I think of Jack Schott often when I'm doing a parade with my Tangley
calliope, because one of the tunes that I play is "I've Got a Lovely
Bunch of Coconuts," a snappy march in 6/8 meter. I first heard that
Tune playing on a small keyboard-less band organ at a carnival in Fort
Worth, ca. 1950, with Jack Schott standing beside it, quite "ho-hum"
with the whole event, and barely tolerant of my enthusiasm (at 19 years
He was a man of short stature -- I'd guess 5'7" -- and probably 45 to 55
years old. I was already interested in theater pipe organs at that age
and was enchanted with the idea of an automated music-making device such
as that organ.
Later, around 1953 at the University of Texas, I learned that a group of
radio/television students needed a sound recording of a "circus organ"
for a radio show, so I volunteered to contact Schott about this. He was
OK with the idea, so the radio guys loaned me a monaural Magnecord 1/4-
inch tape recorder (back then, a high-tech machine), and I made a
recording of several tunes. The guys back at the radio studio were
pleased with the results.
I learned later that the Moslah Temple Shriners of Fort Worth had a band
organ that they used at their circuses (my father was an active Shriner
and the director of the Oriental Band there). They told me that they
had bought it from Jack Schott, some years before. This organ was
apparently a 105 Caliola, now in the possession of Roger Smith of
Benbrook, Tex., a suburb of Fort Worth. It is/was functioning and for
sale. I have several photos of this machine, taken about 1974, when it
belonged to the Shriners, and before it was painted bright red.