Study note - Don Baker
Born: 1903 St Thomas, Ontario, Canada
Rivoli and Rialto, New York, then opened Brooklyn Paramount. Staten Island Paramount, then toured England's Granada circuit in 1933, opening Granada Edmonton. Recorded Granada, Tooting. Staff organist at Paramount New York 1935 onwards. Later was a demonstrator for Conn organs, and played at several pizza parlours in the 1960s and 1970s.
His dramtic style of playing was characterised by lengthy arrangements of songs with wide dynamic variations. He broadcast frequently and made a few recordings at the studio in the Paramount Theatre, New York. In the LP days he made many more recordings.
The samples of his playing available on The Virtual Radiogram display an exciting technique that contrasted with most earlier American theatre organ recordings. One can imagine that they had quite a dramtic impact when released. It is perhaps a surprise that he did not record them in the Paramount theatre auditorium, as Reginald Foort had made some successful recordings for Decca in 1935 on that organ.