Sunday, October 19, 2008

At the Organ Grinder Vol. 2

Hey Gang! Sorry for taking a while to get something new on here, but school and work have been playing havoc with what little free time I have. Here's something odd to throw in here though. I don't know if Organ Grinder Pizza was a chain or not, but one of their primary features was their huge pipe organ. This album features some of the music played on that instrument. It's a pretty eclectic mix here (YMCA??), and I hope you like it!

Organ Grinder Pizza closed in 1996, but this site has some great pictures of the restaurant and their organ.

Here's the track list:
  1. Chattanooga Choo Choo - Jonas Nordwall
  2. Makin' Whoopee - Jonas Nordwall
  3. The Hustle - Jonas Nordwall
  4. May - Don Simmons
  5. Pennsylvania 6-5000 - Don Simmons
  6. You/Who? (Medley of 20's Hits) - Paul Quarino
  7. Hands of Time - Paul Quarino
  8. After the Lovin' - Paul Quarino
  9. YMCA - Paul Quarino
  10. Baby, Oh Where Can You Be? - Don Coxon
  11. La Paloma Blanca - Russ Chilson
Click here or here to download!

BONUS: Here's a commercial for Organ Grinder Pizza!


Eric said...

We used to go to Organ Stop Pizza when I was a kid. Seems like the same kind of place! I loved it.

The Miracle Boy said...

Another swell share! I recently started a blog, so I can thank you for enhancing my collection and encouraging my audio-hoarding compulsion!

I don't know if you'd be interested, but I put up some entrancing Disney theme park audio here:

One never knows, do one?

Anonymous said...

There is still an Organ Grinder Pizza in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on 108th street (also know as Highway 100). It must have been a chain, possibly a regional one, and it seems that at least one lone outpost still survives !!!


P. S. Thanks for the great shares.

Carl said...

Reminds me of the old Shakey's Pizza chain back in the 70's.

Steve said...

I really, really, REALLY miss this place. The pizza was awful but the Organ was INCREDIBLE! Funny, I found your blog after seeing Paul Quarino play just the other night! Thank you SOOOO much for posting these. You've almost saved me from having to buy a turntable. I have both these records (and a few others) and haven't been able to listen to them in 15-20 years! Brings back a LOT of memories.

Anonymous said...

I was a regular customer at the Organ Grinder in Denver. Dennis Hedberg owned the one in Portland from I think 72-73 through 96. He opened the one in Denver on February 7, 1979, and it stayed open until April of 86 when it closed. It re-opened under different management in September of 86 and closed again sometime in 87. There was a third family that opened it BACK up in 87 and closed 9 months later. Word has it that between Feb 79 and sometime in 82, Dennis owned both places and the manager of the Denver one got into an argument. Dennis told them that if he wanted the Denver store to remain open that was fine, but he would have nothing to do with the Denver store ever again. From there management had problems. Employees weren't paid, people were fired just because. and finally everyone was driven to just quit. As far as I know, the Portland and Denver Organ grinders were the ONLY chains operated under the same company name. Everyone else probably owned their own places. I know that there used to be one in Canada someplace but it never was affiliated with the Grinders in Portland or Denver.
How do I know so much? I still talk to some of the organists that used to work at both places.
There are still a few places like this open. Roaring20's Pizza in Tampa, FL is one, Organ Stop Pizza in Mesa AZ, has most of both Grinders organ pieces. I've also recently learned there is one in the Chicago area as well. There are no more in California, they all closed.