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Celebrating the pipe organ, the King of Instruments

San Francisco’s Castro Theatre
San Francisco’s Castro Theatre. Photo: Bob Burnside

California Capers

This week’s Pipedreams broadcast takes you to the Bay Cities in California for a program of organ music on the lighter side. At the Oakland Paramount, Lew Williams and Jim Riggs pour on the charm, Kevin King tightens the ranks at the Berkeley Community Theatre, while across the water Simon Gledhill and Clark Wilson open doors at the Castro Theatre in San Francisco, still one of the country’s best settings for Wurlitzer wonders. With a Mississippi Suite, a Stephen Foster Fantasy, a musical String of Pearls, plus some odes to the delights of local life, it’s a package frothy and delightful.

Program Broadcast dates:

Music played in the program

JOLSON/DeSYLVA: California, here I comeSimon Gledhill (4/21 Wurlitzer/Castro Theatre, San Francisco, CA)

WILLIAM WALTON: Orb & Sceptre March. FERDE GROFÉ: Mississippi Suite –Clark Wilson (4/21 Wurlitzer/Castro Theatre, San Francisco, CA)

JOHN WEAVER: Toccata. McLEAN: Babbling. GRAY: String of PearlsLew Williams (1929 Wurlitzer/Oakland Paramount, CA)

ROBERT STOLZ: My sunshine is youJim Riggs (1929 Wurlitzer/Oakland Paramount, CA)

LEROY ANDERSON: Phanton Regiment March –Kevin King (1927 Wurlitzer/Berkeley Community Theatre, CA)

HANRAH: Stephen Foster Fantasy. ROGER QUILTER: Children’s Overture. GART: Scherzo. SIR EDWARD ELGAR: Chanson de Matin. POLDINI: Poupée valsante. CORY: I left my heart in San Francisco. KAPER & GURMANN: San FranciscoSimon Gledhill (4/21 Wurlitzer/Castro Theatre, San Francisco, CA)

Thanks to Harry Heth, informal audio documentarian for the ATOS, who supplied today’s recordings made during the 1991 ATOS National Convention. Compact discs of these instruments and artists, an other theatre organs and performers, are available from the Organ Historical Societyís catalogue. For information on the American Theatre Organ Society.


This program was originally issued as #9237 in September 1992.


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