Organs…Not Just For Church Music

( – promoted by buhdydharma )

During my growing up years, I attended church at least 3 times a week. Always associated with church for me was the music. And organs have always been a big part of that. But somewhere in the mid-60’s rock-n-roll bands discovered organs and added them to the traditional instrumentation of guitar, bass and drums. Oftentimes, this combination provided some of the most powerful music of the 60’s. So today, I’d like to take you on a trip down memory lane with the organ.

Throughout I’ll provide wiki links to the songs because each of them was such a breakthrough in music that they are surrounded by intrigue and mythology.

The first is from The Animals and was recorded in 1964. Here’s House of the Rising Sun.

Next is The Doors from 1967 with Light My Fire.

The next one is perhaps my favorite. Recorded in 1967 by Procol Haram is A Whiter Shade of Pale. This song, more than any other, reaches in my soul and brings up the deep feelings of distress that are associated with those turbulent years. As a young sheltered 13 year old at the time, I was not provided with the opportunity to process what was happening in our country at the time. But listening to this song reminds me that I felt it all nevertheless.

I’ll need two youtubes to cover the last one because it is the classic 17 minute song released in 1968 by Iron Butterfly titled In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida. This song is mostly remembered for the ground-breaking drum solo. But I love the organ solo as well. Funny story about this one…As I was listening to it one day in my room my mother walked in. Now mind you, if she heard the whole song and saw the title, that record would have been history!! But she walked in during the organ solo and commented “That’s a nice song, NL.” So my mom was into Iron Butterfly…who knew?!!!

The organ solo starts at the beginning of the second video. But if you skip to there, you’ll miss the drum solo. So I say, take a 17 minute break from your day and listen to the whole thing.

56 comments

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    • RiaD on April 12, 2008 at 5:32 pm

    after katrina….. it brought me to tears then & still does now….

    amazing grace is one of the songs we sing at every hooley…not that we are religious people (at. all.) it has just always been done in mrD’s family…

    every sunday after dinner we’d gather on mema & papa’s porch & everyone break out their instruments, the little kids given wooden spoons to bang, the bigger ones got silver spoons….everyone encouraged to play…if you only knew one chord~well play it when it comes around! (a beautiful time/days that i miss horribly)

    anyway i thought you’d appreciate this….

    • nocatz on April 12, 2008 at 6:09 pm

    Listen here people!

    Jimmy Smith.


  1. check out these other kings of the mighty B-3 organ:

    Richard (Groove) Holmes

    (Brother) Jack McDuff

    Charles Earland

    (Big) John Patton

    Dr. Lonnie Smith

    Jimmy McGriff

    Joey DeFrancesco

    Johnny Hammond Smith

    among others….may the groove be with you!  : )

    • Edger on April 12, 2008 at 7:38 pm

    • Edger on April 12, 2008 at 8:01 pm

  2. has a question

    Anyone know how to change a date on an essay for future publication?

    Thanks for the music and sorry to interupt

  3. (a) I did not know I had SUPER POWERS – you made my day

    (b) You didn’t mind the rude interruption

    (c) Nope, that didn’t work. I prepublished the wrong date by about 10 days – meaning April 22 instead of 12

    Now would someone with super powers do something that stupid???

    No worries – I’ll figure out – BACK TO ORGAN MUSIC

    • RiaD on April 12, 2008 at 10:45 pm

    when i was teenager… shaped alot of my thinking, they did…

    i’m not really sure about any organs, but there are orchestras…

  4. http://afp.google.com/article/

    as the diary I wrote and timed incorrectly for publication was about Cheney’s plan for was with with Iran – I thought I would at least get this out…no one is taking responsibility


  5. nocatz beat me to the punch on Jimmy Smith, so here is some classic Jackie Mittoo, organist and arranger for the Skatalites, among his other credits.

    Toooooo coooool.

    • escapee on April 12, 2008 at 11:52 pm

    my very first Philadelphia Orchestra concert.  One of the things they did was ‘Also Sprach Zarathustra’, the 2001 music.

    There’s a ginormous pipe organ in Verizon Hall, and when that guy hit the one note that opens the piece, the building shook.  It was just amazing.  I’d love to hear that organ playing actual organ music!

    • RiaD on April 13, 2008 at 1:22 am

    • nocatz on April 13, 2008 at 3:08 am

    whoever posted this at YT is from Cleveland.  Our early 60’s Friday Night horror movie host was Ghoulardi (Ernie Anderson, father of Paul Thomas Anderson the director)and how cool could you be to have Jimmy Mc as your opening theme music.

    One of Ghoulardi’s signature lines was Turn Blue.

  6. D.O.A.

    I could never quite get stoned enough to fully appreciate this one like some of my friends did. I sure tried though.

  7. and wouldn’t you know it, the only one I could find has no organ in it and it’s cut short. screw it, I’m postin’ it anyway.

  8. Here’s an early example-Season of the Witch.

    Trinity w/ Julie Driscoll



    And something more recent-

    Tell the Truth w/ Savannah Auger

  9. I can’t really blame my husband for telling me one hour ago that I am worthless and without him I would be homeless

    I am sure there are of vets from Iraq who also suffered TBI’s who after being told this choose to live off the street. We do have our pride.

    He can keep his stinking money

    And The Car

    And the cell

    even my ID

    and the laptop

    I am leaving in 5 minutes with 5 dollars in change

    BreathingStill will prevail

    Riad – can you see that my last essay gets published

    Tear now so I must go.

    I love you all

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