Here are Just a Few Of the Organ Consoles I have Owned.

And a Few Personal Pictures.

Conn720     Conn643     


On the left is a Conn 720 Classic in my store just before I brought it home to use as  a  practice organ. The very authentic pipe organ tones were produced by vacuum tubes.  In 1988, I installed a MIDI aftermarket retrofit kit and used the organ to drive a Kurzweil sound module with excellent results. The console on the right is a Conn 643 Theater organ which I also brought home from the store later as a practice organ. The 643 is a solid state unit of the early 70s.                                                                                     

 Conn645   Conn653          


 Pictured on the left is probably one of the best organs Conn ever made. It is a 645 model from the early 60s and like the 720 model, it also has vacuum tube oscillators. You can probably see that I had the divisions under separate volume control which further enhanced the true organ sound.  On the right is the Conn 653 which came from the factory with a list price of over $20,000 which in the early 80s was a large amount for an electronic organ. During the winter of 2002, I installed a MIDI system on this console and it was able to drive six external sound modules. Together with organ voices, the ensemble was quite pleasing for recordings.

 Conn551          Conn901          


The above spinet organ is my Conn 551 which I brought out to California when I moved from the Mid-West to Sunny Southern California in the 60s. Shortly after I started selling Conns out here, I was able to place this beautiful three manual Conn 901 pictured on the right side. This was a great church  or practice instrument.

Hey! Look at what I found!


  Larrie-Royal  Larrie-Rink                     

To visit the Shore Roller Drome in 1956, click on the skate - - -see if you recognize anyone! - - - 

Just for laughs, I threw in these two very old promo pictures. The one on the left is from the early 70s and note how the newspaper mis-spelled “Larrie.”  We corrected that about 5 times before we gave up. The picture of the “nerd” on the right was taken at the Shore Roller Drome in Asbury Park, New Jersey (actually in Neptune on the Route 35 Traffic Circle) in 1955. Those were the days!  The Hammond in the ad is my “A” model (1935) and the organ at the skating rink was a Hammond CV model with  Maas-Rowe Vibrachord attachment. (The third keyboard.)

 Hammond-A-Z      Hammond-A-W



These two Hammonds were my prized possessions for many years. They are both the first Hammond model ever produced. The Hammond “A” model on the left is serial number 19 and the first Hammond delivered to California. I took in in on trade sometime in the mid 70s from my boss when he bought a new Hammond B3 for his Ice Skating rink in Paramount, CA.  It was formerly owned by Frank J. Zamboni, the inventor of the famous ice resurfacing machine. Frank also had a three manual 17 rank Wurlitzer pipe organ in his rink. Those were some of the happiest days of my music career. The custom white Hammond model “A” on the right I first obtained in 1957 also as a trade in from a church in Hector, Minnesota. The serial number is 1372 and the one used for all of my band and performance recordings. The customizing was done by Glen Schmidt of Sci-Eng and Hammond West in the mid 60s. The “A” model has twelve more tone wheels than subsequent models which allow for the non-repeating low notes and piercing high notes. It truly was a far better jazz organ than any other Hammond model when outfitted with percussion and string bass units like the GlenTone from Sci-Eng.


Both of my Hammond A Models are now a part of the Hammond Collection of Tony LaCamera at his museum in Italy


Below are the only two organs I currently have at the house.

(Although I still do have the white Conn 645 which I am using for our earlier services at church in the small sanctuary)


 Hillgreen   AllenMDS


My favorite all time organ is this beautiful Hillgreen Lane four manual, 50+ rank organ pictured on the left side. The console is virtually the duplicate of the one used by the Hollywood Philharmonic during the 30s and 40s. I loved the positive action of the keyboards and the keydesk is one of the nicest appearing consoles ever made. Few HL organs were ever delivered to the West Coast and I know of no original installations but they were fun to play and very well made. The console is currently housed in my garage and will be shipped sometime in 2007 to the Philippines as a replacement console for the Manila Cathedral. Mr. Harvey Smoller who rebuilds organs over there, and I have been working on this project for several months. As an update, the Hilgreen Lane has been shipped to Manila as of late 2007.


On the right is my Allen MDS Theater III which is also a very fine organ for recording. You can see the many external sound modules used for recording in addition to the wonderful organ tones. Included are two Kurzweil modules, a Pro 1200 and a PX 1000+ model. Kurzweil is noted for their very fine piano and other acoustic sampling. In addition, an Emu Proteus2+ orchestral module, a Roland SC8850 module, and a Roland D110 Theater Organ Module are also connected. Shown also are two sequencers, the Allen SmartRecorder and a Rodgers PR-300S which doubles as an additional sound module. All external module volume is controlled either from the console which has one of Allen’s later MIDI versions, or can be adjusted individually for precise sound balance. When several modules are being used, the ensemble sound is just incredible. I plan on posting some of the recordings at a future date but currently we are trying to comply with our recording and concert dates.

What a trip through life this has been! I sincerely hope you have also enjoyed yourself along the way!    God’s blessings on you and yours!                                                                                                                                  


Larrie Dee