Australian Connections

December 2002

A hearty welcome to Bruce McLean from Victoria, Australia. Bruce writes:

         I have just discovered your Ken Griffin page on my first internet search to find if there has been a CD release of a favourite Ken Griffin track of mine called "In An Eighteen Century Drawing Room".

I have it on a Australian EP released on the Columbia Label. The other tracks are "Cecile Waltz", "Louise" and "Side by Side". My parents purchased the EP in the mid 50's. I was playing the EP this afternoon and this spurred me to get onto the net. Whilst I was only 12 years old when Ken died, this EP has always been an enduring favourite for the last 47 years.

Bruce McLean.

In response to my reply and for information on Australian releases Bruce replies:

I have discovered the following Australian releases so far.
LP - Let's Have A Party - Coronet (CBS) KLP655
(Cover modified from the one on your tribute site)
EP (No Title) SEG07502 Tracks as per my original message.
EP - Lost In A Cloud - Coronet KEP011
Half As Much, No Other Love, Sentimental Journey, Oh Baby Mine
Last two releases in early 60's.

Bruce McLean.

30. 12. 02. Bruce also gives details of the Australian LP Coronet SKLP 402 'Hymns' Ken Griffin at the Wurlitzer Organ.. This is a 12" LP and all tracks are by Ken, unlike my Philips LP, which has Kirby Griffin sharing with his uncle, and includes two tracks I have not known of before 'I Love To Tell The Story' and 'God Be With You'.
(Comment: Was these recordings really on the Wurlitzer! I am sure they are all on the Hammond on the Philip's record!).

Update:  Sorry, I got confused over the above recording, and of course, it was played on the Wurlitzer Electrostatic. However it proves just how well Ken managed to turn the rather 'watery' sounding organ as played on the 67 Melody Lane TV show, and produced many great arrangements that make it sound like another organ altogether and very close to the more 'heavy' sound of the Hammond. I remember aquaintences, back in the 60's, who thought that the Wurlitzer Elecrostatic was in fact a pipe organ and there were some little arguments about that. It seems that in the U.K., at least, the Wurlitzer was seldom given mention and only on the cover text of 67 Melody Lane is it mentioned a couple of times. However, I was always aware that over the years Ken played at least three makes of organ, though the Hammond was always obvious. The third organ, of course, was the Conn.

Here is the front cover picture and the text on the back cover, which Bruce has  kindly sent:



It is interesting that some Australian LP's have different titles and also contain tracks in different formation than the American or U.K. LP's. In particular, are, Console Concert, County Fair and Remember. Having the titles and record numbers is helpful for any discology anyone may be getting together.

The LP's mentioned in the above photo, are:

CONSOLE CONCERT - SKIP 002. 10” LP - You Can’t Be True, Dear - Dipsy Doodle - Red Sails In the Sunset - Cuckoo Waltz - In A Shanty In Old Shanty Town - Scatterbrain.

COUNTY FAIR - SKIP 003. 10” LP - Over The Waves - Whispering - Block Beauty March - Beer Barrel Polka - In The Good Old Summertime - I’m Confessin'

HAWAIIAN SERENADE - SKIP 020. 10” LP - Blue Hawaii - Sweet Leilani - Drifting and Dreaming - King's Serenade - Songs of the Islands - Song of Old Hawaii - Golden Sends and Silvery Sea - Aloha Oe.

WHEN IRISH EYES ARE SMILING - SKIP 023. 10” LP - When Irish Eyes Are Smiling - I’ll Take You Home Again Kathleen - Mary’s A Grand Old Name - Where The River Shannon Flows - Galway Bay, Danny Boy - Peggy O’NeiI - Mother Machree.

ANNIVERSARY SONGS - SKLP 025. 10” LP. - Anniversary Waltz   Waltz - When Your Hair Has Turned to Silver - Let Me Cell You Sweetheart - Together - Anniversary Song - Because Wonderful One - I Love You Truly.

CRUISING DOWN THE RIVER - KIP 523. 12” LP - Cruising Down the River - On the Banks of the Wabash Far Away - Red River Valley - Down the River of Golden Dreams - By the River Saint Marie - River Away From My Door - Swanee River - Lazy River - Moonlight on the CoIorado - O'l Man River - Beautiful Ohio - Down By the Old Mill Stream.



YOU CANT BE TRUE. DEAR - KLP 573 2 LP -You Can’t Be True Dear - You Belong to Me - You, You, You - Side by Side - September Song - Oh How I Miss You Tonight - Open Up Your Till We Two Are One - Somebody Else Is Taking My Place - My Heart Cries For You Far Away Places - Bells of St. Mary’s.

REMEMBER KLP 631. 12" LP - September In the Rain - Somebody Else Is Taking My Place - Cuckoo Waltz Remember - Moonbeams - Masquerade - Ain't She Sweet - I’m Always Chasing Rainbows - Little Brown Jug - The Band Played On - We All Need. Love - Your'e My, Love Song. 

MY BEST TO YOU - KLP 626. 12” LP - Ebb Tide - Yah, Dear - It Had to Be You - I Don't Know Why - Flirtation Waltz - Lonesome - My Best To You - Ferry-Boat Serenade - You Are My Sunshine - My Dreams Are Getting Better All The Time - I Need You Now.

HAWAIIAN MAGIC - KLP 651. 12” LP -. Island Magic - Song of the Islands - King's King's Serenade - A Song of Old Hawaii - Drifting and Dreaming -Now Is The Hour - Harbour Lights - Golden Sands and Silvery Sea - Sweet Leilani - Hawaiian Red Sails in the Sunset - Aloha Oe.

 LOVE LETTERS IN THE SAND - KLP 637. 12’ LP - Love Letters In The Sand - Whispering - I’m Confessin’ - Isle of Capri - Our Favourite Waltz -Somebody Else Is Taking My Place- The Girl That Marry - I Can't Do Without You - You Can’t TeII A Lie to Your Heart - All Alone ~. When 1 Lost You - The Song is Ended.


The Cover text is:

Though organist Ken Griffin is best known for his popular collection, a list of which is shown here, the music heard on this LP was very dear to Ken's heart. During his army service, before popularity of fame had descended on him, his happiest moments were spent playing chapel organs, in those parts of the world that the army, in it's wisdom, drafted him. This collection is doubly significant then. It not only presents for the first time a complete programme of popular hymns from the best selling popular organist of them all, it paints a vivid picture of a devoted artist playing the music he loved most of all.

08.01.03: Further thanks to Bruce for sending a nice little package, which included a data CD with Railway pictures in and around his home town in Australia. But this also included a tape cassette of two of Ken's hymn tracks that didn't appear on the U.K. version, which Ken shared with his nephew, Kirby. These are, I Love To Tell The Story and God Be With You, which I am pleased to add to my collection. Bruce also kindly sent me scans of the two record labels, which are shown below.


Also on this tape is a complete recording of an LP by Stanfield Holliday, playing at the Mighty Wurlitzer, at the Hoyt's "Regent" Theatre, in Melbourne. This Wurlitzer and the grand cinema has an interesting story, which you may enjoy seeing and reading about, at:

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