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MMD > Archives > August 1997 > 1997.08.19 > 05Prev  Next

Wurlitzer 165 Rolls at Joyland Park
By Matthew Caulfield

As I mentioned in another note posted to today's MMD, I was on the phone
to Durrell Armstrong, at his Player Piano Company in Wichita, Kansas.
While I had Durrell's ear I asked him about the band organ at Joyland Park
in Wichita -- whether it was still there and operating, and whether it
did, as I believed, play Wurlitzer 165 rolls.

The reason for asking is that I had never succeeded in getting in contact
with anyone at the park about that particular organ, nor had MMD's Ron
Bopp, who tried recently in connection with the book he is writing on the
American band organ industry (and what a mass of fascinating information
Ron is putting together!).

Anyway, Durrell confirmed that the organ is there and in operation.  Also
that it does play Wurlitzer 165 rolls, though apparently the organ is not
a Wurlitzer but one made (?) by Jess Gibbs, who took care of it and would
be the contact man -- except for the fact that (you guessed it} he just
died.  Durrell says that "the young guys there" have taken over Jess
Gibbs's job.

It looks like a fresh approach to the park folks might produce results.
I'd like to know which 165 rolls they have, and I'm sure Ron Bopp would
like to know more about the organ.

Is there anyone on MMD from the Wichita area who could grease the wheels
of our contact with these "young guys" at Joyland Park?  My experience is
that, sooner or later, you have to get past the park management and down
to the operator level before you can get the answers you need.

Matthew Caulfield

(Message sent Tue 19 Aug 1997, 19:02:18 GMT, from time zone GMT-0700.)

Key Words in Subject:  165, Joyland, Park, Rolls, Wurlitzer

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