Saturday, May 26, 2007

Ray Thornley - Ray Thornley Entertains, Vol. 1

For supposedly entertaining others, Ray looks extremely non-plussed. His slight sneer and uncomfortable body language suggest that he really doesn't give a rat's ass about any of the people he's entertaining, and to be quite frank he probably hates what he does from an aesthetic standpoint. Given the bizarre electronics on his organ, it's entirely possible that he doesn't even play the organ himself, choosing instead to merely program the machine to do his bidding, causing the sham that is his pathetic existence to be revealed even further. But hey, recommendations from The Organist don't come every day, so I suppose you have to do what you have to do.


Anonymous said...

I'm seriously considering passing on this hate-entry. You've lied about that man's career.

You have lied.

Anonymous said...

The memory of this wonderful man is very dear to a lot of people. God will judge you accordingly to your words regardless of your ignorance.

Ross said...

Having personally known the man, he was one of the most humble men I have ever meet, but also one of the most talented. I heard him play live, on a number of occasions and he was absolutely amazing. He knew how to play, really play. Please don't talk about him disrespectfully, as you have never meet him.

Anonymous said...

Don't prove your ignorance. The electronic organ pictured is pre-digital, and other than some basic sound presets and a basic "drum section", it is analogue electronics, and requires a highly skilled musician to be played properly. The way dear Ray Thornley played these complicated beasts was incredible to watch, he was truly world class. The man was a genius, a bloody nice guy, and one of my childhood musical heroes.
The fact it is the 70's and early 80's when these instruments and their musical masters were relatively common makes it more incredible. No youtube or fancy computer assisted learning programs back then. The performer didn't copy others, he invented and innovated techniques and sounds based on imagination.
Ray Thornley may have sadly passed on, but as they say, LONG LIVE THE KING.

Robert Scott said...

I only sat behind this man for one concert and watched his pedal work. I play organ myself and thought his pedal technique was quite good. Does anybody know how he departed this mortal coil ? Rumors of self inflicted death abound ?

Anonymous said...

Rumors are true unfortunately. :/

Steve Sparkes said...

I went to school with Ray.
If there was any sneer it would be for the photo shoot.
Ray was not one to suffer such foolishness.
Vale my friend.

SParker said...

I knew dear Ray for many years, and admired his incredible musicianship and skill. He was a gentleman with a gentle cheeky wit. His professionalism inspired a great many, myself included. For me it is a great sadness Ray is no longer with us.

Detractors of great talents like Ray Thornley prove their ignorance with every word. The skill required to get the most out of these complicated and difficult to master musical machines is far beyond the imagination of any person who has NOT mastered one.
It is equivalent to ice skating while juggling whilst conducting an orchestra when programming a computer, all while portraying emotion through song.

Fortunately for those of us who have mastered these machines in the past, opinions of naysayers are of the same ilk as the opinions of members of the flat earth society (or perhaps the local pub darts team ?).

J Dolbel said...

I knew Ray for many years. We were both mentored by theatre organ master, Penn Hughes.

I found him to be a bright and extremely talented musician. Such a tragic loss.

PreciousRubi said...

That organ on the album cover is a Lowrey H25-3 and there were only ever three of them in Australia, and I happened to own one of them. I actually still have it. A monstrosity of an organ that took four strong men to move.
So I know for a fact, that that organ does not do anything of its own accord, except for drum rhythms.
Ray Thornley was also my organ teacher for over twelve months at that time (I was 15-16 years old), and he was a seriously talented musician and teacher.
I was extremely saddened to learn of his death.

Arnie Zanzibar said...

Just finished listening to side one of Ray Thornley in Yamaha Music-land. Great LP.