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 October, 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 September, 2008 page. Go to the Walnut Hill Graphical Website Map Go forward to the November, 2008 page. Go forward to the Walnut Hil Website Credits page.


VOLUME FIVE - ISSUE TEN


Walnut Hill Gazette
Contributing Staff Members

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
Skandia WurliTzer - Erika Laur - Field Reporter


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



ORGAN OF THE MONTH

Click here to learn more about the 2/11 Mighty WurliTzer Theatre Pipe Organ installed at the Lafayette Theatre in Suffern, New York.
2/11 Mighty WurliTzer Theatre Pipe Organ


October 2008
Fall Season Begins...
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
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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


FROM THE WEBMASTER'S DESK

Click here to learn more about the Bone Doctor, Executive producer for Walnut Hill Productions.
The Bone Doctor at the Ken Rosen 2/11 Mighty WurliTzer



Opening Message

Welcome to the Walnut Hill Gazette. The month of October sees the site reaching over 73,140 visitors, the average now being around 1,000 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.


In This Issue Of The Gazette...

The Founding Father of Walnut Hill Productions, Fred Willis passed away in a hospital in Bakersfield, Calofornia on Friday, September 26th, 2008 after attempts to stop a massive kidney failure and internal hemorraging failed. He was seventy-three years old.

Also headed to glory is none other than the wonderfully funny man, Stan Kann, who passed on on Monday, September 29th, 2008. Stan was the house organist at the Saint Louis Fox Theatre in Saint Louis, Missouri. He too will be greatly missed.

The Second Relocation Fund Drive is now open for collecting money which is needed to move the Walnut Hill Office of Operations to Sweden sometime in late 2009. Already, a total of $645.00 has been collected, though operating expenses such as repairs and upgrades to the Main Data Server and office expenses have taken a bite out of the fund and there remains $100.00 in the PayPal account. For more details on this fund and to learn how you can make a donation, see the Second Relocation Fund Drive topic in the Headline News section further on down this page.

We are preparing the computer for the Walnut Hill VTPO project. New software has been acquired, including TASCAM Gigastudio Orchestra 3 and a large library of samples from the collection at Allman Music in Saint Petersberg, Florida. This machine, formerly owned by the Founding Father of Walnut Hill,Fred Willis, will be running Microsoft Windows XP and the suite of VTPO software.


Closing Message

I want to thank each and every person who visits this site as the Fall Season begins. 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


Stan Kann the Vacuum Cleaner Man
Promoted To Glory

Click here to read the official Stan Kann Obituary.

Stan Kann passed away Monday morning, September 29th of 2008 at Saint Louis University Hospital from complications during a heart procedure. He was 83. A resident of Saint Louis, Stan had been the organist at the Fox Theatre for 50 plus years.

Click here to see Stan Kann posing with his vacuum cleaner collection.Click here to watch a video about Stan Kann and his vacuum cleaner collection.

Stan was also known in the comedy world for his vacuum cleaner collection and his routines where everything usually went wrong. He was a terrific gentleman, superb organist in the authentic style, and hilarious performer with impeccable comedic timing. He was one of the people who brought real dignity to the Theatre Pipe Organ profession, and he was a fine human being.

You can read the official Stan Kann Obituary posted in the Los Angeles Times by clicking here.

On Sunday, Oct 5th, a Celebration of Stan's Life was held at the Fabulous Fox Theatre in Saint Louis. It was open to the public and the public really turned out for this Memorial Service and tribute to Stan. It was a Who's Who of those in the local area as well as many who ventured to Saint Louis for the event. Some of note were Don Walker and his Aunt Norma Peters from the Chicago Area, Justin Krasowski and Joe Russo also from the Chicago Area.

The organist, Walt Strony, ventured from who knows where to attend this event, which started out with a very elaborate slide show covering Stan's lifetime. It was presented while people were entering the theatre. Numerous recordings of his programs on various organs (not just the Fox organ) were played along with the slide show.

The 4/36 Mighty WurliTzer had just been repainted for the occasion and had a beautiful flower arrangement on the top. It was not played during the program. There was a life size cutout of Stan on one side of the console next to the bench and on the other side were two vintage vacuum cleaners.

Mary Strauss, the principal owner of the Fox, had arranged the affair and was a principal speaker. Other speakers included friends, organ associates, news and radio personalities, and family members.

A presentation included video/film reproductions of Stan's various TV appearances on Johnny Carson, Mike Douglas, etc. These were hysterical to both the audience in the movie as well as the live group at the Fox. A special interlude was presented by the Gateway Men's Chorus. The most emotional time was the showing of a amateur video of his last performance during a tour of the Fox two days before he died. It was typical Stan playing.

Memorial contributions are being accepted for a Stan Kann Scholarship Fund by the Fox Theatre to encourage and support aspiring theatre organists. It was an emotional afternoon but a program well constructed and presented. It really highlighted Stan's many years of music and comedy.

God speed, Stan. You will be missed by many the world over.


Founding Father of Walnut Hill Productions
Promoted To Glory

Click here to learn more about the Founding Father of Walnut Hill Productions, Fred Willis.
Founding Father of Walnut Hill Productions, Fred Willis

The theatre organ world is less one more great enthusiast, the Founding Father of Walnut Hill Productions, Fred Willis. Fred passed away in a hospital in Bakersfield, Calofornia on Friday, September 26th, 2008 after attempts to stop a massive kidney failure and internal hemorraging failed. He was seventy-three years old.

Click here to download a 2592 x 1944 JPG image of Paul and Louise near Fred during the viewing.
The body of Fred Willis attended by his kin, Paul and Louise.

He will be missed by all of us at Walnut Hill Productions. Survivers include his sister, Louise and his brothers, Paul and John. Services are planned at Ridgecrest Medical Center where he was staying during the end of his life here on Earth.

Click here to download a 1436 x 1888 JPG image showing Fred Willis receiving his Honerable Discharge from Cyrus Roton.
The body of Fred Willis receiving his Honerable Discharge from Cyrus Roton.

Fred was a war hero serving the United States Navy as a technician aboard a submarine and also serving in Viet Namm with the Navy Seals in cooperation with the Korean Special Forces.

Click here to download a 2055 x 1647 JPG image showing the Meritorous Service Award given to Fred Willis by the US Navy.
The Meritorous Service Award given to Fred Willis.

Always one with great enthusiasm for the King of Instruments, Fred had built a massive installation of the Mighty MidiTzer Style 260 Special VTPO running on three computers, which Walnut Hill now owns. The main machine will carry the installation, now dubbed the Fred Willis Memorial Mighty MidiTzer.

Click here to download a 1234 x 940 JPG image showing Fred Willis at his Mighty MidiTzer.
Fred Willis at his Mighty MidiTzer.

It was Fred's final wishes that he be cremated and his ashes buried in Washington, his home state. More news on the memorial service to follow as we learn the details of the event. An obituary will run shortly in the Walnut Hill Gazette.

God Speed Fred, you now get to play the Mighty TPO in the sky. May the Heavens ring out with that wonderful sound. Amen.


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

Save The Mighty WurliTzer and Grande Barton
Theatre Pipe Organs At Ceder Rapids, Iowa

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.

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. 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 Iowa Theatre's 3/14 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.

The 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.


Website Hit Count
Since Founding Day 04/02/2004

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 73,140 happy campers in the Land of the King!

  • 10/01/2008 - 72,321
  • 10/02/2008 - 72,334
  • 10/03/2008 - 72,389
  • 10/04/2008 - 72,414
  • 10/05/2008 - 72,436
  • 10/06/2008 - 72,459
  • 10/07/2008 - 72.499
  • 10/08/2008 - 72,512
  • 10/09/2008 - 72,532
  • 10/10/2008 - 72,550
  • 10/11/2008 - 72,577
  • 10/12/2008 - 72.580
  • 10/13/2008 - 72,612
  • 10/14/2008 - 72,651
  • 10/15/2008 - 72,674
  • 10/16/2008 - 72,709
  • 10/17/2008 - 72,736
  • 10/18/2008 - 72,753
  • 10/19/2008 - 72,772
  • 10/20/2008 - 72,798
  • 10/31/2008 - 73,140
  • 10/21/2008 - 72,840
  • 10/22/2008 - 72.874
  • 10/23/2008 - 72,903
  • 10/24/2008 - 72,929
  • 10/25/2008 - 72,945
  • 10/26/2008 - 72,976
  • 10/27/2008 - 73,013
  • 10/28/2008 - 73,048
  • 10/29/2008 - 73,068
  • 10/30/2008 - 73,124


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


Walnut Hill Productions To Move In 2009

Walnut Hill is on the move again, this time overseas. The move will take place sometime in the fall of 2009, hopefully at the end of September. Details are not clear yet, but we can tell you that we are relocating to the Stockholm, Sweden area. This will afford us 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. 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.

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

It cannot be determined exactly how long the Bone Doctor will be at this current location in Ridgecrest, but it is expected that he will remain here until the latter part of 2009 when he will be on the move once again, this time to the Stockholm, Sweden area.

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

Walnut Hill is relocating to Sweden in order 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.


Second Relocation Fund Drive Now Open

We are now opening the Second Relocation Fund Drive, which is much more ambitious than the first since the distance is greater and there is the matter of shipping equipment and belongings overseas to Åkersberga, Sweden. The four conputers along with a collection of mics, stands, and a mixing console and reference speaker system are worth thousands. The systems can be switched to 240VAC@50Hz via toggles on the power supplies, so adapters will be all that are needed to get them plugged into the local power grid.

We are going to have to raise a lot of money to pull this off, there is no doubt. Airfare alone for a one-way ticket bought in advance will be between $1,000 to $1,700. Passports and Permits will cost around $200. Shipping equipment could be incredibly expensive, perhaps over $2,000, bringing the total cost of the move to a conservatively estimated minumum of $4,000.


How To Make A Donation

As before, the original Pay Pal account which Doc and Tom Hoehn created is still active. Here, you can make your donation to help us relocate Walnut Hill Productions to Sweden. The Second Relocation Fund Drive will run all the way to the time Doc actually arrives and is settled in with Erika. He will be joining her upon his arrival, and she will already have the beginnings of a home started by then. She is to begin this process around January of 2009.

You can also send checks via standard mail to the following address, should you choose to not use the Pay Pal account. Please make checks payable to Richard Mogridge, with the words "Relocation Fund" in the memo line. The address is:

Richard Mogridge
Walnut Hill Productions
1229 Sims Street
Ridgecrest, California 93555

If you have questions about the relocation fund, you can call the Bone Doctor at the Walnut Hill Office of Operations to learn more. That telephone number is 1-727-230-2610.

Become a part of history by making your donation today. Please help us to continue the work we are doing as we steadily grow and evolve, adding new features and more services such as broadcasting audio and video for all to enjoy. You'll be glad you did, knowing you will be helping to keep the King of Instruments in the public eye so that it will not be lost to future generations.

You can also become a part of this growing team of hard working Theatre Pipe Organ enthusiasts. We need the help of all those who can send in pictures, documents and recordings as audio and video clips for use in future featured organ and artist articles. Get your name in lights on our site. Call the Walnut Hill Office of Operations to learn more and get started.


Funds received during the Second Fund Drive: $645.00

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

All contributors will get recognized at the site should they choose, or they can remain anonymous, simply by letting the Bone Doctor know their preferences via email. Below is a listing of those individuals who have generously contributed funds and items to date:

Name

  • David Irwin
  • Charles Walls
  • David Knudtson
  • Frank Towle
  • Jim Reid
  • Charles Ekstrand
  • Erika Laur Rosenback
  • Bryan Patterson
  • Frederick Muller
  • William Spalding

Amount

  • $ 75.00
  • $100.00
  • $ 25.00
  • $ 20.00
  • $ 50.00
  • $100.00
  • $100.00
  • $100.00
  • $ 50.00
  • $ 25.00

Method

  • PayPal
  • PayPal
  • PayPal
  • PayPal
  • PayPal
  • PayPal
  • PayPal
  • Check
  • Check
  • PayPal

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.

This is yet another major move forward for Walnut Hill Productions, one of the fastest growing and most visited TPO sites on the internet. We are trying to keep the Walnut Hill Productions website a free place for all who love the Mighty King of Instruments. We are also trying to keep it vibrant and ever changing. We do this to preserve a very important slice of history, but we need your help to keep it going. This move will allow Walnut Hill Productions to continue making major strides forward for the King of Instruments, doing the same thing for the organs of Europe that was done for those in the United States. We are thanking you in advance. The best is yet to come!



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.


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