KEN GRIFFIN (Organist)
(Updated 11. 11. 07. One 78 added)


"His smile" is what I most remember about Ken"
recalls Mrs. Fred Fair
(Gelda Johnson Dance School)

My 78 R.P.M. record Collection

Brunswick 03968 (A Rondo Recording)-------------Esquire 5-008 131------------ - Esquire 5-014
You can't be true, dear-------------------------------------Under a red umbrella------------American Patrol
Cuckoo Waltz---------------------------------------------- -Jumping Bean---------------------Casey Jones

Esquire 5-8002 ------------------------------------------ - Columbia D.B. 612--------------Columbia D.B. 669
Skater's Waltz---------------------------------------------- -Side by side-----------------------Because
Take me to the Ball Game/And the band played on--Drifting and dreaming------ -Always

Columbia D.B. 2780----------------------------------     Columbia D.B. 2798------------ Columbia D.B. 2911
Rudolph the red-nosed Reindeer---------------------  Humoresque-----------------------Wonderful One
The Petite Waltz----------------------------------------     Moonlight and roses------------Together

Columbia D.B. 3075----------------------------------     Columbia D.B. 3171-------- ---Philips P.B. 131
Parade of the wooden soldiers------------------------  Walking to Missouri------------Little red monkey
The Anniversary Waltz-----------------------------------You belong to me---------------Till I waltz again with you

Philips P. B.171------------------------------------------ Philips P. B. 198----------------Philips P. B. 281
April in Portugal-----------------------------------------   'O' OH!------------------ -------     It had to be you
Have you heard?------------------------------------------ Crying in the chapel------ ----  I don't know why, but I do!

Philips P. B. 353------------------------------------------Philips P. B. 421---------------- Philips P. B. 471
Our favourite Waltz---------------------------------------When Irish eyes are smiling---You can't be true, dear
In the chapel in the moonlight--------------------------Galway Bay-------------------  ---Cuckoo Waltz

Philips P. B. 500------------------------------------------Philips P. B. 554----------------Philips P. B. 597
Dream-------------------------------------------------------  Hi-Lili,Hi-Lo------------------   -- Wunderbar
September in the rain-------------------------------------Sentimental journey--------- -- Over the waves

Philips P. B. 701------------------------------------------Philips P. B. 803                    Columbia C-2004
Melody of love-------------------------------------------- Scatterbrain                             Love Me, Love Me. Love Me                  
In the good old summertime----------------------------Masquerade                            Mistakes

                                                                                                                                         Vocals by Bob Carroll

Columbia C-2436                                                      Rondo 128                                Rondo 188
I Get So Lonely (Oh Baby Mine)                             You Can't Be True, Dear        Lady Of Spain (Instrumental)
The Little Old Mill                                                      Cuckoo Waltz
                         The Shades Are Down On Cobble Street
                                                                                                                                         Vocal by Eddie Vand

Columbia C-39002                                                   Broadcast 418                         Rondo R-206-A
Humouresque                                                            Cielito Lindo                             Our Chistmas Waltz
If You Could Love Me                                             Bummel Petro                            Star Of The East
                                                                                                                                         Vocals by
Karen Ford & Bill Snary

Broadcast 417                                                          Broadcast 450
Missurie Waltz                                                         Every Little Movement
Aloha OE                                                                   My Isle Of Golden Dreams

November 2007. Thanks to Andy Antonczyk for two Broadcast 78rpm records 417 and 450.

Many thanks to Andy Antonczyk for Rondo 128 and to Sally White for Rondo 188, Columbia 39002 and Broadcast 118. Columbia 2004 and 2436 were purchased via EBay.

11. 11. 07. Further thanks to Andy. I purchased the Rondo 78 "Our Christmas Waltz and Star Of The East via Ebay, which arrived broken. Andy kindly gave me the two tracks on CD. 

N.B. Records now listed in the correct order of label publication (left to right).

Other Esquire 78's available in the U.K.

5-008    Jumping Bean / Under A Red Umbrella
5-014    American Patrol / Casey Jones
5-074    Ciribiribin / Donkey Serenade
5-075    Lady Of Spain / Valencia
5-076    Little Prayers For Little People (Parts 1 & 2)
5-078    By The Waters Of Minnitonka / Little Brown Jug
5-080    After The Ball / Ting-a-ling
5-082    Skates Waltz / Take Me out To The Ball game
5-085    Five Foot Two With Eyes Of Blue / You, You, You Are The One
5-087    Cuckoo Waltz / Neapolitan Nights

First 78's were purchased at Telemech (Aberdeen) in the later 50's. Two were given to me by the chief projectionist "Mac", at the Majestic cinema around 1957/8. Most of the above 78's were renewed in 1982, being purchased at the 'Flea Market' in Reading, Berkshire. However the original records are still perfectly playable.

March/April 2001: These are the individual tracks I have come across since starting these web pages, or been given by the kindness of people who have made contact via the Internet:

N.B. All Labels marked as B = Broadcast, C = Columbia & R = Rondo

Missouri Waltz (B) (That upset the traditionalists! Nice piano & organ mix)
Ballad to a Lovely Lady B) (A lovely melody)
Markita (B)  (A strange tune for Ken to play, almost sounds off tune. It may grow on you!)
A Gay Ranchero (B) (Fast and rollicking)
American Patrol (R) (Patriotic, indeed. 'A' side to Casey Jones. Replaces my broken version)
Bummel Petros  (a great foot-tapping marching tune)
Redwing (B) (An old favourite, easy going. I seem to recall it being called Beautiful Little Redwing)
Mickey (B) (Different and very pleasant, very Ken Griffin)
Barcarolle (B) (Different from CD version) I reckon Offanbach would have loved both versions.
Half a Heart (R) (Whistle, and tap your foot to this catchy little number)
The Prune Song (B) (Jolly little number with the 'Griffin' lilt)
The Little Red Monkey (C) (Third from the top of my six most favourites by Ken)
And the Band Played On (R) (Ken's great Fun fair organ sound with percussion. How did he add those sounds!)
Beautiful Ohio C)
(A brilliant and beautiful tune)
Every Little Movement (1) (R) (Beautifully played. I recall this from an early Judy Garland film)
Apple Blossom Wedding (B) (Superb mix of organ and piano as only Ken can do it. Listen and relax with this one)
The Griffin Blues (B)
(Proving that Ken could out-boogie the best of them, at the organ. Brilliant. Get a copy and enjoy)
Tea for Two (R)
(A real foot tapper with neat key changing)
My Heart Cries for You (C) 
(A difficult tune for the organ but Ken carries it off nicely)
Do You Ever Think of Me (B)
(Another smoothie in the Ballad of a Lovely Lady style)
Miss You (R)
(A typical 'smooth' Griffin classic)
St. Louis Blues (B) (Subtably different from his CD version. Great. Try sitting still when listening this one)
My Blue Heaven (R) (Opens with Ken's well known 'bridge' tune and swings along with organ and piano)
Sentimental me (R)
(That 'bridge' tune start again and swings along on organ only)
Sentimental Journey (B)
(Older version on the American Patrol/Casey Jones organ. Very good train and whistle sounds)
Love was the cause of it all (R)
(Easy going in the same vein as Ballad to a Lovely Lady)
Yes sir that's my baby (R)
(As Eric would say its a "Wowser". Really swings. Great use of the deep Hammond sound)
Doodle, Doo Doo (vocal) (R)
(A bit dated but stands up well today. Pleasant vocals by Jerry Wayne)
You Can't be true, Dear (vocal) (R)
(The one that started it all, equally nice vocals. Come on now, lets all sing it!)

May 8th 2001: Thanks to Andy Antonczyk for finding all the tracks below and passing them onto me. They make a great addition to my collection:

You Can't Be True, Dear (C) (Yet another version)
Glow Worm (B) (Ken's early organ sound but faster than the 67 Melody Lane LP version)
Aloha AE (B) (
A different version from his LP version. Lovely use of the deep organ sound)
The Bells of St. Mary's (B)
(Very different to his later version (No Overdubbing),
Melody in F (B)
(A really nice, serious attempt by Ken to play this fine classical piece in it's proper style)
Lili Marlene (B)
(A jazzier version compared to the slow ES recording on 67 Melody Lane)
Darktown Strutters Ball (B)
(A real swinging/boogie number as only Ken could play it)
O' Why Did I Kiss That Girl (B) (
A very 'dry & witty' vocal showing Ken's having fun. Who's the vocalist?)
Indian Love Call (B)
(This has got to be the nearest Ken got the Hammond to sound like a pipe organ. Brilliant)
Lazy River (B)
(A jazzier version compared to the slow ES recording on 67 Melody Lane)
Valencia (R) (
Jazzier to the 67 Melody Lane LP version)
My Isle of Golden Dreams (B)
(A completely new song to me. Played in his Hawaiian style)
Every Little Movement (2) (B)
(An nice upbeat version. Surprising as it must have been recorded soon after the first)
Doodle-EE-Do (R)
(A great instrumental version of Doodle Doo Do. Very nice)
Casey Jones (R)
(Reverse side to American Patrol Great train sound and really swings)
Polka Pops (R)
(Starts like a completely different number but suddenly becomes Jumping Bean/Jukebox Polka)
Lady of Spain (R)
(Ken manages to make it sound as if there is a whole Combo playing)
The Shades Are Down On Cobble Street (R) (
Largely a vocal number. Very French and moody Who's the singer?..)
Neapolitan Nights (R)
(A delicate night-spot number with use of a concertina or melodeon)

July 20th 2000:. Another great thank you to Andy for sending these latest never before heard versions:

Cuckoo Waltz (R) (Completely different from previous two versions I have)
Donkey Serenade (R) ( A great version by Ken. Fine playing)
Naughty Waltz (B) (Don't know if I am missing something! Its very nice but not very naughty!)
I Can't Do Without You (C) (Sounds like another version of You Can't Be True, Dear!).
Till We meet Again (R) (A great version of Doris Day's great number)
If You Could Love Me (C) (Very melodious and moves along sweetly)
Humoresque (C) (The 78rpm version. I have it but can't play 78's at the moment, so loved hearing it again after so long)
Tiger Rag (R) (Fast and furious. Ken really puts the pressure on)
Beautiful Wisconsin (R) (Sweet but not as driving as Beautiful Ohio, Nice bell-like sound affect in background)
Souvenir Waltz (R) (Completely new tune to me, but very close to being Now is the Hour!).
Someday You'll want Me To Want You (R) (Unusually fast version of this well known number
Ti-Pi-Tin (R) (Wow! brilliant playing Totally different from 67 Melody Lane version. Just bet he loved playing this one)
Jolly Peter (B) (Bummel Petro with its English title)
Cielito Lindo (B) (Rather slower version than on the 45rpm Esquire version)

Update 20.12.01. (More great 78's from Andy)

Beautiful Wisconsin (R) (Improves somewhat with very nice vocal and words)
Brown Jug Polka (R)
(A very upbeat vocalist' number, in the humorous style of a Waltz Disney cartoon or by the City
                                        Slickers
If I Had You (R)
(Great vocalist who should have done well on his own merit. Ken's 'bridging' tune to bring it all together)
You Didn't Want Me When You Had Me (R) 
(Starts off almost as a Ken solo but he is joined by a very pleasant
                                                                                 vocalist)
You Darlin (R)'
(With vocals and orchestra. Ken gets lost a bit. You have to strain to hear him but very musical).
Bumble Bee on a Bender (R) (Keyboard Finger-crunching at its best)
Your My Love Song (R) (Sweet as a 'nut'. Lovely lilt)
The Miller's Daughter (R) (Jolly little number in two-step time)
Have You Heard (C)
(Nice to hear this again, as I can't play 78rpm records. One of my favourites)
Till I waltz Again With You (C) (I used to refuse to play this without a new needle, to hear the full frequency

The Christmas numbers are:

Christmas Organ - The Organ Plays At Christmas

R=Rondo-Iette  C=Columbia  B=Broadcast

1. JINGLE BELLS - R 
2. O TANNENBAUM - R
3. HARK THE HERALD ANGELS SING - R
4. IT CAME UPON A MIDNIGHT CLEAR - R
5. UP ON THE HOUSE TOP - R
6. WINTER WONDERLAND - R
7. SILENT NIGHT - R
8. ADESTE FIDELIS - R
9. THE FIRST NOEL - R
10. LITTLE TOWN OF BETHLEHEM - R
11. SANTA CLAUS IS COMING TO TOWN - R
12. AWAY IN A MANGER - R
13. JOY TO THE WORLD - C
14. SILENT NIGHT - C
15. SILVER BELL - C
16. RUDOLPH THE RED NOSED REINDEER - C
17. AWAY IN A MANGER - C
18. THE FIRST NOEL - C
19. ADESTE FIDELIS - C
20. LITTLE TOWN OF BETHLEHEM - C
21. KRINGLE’S JINGLE - C
22. HERE COMES SANTA CLAUS - C
23. I'll BE HOME FOR CHRISTMAS - C
24. WHITE CHRISTMAS - C
25. SILENT NIGHT - B
26. JOY TO THE WORLD - B
27. WHITE CHRISTMAS - B
28. SANTA CLAUSE IS COMING TO TOWN - B
29. LITTLE TOWN OF BETHLEHEM - B
30. ADESTE FIDELIS - B

Ken's Christmas songs were produced on 78's, EP's and LP's. One interesting LP was produced (I believe by Reader's Digest) as a box set, alongside an LP by Guy Lombardo.

(Update June 2002)

Another nice group of tracks from Andy and while most are the same numbers as on my LP's these below are all new to me or slightly different versions from the recordings I already have:

Have You Ever Been Lonely (B)  Ken's 'early' organ sound with a very sweet swing rhythm. 
My Life's Story (B)
Interesting medley of numbers covering the basics of life, from the Wedding March, to the arrival of
                                    the family (Rock-a-by-Baby) and ending with Oh For the Wings of an Angel. Use of a baby crying
                                    sound, from the organ.
Music, Music, Music (R)
Slightly raunchy but bouncy rhythm, again on the 'early' organ sound 
College Medley (R)
Very American College type numbers I have not heard before except for Blaze Away. 
Stardust (R)
The is a lovely little number with a very lilting swing but played with great respect for the number.  
Wabash Blues (R)
This is another 'Classic' by Ken that goes with his Griffin Blues and Apple Blossom Wedding. Really
                                  sets your feet tapping.

Once again my thanks to Andy for helping me to now get very close to the complete collection of Ken's recordings. Or, are there even more surprises to be found yet!

Update November 2002:

My thanks to Brian Wessel for sending a couple of CD's of Ken's music. While I already have the majority of  tracks there are four of which I have not heard before and pleased to add to my collection. Two of them include vocals by the same singer.

In A Chapel By The Side Of The Road (C )
Rosary Lane (C )
These are lovely numbers, probably more known in America than elsewhere. Both are semi religious
                               songs where the vocalist takes the lead while the very well known and established 'Griffin Sound' plays
                               in the background and takes centre stage for the very musical bridging arrangement. The singer has a
                               very pleasant and pure musical voice, very reminiscent of the 40's and 50's. Ken should have recorded
                               more in this style of presentation, which would have made a great LP or CD presentation.
Yah, Dear (C ) 100% Ken Griffin, at the Hammond, played in his favourite organ settings, in the same manner as You
                           Can't  Be True, Dear or Have You Heard. Very Sweet.
Louisiana Waltz (C )
This is a completely different arrangement than on the 67 Melody Lane LP or the other known 78rpm version. Played on the Hammond in the same arrangement style s Hi-Lili Hi-Lo, and using his well known 'bell' sound. This number sounds great in whatever arrangement Ken plays it and remains a firm favourite. It's an added bonus that it is also one of Ken's own compositions.
Glow Worm (C )
 Again, a very different version from that on 67 Melody Lane. Nice solid Hammond sound in a steady 
beat but as it continues Ken adds his subtle 'bounce' to the melody and key changes which make it a joy to listen to.

12.07.03    Other Rondo 78/45rpm records:

R-128  You can't Be True, Dear
             Cuckoo Waltz
R-129  Ciribiribin
            Donkey Serenade
R-130  Doodle-Doo-Doo
            American Patrol
R-134  Polka Pops
            Casey Jones
R-135  Every Little Movement
            Valencia
R-137  If I Had You
            Little Brown Jug
R-146 You Darlin' (Lang Thompson's Orchestra)
           Bumble Bee On A Bender (Ken Griffin)
R-186  You're My Love Song
            The Miller's Daughter
R-189  Neapolitan Nights
            After The Ball


Below: Oct. 2002. Copied from an EBay.com web page, by seller Lesrecords, Winnipeg, Canada:

"Ken Griffin, nationally known organist, who got his start in Aurora, first became popular in Aurora as a featured entertainer in the West Side Beer Garden. He later moved up River Street to Mike Covelli's Rivoli, where he scored a success with his WMRO broadcasts. From the Rivoli, Griffin went on to national fame and last season was the top selling organist in the country with his waxings for Columbia.

--------------------------------------------

28. 02. 04. Seen of Ebay. A German label that I have not heard of before, with a very nice mix of Black, Gold and blue. The Record number is UD 21352 and the tracks are: Ti-Pi-Tin and Bumblebee On A Bender.

 
If you come across any other labels please let me know about them.

January 2005.

More grateful thanks to Mike McCormick of Oklahoma for sending me the box-set of three 78's by Broadcast of Ken's "Christmas Music

The 78's are:
Broadcast 500 Silent Night & Joy To The World
Broadcast 501 Santa Clause Is Coming To Town & White Christmas
Broadcast 502 O Little Town Of Bethlehem & Adeste Fideles (O Come All Ye Faithful)

Another very welcome addition to my collection of Ken's records.

Also enclosed was a signed photo by Ken to a fan, which Mike purchased On EBay and has very kindly sent onto me. It is an excellent photo of Ken with his well known 'smile.

16. 06. 05.

Two Columbia 78's added to my collection. They have ben added at the end of the 78 rpm list at the top of this page. They are: Love Me, Love Me, Love Me, which is sung by Bob Carroll and based on Tchakovski's 'Waltz Of The Flowers', and Mistakes, again, sung by Bob Carroll.

The second 78 is: I Get So Lonely, which is Oh Baby Mine with a different title and identical to this Columbia recording, and The Little Old Mill, which again, is the known Columbia arrangement.
Purchased from Stephen Roger of Montreal, Canada via EBay. Both 78's are in very good condition.
  

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