Music for Magicians

Theatre Organ and Magic together -- two of my favorites!

After this morning’s American Theatre Organ Society concert by David Gray at Disney’s majestic El Capitan Theatre, I returned to the hotel and stopped by the ATOS record shop to see what treasures might await me. As you would expect, there were many classic Theatre Pipe Organ treats in additional to several new ones. These, I knew would be there because I was the LATOS volunteer who recruited the artists to send in their products. Several ATOS members also contributed used LPs to the record shop as well. As a student of magic performance, this title and cover art immediately caught my eye: Music for Magicians, by Verne Langdon.

I wondered why this title would be in the ATOS record shop? Perhaps it was accidentally included in a shipment? Then I turned the dust jacket over to read this line at the bottom “Featuring Verne Langdon at the Palace of Mystery Theatre Organ.” Now, I was really curious. You see, I am a member of The Academy of Magical Arts (AMA) and I currently serve as a Castle Knight at our club house, The Magic Castle, in Hollywood. We do have a “Palace of Mystery” but I was unaware that there ever was a Theater Organ (although it would not surprise me if we did). Seeing our founder’s names, Milt and Bill Larsen, on the album jacket clinched the sale. Fifty cents later I was the proud owner of this LP.

I was unfamiliar with Verne Langdon but found a tribute web site here and this playlist on YouTube.

I will post a link to AMA magic forums to see if I can learn more about the history of this album. Meanwhile, enjoy the dust jacket artwork and description.

Theatre Organ and Magic together — two of my favorites!

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2 thoughts on “Music for Magicians

  1. There is no possible way there could have been an organ in the Palace of Mystery. I too am a member of the Magic Castle. I listened to a portion of that album, and that sounds like a massive theater organ. There would be no room for an organ console, let alone pipe chambers, bellows, etc. in a room the size of the Palace. So, I don’t know why they would have sold it as “The Palace of Mystery Theatre Organ” when clearly, no such instrument existed there. My guess, (and again, this is my guess) assuming this was recorded sometime in the 1970s, is that it was recorded at the Whitney Studios in Burbank. This studio featured a Robert Morton theatre organ, and if you’re familiar with the “Haunted Mansion” at Disneyland, was the same organ that Gaylord Carter and William Sabransky recorded for the ballroom music.

    • Hi Dave, I agree with you. I did some further asking around on the FB group at the time and reached the same conclusion as you did, though with less detail. Thanks for providing the detail and link. See you around the castle! – Eric