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Kings Island's Wurlitzer 157 Band Organ Plays Again!


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Hi All,

 

my name is Mikey Mills and I'm an avid band organ enthusiast... So much so that I've been contacting Kings Island about theirs not working working since 2007 -- I was 9 then!

 

In 2014, the band organ returned playing for half of a season, but was silent in 2015... That was until this Monday!

 

I am humbled to have been approached by the park and given the opportunity to fix the organ and get it playing well. There really wasn't much wrong with it!

Also, the maintenance department was absolutely fantastic to work with. I'm yet to meet another crew quite as friendly!

Just letting everyone here know that the band organ is playing now - and while there's some work and tuning I'd still like to do, here's a video for you to enjoy also!

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iCAO2NNuvME

 

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That's really cool! I was there Monday, bought a funnel cake and was looking for a good spot to sit and eat it, and ended up settling next to the Carousel. I was pleasantly surprised to hear the organ working (and sounding much better than last season). Now I know why I hadn't heard anyone mention it was working again prior to hearing it.

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Thank you!  Great job, it sounds so much better than it did on Coasterstock weekend, when we begged the ride op to turn the organ on for us.  Carousels are always so much better with an actual organ playing the music!

 

Do you mind taking a trip to Conneaut Lake, Pennsylvania next?

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yeah I heard it too opening weekend and sounded terrible...I actually walked over by the carousel just to see if the organ was operating. 

I didn't even know it operated opening weekend. I hope it's been communicated with the operators to play it! It was radioed in Monday to let the employees know.

 

Happily I have merit to come back to work on it as MY own rolls are what are playing on the organ! The park has a full cabinet of rolls, but it's in the storage facility as of right now. I think that should be moved back as there's a spot in the center of the carousel where it obviously used to be - and changing rolls is key for happy ride operators! (Nobody wants to hear the same 20 tunes for a whole season) I just bought a bunch of more rolls for the purpose of playing them here.  It'd be nice if I'd be able to change them weekly... or something along those lines.

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Wow. You did an incredible job. It sounds wonderful! I listened to your clips all afternoon while I was working.

Out of curiosity, how on earth did you get so good at working on Wurlitzer band organs? Do you own one?

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You're seriously my hero. I'm buying you lunch at some point in the future...

 

I remember when they teased it last year, and then one day just played it again....ah, great memories..

 

Then, a troubling terrible opening this year, then going to a boombox....

 

Now...beauty..

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Wow. You did an incredible job. It sounds wonderful! I listened to your clips all afternoon while I was working.

Out of curiosity, how on earth did you get so good at working on Wurlitzer band organs? Do you own one?

 

You're seriously my hero. I'm buying you lunch at some point in the future...

 

I remember when they teased it last year, and then one day just played it again....ah, great memories..

 

Then, a troubling terrible opening this year, then going to a boombox....

 

Now...beauty..

 

Thank you! I still want to do a few more things. The tubing is connected wrong at the moment so that the trombones aren't turning on, (the DEEP bass sound!) but I didn't notice that until AFTER the park opened. Also, the snare drum is playing, but not reiterating, which I fixed, but the part is corroded so it lasted about an hour. When I go back I'll fix that too. Just a few minor things, and a tuning is needed... All of this I'm doing for free by the way.

 

I own a band organ, but it's not exactly the best sounding thing out there. (it's homebuilt and I got it for free - so I couldn't say no!) Kings Island's 157 is my favorite organ, so it's a labor of love!

 

For the record... I also arrange new music rolls to be punched. I even discussed the possibility of a special Halloween roll that could be neat during Halloween Haunt! 

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I was in the park on the 4th and thought it would be nice if they fixed the organ.  I would go to Coney Island In my teens and sit on a bench while eating lunch just to hear the sound of that organ.Thanks  I can't wait to go back to the park and sit and listen to my youth again. 

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I just walked past it and wow does this thing bring back memories. I remember being at the 1900 Park Fair at Grand Floridian hearing the organ in there and this definitely sounds like something straight out of a German fair. Excellent job!

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I am in the park nearly every day, but until today I had not been to the Carousel to listen to it. Great job! It really sounds amazing.

Sent from my SM-G860P using Tapatalk

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I give the park a ton of credit for continuing to pursue this project.  I was glad to hear the organ working again last season, but it definitely sounded like it was still a work in progress.  Great job on the improvements!  I look forward to listening to the organ every time I visit!

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  • 3 weeks later...

There's no note whether he was paid for services or not in this post.

I will say if not what a bummer. He's bound to be commended somehow. Also at the same time, if the rumors are true and he's a 17 year old kid, a volunteer bullet could launch him if placed and worded well on a resume.

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