Antique Musical Organ Rally
Sat: 10 am – 4 pm: Main St., Jackson, CA
Sun: 10 am – 12PM, Main Street.
Contact: Amador Council of Tourism, 209-267-9249
(Jackson, CA) The annual antique Musical Organ Rally comes to historic Jackson the weekend of September 26 – 27, 2015. Strolling Main Street from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 12 noon on Sunday, this free musical treat features beautiful vintage organs ranging from “monkey grinder” size to majestic. The mechanical instruments play a variety of melodies, from dance tunes and marches to carousel and classical pieces.
On Sunday at 1 pm, the musical organs will assemble for a free indoor concert at Jackson United Methodist Church, just two blocks from Main Street at 120 Church Street, Jackson.
Known as nickelodeons, music boxes, pianos, and dance hall organs, musical organs play perforated punch cards, “books,” or player piano rolls, and were featured attractions at fairgrounds and dance halls until the mid-1900s.
Thanks to Jackson antiques dealer and organizer John MottoRos, and the Automatic Musical Instrument Collectors’ Association, music lovers of all ages and fans of all things antique have a chance to see, hear, and learn about these mechanical instruments that have entertained people for centuries. Their colorful musician-operators are always happy to answer questions about the music and the instruments.
The organs heard today are based on instruments produced in France, but more popularly thought to have originated in Holland or Germany. In the eighteenth century, the first mechanical organs, turned by a crank, were invented to teach canaries to sing. Soon owners realized they could earn money playing outside. That was the beginning of organ grinders.
In the U.S., Wurlitzer Co. manufactured player organs for merry-go-rounds that are still a favorite in parks and at county fairs.
For more information, visit www.VisitJacksonCA.com, www.VisitAmador.com or call Amador Council of Tourism, 209-267-9249
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