Seabreeze Park Carousel Organ
By Matthew Caulfield
Photos of the new Verbeeck organ courtesy Rick Inzero
(Text from MMDigest 961205 and 980430)


The Wurlitzer style 165 band organ owned by Seabreeze Park since 1926 burned down with its carousel (PTC #36, built in 1926) on March 31, 1994. The fire was started about 3 p.m. by park staff re-tarring a roof, and an hour later there was nothing left but ashes. The park had a complete collection of style 165 music on  more than 100 10-tune music rolls; that too was a total loss. Everything has been replaced now -- the carousel, all rolls, and  band organ -- magnificently and at huge expense (well over $1,000,000, I estimate).
Sadly, Merrick Price, Seabreeze's guardian of the band organ and collaborator with Dave Kaspersin in the recording project, died at the age of 81 on November 13, 1996. There  was a memorial service for Merrick at the carousel, the first service I ever attended of its kind. It ended with the carousel being operated empty and silently for one ride in Merrick's  memory, then the band organ was turned on (to "Wedding of the Winds") and all the  mourners were invited to ride. 

 
At the service I learned that Merrick and Dave Kaspersin  had begun recording the new Verbeeck replica 165 band organ in order to continue the series of Seabreeze music CD's.  Dave had recorded 7 hours of music from the organ in addition to the three  recordings so far released.

Dave tried something novel in one recording session and included one tune on the new CD from that session to see what public reaction would be.  He loaded his recording equipment onto the carousel and recorded one whole roll while the carousel was in motion.  He says that the feeling of being on the moving machine while the CD plays that tune is very real, especially if you use headphones.  He also said that he nearly fell flat on his face when he got off he carousel after 25 minutes of continuous riding!

In summer 1998 Dave and Jackie Kaspersin's Dynamic Recording Studios will be releasing a new CD of the Seabreeze band organ.  I believe the organ that is heard on this CD is the new Verbeeck replica of the Wurlitzer 165 organ.  They do have hours and hours of unreleased music from the original band organ that burned March 31, 1994.  Plans are to release a new CD every year.  Visit:   http://www.dynrec.com/

 Matthew Caulfield