Charles Smitton – BBC Broadcast – December 1964

January 2, 2016

Note: Update on contents, thanks to Norman Scott who was turning music for Charles Smitton at the time.

Quote: “This programme is a mixture of two broadcasts. The hits of 1943 and the hits of 1964 are taken from Charles’ 21st Anniversary broadcast played on the 4/14 Wurlitzer in the Gaumont Manchester on 18th December 1964. I know for certain as I was turning over the music for Charles.  It started with Twenty One Today instead of his usual signature tune Estrellita and continued with Liberty Bell which was the first tune Charles played on his first broadcast from the Curzon Old Swan Liverpool on the same date in 1943. After the 1964 hits he finished with Leroy Anderson’s Christmas Festival. The remaining items on your programme are indeed played at Kilburn.”

• Broadcast mid-December, 1964
• 4-16 Wurlitzer, Gaumont State Theatre, Kilburn, London
• While I have considerably cleaned up and enhanced the audio, there are still sonic imperfections due to the taping from AM/Medium Wave.
• Listen to a snippet of the original file:

• mp3 only at 160 kbps mono.
• Sorry, no playlist available.

8 Comments

  1. Jack

    Very listenable even as a AM broadcast.

  2. Eric Ross

    So nice to hear this great organist again. He taught me for a few years and was still able to perform after a stroke took away a lot of his mobility. He taught me all I know and I was able to work in clubs in the north west of England. Great man.

  3. hotpipes-steve

    It’s a pity, Eric, that there aren’t more commercial recordings of Charles Smitton: I have very few in my sound library, although I may have something ‘lurking’ in my LP collection that’s yet to be digitised.

  4. Fran Thomson

    I am trying to find an organ piece I believe was called Hot Pipes. It was on a 78 lp and as I child I remember it well. This would probably have been in the late 50’s or early 60’s.

    Any ideas??

  5. NORMAN SCOTT

    Hi Steve, This programme is a mixture of two broadcasts. The hits of 1943 and the hits of 1964 are taken from Charles 21st Anniversary broadcast played on the 4/14 Wurlitzer in the Gaumont Manchester on 18th December 1964. I know for certain as I was turning over the music for Charles. It started with “Twenty One Today” instead of his usual signature tune “Estrellita” and continued with “Liberty Bell” which was the first tune Charles played on his first broadcast from the Curzon Old Swan Liverpool on the same date in 1943. After the 1964 hits he finished with Leroy Anderson’s “Christmas Festival”. The remaining items on your programme are indeed played at Kilburn and I have this broadcast on a CD.

  6. hotpipes-steve

    Many thanks indeed, Norman. As you can see, I’ve added your note to the description above.

  7. hotpipes-steve

    In reply to Fran, the only Hot Pipes that I know of that fits your description would have been Sidney Torch’s two medleys that he recorded in the late 30s on the Wurlitzer of the Gaumont State, Kilburn. These were reissued on my Piping Hot label back in the early 2000s and are still available as downloads from this website (see the Sales menu). I’ll play one of the Hot Pipes sides on my next request show.

  8. Fran Thomson

    Thank you for the info…will check the menu and give it a “Wurl”!!!

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