This is an in-depth tour of the 1928 IV/36 "Fox Special" Wurlitzer theatre pipe organ in the pit of the fabulous Fox Theatre in Saint Louis, Missouri. This instrument along with the theatre's II/11 lobby Wurlitzer, the Wurlitzers in the Saint Louis City Museum and Lincoln Theatre in Belleville, Illinois, and the big IV/51 Kimball in the Auditorium of the Saint Louis Scottish Rite Cathedral located one block away from the fabulous Fox Theatre are all maintained by a team from the Saint Louis Theatre Organ Society under the direction of head organ technician, Mr. Alan Haker.
The IV/36 Fox Special Wurlitzer was the largest model in regular production at the time, only 7 were built each of which came with two 50-horse blowers, and this is the only one of the 7 still in its original location and fully playable. In Part One of this video Dr. Steven Ball demonstrates to Mr. Brent Johnson the operation of the console, including its voices, effects, mechanical controls, and how these voices sound singly and in combination. One notes with Dr. Ball's playing the seemingly effortless control and the fact that every note was memorized. The operation of the lift is also demonstrated which, along with Dr. Ball's playing, gives a good idea of the original sound and experience of this instrument as it was back in 1929 when the Theatre opened.
In Part Two Mr. Haker takes Brent Johnson on a crawl through the 7 chambers of this organ which includes the Main, Foundation (high pressure), and Diaphone chambers located behind elevated tone grilles Stage Right (Audience left) and the Solo, Orchestral (high pressure), Percussion, and Piano chambers located behind elevated tone grilles Stage Left (Audience right). The blower room and relay room of this organ are also displayed.
We offer our highest compliments and sincerest thanks to Dr. Ball as well as Mr. Johnson, Mr. Haker, and a host of others for producing this instructive video and posting it for public viewing.
To take the crawl through the pipe chambers of this organ, please use this link: