"Still a lot of bounce"
For those who think that the Hammond organ sound, and Ken's playing style is only for the older generation, it is heartening to hear from Neville Hurt, who lives in Sunderland, England, who is just 30 and is keen to play a modern instrument in both these fashions. Neville writes:
"I'd like to tell you about myself and my love of Ken Griffin. He is a true inspiration to me.
I am an amateur organist, who is completely self taught - but it would be nice in the future if I could either make my own records or get a record company interested - it doesn't matter how small.
I currently play a TECHNICS GA1 organ. And yes, I can play that Griffin sound or as close as you are ever likely to get. I started to play Ken's music in his "Bum Titti" style (as I call it- so much better than Oomp Pah Pah - makes him sound like his music is just German stuff!) on Yahama EL 15. I had no idea Ken's organ was a Hammond. Yes it's great music but some people would think that organ sound would be dreadful for a Hammond! My playing does sound like an old Hammond is being played!
I started with The Cuckoo Waltz. I'd had the sound on the Jazz Organ preset and was just fooling about. I hit the notes C and E and got the cuckoo - I just had to start with Ken's music! It is said that his "Bum Tutti" style is hard to do. With me I find it easy and can easily stay in the strict waltz tempo. It really brings some tunes to life! "Bum" describes the deep pedal and "titti" describes the weaker chords I think!
You Can't Be True Dear followed but without Ken's middle section! I was given a 78 record of this tune with The Cuckoo Waltz. Then I found in a Nottingham (where I was living at the time) charity shop a Hawaiian LP done by Ken. So, "Sweet Leilani" "Aloha Oe" "Song Of The Islands" all came into my life with that waltz style.
Then I got another LP and "Because" "Let Me Call You Sweetheart" "Together" "I Love You Truly" all happened. I got the "Because" registration on your website - it is the "unique Ken" one.
I'm now getting these tunes done on my new TECHNICS GA1 in my new home in Sunderland, England. I use the drawbars on it with a slow tremolo - that sounds like the vibrato. I also put some distortion into the sound at times to get that old feeling.
I'm 30, that's young for someone who plays the work of Ken plus other organists such as Klaus Wunderlich and Reginald Dixon. I like the seaside Hammond playing of Tony Savage - as featured on Channel 4's SHORT STORIES: A SEASIDE ORGANIST! Do other people know of him and his Hammond?"
Good luck Neville and I hope this is an inspiration for other younger musicians to consider taking up this sound and style of music. To quote Ken, from the 67 Melody Lane films "It may be an oldie but it's still got a lot of bounce"