Friday, December 14, 2012

Who Needs a Synthesizer?

Wednesday we joined the annual resort visit to Organ Stop Pizza here in Mesa. They have a very nice Christmas tree.

Open for lunch only for groups of 50 or more, the menu is simple--salad and a pizza buffet. Beer, wine, soft drinks and ice cream are also available. The reason for going is the four manual Mighty Theater Wurlitzer Organ.

At one time, there were pizza and other restaurants all around the country with theater organs. And of course, before the advent of talking pictures, plays and movies were accompanied by theater organs. These organs not only can produce music, they produce all sorts of sound effects, from steam trains to galloping horses to gun shots. They can produce the sound of most orchestra instruments, as well as bells and sirens.

These cats even dance to the music. And they are controlled by the organist at the key board.

Our organist, Lew Williams, played an amazing program of Christmas music and old-time favorites. I used to play the piano so I can really appreciate his ability to play for about 90 minutes--with no music! He also spent time describing all the parts of the organ, with nearly 6000 pipes, and demonstrating many of its special sounds.

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