Don Jenkins- In Case You Hadn’t Heard…

DSCN4280This was $1.99.  I was shopping with my friend Tracy when we came across this album.  We made a dumb joke about the title.  I though that this was enough to buy the record.

Not Jenkins nor the 1790
Not Jenkins nor the 1790

In case you hadn’t heard, Don Jenkins plays the organ, the Kimball 1790 to be exact.  This album comes off as more as a promotion for Kimball.  After some time searching (but not too much), I came up with nothing on Don Jenkins and other than some schematics, nothing on the Kimball 1790.  The music is cheasy organ covers of popular songs, covering the range of sounds emitted by the 1790. The record itself was produced by Hal Leonard Publishing, so there must be a music instruction tie in somewhere.DSCN4282

It really came down to either “Mah-Na, Mah-Na” from the Muppets or “Tijuana Taxi”, made famous by Herb Alpert.  In the end, despite loving the Muppets, I went with “Tijuana Taxi”.COL2_099_grande

Meh for this album.  It gets old quick.



4 thoughts on “Don Jenkins- In Case You Hadn’t Heard…”

  1. I met him several times when he would do promotions for
    Kimball piano & organ dealers. I was 12 years old and considered by some as a child prodigy. So I shared the spotlight with him (at his chagrin). I read a local newspaper article from decades ago, where he was doing a charity concert and stated that he never wanted any recordings of his music and so there were no records I knew of. Perhaps he felt different about promotional recordings to promote specific Kimball organ models. When Kimball phased-out its home organs in the early 80’s, and pianos in the 90’s, he was no longer employed with them and I was told he lives in the northern Kentucky area (if he is still alive). I loved his organ music because he had a unique way of bringing out subtle tones using rich chords I tried but was unable to duplicate until I was grown. Those days (1950s thru 1980) was a unique time for home organ enthusiasts. Changes in music tastes and society culture have reduced the size of organ and piano sector to a shadow of it’s former self. The organs he used to demonstrate are now sold in thrift stores for $40 or so. There’s one U.S. organ manufacturer left (owned by Korean company) of home organs (Lowrey), and they do a splendid job catering to seniors as a beginner hobby. If my memory serves me correct, the Kimball organ model 1740 was a large spinet-sized home organ using analog transistor technology. I think it was part of their first series to incorporate automatic rhythm patterns into the organ. I assume the record you have is a 45-rpm and only has that one song. He was obviously demonstrating the distortion sounds (wah-wah trumpet) and some other bright brass sounds that had been introduced on that model. I wish he had played it through one of the times with a more organ-only registration. But, after all, the song was popularized by the group Tijuana Brass. Thanks for posting as it’s the only recording I’ve ever heard of Don Jenkins and hadn’t heard him play for over 50 years.

    1. No problem. Thanks for the feedback. The record is a 12 “. Let me know if you want to hear the other songs and I can send them either electronically or burn them to disc.

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