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Acknowledgements:

We would like to take a moment to acknowledge the hard work done by our previous web master, Chet Rataski. Most of the information here was collected and compiled by him. In addition, he donated the web space for our web pages since first publication.

 

         Chet plays the organ at Williams High School which was once installed in his home.

 

 

Another important person is Rex Ward, house organist at the Paramount Center for the Arts, in Bristol, Tennessee. Rex performs for the Paramount when ever the call is issued. He is a member of the AGO and thru their programs at the theatre has set record attendances for an organ program.

Rex at the Wurlitzer Theatre Pipe Organ in the Paramount - Bristol, Tenn.

Tommy Landrum

 Tommy was a great friend to the theatre organ. I think this photo of him working in his “Tee” Shirt will be as I remember him. During my 25 years in Richmond it was Tommy and Dick Barlow who looked after the Byrd, the Mosque (now Landmark Theatre), and the Loews (now the Carpenter Center) WurliTzers. He was also a great friend to PTOS. He would come down to North Carolina for the weekend and help with the organ in the home of Dr. Paul Abernethy, Elon College, Bristol, and Lumberton. It was during the Bristol installation that he passed away. He was an employee of the Telephone Company and during his retirement physical they discovered the cancer that would take his life in a few years.

 There was no job too small for this man. He would say: “As long as it is something that needs to be done to make the organ go again, do it.”

 We always talk about the “Theatre Ghost”. I and one other swear that we saw Tommy there two different times the night the Paramount in Bristol opened. I’d like to think that he is there watching over us.

 

Tommy Landrum Solo Chamber Elon College Wurlitzer

And one last person without his support and constant presents the Paramount Organ might not exist, Mr. James Repass. Jimmy was there from the moment we unloaded the organ in Bristol, to every single work session, and all concerts and programs. Jimmy loved the organ and we know he is still enjoying the music from heaven.

It is opening night at the Paramount and Mac Abernethy (left) and Jimmy Repass (right) try and get some work in before the show.

 

   

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Last updated: 02/28/14.

 

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