Thursday, November 5, 2009

Lenny Dee: Master Of The Organ

My dad loved music. No matter what he was doing, whether it was eating in the dining room or lounging in the living room or tinkering with his truck out in the garage, he had music playing. I'm a music junkie too and I think that's where I got it from.

Anyway, my dad loved cheesy music of the sixties and early seventies. Really cheesy. A lot of it was like the stuff we've all heard in the first Austin Powers movie. Burt Bacharach, those guys.

Lenny Dee is another one of those cheesy entertainers from back in the day. He played the Hammond organ. The Hammond is known for its distinctive sound and Lenny Dee could play it like nobody's business. In fact, he is remembered as one of the greatest organ players of all time. Here he is:

Here is one of his cheesy album covers:

I know. Organ music is not very cool. But it’s kitschy. It has a very specific charm to it.

If any of you guys are in a silly mood, listen to this clip. Just the first three songs (the last one kinda sucks IMO).

It’s retro cool and cheesy and makes you HAPPY!!

My dad used to play Lenny Dee on a hi-fi unit like this one when I was like 5 or 6 years old:

Seeing a "Stereophonic™ Hi-Fi" unit like this (complete with lift-top lid) really takes me back! I bet if I still had that sucker and restored it, it would fetch some dolla bills.

When I was around eight or nine our house had Lenny Dee music playing all the time. My dad used to shuffle around to it. He seemed the happiest when he was listening to it. But I remember thinking to myself, "Jesus, why would anyone like this crap? Why doesn't my dad play, like, The Bee Gees or Stevie Wonder or Paul McCartney or something cool like that?" Listening to Lenny Dee now, I can understand the charm behind the music. The sixties and early seventies were a much more innocent time, in my opinion. The hippies were just getting their s#*t finished up. Death Metal... Gangster Rap... none of that kind of mind-boggling s#*t was invented yet and people seemed to be more mellowed out than they are now. I mean, yeah, we had 'Nam going on but still. Things were so much more base. I really do envy the adults who had fun in those days. That whole "Jet Set Cocktail Lounge"-type vibe going on... it must have been a pretty cool time.

Oh and I held onto the albums...

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