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Mailbag: “Lynwood Farnam?”

November 2, 2006

Dear Michael,

In doing family genealogy I came upon information about Lynwood Farnam. I am so excited to learn about Walter Lynwood Farnam as he was my great uncle, sister to my grandmother, Bertha Permelia Argue (nee Farnam) who was a music teacher. I am interested in hearing him play Bach and any other Baroque music. Any suggestions on how I could locate recordings? My son is a talented pianist whose teachers have long asked where his talent came from so we are so excited to learn more about Lynwood Farnam.

Corinne Sanderson
Vancouver, BC

Dear Corinne,

Lynwood Farnam made virtually no recordings in the usual sense. He did produce a series of ‘organ rolls’, via a technology akin to piano rolls. These were played back for recording microphones in the 1950s (for an album released by the Austin organ company). I am not aware that those monophonic tapes have ever been transferred to CD (or redone in stereo).

I suggest that you contact the Boston Organ Library at Boston University. They may have a copy of the Farnam album and be able to create a transfer for you.

You might also contact Nelson Barden (a Boston-based organbuilder with a fascination for ‘player organs’), as he might have further information.




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