The Pipe Organ in the Wedding Scene
by Randall Maynard
(Knoxville, Tennessee, USA)
Organ at Knoxville, Tennessee
Hey folks - really love the site! The Sound of Music is my most favorite of movies as it is with many, many folks the world over. I was all of about two years old when the movie came out in 1965 and I understand it was one of the longest running first run films ever shown here in Knoxville, Tennessee. It was shown for months on end at multiple showing times daily when it came out. It was shown in Knoxville's own movie palace from 1928 - The Tennessee Theatre which a few years ago underwent a $25,000,000 restoration including its original to the theatre Wurlitzer pipe organ.
Speaking of the Wurlitzer pipe organ and being a church organist and play some theatre organ as well - I was wondering if anyone knows what pipe organ was used to record the opening part of the wedding segment of the movie? I know that Buddy Cole played it and he had a sustantial theatre pipe organ in his home studio that encompassed pipework from a Wurlitzer pipe organ and a Robert Morton pipe organ - the two largest builders of theatre pipe organs back in the day. I have heard the Lorin Whitney studio Robert Morton pipe organ was used and also heard that a soundstage Wurlitzer pipe organ was used and even Buddy Cole's home studio organ. I would love to know if this information is available.
It was that organ processional in The Sound of Music that sparked an early interest in keyboard music resulting eventually in piano and organ study for me. That piece sounds great on a church organ as well as its original theatre organ setting. I was playing through it and Climb Every Mountain today at my church here in Knoxville where we have a nice 3 manual/22 rank Schantz pipe organ from 1977 (see photo above)...... it sounded wonderful. Have always wondered what that piece would have sounded like on the cathedral pipe organ in the movie - I'm sure it would have been stunningly beautiful!
Thanks for putting this site online and keeping it and your Facebook page up-to-date with all of the info on the movie and the cast, helping to keep this wonderful movie out front for generations to come who will watch and come to love The Sound of Music, as we have.