Available in CD and Cassette
Compiled from the most requested tracks from Canadian Capers, Memories, and Don's Dance Party, by popular demand, and Digitally Re-Mastered.
The 4-manual organ in the Auditorium Theater, Rochester, is universally recognized as being one of the finest Wurlitzers ever made. It was originally installed in the Rochester RKO Palace in 1928. When the theater was demolished the Rochester Theater Organ Society (RTOS) raised the money to relocate the organ and it was opened in its new location in the 2500 seat Auditorium Theater on January 21, 1987. Since then it has been featured by all the leading concert organists, all of whom are delighted by its immaculate condition and beautiful sound. Don Thompson has played it in concert many times. The three-manual Wurlitzer is referred to as the Warfield Wurlitzer because the ornate white and gold console came from the Fox Warfield Theater in San Francisco. Most of the pipework came from the State Theater in Fresno. The average date of the instrument is 1927. The instrument was the first to be installed in a pizza parlor, in 1962 and Don Thompson was resident organist there from 1983-1988.
Reginald Dixon was left handed and Don, copying his style, unknowingly became adept at playing melody or accompaniment with either hand interchangeably and is now ambidextrous. This ability can be heard throughout this recording. Listen to "Margie," or "When You're Smiling," for instance, and hear in the second chorus of each the left hand playing melody and accompaniment simultaneously, while the right hand is busy playing florid arabesques. Or listen to the rocking accompaniment on "Bye Bye Baby" or "Say It With Music," where the melody is being played in the left hand and the accompaniment in the right. The second verse of "Jealousy" provides another example of ambidextrous music.
All music on this recording is played at the correct number of beats per minute required by the international dance associations and so the recording can be used with confidence for dance and skate competitions as well as just for toe tapping, finger snapping and singing along. Don first learned "The Gay Nineties Medley" when it was described as "Fifty Years of Song." How time flies! These songs are now 100 years old and "gay" means something quite different!
Recorded at the Auditorium theatre,
QUICKSTEP Exactly Like You/Beyond the Blue Horizon/The World is Waiting for the Sunrise. (4.11)
FOXTROT Canadian Sunset. (3.29)
QUICKSTEP On the Good Ship Lollipop/Animal Crackers. (2.59)
FOXTROT Honey/If I Had You. (2.59)
VIENNESE WALTZ The Gay Nineties Medley - Daisy Bell/She was One of the Early Birds/Two Lovely Black Eyes/Comrades/Little Annie Rooney. (2.45)
MODERN WALTZ Sleepy Lagoon. (2.58)
FOXTROT New York, New York. (2.43)
TANGO Jealousy. (3.05)
VIENNESE WALTZ The Gay Nineties Medley Part 2 - Meet Me Tonight in Dreamland/Maggie Murphy's Home/In the Shade of the Old Apple Tree/Why Did I Leave?/After the Ball. (2.53)
Recorded at the Warfield Wurlitzer 3/14
QUICKSTEP Margie/Avalon/When You're Smiling. (4.04)
FOXTROT These Foolish Things/Once in a While/Melancholy Baby. (4.39)
QUICKSTEP Ain't She Sweet?/Who's Sorry Now?/Nobody's Sweetheart Now. (2.50))
FOXTROT You Were Meant For Me/Moonlight and Roses/I'll See You in My Dreams. (3.33)
QUICKSTEP Rosalie/I Double Dare You/Change Partners. (3.48)
MODERN WALTZ Tenderly/Memories/Down Memory Lane. (3.27)
QUICKSTEP Bye Bye, Baby/Say It With Music/Tie a Yellow Ribbon. (2.53)
FOXTROT Paper Doll/My Happiness/You'll Never Know. (3.10)
QUICKSTEP If You Knew Susie/I Want to be Happy/Dinah. (3.39)
LAST WALTZ When I Grow Too Old To Dream/Diane/My Wonderful One. (3.25)