May/June 2010. Hello everyone Here I am again, time for yet another newsletter, this time the last one of the current season, so that’s another 12 months gone by, and before I go any further could I say a very sincere thank you for your continued support over the past season, I hope you have all enjoyed the dances and concerts as much as we have enjoyed organising them for you. As I sit down to start writing these notes, we are just coming to terms with losing our President Dr. Arnold Loxam, and I am sure it was a shock to many of you to find the flyer in the last newsletter, informing you all. I am maybe lucky to have a keepsake of a part of Arnold’s life, for some time ago I was given a video of Arnold at his inauguration as an Honorary Doctor of Music at Bradford University, it was given to me by our good friend Ray Booth, now also sadly deceased, maybe at some time in the not too distant future, I ought to try and get it copied on to DVD, for as we all know, videos are becoming a thing of the past. I have already been asked who we will approach to become President, but the answer is that the committee have already decided that it will be left in abeyance until the AGM in September, at which point we shall have had time to think, and may make a recommendation at that meeting, so please bear with us, we feel that out of respect to Arnold and everything that he has been in the history of the H.O.E., this is the correct way to approach things. We were obviously represented at Arnold’s funeral service, Myself, Olive, Harry Cheadle, and Frank Wileman went along to represent the society and fully expected the Church to be full to overflowing, with people representing the many organ clubs from across the country, but sadly this wasn’t the case, I would estimate that maybe 70 people turned up for the service, which included John Barnett, and Joyce and David Alldred, and Joanne and Peter Naulls. It was lovely to see Joyce again after such a long time, the last time was at Arnold’s 90th Birthday Party at Fleetwood. Also there was Frank Hare from the N.T.O.T at Ossett, and Barrie Davenport,
2 the producer of ‘Sit down and Sing’, the programme that Arnold presented on Radio Leeds, it was lovely to catch up with these two again. Personally I found Bradford a horrendous place to find your way through, as the roads seemed completely devoid of road signs, we were lucky to ask someone who knew where Toller Lane and the Church was. We were advised to come out a different way and ultimately missed the turning and ended up coming home via Halifax, Huddersfield, and over the moors to Sheffield, not a great mistake as it happened, as it was a beautiful day and the views across the moors in the sunshine were breathtaking. As I mentioned in the last newsletter, Sheffield Theatre Organ Enthusiasts, or S.T.O.E. as it was more easily known, has now ceased to operate and I understand from Kevin Grunill, that he has got the job of removing the organ for installation somewhere else, more details as I get them, but the point of mentioning it again is that, if any of you members know of anyone at Sheffield, who want to keep in touch with the Theatre Organ world, please tell them that they are always welcome here at Harworth. It always amazes me to find how many people still don’t know of our existence all these years on, hopefully when we get our own website up and running, then our name and fame may spread to a wider audience. The news on the new website, for those of you who are computer buffs, is that hopefully, later in this issue, we shall have made a decision about it, and I may be able to give you an address to log on to, fingers crossed. We are obviously coming to the end of the season now, but we still have some great events to look forward to, and while I personally look forward to all the dances and concerts, I am paying particular attention to April and June, when we shall welcome back Simon Gledhill and Jean Martyn, it is such a long time since they appeared at Harworth, and after speaking to him at Arnold’s funeral, I know for a fact that John Barnett is also looking forward to his concert in June. I have had quite a few nice comments about the new newsletter format, I hope you all enjoyed it. There are a couple of little things that need to be remedied before the next one comes out, but overall, personally I thought it looked a lot better and more professional. Enjoy your music See you soon Mick Mason.
The Kevin Grunill Weekend 27th/28th March 2010. The Saturday Dance As last month with Andrew Nix, Kevin played the whole weekend, for the dance on the Saturday and the concert on the Sunday, and what a great weekend it turned out to be. Rather that lug along his own electronic organ, Kevin chose to use our Technics U60, and I must say that in Kevin’s hands, it sounded just as good as anything that had ever been used before, he got some great sounds out of it, and at the same time gave us some brilliant tempo’s to dance to. I particularly noticed that there was very little time wasted right throughout the evening, for as soon as one dance finished, he started the next one, for us, it was nice to see Kevin not take the easy option on electronic, the main part of the evening was on the Christie. We had a great turnout for the dance and I am sure that everyone went home completely satisfied with what had been offered, and the fact that we were full helped create a good atmosphere in the hall. All in all, a great evening, and obviously a whetted appetite for Kevin’s return next time.
The Sunday Concert After such a great evening the night before, everyone was looking forward to the concert, and we were not disappointed. Kevin Began his concert with ‘The Trolley Song’, and then followed on with a lengthy, but enjoyable selection of music, which included the tunes‘ The Broken Vow, Wonderful Day’, from the musical Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, ‘Two Hearts in Waltz Time, Waltz of my Heart, and One day when we were young’. Coupled together in the same selection were three tunes which Kevin explained he had heard the late great Bryan Rodwell play. ‘Misty, Don’t Blame Me’ and Lullaby of the Leaves’. What a beautiful rendition those three were, so full of warmth and feeling. Next it was march time, and for these Kevin gave us : ‘ Old Comrades, Blaze Away, and the March of the Cobblers’ The Cobblers march took me straight back to that great film ‘Brassed Off’, as they played and marched to it up on the Yorkshire Moors.
4 DIARY DATES Saturday, 22nd May, 8pm to 11-30pm COME DANCING With Vice President
DAVID REDFERN Tickets £4-50. (Please note new price) Sunday, 23rd May at 2-30pm
JEAN MARTYN IN CONCERT Members £3-50 Non-Members £4-50 Sunday, 27th June at 2-30pm The Last Concert of the Season Featuring
JOHN BARNETT Members £3-50
Many Thanks to everyone for all your support, help, and donations during this past season of Dances and Concerts, please keep up the good work and we will see you again in September. THE ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING OF THE HARWORTH CHRISTIE ORGAN ENTHUSIASTS, WILL TAKE PLACE ON SUNDAY, 19TH SEPTEMBER AT 2-30PM. COULD I REMIND YOU THAT IT IS YOUR ORGAN CLUB AND YOU ARE ENCOURAGED TO ATTEND THIS IMPORTANT MEETING. THANK YOU IN ANTICIPATION OF YOUR CONTINUED INTEREST. THE COMMITTEE.
5 Next was another absolutely beautiful selection of three tunes, again played with such feeling, and then culminating in a big crescendo finish. ‘I won’t send Roses, Roses of Picardy, and Rose of England ‘were the titles.’ To finish the first half, Kevin paid tribute to Arnold Loxam, with a selection of tunes that included Arnold’s signature tune, plus others with an Italian origin.’ Come back to Sorrento’, or as Kevin remarked ‘Come back to Torment you’, Arrivederci Roma, and Funiculi, Funicula’. INTERVAL A good mix of tunes began the second half, toe tapping and light classical music, ‘If I ruled the World, Play Fiddle Play, Aces High March, Highland Cathedral,(I wonder if that was a request?), Zambesi, Danny Boy, Anything Goes, You’ll never know, and Ole Man River’ from the musical Showboat, what a lovely rich deep sound Kevin found for that one, you could nearly imagine Paul Robeson standing there singing.. Over to the Technics now, for three tunes with a mambo beat. ‘Sing, Blame it on the Bossa Nova, and Save the last dance for me’ were the chosen titles. Time was flying by, and so now it was time for the final selection of music for the afternoon, and for this Kevin chose to visit the Musical Shows, with tunes such as ‘Another opening, another show, As long as he needs me, I could have danced all night, Somewhere over the rainbow, Do-re-me, I dreamed a dream, and Dancing cheek to cheek’. To try and sum the weekend up is very difficult, for whether it was the Dance on the Saturday, with the great tempo’s and choice of music, which during the evening had people singing as they danced the night away, or whether it be the concert where Kevin coaxed such wonderful sounds out of the Christie, coupled with the great amount of feeling he portrayed in the music. All in all, it was just a fabulous weekend’s entertainment, all provided by one man and his obvious musical talent. I would simply like to say to Kevin, ‘Many, Many Thanks, and here’s to the next time, it was great’. Reported by Sally Taylor and Alan Clayton Compiled By Mick Mason.
Dr. Arnold Loxam
A LIFETIME IN MUSIC.
30th May 1916 --- 14th March 2010.
7 Arnold Loxam was born in Wibsey, a small village on the outskirts of Bradford, the youngest of three children, to a textile ’Overlooker.’ He was just three when his Father and his Brother Percy, taught him to play hymn tunes on the piano with one finger. As was the norm in those days, Arnold attended Chapel with his parents, and it was there that he first became interested in the organ and at the age of four he vowed that one day he would play it. This he did, and at the age of nine, he became Sunday School pianist, regularly taking part in Chapel Concerts. He trained under the legendary Charles Stott, one of the leading organists in the North of England and organist at All Saints Church, Little Horton Green, Bradford. While still the Sunday School pianist, Arnold made his first broadcast on the Leeds/Bradford Radio station in ‘Children’s Hour,’ and his first appearance on a Wurlitzer was at the New Victoria Cinema, Bradford, one of the largest cinemas in England, with seating for some 3,300 people. In 1946, Arnold began playing and broadcasting regularly from this cinema for BCC radio, and was eventually appointed deputy to the resident organist Norman Briggs, until he left in 1948. Arnold succeeded Norman and became famous nationwide, for his bouncy style of playing, for the next 16 years at the new Victoria Cinema. While resident organist at this cinema, in 1948, Arnold met the girl who would become Mrs Loxam. Audrey worked as an usherette at the New Victoria. When Audrey and Arnold married, they were eventually blessed with a Son Keith, also an organist, who followed his father into broadcasting at Radio Leeds, and is now employed as a BCC producer in Glasgow. Audrey spent the next 25 years as Arnold’s driver, taking the wheel and chauffeuring him home after an exhausting concert or dance. He gave his first solo broadcast on the BCC Theatre Organ on November 29, 1947, and his association with Bradford continued until 1962, when the BCC moved its broadcasts to the Leeds Odeon, and they stayed there until the organ was removed in 1968. Arnold also gave regular broadcasts for Leeds General Infirmary radio. Arnold became attuned to the new generation of electronic organs, and became Musical Director at the Huddersfield Continental from 1959 to 1962, he also spent 9 years at the various theatre clubs, accompanying such
8 stars as David Whitfield, Helen Shapiro, and Joe (Piano) Henderson. Probably one of the pinnacles of Arnold’s career was when he joined the team of organists at the famous Blackpool Tower taking the seat made famous by the legendary Reginald Dixon. I do believe he was christened ‘Granddad’ by some of the younger crew. As well as the organ, Arnold was an accomplished percussionist, playing with the Northern Philharmonic Orchestra during the Second World War, and amongst others, he played under the Conductorship of Sir Malcolm Sargeant. For a regular income, Arnold was resident organist at Beck Hill Working Men’s Club for a number of years. As you all know, Arnold became President of the Harworth Organ Enthusiasts when we were formed in 1971, and has remained so ever since, as was indeed part of the team who travelled up to Durham in 1972 to assess the possibilities of our Christie. The rest is history of course. In 1996 Arnold was honoured with an Honorary Doctorate at Bradford University for his Musical Achievements, and what better venue could it have been, taking into account the years he had spent in and around that town. We were honoured to take a party to Fleetwood to celebrate his 90th Birthday, and knowing of Arnold’s travels to foreign countries during his career, it was lovely to see that the President of the Dutch Organ Federation had made the effort to attend the party in person, which was a great and wonderful surprise to Arnold. It was one of Arnold’s little jocular phrases, to say during a concert, that he was going to live as long as possible, in order to get back some of the taxes he had paid into the government. At the age of 93, I think we could presume that in some ways, he did just that. We all know Arnold to have been a great ambassador for music, no matter where he went, and together with Audrey, they both lived life to the full, while visiting some wonderful locations, and doing what they both enjoyed, simply ‘Making Music.’ Arnold is going to be sadly missed, not just by Audrey and Keith, but by the countless thousands of people who became theirs friends, and quite simply enjoyed listening to what was ‘THE LOXAM BOUNCE’ Rest in Peace Arnold, your persona and your music will be missed for years to come. Mick Mason.
9 The Bill King and Hilary Dance 24th April 2010. This visit by Bill and Hilary were by no means their first, so we were looking forward to the evening, knowing how good the evening would be, and once again we were not disappointed in any way. Their popularity had obviously gone in front of them, as we enjoyed a very good turnout for this dance, with some 140 people joining us, not a capacity for the hall, but in my opinion, just comfortable, and better still, very rewarding for the society in financial terms. As usual, Bill and Hilary gave us very good dance tempos, complimented by the dulcet tones of them both as they joined together to sing some of the melodies. Also, we were once again treated to the lovely sounds within Bill’s ‘Tyros 3’ keyboard, an instrument that he has really found his way around, and discovered the sounds within. The ‘Tyros’ was equally interspersed during the evening with Bill playing the Christie and again, finding some lovely sounds out of the old girl. To sum up, it was a lovely evening, enjoyed I am sure by everyone present, and it goes without saying that we look forward to Bill and Hilary’s return, which will be in March 2011. I would like to say thank you to you both for giving us such a lovely evening’s entertainment, I am sure everyone went home happy.
The Simon Gledhill Concert 25th April 2010. As I have already said in my editorial, it seems such a long time since Simon graced the stool of the Christie, and I understand that after checking his records, Alan could tell me it is actually 7 years ago. After today’s performance I just hope it’s not another 7 years before we see Simon again. I ought to add that this absence was not by design on ours or Simon’s part, it was simply due, mainly to Simon’s popularity, and fitting his playing around his work in banking down in London.
10 The show started with Simon playing his signature tune ’I’m in love for the every first time’, and was followed by ‘Make em Laugh, How about you, and Harlem Nocturne’. Next we had music from ‘Swingtime’ by Jerome Kern, ‘ Just the way you look tonight, A Fine Romance, Pick yourself Up, Let yourself go, Pavan, and I Dream of Jeannie with the light Brown hair’ were the chosen titles. Staying with the great composers, next Simon gave us a selection of Noel Coward music, ‘I’ll see you in my dreams, Dance Dance Little lady, A Room with a View, Someday I’ll find you, Play Orchestra play, and Moonlight in Vermont’. The next piece was a request and something that is heard very rarely, ‘The King Kong March’. Apparently the person who requested it, had heard Simon play it before, and without any disrespect to any other organist, I doubt how many others might know it, personally I had never heard of it until that Sunday, so it was nice to hear something completely different on the Christie. To finish the first half, Simon went into a rousing rendition of the ‘Sabre Dance’. Brilliant first half, looking forward to more of the same. INTERVAL The second half began with another great toe tapper in ‘I’ve got Rhythm’, followed by ‘In a country lane’ by Eric Coates. The next selection included ‘Dancing along with the Breeze, Hooray for Hollywood, Just Funny that Way, Too Marvellous for Words, Ukulele Lady, Louise, and Beyond the Blue Horizon’. The next piece was one that sticks in my mind as being played with such feeling, and such warmth coaxed out of the Christie, and that piece was ‘Misty’, for me it was just so beautiful, many thanks Simon, you made my day with that one. Getting well into the second half now, but still plenty more music to enjoy, so the next selection was again chosen from the pen of one of the greats, Cole Porter. The music this time was from ‘Kiss me Kate’, ‘Another opening, another show, Brush up your Shakespeare, Its too darned Hot, and So in love with you am I’. And so to Finale’ time, and for this Simon chose the ‘Light Cavalry’ march, again beautifully played before he descended into the depths of the
11 stage, but that wasn’t to be the end, for as I beckoned him to come back up for a well deserved ovation, he offered an encore which of course we accepted, and that was to be the ‘Tiger Rag’. Sally and Alan have written on the bottom of their report ‘Wow, what a show’, I wouldn’t even dream of disagreeing with those sentiments, but would enhance them by taking into account the fact that when you look back through Simon’s programme, and the amount of music he packed into it, it was all done without a note of music in front of him, Amazing is the only way I could describe it. Many, Many Thanks Simon for a wonderful afternoon, and as I said at the beginning, please don’t let it be another 7 years before we see you again.
The Harworth Christie Organ Enthusiasts Website As I said within my editorial, it was hoped that I would be able to give you all some information regarding our new Website and a possible address where to find us. I am very pleased to say that a decision has been made about the site, it has been acted upon, and the Website is now up and running. You can log on to this site at: www.harworthchristie.org.uk If you have access to a computer and the internet, you are very welcome to have a look at the site, but please respect the fact that it is in its infancy, and much more information is to be added as time and news permits. It is planned that it will be a comprehensive guide to everything we are doing here at Harworth. Should anyone of you good people like to send in comments to be included on the site, you are very welcome to do so. I would like to say Thank you to the Webmaster Graham, for taking the time and trouble to set this up for us, it is very much appreciated.
12 Let’s have a laugh to finish These sentences (with the Bloomers) actually appeared in Church Bulletins, or were announced in Church Services. The Fasting and Prayer Conference includes all meals. Ladies, don’t forget the rummage sale, it’s a chance to get rid of those things not worth keeping around the house, Bring your Husbands. The Sermon this morning, ‘Jesus walks on water’ The Sermon tonight ‘Searching for Jesus’. Don’t let worry kill you off, let the Church help. Miss Charlene sang ‘I will not pass this way again,’ giving obvious pleasure to the congregation. Next Thursday there will be tryouts for the Choir, they need all the help they can get. Irving Benson and Jessie Carter were married on October 24 in Church, so ends a friendship that began in their school days. At the evening service tonight, the sermon topic will be ‘What is hell’, come early and listen to the Choir practice. Scouts are saving cans. bottles , and other items to be recycled, proceeds will be used to cripple children. Place your donation in the envelope, along with the deceased person you want remembered. The ladies of the Church have cast off clothing of every kind, they may be seen in the basement on Friday afternoon. The associate Minister unveiled the Church’s new campaign slogan last Sunday, ‘I upped my pledge, up yours’.