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MMD > Archives > June 2004 > 2004.06.22 > 01Prev  Next

Seek Ruth 36X Organ from Smiley's Happyland
By Gary Zimmermann

-- non-subscriber, please reply to sender and MMD --

Hello,  I am trying to find a band organ that was once in a small
amusement park called "Smiley's Happyland", aka "Jolly Rogers",
in Bethpage, Long Island, New York.  It is my understanding that
this band organ is now owned by Mr. Gavin McDonough, of Virginia.
Do you know of this man, and do you have a way of contacting him?

The reason I'm looking is admittedly, a bit of nostalgia.  I remember
this organ from my childhood and would truly love to hear it and see
it once more.  From my inquiries on the Web, I've received interest
from a few others who also would like to find out whatever happened
to this wonderful machine.  If you could help us in our search, you'd
be making us all very happy.

Thank you in advance for any assistance.
Gary Zimmermann

 [ Rich Wolfin wrote in 030718 MMDigest: "As a kid growing up in the
 [ 1960s on Long Island, my family went to the small family-owned
 [ amusement park in Hempstead, New York, called 'Jolly Roger Catering
 [ and Smiley's Happyland'.  My understanding is this park was sold off
 [ in the 1970s. ...  My fondest memory was of a cool old band organ
 [ with figures which moved."
 [ The organ was built by A. Ruth & Sohn of Waldkirch, Germany.
 [ A color photo is on page 157 of the book, "Waldkircher Dreh- und
 [ Jahrmarkt-Orgeln," by Herbert Juettemann, Waldkircher Verlag,
 [ 1993.  Juettemann describes it on page 229 (translated):
 [ "An anomaly is the Model 36X of 1910, of which, as far as is known
 [ today, only one was built (serial number 4351).  On a small stage
 [ in the middle of the organ, nine musicians play and move their arms,
 [ heads and eyes.  Therefore it was called an 'Organ with Nine Man
 [ Orchestra'.  ...  The organ stood a long time in the amusement park
 [ Nunley's Happyland, Bethpage, Long Island.  It was rebuilt in 1948
 [ and the [78-key] book music system was replaced with a Wurlitzer
 [ Style 165 double-roll system.  Nunley's Happyland closed in 1970;
 [ Gavin McDonough [later] acquired the organ and restored it after
 [ several years work."
 [ -- Robbie

(Message sent Tue 22 Jun 2004, 13:26:45 GMT, from time zone GMT-0700.)

Key Words in Subject:  36X, Happyland, Organ, Ruth, Seek, Smiley's

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