KEN's 12" LP COVER TEXT
LET'S HAVE A PARTY
(Philips LP Cover text)
Many times it turns out that the best segment of a party is that in which the whole crowd is gathered around, singing its lungs out in a group of old and beloved songs. There is not always a piano or guitar or organ on hand, and to remedy that lack, this collection of fine old favourites played by Ken Griffin has been assembled to help some of the stragglers keep on key and also to provide a few suggestions. Long one of the world's favourite popular organists, Ken Griffin keeps the tempos moving forward steadily and provides, for the benefit of those who happen to be alone at the time, a programme that is just as much fun to listen to as it is to sing with.
It may or may not be indicative that the two newest tunes in the programme date from 1939 and 1940 respectively, and that most of them were composed in pre-Depression days. At any rate, they are all fine, simple tunes, adorned with easily remembered lyrics, and brim with straightforward sentiment, even the liveliest of them. It is a cliché in popular music that they don't write songs like that anymore, and the truth is, they don't. They can't; for while there are still plenty of memorable tunes and delightful lyrics being composed, it takes a song a long, long time to acquire the patina that these songs possess. And it is also true that the period during which these songs were written produced some really dreadful specimens as well; these are the good ones, the ones that survived because they were eminently worth keeping.
Ken Griffin starts off with one of the newest and jolliest of the lot, the Beer Barrel Polka of 1939, adapted by Lew Brown from the spirited composition by Vladimir Timm and Jaromir Vejvoda. Then, skipping back to 1914, he presents When you wore a tulip, by Jack Mahoney and Percy Wenrich, one of the biggest hits of all time. Forward in time again, we come to 1940, and You are my sunshine, written by Jimmie Davis and Charles Mitchell. This song took a little time to get started, and then it became so successful that it helped propel Mr. Davis into the Governorship of Louisiana. In the good old summertime was written in 1920 by Ren Shields and George Evans and was started on its long- time popularity by Blanche Ring, one of yesterday's favourite entertainers. Even farther back, in 1895, people were singing The band played on, the immortalization by Charles B. Ward and John F. Palmer of Casey and his strawberry blonde companion. The first half of the song session ends with If you knew Susie, written in 1925 by Bud DeSylva (of DeSylva, Brown and Henderson). Although originally introduced by Al Jolson, the song later became identified with the bounding performances of Eddie Cantor.
One of the great Irish ballads opens the second part of the programme, When Irish eyes are smiling of 1912, by Ernest Ball and George Graff. It is followed by a two-time success, Irving Berlin's Always, which was a hit in 1925 and again in 1945, when it was revived in a motion picture. From 1910 comes the charming Let me call you sweetheart, by Beth Slater Whitson and Leo Friedman, who also composed another major success, Meet me tonight in dreamland. 1910 also provided Down by the old mill stream, a sine qua non of party singing composed by Tell Taylor. Another necessity is In a shanty in old shanty town, written in 1932 by Joe Young, John Siros and Little Jack Little, and the collection concludes with Show me the way to go home, written by Irving King in 1925.
* * *
Ken Griffin's experience with delightful music is varied. Originally a violinist, he taught himself to play the organ within one year. So thorough was his teaching that for four years he played in the cinemas in the Rocky Mountain area, until sound films disrupted the arrangements. With the development of the portable organ, he began playing in hotels and lounges in the western United States with notable success. During the War, he kept in practice by playing on church organs. after the army working day was over, and upon his began playing in the Atlantic Coast. Returning to made a record called You Can't Be True, Dear, that of the fastest and widest selling records of the decade' single disc he became an established star and began the long list of tuneful, charming records that record collections and juke boxes across the there was an enormous demand for his music time as a featured artist-and clubs, and his spread his delightful style even farther.
Copyright to Philips records.
KEN GRIFFIN At The Organ
(Embassy LP cover text)
The finest and paradoxically, the most popular all organists today is Ken Griffin. Griffin’s popularity extends back some 30 years, although it was not until after World War Two, that the performer really came into his own. In the silent film days Griffin, who originally was a violinist, decided he liked the organ better as an instrument and began to study without benefit of a teacher. For four years prior to sound films, Griffin played the organ in film theatres in the Rocky Mountain States.
He then began to branch out into night clubs and theatres, initially in a supporting spot and then gradually as a soloist During the war be played in military posts where his simple direct style without fancy ornamentation or excess fringes won instantaneous approval. At this time his initial records began to be popular favorites in roller skating and ice rinks.
Immediately after the war years, Griffin rocketed into national headlines when two songs, the Cuckoo. Waltz and You Can’t Be True Dear became national favorites over night and catapulted the young, but already seasoned artist into the front rank of the nation’s popular organists, a position which. has increased in eminence and popularity as the years went by. More recently, Griffin has headed his own color TV, series, known as 67 Melody Lane. Griffin’s feet have been deeply bedded in show business for over three decades, and his phenomenal success is the result of understanding of what ~ the public wants and the ability to be able to give the American people just that.
Copyright of Rondo-Lette Records.
TO EACH HIS OWN
(Philips Cover text)
Born in Columbia, Missouri, Ken Griffin first studied the violin, and at an early age was playing in theatre orchestras. When he was seventeen, however, the musical possibilities of the organ were explained to him, and he at once began to teach himself the complexities of that almost inexhaustible instrument. So carefully did he study that within a year he was a competent organist, and he continued his growth as an artist with long experience of playing in motion picture houses.
When electrical developments made organs portable, he began playing in hotels and clubs throughout the Midwest, and kept in’ practice during the war by playing on chapel organs - spending long hours after the army day playing for his own amusement. After the war he began making records, and with a single side - You Can’t Be True, Dear - established himself as one of the enduring stars in the record world.
Copyright to Philips records Ltd.
(Embassy LP cover text)
For a decade, Ken Griffin was the most popular organist America; his music sounded from phonographs, through theatres and night-clubs, from the radio and indeed ever where there was likely to be anyone who enjoyed the tone the organ. His records were steadily among the best-seller and his collected programme kept pace with the single releases. Whether playing in his youth in motion picture palaces or in Army chapels during his military service, or in the many theatres and clubs that sought him after his success, Ken Griffin supplied music of charm an simplicity that made him enormously. This understanding of the tastes of his enormous public noticeable in all of Ken Griffin work.
In "Anniversary Songs" he offers music of great charm indelibly associated with romantic anniversaries. All are performed with his artful simplicity. It is a most deceptive simplicity but he believed in letting the composers' melodies speak for themselves without all embellishments used by many "show-off' instrumentalists, unnecessary embroidery that tended to obscure the pure melodic lines. And maybe this directness in approach is the secret of Ken Griffin's success No one before or since has approached these popular classics in quite the same way. That is why Ken Griffin still stands alone in his field. Now, with this album, Griffin fans everywhere can enjoy all his greatest romantic recordings in one exciting collection.
Copyright to Philips records.
67 MELODY LANE
(Philips LP cover text)
KEN GRIFFIN at the Wurlitzer Organ popular solo instrumentalists have given so much to so many people as Ken Griffin. In the days of his career, he added much to the impact and enjoyment of silent motion pictures as he played on at consoles of cinema organs. Later he spread cheer and melody through countless night-clubs and theatres as a solo performer. During the war he turned his talents to other melodies, playing in military chapels. After the war, in addition to his personal appear- he began making records, which have sold s, becoming popular not only with the individual but also with such specialists as the proprietors skating rinks! And now, with the advent of television he has added another conquest to his list, in the form of his enormously popular color television series, 67 Melody Lane.
It is from favorites played in this series that Ken has I the music making up this program. 67 Melody clearly a cheerful address, where pleasant music rolls forth from the Wurlitzer organ under Ken's knowing ministration. Through his long experience in meeting his public and fans at first hand, he knows precisely what music and what kind of playing will please them and this is what' he gives them. His fingers are not wandering idly over the keys, nor is he looking for a mighty chord when he sits at the organ. What he is after, and what he gets in splendid measure, is a succession of charming, and for the most part, familiar melodies, played with an unashamed delight in the tunes them themselves, rather than in trimming and played with a firm, steady rhythm that keeps the tune moving.
Here, in this record edition of 67 'Melody Lane, Ken offers 18 numbers that have proved favorites of his television audiences, many of which he has never before recorded. He includes four of his own compositions, Louisiana Waltz, Oh Ma Kodi Polka, Symphony in 3/4 Time, and Juke Box Polka, all of them marked by an engaging simplicity and tunefulness Among the familiar songs of the past, he offers Stephen Foster's My Old Kentucky Home and the ever popular Humoresque by Dvorak, as, well as the lovely Londonderry Air (or Danny Boy or Would God I Were a Tender Apple Blossom) and Ethelbert Nevin's Naicicous, a long time favorite with parlour pianists and a tune which is perhaps better known than its title He also includes Sunrise Serenade, made famous by Frankie Carle and The Cuckoo Waltz, one of his most-requested favorites an enduring treat.
Along with his semi-classical and light classical favorites, Ken Griffin offers such all-time popular hits as Put Your Arms Around Me, Honey and Margie, and the recent war-time success, Lily Marlene. Other delightful and memorable melodies include By the waters of Minnetonka, the charming Over the Waves waltz, the sprightly Glow-Worm, the great Russian folk-song Dark Eyes, and from Italy Ciribiribin. All of these Ken Griffin plays on the Wurlitzer organ, offering to his fans another heart-warming program of music in his inimitable style.
Copyright of Philips records.
(Philips Cover text)
The extraordinary allure that is Hawaii is captivatingly caught in this collection by Ken Griffin. Ever since explorers first went to those fortunate islands, the happy combination of land, sea and climate has enchanted inhabitants from less beguiling localities, and the soft, languorous music—a reflection of the spirit of the islands—has kept that enchantment fresh.
Although Hawaiian music is capable of lively and inventive rhythms, it is the easy, dreamy ballad that is most often associated with Hawaii, and it is to this music that Ken Griffin turns here.
All of these songs are familiar which, in fact, is another attraction of the music of Hawaii with perhaps the best known being Aloha Oe, the composition of Liliuokalani, the last Queen of the islands, who died in 1917. From this lovely song have stemmed most of the others, some by Hawaiians, some by people who have never seen the islands, but all of them seeking to capture the same distillation of place and mood. In this collection, Ken Griffin keeps to that mood, playing the charming melodies in his expressive fashion, with Andy Nelson adding to the atmosphere with his Hawaiian guitar.
Copyright to Philips records Ltd.
THE ENDURING HYMNS
(Philips Cover text)
This inspiring collection presents twelve of the world’s most beloved hymns. Six are played by Ken Griffin, the outstandingly popular organist, and six by his nephew, Kirby Griffin, who makes his recording debut. The hymns were chosen from a list compiled by the Christian Herald, which recently surveyed thousands of American church-goers to determine their favorites. First on the list was “The Old Rugged Cross,” followed by “What a Friend We Have in Jesus,” “In the Garden,” “How Great Thou Art” and “ Sweet Hour of Prayer,” respectively.
The simple melodies and reverent words of these hymns are widely popular with congregations everywhere, despite the fact that only a few appear presently in revised hymnals; only “What a Friend We Have in Jesus” is generally included in the hymnals of most denominations. The warmth and comfort of these hymns have provided inspiration for thousands of churchgoers, who have responded by cherishing them throughout the years. Ken Griffin’s sensitive performances demonstrate the directness and concern for melody that have made him one of America’s most popular organists.
During his military service, Mr. Griffin played in Army chapels where he discovered a new the beauty of the old hymns, and they thereafter formed a prominent part of his wide repertoire.
Copyright of Philips Records Ltd.
LOST IN A CLOUD
(Philips LP cover text)
When Ken Griffin sits down at the organ, he has considerably more to do than let his fingers wander idly over the keys - he is concerned with putting together a program of light romantic music that will charm and delight his thousands and thousands of admirers. That he has succeeded is attested to by the constant (both continuing and unchanging) sales of his recordings, and by the steady stream of requests for new records by this popular organist. In this, his latest, he has collected a garland of popular ballads of enduring appeal, and presents them with all the straightforward freshness that is his hallmark.
Beginning with the winsome I'm Lost in the Clouds, he immediately sets the scene for the music that is to follow. In his second number, In the Chapel in the Moonlight, he offers a melody of lasting charm and one that has attained the singular distinction of reaching the hit lists twice in its career, first in the middle thirties when it was new, and again in 1954, when it was revived with great success, including a lilting mambo arrangement! Ken continues with the Richard Rodgers hit from "Me and Juliet" called No Other Love, originally heard as part of the background music for the television series "Victory at Sea," and later fitted with lyrics to become the hit of the summer of 1953. A memorable song taken from the "country" music category by Rosemary Clooney and elevated to lasting popularity is Half as Much, offered by Ken in a lilting organ setting. He next presents Till I Waltz Again with You, another recent popular hit which is further distinguished by dealing with waltzes in a fox-trot tempo! The first half of his program concludes with the ever-popular Sleepy Time Gal in one of the most-requested Griffin arrangements.
For part two of his "music to relax by," Ken Griffin begins with a romantically presented arrangement of another recent hit, Ebb Tide; another song of the same title was successful in the late thirties, but had not the same sentimental approach as this lovely melody. He next presents April in Portugal, an unusually pleasant song that awaited several years before attaining its rightful, place in the hit lists. With Sentimental Journey Ken varies his pace, interpreting one of the popular standard favorites before returning to present-day successes with Oh Baby Mine. He then presents one of the newest songs in his program, I Need You Now, and concludes his delightful survey of popular music with the classic I Don't Know Why.
Music such as that included in this collection, and in arrangements such as these, does much to demonstrate why Ken Griffin is beyond question the most popular organist now performing, and why he is held in such esteem by his fans. His choice of songs, although leaning largely on sentimental ballads, is nevertheless based on the finest of popular melodies, and his interpretations present the music without fuss, in clean, tuneful settings, There is always a steady beat in s Griffin arrangement, and he is more interested in making the organ sing than using it as a showcase for mechanical effects. Consequently, his performances have a charm and directness that is unique among organists, and offer a wealth of delightful listening to those to whom the melody s the important thing.
All these traits are readily discernible in the rich list of recordings already issued by Ken Griffin, all of them best-sellers and all of them favorites with millions of people all over the world They offer, too, a variety of moods and locales, and provide a handy collection of many of the best-loved songs of America and the world.
Copyright of Philips records.
Moonlight and Roses
(Philips LP Cover text)
In this delightful album, Ken Griffin is heard in a dozen of the performances that have proved most popular with his countless fans. Indeed, the collection is almost a survey of the Griffin repertoire, for here are old favorites, bouncy novelties, charming waltzes and popular hits, all played with the unmistakable Griffin touch.
Here, as always, there is that scrupulous presentation of the melody, without any unnecessary adornment, so that the music is easy and delightful to sing along with. And here too are the steady tempos that make his playing so adaptable for dancing or listening, and at the same time keep the program moving firmly forward. In an old favorite such as Moonlight and Roses (which served Lanny Ross as a theme song for many years) or Moonbeams, the Griffin technique is to let the music speak for itself, simply and effectively. In The Doll Dance or Josephine there lurks a hint of the humor that this popular organist often inserted in his playing. And in such waltzes as Cole Porter's Wunderbar or the lilting Hi-Lili, Hi-Lo he splendidly demonstrates the irresistible attractions of three-quarter time. Indeed, throughout the program, the wide-ranging musical interests of Ken Griffin are delightfully on display, bringing once again a souvenir of one of America's most famous popular organists.
Copyright to Philips records.
(Columbia LP Cover text)
"Skating Time" is still another in Ken Griffin's delightful series of favorite American songs, played in his own inimitable fashion. These songs were especially selected by Ken as representative of his most popular work, and constitute a pleasantly sentimental excursion through the by-ways of melody.
Such charming favorites as these are delighted in by listeners everywhere, skaters at roller-rinks and skating rinks have found them particularly attractive for their rhythmic gyrations. From the very beginning of Jealous to the final notes of Twelfth Street Rag, it is a collection of Ken's finest playing, and one admirably suited to skating or just plain listening. As an organist who has played in many famous locations, Ken knows what his public likes, and gives it to them with a sure, unvarying touch. He knows that familiar songs such as these are among America's favorites, and he presents them simply and without distracting frills.
Originally a violinist, Ken was so impressed with the greater range of the organ that he began to teach himself, sneaking time for his lessons whenever he could get near an instrument. So faithfully did he practice and experiment that within a year he was proficient at the keyboard, and for four years thereafter supplied music for motion picture palaces in the Rocky Mountain states until the advent of sound movies. Unlike other organists, who were for the most part automatically retired by the talkies, Ken adapted his style to more portable organs than the mighty consoles he was used to, and began playing in hotels and lounges throughout the Midwest, keeping himself both busy and famous with his winning arrangements of popular tunes.
When he was called into service during the war, he kept in practice by rehearsing on chapel organs after his army days were over. Shortly after discharge, he recorded a tune called You Can't Be True, Dear, and found himself famous overnight and from coast-to-coast. The record was one of the biggest sellers of the decade, and firmly established Ken as a star. Since that time, he has turned out many other records that have enjoyed a notably solid and steady sale, and he is a favorite on phonographs, juke boxes and radio broadcasts everywhere. Moreover, he was returned to theaters, this time as a stellar performer instead of an anonymous accompanist, and finds himself in constant demand for new and return engagements.
In "Skating Time" the qualities that comprise his style are again evident: the concern for the melody, so that his listeners never have to worry about recognizing the tune, and the light, steady tempo that makes his playing so highly prized by skaters and dancers as well as by listeners. The unmistakable flavor that is his, coupled with songs of such varied content and universal appeal, make this collection one of his most winning and memorable.
Such cheerful melodies as The Lamplighter's Serenade and Gimme a Little Kiss are joined with a sentimental favorite such as Marie, and the wonderful jazz classic St. Louis Blues, together with rhythmic novelties, including the Bumpity-Bump and Kringle's Jingle. Although the selection of tunes was made by with the skaters and dancers form his mind, it is also a collection that can be enjoyed by everyone at practically any time. The simplicity of Ken's playing the unalloyed melody of his arrangements these make splendid listening. Here dozen tunes played by America's favorite organist, each of them a delight in itself and together they become even pleasurable.
Copyright to Philips records.
YOU CANT BE TRUE, DEAR
(Rondo-Lette LP cover text)
Perhaps no other program could be so illustrative of the qualities that made Ken Griffin famous as the one outlined above. For a decade, Ken Griffin was the most popular organist in America; his music sounded from phonographs, through theaters and night-clubs, from the radio and indeed everywhere there was likely to be anyone who enjoyed the tone of the organ. His records were steadily among the best-sellers, and his collected programs kept pace with the single releases.
Collected here are some of Ken’s most representative performances - some best-sellers, some old favorites and some that Ken recorded simply because he liked them. It is the kind of music he enjoyed, and the kind his millions of fans requested again and again, melodic, easy-going and with a firm, steady beat. Fittingly, the first selection, and the one from which the collection takes its title, is the song which first made Ken nationally famous: You Can’t Be True, Dear. The present performance is a newer recording than the one that sold more than a million records, but is in no other respect different. When he sat down at the organ to record this tune, Ken Griffin was a respected musician, but known only to a few who had heard him play in theaters or lounges in the states of the Middle West. However, the simple, affecting sentiment of the song, and Ken’s charming rendition, swept across the country, and soon he was famous, one of the country’s top recording stars.
Other songs in the collection demonstrate a particular pleasure of the organist’s when melodies became pop- utalized a vocalist, he often recorded an instrumental version of the tune. Examples of this are You Belong to Me, one of Jo Stafford’s biggest successes, and My Heart cries for You, which made a star of Guy Mitchell. Still others show his fondness for the old songs that never lose their charm: Side by Side, September Song, Oh, How I Miss. You Tonight and The Bells of St. Mary’s. Altogether, this collection presents an admirable cross section of his contribution to the musical pleasure of the last decade, charming organ presentations of ballads, sprightly tunes, novelty songs and lasting favorites.
This understanding of the tastes of his enormous public is noticeable in all of Ken Griffin’s work. In Anniversary Songs he offered music of great charm, indelibly associated with romantic anniversaries. "Skating Time" presented familiar melodies that were as welcome in homes as they were at skating rinks, while" The Organ Plays at Christmas" blended carols and popular tunes of the season in a charming program. "67 Melody Lane" is a potpourri of the most requested numbers on his television show, and "Cruising Down the River" depicted rivers and romance in the inimitable Griffin fashion. And now this assemblage from Ken’s splendid single records offers still another testimonial to his wide appeal.
Whether playing in his youth in motion picture palaces, or in Army chapels during his military service, or in the many theaters and clubs that sought him after his success, Ken Griffin supplied music of charm and simplicity that made him enormously popular; this program is another reminder of his enduring appeal.Copyright of Columbia Records.
(Symphony LP cover text)
It’s time to take a sentimental journey and who can’t use one these days? This time your travel guide is Ken Griffin and a look at the songs in this album will tell you that it is going to be a beautiful trip. You begin with the beautiful sentiment of I'm Always Chasing Rainbows, a marvelously dreamy beginning and you wind up with the climax, a rousing Sweet Georgia Brown. In between you have the beautiful-and-sad weather of September in the Rain and a visit to the Red River Valley.
That’s Ken Griffin for you, taking you on a trip, an exciting musical trip. Through records he’s been doing this for millions through the years and here he is again with another winner of an album. You know, he’s one of the great all time organists in the business—and he certainly needs no words to tell you about that. He speaks through his music and it’s all right here for you to enjoy. We decided to put some of his finest moments in one package for your pleasure. And it’s here in your hands. Take Ken Griffin home tonight and listen, you’ll be so glad you did.
Copyright of Harmony Records.