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Celebrating the pipe organ, the King of Instruments

Mailbag: “Setting the bar too high”

April 11, 2010

Dear Michael,

Having played organ in church off and on since the age of 14 I was delighted and started listening to the show and pumping iron. The how that day featured an organist who made funny comments before playing a piece and it was just as I had a bar full of weights over my head he said something to the effect that ‘over the pedalboards my feet do prance’. This cracked me up and I barely got out from under the weights before they hit the floor and dented the wooden surface. I’ve been a loyal listener ever since whenever it is possible.
Your show has helped my musical education as I only took piano and organ lessons. If you play something I like I’ll go out, buy it and learn it (when possible). You have helped me out in this fashion as I can not take organ lessons every time I want to take them so instead of being introduced to new music by a teacher your show does that for me.
I love having the shows on the internet because WABE here in Atlanta tends to change programming times more often than it seems necessary so I no longer have to chase Pipedreams time changes. As soon as I go back to work I plan to send a donation to help keep this feature on the net.
One comment: I was glad when you started featuring the theater organ more as it was my Mom’s interest in organs that got me started loving organ music and her exposure was from going to theaters in Savannah, Georgia as a teenager and listening to radio stations that had organs in their studios (this was in the late 20’s). I enjoy listening to the different styles of theater organ playing but really don’t play the theater style very well. I am a church musician.
One more comment: I greatly enjoy your shows that feature historical organs, especially those in the northeast. I also very much enjoy the shows around Christmas and New Years.
Thank you for all the shows over the years and God bless.




Thanks for the report…a fun story about you and weight-lifting. The life-threatening piece to which you were listening when laughter took over and the barbells fell was William Albright’s “The King of Instruments”, and that comment about prancing over the pedals comes just before the final movement. I’ve recorded the narration for that on a CD made by recitalist Douglas Reed
Sorry about WABE…I do wish PIPEDREAMS had a better time in their schedule…as I’d like to do a PIPEDREAMS LIVE event in Atlanta again, but at this point, I can’t count on an audience based on an 11PM broadcast time…



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