Pavilion Band Organ

Tuesday, July 20, 2010 1:04 AM

Just returned from Myrtle Beach and upon visiting the Pavilion Nostalgia Park, found the historic German Band Organ SBNO. It had a beautiful paint job/ restoration but we were told by staff that it no longer operates as there is only one person who "can operate and maintain and they are too expensive." Anyone ever heard anything else about this or have seen it operate at the new location?

I don't doubt it's expensive to maintain but what a bummer!

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Tuesday, July 20, 2010 8:24 AM
Tekwardo's avatar

It operated last Memorial Day weekend to the best of my knowledge.


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Tuesday, July 20, 2010 5:02 PM

This organ recently came out of a complete restoration. Sounds like there might be a minor problem, and whoever is in charge doesn't want to be bothered by it. The person who did the restoration was at a band organ rally this past weekend in Sandusky. He's also the one that did all of the Santa Cruz organs

There are several youtube videos of this organ playing in it's current location. The warrenty for the work done might have expired and Burroughs and Chapin don't want to pay for a service call.

Last edited by Dutchman, Wednesday, July 21, 2010 3:08 PM
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Tuesday, July 20, 2010 5:06 PM
Jeff's avatar

Dutchman said:
...was at a band organ rally this past weekend in Sandusky.

I'm not sure why, but this phrase had to be repeated.


Jeff - Webmaster/Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Twitter - Video

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Tuesday, July 20, 2010 5:12 PM

Yeah sounds weird, doesn't it? It was held in Washington Park in conjunction with the Merry Go Round Museum. Said person also used to have the organ maintenance contract for CP back in the day, when they had four working organs.

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Tuesday, July 20, 2010 5:58 PM
birdhombre's avatar

Jeff said:

Dutchman said:
...was at a band organ rally this past weekend in Sandusky.

I'm not sure why, but this phrase had to be repeated.

Apparently we can repeat it several times a year:
http://www.coaa.us/

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Tuesday, July 20, 2010 6:38 PM
Mamoosh's avatar

Ah man...they missed a great acronym opportunity by not calling themselves the Organization (of) Band Organ Enthusiasts.

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Tuesday, July 20, 2010 8:02 PM
Jeff's avatar

Well that there's an organization gives me a little hope that these things will be around for the long haul. I'm not all that nostalgic about such things, but I think they're core to the classic carousel experience.


Jeff - Webmaster/Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Twitter - Video

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Tuesday, July 20, 2010 10:04 PM

Very cool Dutchman, I didn't know there was such a group either. I'm sure those rallies really bring the noise. :)

When we were on the spot admiring the restoration, someone standing nearby asked "Have you ever heard the german band (organ)?" I couldn't help but laugh to myself, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=99uFDgDz4Fw

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Tuesday, July 20, 2010 10:20 PM
birdhombre's avatar

^ Oh man, I so would've burst out in song. But, that's what I do. :) I'm playing for a local production of that show right now in fact.

^^ Jeff, I agree, and I can't remember the last time I rode a carousel that had an actual working band organ, and even that one might have been off to the side, not in the middle. CD/amplified recordings aren't usually as loud as the real thing, and -- this is certainly an Appeal To Tradition, but -- the effect of the sound fading in and out as you go around is part of the nostalgia too. Not to mention seeing all the drums and bells and cymbals going on the band machine itself.

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Wednesday, July 21, 2010 12:21 AM

I am at Broadway at the Beach every night. I have not heard this operate yet this summer. There is a garage-like door that covers it at night. It was not even opened for a few weeks.

Along the same line, the carousel there is terrible. It is a Herschell-Spillman from 1912. The inner column is open, exposing the inner workings of the ride. The music is either a children's vocal sing-a-long cd, or big band music. The band organ sits there silent. The only lights are spot light from inside the structure. It is very sad to see.

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Wednesday, July 21, 2010 12:14 PM
Jeff's avatar

Doesn't Kennywood have a working band organ? What about the carousel at the Columbus Zoo? I know I've seen one working in the last few years but I can't picture where.


Jeff - Webmaster/Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Twitter - Video

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Wednesday, July 21, 2010 2:40 PM

Yes KW does have one (as does Idlewild and Lake Compounce), as does the Columbus Zoo machine.

The Pavilion Ruth organ was completely gone through by Stinson Band Organs of Bellfontaine , OH . It was set up to play the original book music, and had a midi player system piggybacked so that all you had to do was turn on the power and let it play. If you were "told by staff that it no longer operates as there is only one person who "can operate and maintain and they are too expensive" sounds like the bean counters didin't want to pay for the Spring service call, which in the total relm of things not all that much. Seems to me that is a tremendous waste of an asset, especially considering what was spent to bring the organ back up to snuff.

Okay this is a better clip, you can actually hear it play ;)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OfP321gG8gQ&feature=geosearch

Last edited by Dutchman, Thursday, July 22, 2010 9:54 AM
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Monday, July 26, 2010 10:08 PM

IMHO the 1914 Mangels-Illions at the Columbus Zoo is one of the nicest carousels I've ever been on. The band organ is nicely restored too (with MIDI), though it only plays for an hour or so each afternoon.

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Monday, July 26, 2010 11:29 PM

I happened to be at Knoebels two years ago when they had the Rally there. It was actually pretty cool. They had about 10-12 organs placed throughout the park, along with the ones they already have in the park. It was neat to be able to get up really close to them and actually see the rolls of music moving and all the different instruments playing.

Personally, I think it's a good investment to keep a band organ in tip top condition. The sound is a draw for people, that would actually get them to stick around and patronize other vendors and attractions. Call it nostalgia or sentimentality, but it's definitely a sound most of us have in our memory and associate it with happy times.

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Tuesday, July 27, 2010 3:10 PM

The Knobels are without a doubt the keepers of the flame when it comes to maintaining some the traditions of the amusement industry. At one time, EVERY major attraction in a the larger parks had an organ fronting it. Ferris wheels, Whips, Old Mills, coasters, dance pavilions and skating rinks all used band organs up untill the developement of audio amplifiers in the 1930's that were sturdy enough to take the abuse.

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