"Earliest Connections Pt Two"
17.10.01. A welcome to Mike MacCormick from Oklahoma, who writes:
.As a longtime Ken Griffin fan I was glad to run across your supplement to the official website a few days ago; my hat is off to the enlightening information! Having just turned 49 I well remember Mr. Griffin's music well from growing up in the halcyon days of the idyllic '50s, particularly listening to the old Broadcast 78s. So here are a couple of trivia questions maybe you can help me with: First, when did the Broadcast material fit in...before Rondo? ...at the same time, just pressed at a different plant? Does anyone have a definitive Broadcast discography on Ken Griffin with release dates narrowed down to the precise year? Also, can you tell me about what year the 45 in the scan was recorded and/or released? (I'm wanting to put in on my jukebox (a '54 AMi) and would like to place it in chronological order with the other records.) So much material has been reissued over the years that it's hard to keep straight.
Your pages make for some great reading, to say the least. Yeah, I didn't like that one guy's reference either to Ken Griffin being a 'boring' organist; I thought 'boring' my...foot, how can anyone listen to the reaching-out and the receding of the waves in "Ebb Tide" (now that oughta be released for CD listening), the complicated "Polka Pops" or "Bumblebee on a Bender," the mysterioso he puts into "I Saw You With My Heart" or the locomotive effects on "Sentimental Journey" and write it off as dull in any sense of the word. Too, I didn't realize Mr. Griffin since passed on until coming upon the website about a year ago. And at a much-too-young 46, couldn't you have envisioned him having kept working through the music of the '60s and '70s, doing excellent renditions of "The Benefit of Mr. Kite" and "Black Magic Woman"? (well, think about it...)
45 rpms didn't arrive on the market until 1949, so I know the Rondo single can't be older than that. It gets confusing with the Columbia, Rondo and Broadcast recordings being different. Hopefully someone will compile a once-and-for-all Ken Griffin discography someday, taking all the guesswork out of dating these older recordings. Thanks too for the CD info, except that I also have that two-fer! Hopefully Collectables will come out with more two-fers in the future, as much Ken Griffin music is out there. (I also have the only other two CDs that I know are released -- Magic Organ Moods and Waltz Favorites; you probably have 'em too.) This scan is a copy of the record that got it all started for me, with the title misspelled. I must've been three or so, making it '55 or '56 when I latched onto it. Later we skated to that at the skating rink. I've never seen a Broadcast 78 prior to #400.
Again, thanks for your tribute pages, and any help you can supply as to the Broadcast / Rondo confusion would be appreciated. Thanks -- Mike McCormickThanks to Mike too, also, for finding this 10" version of Skating Time, which has a completely different cover picture than the 12" LP or CD versions.
I remembered later where that Discography was! It is by Donald Bourdreaux and you will find it on the Memorial Home Page, between the section advertising the two-fer, CD Skating Time & Favourite Waltzes and the 'signed' B&W Picture of Ken. The Discography is very good but it lacks enough actual dates of production, but you should find it of interest.
I wrote to Donald Bourdreaux for some more information on the Discography and the possibility of updates to the list and he replied:
Very sorry but I don't have any information other than what is in the discography. I don't have any dates on any of them either. I also tried to get the date information from Columbia but they don't even answer. I was Secretary of the Buddy Clark Fan Club for many years and we were never able to get any information from them on him either so it isn't just you. The only place you might any information would be Ken's sister as I believe she has all his recordings and other belongings. I know she has copies of his TV shows which I have tried for years to get but never have even seen one. Sure wish something like that would show up on Ebay or one of those places. I don't have any idea as to whether the Rondo or Broadcast were recorded first. Good luck in your search, if you find any more information I sure would like to get it too.
Well, while Donald cant help he does in fact point out the sad lack of relations big record companies such as CBS have with their customers these days. At once time you could write to any big company and their public relation department would quickly reply, if only to say they couldn't help, but as my letters from Philips on the Obituary shows, they were only too happy to help. What's happened since then! Are big companies only interested in profit these days and have a total disrespect for their costumers! My last two letters to CBS were never replied to. So come on guys, if any of you are possibly reading these pages, is it really too much effort to reply to your customers? Big name stars such as Ken Griffin helped make your company the success it is, giving a little back isn't going to hurt!
As well as welcoming Donald to our group I would also like to thank him for introducing another new contact, this time Alan Lovell who lives in, Suffolk, England. Alan was looking for a copy of Ken's Scatterbrain and was very pleased to hear about the Memorial Web site and these pages. We also shared discussion on the problem that Eric Larson has to get his proposed CD "A Tribute to Ken Griffin" onto the market, while working on his own. perhaps this will interest anyone else who may be in the same position. Alan wrote:
What a wonderful surprise to find someone who likes Ken Griffin after all these years. Thank you for that recording. It was lovely to hear it again. It is not the one I used as there was a lot of percussion in this one of yours, whereas I think that the recording I used was really just what you would think was purely organ.
Many years ago my Father in Law and I opened a recording studio in Manor Park, London and apart from recording pop groups and wedding we cut LP discs. The dearest part was producing the masters, but you could if you wish produce one record only if required. The cost now must be a lot cheaper to produce CDs rather than discs. All that is required is a master tape. Any sound recording engineer is capable of doing that provided that the item has been recorded to a high standard preferably by a digital recorder. America should be geared up for this but you could get quotes from this country and compare the two. The only other thing to watch is copyright of the songs. You will be surprised that Scatterbrain is still inside the copyright law. Copyright generally runs out at 50 years but why this has been extended I do not know. There are two companies that deal with copyright in this country. One is the Mechanical Copyright Protection Society and the other is the Performing Rights Society.
Well Bill thank you again for your help, it really is appreciated.
"Moments to Remember" CD
I have a copy of the first draft CD that Eric Larson has made and it really is nice. A worthy tribute to Ken, and possibly the closest anyone has ever got to playing and sounding like him. The finished CD should be a real treat. One tune, on the Wurlitzer ES stood out, from the first seconds of hearing it. It is a most lovely tune called "Moments to Remember", which I am sure I know, from many years past. Eric plays it virtually as Ken may have done if he had known of it, but while listening to it you can swear it is Ken himself playing it. A simple 'melodious' tune linked together with Ken's 'bridging' tune, that is as smooth as silk, in the playing style of Ken's Moonbeams or September in the Rain. This CD just cries out for success and when it eventually gets onto the market you can be sure to read about it on these pages..
RECORD COVER IDEA!
Having received the record cover scans from Mike and Johs's one (above) from Denmark, I wondered if it would be a good idea to ask anyone reading this if they could send me scans of their versions of The Cuckoo Waltz and You Can't Be True, Dear so that we can build up as many covers in all the labels and languages these two tunes appeared in. I look forward to hearing from you and adding your scans to these pages.
I have since come across this scan of the Rondo 78rpm version of Cuckoo Waltz. Can you add others!