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MMD > Archives > October 2006 > 2006.10.17 > 01Prev  Next

Jack Schott & Baptist Sound Band Organ Recordings
By Dan Robinson

Here's a hopefully interesting addition to the discussion of Baptist
Sound & Manufacturing Co. and the Jack Schott Organ Works/Fort Worth
Organ Factory.  As has been said, Jack Schott of Fort Worth is credited
with providing the band organs for the Baptist Sound recordings.  I have
a theory that the Wurlitzer 157 recorded by Baptist Sound may be the one
which spent time at Genesee Valley Park here in Rochester, N.Y., since
it was later located in or around Fort Worth.

In 1953, the Dentzel carousel from Acushnet Park in New Bedford, Mass.,
was moved to Genesee Valley Park along with its Wurlitzer 157 band
organ.  This would be GVP's third, and last, carousel.  When selling the
carousel that year, owner Daniel Bauer supposedly offered the organ to
the Allan Herschell Co.  They must have turned it down, because the
organ came with the carousel to Rochester.  By the time the carousel
reopened at its next home, Grant Park in Atlanta, Ga., in 1966, the
organ had been sold to Bill Hames Shows of Fort Worth, Tex., under whose
ownership it remained until about 1976.  After a couple of other owners,
the organ went to the Sanfilippo collection in 1986, and the carousel,
populated with new carvings after the original figures were sold, is now
in Coolidge Park, Chattanooga, Tenn., where it opened in 1999.  (This
information comes from Ron Bopp's article on the Sanfilippo collection
in issue #15 of the COAA's "Carousel Organ," as well as the book "Horses
In Motion: The History of Carousels In Monroe County, New York ... and
Beyond," by Linda Bartash.)

The period that the organ was owned by Bill Hames Shows of Fort Worth is
what suggests, to me, a connection with Baptist Sound and Jack Schott.
According to Ron Bopp's book "The American Carousel Organ," Baptist
Sound made its band organ recordings from the mid-1960s through the
1970s, and they give credit to the Jack Schott Organ Works of Fort
Worth.  Some of the recordings feature a Wurlitzer 157.  The 157 from
Genesee Valley Park was owned by Bill Hames Shows of Fort Worth
(presumably a traveling amusement company) during this period (until
about 1976), probably having been repaired and maintained by the Jack
Schott Organ Works.  So it is very possible that this was the 157 used
for those recordings.  Of course, there may have been more than one
Wurlitzer 157 in the Fort Worth area serviced by the Jack Schott Organ
Works during this period, although I don't know how likely that is.

Does anyone on MMD know of another 157 that may be the one on the
Baptist Sound recordings?

Dan Robinson,
Rochester, N.Y.

(Message sent Mon 16 Oct 2006, 22:14:47 GMT, from time zone GMT-0400.)

Key Words in Subject:  Band, Baptist, Jack, Organ, Recordings, Schott, Sound

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