- West London Observer
Friday 17 December 1948
Jack Hartland
Jack Hartland organist
Jack Hartland

Extract:- Kent History Web site
Musical Hour
THE Gaumont Cinema, Cheltenham, is the first provincial picture house in the Gaumont British group to adopt a new feature for music lovers in the form of weekly organ recital.
The scheme was successfully inaugurated yesterday, when the cinema was thrown open free to the public for an hour while Jack Hartland, the popular organist, played selection of old and modern tunes, many of them items requested by members of the audience of 250.
Jack Hartland, who is well known in the town, is at present dividing his time between the Gaumont, Cheltenham, the New Palace, Bristol, and the Empire, Cardiff, spending a fortnight at each cinema. When working away, however, he will still travel to Cheltenham for the Wednesday morning musical hours.

Gloucestershire Echo
Monday 18 March 1948
Image © Trinity Mirror.
Image created courtesy of
Jack Hartland
1945 playing at the Gaumont, Cheltenham
1947 Gaumonts New Palace
In spring 1948 he was covering Gaumont, Cheltenham; New Palace, Bristol & Empire, Cardiff. Playing two weeks at each. During this time he helped start a successful series of free Wednesday morning concerts at the Gaumont, Cheltenham.

Gloucestershire Echo
Monday 15 March 1948
Image © Trinity Mirror.
Image created courtesy of

December 1948 Playing at the Town Hall, Cheltenham.
1949 Gaumont, Cheltenham
Mike Hawksley 1939 - 2008
Soundcloud iconThursford Wurlitzer late 1970's recorded by Ron Travers.

1. Tell Me Little Gypsy (Irving Berlin)
2. I've Told Every Little Star (Jerome Kern)
Mike Hawksley organist
Mike Hawksley

Mike Hawkley at the STOE Compton
Mike Hawksley was born 1939 in Sheffield.
Mike started taking piano lessons at the age of six, when he was eight he was organist at the family church.
At thirteen he was studying under
Dr. George Linstead Dr George Frederick Linstead
b. 24th Jan 1908 - 28 Dec 1974
musician, critic and composer
music critic of the Sheffield Telegraph.
lecturer at Sheffield University
Organist and choirmaster.

He became interested in the cinema organ and was able to play the Wurlitzer at the Gaumont. He also tried a Hammond organ.
Mike went on to have lessons with
Hubert SelbyHubert Selby organist

Mike had a reputation as an excellent teacher.
Extract:- Mighty Music at the Movies
Fred Turly
Frank Hayward

1934 - 35 at the Savoy, Wandsworth
1937 at the Regal, Hammersmith
1937 Broad cast from the Regal, Edmonton
1946 Playing Independently.
Extract:- Theatre Organ World
Peter Hayward Link to electronic page icon
Peter Hayward Youtube channel
Peter Hayward at Blackpool Tower
Strike Up The Band Medley
Jealousy Medley
Somewhere Over The Rainbow Medley
Organist Peter Hayward
Peter Hayward
Peter Hayward has been a professional musician for over forty years in the UK, before emigrating (and semi-retiring) to be near to his daughter and grandchildren.
Peter has been a regular monthly contributor to Organ and Keyboard Cavalcade since its conception, his popular article covering all aspects of keyboard music.
Peter has written many successful books on music : his motto being 'Professional Tips - Just for Fun - All explained in plain English - No Jargon'.
It is this down to earth philosophy that has made him a popular figure at the Organ and Keyboard Cavalcade Festivals, where he is always happy to share his musical knowledge, gathered over a lifetime.
Peter now lives in Sweden, where he is actively engaged with various choirs, concerts and regular radio broadcasts, featuring many of the forty plus recordings which he has made over the years.
Extract:- Keyboard Cavalcade biography
Reginald Hayward
1929 - 1931 playing at the Regent Cinema, Portsmouth
1934 opened the Astoria Cinema, Cliftonville.
1946 Playing Independently.
Extract:- Theatre Organ World
Jack Helyer 18th Nov 1902 - 5th Mar 1973
YouTube linkRhythm Medley
On The 4/20(22r) Conacher Theatre Organ In The Ritz/Odeon Cinema, Nottingham.
YouTube linkI'm Happy When I'm Hiking
On The 4/20(22r) Conacher Theatre Organ In The Ritz/Odeon Cinema, Nottingham.
YouTube linkMarch Medley
On The 4/20(22r) Conacher Theatre Organ In The Ritz/Odeon Cinema, Nottingham.
YouTube linkOrient Express
On The 4/20(22r) Conacher Theatre Organ In The Ritz/Odeon Cinema, Nottingham.
YouTube linkHeyken's Second Serenade
On The 4/20(22r) Conacher Theatre Organ In The Ritz/Odeon Cinema, Nottingham.
Jack Helyer organist
Jack Helyer

Conacher Organ at the Ritz Theatre Nottingham
Origin:- RAF Lichfield Association
Link to the
Discogs page

Logo, Newspaper article RAF Lichfield Association
Edmund Victor (Jack) Helyer was born 18th November 1902 in Bournemouth.
He studied piano from the age of 7, taught by his mother. At 14 became a projectionist, (turning the handle) and when the pianist was late or ill was called upon to deputize.
Jack moved to another cinema that had a small orchestra that was short of a drummer, a small drum kit was bought and Jack was persuaded to become a drummer. He gradually became more proficient and the kit was expanded.
When a small church organ was installed Jack was roped in to play it, although he couldn't play pedals. he played quiet music on the organ and loud on the drums.
He eventually played solo on the organ for matinees.
Jack moved to the Electric Cinema, Bournemouth as a drummer, when Felton Rapley left he took over as organist. When talkies arrived the orchestra was sacked, Jack was kept on to accompany any silent films shown on the organ.
Reginald Foort put a good word in for Jack at Gaumont British that resulted in Jack joining the company in 1930. He played at the Gaumont Sutton, Surrey and Regent, Bristol.
Jack joined County Cinemas and played at Leicester Square; Lido, Hove; Regal, Golders Green; Ritz, Nottingham and numerous other venues. He also broadcast from the Ritz Nottingham regularly between 1935 -1939

Radio listing
Western Daily Press
21 June 1937

He joined the R.A.F. in 1942, playing Hammond organ at a number of camps round the country. Jack was invalidid out of the R.A.F. in 1945.
Started broadcasting on the old BBC organ in 1934.
A prolific and popular composer he had a number of compositions published.
He was also an author writing hiking books about Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire.
Article on Jack Helyer

After the war he returned to Nottingham but eventually, television brought a fall in cinema audiences and by 1960, the resident organists found themselves redundant, including Jack!  For his last years at work he moved to another cinema in Nottingham as House Manager, but occasionally did performances for the Cinema Organists’ Society.
Jack Helyer died 5th March 1973
Extract:- Theatre Organ World and other sources
Stanley Hemery
Stanley G. Hemery opened the Super Cinema Oxford playing a Spurden Rutt organ.
In 1934 he was playing at the Regent, Burnt Oak.
1953 BBC broadcast from St. Paul's, Portman Square.
W.J. Hemsley
W.J. Hemsley organist
W.J. Hemsley

Origin:- delcampe
Logo, Newspaper article


Mr. W. J. Hemsley, organist at the Luxor Cinema Twickenham will broadcast for 20 minutes in the B.B.C. Home Service programme on Friday next. September 27th commencing at 8.50 a.m.
Associated with the Joseph Mears Cinemas for three years, Mr. Hemsley went to the Luxor from the Richmond Cinema.
He studied at the Royal College of Music under Sir Adrian. Boult and Dr. Ley and has conducted for the Carl Rosa Opera Company. For the past 15 Years he has specialised on the theatre organ and has played at the Shepherds Bush Pavilion, New Gallery, the Kensington and St. Albans.
During the last war he served with the R.A.F.

Middlesex Chronicle
Saturday 21 September 1940
Image © Trinity Mirror.
Image created courtesy of
W.J. Hemsley studied at the Royal College of Music under
Sir Adrian Boult
Sir Adrian Cedric Boult
1889 - 1983
Studied music in England and Leipzig, Germany
Conducted the Royal Opera House and Sergei Diaghilev's ballet company.
Conductor of the City of Birmingham Orchestra in 1924.
B.B.C. appointed him director of music in 1930. Established the BBC Symphony Orchestra
Picture Source, Fair use,
. and
Dr. Henry Ley
Henry George Ley
English organist, composer and music teacher.
He conducted for the
Carl Rosa Opera Company Click for more information on the still existing company
1928 opened the Capitol Cinema, Wembley
During the war he served in the R.A.F
1939 - 1946 broadcasting regularly on the light program, Home Service and Forces Radio.

Program listing
The Scotsman
06 May 1946

1940 at the Luxor, Twickenham 1946 Playing the Odeon Circuit.
Extract:- Theatre Organ World
Richard Hills
the Royal Albert Hall organ
Tiger Rag
The Music of Al Jolson
The Dancing Years
The Deadwood Stage
Interview by Jack Moelmann

Camera icon Camera icon Camera icon
Organist Richard Hills
Richard Hills
Richard Hills American Theatre Organ Association page

Richard Hills Cinema Organ Society page

Logo, Newspaper article Gresham College
Logo, Newspaper article Biography
Richard Hills is one of the very few musicians truly to have bridged and mastered the divide between the world of the classical organ and that of the theatre organ. Having commenced classical organ studies under William Whitehead at Rochester Cathedral, he became Organ Scholar at Exeter College Oxford, studying with David Sanger. Further organ scholarships followed at Portsmouth Cathedral, where he studied with Rosemary Field and at Westminster Abbey.
He now pursues a freelance career and is Organist at St Mary’s, Bourne Street, London. His career in the theatre organ world has been equally prestigious. He has numerous·prizes and awards to his credit, both in this country and in the USA, where he was named by ‘Organist of the Year’ in 2010 by the American Theatre Organ Society.
Extract:- Richard Hills COS page
T. Guy Hindell 1907 - 1st Jul 1939
T Guy Hindell organist
T Guy Hindell

Photo from Wayne Ivany's collection
Biographical Dictionary of the Organ
Thomas Guy Hindell was born in 1907.
A pupil of Mr. J. H. Johnson he passed his Piano Preparatory exam in 1916.
Studied at Jesus College, Oxford.
He played at Astoria Theatre, Brighton; the Astoria Theatre, Southend and Ritz Theatre, Southend.
opened the Central Theatre, Kidderminster & Astoria Theatre, Brighton
Broadcast on the BBC theatre organ in 1937
E. C. Hinden
1946 working for Associated British.
Extract:- Theatre Organ World
Leonard Hobbs
In October 1940 Leonard Hobbs was at the Tower, West Bromwich; in September 1941 he was at the Pavilion Wylde Green
Billy Hobson
Billy Hobson directed the Lasbury Sextet who broadcast regularly on BBC radio
1946 working for Associated British.
Extract:- Theatre Organ World
Leslie Holman
1934 playing at Palace Theatre, Ramsgate
1935 opened the 3/6 Compton at Astoria Cinema, Folkstone.
1939 at the Savoy, Leicester
1946 working for Associated British.
Extract:- various
Melbourne Holman
Melbourne Holman Melbourne Holman
Melbourne Holman
Christie at Rivoli
St. Helens
Biographical Dictionary of the Organ
Melbourne Holman opened the Palladium Cinema, Paignton, the Palladium Picture Playhouse, Brixton and Rivoli St. Helens
1929 offering Unit Organ tuition
Michael Holmes
Michael Holmes OrganFax Page
Michael-Holmes organist
Michael Holmes
Michael Holmes has had a varied career as Organist and Musical Director playing all over the country for shows. He is accompanist for the Manchester Music Hall association and Musical Director for the Flanagan and Allen Story.
He has had an interest in Theatre Organ since an early age, and enjoys playing them when he can. As a theatre organist, Michael can often be found at the Plaza, Stockport. He also plays regularly at the Lancastrian Theatre Organ Trust's Organ Heritage Centre at Peel Green.
Extract:- Michael Holmes OrganFax page
Watson Holmes 16th Feb 1901 - 1970
You Tube link iconDown The Mall
You Tube link iconSinging in the Rain
You Tube link iconDream (when you`re feeling blue)
Blackpool Opera House
You Tube link iconDizzy Fingers
You Tube link iconMedley
3/13 Wurlitzer
Blackpool Opera House
You Tube link iconFive Organists Live
YouTube linkBelle Of The Ball
Blackpool Opera House
YouTube linkMidnight Tango
Blackpool Opera House
YouTube linkJolly Good Company
Blackpool Opera House
YouTube linkMidnight In Mayfair
Blackpool Opera House
YouTube linkRhythm Medley
Happy Feet
Who's Sorry Now
Chicago And Tea For Two.
Blackpool Opera House
YouTube linkAll The Things You Are
Buckingham Town Hall
YouTube linkCircus Polka
Blackpool Opera House
YouTube linkHey! Neighbour & Nobody's Sweetheart
Blackpool Opera House
YouTube linkUn Peu D'amore
Blackpool Opera House
YouTube linkFun & Frolic
Blackpool Opera House
YouTube linkBumble Bee Samba
Blackpool Opera House
YouTube linkCa C'est Paris
Blackpool Opera House
YouTube linkPolly
Blackpool Opera House
YouTube linkWood Nymph
Blackpool Opera House
YouTube linkMusical Comedy Medley
Blackpool Opera House
Watson Holmes organist

Origin:- Family history page
Biographical Dictionary of the Organ
Watson Holmes (Sleightholme) was born 16th February 1901 in Gateshead, County Durham.
After leaving school he worked in a shipping company, at the same time studying organ. He gained his RCO diploma in 1927.
His first experience of a theatre organ was at the Shipcote Hall in Gateshead, playing their Blackett and Howden organ. After this he took a position with The Provincial Cinematagraph Theatre Co. playing at the Plaza Allerton in Liverpool. While there he continued his classical training under Henry Gos-Custard.
In 1933 he joined Granada and spent three years on tour before being appointed to the Granada, Mansfield in 1936, playing their 3/8 Wurlitzer.
1943 he joined ABC at the Forum, Birmingham.

Origin:- Family history page

In December 1943 Watson joined the Blackpool Tower Company and took over from Horace Finch at the Empress Ballroom until the end of the war.
When Horace Finch returned to the Empress and Reginald Dixon to the Tower Ballroom after the war Watson was appointed Assistant to Reginald Dixon at the Tower and also deputized for Horace Finch at the Empress Ballroom.
In 1952 the Tower Company installed a 3/14 Wurlitzer in the Palace Ballroom and Watson was appointed resident organist, making regular radio broadcasts from both the Palace and Opera House organs.
Watson retired in 1966, making occasional guest appearances on the concert circuit.
Watson Holmes died in 1970 in Fylde, Lancashire.
Extract:- Profile of an Organist video
Harold Honess
Harold Honess was organist at the
parish church
Staplehurst until 1936.
In May 1936 he gave his first solo performance at the
Mr. Harold Honess received tremendous ovation when he gave his first solo performance the organ of the Rltz Cinema, Maidstone, on Sunday.
The programme, arranged by himself. Included favourite songs of the favourite stars, and the audience Joined most heartily in singing the choruses.
Mr. Honess, who is only 20 years of age. Is the son of Mr. and Mrs. A. J. Honess, of Plnnock-road, Staplehurst.
He has been organist of Staplehurst Parish Church, but resigned that position last Easter.

Sevenoaks Chronicle and Kentish Advertiser
Friday 08 May 1936
Image © Trinity Mirror.
Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.
Feb 1946 he was billed as 'Back From The RAF' at the Granada, Bedford
Extract:- various
Chris Hopkins YouTube logo
Plays Latin on the Blackpool Tower Wurlitzer
Chris Hopkins
Chris Hopkins
It was Frank Lythgoe, the highly regarded Steam Organ Enthusiast, who first recognized Chris Hopkins' talent, and Chris openly accredits Frank's support. Chris is the first to say that Frank's support was instrumental in his moving to Blackpool's Tower Ballroom in 1995.
Chris Hopkins entered his first season as a Blackpool Tower Ballroom organist in 1996 and has come to be regarded as one of the lynch pins by many who regularly frequent the Tower ballroom.
Chris is to be found entertaining his audience not only through the season, but also through most of the winter months when it is mainly the 'Regulars' who frequent the Blackpool Tower Ballroom.
The Wersi Louvre entered the Blackpool Tower Ballroom in 2001 and Chris eagerly embraced its advanced technology and rapidly developed a rapport with the instrument, developing a repertoire that enables him to demonstrate not only the versatility of the Wersi, but his own, individual style.
Chris now plays the Roland organ at the Tower Ballroom. With the decline in the hours the ballroom is used for dancing Chris needed a second string to his bow to make money, he now teaches people to drive as well as playing at the Tower Ballroom.
As a hobby Chris tours Scotland taking photographs, he has a great eye and has put many of his pictures on Facebook.
Tom Horton
The Cotton Wurlitzer
Gershwin medley
Romantic Medley
Selection from Oliver
Popular tunes Medley
The Organ Shifters
Organist Tom Horton
Tom Horton
Logo, Web site link Tom Horton Web site
All great things start unintentionally, and that could be truer when it comes to Tom Horton's musical career. Tom started playing the Electronic Organ when he was nine years old when his grandparents updated their organ. This new digital instrument caught Tom's eye and after asking if he could have a go on it he was told that he could, but he would have to learn to play properly. Little did Tom know, that he was beginning some that would change his life forever.
He started by learning "Merrily We Roll Along" from the Kenneth Baker series and was taught by his grandparents for a about a year after. He then attended the Yamaha Music School in Lowestoft, Suffolk and under the tuition of his organ teacher he obtained many grades with the London College of Music and Associated Board of the Royal School of Music in both performance and theory, passing all his exams with very high marks. In 2001 Tom took his DipLCM diploma with the London College and passed this exam with an amazing 95 marks out of a possible 100! He currently holds an ALCM diploma with the London College of Music.
Tom's love of the cinema organ began at the age of twelve, with a visit to the Mechanical Music Museum at Cotton, Suffolk where he was allowed a ten-minute play on the Wurlitzer organ. After being heard by the museums resident organist, he was given some hints and tips on theatre organ playing.
In 2000, Tom won the UK Young Theatre Organist of the Year award, conferred upon by the American Theatre Organ Society, UK chapter.
Since becoming a professional musician in 2001, Tom has had a very varied musical career. As well as concerts and teaching, he has held the position of piano teacher at a private boarding school, has written & arranged exam music for the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM), as well as playing at numerous weddings, services and many other musical events.
Tom Horton is on a lifelong mission to popularise the organ whatever its type to new audiences.
Since 2005 Tom Horton has been performing on Lowrey organs at his electronic organ concerts.
Extract:- Tom Horton Web site
Harold Howell
Harold Howell organist
Harold Howell
Logo; Organ Biography Web Site Biographical Dictionary of the Organ

Western Mail
Tuesday 23 February 1915
Image © Trinity Mirror.
Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.
Harold Howell February 1915 he left the Beecham Opera Company in South Wales to undertake individual work as an executive or creative artiste.
He was a composer of incidental music, writing for 'A Queens Champion' performed at the Aldwych.
Extract:- Western Mail
Tuesday 23 February
Image © Trinity Mirror.
Image created courtesy of

He opened the Capitol Cinema, Tonbridge.
John Howlett 16th Oct 1906 - 1985
John Howlett organist
John Howlett

Regal Cinema, Hull
Image origin:- Discogs
John Howlett
Discogs page

Logo; Organ Biography Web Site Biographical Dictionary of the Organ

Stories and pictures of the theatre

Logo, Newspaper article C. J. W. Howlett
C. J. W. Howlett, who has been organist of the Classic Theatre, Belfast, has been appointed to preside at the Compton organ installed in the Central Theatre, Stourbridge.
A native of Brentford, Middlesex, Mr. Howlett received his early musical training under Dr. Wetton at the Foundling Hospital, London, where he was assistant organist.
Entering cinema circles, he was for some time with Quentin Maclean at the Pavilion, Shepherd's' Bush, and later went, in turn, to the Electric Theatre, Bournemouth, Astoria, Charing Cross Road, West End Cinema, Birmingham, and the Classic, Belfast, prior to taking his present post at Stourbridge.
He will be remembered by many as the organist at the Regent, Dudley, when the latter house opened during the past year. During his stay in Belfast, he was responsible for the organ solos which were broadcast from the local station thrice weekly.

The Bioscope - Wednesday 05 June 1929
Charles John William Howlett was born 16th Oct 1906 in Brentford.
Studied at the Foundling Hospital, London
1933 Luxor, Eastbourne
1941 Plaza, Rugby
1936 - 1955 broadcasting on a very regular basis.
1936 broadcast from Regal, Hull
1946 broadcast from the Regal, Wimbledon
Extract:- Theatre Organ World + various

1947 - 1958 played at the Odeon Theatre, Leicester Square on their 5/17 Compton
John Howlett died 1985 in Bodmin, Cornwall.
Colin Howson
Colin Howson Colin Howson
Colin Howson

Logo, Newspaper article Regent, Bristol
Sheffield Evening Telegraph
Wednesday 19 July 1939
Image © Johnston Press plc.
Image created courtesy of
Logo; Organ Biography Web Site Biographical Dictionary of the Organ

Logo, Newspaper article Popular West Country Organist
COLIN HOWSON, the organist at the Regent, Bristol, is becoming one of the most popular broadcasting cinema organists of the West Country. He is giving another broadcast from the Regent on Monday. January 10.
Starting his professional career as a church organist at the age of twelve, he became a cinema organist five years later.
He has been at the Bristol house for some years, and before coming West was organist at G.-B. houses at Sheffield, Leicester, and London, while tor some time he was pianist in Sidney Phasey's Orchestra.

The Era - Thursday 30 December 1937
Colin Howson started his professional career as an organist at the age of twelve, as a church organist, moving to theatre organ five years later.
He worked for Gaumont British playing at Sheffield, Leicester and London venues.
He spent some time as a pianist for the Sidney Phasey orchestra.
Resident, and in May 1939 broadcast from, Regent Cinema, Bristol
Extract:- The Era - Thursday 30 December 1937
George Hunt
Logo; Organ Biography Web Site Biographical Dictionary of the Organ
George Hunt opened the Empire Theatre, Birmingham and the Kings Theatre, Dundee.
1928 - March 1929 Kings Theatre, Dundee
1940 - 41 Windsor Theatre, Bearwood
Harold Hunt 17th Jan 1901 -
Harold Hunt organist
Harold Hunt

Origin:- Theatre Organ World
at the theatre organ Popular medley Forces Programme, 1 November 1940
National Programme Daventry, 19 April 1939
Harold Hunt was born 17th January 1901 in Brierly Hill, Staffs.
Harold studied music under and played the piano in a cinema aged nine, deputizing for the regular pianist who was ill.
At the age of fifteen he was musical director at the Palace Theatre
No trace of the Palace Theatre, Brierley Hill, survives. It was, a wooden framed, corrugated iron structure, accessed from the High Street, via an archway with a pay box in the parade of shops.
The opening was on 2nd March, 1914, and melodramas and variety were the mainstays in its early days but a cinema license was taken out in 1917.
Extract:- Black Country Bugle
, Brierly Hill, staying there for five years.
Subsequent appointments included; The Olympia, Worsley; Imperial, Bootle;
No history of an organ installed here so assume he played piano
Scala, Stourbridge
No history of an organ installed here so assume he played piano
and The Picture House, Brierley Hill.
No history of an organ installed here so assume he played piano

When the talkies came he became organist at the Regal, Haslemere. He left there to join A.B.C at the Princess, Dagenham, then on to the Picture House, Edgbaston and Forum, Birmingham.
Harold then went to the Empire, Coventry, broadcasting from there in 1939. In 1940 he moved to the Ritz, Birkenhead, again broadcasting from there.
In 1941 he joined Gaumont British playing at the Gaumont, Birmingham moving to the Gaumont. Coventry in 1942. He broadcast from both cinemas.
He appeared as guest organist in cinemas and theatres up and down the country, including the Blackpool Tower.
Harold was also a composer, writing a number of popular pieces.
Robert Hunter

Recorded as George Montalba
You Tube link iconWashington Post March
You Tube link iconMelody in F
You Tube link iconStars Fell On Alabama
You Tube link iconAnitra's Dance
You Tube link iconPut the Moon Back In the Sky
You Tube link iconDiane
You Tube link iconMazurka from Masquerade
You Tube link iconMarch Fantasy
You Tube link iconRitual Fire Dance
Robert Hunter organist
Robert Hunter
Logo, Wikipedia web site Robert Hunter

Link to the Alan Ashton Robert Hunter Organ Celebrities page
Robert Hunter was a child prodigy. By age six he was working in radio alongside Shirley Temple and Judy Garland; by 19, he was playing with the L.A. Philharmonic Orchestra.
His stupendously prolific music career spanned 60 years, which took him from classical concert piano to big bands to Broadway to TV, and eventually to acclaim as a respected and sought-after chorale arranger.
Most fascinating is how, after gaining notoriety as 'Bob Hunter, he was given the opportunity to become George Montalba; and how he continued to live out two different musical careers for over eight years—as two different artists. There was the humble Bob Hunter, who excelled at all facets of his career, yet always intentionally skirted the spotlight of fame, preferring to work in the background. And then there was George Montalba, who became a worldwide sensation performing to packed houses throughout the world, including Radio City Music Hall.
Extract:- Devil in Disguise
Robbie Ions 1921 - 2nd Jan 2017
Robbie Ions organist
Robbie Ions
George Robson (Robbie) Ions was born in 1921 at Allendale Cottages near Medomsley.
At West Lane Methodist Church near his home he met Aasmund Pattinson who taught him how to play the church organ.
Following service in the R.A.F. George decided he would like to study the theatre organ.
Frank Matthews Frank Matthews organist
Frank Matthews
Click Icon
came to his aid and he was soon playing the 19 Rank WurliTzer organ in the Odeon Cinema, Newcastle. Then he went on to the Westgate Cinema, Newcastle, the Odeon South Shields and the Odeon in Gateshead.
Robinson CleaverRobinson Cleaver organist
Robinson Cleaver
25th May 1906 - 23rd July 1987
Click Icon
also gave George a lot of advice.
George was inevitably becoming known as Geordie so he changed his professional name to Robson Ions. That led to Robbie and that name remained.
Robbie was a popular figure at the Casino, Sheringham and the Gaumont Oldham. Cinema, theatre and ballroom tours followed necessitating long periods away from home. Engagements with Combined Services Entertainments took him overseas to Port Said, Suez, Nice, Malta, Tripoli, Egypt and the Holy Land.
There was a long association with Macan. Macari and His Dutch Serenaders.
It was while playing the organ at the Regal Cinema, Durham he met Eunice and the couple married in 1947. They had two children.
By October 1957 he had retired from the entertainment business - or so he thought!
He formed a dance band locally and continued to practice on an electric organ at Salley. In the 1960s club entertainment was growing in popularity and Robbie accepted an invitation to play the organ at West Cornforth United Social Club. This venue was chosen to house a Mighty Wurlilzer Organ that had been purchased from the Gaumont Cinema.
Over the years Robbie made many broadcasts for Radio Durham and Radio Newcastle.
Short extract from Esh Leaves, published in 2006, see article icon for the full article
George Robson (Robbie) Ions died 2nd Jan 2017
Bruce 'Wendell' James 9th Feb 1891 - 13th Aug 1968
Logo; Organ Biography Web Site Biographical Dictionary of the Organ
Lushington Wendell Bruce-James (known as Bruce Wendell) was born on the Island of Antigua on 9th February 1891.
The family moved to British Guiana while Bruce was a child.
At the age of fifteen he became organist at Christ Church, Georgetown.
In 1910 he won a scholarship to attend Keble College, Oxford, to study classics.
His mother wanted him to go into the church, but he had a strong inclination to play music.
During the first world war Bruce was posted to France where he pursued his musical talent. Appointed organist of the battalion he would dodge parades to perform mythical choir practice.
He joined the Southern Syncopated Orchestra in 1920. The first big band to popularize black music in Britain. Bruce was chorus master and organist for their season at the London Kingsway Hall.
He devoted himself to deputizing for the leading organists and giving recitals for new organ installations. He opened the Empire Theatre, Edmonton; Adelphi Theatre, Slough and Rialto Cinema, Leytonstone
Bruce invented a new formula for gaining perfection in finger techniques, outlined in the 'Melody Maker' article 'The Ideal Kinema Organ'.
He died 13th August 1968
Extract:- The Untold Stories of Oxford University's Black Scholars
Ernest James
Ernest James was resident at the Coliseum Harrow
Leslie James
You Tube link iconWedding of the Painted Doll
You Tube link iconCompton Organ of the Rialto
Leslie James organist
Leslie James

Coventry Evening Telegraph
Friday 14 July 1939
Image © Trinity Mirror
Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.
Logo; Organ Biography Web Site Biographical Dictionary of the Organ
Leslie James was resident at Madam Tussauds.
In 1929 he was billed as the Wurlitzer Organ Exponent.

Broadcast regularly during 1937 to 1938 from the Rialto, Coventry
Opened numerous cinemas including:- Queens Hall, Cricklewood; Majestic Theatre, Clapham; Palace Theatre, Birmingham; Rink, Smethwick; Gaumonts at Chester , Middlesbrough; Haymarket Picture House, Norwich; Plaza, Southampton; Royal Hippodrome, Nottinghasm; City, Leicester; New Victoria in Edinburgh & Bradford.
Laurence James 26th April 1920
YouTube linkI Know Why
Buckingham Town Hall
YouTube linkI Won't Dance
Buckingham Town Hall
Laurence James organist
Laurence James

Buckingham Town Hall 3/10 Kimball/Wurlitzer
CD insert picture
Radio Times:- BBC Radio 2, 14 May 1970
Hayden Lawrence James was born 26th April 1920 in Bridgend, Wales.
He studied organ under
Dr. Peasgood Dr Osborne Harold Peasgood organist
Dr Osborne Harold Peasgood
5th Mar 1902 – 25th Jan 1962

at Westminster Abbey, spending five years as organist at All Saints' Church, Knightsbridge.
Dudley BeavenDudley Beaven organist
Dudley Beaven
provided theatre organ tuition.
During the war he toured for ENSA and on release joined Granada Theatres playing at the Granada East Ham.

The console of the Granada’s Wurlitzer organ, which is now installed in a private residence in Cannock, UK.

Between 1948 and 1953 was was featured regularly on the radio, Light, Third and Scottish programs.
In 1952 he was playing Hammond at Eastbourne Winter Gardens.
In 1958 he was playing at Uncle Toms Cabin, Birchington.
Lawrence James died at the console of the organ in the Gaumont, Hammersmith, when playing for the Cinema Organ Society c.1976
Extract:- Theatre Organ Web site
Walford James 9th Jul 1921 - 1994
Walford James
Walford James

More information
William John Walford James was born 9th July 1921. Appointments include, Rex, Aberdare; State, Dartford and Capitol, Wembley Park.
He was at the Capitol when he received his call up papers.
Walford James Died 1994 in the district of Carmarthen.

Extract:- Theatre Organ World by Jack Courtnay (1946)
Arthur Jenkins
Arthur Jenkins opened the Troc-ette, Bermondsey and the Tolmer Cinema
1928 - 29 Hippodrome, Nottingham
1934 Regent, Poole
Leslie Jenkins
Broadcasting 1946
Performed concerts at a number of Methodist Churches
1939 - 1949 Ritz, Penzance, also broadcast from this cinema
Extract:- Variouse
Tom Jenkins
Tom Jenkins Tom Jenkins
Tom Jenkins
Tom Jenkins, a native of Neath, began his musical studies on the piano at the age of seven. Between the ages of twelve and seventeen he was mainly engaged in piano competitions and Eisteddfodau where he won 185 prizes. His piano teacher, who was also an organist in a large church at Neath, began to give him lessons on the organ, but in less than a year the teacher died and Tom Jenkins took his place as the organist at the age of seventeen.
Eighteen months later he became organist and choirmaster, and assisted
Dr. Hopkin Evans Hopkin Evans
Thomas Hopkin Evans
1879 - 1940
in forming the Neath Choral Society.
When war broke out he joined the Glamorganshire Yeomanry, where he played the clarinet in the regimental band. After the war he became assistant organist to
Frederick Dalrymple Frederick James Campbell Dalrymple
Organist of Tredegarville Baptist Church
at Tredegarville Baptist Church

Cardiff, and also served as organist in two other Cardiff churches.
He left Cardiff to take up a cinema job, and for four years worked as an organist for silent pictures. When the Cardiff Plaza opened, Tom Jenkins was appointed musical director of the orchestra from 1926 to 1931, since when he was organist and manager of the Swansea Plaza. He gave his first broadcast from there in 1932, and subsequently broadcast every week for many years.

Western Daily Press
20 March 1935
Radio Times:- Regional Programme London, 20th December 1938.
Howard D Jennings 18th Jul 1908 - 1979
Howard D Jennings
Howard D Jennings

Origin:- Aberdeen Theatre Organ Trust OrganFax page
Biographical Dictionary of the Organ
Howard David Jennings was born 18th July 1908 in Forest Hill, London.
Started piano lessons at the age of seven. In 1925 took organ lessons under Mr. T. A. Sheppard in Sutton, Surrey. He began his cinema career in 1930.
His appointments included Royalty, Ladbroke Grove; Palladium, Paignton; Regent, Poole; Plaza, Coventry; Majestic, Reigate and organs on the Shipman & King circuit.
He then spent 2½ years with Odeon. Appointed to the Grand Cinema, Southport playing their Compton.
Died 1979 - Wandsworth district, Greater London, England
B. Johnson
1930 B. Johnson was broadcasting on Midland Regional radio 1946 working for Associated British.
Extract:- Theatre Organ World
Jane McKee Johnson - 1996
You Tube link icon
Jane McKee Johnson organist
Jane McKee Johnson
Jane McKee Johnson was born in Seattle, WA, United States.
Jane was Musical Director, Staff Organist and Pianist for KVI radio for three years during the 1940's. She owned and operated McKee Organ & Piano studios in Tacoma for many years. Jane was heard many times at Tacoma's Temple Theatre Kimball organ, most notably during the 1971 ATOS national convention. In 1976, Jane and her husband Homer travelled to England and France where Jane was able to play many Compton and Wurlitzer theatre pipe organs.
Jane had done considerable serious church work, and in 1975 she became Staff Organist for Pizza & Pipes in Tacoma. She accompanied numerous stage shows on the Kimball at the Temple Theatre.
Jane recorded the albums 'Just Playin' Jane' and 'The Second Time Around' on the Tacoma Pizza & Pipes 3/17 Wurlitzer. These fine stereo LPs include "Under the Double Eagle March," "Yellow Days" and many other numbers.
Jane McKee Johnson died 1996
Extract:- Puget Sound Pipeline
Stanley Johnson 24th Sep 1904
Logo, Newspaper article
Stanley Johnson has been appointed organist at the Langham, Hull. Mr. Johnson had held the position of organist and assistant manager at the Tower Cinema for some time and before going to Hull was at the Central, Harrogate.
He is meeting with a great deal of success at the Langham, where, in conjunction with Rudolph Evans, he is putting on special musical interludes.

The Bioscope - Wednesday 02 September 1931
Stanley Johnson was born 24th September 1904.
At 16 started as assistant to Warner Yeomans, Christ Church, Harrowgate. This was followed by various church appointments including five years at Queen Ethelbugas Ladies School. Here he gave weekly recitals and gained his L.T.C.L.
In 1929 he got his first cinema appointment at the Central, Harrogate staying for five years. He then spent three years at the Tower, Hull; followed by five years at the Langham before moving to the Dorchester, Hull in 1936.
Extract:- Theatre Organ World by Jack Courtnay
Bert Johnston 5th May 1911 -
Bert Johnston Bert Johnston
Bert Johnston

Camera icon Liverpool Echo
Thursday 17 July 1986
With thanks to Trinity Mirror.
Digitised by Findmypast Newspaper Archive Ltd.
All rights reserved.
Bert Johnston was born 5th May 1911 in Stranraer, Scotland.
He started music studies at the age of 10 and by 16 was church organist. Moved to Belfast as church organist, choirmaster and music teacher.
Bert studied theatre organ under and was assistant to
Cecil ChadwickCecil Chadwick organist
Cecil Chadwick
1896 - 1970
, then organist at the Classic cinema, Belfast.
He worked for Messers Evans and Barr (organ builders) as a demonstrator, initially on straight organs, later moving on to electronic actuated. He gave many recitals on new installations in churches and and halls in Belfast and other Ulster towns.
He was associated with
Joseph SealJoseph Seal organist
Joseph Seal
at the Ritz cinema, Belfast, broadcasting from there with Joseph Seal.
Bert was appointed organist at the Ritz Cinama, Bradford when it was opened in 1939.
During his time in the Army he spent eight months at the Military Convalescent Depot at Eaton Hall, Chester, the residence of the Duke of Westminster. There were two very nice organs there, one in the Dukes private chapel, the other, a Aeolian Concert Organ. complete with harp, chimes, etc. With the assistance of the Chester Musical or Operatic society gave organ and vocal recitals on a regular basis.
When he returned to his regimental depot he gave recitals in Birmingham and Oldham. As well as these straight recitals did a lot of cinema engagements of organ shows in Sunday concerts.
Alter the war he was appointed resident organist at the ABC Forum Cinema in Liverpool - a post he held for 10 years.
He toured the ABC circuit as guest organist at various cinemas. He also had a regular spot playing in New Brighton's summer show at the Floral Pavilion.
In 1946 was playing at the Forum Cinema, Liverpool.
Extract:- Theatre Organ World by Jack Courtnay
Byron Jones
The Welsh Wizard at the Blackpool Tower Wurlitzer
Henley Town Hall Allen Organ
Borden Rutt Organ
Smoke Gets in Your Eyes +
Hauptwerk Paramount 4/50
Hauptwerk Salisbury Organ
Panis Angelicus
Byron Jones oranist
Byron Jones
Logo, Web site linkByron JonesWeb Site

Byron JonesCinema Organ Society page

Byron JonesMS Studios CD
Byron JonesOrgan 1st page
Byron Jones
Discogs page

Hauptwerk logoHauptwork web site
Byron Jones was born in 1949 in Risca, Gwent, South Wales - hence the name of The Welsh Wizard.
As a child, he showed great promise on the piano, and then later on the organ. He played in a local church, and developed his style over the years.
Whilst still at school Byron played at the local chapel and then progressed to the working mens clubs of Wales when he was a teenager, accompanying many of the big stars who came to Wales in cabaret - Donald Peers, Ruby Murray and many more.
Byron later progressed to the larger clubs, where he would be engaged to play for artistes straight from the London Palladium.
Since then, over the last thirty years, Byron has played for many Summer Season Spectacular shows, made countless radio broadcasts and made many television appearances in Great Britain and America.
Byron produces his own recordings on CD and DVD and has his own Music Society of loyal fans and friends from all over the world.
2019 awarded the British Empire Medal for his services to music.
Extract:- Byron Jones OrganFax page
C. Jones
1946 Playing the Odeon Circuit.
Extract:- Theatre Organ World
E. Jones
1946 working for Associated British.
Extract:- Theatre Organ World
Florence De Jong 1894-1990
Compton Theatre Organ of the Regal Cinema Bridlington (1939)
Remembering the Silents

You Tube link icon You Tube link icon
Organist Florence De Jong
Florence De Jong
Logo, Wikipedia web site Florence De Jong

Florence De Jong
Discogs page

BBC logo Desert Islasnd Disks

Logo, Newspaper article Memories of conversation with Florence De Jong

Logo, Newspaper article
GAUMONT-BRITISH Picture Corporation has received an invitation from the B.B.C. to permit the following resident organists of their theatres to broadcast on the new cinema organ at St. George's Hall.
Mr. Bayco, organist of the Dominion Theatre, who will broadcast on the new cinema organ from 6.25 to 7 p.m. on October 30.
Madame de Jong, organist at the New Gallery Cinema, who has been invited to play on November 6, from 9.40 to 10 p.m.

The Era - Wednesday 28 October 1936
Image © Successor rightsholder unknown.
Not many cinema organists can say they had their first job at 13, but this can be claimed by Madame de Jong, who will open the new organ at the Bridlington Regal.
She played her first theatre organ at the age of 15, but as the film being shown was for adults only, had to give her job up!
She has been heard "on the air" on a number of occasions, has played to the Royal family, and has broadcast from Hilversum.
She was one of the first organists to play "hot" music on the Wurlitzer; the organ builder wanted to take action against her for the desecration of a sacred Instrument. Within a year most cinemas had heard the sound of jazz on the Wurlitzer.
Madame de Jong is also a composes, and has, in addition, many arrangements to her credit. She comes of a musical family, her father being a composer, while three of her four sisters are organists, and her husband is also a composer and orchestra leader. Her signature tune is from the works of her father.
She has held the position of organist at Terrys Theatre in the Strand, Finsbury Park. and New Gallery Cinema, London, among others.

Hull Daily Mail
Thursday 28 July 1938
Image © Trinity Mirror.
Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.
Not many cinema organists can say they had their first job at 15, but this can claimed by Madame de Jong, who will open the new organ the Bridlington Regal.
She played her first theatre organ at the age of 15, but as the film being shown was for adults only, had to give her job up! She has been heard on the "air" on a number of occasions, has played the Royal family, and has broadcast from Hilversum.
She was one of the first organists to play "hot" music on the Wurlitzer; the organ builder wanted to take action against her for the desecration of a sacred instrument! Within a year most cinemas had heard the sound of jazz on the Wurlitzer.
Madame de Jong also a composer, and has, addition, many arrangements to her credit. She comes of musical family, her father being a composer, while three of her four sisters are organists, and her husband is also a composer and orchestra leader. Her signature tune from the works her father.
She has held the position of organist at Terry's Theatre in the Strand, Finsbury Park, and New Gallery Cinema London, among others.

Hull Daily Mail - Thursday 28 July 1938
Florence De Jong was born on August 1st 1896 in Holborn, London, England as Florence Louisa Baga.
She learnt to play the piano while at school.
Along with her sisters she played theatre organ at the Garons cinema Southend-on-Sea
Her first residency was at a cinema in Finsbury park. This was followed by 13 years at the New Gallery playing the Wurlitzer.
Opened the Rialto Cinema, London and Ritz, Sheerness playing a Comptrone, the same instrument at both cinemas.
Florence played for both the Union Castle and Cunard cruise liner companies.
She was married to Louis Morris (Cinema owner) and Herman J De Jong .
Florence De Jong died on July 11, 1990 in Wimbledon, Surrey, England.
Extract:- Various
Herbert Jordan 27th Aug 1889 -
Herbert Jordan was born 27th August 1889.
Started his musical career as a youthful pianist and accompanist. Held many positions as Musical Director and organist.
Was a well known composer and had many works published

in 1946 at the Lyric, Wellingborough
Extract:- Theatre Organ World by Jack Courtnay
Fredrick Jukes 7th Jan 1891 - 1st Feb 1982.
Logo; Organ Biography Web Site Biographical Dictionary of the Organ
Fredrick (Fred) Richard Jukes was born 7th January 1891 in Oldbury, England.
He was appointed organist at the Nuneaton United Reformed Church in July 1914, having passed his LRAM examination earlier the same year. His appointment as organist continued until 1975. In 1916 he was admitted as an Associate of the Royal College of Organists.
Mr. Jukes served for an undisclosed period in the First World War in the Royal Army Medical Corps in France where he entertained the troops in the area on a captured German Grand Piano. After the war he studied for a time at Culdine before returning to the Midlands becoming theatre organist at the Regal Cinema, Leamington.
Extract:- Various
Geoffrey Keith 20th Apr 1914 - Dec 2000
Geoffrey Keith organist
Geoffrey Keith

Image from Theatre Organ World
Geoffrey Newman Keith was born 20th April 1914. Studied under
Edwin Crusha, Edwin Arthur Crusha
Studied at Edmonton Grammar School
Assistant to
Leslie James Leslie James organist
Leslie James
, Regent;
Alex TaylorAlex Taylor
Alex Taylor
Harold RamsayHarold Ramsay organist
Harold Ramsay
Aug 1901 - 29th Jan 1976
Granada. Opened Regal, Winchester
Broadcast for Radio Normandy. Called up to the R.A.F. in 1940. Was engaged in maintenance work, later due to fluency in languages acted as liaison for the Polish Fighter Wing, No 317 Squadron. Later worked on technical research on the German A/C M.E. 109 and the F.W. 190. Demobilised with the rank Sergeant.
Returned to playing at the Savoy, Wandsworth .
Opened the Odeon Cinema Winchester
Extract:- Theatre Organ World
Phil Kelsall M.B.E
Dance time at the Tower Ballroom Blackpool
Blackpool Tower Wurlitzer
Plays for dancing
More dance music
very unusual take on the changeover waltz
At The Buttermarket
Slow Foxtrot Tower Ballroom
Dardanella Tower Ballroom

You Tube link iconOld Standards
We're All Alone
Raining In My Heart
Bright Eyes
Organist Phil Kelsall M.B.E
Phil Kelsall M.B.E
Logo, Wikipedia web sitePhil Kelsall

Phil Kelsall
Cinema Organ Society page

ATOS logoPhil Kelsall
American Theatre Organ Society page

Logo, Web site linkPhil Kelsall
web site

Phil Kelsall
Organ 1st page

Phil Kelsall
Discogs page

Ian Wolstenholme interviews Phil Kelsall in 1983
Ian Wolstenholme interviews Phil Kelsall in 2017
Phil Kelsall has now completed over 40 years playing the Wurlitzer in the Blackpool Tower's Ballroom, having been appointed in 1975, initially as organist in the Tower Circus band with occasional appearances in the Ballroom.
In 1977 Ernest Broadbent the then Tower organist, retired through ill-health and Phil was the obvious choice as the new principal resident organist.
Phil has met many famous people throughout his career however meeting the Queen at the Tower Ballroom on the occasion of the Tower's centenary celebrations in 1994 is without doubt his most memorable meeting. Television and film crews never seem to be far away from the Tower Ballroom and Phil has been filmed on numerous occasions.
The demands on Phil for concert appearances have always been heavy and his touring season begins at the end of October and continues until May each year when he returns to the Tower Ballroom for the summer season. A significant engagement is playing the Wurlitzer at the Thursford Collection for their season of Christmas shows, which runs to around 70 performances each year. Phil performs frequent concerts in the the USA and has undertaken a highly successful tour of Australia and New Zealand.
Phil Kelsall's first recording, Thank You for the Music, was released by EMI in 1978. Together with recordings made on various electronic instruments, notably the Technics SX FA1, Phil has over 40 albums to his credit. t has been estimated that he now has more recordings available than any other organist in the world. No fewer than three of Phil's recordings have won the Music Retailers Association's award as best middle of the road non-vocal recording. In the summer of 2001 a compilation double album of some of his light classical recordings was released on the prestigious Universal Classics label and in its first week entered the Classical Albums Chart as the highest new entry of the week at number six. Phil's album was to remain in the Classic Top 20 for an amazing twelve consecutive weeks, an unprecedented achievement for a theatre organ album.
It is in recognition of Phil Kelsall's contribution to the world of organ music that several other honours have been bestowed upon him. He has held the title of 'Organ World Personality of the Year' and he was elected Patron of the Theatre Organ Club on four occasions. In 1987 he was voted President of the Theatre Organ Club, and is only the second person to hold this office in the Club's long history.
In 1993, Phil Kelsall was particularly proud to receive the coveted Gold Badge Award of the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors for his service to the British music industry.
Phil was extremely proud to have unexpectedly received the MBE in the 2010 Queen's Birthday Honours List for services to music.
Extract:- Phil Kelsall Web site
J. Allen Kennedy
J. Allen Kennedy was organist at the Picture House, Ayr. c.1931
In July 1931 he was chosen as organist for Glasgow Cathedral, while the City Organist was on holiday.
Extract:- The Bioscope
Wednesday 01 July 1931
Peter Kenyon 24th Apr 1915 -
Peter Kenyon was born 24th April 1915. He started music studies under private tuition at an early age.
Peters first cinema appointment was in 1933 at the Astoria, Purley.
Other appointments included; Forum, Ealing; Ritz,
Richmond; Regal, Waltham Green. All for A.B.C.
In 1938 Peter joined the Odeon company and toured the Thames Valley with his base being the Ambassador, Hounslow.
Extract:- Theatre Organ World by Jack Courtnay
Peter Kilby 11th Nov 1916
You Tube link icon
organist Peter Kilby
Peter Kilby
Peter Kilby was born on 11th November 1916 in London.
He started playing piano at the age of 4 and organ at 14. Peter was appointed organist at Lady Bary Church, West Bridgford, Nottingham.
In 1936 Peter opened the Palace at Chatham. he transferred to the Palace, Derby then the Regent, Sheffield (1939).
Peter was unfit for military service but served three years in the Army Auxiliary Motor Repair Shop.
On discharge he took an appointment with G.B. playing Hammond at the Regent Dance Hall and Wurlitzer in Brighton. While there he formed a eight piece band.
1952 at the Regal, Torquay
Broadcast regularly 1945 to 1956
In 1963 he opened the ABC Hanley using the ABC Hammond touring organ.
Extract:- Theatre Organ World
Geoffrey King
Logo; Organ Biography Web Site Biographical Dictionary of the Organ
Geoffrey King opened the Apollo Picture Playhouse, Birmingham.
In 1944 was playing at the Westgate Cinema, Newcastle and the Scala, Leeds
H. Vernon Kington 3rd Jul 1880 - 1951
Biographical Dictionary of the Organ
Horace Vernon Kington was born 1880 in Derby.
In 1894 was working for Midland railway as an office boy
A pupil of T. H. Bennet, A. Rawlinson Wood, N. B. Hibbert and Percy Wood.

Moved to the Ritz Cinema Bradford in 1941 from the Cecil Cinema in Hull after it had been bombed. 1946 working for Associated British.
Extract:- Theatre Organ World

H. Vernon Kington died in 1951
Paul Kirner
Happy Feet - Christie organ
Noel Gay Medley - Compton organ
Georgia's Gotta Moon - Christie organ
In Love For The Very First Time - CONN 651
Re-birth Of The Regal Edmonton Christie
Melody Foxtrot - Wurlitzer - Dancing at the Tower #6 - 1998
The Lilac Waltz - Wurlitzer - Dancing at the Tower #7 - 1998
The Barn Dance - Wurlitzer - Dancing at the Tower #8 - 1998

YouTube linkBlaze Away
Gaumont State Kilburn 4/16 Wurlitzer
Paul Kirner

© Paul Kirner.
If you woyld like to use the image to promote an event featuring Paul then click for a larger version
1962 - 1964 Studied church pipe organ at Ratcliffe College with Adrian Smith, experimenting with popular music on his fathers Lowrey Organ.
1965-1966 further private tuition with Charles D. Smart and Ena Baga on Hammond.
On leaving school 1964 played three months Autumn Season at the Christie Granada Rugby Saturday Evenings, with additional mid-week seasons at Granada Theatres at Slough, Edmonton, Greenford and Mansfield.
1965 - 1969 Playing his own Hammond C3 for Courage Inns, then Cabaret backing and featured music London and Home Counties. Released LP and EP on Hammond.
1970 First Summer Season at Aberystwyth, Promade Banstand and Kings Hall, for Stanley Osborne. Plus late summer season at Isle of Man, Douglas Sea Terminal (Featured music plus Cabaret & Dancing).
1971-1972-1973 Summer Seasons at the Suncastle, Skegness, also appearing at the Embassy and Festival Pavilion.
1974 Eight month Summer Season at Villa Marina Royal Hall and Villa Marina Gardens, and Palace Ballroom, Douglas Isle of Man.
1975 Return season at Aberystwyth Bandstand and Kings Hall with Hazel & The Paul Kirner Sound for John Mann.
1970 - 1975 Accompanying Pantomime Christmas Seasons with pianist and drummer at Woodville Hall Gravesend, Kings Theatre Southsea, Civic Theatre Camberley, Opera House Buxton, Grand Theatre Leek and Hoe Theatre Plymouth.
1972 - 1984 Touring Clubland with own act "Hazel & The Paul Kirner Sound" (Instrumental, Vocal & Comedy). Playing Clubs, Variety Theatres, Bingo Circuits (Ladbrokes, Regent, Gala Clubs, Zetters etc.) LP released by SRT Productions. Topped the bill at four "Clubland Command Performances".
1979 Opened the small Compton at the Lodge with John Mann. 1984 Opened Compton Lodge as a full time fully licensed music venue with daily shows for Coach Parties and Sunday Organ Concerts. Slowly expanded Compton to become a 4 manual with 20 units (13 Wurlitzer) with Melotone & Wurlitzer Upright Piano. Presented over 330 shows every year. Now occasional Organ Shows with Paul and Guest Organists.
2009 - Purchased the ex-Gaumont Manchester 4/14 Wurlitzer from LTOT - presently on hire to Folly Farm Leisure at Killgetty, near Tenby, West Wales.
2016 Opened Paul Kirner's Music Palace in Ynyshir in the Rhondda Valley with ex-Regal Edmonton 4/15 Christie Organ. Charitable status application pending. Will house four theatre pipe organs, (by Christie, Compton and Wurlitzer) plus Compton Theatrone & Hammond LaFleur electronics. Over twenty classic electronic instruments on display.
2017 Paul voted Patron of The Theatre Organ Club.
Clifford T. Knight
Clifford T. Knight Clifford T. Knight
Clifford T. Knight
Clifford T. Knight began cinema work in 1911.
After the war he played at the Palladium, Ealing, The Coronet, Notting Hill Gate, and the Grange, Kilburn.
In 1934 he was playing at the Ritz, Edgware.
His deft and fluent execution shines in the lighter mood and in appropriate use of stage effects. Mr. Knight believes in having each situation in a film definitely fitted, and in including numbers which will appeal to everyone's taste, from symphony to fox-trot.
Extract:- The Complete Organ Recitalist. Herbert Westerby
Don Knights 1914
Don Khights organist

Origin:- Discogs
Don Knights
Discogs page
Don Knights was born 1914 in Kings Lynn, Norfolk.
Studied organ under Norman Collie at St. Marys Church, Stoke Newington.

Photograph by John Salmon.

At the age of 12 Don played a series of services for the Bishop of London. (Bishop Ingram)

Arthur Winnington-Ingram

Had theatre organ lessons from Leslie Simpson at the Regent, Stamford Hill.
Don played for Granada for three years, then three years with A.B.C. at the Majestic, Mitcham.
Called up in 1940 and served in U.K. Belgium and Germany. Demobbed in February 1946.
In March 1946 Don was appointed to the Odeon Theatre, Watford.
Extract:- Theatre Organ World by Jack Courtnay
Maria Kumagai
Maria Kumagai organist
Maria Kumagai
Discogs page

Link to the Alan Ashton Organ Celebreties page
Maria Kumagai was born in Japan. She became interested in the piano when she was seven. Several years later she heard a recording of a theatre organ for the first time, quite unusual as there is only one theatre organ in Japan.
Wanting to learn the theatre organ Maria Kumagai moved to the USA where she introduced herself to Bill Thompson who became her teacher. Maria made rapid progress and Bill suggested she included classical studies, this she did with Richard Purvis.
Two years after arriving in the USA Maria Kumagai performed a concert in a Cathedral. She soon received invitations to play at a number of prestigious venues in the USA and also abroad including England, Europe, Australia and the country of her birth Japan.
With little warning Maria returned to Japan, nothing has been heard of her since.
Extract:- Organ Celebrities 24
Lyndon Laird
Lyndon Laird orgaist

at the Console of the Paramount Cinema Glasgow Compton
stories of London

Logo, Newspaper article
The Scotsman
Wednesday 23 April 1930
Image © Johnston Press plc
Lyndon Laird opened the Astoria and Capitol Cinemas, Edinburgh.
He also played the Paramount Cinema, Glasgow
W. Steff Langston 1872 - 1941
You Tube link icon Discography
Click Icon

Logo; Organ Biography Web Site Biographical Dictionary of the Organ
Click Icon

Logo, Newspaper article
The death of Mr. W. Steff Langston in Hendon, London. Has removed a craftsman who designed several cinema organs. His early days were spent at Aspley Guise and Woburn, and in addition to being organist at the churches in those parishes he formed musical parties and conducted many concerts and oratorios in the district. His services were in great demand a quarter of a century ago. And he has been organist at many London cinemas.
He had scores of pupils for organ and piano in the district.
Bedfordshire Times and Independent
Friday 02 May 1941 Image © Johnston Press plc.
Image created courtesy of
William Austin Paul Steff Langston was born in 1872 Thame, Oxfordshire, England.
Organist at St Mary's Church in Woburn from 1904
He became a Freemason in 1920
During the early 20s he toured with the Harvey Bathurst pipe organ.

Hill, Norman and Beard
5 manual
2,300 pipes and 75 stops
Required seven railway trucks to move it
Image:-Derbyshire Advertiser and Journal - Friday 11 June 1920

He was opening organist playing Christie organs at Lido Cinema, Islington; Globe Cinema. Old Kent Road & Elite Picture Palace, Wimbledon. Recording on the Christie organ at the Elite Cinema in 1927.
Gramophone Notes

W Steff-Langston gives us Coleridge-Taylor's Intermezzo in C and Brahms's 'Hungarian Dance' No. 5, playing the latter far too quickly for effect; also a dreadful 'Poem,' by Fiblich, along with the capital Triumphal March from Grieg's 'Sigurd Jorsalfar'. Mr. Steff-Langston Is over-fond of the tremulant -a device which hinders clear recording.
He plays a 'Christie Unit' organ at a Wimbledon Cinema called the 'Elite Super' : why not add 'Créme de la Crème'?

The Musical Times
June 1st 1927

In May 1927 he recorded Hungarian Dance, No. 5 and Intermezzo In C for Columbia records using the Christie at the Elite,
1932 he was playing at the Ambassador, Hendon Central
Steff Langston died 1941
Doris Lamb 28th Sep 1898 - 1974
Doris Lamb organist

Origin:- Theatre Organ World by Jack Courtnay
Doris Kathleen Lamb was born 28th September 1898.
Doris studied pianoforte, singing and violin at Ashley House School, Worksop, and gained a diploma A.L.C.M. for pianoforte in 1915. Then gained a diploma A.R.C.M. for singing (performer) in 1922.
She studied under Eva Rich
Miss Eva Rich was one of the most prominent of Sheffield musicians.
Miss Rich made her debut at three years of age. She was intended for a scholastic career, and was educated at the Central Secondary School, and afterwards at the Pupil Teachers' Training College, but her musical activities interrupted this work, and from the age of 14 to 18 Miss Rich had a series of successes which is seldom achieved until a much later age.
At 14 she took principal soprano part in Flotow's "Marta," and at 15 she played the role of Santuzza ("Cavalleria Rusticana") in Vadini's Opera Company. She conducted the "Messiah" when 18 years of age, and soon after was offered engagements by Sir Henry Wood, at the Promenade Concerts, Queen's Hall, London.
Her studies were taken in Sheffield under Miss Marie Foxon and in London under Sir Henry Wood and Mr TC Fairbairn, the principal of the London School of Opera. She sang important solos at Sheffield Festivals, and was soloist at the first Scottish Festival (held in Aberdeen).
Miss Rich relinquished all work of this kind in 1920, but her experience was of the utmost value to her many pupils.
Extract:- Who's Who In Sheffield
Church organ studies were under Allan Stephenson
b.1891 - d.1950
Hon.R.C.M., F.R.C.O., F.R.S.A. Organist at Coventry Cathedral, 1933-40
Extract:- Variouse
. In 1917 Doris began her musical career as a teacher of pianoforte, singing and violin. Between 1918 and 1922 she was orchestral pianist at the Gaiety Theatre, Worksop. She left the Gaiety theatre to become a professional singer.
In 1927 she joined she joined Gaumont British at the Grand, Gainsborough. Her first appointment as a cinema organist was in 1933 at the New Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue and was relief organist at New Gallery, Regent Street.
In 1942 Doris joined Associated British playing at the Piccadilly, Sparkbrook, she then moved to the Regal, Handsworth.
Died 1974 in the district Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire.
Stanley Lambert
Stanley Lambert opened the Coliseum Cinema, Harrow and Regal Cinema, Highams Park.
In 1973 he was a managing director, at Lambert, Nicholson & Co
Don Lorusso
See Don Compton
Herbie Laws
Logo; Organ Biography Web Site Biographical Dictionary of the Organ
1924 Herbie Laws was at the Coliseum, Whitley Bay
1928 opened the Plaza Cinema, Newcastle upon Tyne.
1946 working for Associated British.
Extract:- Theatre Organ World
Jack Lawton 29th Apr 1909 - 2000
Jack Lawton organist
Jack Lawton

Eastbourne Herald
Saturday 06 October 1951
Image © Johnston Press plc.
Image created courtesy of
Veteran organist Jack Lawton, who stared alongside Benny Hill, Frankie Howerd, George Formby and Stan Laurel died at the age of 91. Born in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire 29th April 1909, he started playing the piano at 11, performing regularly at his local Methodist church.
After taking a job with a trio at a nearby cafe, he landed a contract with BBC Radio, and went on to form his own nine- piece orchestra. He divided his time between gigs with the band throughout Yorkshire and regular performances on the Christie cinema organ at the Capitol, Didsbury, Manchester.
After appearing in a summer show in London, Jack landed the prized job of pianist in the first class quarters of the luxury liner Queen Mary. On one voyage a young Marlene Dietrich was so taken with his style she invited him to Hollywood. But bored with life at sea and unimpressed by the lure of Tinsel Town, he returned home to become resident organist playing the Wurlitzer at the Paramount Cinema in Leeds.
In 1938 he went to Germany with the Tropical Express variety show.
A musical cosmopolitan revue visited Empire, Kingston, during the two wars - with a romantic figure as the proprietor - Professor Dorley, who toured the world's best theatres with his productions, that whirlwind success. The Tropical Express and Dorley's Rocket.
I will give a brief account of the Tropical Express as I staged it at Kingston. It was billed as a super production of one hundred scenes - in a spectacular two-hour show presented twice nightly. The company consisted of eighty performers - these artists came from every country (with few exceptions) in the world including Chinese, Peruvians, Indians, Mexicans and even Finns - were among this heterogeneous collection of artists, and animals, for they too played a very important part in this mammoth production.
Extract:- Memories of Show Business by Percy G Court, 1953
Jack found himself giving a concert in Hitler's own night club in Munich shortly before war broke out, and missed bumping into the Fuhrer by five minutes. He finally decided to retreat after getting into a boozing session with a Leipzig cafe owner only to find he was a senior SS member.
Jack returned to Britain, married first wife Renee, and was called up as an RAF instrument technician though he spent most of the war entertaining the troops and playing for various star variety shows.
In the fifties he toured Britain with leading comedy showband Dr Crock and His Crackpots,
Harry Hines AKA Doctor Crock (1911-1971) recorded with Spike Hughes, Ambrose and Ray Noble in the 1930s.
In March 1947, he was asked by Radio Promoter Maurice Winnick, to form a comedy band to replace Sid Millward and the Nitwits, on a BBC radio show called "Ignorance is Bliss". They were to be called "Professor Crock And His Crackpots". He later changed this to "Doctor Crock". Hines agreed and formed the band. In July 1947, Hines decided to leave the show and go on the road with his new band. Winnick said they could not do that as he created and owned the name. It went to Court. The case is on record "Hines Vs. Winnick" 1947. Hines won, so they went on the road for the next 15 years. They worked mainly on the "Moss Empires" circuit, such as "Hackney Empire", and "Finsbury Park Empire", as well as many other Variety Theatres all over Great Britain.

Extract:- Biography
then ran a series of summer shows on Cleethorpes pier.
After a divorce, he took his act to Southport, where he met vocalist Shirley Constable, with whom he struck up an immediate musical and personal relationship. After marrying, he and Shirley who took the stage name King returned to Cleethorpes. They appeared in summer seasons on the pier, before moving to the resort's Winter Gardens, where they launched a cabaret night, which ran for 25 years.
Jack was still playing at weekly tea dances at 86.
Jack Lawton died in 2000
Extract:- Jack Lawton obituary (The Stage)
Ann Leaf 28th Jun 1906 - 3rd Apr 1995
At the Wurlitzer tracks
You Tube link iconAnn Leaf plays
And This Is My Beloved
You Tube link iconAnn Leaf plays
You Tube link iconAnn Leaf plays
You Tube link iconAnn Leaf plays
You Tube link iconAnn Leaf plays
Bali Ha'i
You Tube link iconAnn Leaf plays
Blue Violins
You Tube link iconAnn Leaf plays
Waltz on a Cloud
You Tube link iconAnn Leaf plays
Dance of the Comedians
You Tube link iconAnn Leaf plays
You Tube link iconAnn Leaf plays
Port au Prince
You Tube link iconAnn Leaf plays
Noche Caribe
Ann Leaf organist
Ann Leaf
ATOS link logo 1981
Ann Leaf was born 28th June 1906 in Omaha Nebraska.
Due to her height was called the Mighty Mite.
Her signature tune was her own composition and was called 'In Time'.
Her debut recording was Ann Leaf at the Mighty Wurlitzer.
Ann made her first concert debut at the age of 11 playing piano. She moved from piano to theatre organ and aged 17 became organist at the Graumen Million Dollor Theatre.
She married Elias Halevy Kleinert.
In 1929 she started working for the Columbia Broadcasting System. Initially Ann played the Paramount Studio Wurlitzer as used by Jesse Crawford. Eventually CBS installed a Kimbal organ and added a few pipes, Ann used this instrument to make numerous broadcasts.
During the fifties Ann played the Wurlitzer organ at the Rainbow Centre New York.
Ann Lief died 3rd April 1995.
Extract:- Organ Celebrities
Derek Leask
Derek Leask organist
Derek Leask

Advert 1967
Image © The Stage Media Company Limited
1946 Playing the Odeon Circuit.
1954 Cove Pavilion, Westo-super-mare
Extract:- Theatre Organ World
Leonard Leigh
You Tube link iconValencia
Leonard Leigh organist
Leonard Leigh
Link to the Alan Ashton Organ Celebrities page for Leonard Leigh

Leonard Leigh
Discogs page
Leonard Leigh became organist for the KsSTP radio station in 1934, a post he held for 13 years. He played a Robert Morton organ for the broadcasts.
During the 1920s Leonard had held a number of cinema organ appointments.
In 1947 Leonard moved to Hollywood. When work for theatre organists dried up he moved to demonstrating Hammond organs, he then moved to Baldwin where be became sales manager for the Arizona region.
Extract:- Organ Celebrities
Norris Leslie
1938 Regal, Leamington Spa.
1939 Regent, Leamington Spa
1940 Tower, West Bromwich
1946 working for Associated British.
Extract:- Various
Leroy Lewis 7th May 1935 - 2000
You Tube link iconMerengues
You Tube link iconCafé de Costa Rica
You Tube link iconPanama
You Tube link iconEl Cumbanchero
You Tube link iconLa Botijuela-Panamá Soberana
You Tube link iconHava Nagila
You Tube link iconTamboreras Panameñas
Leroy Lewis organist
Leroy Lewis
Leroy Lewis
Discogs page

Born in Reading, Pa., Leroy Lewis started playing the piano at the age of 3.
At 14 years old, he was playing professionally.
Leroy Lewis was just a teenager when he played his first theatre pipe organ, a mighty Wurlitzer seen commonly in large churches -- when he visited a church in Ohio.
Leroy Lewis was playing at the Promenade in Newark NJ when he was heard by George Bowles, owner of the Surf City Hotel on Long Beach Island. Engaged by Bowles to play at the Surf City Hotel in 1957, Leroy Lewis assisted by Ted Campbell, an organ technician, installed the first visual (pipes behind glass, allowing all the pipes to be seen) Wurlitzer Theatre Organ in the United States. At that time Leroy Lewis was only 21 years old.
From The Surf City Hotel, Lewis opened at the newly-built Lighthouse Inn on Long Beach Island. In the early 60s, Lewis met John Doyle, at that time manager of the Panama Hilton Hotel in Panama City , Panama. Doyle was anxious to present Lewis at the El Panama and give him the freedom to choose any Wulitzer organ he desired. Lewis selected the three-manual, 27-rank Wurlitzer originally installed in the Stanley-Warner Theatre, Atlantic City.
In 1989, he retired and moved to Central Florida, but he still played periodically in various clubs and other venues in the area.
At the age of 65 Leroy Lewis died of cancer.
Extract:- Various
V. Johnson Lewis 1912 -
V. Johnson Lewis organist
V. Johnson Lewis

Origin:- Theatre Organ World by Jack Courtnay
V. Johnson Lewis was born 1912 in Birmingham.
Educated at King Edwards School but left in 1930 to study piano, organ and theoretical subjects with Dr. Wolstenholme
William Wolstenholme was born in Blackburn, Lancashire on 24th Feb 1865. He was blind from birth and was educated at the Worcester College for the Blind Sons of Gentlemen. He showed considerable promise as a musician and impressed Henry Smart who agreed to take him as a pupil. Alas, Smart died before lessons began. He was duly trained in music by Dr William Done of Worcester. He also studied the violin under Edward Elgar. In 1887 Wolstenholme went up to Oxford University where he later graduated as a Bachelor of Music.
Click to Read more:
and Dr Chris Edmunds, gaining the Trinity College London Diploma in Music Theory in 1931.
He studied theatre organ with Reginald New at the Beaufort Cinema, Washwood Heath, becoming his assistant, and playing piano with him in organ/piano duets broadcast from that theatre in 1933.
Opened and then spent five years at the Astoria, Boscombe then toured the L. Morris Theatres. This was followed by three years with A.B.C. at Kidderminster and Birmingham as organist/assistant manager.
Returned to L. Morris to re-open the Rialto, Coventry Street as manager and organist (playing a Compton Theatrone).
In 1941 played at the Pavilion, Stirchley
Joined Granada in 1943 and toured the circuit for 18 months. In 1944 he joined Odeon Theatres Ltd. at the Odeon-Astoria, Old Kent Road.
In 1945 broadcast from the Odeon, Swiss Cottage. He then transferred to the Odeon, Weston Super Mare, doing the occasional tour.
Moved to the New Palace, Bristol in 1949.
Extract:- Theatre Organ World by Jack Courtnay + other sources
Ralph Lewis
Ralph Lewis was organist at the Rivoli, St. Helens until September 1930
Rudy Lewis
BBC Broadcast, Trocadero Cinema, Elephant & Castle
Rudy Lewis organist
Rudy Lewis

Origin:- Theatre Organ World

Logo, Newspaper article
Rudy Lewis was born Rubin Lipshitz
in 1913 in the district of Fulham, London.
At the age of 5 he displayed unmistakable musical talent. He won an L.C.C. Musical Scholarship. He studied at the Royal Academy of Music under York Bowen

Before the first world war York Bowen had a formidable reputation as a pianist and composer and was considered to be one of Britain's finest pianists.
Extract:- Web site
G. D. Cunningham
George Dorrington Cunningham
1878 - 1948
. M.A., F.R.A.M., F.R.C.O.
Studied at the Royal Academy of Music
Rudy left the Academy after four years study with a teachers diploma and a certificate for the highest award of that institution.
His first public appearance was made at the age of 18 at Dukes Hall, London, performing Greig's piano concerto with a symphony orchestra conducted by B. Walton O'Donnell
Extract:- O'Donell family history
. His first professional job was as pianist and accordionist in a Tanfo band. This was followed by a job in a resident stage band at a cinema.
He went on to become organist at at the Gaumont Palace, Lewisham and touring the Union Cinema circuit. At the outbreak of war he joined ENSA as pianist and accordionist in charge of a concert party.
On demobilisation was appointed to the State, Kilburn, staying there for six years then transfered to the Trocadero, Elephant & Castle.
Rudy was a regular broadcaster for both classical and dance music.
Extract:- Theatre Organ World by Jack Courtnay
Wyndham George Lewis
Biographical Dictionary of the Organ
Wyndham George Lewis was born 1910 in Briton Ferry, Wales.
Organist at Empire Theatre, Cardiff and Regal, Kingston-on-Thames
In 1934 he opened the Theatre De Luxe, Gloucester. He was also theatre manager at the cinema.

1940 Playing Compton at the Rialto Coventry

Leslie James recorded at the Rialto but other than that no reference to an organ here can be found
Miss Lindsay
Miss Lindsay was resident at the Coliseum, Harrow
Ronald Linton b. 22nd Jan 1910
Ronald Linton organist
Ronald Linton

Origin- Theatre Organ World
Ronald Linton was born 22nd January 1910 in Liverpool.
He studied organ, violin and piano and won a gold medal for sight reading at 16, he then began his career as a professional musician.
After playing for silent movies in cinemas and some concert party work he decided to see the world, playing in ships orchestras on trips to West Africa and Canada.
On returning home he toured all the No. 1 dates with 'The Chocolate Soldier'
The Chocolate Soldier is an operetta composed in 1908 by Oscar Straus, based on George Bernard Shaw's 1894 play, Arms and the Man.

He also played in the John Borelli's (Blore) production of 'Tulip Time'

Based on a Book by Worton David & Alfred Parker.
Music, Colin Wark.
Lyrics, Bruce Sievier.
London run, Alhambra Theatre, Leicester Sq.
The show ran for 425 performances.

Ronald studied Hammond organ under Frederic Bayco and played Hammond at Earls Court. He was resident organist at the Gaumont Palace, Plymouth when he was called up for Army service.
Ronald spent 5½ years in the Somerset Light Infantry, playing in the Royal Berkshire Band on a number of occasions.
On demobilisation was appointed resident organist at the Gaumont Palace, Chatham.
Reginald Liversidge 13th Jan 1909 - 17th Oct 1979
Reginald Liversidge organist
Reginald Liversidge

Origin- Theatre Organ World
George Reginald Liversidge was born 13th January 1909 in Huddersfield, Yorkshire.
He trained as a church organist under Ernest Cooper and played his first church service at the age of 9.
His first cinema appointment was in 1924 playing a reed organ in the silent picture orchestra at the Star Picture House, Huddersfield.
His first theatre organ appointment was as deputy orchestral organist at the Astoria, Charring Cross Road. In 1927 he was appointed solo organist at at the Savoy Cinema, Darley Street, Bradford.
Reginald opened his first theatre organ at the Ambassador Cinema, Pendleton in 1928, staying there for five years.
In 1937 he was appointed as musical advisor to John Buckley Theatres, opening the last three Christie Theatre organs built by Christie, they were at Bolton; Salford and Chorley.
Was a regular broadcaster on the BBC, his first broadcast was on 18th September 1934 when he opened the Christie organ at the Pyramid, Sale
Reginald served in the RAF for a short period, discharged as medically unfit in 1941.
In 1946 was playing the Lido Cinemas in Bolton, Carlton & Salford and the Plaza, Chorley
Extract:- Theatre Organ World by Jack Courtnay
David Lobban
Blackpool's Empress Ballroom
Tower Wurlitzer - Rumba Medley
Blackpools Opera House - Quiet Village
You Tube link iconBlackpool Opera House Wurlitzer
You Tube link iconAround The World In 80 Tunes
Organist David Lobban
David Lobban
David Lobban has been playing organ and piano ever since he completed his apprenticeship as a pipe organ builder with Hill, Norman & Beard in 1977. In that year he emigrated to Canada and played organ in a number of venues including ice hockey stadia and circuses.
On his return to the UK in 1988 David had a number of different jobs including Resident Organist at ‘The Bygone Village’, Musical Director for the ‘Gerry Cottles Circus’ and show/keyboard player and cocktail pianist on a cruise ship.
In 1992 he joined the team of organists at the Blackpool Tower playing the famous Wurlitzer.
Extract:- David Lobban COS page
Arthur Lord 1921 - 2010
You Tube link icon
Arthur Lord
Arthur Lord
Arthur Lord Started playing the piano at the age of 5 then moved on to the organ with
V. Johnson LewisV. Johnson Lewis organist
V. Johnson Lewis
at the Astoria Boscombe.
Arthur had his first engagement at the age of 16 with Union Cinemas as assistant to
H. Robinson CleaverRobinson Cleaver organist
Robinson Cleaver
25th May 1906 - 23rd July 1987
. Six months later he was appointed to the Rivoli at Southend on Sea.
On the outbreak of war Arthur transferred to the Piccadilly in Birmingham. Arthur joined the R.A.F. in 1940 and demobbed in 1946. He was reinstated by A.B.C. and appointed to the Ritz Aldershot and Ritz Woking.
Extract:- Theatre Organ World
Eric Lord
Medley - Conn 652 electronic theatre organ in 1985
Playing in the style of Jesse Crawford
You Tube link icon
Organist Eric Lord
Eric Lord
Eric Lord
Organ 1st CD sales
Eric Lord
Discogs page

Alan Ashton Organ Celebrities page

Ian Wolstenholme interviews Eric Lord
Eric Lord held a number of cinema organ appointments between 1935 and 1940. He was eventually appointed resident organist at the Paramount Cinema Newcastle Upon Tyne.
He served in the RAF and on return to civvy street returned to the Paramount.
When cinema organs lost popularity Eric became a cinema manager.
He left the world of the cinema and joined Lowery as a demonstrator.
During the 70s and 80s Eric Lord was the presenter of the radio program 'Organ Showcase' on BBC Radio Blackburn.
Extract:- Organ Celebrities
David Lowe
railway medley Victoria Hall, Saltaire
David Lowe organist
David Lowe
David Lowe Cinema Organ page
David Lowe was born in Shipley, West Yorkshire, he was introduced to music at an early age via the family gramophone, radio, and a player piano.
After piano lessons to Grade 6, organ lessons followed utilising fine pipe organs at Bradford Grammar School and St Peter's Church, Shipley, where he became assistant organist and choirmaster, still in his teens.
Around 1963 he discovered the theatre organ and sought out the nearest Wurlitzer - the 3-10 at the Gaumont, Bradford - and was soon being featured as house organist. This led to an engagement at the nearby Silver Blades Ice Rink, Bradford, which in turn led to his moving to London as resident organist at the prestigious Silver Blades, Streatham.
B. Lowe
1946 working for Associated British.
Extract:- Theatre Organ World
Arnold Loxam 13th May 1916 - 14th Mar 2010
Blackpool Tower Wurlitzer (1)
Blackpool Tower Wurlitzer (2)
Blackpool Tower Wurlitzer (3)
Louth Town Hall Compton
CasaLoma 1992
Organist Arnold Loxam
Arnold Loxam
Logo, Wikipedia web siteArnold Loxam

Logo, Newspaper articleArnold Loxam
Theatre Organ Journal

Arnold Loxam
CD sales site
Arnold Loxam
Organ 1st page
Arnold Loxam was born 30th May 1916 in Wibsey, West Yorkshire.
Arnold gave his first broadcast there as a child pianist in 1925. Arnold Loxam made his first appearance on the Wurlitzer theatre organ at the then New Victoria cinema in Bradford.
In 1946 he began playing regularly for New Victoria audiences and broadcasting from the theatre for BBC Radio. He was appointed deputy organist playing every Sunday and deputized for
Norman Briggs Norman Briggs organist
Norman Briggs
1909 - 1973
until 1948.
Arnold was famous for his bouncy playing style.
He gave his first solo broadcast on the BBC Theatre Organ on 29 November 1947.
The association with Bradford continued until 1962 when the BBC switched its broadcasts to the Leeds Odeon.
Arnold Loxam met his future wife in 1948 when she was working at the New Victoria as an usherette. Mrs Audrey Annie Loxam was his driver for 25 years, chauffeuring him around to fulfil a busy schedule of engagements in this country and overseas.
Arnold Loxam died 14th March 2010 in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire
Extract:- Arnold Loxam
Allan Lusty
Allan Lusty organist
Allan Lusty
Logo; Organ Biography Web Site Biographical Dictionary of the Organ
Allan Lusty was born 29th November 1911.
Trained at Newport, Monmouth, Cathedral, took A.R.C. diploma and was assistant organist for three years.
Allan studied theatre organ under
Edgar PetoEdgar Peto organist
Edgar Peto
c. 1893 - 7th Jun 1940
. He hade appointments at the Coliseum, Harrow and with Bernstein Theatres. He was at the Rex, Coventry when he was called up for national service in 1940.
He served for 6 years (3½ years in North Africa and Itally) in the Royal Corps of Signals, reaching the rank of Acting Captain. During 1945-6 he held the post of organist at St. Pauls American Church, Rome.
On demobilisation was appointed to the Havana, Romford.
Gene Lynn
Gene Lynn organist
Gene Lynn

Castle Cinema Christie
Photograph Courtesy of Gordon Crook
Click for full picture and more information
Radio Times 1923 - 2009
Emlyn Jones aka. Gene Lynn toured the U.S.A. and Canada as accompanist and organist for the Rhondda Welsh Singers. This tour lasted four years, after which he was engaged at Proctors Theatre, Schenectady, New York. He remained in the States for ten years, playing at Miami and Buffalo. On his return to England he was organist at the Castle Super Cinema Merthyr Tydfil, broadcasting from here regularly between 1937 & 1939
1943 playing at the Ritz, Penzance

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