Mr. Denaro passed away in May, 2001. We dedicate this site
to the honor of his memory, for he loved music and the
R. John Denaro has loved the organ his entire life
and was already
recording at an age when most young people are in kindergarten!
1949, Mr. Keller sold my father a PHILCO radio-phonograph console.
In between the tiger-wood bars protecting the grill and speaker,
finger hole grips allowed the front of the cabinet to tilt and
reveal the turntable. The turntable had two (2) arms, one for
playback and one for cutting your own record. (The old man,
being very frugal, purchased only one (1) vinyl disc.) So, at
5 years of age I recorded "Gim'me a little kiss, will ya,
huh!" and "Buttons and Bows." And so began my
music career. (Truth be knownthe burning vinyl had an
followed at 7, accordion at 8, and at 17 I built a Thomas electronic
organ by Heathkit.
I got the chance, I asked the organist of our parish church
if I could watchalways fascinated by her footwork. Then
there was Radio City every Christmas and Easter. I'd drag my
mother down to the console (literally), which wearied her to
no end! (So much for reading the writing on the wall!)
in the following years, I caught a newspaper clipping announcing
an Allen organ demo in the Macy's department store studio. If
memory serves, it was Bon Smith demonstrating what seemed to
me to be a huge console on a platform surrounded by gyrophonic
speakers. And I felt like I was in Radio City. And the seeds
of the dream were planted.
the way, the seeds got watered and fertilized. I was part of
our high school stage crew. We went to Midwood High, in Brooklyn,
to mount the "Mikado". On the floor of the auditorium
was what I suspecteda large organ console. I never got
to play it, but I knew it was an Allen when I could see the
gyrophonic speakers mounted high behind grill screens to the
right of the proscenium.
while walking through the then Pan Am building (now the Met),
I heard a most familiar sound. Although it turned out to be
a Wurtillizer (Wurlitzer to you civilians!) with two Leslie's,
the man at the console was this suave sophisticated gentleman
by the name of Bob Wyatt (no kidding gang!). And I "stole"
one of his interludes from his rendition of "Brazil."
MDS-312 will celebrate its 5th birthday in a new home this November.
And even though I probably will not have exhausted all its resources
in the next 20 years, I'm dreaming of the new George Wright
experience of the Allen organits sound, its sights, its
qualityhas always been top notch, and that also goes for
the team: Bob Wyatt, Claire Arnold, Ruth and Mike (serviceman).
you, Allen, for being the class act that you are!"
John Denaro, Brooklyn NY