Orgarama (Musitone JM 101) 1963?








DOC JORNE - OrgaramaF







Or if you go by the full name and title: “Doc” Jorne and the Fabulous Orgarama – Orgarama Golden Album Of Favorite Hymns. Doc Jorné was an organ salesman when he taught himself to play, becoming a professional inside of a year. Realizing that the “organ alone was not enough to express himself fully”, Jorne set about designing and building the Fabulous Orgarama, a fusion of 42 musical instruments. The contraption itself (pictured on the front cover) is a spectacle to behold: several vertically positioned xylophones with mechanical mallets placed just so, a row of chimes, a tambourine, castanets, maracas, a case with various kinds of drums, and lots of other things I can’t make out. All this is connected to a deluxe organ where Jome sits grinning with his thin mustache and Dalmatian-spotted jacket – as if to tell Liberace “you can’t touch this”. The beast is heavily stylized, too, with a smoky patterned framework, “ORGARAMA” in big letters, fitted head-to-toe with dangling cloth fringe. According to the sleeve notes it’s portable and can be assembled in a matter of hours. Jorne apparently had a background in mechanics and electronics, cannibalizing parts from aircraft and air conditioning equipment to build what many told him could never be done. So what does the listener get for all of Jorné’s work? Well, when he gets the whole gizmo going, the best I can describe it is like a cross between a merry-go-round and an alarm clock. Not something you’d necessarily imagine cranking out hymns like ‘Onward Christian Soldiers’, ‘His Eye Is On The Sparrow’ and ‘In My Heart There Rings A Melody’, but that’s exactly what’s done here. At one point I was sure I heard an accordion — I don’t see it in the pic, but it wouldn’t surprise me if he’s got one crammed in there somewhere. Although there are a few interesting effects scattered about, this is not so much a bold new frontier in sound, but more of an everything-but-the-kitchen-sink one-man-band affair, Still it’s sufficiently peculiar sounding to be of interest, not to mention a fascinating concept and testimony to one man’s vision. (The Archivist, 4th edition by Ken Scott).

I have not acquired this album yet.



Song #Song TitleTime
1-1Onward Christian Soldiers
1-2When They Ring Those Golden Bells
1-3His Eye Is On The Sparrow
1-4Ring The Bells Of Heaven
1-5Let The Lower Lights Be Burning
1-6Evening Prayer
2-1In My Heart There Rings A Melody
2-2Jesus Took My Burden
2-3When The Roll Is Called Up Yonder
2-4Softly And Tenderly
2-5Love Lifted Me
2-6How Great Thou Art
2-7What A Friend We Have In Jesus