Wednesday, September 29, 2010

That 70s Home: Organs

In the 70s, a home was not a home unless it had an organ in it. When I was  kid, I really wanted my parents to get a piano.  I thought it would add some class to our family home, as I imagined myself performing concerts like Liberace, with my big sequined cape, bowing to adoring audiences.  Sadly, we never got the piano...but instead got a Lowery organ.  It was somehow less classy than a piano and initially I objected, but my mom convinced me that it is almost the same thing as a piano and that if I learned to play the organ I could play the piano.  My mom even made me along with my brother and sister take organ lessons with Mr. Walton, a slightly effeminate and eccentric older gentleman who was a local music teacher.  He loved pointing his baton at you while you played, pinky finger extended, of course.  He was a bit of a kook, but I learned how to read music because of him.

The main reason we got an organ was because my father loved it.  He spent a lot of time learning to play many songs on it.  When they had company, my father would always perform a small concert for his guests...and they loved it!  By the time I was in high school in the 80s, his performances would mortify me and my friends (must note here that my dad also played accordion and would also play that as well...Lady of Spain anyone?).  My dad still plays to this day, but mainly for his own entertainment.  He still has an organ that he keeps in the basement that he occasionally plays for friends and family during the holidays...but mostly my nieces and nephews goof around with it.

While checking out Craigslist, I found that there were quite a few organs up for sale.  Some are super cheap or FREE, while other folks are asking somewhere between $150-$450 for it.  If I had the space, I would try to get one, just so I can add to my 70s inspired decor, but only if it was cheap or free.

Here is a Lowery Organ I spotted on Craigslist.  The guy is asking $200 for it.

 A closeup of the Lowery Organ

Another view of the Lowery Organ.

This is another Craigslist find for $300.

 This is a speaker and a Lowery Organ for the low, low price of $900...are u kidding me?

The owner of this organ is asking $450 for this...yikes!

This is the Lowery Genie 44, the model that I learned to play on.


Debra She Who Seeks said...

When I was a university student in the 70s, I had an apartment on the 2nd floor of a house. The woman downstairs had an organ very similar to the one in your photos. She played it every afternoon for an hour or two. Of course, that mighty organ music reverberated throughout the whole house but I couldn't complain because she was my landlady. But at least she didn't play hymns on it!

SUZY8-TRACK said...

Can't be worse than when my father played. He used to have people sing along ...quite painful! Of sure that alcohol was involved too!