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Band Organs Behind Glass at Santa Cruz Beach
By John Kavanagh

Hello everyone.  I am the person who, through e-mails to others,
began the story of band organs behind glass enclosures.  The state
of California has a new decibel (dB) sound level law that allows only
so much sound volume at public places, such as the Santa Cruz Beach
Boardwalk, the main reason band organs in California are now being put
behind glass walls or boxes.

The old Ruth organ was placed in a room off the merry-go-round so as to
protect it from vandalism, and to control the sound of the instrument.
The Ruth was behind a wall with a glass front for many, many years.

Sea air will do harm to pretty much everything, and of course band
organs are no exception.  When the current merry-go-round building was
remodeled back in the late 1960s, it was thought that keeping the Ruth
organ in a room would protect it from the sea air.  That proved to be
not true, and in the last number of years, the Ruth was playing very
poorly.

A quote from Donaven Staab who is 'everything sound' at the Boardwalk.
As we looked at the Wurlitzer 165 when I saw him last year, he said,
"The Ruth was on it's last legs."  The sea air and the instrument
playing whenever the merry-go-round is operating, which was quite often,
took it's toll on the instrument.  And that it was made in 1894, the
Ruth is one of the oldest band organs still in use, playing at an
amusement park.

Already a sound system is in use on the Wurlitzer.  Soon, according
to Mr. Staab, a new 20+ loudspeaker sound system will be installed
all around the merry-go-round building, and also outside at the two
entrances, to "have complete coverage at controlled levels".  It's the
best the Boardwalk can do with the new California decibel sound law.

John Kavanagh
Las Vegas, Nevada


(Message sent Sat 17 May 2008, 15:33:15 GMT, from time zone GMT-0400.)

Key Words in Subject:  Band, Beach, Behind, Cruz, Glass, Organs, Santa

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