Must Be the Music: Day Eleven

One thing that goes well with gospel music from the 1950s and 1960s is organ music.

It is true: I am a fan of the pipe organ and take great pleasure in hearing one that is well-played, as they often are in churches. Robert Götzfried offers a photographic exploration of some (as it seems to me) modern pipe organs in his exhibit, titled simply as ‘Pipes’. I want to fly off to Germany and listen to them all, of course.

As a kid, my Nana would go to Philadelphia at the holidays especially. We’d ride the bus, the El, and so on to go out to the cemetery to visit her husband’s grave; I’ve made the trip (by car) as she is now interred there as well (I’m not sure who knows that as I don’t believe her name was ever added to the stone). I can still recall, with minimal effort, how to get to the gravesite. Anyway, we also went to the Gallery in Center City; it was there that I was first a bit creeped out by the wooden escalators in Strawbridges. I often worried that they would eat my feet … but that’s another tale for another time. She always shopped in Wanamaker’s and would time it so I could sit for the Christmas lights show, which was accompanied by the organ. It was always played live as well. I never moved from the spot where she left me, so enthralled was I by the grandeur of the building (I think I mentioned I’m an architecture fanatic) as well as by the organ music itself. The location of the pipes made it absolutely perfect.


My love of organ music has also been part of my love of horror films as well. My favorite movies are as I like to call them the Phibes Films (starring Vincent Price, ‘The Abominable Dr. Phibes’ and ‘Dr. Phibes Rises Again’). The opening theme of ‘The Abominable Dr. Phibes’ is an amazing organ piece by Felix Mendelssohn called ‘War March of the Priests’.

How wonderful it must have been to be in that audience! To hear the music and see that amazing organ!

While not quite as amazing as the photo attached to the music above is the Boardwalk Organ, the largest instrument in the world, located in Atlantic City, NJ. As Jersey is home for me, I pray to get back during the time of year when they are giving tours and concerts. I need to hear it in my lifetime, for real and in person. Not to mention having (some) souvenirs …

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