Click here to visit the official website of WTPO Internet Broadcasting in Ridgecrest, California.

Click here to learn about and purchase the Sounds of Grace CD by Tom Hoehn from Laughing Eyes Music.

Click here to read the latest issue of the American Theatre Organ Society.

Click here to search using Google Advanced Search for Theatre Pipe Organ related websites.

What's new at Walnut Hill? Scroll down to see the headlines for August, 2008. Click this banner to read more past issues of the Walnut Hill Gazette in our Archives section.
Walnut Hill Productions Hot Links For Theatre Organ Lovers The Mighty MidiTzer Project What's New At Walnut Hill? The Walnut Hill Organ The Walnut Hill House Organist The Walnut Hill General Store The Walnut Hill Recording Studio The Walnut Hill Organ Club
The Walnut Hill Mighty WurliTzer Walnut Hill Productions Rummage through the Walnut Hill Archives Featured Artists at Walnut Hill 50th Annual ATOS Convention Walnut Hill Website Credits Frequently Asked Questions - F.A.Q. Featured Organ of the Month The Walnut Hill Mighty WurliTzer

Go back to The Walnut Hill General Store main page. Go back to the July, 2008 page. Go to the Walnut Hill Graphical Website Map Go forward to the September, 2008 page. Go forward to the Walnut Hil Website Credits page.

Walnut Hill Gazette
Office of Operations

Click here to visit the Walnut Hill Office of Operations.

Ridgecrest, California
Office Phone - 1-727-230-2610
Monday through Friday 9AM to 5PM PDT


Volume Five
Issue Eight

The Control Room - Richard Mogridge, Webmaster
Console Up! - Tom Hoehn, Assistant Webmaster
The Skandia WurliTzer - Per Olof Schultz, Associate Editor
MidiTzer Boot Camp - Russ Ashworth, Associate Editor
Mighty Hauptwerk - Jim Reid, Associate Editor
Desktop Goodies - Fred Willis - Founding Father
NYTOS Field Reporter - Eugene Hayek - MidiTzer and WurliTzer


ORGAN OF THE MONTH

Click here to learn more about the 2/11 Mighty WurliTzer Theatre Pipe Organ installed at the Rosen Residence in Chatsworth, California.
2/11 Mighty WurliTzer Theatre Pipe Organ
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August 2008
Summer in the Desert
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30
31


Click here to learn more about the Bone Doctor, Executive producer for Walnut Hill Productions.



Opening Message

Welcome to the Walnut Hill Gazette. The month of August sees the site reaching over 71,420 visitors, the average now being a bit lower at around 800 visits per month. During 2007, we broke an attendance record with 26,442 viewers. Many of these folks are young people from the large art communities in cyberspace, where we have built portal pages such as those at deviantART and Renderosity, to name a few.

The month of August saw the two Theatre Pipe Organs that were damaged during major flooding in Cedar Rapids, Iowa being removed from the theatres and taken to the Cedar Rapids History Center where they will be kept during the evaluation phase of restoration work.

Also during the month, two major events occured in the Land of the King that will have far reaching consiquences. The first was a concert at the Radio City Music Hall, courtesy of the one and only Colonal Jack Moelmann, the first inductee to the Theatre Organ Society International Hall of Fame. The second was the passing of the legendary Dan Bellomy, who showed the world that it was cool to play jazz on a TPO.


Repairs Made To Mighty Conn

On July 20th, just one day before my father's 85th birthday, my good friend Cyrus Roton, whom I can never thank enough, helped me get the Mighty Conn 650 Analogue Electronic Theatre Organ going again with his excellent skills as one of the best organ techs out there. A switching transistor in the Great 2-2/3 Tibia buss bar circuitry had burned out, and a coupling capacitor in the power amplifier had failed. These are common problems for an anologue instrument that is over 41 years old.


The Beer Barrel Polka

She is once again singing out in all her majesty. New YouTube videos are being posted, one of which can be seen above. To watch more videos from my collection, click on the banner below and subscribe to my channel at YouTube. Thank you, and enjoy!

Click here to subscribe to Walnut Hill Productions on YouTube!

Latest Video


A Fine How Do Ya Do

More Videos

Click here to view Puttin' On The Ritz - 3/17 Mighty Conn 650.Click here to view Georgia - 4/24 Mighty Robert Morton.Click here to take a sub-orbital flight to Sweden from California via the famed Regelian Thought Machine.
Click here to view I've Got Your Back Side Covered - 3/17 Mighty Conn 650.Click here to view Rondo a la Turk - 3/17 Mighty Conn 650.Click here to view Sweet Georgia Brown - 3/17 Mighty Conn 650.
Click here to view Have Organ, Will Boogie - 3/17 Mighty Conn 650.Click here to view The Hoop-A-Joop Song - 3/17 Mighty Conn 650.Click here to view The Suite In G For TPO - 3/17 Mighty WurliTzer.


Moving To Sweden In 2009

Walnut Hill is on the move again, this time overseas. The move will take place sometime in the fall of 2009. Details are not clear yet, but I can tell you that I am relocating to the Stockholm, Sweden area. This will afford Walnut Hill Productions the opportunity to help out with the only known instrument of its kind in the country, the 2/7 Mighty WurliTzer Theatre Pipe Organ now being restored for possible reinstallation in its original home in the Skandia Theatre. Stay tuned as the story unfolds. Click here to learn more about this wonderful little TPO and the folks who love her and are working hard to bring her back to life.

Click here to learn more about the Skandia 2/7 Mighty WurliTzer Theatre Pipe Organ being restored in the City Hall of Stockholm, Sweden.
Skandia 2/7 Mighty WurliTzer Console

Another reason for the move is so that I can make a home with a fine lady who lives there, one whom I intend to marry, the lovely and talented Erika Laur of Åkersberga, which is a small community to the north of Stockholm in the Osteriker municipality of Uppland, Sweden.

Click here to visit Erika Laur's Rain Woman account on deviantART.
Erika Laur of Åkersberga, Sweden.

I met the one I affectionately call the Rain Woman on deviantART in the fall of 2006 and we immediately became close friends, but it was not until the spring of 2008 that we began to fall in love, after many electronic letters and video conferences. During the summer, we began to colaborate on several projects in the art community.

Today, we are inseperable and want very much to be married. We have lots in common, our love for the great outdoors, music, technology and art. To learn more about this major change in the lives of two people who finally found eachother at long last, read on in the Headline News Section below.


Closing Message

I want to thank each and every person who visits this site during this Summer Season and beyond. Without you, our loyal patrons, there would be no Walnut Hill. We are indeed making a difference in the Land of the King, preserving a wonderful and important slice of American and World History. Blessings be to one and all.

Richard Mogridge
Webmaster/Executive Producer
Walnut Hill Productions
Ridgecrest, California



HEADLINE NEWS


Dan Bellomy Promoted To Glory

Click here to learn more about the legendary Dan Bellomy, Theatre Pipe Organist Extraordinaire.
Dan Bellomy at the 4/26 Mighty WurliTzer
Brooklyn Center of Long Island University

Dan Bellomy could make a TPO giddy up and go. His style was so unique you never forgot it, and so refreshingly new you could not get enough. He could play jazz on the King that made you dance in your seat. He knew so many chords I was amazed at how he figured out where to put them all. You simply have to hear this man playing for yourself.

On August 29th of 2008, Dan left this world to play the Mighty Theatre Organ in the sky. We who are left behind will miss him much. The TPO community is now less one more highly talented player and enthusiast, who will be remembered as one of the greats.

Nobody played like Dan played. If you have not yet heard him, you still can. His recordings are available. You owe it to yourself to listen to the pure genius he possessed while on the bench. Below is a link to one of Dan's recordings. Click the picture to learn more about it and purchase your copy.

Click here to learn more about and purchase your copy of Dan Bellomy's CD entitled Back to Brooklyn

On this recording, Dan Bellomy played the 4/26 Mighty WurliTzer Theatre Pipe Organ installed at the old Paramount Theatre, now known as the Brooklyn Center of Long Island University. The performance was a perfect match of a superb instrument and an incredible musician.

When the Brooklyn Paramount Theatre opened in 1928, it was the world's first theater built expressly for talking pictures. Through the years, it also offered great vaudeville performers, and later, major stars like Bing Crosby and Ethel Merman. In the fifties, the Paramount created a sensation with Alan Freed’s famous rock ‘n’ roll shows with Chuck Berry, Fats Domino and others.

What many people don't recall is that, additionally, the Paramount was a jazz cathedral. Duke Ellington, Charlie Parker, Ella Fitzgerald and Miles Davis are among the legends who performed on its stage. The Paramount brought jazz to Brooklyn.

Considered a "proletarian palace", the rococo-designed theater had 4,188 seats covered in burgundy velvet. Its sky-blue ceiling had painted clouds, and its opulence included extensive Renaissance-imitated statuaries and sculptures. A 60-foot stage curtain was decorated with satin-embroidered pheasants. There were huge chandeliers and fountains with goldfish.

The original Mighty WurliTzer Theater Pipe Organ, second in size only to the organ at Radio City Music Hall, still plays, with its 2,000 pipes and 257 stops that can imitate everything from a brass band to a honky-tonk piano.

In 1950, Long Island University bought the storied theater and eventually it became part of the University's show in 1963, when the theater closed. The lush orchestra seats made way for a gymnasium, where cherub statues now watch Blackbird NCAA Division I basketball and volleyball games. The University also saved the magnificent lobby (now the Brooklyn Campus cafeteria) and the Mighty WurliTzer from the wrecker's ball. The organ is played at basketball games (by Yankee organist Eddie Layton) and organ concerts featuring top organists.


Below are some of Dan Bellomy's YouTube videos, provided by Ron Reseigh. Embedding was disabled on these tracks and the links will take you directly to the web page where they are posted. So, when you are done listening to one, hit your backspace key to see the others. Enjoy!

  1. DTOC - 1989 - #1 - Senate WurliTzer, Detroit, Michigan
  2. DTOC - 1989 - #2 - Senate WurliTzer, Detroit, Michigan
  3. DTOC - 1989 - #3 - Senate WurliTzer, Detroit, Michigan
  4. DTOC - 1989 - #4 - Senate WurliTzer, Detroit, Michigan
  5. DTOC - 1989 - #5 - Senate WurliTzer, Detroit, Michigan


Colonol Jack Moelmann brought us the news of Dan's passing on the Theatreorgan-L Mailing List on August 29th. It came as a great shock to the folks at Walnut Hill, because I was a friend of this legend of the King of Instruments, having talked with him at length and seeing him play at the ATOS conventions in Pasadena, California and Tampa, Florida. We quote Jack in blue text below:

Dear All,

It is with deep regret that I advise that Dan Bellomy passed away earlier today, Friday, Aug 29, after a long battle with cancer. Dan was a unique individual with a unique style of playing both the pipe organ and electronic instruments. His last public performance was at the Trenton (New Jersey) War Memorial Auditorium during the 2007 ATOS Convention in New York and it certainly was a memorable concert. He was originally scheduled to appear at the recent Radio City Music Hall program but couldn't due to health reasons. He and his musical talents will be greatly missed.

No other details are available and no Services are planned at the present time.

RIP Dan.

Respectively,

J A C K Moelmann


John Lauter, a close friend of Dan's, had this to say upon finding out the sad news. We quote him in blue text below:

Jack,

Wow. What a sad day. I have been good friends with Dan since sometime in the early 80s. Dan was outspoken about what he believed in, could be irascible when provoked, but my gosh, what a talented musician, on the Hammond and on pipes. Dan was one of the few respected by George Wright for his theatre organ paying, mainly because he did his own thing in his own style and didn't copy George from decades earlier.

I'll miss our phone conversations. We were both close friends of John Seng (the last two Johnny didn't alienate, three counting Tom Yanitell) and we talked for hours the day we discovered that Johnny had died. he was a friend and a great booster for my playing. Dan treated the theatre organ like a modern orchestra playing contemporary arrangements of the tune of the moment.

I loved his harmonic sense, he knew the value of polychords and when they are best used, and the boy could jam. He didn't need to write his improvisations out in Sebelius to jam, he could just jam on anything, at any time.

Godspeed, Dan

John Lauter


Ian McLean, another close friend of Dan's, had this to say. We quote him in blue text below:

This is indeed a sad day for theatre organ performance. I can remember when I first heard Dan's Potpourri CD - it was a revelation of just what contemporary musical performance could be on a theatre organ, especially on that snappy Trousdale WurliTzer. I was so enthusiastic that at a Christmas in July party, I took over the host's stereo to play this CD for David Johnston. David was similarly blown away.

As a member of the TOSA Vic committee, David then went on to ensure that Dan became the next TOSA National Convention artist. As a consequence of Dan's participation in that convention, he was subsequently invited back for a number of concert tours in Australia. I always considered that Dan's talent wasn't appreciated as it should have been by many in the TPO scene in the U.S.

I can remember being at the Organ Grinder in Portland and Dan was playing the most extraordinary improvisational, contemporary treatment of music of the day and yesterday. I mentioned this to, at that time, one of the most influential TPO impresarios of the time, and he completely dismissed Dan's efforts by telling me "ahhh..but you really need to hear Jonas Nordwall". I was astounded.

Maybe this lack of appreciation accounted for Dan's sometimes curmudgeonly persona of his last years? He and Jonas, while different in style, were peers. In Dan's loss we have also lost one of the very few musicians who could improvise, who could be truly spontaneous at the TPO, and who was passionate about his music. In these days of so many sometimes sterile, parroted performances, personally, this is a huge loss.

Ian McLean


Paul Fitzgerald, another close friend of Dan's, had this to say. We quote him in blue text below:

Hey All,

A very sad day but a blessed relief at the same time. Cancer is a terrible disease.

Dan played Adelaide first in 1991 then 2003 and came back to make a CD on the Capri in 2004, but it was never released. There are only 3 words can describe his concerts properly in my mind, "Fab U Lous"! His keyboard mastery combined with and outstanding and amazing knowledge of chords and harmony made his concerts truly a memorable experience. I heard him three times during his 2003 tour, here in Adelaide then Sydney and Melbourne, and I was wowed every time.

Dan and I clicked from the first meeting and have kept in contact ever since, in latter years by e-mail. Sometimes we just sent each other jokes etc but often it was a short note just to say "Hi, how are you?".

It is my turn to play at the Capri tonight (Saturday Aussie time) and will be having dinner there with others who knew Dan. I am taking a bottle of "Turkey Flat Cabinet/Sauvignon" from the Barossa Valley here in South Australia which was Dan's favourite Aussie red to be drunk in his honour.

When Dan was here in 2004 for the recording, Robert Wetherall and I took him to the Barossa for a tasting day. Coming home, Dan had us laughing so much I had to stop driving from tears of laughter. His "I Say-Yud" jokes were hilarious, EXTREMELY politically incorrect and in the worst possible taste, but hilarious. Robert and I talk about that day often.

Vale Dan.

Rest in peace, Mate.

I Say-Yud.........

Paul Fitzgerald


Jim Riggs, a close friend of Dan's and living legend of the TPO, had this to say. We quote him in blue text below:

Ah, Dan.

He smoked, he drank, he swore (!), he was deliciously politically incorrect, he could have been a charter subscriber to Town Grouch magazine and he didn't care if he pissed people off. He was indeed his own man and his fans loved him for it.

Most of all (and fortunately for all of us), he was a REAL musician whose vision for his chosen instrument was unique. His music was like no other's. As filtered by his incredibly deep musical sense, melody, harmony and rhythm became one. His arrangements were completely personal---always elegantly constructed with that unmistakable Dan Bellomy flair. And when he played, the organs at which he sat seemed to proudly declare, "THIS is what I sound like today! Buckle up!".

Appropriately, he approached the instrument itself holistically, not just as a collection of parts. Under his ministrations, the Unit Orchestra fulfilled its promise. Then there was his technical prowess. Yikes! He seemed to play the organ effortlessly---like a natural extension of his brain---as if his fingers transcended mere physicality and he was simply willing the music.

All of this came together within a consummate musician that continually thrilled us, challenged us and made us think. We can ask no more of an artist; we can only be grateful.

Our little insular world of the theatre organ has lost a unique voice at a time when uniqueness is becoming alarmingly rare. Let's hope that young musicians will listen to his work and be inspired to think out of the box and into their own hearts.

Farewell Dan, you wonderful *#%&@?$*! I'll miss you more than I can say!

Your fan forever,

Jim Riggs


Cletus Goens, a close friend of Dan's, had this to say. We quote him in blue text below:

Dear List,

Dan was a hero from my youth, and later a personal friend. There are few who could transition from Hammond to TO and back with relative ease, and Dan was one of the gifted. His stellar Indianapolis convention concert was one that has been talked about much since, and Dan was kind enough at one point to give me some pointers on the Hammond.

Dan also played a concert at the Fort Wayne Embassy Theatre and really put the Grande Page through it's paces with his seemingly effortless glissandi and very thoughtful registration. He will be missed.

Sympathetically,

Cletus Goens
Fort Wayne, Indiana


This was posted in the Boston Globe on August 31st, 2009.

Daniel J. Bellomy

Age 57, of Winchester, August 29th.

Beloved husband of Christina R. (Hinchliffe) Bellomy.

Loving son of Melba (Steeleman) Bellomy of Houston, TX, and the late Joe B. Bellomy.

Dear stepfather of Kathleen "Kat" MacArthur of Lowell and Timothy MacArthur and his wife Colleen of Waltham.

Funeral arrangements are private, and there are no calling hours.

Donations may be made in Dan's memory to Parmenter Wayside Hospice, 266 Cochituate Road, Wayland, MA 01778.

Online guest book at www.lynch-cantillon.com

Lynch-Cantillon Funeral Home 1-781-933-0400


Click here to visit the official TOSI website at theatreorgans.com!

Colonol Jack Moelmann Wows 'Em
At Radio City Music Hall

Click here to download a 1557 x 1175 JPG image showing the marquee at Madison Square Garden advertising Jack Meolmann and Friends at the 4/58 Mighty WurliTzer Theatre Pipe Organ installed at Radio City Music Hall in New York City.
Marquee at Madison Square Garden in New York City

Jack Moelmann gets to live his dream! In front of an audience of over 600 enthusiastic patrons on August 9th of 2008, Colonol Jack Moelmann, a retired Air Force officer and founding father of The Theatre Organ Society International, got to take the bench of the world's largest WurliTzer Theatre Pipe Organ, the massive four-manual fifty-two rank beast installed at the RRadio City Music Hall in New York City. The pictures in this story are courtisy of Mister Moelmann. To see more from his vast collection, click here.

Click here to download a 1034 x 958 JPG image showing Colonol Jack Moelmann seated at the console of the massive 4/58 Mighty WurliTzer Theatre Pipe Organ installed at Radio City Music Hall in New York City.
Colonol Jack Moelmann at the console of
the 4/58 Mighty WurliTzer, Radio City Music Hall

Above, we see the Colonol seated at one of the twin consoles of this magnificent instrument. Yes, folks, he had the time of his life, fullfilling a boyhood dream. Walnut Hill field reporter and WHOC Vice President Tom Hoehn also attended the event.

Click here to download a 1280 x 960 JPG image showing Lew Williams at the console of the massive 4/58 Mighty WurliTzer Theatre Pipe Organ installed at Radio City Music Hall in New York City.
Lew Williams at the console of
the 4/58 Mighty WurliTzer, Radio City Music Hall

Jack spent a lot of money to rent the building and book some fine organists to come and join in the fun. Former ATOS President Father Gus Franklin was there, along with the legendary Lew Williams, seen at the massive console in the photo above.

Also filling the bill of superlative TPO talent were none other than mister TPO registration guru himself, Walt Strony, along with Russel Holmes. The late Dan Bellomy was scheduled to play as well, but could not due to health issues. Never before had so much world class talent been assembled to play during a single show.

Click here to download a 1383 x 1035 JPG image showing the playing table of the 4/58 Mighty WurliTzer Theatre Pipe Organ installed at Radio City Music Hall in New York City.
One of the two consoles of the 4/58 Mighty WurliTzer
installed at Radio City Music Hall in New York City

Above, we see the stop sweep and playing table of one of the twin consoles of this gigantic Theatre Pipe Organ. The consoles are totally independant. Each has full control of the instrument. Thus, it is actually possible for two organists to play at the same time.


RCMH Show To Be Broadcast On CBS And NBC!

Click here to download a 512 x 768 JPG image showing the entrance to Radio City Music Hall in New York City.
Radio City Music Hall
New York, New York

This was posted by Jack Moelmann on the Theatre Organ Home Page Mailing List on August 12th to notify the TPO community of impending news coverage on two major national broadcasting networks, CBS and NBC.

Click here to download a 865 x 665 JPG image showing Colonol Jack Moelmann at the 4/58 Mighty WurliTzer Theatre Pipe Organ installed at Radio City Music Hall in New York City.
Colonol Jack Moelmann at Radio City Music Hall
4/58 Mighty WurliTzer Theatre Pipe Organ

Hi All,

The Radio City Music Hall program will be featured on a news special during the CBS Evening News this Friday, Aug 15 at 5:30 (at least that time around here). CBS followed me back from New York on the plane and were here at the house for some 3 hours. It should be some broadcast. They were allowed to videotape a brief part of the program.

Click here to download a 734 x 554 JPG image showing Colonol Jack Moelmann at the 4/58 Mighty WurliTzer Theatre Pipe Organ installed at Radio City Music Hall in New York City.
Colonol Jack Moelmann at Radio City Music Hall
4/58 Mighty WurliTzer Theatre Pipe Organ

For those of you in local St. Louis territory, NBC Channel 5 will air a news item on the Radio City Music Hall at 10:00 tonight with Mike Bush or after the olympic activity. I am negotiating with the Music Hall to allow me to at least post a couple of segments of the program on YouTube. All of the other TV outlets have said to just go for it, but the Radio City Music Hall has a lot of rules, several of which make no sense, this being one of them. Anyway, look for the news items and enjoy.

Best Regards,

J A C K


Watch CBS Videos Online


Radio City Music Hall YouTube Videos

Below are some selections posted on YouTube from the August 9th concert at Radio City Music Hall on the 4/58 Mighty WurliTzer Theatre Pipe Organ. Enjoy!


Introduction by Father Gus Franklin


Jack Moelmann plays Radio City Music Hall 4/58 Mighty WurliTzer on YouTube


Lew Williams at the console


Walt Strony plays Radio City Music Hall 4/58 Mighty WurliTzer on YouTube


More About The Colonol

Click here to download a 480 x 563 JPG image showing Colonol Jack Moelmann.
Colonol Jack Moelmann, 1991

Colonal Jack Moelmann spent many years in the service of the United States Air Force. While on duty, he won awards from the President for his courage and valour. Below, we see a document proclaiming the appreciation for his service, issued by President Bush, Commander in Chief.

Click here to download a 609 x 467 JPG image showing a Certificate of Appreciation issued to Colonol Jack Moelmann by President Bush.
Certificate of Appreciation
Colonol Jack Moelmann

On March 25th of 1991, the Colonol was given the pestigious Legion of Merit Award, also issued by the President, proclaiming his record of exceptionally meritorious conduct and outstanding performances of services in the line of duty to the United States Military, seen in the image below.

Click here to download a 613 x 467 JPG image showing the Legion of Merit Award issued to Colonol Jack Moelmann.
Legion of Merit Award issued to
Colonol Jack Moelmann

When Jack put on his show at the Radio City Music Hall, a placard was placed at the entrance to the huge building proclaiming what was in store for those who would attend the historic gathering. We see that placard below:

Click here to download a 362 x 628 JPG image showing Colonol Jack Moelmann's Show Placard at Radio City Music Hall.
Show Placard at
Radio City Music Hall

After the show, the Colonol was awarded the status of Hall of Fame in the Theatre Organ Society International and was given this plaque to commemorate the event, being the first such award issued by the organization he helped to found. We see this plaque below:

Click here to download a 779 x 955 JPG image showing Colonol Jack Moelmann.
Colonol Jack Moelmann
TOSI Hall of Fame

A special tee shirt was made to honor Jack, allowing folks in attendance to take home a memory of this once in a life time spectacle. There were only a limited number of these shirts made, and they sold out al;most as soon as it was known that they were available. We see this beutiful item of apparel below:

Click here to download a 847 x 956 JPG image showing the Concert Tee Shirt.
Concert Tee Shirt


The Theatre Organ That Jack Built

Click here to download a 1600 x 1200 JPG image showing the theatre organ that Jack built.
Colonal Melmann's Custom Theatre Organ

The Colonol has put together a massive beast of his own, right in the basement of his house! The instruments started life as a Custom Rodgers 340 Analogue Theatre Organ but soon grew to include all sorts of add-ons and toys.

Click here to download a 1011 x 673 JPG image showing the singing ducks on the organ Jack built.
Trademark Singing Duckies

One of the trademarks of Jack's organ is this row of twelve ducks which can dance and quack in tune as he plays. There are a number of other things, including colliope pipes and all sorts of tuned and untuned percussions including, of all things, tuned toilet flushes. Yes, Jack is a funny man.

Click here to download a 871 x 767 JPG image showing the basement full of musical instruments.
A basement full of music

As you can see in the shot above, Jack's basement is full of musical delights, including the Custom Rodgers Theatre Organ on the left, an upright player piano in the center, and a Johannus Digital Church Organ on the right.


Click here to visit the official Cedar Rapids Theatre Organ Society website.

Mighty WurliTzer and Grande Barton organs
to be stored at The History Center

By Adam Belz for The Gazette

CEDAR RAPIDS - Cedar Rapids' two original theatre organs, rare treasures that were damaged by the flood, will be stored at The History Center, 615 First Ave. SE, while their caretakers determine whether they can be restored.

The consoles — or keyboards, controls and seats — of the Paramount Theatre's 3/12 Mighty WurliTzer and the Iowa Theatre's 3/14 Grande Rhinestone Barton pipe organs were both damaged.

"We don't currently know how much of the original consoles can be preserved," Neal Marple, secretary of the Cedar Rapids Area Theatre Organ Society, said in an e-mail.

The two organs are among about 40 in the country that remain in the theatres they were built for. They were once used to accompany and provide sound effects for silent movies.

Click here to download a 1600 x 1200 JPG image showing the Paramount Theatre's 3/12 Mighty WurliTzer Balaban 1A console.
3/12 Mighty WurliTzer Balaban 1A console.

The Paramount Theatre's 3/12 Mighty WurliTzer Balaban 1A was installed when the Paramount opened in 1928.

Marple said neither instrument has a price tag because their value lies in their location and their originality to the theatres.

Click here to download a 1600 x 1200 JPG image showing the Mighty WurliTzer console after removal from the flood damaged theatre.
Flood damaged Mighty WurliTzer console.

The Mighty WurliTzer organ was removed from the Paramount Theatre on June 18. The Grande Barton organ was removed from the Iowa Theatre on Tuesday. That removal was sponsored by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. What happens next for the Mighty WurliTzer depends on what happens with the Paramount. The city of Cedar Rapids owns the theatre and the organ.

Click here to download a 930 x 850 JPG image showing the Iowa Theatre's 3/14 Grande Barton console.
3/14 Grande Barton console.

The Grande Barton console was damaged by the floodwaters, but the impact to the organ was not as visible and dramatic as the Paramount’s Mighty WurliTzer. The Barton console, hit with 4 feet of floodwater, remained standing on the 4-post Barton lift unlike it’s sister at the Paramount which was toppled over and tossed around, subjected to 8.5 feet of water and weakened significantly by the experience.

Click here to download a 640 x 453 JPG image showing the flood damaged Grande Barton console after removal from the theatre.
Flood Damaged Grande Barton console.

On August 2, 2008, the strangest thing since the Great Flood of 2008 happened in Cedar Rapids, IA. CRATOS members, assisted by the Rockwell Retiree Volunteers, and The History Center, moved the Wurlitzer and Barton consoles into the new organ restoration room. For the first time in the history of Cedar Rapids, two completely unique theatre organ consoles sat face to face, sharing in the same fate.

The Paramount Theatre’s Balaban 1A Wurlitzer console, severely damaged by the June 2008 flooding, has been in temporary storage since June 18th, 2008. Getting the remaining console pieces into a climate controlled environment was key in preserving the remaining portions for future restoration work.

The Iowa Theatre's Rhinestone Barton was moved to a warehouse section of The History Center several weeks ago, awaiting the completion of preparations on the organ restoration room. With the major preparations completed it was time to move both consoles into the same room for the first time ever.

RCRV and The History Center have worked steadily to convert the former 1940s car dealership building into the new headquarters for the console restorations of both instruments. With original tin ceilings still largerly intact, a full showroom front on 2nd Avenue and 6th Street SE, air conditioning, and plenty of space, CRATOS and CRBI (Cedar Rapids Barton Incorporated) have a new, temporary home from which to launch the next chapter in the lives of both organs.

CRATOS and CRBI are grateful to The History Center, RCRV, and Mike Wilson for their efforts in securing and converting the new, temporary home for the organ consoles. The next chapter in the fate of these incredible, unique instruments is about to begin!

The Iowa Theatre's 3/14 Grande Barton organ is owned by Cedar Rapids Barton Inc., a non-profit group formed exclusively for the maintenance and preservation of the organ. That organization and the Cedar Rapids Theatre Organ Society have set up an organ restoration fund. Gifts are tax deductible, and donations can be submitted by visiting www.cr-atos.com. You can also send a donation via Pay Pal by clicking the "Donate" button below:

To see a complete photodocumentary of the damage to these instruments and the movie palaces they once lived in, click here. Be warned. The images are very graphic, enough to make any TPO buff cry like a baby.


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Click here to visit the Walnut Hill Office of Operations.
The Main Data Server at Walnut Hill.

The figures below represent the approximate daily hit count for the site since going online on April 2nd of 2004. Counter checks begin around ten in the morning and end around ten in the evening, Pacific Daylight Savings Time. Currently, that total stands at over 71,420 happy campers in the Land of the King!

  • 08/01/2008 - 70,494
  • 08/02/2008 - 70,525
  • 08/03/2008 - 70,550
  • 08/04/2008 - 70,585
  • 08/05/2008 - 70,623
  • 08/06/2008 - 70,653
  • 08/07/2008 - 70,675
  • 08/08/2008 - 70,703
  • 08/09/2008 - 70,721
  • 08/10/2008 - 70,749
  • 08/11/2008 - 70,769
  • 08/12/2008 - 70,793
  • 08/13/2008 - 70,831
  • 08/14/2008 - 70,856
  • 08/15/2008 - 70,887
  • 08/16/2008 - 70,900
  • 08/17/2008 - 70.928
  • 08/18/2008 - 70,954
  • 08/19/2008 - 71,011
  • 08/20/2008 - 71,046
  • 08/31/2008 - 71,423
  • 08/21/2008 - 71,069
  • 08/22/2008 - 71,092
  • 08/23/2008 - 71,128
  • 08/24/2008 - 71,154
  • 08/25/2008 - 71,178
  • 08/26/2008 - 71,224
  • 08/27/2008 - 71,273
  • 08/28/2008 - 71,317
  • 08/29/2008 - 71,342
  • 08/30/2008 - 71,379


Walnut Hill Productions To Move In 2009

Walnut Hill Productions has been operating at Mister Todd's residence in Ridgecrest since October of 2007. This location, though serving us well, was known to be temporary at best. Operations continued to be quite difficult and expensive, and things have changed in the Bone Doctor's life that spell major changes and historic events in the near future.

Click here to visit the official City of Ridgecrest Website.
Ridgecrest
as seen from the air.

It cannot be determined exactly how long Walnut Hill Productions will be at this current location in Ridgecrest, but it is expected that the company will remain here until the latter part of 2009 when it will be on the move once again, this time to the Stockholm, Sweden area. Why move to Sweden, you might ask? Going from the heat of the desert to the cold of the northland is quite a change, indeed.

Click here to visit the official Stockholm, Sweden Website.
Downtown Stockholm, Sweden
.

Moving Walnut Hill Productions to Sweden will allow us to help fellow Walnut Hill Organ Club and Wall of Fame member Per Olef Schultz with the restoration of the 2/7 Mighty WurliTzer Theatre Pipe Organ, this instrument being the only one of its kind in the entire country, which originally had a home in the Skandia Theatre in Stockholm. Our goal is to see this great instrument returned to the theatre.

Further details about how we intend to accomplish the relocation will be released later in the year. Once the new location is known, we will update the Office address and phone numbers posted throughout the site and begin forwarding company mail to the new office in Åkersberga.


Funds received during the First Fund Drive: $2,105.00

Click here to contribute to the Relocation Fund Drive by emailing the Bone Doctor at PayPal.

The First Relocation Fund Drive is now closed as the move to California, though wrought with some peril in the beginning, was a success at last. Below is a listing of those who have generously contributed funds and items during the first fund drive:

Name

  • Tom Hoehn
  • Gareth Howells
  • Jim Reid
  • Cyrus Roton
  • William Spalding
  • Larry Chamberlin
  • Kent Allman
  • Fred Willis
  • Joseph Loewy
  • Ronald Shreve
  • Dan Rowland
  • Eleanor Winnemore
  • Earl Hurty
  • Edward Burnett
  • Charles Walls
  • David Knudtson
  • Frank Towle
  • Charles Ekstrand

Amount

  • $ 50.00
  • $ 50.00
  • $450.00
  • $500.00
  • $100.00
  • $100.00
  • $100.00
  • $200.00
  • $ 50.00
  • $ 25.00
  • $ 50.00
  • $100.00
  • $ 35.00
  • $ 50.00
  • $100.00
  • $ 25.00
  • $ 20.00
  • $100.00

Method

  • PayPal
  • PayPal
  • PayPal
  • Check
  • PayPal
  • Check
  • PayPal
  • PayPal
  • PayPal
  • PayPal
  • PayPal
  • Check
  • Check
  • PayPal
  • PayPal
  • PayPal
  • PayPal
  • PayPal
Name
  • Bob Upward
  • Paul Kealy
  • Fred Willis
  • Mister Todd
Item
  • Zoom H4
  • Conn 650
  • A/V Gear
  • Office
Description
  • Recorder
  • Organ
  • Studio
  • Residence

These most kind and generous folks have earned memberships in the Walnut Hill Organ Club and will be notified of their membership status when the club goes official after the move to Sweden. We have decided to push forward with the organization while awaiting an ATOS charter. We will post our progress in the Gazette during the fledgeling phase of this project which must still undergo much planning.



EDITORIAL ARTICLES




ADVERTISEMENTS


Below are to be found links to the folks who sponsor this site and also those who freely promote the King of Instruments, the Mighty Theatre Pipe Organ. To find out how you can get an ad placed here, see the contact information for the Walnut Hill Office of Operations shown above.


Click here to see the Rain Woman's collection of specialty mechandise from Regelia Prime for sale at Café Press!

THE RAIN WOMAN
~ Style Store at Café Press
~

Click here to see products featuring the Rain Woman's artwork.Click here to see products featuring artwork from the Whacky Wood.Click here to see products featuring the Barefoot Doctor's TPO pictures.

Mousepads, T-shirts, Mugs, and more!


Click here to visit our gracious hosts at VintageOrgans.com today!


See and buy all kinds of musical equipment. Click here to visit Allman Music today!

Learn about the next big thing in Virtual Theatre Pipe Organ Technology. Click here to see the complete line of Virtual Theatre Pipe Organs available for download at Allman Music!
Richard "Kent" Allman at the console of his
Symphonic IV Virtual Pipe Organ for jOrgan.



Mighty MidiTzer Style 216
Version 0.8 Now Available!

Click here to get your copy of the Mighty MidiTzer by Jim Henry and Crew Glasjev.

Download MidiTzer Version 0.881

Did you ever imagine you could put a Theatre Pipe Organ inside your computer? Well, now you can, with the Mighty MidiTzer by Jim Henry and Crew Glazjev. Best of all, it is absolutely free!

Just click the picture to the left to get started on your way to playing the Style 216 2/10 Mighty WurliTzer Theatre Pipe Organ virtually every day!

Listen to the Mighty MidiTzer!

Below are some cuts from various Featured Artists here at Walnut Hill that will give you an idea of what the Mighty MidiTzer sounds like.

  1. The Bone Doctor - Higher Ground
  2. Tom Hoehn - Crazy
  3. Gerhard Kletchowitz - Little Orphan Annie
  4. Frank Vanaman - The One I Love



Mighty MidiTzer Style 260 Special
Version 0.86 Now Available!

Click here to download a very large 5783 x 7483 JPG image colorized by Walnut Hill Founding Father Fred Willis showing the console of the Mighty WurliTzer Style 260 Special Theatre Pipe Organ.
Flyer cover for the
MidiTzer 260 Special
Colorized image by Fred Willis.

Click here to find out how you can get your copy of the new Mighty WurliTzer Style 260 Special Theatre Pipe Organ.
Click here to learn more about
the Mighty MidiTzer 260 Special.



Pinellas Park Mighty WurliTzer

Click here to see the 2/9 Mighty WurliTzer Style 150B Theatre Pipe Organ installed at the Pinellas Park Auditorium.


Click here to download a 2041 x 1261 JPG image showing the stop sweep of the beautiful 2/9 Mighty WurliTzer Theatre Pipe Organ installed at the Pinellas Park Auditorium in Pinellas Park, Florida.
The stop sweep of the 2/9 Mighty WurliTzer Theatre Pipe Organ
installed at the Pinellas Park Auditorium in Pinellas Park, Florida.

The 2/9 Mighty WurliTzer Style 140B Theatre Pipe Organ Opus 1968, installed at Pinellas Park Auditorium in Pinellas Park, Florida is featured on the October 2005 Featured Organ of the Month page. It is the first small instrument to get a feature at Walnut Hill, and rightly so because it is not far from Tom Hoehn's residence, the first location for the Walnut Hill Productions Office of Operations during our year-long stay in Clearwater.

This organ, under the care of the Central Florida Theatre Organ Society, is in the process of being restored and we need your help. If you would like to contribute funds or volunteer man hours to see this task come to completion, call the Walnut Hill Office of Operations at 1-727-230-2610 Monday through Friday from 10AM to 6PM PDT. We would be very glad to talk with you and tell you how to get involved in returning this great instrument to her former glory.



Go back to The Walnut Hill General Store main page. Go back to the July, 2008 page. Go to the Walnut Hill Graphical Website Map Go forward to the September, 2008 page. Go forward to the Walnut Hil Website Credits page.

Click here to visit the official website of the Walnut Hill Organ Club based out of Ridgecrest, California.

Click here to visit the official website of the Mighty MidiTzer at http://www.virtualorgan.com/.

Click here to purchase Mighty MidiTzer Logo Merchandise from Russ Ashworth at the Cafe Press.

Click here to visit The Theatre Pipe Organ Page, presented by Eugene Hayek and Edonmusic.

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