Hal Shutz-Organ and Firelight

December just keeps rolling along with this little record, which I purchased for $3.  At the time, I was on an organ kick. So much so, that around the time of this purchase, I also bought a $40 keyboard.  With 120 sounds, I was really hoping for some decent organ tones, especially a good Hammond sound.  However, I was also realistic due to the fact that this was  $40 keyboard.  I am not going to say I was disappointed as I got what I paid for but the Hammond tone just really is not that great.  But seriously, what do you expect for $40?

Anyway, back to this album, which was released by Columbia in 1956 by one Hal Shutz of San Francisco.  The only thing I could really dig up on Shutz was this clip below from the Lawrence Welk Show, not that I tried very hard to dig.  I believe this was Shutz’s only record. (After reading, the back of the cover, Mr Shutz was born in 1914 in New Freedom, PA, got into radio in 1925, got into Hammond organs in 1936, and moved to San Francisco after getting discharged from the Navy)

The record itself has a good sound as well as pretty decent track selection.  Some good numbers and decent versions of songs that have appeared on here before including “Ghost Riders In The Sky” and ” I Could Have Danced All Night”.

For a sample, I went with “The Ecstasy Tango”.

Satisfactory Record

Eddie Layton- No Blues On This Cruise

It is your hump day in the middle of Continental Week.  I think I got this because of the Hi Fi organ advertised on the front.  The song selection was not bad either.

Eddie Layton was born in Philadelphia, PA in 1925.  Having learned organ at age 12, he got his hands on a Hammond during his stint with the Navy in WWII.  Upon his return, he composed scores for soap operas for CBS.  During this time, he released 27 or so records as well as toured countless music stores demonstrating his organ skills on the Hammond product.  According to Allmusic.com, he was on Hammond’ payroll for 50 years.

Layton’s Page on Spaceagepop.com

Layton’s crowning achievement perhaps was his work with the New York Yankees. Under pressure to compete with the Mets’ organist Jane Jarvis, Layton took the organist job with the Yankees in 1967, despite knowing nothing about baseball and never setting foot in a stadium prior.  He held the job until 2003 (with a small break between 1971-1977). Apparently, he popularized both “Charge” and ” The Mexican Hat Dance” at sporting events.  He also worked games for the Knicks, Rangers, and Islanders. Layton would pass of natural causes in 2004 at the age of either 77 or 79.

This was released in 1957 before his sports gig.  It is from Mercury Records.  Pretty decent album.  Nice arrangements and songs that I know.  I always get a kick out of good organ albums.  I think because I always wanted to play the organ as a kid.  Layton’s work is well regarded among space age pop fans and this album doe snot disappoint.

For a sample, I was  stuck between “Song of India”, “Under Paris Skies”, and “El Relicario”.  All fine songs but after some thought, I went with “El Relicario”.

Satisfactory Record.