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Organist Directory :- Theatre M - P

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
Louise MacDonald 2nd Nov 1914
Louise MacDonald organist
Louise MacDonald

Camera icon Louise MacDonald
Louise MacDonald
Tonic Cinema Bangor
Logo; Organ Biography Web Site Biographical Dictionary of the Organ

Logo, Newspaper article
Louise MocDonald
Louise MocDonald sits once again at the console of the Tonic Cinema organ, which has been installed at Bangor boys secondary school.
With her are history teacher Rodney Bambrick, who bought the organ, and two of the pupils who helped to rebuild it, Robert Bell (left) and lain Reid.
Remember that tune?
A NEW home has been found for Ulster's last cinema organ.
It used to be a part of the old Tonic Cinema In Bangor. Now it's the pride and Joy of the local boys secondary school, who are probably the first in Ireland to own one.
It was bought for £150 from the owners by Mr. Rodney Bambrick, who is head of the history department.
He and some of the pupils then rebuilt the organ In the school. And next Thursday night, there will be a grand opening recital when among those at the keys will be the former Tonic organist Louise MacDonald. Bangor folk wil1 remember her old signature tune "Every Little Breeze"
Belfast Telegraph - Thursday 14 November 1974
Louise MacDonald was born 2nd November 1914 in Southport, Lancashire.
She trained for four years at the Royal Manchester College of Music and was awarded performers and teachers diplomas in 1934.
Between 1941 and 1945 was organist at the Tonic Cinema, Bangor, Co. Down. she was then appointed to the Gaumont Palace, Plymouth. In 1947 she was playing the Wurlitzer at the Classic, Belfast. In 1953 she was again playing the Comnpton at the Tonic, Bangor.
Louise composed a number of pieces that were broadcast.
Extract:- Theatre Organ World by Jack Courtnay

To read more about Louise MacDonalds' life as a cinema organist in Ireland click here
Sandy Macpherson 3rd Mar 1897 – 3rd Mar 1975
interview (1939)
B.B.C. Compton Theatre Organ 1939
Any Broken Hearts to Mend
Bruno Aymone Channel
I'll Turn To YouSandy Macpherson
Sylvia Welling

YouTube linkSay A Little Prayer For Me
Empire Leicester Square
YouTube linkGypsy Melody
Empire Leicester Square
YouTube linkThe Same As We Used To Do
Empire Leicester Square
YouTube linkTwilight Hour 3
BBC Theatre Organ
YouTube linkFlashbacks of Jessie Matthews
BBC Theatre Organ
YouTube linkEvergreen Melodies
BBC Theatre Organ
Organist Sandy Macpherson
Sandy Macpherson
Logo, Wikipedia web site Sandy Macpherson

Sandy Macpherson
Discogs page

Logo; Organ Biography Web Site Biographical Dictionary of the Organ
Roderick Hallowell 'Sandy' MacPherson was born 3rd March 1897 in Paris, Ontario, Canada.
From 1928 to 1938 Sandy MacPherson was the resident organist at the Empire, Leicester Square, before being appointed BBC Theatre Organist in succession to Reginald Foort.
During the war years Macpherson instituted parents speaking to their evacuee children in America live on the radio. He ran a number of request programmes.
When the BBC briefly switched to broadcasting only light music in September 1939, MacPherson played up to twelve hours per day, also filling in with announcements and programme-notes whilst the organisation hastily evacuated its staff from London to various locations around the British Isles. Pressure from listeners and the press, who quickly tired of this seemingly unending diet of theatre organ day after day, soon caused the BBC to resume broadcasting a wider range of music.
In the dark days of late 1939 - early 1940, Sandy's original signature tune, "Happy Days Are Here Again" was decidedly inappropriate to the times and he replaced it with his own composition, "I'll Play To You", a slow waltz.
In the early fifties he was best known for his regular programme of light-religious music 'The Chapel in the Valley'. Sandy also had a request programme running at the same time which concentrated on slightly lighter music and was very popular with the older generation.
He retired from the position of BBC Theatre Organist in . After retirement, Sandy continued to broadcast from time to time, usually on the 4-manual 16-rank Wurlitzer in the Gaumont State Cinema, Kilburn, North London.
He was the subject of This Is Your Life in November 1961 when he was surprised by Eamonn Andrews.
Sandy McPherson died on his 78th birthday, 3rd March 1975.

The War Years personal account by Sandy Macpherson on his time at the BBC during the war
Extract:- Sandy McPherson
W. N. MacQuarrie
W. N. MacQuarrie, was a native oi Glasgow. He had considerable experience in unit organ playing, having held important posts in American kinemas, and also in this country with P.C.T. and the Biocolour Co.
In 1928 he was appointed resident organist at the Waverley Picture House, Shawlands Cross
John Madin 1st May 1912 - 1989
You Tube link iconMerry Widow Selection
Granada Tooting
John Madin organist
John Madin
Background and CD review

Logo, Newspaper article John Madin at the BBC Theatre organ
Coventry Evening Telegraph
Thursday 20 July 1939
Image © Trinity Mirror.
Image created courtesy of
John Madin was born 1st May 1912 in Chesterfield.
John Graduated from piano to church organ and was a student of
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
His first theatre organ appointment was in Sheffield in 1929.
John made his first broadcast in from Coventry in 1929, and continued making regular broadcasts, mostly from the Granadas, Tooting and Clapham Junction but also from the Granadas, Welling & Bedford
During the war he was attached to the R.A.F. Central Band and spent 5½ years as band leader.
Extract:- Theatre Organ World by Jack Courtnay
John Mann John Mann on Electronic organ
John Mann OrganFax Page
State Theatre, Kilburn 1
State Theatre, Kilburn 2
State Theatre, Kilburn 3
Plays Compton
Compton Organ Haarlem
Dome Brighton Christie and piano
Organist John Mann
John Mann
Logo, Web site link John Mann Web site

John Mann appreciation Society

John Mann Cinema Organ Society page

Organ 1st page for John Mann
John Mann
Discogs page
Music has always been the prime priority in John Mann's life. From an early age he showed his enthusiasm, and was quickly encouraged by his parents, who bought him a piano.
John worked hard on that piano, and his music teacher was so interested in the young Mr Mann that she gave more than the set lesson time, John went on to pass his Royal School of Music examinations and participated in many musical festivals in Brighton, his hometown.
There was a deep flair for the show business side too. John went to the Brighton School of Drama where he took part in acting, elocution and dancing lessons
The knowledge of dance and stage craft has helped him over the years in his varied work.
John applied for and got the job of organist at the local sports stadium. Up to this time John's organ playing was confined to church organ lessons with the study of Voluntary's and some Bach works. Secretly when he was left alone in the church at night he would let rip with a few extemporisations on well-known songs of the day - all done in the best possible taste!!
By now he was in full flight on the road to becoming an Entertainment Organist, with variations, producing the Summer Season Concert Party and Band shows that have served him well to set up his present position as Britain's number one Entertainment Organist.
John retired in 2018.
Extract:- John Mann Web site
Arthur Manning
Arthur Manning Arthur Manning
Arthur Manning
Ritz Cinema Barnsley
On May 6th Barnsley will be on the air for the first time. Arthur Manning, cinema organist, will broadcast at 6 pm. It will be his first broadcast in this country, but he was one of the most popular radio organists when in South Africa. He intends to play popular songs and light classics.
Sheffield Evening Telegraph - Tuesday 21 March 1939
Arthur Manning was at the Ritz Barnsley in 1939 and regularly broadcast from there.
Donald MacKenzie
Donald MacKenzie OrganFax Page
Odeon Leicester Square
On The Bench with Dr. Carol Williams
Organist Donald Mackenzie
Donald Mackenzie
Logo, Web site link Donald Mackenzie web site

Cinema Organ Society page

Organ 1st page for Donald Mackenzie" />
Donald MacKenzie was born in 1970 in Ayrshire (Scotland), and after learning to play the piano and classical organ with renowned Scottish organist Gordon Frier, he received his first engagement in 1988 as the resident organist to the Glasgow Garden Festival. In 1991 Donald was the winner of the Senior Young Theatre Organist of the Year in the A.T.O.S. International.
In July 1992 Donald began his long association with the Odeon Leicester Square Compton organ, by playing it for a number of events including a preview of 'Beauty and the Beast' and 'Chaplin'. In November 1993 he was engaged to play the organ before each performance of the film, 'Aladdin'. He was then appointed House Organist. He has broadcast from the Odeon on BBC Radios 2, 3, 4 and the World Service.
Donald regularly plays the Bournemouth Pavilion Compton Organ Concert Series. 2006 also marked his third concert at the Albert Hall Nottingham. In 2005 and 2006 Donald gave concerts at the International Johann Strauss Festival held in Bucharest. In July 2006 Donald made his debut at the world famous Spreckels Organ housed in the magnificent surroundings of Balboa Park in San Diego.
When he is not playing for concerts Donald specialises in the accompaniment of Silent Films. He has now more than twenty feature films 'under his fingers' including the major classics of the silent screen - The Phantom of the Opera, Dr. Jeckyl and Mr. Hyde, King of Kings, Carmen, The Black Pirate, Metropolis - as well as many different types of short silent films. One of his most treasured memories was playing for the film 'Nosferatu' at the Usher Hall Edinburgh in October 2005 to a very enthusiastic full house. In December 2005 Donald appeared at the Odeon on an ITV programme, demonstrating the art of silent film accompaniment.
Donald has a degree in music from the University of London.
Extract:- Donald McKenzie Web site
Quentin Maclean 14th May 1896 - 9th Jul 1962
You Tube link iconWidors Toccata
Regal Cinema
Marble Arch
You Tube link iconRide of the Valkyries
Regal Cinema
Marble Arch
You Tube link iconRhapsody in Blue
You Tube link icon1812 Overture
You Tube link iconThe Clouds Will Soon Roll By
You Tube link iconMarche nuptiale
YouTube linkThe Music Of Eric Coates
Trocadero, Elephant and Castle
YouTube linkQuentin & The Carlyle Cousins
Underneath The Arches
Trocadero, Elephant and Castle
Quentin Maclean organist
Quentin Maclean
Biographical Dictionary of the Organ

Composers For Organs
Portrait Gallery

Logo, Newspaper article

Quentin Maclean

Quentin Maclean, the famous organist from the Tracadero, Elephant and Castle, is the first of the organists to be engaged for the second series of popular organ concerts taking place at the Colston Hall, Bristol, on Wednesday next. The tour supplying incidental music on the organ for the Lowell Thomas lecture film, "With Allenby in Palestine," really marked the beginning of his career as a theatre organist. This show appeared at the old Coiston Hall in 1920, but Mr Maclean was disappointed, as the old company who then owned the hall would not permit anyone but their own official organist to play. With gratification he received, 17 years later, an invitation from Mr Charles H. Lockier to play on the new and enlarged instrument, and Bristolians gave him a fine reception.
Western Daily Press - Saturday 05 November 1938

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Mr. Maclean studied principally at Leipzig, was organ soloist at the Bach Festival, 1914, and was interned 1914-18 at Ruhleben; was later assistant at Westminster Cathedral, organist at Fulham Grand Theatre, 1920, and. Globe Kinema, Acton; Regent Brighton; then Shepherd's Bush since August, 1923, where he officiates at the organ generally from 2-0 to 3-30, 5-0 to 6-30, and 8-0 to 9-30.
Under the title of "Cinema Organist," Mr. Maclean gave a lecture at the Royal College of Organists in 1926, maintaining that "the sole function of the musical accompaniment of a film was to enhance the emotional effect of the drama depicted," and depreciating extemporisation "as general basis". Incidental set music, he averred, was practically indispensable. Mr. Maclean is a most admirable exponent of the art of playing the organ in an orchestral manner, getting the crisp bite of the double basses into the pedals, orchestral phrasing, rhythm and attack into all the parts. As a leading exponent of the art of cinema playing, his contribution on the "Training of the Kinema. Organist " is most, valuable.

Extract:- 'The Complete Organ Recitalist'

Logo, Newspaper article Organ Wizards
Quentin Maclean
Quentin Maclean, who broadcasts from the Trocadero Cinema, has been immersed in music for twenty-seven out of his thirty-seven years. From the age of ten to eighteen he was studying at Vienna and Leipzig. Then war broke out, and he found himself interned at Ruhleben Camp, in Germany; but even this couldn't interrupt his studies. He found a harmonium, and entertained his fellow-captives therewith.
"After the war," he said, "I gained valuable experience as honorary assistant organist at Westminster Cathedral. Incidentally, I was the first cinema organist to broadcast."

Daily Mirror
Friday 21 April 1933
Quentin Maclean, born in London on 14 May 1896, was one of the most popular church and theatre organists of the mid-20th century, pursuing a dual career as a performer and recording artist that encompassed both popular and classical music, in addition to being a composer and teacher.
From 1921 until 1939 he played the organ at various British movie palaces. After a long residency at the Regal Cinema, Marble Arch, which featured what was then one of the largest theatre organs in England, he designed the Wurlitzer Cinema Pipe Organ - the largest instrument of its kind - for the new Gaumont State Theatre in Kilburn, the biggest movie palace in England.
From 1925 onward, he was also a fixture on the BBC, where his performances included a huge volume of light-classical pieces as well as the British premieres of both Paul Hindemith's and his own organ concertos.
He relocated to Canada in 1939, where he continued to play in movie theatres during the '40s, while holding academic and church posts. He also broadcast extensively on the CBC.
Extract:- Clan Maclean Heritage Trust

Article by Quentin Maclean on training of a Cinema organist
Stephen Mann
Abba Selection
Mamma Mia
Lay All Your Love On Me
Thank You For The Music
Super Trouper
Organist Stephen Mann
Stephen Mann
Nicholas Martin
Nicholas Martin OrganFax Page

Facebook Page
Tower Ballroom Quicksteps
Ossett Compton Organ
The Orion Centre Wurlitzer
Medley on the Rochford Compton
Organist Nicholas Martin
Nicholas Martin
Logo, Web site link Nicholas Martin Web site

Nicolas Martin Cinema Organ Society page

MS Studios Nick Martyn CD sales site
Nicholas Martin
Discogs page
Nick Martins musical career started when he first studied the piano at nine years of age. He began to take a keen interest in the organ shortly afterwards.
During a family visit to Blackpool, in 1969 , he overheard the Wurlitzer organ being played in the famous Tower Ballroom by none other than Reginald Dixon, Nick was totally smitten - in fact, he never quite got over it!After he started learning to play the organ, at age eleven, it became his driving ambition to perform at this famous venue.
Nick's Tower Ballroom ambition was realised in 1981, and he accepted a post as resident organist - He played there solidly, seven days a week, during the 1981 and 1982 seasons
Whilst at Blackpool in 1982 Nick was approached by Nigel Turner a businessman from Northampton. Mr Turner proposed opening a new organ entertainments complex - "Turner's Musical Merry-go-Round". The feature piece would be a large Wurlitzer theatre organ
Nick commenced duty at "Turner's", as resident Wurlitzer organist, in April 1983, and remained there until its closure in June 2004. Nick recorded over thirty albums on "Turner's Wurlitzer" as well as Video's and DVD's
One of the major highlights in Nick's musical career was an offer (in 1985) to perform in concert at the Kirk of Dunedin - a community church on the West Coast of Florida. Since that first visit, he has been asked to return many times.
After Turner's closed in July 2004, Nick became Musical Director at Wicksteed Park (Kettering, Northants.) -His work there consisted of performing all the music for the afternoon variety shows and accompanying the various acts - by using his Technics G-100. His "term of office" came to an end there in December 2008.
Nowadays, Nick's career finds him performing for the many organ societies and clubs around the U.K. as well as church recitals.

Extract:- Nick Martin OrganFax page.
Cyril Martyn 17th Apr 1908
Cyril Martyn was born 17th April 1908. He studied under
Dr. Chastey Hector Dr Chastey William George Hector.
1876 - 1934
Studied at New College, Oxford. organist of St. Cuthbert’s College, Worksop, 1896; St. Michael’s, Handsworth, 1898; Brighton Parish Church, 1907
for seven years.
Theatre organ appointments include;
For A.B.C. Plaza, Worthing; Ritz, Chatham; Broadway, Eccles; Ritz, Maidstone; Regal, Torquay; Ritz, Richmond.
For Odeon Cinemas, Super Cinema, Kensingtom; Odeon, Marble Arch & Leicester Square; Davis Theatre Croydon.
Jean Martyn
Link to Jean Martyn Linkedin page
Link to Jean Mertyn Facebook page
Link to Jean Martyn Twitter page
Link to Jean Martyn You Tube channel
Plays Compton in Haarlem
Beer wurlitzer part 1/2
Beer wurlitzer part 2/2
Organist Jean Martyn
Jean Martyn
Logo, Web site linkLink to the Jean Martin Web Site

Link to the Jean Martin COS page

Organ 1st page for Jean Martin
Jean Martin
Discogs page
Jean Martyn moves effortlessly between grand piano, electronic keyboards, mighty 1930'scinema organs. Jean's range of music is vast, extending from classical to jazz and modern dance.
Jean performed at an International Reception for approximately 600 Rotarians at the Metropole Hotel and gave two performances at the NEC International Convention Centre in the City of Birmingham.
Next came a classical organ recital in Lichfield Cathedral, the city of her birth, along with her Yamaha electronic organ. Then at the Symphony Hall Birmingham she played the classical organ, giving a pedal solo.
Bournemouth Pavilion Theatre is a regular venue, where Jean performs on the mighty Compton cinema organ, and Steinway grand piano. Jean makes several appearances each year in Europe and America in addition to her busy programme of tours around Britain. She performed with James last at the Apollo Theatre in Manchester in 1993.
Musically trained at Trinity College, Trent Park and The Guildhall School of Music, London, Jean is the only female organist to have recorded on the famous Blackpool Tower Wurlitzer Organ during the last 50 years.
She has given three concerts at the Cheshire residence of the Duke of Westminster and has appeared for the 'Not Forgotten Association' at St James's Palace in London for Chelsea Pensioners.
In 2010 she performed in Hamburg for the BBC, and celebrated 30 years as a professional musician.

Extract:- Jean Martyn OrganFax page
Kay Mcabee
Kay McAbee Facebook tribute page
Tea for Two - Kimball
Raintree Country - Kimball
Who - Kimball
Kay plays the 5 manual Wurlitzer
5/28 Wurlitzer - 2009
At the Rialto
Kay McAbee Interview by Jack Moelmann
Kay McAbee organist
Kay McAbee
Logo, Newspaper article Obituary

ATOS page
Kay Arthur Mcabee was born in Joliet, Illinois on 17th November 1930.
Kay Mcabee started his professional career as staff organist for the W.W. Kimball Company in 1952. After completing his musical education at the Chicago Musical College and the American Conservatory of Music in Chicago, he went on to become a featured soloist in at least five national conventions for the American Theater Organ Society (ATOS), and was inducted into their Hall of Fame in 1985.
He was a pioneer in the theatre organ world and well-remembered for the series of concerts he performed at the Rialto Theatre in Joliet, Illinois and the Aurora Paramount in Aurora, Illinois, and then at the Phil Maloof Roxy Organ at the Albuquerque Ramada Classic, Fred Hermes residence organ in Racine, Wisconsin and concert series for the St. Louis Theatre Organ Society.
Kay taught up to fifty students per week in Joliet for years at the World of Music. Kay was a member of the American Guild of Organists for 50 years, choir master and organist at St. Peter's United Church of Christ in Frankfort, Illinois for 23 years and then organist for Covenant United Methodist Church.
Kay passed away 8th January 2012 after a month-long illness.
Extract:- Kay Arthur Mcabee obituary
Frank Mathew
Frank Mathew was organist at the Stoll Picture Theatre, Newcastle.
in 1922 he was appointed organist and Choirmaster at Jesmond Wesleyan Church, Newcastle
Extract:- The Bioscope
Thursday 15 June 1922
Frank Matthew
Frank Matthews organist
Frank Matthews
Logo, Newspaper article Musical greetings
In view of the proven, if some-what puzzling, popularity of broadcast tunes for the greeting of fighting men abroad, it is not altogether surprising that the practice has begun to work in reverse.
The manager of the Odeon, Newcastle, tells me that he has received from Newcastle men abroad sundry requests that Frank Matthews. the theatre organist. should play particular tunes for the conveyance of greetings and sentiment to wives and sweethearts who attend the theatre regularly.
Ready to do what Is possible to meet, the demand, and to distribute evenly the opportunities, Mr. Wilimot has written to 50th Division headquarters intimating that if men of the division wish similarly to greet womenfolk at home, he will be pleased to invite them to the theatre and Mr. Matthews will be pleased to supply the music. I shall he interested to see what happens.
Newcastle Journal
Monday 04 October 1943
Frank Matthews opened Victoria Cinema, Cambridge; Wylde Green Pavilion. Birmingham; Havelock Picture House, Sunderland; Century Cinema, Clacton; Majestic Theatre, Darlington; Regent Cinema, Bristol
July 1930 playing at the Electric Theatre, Bournmouth

The Era
23 July 1930
Image © Successor rightsholder unknown.
Please contact if you wish to claim rights to this title.

1946 Playing the Odeon Circuit.
Extract:- Theatre Organ World & Cinema Treasures
Thomas McBride 3rd Apr 1901
Thomas McBride organist
Thomas McBride
Biographical Dictionary of the Organ
Thomas Francis McBride was born 3rd April 1901
From 1924 to 1930 Thomas studied piano under Alex Low, LRCM, ARCM. He then studied cinema organ under Stephen Robinson at the Kings Theatre, Dundee. Between 1927 and 1930 he was playing piano and harmonium in suburban cinemas in the Dundee area. From 1930 to to 1931 he was second organist at the Kings Theatre, Dundee.
Between 1931 and 1939 he taught piano and played piano in a dance band.
In 1939 he started work for Tecalemit
Makers of hydraulic pumps and air, oil or water-driven motors for operating gun-turrets, retractable undercarriages and other purposes
doing war work. During this period he was conductor of the works choir, between 1940 & 1945 he also played the organ on Sunday nights at the Dundee
Garrison Theatre During the Second World War the King`s cinema shut for the duration as a cinema but became the Garrison Theatre. From 1941 to 1945 it staged over 200 variety shows, revues and concerts usually on Sundays for uniformed personnel and their guests.
In 1945 he took over the Gaumont British
Junior Club Each club was based at a local picture house and offered special film programmes. The clubs were run by the cinema manager, aided by other responsible adults, who were all dubbed 'Uncles' and 'Aunties'.
at the Kings Theatre, Dundee.
Thomas served as organist and choirmaster at St. Andrews Cathedral from 1936.
Extract:- Theatre Organ World by Jack Courtnay + other sources
J.T. McDougall
J.T. McDougall organist
J.T. McDougall

info icon New Victoria Cinema 3/10 Wurlitzer
pic origin e-bay
Logo; Organ Biography Web Site Biographical Dictionary of the Organ
J.T. McDougall opened the Ritz Cinema, Hull. He also played the New Victoria Cinema, Edinburgh. (as pictured above)
In 1939-40 he was billed as playing at the Classic, Belfast
W. Henson Maw
BBC radio times 1952 Peoples Service
Resident at Queens Hall Cinema in Grimsby
1936 - 37 at the Astoria, Hull

1938 Regal, Derby (1939 broadcast from here)

1940 Gaumont Palace, Derby
1942 playing at Diss

A later article described him as Trooper Henson Maw.

1946 working for Associated British.
Extract:- Theatre Organ World

1953 Embassy Ballroom, Skegness
Herbert Maxwell
Herbert Maxwell Herbert Maxwell
Herbert Maxwell

Logo; Organ Biography Web Site Biographical Dictionary of the Organ
Herbert Maxwell opened the Regal cinema, Durham and the Mayfair Cinema, Upper Tooting.
1933 resident at the Regent, Poole.
He broadcast regularly between 1929 and 1937
1929 Havelock Picture House, Sunderland
1934 Regal, Durham
1936 - 1938 from the Paramount, Newcastle on Tyne
1938 BBC Theatre organ
He made numerous broadcasts when the organ used was not mentioned.
Reginald Maynard
Reginald Maynard
Reginald Maynard
Logo; Organ Biography Web Site Biographical Dictionary of the Organ

Reginald Maynard opened the Windsor Theatre, Smethwick.
The son of a musician, Reginald Maynard received his musical education under his father, a distinguished London concert organist, and at an early age he showed a tendency for the lighter type of organ music.
He took a trip to New York to meet some of the prominent American cinema organists and make himself acquainted with their methods.
He also played at the Empire Theatre, Leicester Square.
Extract:- The Bioscope
Wednesday 24 September 1930
Arthur Meale 18th Dec 1880 - 9th Dec 1932
The Storm on the Grand Organ - Westminster
Arthur Meale organist
Arthur Meale

Image origin Bardon Music
Biographical Dictionary of the Organ

Logo, Newspaper article Biography of Arthur Meale
Bardon Music
John Arthur Meale, F.R.C.O.
Born 1880
He was organist at
Marsden Congregational, 1896-9
Selby Wesleyan, 1899-1905
Queen's Hall, Hull, 1905-12
Central Hall, Westminster, 1912 - ?

In October 1921 he opened the Abbeydale Picture House, Sheffield.

Image © Johnston Press plc
Image created courtesy of
The British Library Board.
Neville Meale 1910 - 2003
Neville Meale organist
Neville Meale
Neville Meale received early piano tuition from his uncle Arthur Meale (See above) Neville made his first public appearance at eight. He continued his studies under Roy Ellet, Philip Levi and
Sir Stanley Marchant Sir Stanley Marchant
Stanley Robert Marchant
1883 - 1949
Organist St Paul's Cathedral
President of the Royal College of Organists, principal of the Royal Academy of Music, London
. Performed in a number of concerts in London, accompanied his uncle at the Central Hall in organ and piano recitals, made a number of recordings and conducted his own orchestra.
Gave up concert work and for five years toured Union Cinemas, then two years with Paramount. He was organist at the Plaza before joining the Granada circuit.
During the war Neville spent five years in the R.A.F. taking his band to isolated stations. On leaving the Air Force rejoined the Granada circuit and resumed broadcasting.
Extract:- Theatre Organ World by Jack Courtnay
Harold Meredith
Harold Meredith organist
Harold Meredith

At the console of the Compton organ in the Havana Cinema, Romford.
origin Pinterest
Logo, Newspaper article Harold Meredith
Harold Meredith
Harold Meredith, who has received appointment of organist at the Lonsdale Carlisle, which Sidney Bacon's Pictures are opening this month started as a church organist at St. John's Church, Stratford. Transferring his attention to the cinema, he played at various small halls before serving under Archie J. Parkhouse at the Broadway Stratford.
He subsequently went to Playhouse, Folkestone, as soloist, later returning to Mr. Parkhurst at the Metropole, Victoria.
Engagements at the Talmer Cinema, Tottenham Court Road, W., and the Cameo, Charing Cross Road W., followed, before Mr. Meredith accepted his latest appointment.

The Bioscope - Wednesday 02 September 1931

Camera iconHarold Meridith
Harold Meridith at the Compton organ, Havanah cinema, Romford
Harold Meredith opened the Lonsdale Cinema, Carlisle. He spent four and a half years at the Regal, Grays. Then in 1936 transfered to the Havana Cinema, Romford.
1929 - 30 advertising for work as an organist
Harry M. Millen
Logo, Newspaper article Important Appointment for Local Musician
Mr Harry Millen, who has been organist of the Opera House, Kirkcaldy. for the past five years, has been promoted a similar post the Regal Cinema. Greenock, where a new organ, the first of its kind Greenock, has been installed, and is to opened by Mr Millen. Before coming to Kirkcaldy Opera House, Harry Millen was private organist to Lady Eva Wemyss at Wemyss Castle for over four years. Mr Millen is shortly taking up his new appointment, which is an important one, and carries with him the best wishes Kirkcaldy Opera House patrons.

Fife Free Press, & Kirkcaldy Guardian - Saturday 05 September 1931
Logo, Newspaper article Harry Millen To Broadcast
The many friends of Mr Harry Millen, the former organis in the old Opera House, Kirkaldy, will be interested to learn that he is to give another broadcast performance on the B.B.C. Theatre Organ in the St George's Hall, London, on Monday, 3rd October, at 6.40 p.m. in the National and Empire progeamme. A native of Kirkaldy, Mr Millen is the son of the late James H. millen, Sinclairtown Bank House, Pathhead. Before turning his attention towards the cinema organ when that instrument began to come into popular favour, Mr Millen was well-known as an accomplished pianist, and for many years played in this capacity with the famous Rothesay entertainers. He is now general manager and organist at the Majestic Cinema, Darlington.

Leven Advertiser & Wemyss Gazette
Tuesday 06 September 1938
Logo, Newspaper article
There are many attractions at the Regal, Greenock, these days. and not the least are the fine organ selections given by Mr Harry M. Millen

Port-Glasgow Express - Friday 15 January 1932
Harry M. Millen was organist of the Opera House, Kirkcaldy. for five years. Prior to that he was private organist to Lady Eva Wemyss at Wemyss Castle, for over four years.
In 1931 he opened and was resident organist at the Regal Cinema Greenock.
Harry M Millen broadcast regularly during 1941 - 42.
Ashley B. Miller 22nd Mar 1918 - 20th Mar 2006
You Tube link iconFantasie-impromptu
You Tube link iconYesterdays
You Tube link iconPoeme
Radio City Music Hall organ
You Tube link iconI talk to the trees
You Tube link icon
Organist Ashley B. Miller
Ashley B. Miller
Logo, Newspaper article Ashley Miller biography
Logo, Newspaper article Obituary

Alan Ashton Organ Celebrities page Part 1
Alan Ashton Organ Celebrities page Part 2

Ashley Miller
Discogs page
Ashley Miller was born March 22nd 1918 in Brooklyn, NY.
His first encounter with an organ was at the age of twelve. His first appearance as an organist was on the Kimball organ at the Leonia Theatre, Leonia. He also played a 3 manual Welte-Mignon organ in the Plaza Theatre, Englewood, NJ.
As a student at the Juilliard School of Music, Ashley studied organ for four years and studied conducting for three years.
In 1939 Ashley gave a series of Sunday morning organ concerts on the Fifth Ave Aeolian-Skinner pipe organ broadcast on WQXR radio. Also worked at WBNX playing programs of popular music on the pipe organ in their studio. At the New York World's Fair, he played an early model Hammond for the IBM exhibit.
In 1946, after completing military service, Ashley Miller was appointed organist of the New York Society of Ethical Culture playing a Hope-Jones organ. He also started as organist at Radio City Music Hall.
In 1948 he started his own trio (guitar, drums, and organ) which was featured at the Park-Sheraton Hotel, NYC and broadcast over the CBS network.
Ashley returned to RCMH in 1950 and played there until Jan 1956.
In 1966 Ashley started playing organ for soap operas such as "Love of Life", "The Secret Storm" and "Search For Tomorrow".
Classical credits include an Associate Degree from the American Guild of Organists.
As official organist of the New York Knicks and the Rangers he has entertained thousands in Madison Square Garden.
Ashley Millers credits as a classical artist include performances with the New York Philharmonic, The London Philharmonic and, under Leopold Stokowski, the American Symphony Orchestra.
Ashley Miller was the first staff organist at the Toronto Organ Grinder pizza parlour.
Ashley Miller died 20th March 2006
Extract:- Ashley Miller obituary
Raye Miller
Raye Miller organist
Raye Miller
Wayne Ivany collection

At the Astoria Compton organ.
origin:- Astoria cinema's organ Web site
Raye Miller appointments
1937 - 1938 Ritz, Tonbridge
1945 Regal, Canterbury
1946 Astoria cinema, Brighton.
Extract:- Astoria cinema's organ Web site

1946 working for Associated British.
Extract:- Theatre Organ World

1956 Butlins, Brighton
Stanley Miller
Stanley Miller opened the Essoldo, Chippenham and Granada, Kennington. Playing Hammond LaFleur organs at both venues.
1933 at the Carlton, Norwich
1930 & 1939 Broadcast on
Yorkshire Post & Leeds Intelligencer
Saturday 19 August 1939
organ. In June 1939 he was playing a
organ at the Pier Pavilion, Scunthorpe, possibly for the summer season.
c. 1933 - 1936 he was organist at the Carlton Theatre. Norwich.
In 1938 He opened the Commodore Cinema Chippenham playing a Lafleur organ.
Broadcasting on Home service & Forces radio throughout 1941 - 42 on theatre organ
1954 working for The Organ Company, Norwich.
Nora Milne
In 1931 & 32 Nora Milne broadcast from the Astoria Cinema, Corstorphine, Edinburgh.

Extract from a larger article
Arbroath Herald and Advertiser for the Montrose Burghs
01 August 1930

Percy Milton 1897 - 1937
Logo, Newspaper article CRUMBLED CASTLES
Former Organist's Life Story
A FORMER organist who was said to have "lost half his life when he left the musical world" and who made up his mind to end his days among the hills he loved, was found dead on Wednesday with a wound in his throat at Saddle Tor, Dartmoor, Devon. He was Frank Percy Willmott (4O) of Burnham Road, Dartford, Kent, who had been missing since August 6. By his side was a pad of papers with 35 pages of what is thought to be his life story. The story was headed "Crumbled Castles." The discovery of the body - which was lying between two huge granite boulders - was, made by Mr L. Williams, a holiday maker from Exeter. Willmott was well known in both musical and art circles in Kent. He was organist at the State Theatre, Dartford, from 1935 until April 1936, playing under the name of Percy Milton, and was a painter of some merit. Last year he decided to give up his work as an organist, and he and his wife opened a cafe in Dartford. He had played on the Continent and in the provinces, and from March to July 1934 was organist at the Regal Cinema, Hull, where he employed coloured slides of his own production which he flashed on the screen as he played.

The Scotsman
Friday 20 August 1937
Image © Johnston Press plc
Logo, Newspaper article "A WONDERFUL HUSBAND"
Mrs Willmott told a reporter yesterday: My husband went away on August 6 telling me that he was going for a rest, He was a wonderful husband, and with my 11 years old' son, Michael, we formed an ideal family. But the cafe life did not seem to suit him. When he left the musical world 'half his life went." The papers by the side of Willmott mentioned visits during his boyhood to Dartmoor, and added that because of his love for the tors and hills he had made up his mind to return there to die. All that was in his pockets was a packet containing one cigarette and a few matches.

The Scotsman
Friday 20 August 1937
Image © Johnston Press plc
Logo, Newspaper article INQUEST REVELATIONS
(1 of 2)
An extract from a closely written diary of a man's life, which embraced a long and difficult struggle with adversity, was read at an inquest at Ashburton on Frank Percy Willmott, the cinema organst, of Burnham road; Dartford. Kent, who was well-known in music and art circles. He was found lying amid granite boulders on Saddle Tor, Dartmoor, near Ashburton, two days ago by a walker, who at first thought that he was asleep, but later found him to be dead.
The South Devon Coroner recorded a verdict that deceased took his life by cutting his throat when suffering from acute depression after a long struggle with adversity.
An extract from the man's diary read-"Please do not think I owe a grudge. I do not. It is nearly dark now; I am so tired of life. I have come this long distance to get right away from everyone and go to my God with a calm mind."
The Coroner said he had read the document, but did not propose to publish any of the details, except that already read. He had no reason to doubt the statements made. It was a very sad and pathetic history of a man's struggle against adversity. He thought that the time came when the effects of the struggle over a period of years got the better of the man. There was no question of the man being insane. It showed considerable courage to do what he did. "I should be insulting him if I suggested that he did it when he was insane. It is an old story of not being able to stand the strain of the struggle."
The brother. Mr. F. L. Willmott, of East Hill, Dartford, Kent, gave evidence of identification.

The Scotsman
Friday 20 August 1937
Image © Johnston Press plc
Logo, Newspaper article INQUEST REVELATIONS
(2 of 2)
The pad on which the tragic history was written was handed to the wife, Mrs. Diana Willmott, who recognised her husband's handwriting. "My husband had had hard luck all his life. He had always struggled against adverse circumstances," she said.
Mr. J. L. Williams, a Civil servant, stated that while walking near the spot where deceased was found he saw a man lying amidst the rocks, apparently asleep. Returning some time later he saw the man did not move and found him to be dead. The police were acquainted, and Constable White said that he went to Saddle Tor and found the man lying with a brown attaché case near him. He was severely wounded.
Stanley Coleman, of Teignmouth, said deceased had stayed with him for several days, and when he left he said he was going on to Newton Abbott.
Dr. Elliss said that he examined Willmott, and found a severe wound in the neck, and that death was due to haemorrhage.
Returning the verdict, the Coroner repeated that there was absolutely no question of insanity.
Ballymena Weekly Telegraph
Saturday 28 August 1937
Image © Johnston Press plc.
Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.
Frank Percy Willmott (Percy Milton) was born 1897.
He was an accomplished watercolour artist having studied at the Tate Gallery.
Frank Willmott used the stage name Percy Milton when playing the organ.
During the first world war he was a conscientious objector.
In 1936 he gave up working as an organist and with his wife Diana opened a café in Dartford. The following year, while suffering from depression, he took his own life on Saddle Tor, Dartmoor.
Percy Milton opened the State Cinema, Dartford; Empire Theatre, Coventry and Savoy Super Cinema, Folkestone
Betty Mitchell 7th Jun 1917
Betty Mitchell organist
Betty Mitchell
Article iconPress cuttings on Betty Mitchell
Betty Mitchell was born 7th June 1917
Her first appointment was as relief organist for the Philpot circuit around Coventry. In 1937 she toured as relief organist and held resident appointments at the Plaza, Forum, Savoy and Rex cinemas.
In 1940 Betty was appointed to the Commodore, Slough playing the Hammond Lafleur organ. She stayed for a year then moved to the Regal, West Norwood where she was organist and assistant manageress until July 1944, when the cinema was closed due to enemy action.
Betty then moved to Regal, Edmonton and then in November 1945 she transferred to the Troxy, Stepney.
Extract:- Theatre Organ World by Jack Courtnay
George Montalba
See Robert Hunter
Eddie Mooring c.1920 -
Opened the Standard Cinema Coventry. He was still advertised as organist at the Standard in 1946. In 1953 he was still playing at the Standard.
Louis Mordish 1st Jul 1908 - 1996
American Patrol
Gershwin Selection
Musical Comedy Favourites

YouTube linkEl Pesilero
Gaumont State
4/16 Wurlitzer
Louis Mordish organist
Louis Mordish
Louis Mordish
Discogs page
Louis Mordish was born 1st July 1908 in London.
His early training was as a pianist, his first cinema appointment was as a relief pianist playing for silent films.
Louis played with many orchestras and in 1933 he joined at the Commodore, Hammershith. He remained there for three years.
He joined the Hyam Brothers as organist in 1936 and remained with them until joining the R.A.F. in 1941. He spent almost five years in the service, during that time he appeared as a soloist with the R.A.F. Symphony Orchestra in five piano concertos.
The Greig
Tschaikowsky; B Minor
Beethoven's; Emperer & C Minor
Mozart; A Major

On being demobbed he was appointed to the New Victoria, London working for Gaumont British.
Louis broadcasting career started in 1933, as a pianist, both as part of an orchestra and as a soloist, he made his first organ broadcast in 1941.
Louis Mordish died in 1996.
Extract:- Theatre Organ World by Jack Courtnay
Kevin Morgan
Royalty Cinema Wurlitzer
Organist Kevin Morgan
Kevin Morgan

Kevin Morgan started playing piano at the age of three. When, as a choir boy, his voice broke, he was persuaded to try playing the organ instead of singing! All went well and he played for his first Choral Evensong in Salisbury Cathedral at the age of eleven.
He took 'O' and 'A' Level Music (amongst others) and passed his Grade Eight Piano, Organ, Singing, Theory and General Musicianship examinations (winning prizes for the highest marks) along with a Performance Diploma at the piano before going up to University College, Durham.
In 1986, he was appointed organist and choirmaster at Bolton Parish Church that has a fine three-manual Hill organ.
Kevin Morgan is a prize-winning Fellow of The Royal College of Organists, a Licentiate of The Royal Academy of Music and Trinity College of Music, London, in addition to holding Bachelors, Masters and Doctorate degrees.
Extract:- Kevin Morgan COS page
Hebron Morland 1898 - Sep 1958
Hebron Morland organist
Hebron Morland

Hebron Morland at Gaumont Doncater
Image:- Mighty Music at the Movies by Fred Turley
Regional Programme Northern
9 December 1935
Hebron Morland was born in 1898. As a youth Hebron Morland was organist at the parish church of his native village of Hunwick, in County Durham. In 1927 he got his first cinema-organ post, at the Scala, South Shields.
From there he moved to the Queen's Hall Picture House, Newcastle.
He then opened the Gaumont Palace, Doncaster, frequently broadcasting from there.
Extract:- BBC Genome

In 1951 Hebron took over the Cosy Cinema in Appleby, Cumbria.
Raymond Morton Jan 1909
Raymond Morton organis
Raymond Morton
Raymond Morton was born January 1909.
A pupil of Mr James Crapper for pianoforte, harmony & counterpoint. Received organ training from from Mr. A Bagshaw A.R.C.M and Thomas Dando.
Raymond spent two years as organist & pianist playing for silent pictures followed by six months as orchestral organist at the Heeley Electric Theatre, Sheffield.
Following an eighteen month spell at the Coliseum, Sheffield he spent nine years with A.B.C., spending seven of those years at the Ritz, Ipswich. Raymond also spent two years on the Granada circuit. In 1946 was playing at the Capitol, Forest Hill.
Extract:- Theatre Organ World by Jack Courtnay
R. Motten
1946 working for Associated British.
Extract:- Theatre Organ World
George Mount
1946 Playing Independently.
Extract:- Theatre Organ World
Harry Myres
1946 Playing Independently.
Extract:- Theatre Organ World
Harold Nash 6th Sep 1906 - 1990
Harold Nash organist
Harold Nash
Link to the Alan Ashton Organ Celebreties page

Logo, Newspaper article Article on the Savoy Northampton

Logo; Organ Biography Web Site Biographical Dictionary of the Organ
Harold John Nash was born 6th Sep 1906 in Northampton.
Harold had his first church organ appointment at 12 years of age.
He played at the Regal, Harrogate and the Savoy, Northampton 1945 to 1956 (last resident organist at this venue). Harold was among the first Hammond players in the UK.
Harold Nash died in 1990
Extract:- Theatre Organ World
Lisa Needham
Lisa Needham Lisa Needham
Lisa Needham
LTOT Heritage Centre
Lisa Needham was born in Bolton and started playing the organ at 10, graduating from the Royal Northern College of Music in 1994.
This started Lisa's career in performing both classical and popular styles of organ music in concerts and recitals around the UK.
Lisa is the Head of Music at Cleveland's Preparatory School in Bolton. Her main musical "love" is the theatre organ and she has a Wurlitzer 950 in her home in Lytham
F. Neasam
1946 working for Associated British.
Extract:- Theatre Organ World
Reginald New Apr 1902 - 28th Nov 1958
Reginald New organist
Reginald New
State Cinema in Dartford
Logo, Wikipedia web site Reginald New

Logo, Newspaper article Birmingham History Forum
Logo, Newspaper article Organ Wizards
Reginald New
Reginald New, who broadcasts from the Beaufort Cinema, Birmingham, was thirty years old last Friday. Seventeen years ago he took his first organ lessons. At fifteen years of age he received his first paid appointment as organist and choirmaster—the pay being £4O a year. About this time he also had another job — that of a clerk. "Anybody can see by my writing that I was unsuited," says Mr. New. "My salary for this was 10s. a week. I gave it up after three years." Mr. New — incidentally, the third Reginald in this series — first came "on the air" in 1929, and has broadcast no fewer than 439 times.

Daily Mirror
Monday 24 April 1933

Logo; Organ Biography Web Site Biographical Dictionary of the Organ
Reginald New born April 1902 in Lewisham, Kent.
Reginald was first a chorister and then assistant organist at St George's, Catford, later organist at Christ's Church, Chislehurst before he became a cinema organist. When cinemas started using organists to accompany silent pictures Reginald New was among the pioneers at various London cinemas in.
On 28 November 1929 he made his first BBC radio broadcast from the Beaufort Cinema, Washwood Heath, Birmingham. After broadcasting 468 times he transferred to the Regal Cinema at Kingston-on-Thames in 1933 making another 200 broadcasts from there.
He was subsequently organist of the State Cinema, Dartford for four years from 1936. He often gave concerts on the Cheltenham Town Hall
organ Rushworth & Dreaper. 3 manuals.
and broadcast from there on 8 December 1935.
In August 1940 he was appointed organist of the Regal Cinema, Beckenham. Opened Majestic Reigate
Reginald New was unique in that he used two signature tunes - signing in with "Jolly Good Company" and signing out with "Old Father Thames".
During his time at Dartford, he composed the "Dartford March". This became a soldiers' marching tune and was sung by many who came back from Dunkirk.
Reginald New made over 800 broadcasts in his career. In July 1958 he was playing the organ in the show 'Dazzle' at the Sparrows Nest, Lowestoft.
He died 28th November 1958 in Beckenham, Kent
Vivian Newell
Vivian Newell Vivian Newell
Vivian Newell

Odeon LeedsYorkshire Evening Post
Saturday 31 October 1953
Vivian Newell was resident organist at the Odeon Leeds early 50s. He opened the Cecil Theatre, Hull, in 1955. Playing a Marshall & Sykes organ
George Newell
George Newell George Newell
George Newell
Logo, Newspaper article Organ Wizards
George Newell
George Newell, who broadcasts from the Classic Cinema, Belfast, was born in Rotherham, Yorks, twenty-eight years ago.
At the early age of twenty he passed the A.R.C.O. examination, and the same year was awarded the Lafontaine Prize for organ playing. "I had been studying the piano since I was nine years old," he said, "but my first job on leaving school was in a garage. I left after a fortnight, the work being too, rough for my hands. My next job was in the offices of the Treeton Colliery in Yorkshire, where I stayed for about eighteen months. I then moved to the Peterborough district and took up music exclusively.
After being organist at a church, I decided to go in for cinema work and was given an introduction to Reginald Foort, under whom I studied for this purpose." George Newell's big chance came in 1927, when the musical supervisor of Gaumont- British heard him playing.

Daily Mirror
Wednesday 19 April 1933
George Newell broadcast from the Classic Cinema, Belfast, in the early thirties
Ernest Newman
Ernest Newman opened the Lozells Picture Theatre, Birmingham in 1926. He broadcast from here a number of times between 1926 and 1933
Frank Newman 1894 -
You Tube link iconWhistling Mose
You Tube link iconGrannie's Picture album

YouTube link'Hungary' (moszkowski)
Granada Rugby
Christie Unit Organ
Frank Newman organist
Frank Newman
Logo, Newspaper article Frank Newman on the merits of theatre organ playing

Logo, Newspaper article Frank Newman at the Rugby Plaza

Logo, Newspaper article Organ Wizards
Frank Newman
Frank Newman started broadcasting in 1927. Newman has been a clerk in a wine merchant's office, a railway clerk, and a costs accountant in a shipyard ! Before he was sixteen he was saving his money to pay for lessons from a well-known organist.
"During the war," he said, "I have vivid recollections of walking three miles back from the trenches when off duty to Arras just to play a grand piano we had discovered in a ruined house. After the war I worked in an office twenty-five miles away from my home in Norwich. I studied in the train, played a church organ all lunchtime, and then, after office hours, dashed off to a church for choir practice. It was under these conditions that I got my F.R.C.O.
When I first went to a London cinema as solo organist I knew nothing about the job, but, nevertheless, stuck it. I used to get a workman's bus into the West End and practise at the New Gallery organ in Regent-street every morning at half-past seven, then back to my own show at Brixton for the day's work."

Daily Mirror
Thursday 13 April 1933
Frank Newman was born in London in 1894, He started piano and organ lessons at the age of 12. He was appointed organist at the London Church when he was sixteen.
A pupil of W. Nelson,
E. Cuthbert Nunn Edward Cuthbert Nunn
1868 - 1914
A.R.A.M., F.R.C.O.
Studied at the Royal Academy of Music.
Dr Haydon Hare Dr Haydon William Hare
1869 - 1944
F.R.C.O., A.R.C.M.
Pupil of Dr Haydn Keeton
In 1914 he volunteered for the army serving in the artillery in France, the Balkans, Egypt and Palastine, contracting malaria whilst in the Jordan Valley. Frank returned to church work in 1919 but spent most of the year in hospital following a recurrence of malaria.
Moved to Lowestoft and became an accountant. In 1922 was chosen for the post of organist at of St. Peter Mancroft. In 1927 commenced broadcasting while at Lozells Picture House Birmingham. In 1929 joined Sandy Macpherson as assistant at the Empire Leicester Square.
Opened the Regent, Ipswich and Plaza, Rugby. Frank made about fifty recordings between 1929 and 1936. He went to the Metropole, Victoria then succeeded Sydney Torch at the Regal, Edmonton.
After the outbreak of war volunteered and was recommissioned joining the Royal Norfolk Regiment. Served in England for the duration of hostilities as captain. During the war broadcast from Llandudno and Bangor on the BBC Theatre organ.
After the war played for Gaumont British.
In 1958 he broadcast from theGranada Theatre, Rugby. Originally the Plaza that he opened in 1933.
Extract:- Theatre Organ World
T. Frances Nicholson 12th Sep 1920
T. Frances Nicholson was born 12th September 1920.
He studied music theory, piano and organ under
John Healy John Proctor Healey
1916 - ?
A.R.C.O. at Rutherford College, Newcastle - on - Tyne. Theatre organ studies were with
Eric Lord Organist Eric Lord
Eric Lord
he went on to become his assistant at the Paramount Theatre, Newcastle in 1938.
In 1940 he joined Bernsteins as assistant organist at the Granada Theatre, Tooting. He left to join the R.A.F. in 1941.
He joined the Granada circuit in 1943, leaving in 1945 to join Gaumont British as a guest organist. He started broadcasting from the Gaumont, Middlesbrough in 1945.
Extract:- Theatre Organ World by Jack Courtnay
Harry Norman 12th Aug 1913
Harry Norman was born on the 12th August 1913.
He started his musical career with the
Herman Darewski Herman Darewski
17 April 1883 - 2 June 1947
Was a British composer and conductor of light music.
Born in Minsk, and musically trained in Vienna, he worked in London, for the first 15 years of the new century, as a composer of light songs.
After the First World War, Darewski had a long career as a conductor of light music, both in London and at English coastal resorts.
band at the Olympia, Hammersmith and then at the Dominion, Hounslow.
While at the Dominion he received lessons on the theatre organ. In 1932he went to the Granada Theatre, Hove. He continued playing the organ circuit with occasional engagements with the orchestra on the Hyams circuit.
In 1939 he enlisted in
Ensa Entertainments National Service Association
and went to France, returning to England in June 1940. He was then posted to Iceland and in 1941 joined the
R.A.F.V.R. Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
attached to the
Central Band The Central Band of the RAF
, Uxbridge until 1945, When he was appointed organist to Odeon Theatres at Whitton, Middlesex.
Extract:- Theatre Organ World by Jack Courtnay
W. Philip Norman
W. Philip Norman was born in Plymouth, Devon. He started his musical studies at the age of 9, passing all exams of the Associated Board up to diploma on the piano.
He served an apprenticeship in the music trade on leaving school.
After taking up the organ he held appointments at the Methodist Church, Plympton and later at the First Church of Christ Scientist, Plymouth
He studied under Frederic Bayco, at that time organist organist at the Gaumont Palace, Plymouth, and deputised for him on his transfer to the Dominion, Tottenham Court Road.
His first theatre organ appointment was at the Regent, Swindon in September 1933. He went on to play at the Gaumont Palace, Cheltenham; Commodore, Orpington and Regal, Eastleigh.
He left Eastleigh in November 1937, and worked for Granada Theatres for a few weeks before joining A.B.C. at the Ritz, Cleethorpes in January 1938, staying until the outbreak of war forced the cinema to close.
In March 1940 he joined the Ritz, Penzance, staying for two years, moving to the Westover Cinema, Bournemouth in March 1942. He left there in August 1942 to join the Army.
He served 3½ years with the 9th Battalion
R.A.O.C. Royal Army
Ordnance Corps

at Donnington, Salop and Queensborough, Leicestershire.
After being demobbed appointed to the Rivoli, Southend on Sea.
Everett Nourse 8th Jun 1911 - 31st Jan 2000
Ramona on Wurlitzer
Dance Ballerina, Dance
Everett Nourse organist
Everett Nourse
Everett Nourse was born on June 8th 1911 in Chico, he grew up in Oakland and began playing the piano when he was six years old. Within two years he was composing his own music and at 14 he became enthralled by the Wurlitzer pipe organ at his neighbourhood Parkway Theatre.
He began taking lessons, practicing in the Park Boulevard Presbyterian Church near his home, playing occasionally for the church and eventually giving his first public concert there when he was 16.
After his Oakland High School music teacher arranged for his first chance at a Wurlitzer, demonstrating the organ in the Diamond Theatre in Oakland, the theatre's manager invited him back to play whenever he wished. He began playing occasionally for Saturday afternoon stage shows.
From 1928 to 1934, Nourse played programs on several East Bay organs, and in 1935, he finally got to play the Fox Oakland downtown for a New Year's Eve singing program. But his career was mainly limited to the weekends when he entered the University of California at Berkeley in 1929, later getting a job with the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Berkeley.
He married his wife, Louise, in 1936, and they moved to Vacaville where he worked as a farm adviser in Solano County. He took a leave to earn a master's of science in agronomy from University of California at Davis in 1957.
Nourse continued to play the organ, performing at the Paramount Theater in Oakland and others around the Bay Area, finally landing the job as organist for the 5,000-seat Fox Theater in San Francisco in 1944, where he delighted audiences until the theater closed in 1963.
The last show to be held at the Fox Theater was the fabulous Farewell to the Fox stage show on February 16, 1963.
Inducted into the American Theater Organ Society Hall of Fame in 1998, Nourse continued to play the organ at the Trinity Baptist Church in Vacaville and for the Vacaville Rotary Club until his death.
Extract:- Farewell to Everett Nourse
Lewis Oddy 1889-1937
Regional Programme Northern
18 February 1935

Logo, Newspaper article DEATH OF LEWIS ODDY
Organist at the Plaza, Birkenhead The death has taken place of Lewis Oddy. organist at the Plaza kinema. Birkenhead. since the theatre opened six or seven years ago. Whilst at the Plaza. he was responsible for the compilation of many novel organ interludes and his playing was always well appreciated by the audiences.
His first experience of kinima organs was gained in America. where. in 1913. he played an Esty organ.
Mr. Oddy had conducted the orchestras of the Bradford and Ilkley Amateur Operatic Societies and was chosen to play before the late King George V (then Prince of Wales) at the Bradford Exhibition. He had been a member of the Bradford Philharmonic Orchestra and the Liverpool Symphony Orchestra. The funeral took place on Saturday. February 13.

Kinematograph Weekly
Thursday 18 February 1937
In 1933 Lewis Oddy was at the Plaza Birkenhead.
1934 to early 1936 he broadcast from The Plaza Theatre, Birkenhead.
October 1936 he opened the Curzon Cinema, Liverpool
Nigel Ogden
at the Kilburn State Wurlitzer
The Elephant's Tango
20 minutes
at the Hammond Organ
Organist Nigel Ogden
Logo, Wikipedia web site Nigel Ogden

Nigel Ogden Cinema Organ Society page

Stainer and Bell web site"

MS Studios CD Nigel Ogden
Organ 1st page for Nigel Ogden

Composers For Organs
Portrait Gallery
Nigel Ogden was born in Manchester. His father was a church organist, and also a lover of the theatre organ. At an early age, Nigel was taken to hear the great Reginald Dixon playing the Tower Ballroom Wurlitzer organ, and was instantly 'hooked'.
He first broadcast in 1971, and on 3rd March 1980 took over from Robin Richmond as the presenter of the BBC Radio 2 programme The Organist Entertains.
Nigel is equally at home on church organs and electronics, particularly Hammonds. Cathedral organs too have received the very special Ogden treatment.
The theatre organ is Nigel Ogden's first love, and he has recorded many CDs at the organ that first sparked his imagination - the Blackpool Tower Wurlitzer.
Extract:- Stainer & Bell web site
Rex 0'Grady
Rex 0'Grady Rex 0'Grady
Rex 0'Grady
Rex O'Grady, organist at the Paramount Theatre, Manchester, is considered by many good judges to be the most versatile cinema organist, and he considers the organ at the Paramount Theatre is the finest he has ever played. In the near future he may broadcast. He began playing at the age of eight, and at the age of 11 was appointed organist at Rotherhithe Church. At 14 he was conductor of the orchestra and choirmaster of the New Cross Philharmonic Society, London. He was senior scholar of Trinity College of Music, London, at the age of 15 and played the organ in the cinema for the first time at 17. When Wurlitzer came over from America 10 years ago, he decided to make his career as a cinema organist.
The Bioscope
Wednesday 16 December 1931
Image © Successor rightsholder unknown.
Please contact us via if you wish to claim rights to this title..
Logo, Newspaper article Organ Wizards
Rex O'Grady
Rex O'Grady, of the Paramount Theatre, Manchester, plays the largest Wurlitzer organ in Europe: it cost £22,000! "It was my ambition to play the organ at the age of eight," said O'Grady. "One evening, therefore, I and another boy hid in church after the evening service, and when the place was empty I fulfilled my desire whilst my little friend blew the bellows. When darkness fell we escaped through a window by means of a spare bell-rope ! At the age of twelve I Was first organist and choirmaster at a church in Camberwell, London." This enthusiasm was followed by a succession of musical scholarships, and at an early age Rex was fulfilling important I appointments. He has played at many of the big theatres and cinemas in England and America.

Daily Mirror
Wednesday 26 April 1933
Rex 0'Grady began playing at the age of eight, and at the age of 11 was appointed organist at Rotherhithe Church. At 14 he was conductor of the orchestra and choirmaster of the New Cross Philharmonic Society, London.
He was senior scholar of Trinity College of Music, London, at the age of 15 and played the organ in the cinema for the first time at 17
In 1932 he broadcast from the Paramount, Manchester. In 1934 he opened the Paramount, Liverpool.
Edward O'Henry 1896
Popular Melodies played on a Wurlitzer
Pathe film, no sound
Edward O'Henry organist
Edward O'Henry

Image from Theatre Organ World
Radio Times. Music While You Work

Edward O'Henry
Discogs page

Biographical Dictionary of the Organ
Logo, Newspaper article


Edward O*Henry
Edward O*Henry is one of the best known exponents of the Cinema Organ in Europe, and the Forum Directors have been most fortunate in obtaining his services. His weekly broadcasts have always attracted much attention.
Educated at Worthing Art School and the Royal Academy of Music, Edward 0'Henry served with H.M. Forces during 1915 to 1918, and in the Army of Occupation in Cologne, his duties included that of Professor of Music and Art.
In 1928. he was appointed Sole Organist and Director of Music at Madame Tussauds, where five consecutive years of Broadcasting and Recording for the H.M.V. Broadcast and Panachord Companies brought public acclamation.
He has also broadcast From the Capitol, Didsbury, Manchester and the Paramount. Newcastle-on-Tyne.
Edward O'Henry is an Associate of she Royal Academy of Music and the Senior Wurlitzer exponent for Europe.
Jersey musical society is considerably enriched by his appointment to the Forum,

From the programme of the opening of The Forum Cinema, St. Helier, Jersey.
Thanks to Malcolm L'Amy for sharing.
Logo, Newspaper article Organ Wizards
Edward O'Henry
Edward O'Henry, who has broadcast regularly for five years, was taught music as a child, and later studied medicine. "I have been in all sorts of jobs," he said, "including one in a pathological department, assistant to a store-boy in a mineral water factory, and—when I was taken prisoner of war — I was tailor and washer in a laundry. Once I earned as little as 12s. weekly and was probably better off in those days!
I was wounded three times in the war, and afterwards went to the Army of Occupation of Rhine as Professor of Music and Art. Also, I'm a graduate of the Royal Academy of Music, London. The first post of importance was with a theatre as organist, and then I went from one to another till I entered Madame Tussaud's in 1928 as organist and musical director."

Daily Mirror
Thursday 20 April 1933
Edward O'Henry was born in 1896 in Brislington.
Educated at the Worthing School of Art & Royal Academy of Music. Assistant to Dr. Davon Wetton & Frank Idle.
Served in the Army and took part in the Occupation of Cologne 1918-1919.
Escaped from Jersey June 1940 as a refugee just prior to the German occupation.
Broadcast from Madame Tussaud's for five years from 1928, and for Music While You Work.
Played opening concerts at Playhouse Windsor; La Scala Cinema, Glasgow; Capitol Theatre, Aberdeen; Capitol Theatre, Didsbury; Paramount Theatre, Newcastle on Tyne; Forum, Jersey.
Made over 70 recordings.
Extract:- Theatre Organ World
Wilson Oliphant 1884 - 1960
Wilson Oliphant organist
Wilson Oliphant
Logo; Organ Biography Web Site Biographical Dictionary of the Organ
Soorjo Alexander William Langobard Oliphant Chuckerbutty was born 1884 in the county of Kensington, London.
Wilson Oliphant was his console name (used when playing theatre organ). He was a composer, church and theatre organist. He started studying piano at the age of 6 and was composing at the age of 14.
After a short spell running a dance band he took up playing the cinema organ, while still playing church organ.
He opened at the Marlborough Theatre, Holloway. Joined the musical staff at the Angel, Islington in 1920, staying until 1927. Continued teaching, playing the church organ and composing.
On leaving the Angel took other posts including Cafe Royal, Reent Street; Olympia, Shoreditch; Ritz, Edgware; Carlton, Essex Road; New Gallery and Forum, Kentish Town.
Wilson also performed many recitals, these included Albert Hall, Colston Hall, Bristol & Crystal Palace.
Extract:- Theatre Organ World by Jack Courtnay
Hector OliveraLink to electronic page icon
Hector Olivera
Facebook Page
Hector Olivera
YouTube Channel
Improvisation in Berlin
Shake the hall - 1
Shake the hall - 2
Mouret's Rondeau Roland C-200 Classic Organ
W. Ralph Driffill's Toccata
Giacomo Meyerbeer's Coronation March
Organist Hector Olivera
Hector Olivera
Logo, Web site link Hector Olivera Web site

Organ 1st page for Hector Olivera
Hector Olivera CD sales page

Logo, Newspaper article Article on Hector Olivera

Hector Olivera
Organ Live Page

Composers For Organs
Portrait Gallery
Born in Buenos Aires, Hector Olivera's first teacher (who was his father) encouraged him to begin playing the pipe organ when he was three. Two years later, he was appointed organist of the Church of the Immaculate Conception. At six, he entered the Buenos Aires Conservatory to study harmony, counterpoint and fugue. At age twelve, Mr. Olivera entered the University of Buenos Aires where he studied with Hector Zeoli and Juan Francisco Giacobbe. By eighteen, he had performed more than three hundred concerts throughout Latin America.
In 1965, New York's Juilliard School of Music offered him a scholarship. He immediately moved to the United States to study with Vernon de Tar and Bronson Reagan. Three years later, Mr. Olivera won the National Improvisation Contest sponsored by the American Guild of Organists.
In 1988, after years of performing in the United States, Maestro Olivera was invited to play once again in Argentina.
Mr. Olivera has performed as guest soloist with orchestras throughout the world.
In 1992, Mr. Olivera was guest artist at the American Guild of Organists' convention at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta performing the world premiere of a commissioned work written by William Albright.
In 1996, in celebration of the Olympic games, Mr. Olivera was given the honour to perform a solo concert at Spivey Hall, Atlanta.
In 2002, Mr. Olivera was invited again to perform for the American Guild of Organists' National Convention.
Extract:- Hector Olivera Web site
Frank Olsen c.1911 - 4th Sep 1983
Frank Olsen organist
Frank Olsen

Sitting at the 2/8 Wurlitzer at The Picture House Glasgow.
Extract:- Scottish Cinemas and Theatres Project Web site
Biographical Dictionary of the Organ

Frank Olsen
Discogs page
Logo, Newspaper article
Cinema organist FRANK OLSEN, who was a busy recitalist, died on September 4, aged 72, after collapsing from a heart attack while giving a recital to Cinema Organ Society members at the Odeon, Leicester Square He spent most of his cinema career at various theatres in Glasgow.
The Stage
Thursday 22 September 1983
Image © The Stage Media Company Limited
Organist of the City Picture House, Peterborough; Gaumont Theatre, Middlesbrough; the Picture House, Glasgow; the New Victoria Theatre, Edinburgh and the New Cinerama, Glasgow. Opened St. Georges Hall Cinema, York.
May 1938 broadcast from the New Cinerama, Glasgow

1946 Playing Independently.
Frank Olsen died on September 4th aged 72, after collapsing from a heart attack while giving a recital to Cinema Organ Society members at the Odeon, Leicester Square
Extract:- Theatre Organ World
Nick Olsen
Organ of a Thousand Moods on Hammond
Logo, Newspaper article Extract:- A Boyhood At The End Of The Pier
Up to 1952 was resident organist at Uncle Tom's Cabin, Minnis Bay
Resident organist at Ryde Pier
1957 resident at Malvern's Winter Gardens
1960 opened the A.B.C Derry.
June 1960 opened the Majestic Cinema, Belfast playing a Compton Melotone
Leslie Ord
Opened the Prince’s Theatre, North Shields
Bertram Orsman 4th Oct 1901 - 1974
Biographical Dictionary of the Organ
Bertram John Orsman was born 4th October 1901 in Hitchin, Hertfordshire.
Organist of St. Alban-the-Martyr’s, Holborn, London.
Interesting London Organs
an article on the organ at the church
The church Web site
Information on the organists and organs at the church

Opened the Odeon Theatre, Northfields
Bertram Orsman died in 1974
Ken Outram
Ken Outram organist
Ken Outram

Origin : Ken Outram family page
Ken Outram was born on the 21st June 1927 in Darnall, Sheffield.
He was blind in one eye and had little sight in the other. At the age of 5, he started at the Royal Blind School in Sheffield as a boarder and was there until the age of 16. He studied music under the distinguished organist, Mr Arthur Littlewood.
Ken would have liked to have gone to the Royal College of Music when he was 16 but being wartime, many of the professors were away fighting and there was a long wait, so instead he trained to become a shorthand typist and telephonist and worked for a Sheffield firm until 1954 when he decided to make music his sole profession.
He played piano and organ at many venues in Sheffield before playing at the Old Hall Hotel in Hope, Derbyshire, where he stayed for 15 years from 1957 to 1972.
He heard that they were looking for an organist to play for lunchtime dancing at the City Hall in Sheffield. Ken was chosen from 30 applicants. He started at the City Hall on the 27th November 1967 and remained there until May 2004.
As well as playing at the City Hall, Ken also travelled the country doing the 'concert circuit' playing both Theatre and Pipe Organ and electronic organ for Organ Societies.
Extract : Ken Outram family page
Harry Packard
Harry Packard
Opened the New Cinema, Ilkley and the Picture House, Morely.
Bobby Pagan
Short clip on theatre organ
Pathe logo Regal Glasgow Compton Organ

You Tube link icon Five Organists Live
You Tube link icon Palladium in Copenhagen?
YouTube link Limehouse Blues
YouTube linkDiane - You're Just In Love
Ritz Richmond
Bobby Pagan
Bobby Pagan
Logo, Newspaper article

At 79, Pagan's mighty organ thrills them all

BOBBY PAGAN, veteran theatre and cinema organist, put the 3-manual Compton instrument in the Town Hall, Ossett, West Yorkshire through its paces recently, to the delight of many enthusiasts present.
This recital was only a few miles from where Pagan turned professional on the cinema organ - at The Picture House in Doncaster. That was in November, 1926 and while playing in Doncaster he has a vivid recollection of meeting producer Harry Russell who persuaded him to write the music for the touring revue "Welcome Home which shot Phil Strickland to fame as a comedian.
Scottish-born Bobby has the distinction of having played for silent pictures at the famous London Palladium. This he recollects was in 1928, before the energetic George Black took control and banished the Golden Silents, turning the Palladium into the world's Number One Variety Theatre. After a stint in Glasgow, the diminutive Scots musician returned to the capital to play the organ in such venues as the Metropole at Victoria, the Trocadero, Elephant and Castle, and the Gaumont State at Kilburn. Now, following a Spell of deputising on the giant Christie at The Dome in Brighton, and the completion of fifty years of broadcasting. Bobby Pagan has made his home in the Midlands.
There he teaches pupils, but is still available for the occasional recital.
Bobby who describes himself as "seventy-nine years young" has no thought of retirement. He said: "I hope to continue giving organ Concerts for some time yet. Music is my life.
Article from the 'Stage'
Image created courtesy of

Biographical Dictionary of the Organ
Logo, Newspaper article Organ Wizards
Robert Pagan
Robert Pagan performs at the Regal, Glasgow, and last year was "on the air" twice a week from the Scottish Regional station, from which he still broadcasts occasionally. Steam engines and cinema organs seem poles apart, but that is the big gulf bridged by Mr. Pagan ! "I was originally intended to follow a line of legal antecedents in Fifeshire," he said, "but a strong leaning towards music over-ruled my interest in the law. Then I began to have doubts as to the stability of a musical career, and set out with every intention of being a locomotive engineer! The gloomy future of engineering, however, caused me to revert to music in 1926, when I left the Doncaster works of the London and North - Eastern Railway, and I went to the picture house there, where I studied the art of setting music to silent films. From there I went to London to learn the mysteries of the unit organ, and so finally to Glasgow."

Daily Mirror
Monday 01 May 1933
Bobby Pagan was born in Scotland c. 1905.
In 1926 he became a professional theatre organist at the Picture House, Doncaster.
Bobby had the distinction of having played for silent films at the London Palladium in the days before George Black took over and turned the theatre into the worlds Number One Variety Theatre.
Bobby played the top venues in London, including the Metropole, Victoria; Trocadero, Elephant & Castle and Gaumont State, Kilburn.
In 1933 he opened the Troxy, Stepney.
Bobby was on the radio for over 50 years. Broadcasting almost daily, sometimes twice a day, from October 1940 through to November 1955 on the Home Service and Light program.
Feb 1950 he broadcast from Gaumont State, Kilburn and Sep 1948 broadcast from the Trocadero, Elephant & Castle, 1956 he broadcast on the BBC theatre organ.
July 1947 he was playing Hammond at The New Rink, Sunderland

Image created courtesy of

1951 playing summer season at Broadstairs Pavilion & Band Stand playing a Compton Theatrone.

The Stage
15 February 1951
Image created courtesy of

Dec 1962 at the Opera House, Scarborough
1963 Pantomime season at the Opera House, Scarborough.
He was still playing in 1984, deputising on the Christie at the Dome, Brighton and giving concerts at the Town Hall, Ossett plating their Compton. He was also teaching at this time.
Roy Page
Herbert Fitzroy (Roy) Page Herbert Fitzroy (Roy) Page
Herbert Fitzroy (Roy) Page

The Bioscope
Thursday 04 March 1926
Image © Successor rights holder unknown.
Logo, Newspaper article A Well-known Musician
MR. H. FITZROY PAGE, conductor, organist, violinist and composer, who has just terminated his engagement as principal organist at the Piccadilly, Manchester, is at present in London, actively engaged in the endeavour to locate an exhibitor or renter who believes in the occasional introduction of fresh talent and new blood into his business.
As a cinema organist, Mr. Page's reputation in the North where allusions in the local Press to his extemporizations, stunts and numerous broadcasted recitals are not uncommon is only equalled by his abilities as an arranger of musical settings and conductor. In this latter capacity, and also as a violinist, he has travelled a considerable portion of the world.

The Bioscope - Thursday 04 March 1926
Logo, Newspaper article Lavender Hill's New Organ
On Tuesday of last week the first public performance on the new wonder organ was given at the Lavender Hill Pavilion. Mr. H. Fitzroy Page has been appointed the organist, and at the inaugural recital revealed himself not only an accomplished artist, but one with an exceptional knowledge of film accompaniment. He showed his versatility by his playing of a fantasia, "Cavalleria Rusticana," followed by the ubiquitous "Valencia."
Mr. Page comes from Manchester, and his work during the past two years has been instrumental in raising the whole standard of cinema music in that city.
His organ recitals became a regular, well looked-for feature in the programmes of the Manchester B.B.C. station.
The Bioscope - Thursday 08 April 1926
Logo, Newspaper article THE CLASSIC CINEMA
The magnificent Hope Jones Wurlitzer organ, which has been recently installed in the Classic Cinema, was formally opened yesterday afternoon, when the distinguished organist, Mr. Filzroy played a number delightful selections. and gave the vast audience an opportunity of judging its very great resources. It is a wonderful instrument with glorious tone in its purely organ stops, while is capable, of producing realistic orchestral effects, as well as those dainty and novel combinations which embellish the lighter side music, such as bells, castanets, drums, cymbals, and the singing birds. Mr. Page’s playing of selections from "Rose Marie" was sheer delight. The principal theme of the work was presented with charm, and the tone colour in the harmonies was painted in delightful hues.
A feature of the organ is its capacity express light and shade, from the faintest pianissimo an inspiring fortissimo, and its swelling notes give significance to the music. A military band, with the roll of the drums, was faithfully imitated in one of Mr. Page’s selections, and Elgar’s ‘‘Pomp and Circumstance,” given organ and orchestra was thrilling m its majesty of tone and mighty climaxes. Both the organist and the gifted leader of the orchestra received a well-deserved oration. The organ is supplementary to the orchestra, and its accompaniments to the pictures are in themselves a rare treat.

Belfast News-Letter
Tuesday 15 March 1927
Herbert Fitzroy (Roy) Page started playing cinema organs in 1920.
In 1939 he was playing the Christie at the Pavilion Cinema and the Compton at the Piccadilly Cinema in Birmingham.
He opened the Edgbaston Cinema, Birmingham and the Classic Cinema, Belfast
from around 1942 Roy was also a regular on the radio, broadcasting on the 'Home Service' and also on 'Forces Radio'.
In 1946 was playing the Compton at the Odeon Theatre, Richmond.
Extract:- Various
Phil Park
YouTube linkOn The Compton Theatre Organ Of The New Victoria Cinema + piano
You Tube link iconClose your eyes
Phil Park OrganistPhil Park Organist
Phil Park
Regal Edmonton
1936 Phil Park was at the Alma cinema, Luton.

Luton News and Bedfordshire Chronicle
27 August 1936
In 1937 Phil was playing at the Regal, St. Leonards.

January 1938 he broadcast from the Regal, Bexley Heath
From 1938 to 1941 Phil was broadcasting regularly on the Christie organ at the Regal Cinema, Edmonton.
1939 he also broadcast on the BBC theatre organ playing a Sullivan selection, Disney Ditties and tunes of the times, and in 1940 he broadcast from the Gaumont State, Kilburn
1946 Playing Independently.
Extract:- Various
Vincent Parker
You Tube link iconFive Organists Live
Jan. 1939 to Nov. 1941 Vincent Parker was playing the Christie at the Carlton Cinema, Liverpool in 1939
1946 working for Associated British.
Extract:- Theatre Organ World
G.T. Pattman b c1875 - 10th Aug 1961
You Tube link icon In A Monastery Garden - Liberal Jewish Synagogue Organ
You Tube link icon Andantino - Liberal Jewish Synagogue Organ
G.T. Pattman organist
G.T. Pattman
G.T. Pattman
Discogs page

Radio Times

Logo, Wikipedia web site Link to the G.T. Pattman

Logo; Organ Biography Web Site Biographical Dictionary of the Organ

Logo, Newspaper article Two articles on the life of G.T. Pattman
George Thomas Pattman was born c1875 in Grantham Lincs
He played his first church service when he was 10 years old, he was appointed as church organist at 12.
At 17 he became a Pupil of
Dr. Haydn Keeton Dr Haydn Keeton
26th Oct 1847 - 27th May 1921
A pupil of Sir George Elvey; studied at New College, Oxford.
Organist at Peterborough Cathedral, 1870-1921
at Peterborough Cathedral.
He was organist at St. Mary's Cathedral, Glasgow 1903 - 1915.
Joined the Freemasons in 1921
By 1940 had broadcast over thirty times on the BBC Theatre Organ.
He was the first to tour the halls with a touring organ specially built for the purpose by Harrison and Harrison.
information about him and his famous travelling organ in a book by Lawrence Elvin called 'The Harrison Story'

He played at King’s Cross Cinema, London; Astoria Theatre, London; Shepherds Bush Pavilion, London; the Capitol, Haymarket.
Died 10th August 1961 - Scarborough, Yorkshire
Roy Pearce
Roy Pearce organist
Roy Pearce

Origin:- Theatre Organ Club
Played the Odeon Weston-super-Mare during 1941-1942. Was broadcasting on the Home Service in 1942.
1946 Playing for H.M. Forces.
Extract:- Theatre Organ World
C.W. Perkins
Logo, Newspaper article
Freeman's Journal
Monday 18 January 1904
Charles W. Perkins was born 4th October 1855.
He was a Pupil of Andrew Deakin and Dr Bridge (organ) & Dr Heap (piano)
He was organist at Immanuel Church, Streatham Common; St. Michael’s, Paddington and Birmingham Town Hall.
1914 mentioned as City Organist, Birmingham

Image created courtesy of

In 1914 he opened the Picture House, Stafford playing a Reed Organ de Luxe Mustel ‘Celesta’ Concert organ.
James Peters
1946 working for Associated British.
Extract:- Theatre Organ World
Edgar Peto c. 1893 - 7th Jun 1940
Edgar Peto organist
Edgar Peto
Radio Times

Logo; Organ Biography Web Site Biographical Dictionary of the Organ

Logo, Newspaper article Article on Edgar Peto leaving the Ambassador
Craving to be an organist from an early age, Edgar Frederick Peto realised his ambition when, at the age of twelve, he became the organist of a large church in Paddington.
Subsequently he gained a scholarship at the Trinity College of Music and at the Royal Academy of Music.
Thereafter his studies were cut short by a serious illness. A diseased bone of the right arm laid him up for two years and a half, in the course of which he underwent twenty-two operations.
For some years he combined church and cinema organ work, and opened the second Compton organ in London.
He was resident organist at the Astoria Cinema, Ashford, when he was tragically killed by a lorry while on his way home from the Astoria Cinema on 7th June 1940
Extract:- Various
Reginald Porter-Brown 13th Feb 1910 - 8th Dec 1982
You Tube link icon BBC Theatre Organ, St. Georges Hall
You Tube link icon At the Reginald Foort Moller Organ
You Tube link icon At The Ritz Cinema, Richmond
You Tube link icon demonstrates second touch
You Tube link icon Granada Tooting Wurlitzer
You Tube link icon Granada Tooting Wurlitzer
Annie Get Your Gun Medley
YouTube linkOrgan Medley - Compton Theatre Organ - Regal Walton
YouTube linkNola - Regal, Kingston - Wurlitzer
YouTube linkOne Morning In May
Regal Torquay
YouTube linkParade Of The Tin Soldiers
Regal Torquay
YouTube linkCan-can & Oh Mister Porter
Regal Torquay
YouTube linkWilliam Tell(Swing Arrangement)
Regal Torquay

Reginald Porter Brown at Marrickville Town Hall Wurlitzer -
Reginald Porter-Brown organist
Reginald Porter-Brown

Image source:- MSS studios
Logo, Newspaper article Article on his appointment in Portsmouth
Reginald Porter-Brown was the youngest of the four organists who opened the BBC theatre organ at St. George's Hall, London.
Like many successful theatre organists, he started by playing the church organ when quite a youngster, and was assistant organist at a Bamsley church when he was only eleven.
By the time he was twelve he was teaching, and became a choir master when only sixteen.
For many years he played at, and broadcast from, the Forum Cinema, Southampton, and also the Guildhall, Southampton.
He opened the Savoy Cinema, Portsmouth and the Westover Super Cinema, Bournemouth
Recorded at the Regal Walton; Regal, Kingston; Ritz Cinema, Richmond & St. Georges Hall. See above
His signature tune, 'Oh, Mr. Porter'.
1946 Playing the Granada Circuit.
Reginald Porter-Brown died 8th December 1982

Extract:- Radio Times
Chris Powell
Organfax page

At the Blackpool Tower Wurlitzer
Cole Porter medley on the Blackpool Tower Wurlitzer
Organis Chris Powell
Logo, Web site link Web Site

Chris Powell Cinema Organ Society page

MS Studios CD Chris Powell
Organ 1st page for Chris Powell
Chris Powell was born in Manchester in 1971. At the age of 2, his parents emigrated to live in Christchurch, New Zealand where he first became exposed to organ music as a pre-schooler at the Cathedral Boys Grammar School. A return to England in 1977 saw him further his musical activities both as a chorister and also with piano and subsequently electronic organ lessons.By the age of 16, he was already giving concerts as well as playing for dancing around East Lancashire and West Yorkshire. Living in North West England, it was not surprising that the family made an outing to the world famous Blackpool Tower.On hearing the Wurlitzer, Chris remarked to his parents that he would "play in here some day!"....At the age of 18, he was successfully auditioned to join the team of organists there as a relief player during the winter of 1990.
During 91 Chris was invited to undertake work for the Farfisa Company of Italy and subsequently, he enjoyed working with the Orla range of products from Italy.
1994 saw an invitation to return to New Zealand to play a series of theatre and electronic organ concerts.The 4 week sell-out tour saw him performing to capacity crowds from Dunedin in the South right up to Auckland.Other destinations have included frequent visits to Germany and Holland as well as Italy and the United States.
In 2000, he was invited by the Roland Corporation to tour with one of their flagship Atelier organ products.The initial AT-80R has subsequently given way to various newer models leading up to the current AT-900C model which he tours with right around the country.
Extract from the Chris Powell Biography
Extract:- Chris Powell Web site
Jane Poxon 1964
Jane Poxon Jane Poxon
Jane Poxon
Logo, Newspaper article Jane rides high on a mighty machine
A NEW and rather different face has joined one of music's most famous teams. At just 21 years of age Jane Poxon is the latest addition to the elite crew of organists who play the famous Wurlitzer organ in Blackpool Tower Ballroom.
Few people achieve their life's ambition at such an early age if at all and Jane's arrival on the Wurlitzer scene has made her dream come true. She was first captivated by the Wurlitzer's spell while on holiday in Blackpool from her home in Matlock, Derbyshire, six years ago. Jane heard resident team member Phil Kelsall playing and decided on the spot that she wanted the same sort of future.
Organ classes began as soon as she returned home and before long she was skipping school to catch a bus to the Scala cinema in Rotherham to practice.
When she left school she got the job of playing the intervals between films and soon afterwards moved to Lowestoft for two years where she played at the Gunton Hall Holiday and Country Club. A spell as a freelance theatre organist followed before she came to Blackpool earlier this year to try for the big one "I actually got the job on my 21st birthday, I couldn't believe it," says Jane. Before coming to the resort on holiday she thought the Wurlitzer was at the Tower top in the open air. It was quite a pleasant surprise to be proved wrong.
During the season the Wurlitzer is played almost non stop from 10am to 11pm every day. That means a six strong team playing an hour at a stretch.
Jane, the first woman to join the Wurlitzer team,(*Not so) has no need for keep fit sessions. "It really is a mighty machine and it is very heavy to play," she says. "I'm getting quite fit just playing regularly."
Jane, a single who now lives in Blackpool, has an unusual style on the organ she plays barefoot. "I find I can get much better control of the pedal board," she said
* This error was rectified in a later edition of The Stage
The Stage
Thursday 20 June 1985
Jane Poxon practiced at the Scala Rotherham before moving to Lowestoft, where she spent two years playing at Gunton Hall.
A spell as a freelance organist followed, she then joined the Blackpool Tower Ballroom team of organists in June 1985

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