In November 1999 I wrote a posting about the band organ music in the
film "The Natural." I relayed information I had read that the organ
heard but not seen was the late Captain John Leonard's North Tonawanda
style 173 organ.
Well, last night I caught the film on TV and saw the carnival scene
about twenty minutes in. I am positive the band organ music I heard is
Wurlitzer style 165 music. I have become familiar with a good number
of style 165 rolls, and what I heard in the film was the waltz "Love's
Dream After The Ball" and the waltz "Artist's Life," both from roll
There is no doubt in my mind that they were the Wurlitzer 165
arrangements of the tunes. Captain John's organ does not and never did
play style 165 rolls, so how could it have been this organ playing in
the background? The organ was there when the movie was filmed -- there
is even a picture of actor Robert Redford standing next to the organ.
But it cannot be the organ heard during this scene. It didn't sound
like an actual Wurlitzer 165, but perhaps something converted to play
style 165 rolls.
It seems more than one of my postings in the past have ended up being
in error, and I want to try to clear this up. It is printed in several
sources that it was Captain John's organ, and there is even that photo
to back it up. But I would recognize those 165 arrangements in my
sleep. It is possible that his organ was playing live during the
filming of the movie but the filmmakers for some reason decided to dub
in the music of some other organ, perhaps from a recording. Can anyone
on MMD shed some light on this mystery?