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Kings Island's Wurlitzer 157 Band Organ Plays Again!


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I was pleasantly surprised to hear it last Friday when I was there. I rode it twice just to listen to the music. My first rides ever on the Carousel with the organ playing were oh so very memorable, especially since I didn't like how quietly the other recorded music had been playing before...it made me thankful that I finally had the chance to truly experience this piece of history! :D

 

I'll definitely be riding it more often so I can get my own dose of live organ music! :P

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I will never understand why people volunteer their time and money to a company that profits millions of dollars. If the park wanted to get the organ working properly, they would have.

 

To each their own.  Almost everybody does something that someone else doesn't understand - whether it be spending too much time commenting on a fan site forum, Facebook, etc., or playing a sport way too much, volunteering, visiting Kings Island too many times, collecting stamps or coins, riding a particular ride 10,000 times, etc.

 

I would bet he spent less time on that organ than some members have spent commenting on this forum - and guess what - many of the comments on this forum talk up how great the park is and someone could be doing a search of Kings Island and find a post talking about how great Kings Island is and decide to visit the park when they may not have otherwise done so.  So, in a way, posting positive things about Kings Island is volunteering your time indirectly to benefit a company that "profits millions of dollars" as you say...

 

I guess you also don't understand why people volunteer to work the Kings Island Kicks Cancer (a lot of those folks "harassing" guests to kick a soccer ball are volunteers).  I mean after all, Kings Island and all the partners (Great Clips, Q102, etc.) are all companies that make money and could donate way more to the cause than will be generated by selling the soccer balls.

 

A few members on this forum are probably a salaried employee and essentially "donate" time in excess of 40 hours/week to their respective employer, of which many employers probably are making enough money and could compensate.  I guess you don't understand that either?

 

Fact of the matter is, at the end of the day, many volunteer opportunities benefit a multi-million dollar organization, whether it be profit or non-profit really is not relevant.  Even at non-profit organizations, they do have staff on payroll.

 

This kid's goodwill will go a long way - on the resume and in life and may turn into a job with Cedar Fair, etc. and for that I applaud him.  Many people appreciate the sound of the organ and the feelings and emotions it invokes. 

 

When people show an appreciation to the park, who knows, it may be the start of the park tending to the little things that could all be traced back to this simple volunteer gesture.

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I will never understand why people volunteer their time and money to a company that profits millions of dollars. If the park wanted to get the organ working properly, they would have.

 

....I guess you also don't understand why people volunteer to work the Kings Island Kicks Cancer (a lot of those folks "harassing" guests to kick a soccer ball are volunteers). ..

...A few members on this forum are probably a salaried employee and essentially "donate" time in excess of 40 hours/week to their respective employer, of which many employers probably are making enough money and could compensate.  I guess you don't understand that either?...

 

I understand the difference between salaried employees and non salaried employees. I also understand someone donating their time/money for a cause/charity that helps others in need. Sorry but, I wouldn't classify as Cedar Fair being "in need."

 

I love Ohio State football but you won't catch me painting the end zone just to make sure it's the right shade of red.

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I understand the difference between salaried employees and non salaried employees. I also understand someone donating their time/money for a cause/charity that helps others in need. Sorry but, I wouldn't classify as Cedar Fair being "in need."

 

I love Ohio State football but you won't catch me painting the end zone just to make sure it's the right shade of red.

 

 

I love the Ohio State analogy, but yes (fortunately or unfortunately) I know folks that would gladly volunteer their time to paint the end zone the right shade of red if the current condition was deemed unacceptable!  I also know folks that donate money yearly to the Ohio State athletic program, and we know that their program makes enough revenue to not necessarily need the donation.

 

I am sure I spend my discretionary time on stuff that others would think is stupid and/or a waste of time.  Each of us make a decision on how to spend our discretionary time/money - personally as long as it is rule and/or law abiding, I am learning/working on acceptance/recognition of things that I might not necessarily do myself.  If each of us were the same, I think life would be boring. 

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Would be nice to have the RCT carousel music so I can walk by the carousel and think, "I want to go on something more thrilling than Merry-Go-Round 1."

 

Jokes aside, the RCT carousel music should all be classical and therefore public domain. Although someone probably has the rights for this specific application. :(

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The compositions are likely public domain, however, that particular recording may not be, as the performers would hold a copyright on their performance.

 

Other news, just thought I'd share this video from a friend of mine who used to post here. Sadly, YouTube's compression seems to have pretty much destroyed the audio. I was present when the footage was being edited and the audio was a lot cleaner before going onto YouTube. Ah well. Still a nice little sample of the carousel.

 

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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.

 

 

He stated in a previous post "All of this I'm doing for free by the way."

 

The rumors ARE true. I'm curious where you heard it from actually. I guess word spreads around quick.

 

I'm a member of several band organ organizations, and an avid enthusiast in the mechanical music world. I don't care about money, I just wanted the organ to play again for the general public and I'm incredibly thankful that the park granted me that opportunity. I'd even spend my own money on the instrument.

 

Another 'organ technician' demanded big bucks to do the same thing I did - it's a labor of love, I don't care if money is involved or not. 

 

One of the rolls were actually changed within the last week or so judging from the video I see earlier in the thread. I hope this doesn't mean my own copy of 6512 ripped! (I'd feel bad if it did because whoever changed it would have to rewind it by hand, figures for a roll I got on Ebay!)

 

Anyway, there will come a time where spending money to keep it playing is inevitable and the work needed is something beyond what I know, but I'm not going to make the park spend money when they don't have to.

 

There will be an article on the band organ in the Cincinnati enquirer within a few weeks I've cooked up, so that should really stir up interest in the organ, hopefully to the point that there will never be a time the organ doesn't play again!

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The compositions are likely public domain, however, that particular recording may not be, as the performers would hold a copyright on their performance.

 

Other news, just thought I'd share this video from a friend of mine who used to post here. Sadly, YouTube's compression seems to have pretty much destroyed the audio. I was present when the footage was being edited and the audio was a lot cleaner before going onto YouTube. Ah well. Still a nice little sample of the carousel.

 

 

The music currently playing is all public domain, the music rolls all having music arranged and composed before 1923. Many other carousels play rolls after 1923, as Wurlitzer made rolls for these until 1945 (and I arrange new rolls today) but there isn't a royalty because the arrangements are completely differing from the song itself, it's like a 'cover' of a modern pop tune.

 

Many carousels, not at Disney play "When You Wish Upon a Star", it being on one of the last original Wurlitzer rolls... I haven't seen any lawsuits from Disney!

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Any chance you know the list of what's on the scrolls? I'd like to see if I can find them online through Google Play Music or some other online streaming service to add into my park playlist.

 

I have a website with over 300 tunes played on various band organs and other mechanical instruments free to listen to on mechanicalmusic.org. CDs of King Island's organ are actually on Google Play. (The rights to those CDs are owned by the former owner's grandson - not Kings Island)

 

The rolls currently playing at Kings Island are 165 rolls 6547 and 6537-B, a complete list of all existing rolls with the titles are on http://wurlitzer-rolls.com/.

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Btw, people figured out your current age from your original post where you said what age you were in a certain year :) It wasn't actually people spreading rumors.

I greatly appreciate what you've done with the organ. It sounds fantastic. I don't remember if I posted it here, but I know I have told others in person, that when I first heard it after you worked on it, at first I thought I was mistaken that it was running and it was a recording. Because when it was running last season (finally), it was cool to have it working but it sounded kind of awful. Now it sounds truly beautiful.

I know you did it out of love not for money, but it feels churlish that the park would "let you" fix the organ without showing their appreciation in at least some sort of compensation. A couple free tickets, something.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I was at the park yesterday. The organ was running slow and sounded like it needed to be tuned. It sounded like the chimes were broken as well. Later in the evening, they had the Wurlitzer 153 CD playing.

 

Yes, I'm aware of this. I was at the park 2 weeks ago but the park was open so I couldn't exactly get behind the organ.

 

I called the park today to see if I could get up there at some point. Something about playing those Christmas rolls for the Halloween Haunt just sounds like a funny and good idea to me! Any organ by August goes flat because of the changes in humidity and temperature, even at places like Knoebels which has someone on staff specifically for working on the organs. I probably won't have time to tune it until next spring because of the park's busy schedule, which is understandable, but 'out of tune-ness' adds to the creepiness of Haloween Haunt? Right?

 

In terms of the bells not playing, I believe that's a clogged hole. The organ has a blower and suction unit on it instead of a pressure pump, (the original pressure pump is somewhere in storage) so it really sucks the heck out of those rolls - and after a season of small bits of paper also coming through, you could bet it would get clogged.

 

And also, I forgot to answer your question on what rolls the park has... They have a specially designed cabinet that used to be in the center of the carousel that was moved to storage... But I'm going to suggest it be moved back. 6547 playing on the organ is my own copy, not the park's, but they have a very nice collection of rolls, pretty much all in good condition. I'd personally like to sit in the center of the carousel and go through rolls, but that wouldn't make the carousel's insurance provider very happy!

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I will never understand why people volunteer their time and money to a company that profits millions of dollars. If the park wanted to get the organ working properly, they would have.

 

....I guess you also don't understand why people volunteer to work the Kings Island Kicks Cancer (a lot of those folks "harassing" guests to kick a soccer ball are volunteers). ..

...A few members on this forum are probably a salaried employee and essentially "donate" time in excess of 40 hours/week to their respective employer, of which many employers probably are making enough money and could compensate.  I guess you don't understand that either?...

 

I understand the difference between salaried employees and non salaried employees. I also understand someone donating their time/money for a cause/charity that helps others in need. Sorry but, I wouldn't classify as Cedar Fair being "in need."

 

I love Ohio State football but you won't catch me painting the end zone just to make sure it's the right shade of red.

 

Dane, myself, and others put hours upon hours into KIC.  We deal with more whining than an average preschool teacher.  There have been more times than I can count that I've wanted to walk away, but you know what?  I take a lot of pleasure in the fact that it makes a lot of people happy.  It's totally worth it.  I'm sure you understand since you did the same thing as I do years ago.  You can't tell me it wasn't worth it.  

 

Now this guy can swing by the carousel from time to time knowing that people are commenting on how they're glad that the band organ is back, enjoying the music, watching it work, etc - knowing that it was all because he was willing to dedicate his passion and resources to doing it.  That is a feeling that could be associated with no amount of money.

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I will never understand why people volunteer their time and money to a company that profits millions of dollars. If the park wanted to get the organ working properly, they would have.

....I guess you also don't understand why people volunteer to work the Kings Island Kicks Cancer (a lot of those folks "harassing" guests to kick a soccer ball are volunteers). ..

...A few members on this forum are probably a salaried employee and essentially "donate" time in excess of 40 hours/week to their respective employer, of which many employers probably are making enough money and could compensate. I guess you don't understand that either?...

I understand the difference between salaried employees and non salaried employees. I also understand someone donating their time/money for a cause/charity that helps others in need. Sorry but, I wouldn't classify as Cedar Fair being "in need."

I love Ohio State football but you won't catch me painting the end zone just to make sure it's the right shade of red.

Sure, you may, others, not so much. You acquire a sense of accomplishment and new found admiration when you work on something you already love. For example if Boomerang Bay was still around, I would volunteer to restore it and make it look better. I'm not trying to say that you are wrong in your opinion, rather, that it seems kind of rash to hear you speak of him like that. Also it's not a basis of need, but being a kind Samaritan anyways as the best is done when people work on what they love. I commend him on what he did as I too love organs.

I won't lie, I've always been a fan of organs. Ever since I heard Big Bertha at the 1900 Park Fare at The Grand Floridian I always thought they were special relics to cherish and remember an era by. When I heard the Wurlitzer in action with the original Organ, it was just wonderful and amazing to hear. And alls that I have to say is wow, thanks so much for your hard work and I feel like it is safe to say that you restored life into that glorious organ.

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I get it. I really do. If CF were to ask me, hey could you volunteer some time to help with designing the future of digital media/fun TV at CF parks, I would.

In a past life my services would cost money. Now it's a side hobby and an enjoyable one. I would ask for a perk though, say a discount on a pass or parking or something. But I get why people volunteer for this sort of stuff.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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I will never understand why people volunteer their time and money to a company that profits millions of dollars. If the park wanted to get the organ working properly, they would have.

 

....I guess you also don't understand why people volunteer to work the Kings Island Kicks Cancer (a lot of those folks "harassing" guests to kick a soccer ball are volunteers). ..

...A few members on this forum are probably a salaried employee and essentially "donate" time in excess of 40 hours/week to their respective employer, of which many employers probably are making enough money and could compensate.  I guess you don't understand that either?...

 

I understand the difference between salaried employees and non salaried employees. I also understand someone donating their time/money for a cause/charity that helps others in need. Sorry but, I wouldn't classify as Cedar Fair being "in need."

 

I love Ohio State football but you won't catch me painting the end zone just to make sure it's the right shade of red.

 

Dane, myself, and others put hours upon hours into KIC.  We deal with more whining than an average preschool teacher.  There have been more times than I can count that I've wanted to walk away, but you know what?  I take a lot of pleasure in the fact that it makes a lot of people happy.  It's totally worth it.  I'm sure you understand since you did the same thing as I do years ago.  You can't tell me it wasn't worth it.  

 

Now this guy can swing by the carousel from time to time knowing that people are commenting on how they're glad that the band organ is back, enjoying the music, watching it work, etc - knowing that it was all because he was willing to dedicate his passion and resources to doing it.  That is a feeling that could be associated with no amount of money.

 

And therein lies the answer. It's not that Kings Island is 'needy' - we are, and our children are. The organ harkens back to a simpler, more playful time for me. I remember watching the snare drum buzz, and the not-quite-perfectly-in-tune way the machine played when I was a *lot* younger. I applaud the effort and truly appreciate what's been done for us - the enthusiasts - and I do appreciate Kings Island allowing it to happen!

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