Meinert – From Devonport, Iowa. Margerie appeared on the Ken
Griffin 1954 TV series
"67 Melody Lane".
She produced a number of L.P. records at the Hammond Organ.
"67 Melody Lane".
01. 10. 09: Sent by Bryon Young.
By Linda Cook (Quad City Times)
Musician and television personality Marjorie Meinert left a legacy of musical memories and TV history. Meinert, 88, died Saturday night, according to her husband, Eugene Belles, of Bettendorf. He said services are pending at Cunnick-Collins Mortuary, Davenport.
Meinert was a musical child prodigy. When she was 3 years old, she received a harmonica in her Christmas stocking and immediately played "Silent Night" on it, according to a story from 1972 in the Quad-City Times. At the age of 7, Meinert played the piano on the WGN radio station in Chicago.
At one time, she appeared on five radio shows and five television shows weekly. She began performing on WOC radio in 1943 and was one of the first stars on then-WOC (now KWQC) television in the early 1950s.
"Marjorie was one of our truly big-timers," said Quad-City Times columnist Bill Wundram, who knew Meinert for many years. "Not only was she beautiful, but she also was talented."
She was a member of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, or ASCAP, the American Guild of Authors and Composers, Song Writers' Hall of Fame, and the National Association of Recording Arts and Sciences. She recorded at least 13 organ albums, and nine of them were her own originals. Her first recording was her own "Electronic Boogie" and "The Whistler."
Other Quad-City television personalities also recalled Meinert fondly. Among them is Ernie Mims, ("Captain Ernie" to thousands of Quad-Citians) of Bettendorf.
"We played together, me and my trumpet and she and her organ or piano." Mims said. "She had her own show with Channel 6 before I even got there."
Mims said Meinert also had a "longtime gig at Jumer's - she played cocktail piano."
After graduating from Clinton High School in Clinton, Iowa, Meinert studied at the University of Dubuque, where she enhanced her skills on the pipe organ. She worked at the Clinton radio station KROS with the original staff and came to WOC in Davenport in 1943 for a duo-piano program with the late George Sontag called "Twin Piano Time." She also had an organ and piano program with Sontag and also performed solo piano shows. She studied organ in Chicago with NBC network artist Lou Webb.
She wrote the popular "Dream and Awakening," a composition she used as the theme for her television show "Musical Moods."
Mims also remembers her duets with Sontag. "She and George Sontag had a program, 'Trip the Trio.' People would request a song and one of the three would know, or not know, what the song was."
Wundram remembers Meinert for once playing as a guest soloist with on the "Lawrence Welk Show." "She and I both liked circuses," he said. "She made an album called 'Calliope Capers.' And she was always saying, 'This was dedicated to you, Billy."
She traveled extensively with her music, including a coast-to-coast concert tour to introduce the electronic piano, touring with Fred Waring in concerts that also included performances in Canada. She appeared with the big bands of Alvino Rey and Vaughan Monroe. She also appeared on the Arthur Godfrey television show.
She did a show with the late Eddie Howard in Palm Desert, Calif., playing "Electronic Boogie" and performed "Dream and Awakening" as a guest with Sontag on the Kate Smith show.
She recorded for RCA, where she shared an engineer with the late Perry Como. Her RCA albums include "Serenade for Lovers," "Viva la Difference," "Front Row Center," "Sitting Pretty," "Hi-Fi and Mighty," "Flying Fingers" and "Organ Fireworks."
She married Charles Flynn in 1949 when he was a student at Palmer College of Chiropractic. She later married Eugene Belles Oct. 5, 1974, and he survives.
In 1972, she visited Clinton High School for a special day in her honor. Her first musical composition was Clinton's alma mater, written when she was a junior. She accompanied the high school chorus on her special day.
Longtime journalist and author, Julie Jensen McDonald, of Davenport, interviewed Meinert. "I remember she played 'Flight of the Bumblebee' like a maniac," McDonald said. "Some critic said of her, 'Her name may be Meinert, but her talent is major.' "
Anita Sundin, of Davenport, recalls Meinert's incredible talent. Sundin worked at then-WOC from 1953 until 1984.
"One thing I remember about her, for awhile there, the room where she practiced was right next to ... (the continuity department) where I worked. And I used to love to hear her practice.
"It was such a pleasure - because she was so good."
Bryon commented that it was a shame the the author wasn't aware of her appearance on Ken's 67 Melody Lane/
are two links to information and photographs of Marjorie whom along with George
Sontag were the musical force on Radio
WOC TV 6 and WOC Radio 1420 at Davenport, Iowa from 1949 to the 1970's. The links are to the Captain Ernie's Showboat web
site, which is dedicated to TV programmes and many musicians of the time. Go to the Home page where you will find the links
down the left hand side of the page. http://www.captainerniesshowboat.com/
The direct links to Marjorie's photos are here.....