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George Wright in Concert - May 21, 1967
Oriental Theatre
- 3/13 Wurlitzer
Portland, Oregon
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Review from Theatre Organ, June 1967:
"EXACTLY THE WRIGHT WAY" -- or Moment of Truth
Whether you've ever met him or not, you still refer to him as George. Through the media of records he has endeared himself to the Theatre Organ world, and on Sunday, May 21, he endeared himself to Northwest enthusiasts for all time.
George Wright accomplished an artistic triumph at the Oriental Theatre, Portland, Oregon, on the fabulous 3-13 Wurlitzer affectionately known as the Baby Fox (S. F.). At the end of the concert George was accorded what he openly and emotionally acknowledged the first standing ovation of his career.
Rising with great authority to a sensational Married I Can Always Get on the freshly refurbished gold'n white console, he launched into an unusual middle-east arrangement of Hindustan dedicated to the late Oliver Wallace as the original fire curtain descended, depicting a camel train trekking by a distant city. Immediately following was another new tune, Green Eyes. This was punctuated by George pointing at the large Oriental mask over the proscenium, shouting Zap, magically lighting the large green eyes. After a Summer Samba-Tico Ticoish After You've Gone and Neal Hefti's Li'l Darlin', George proved that we all have somthing in common. Even he has to read music. This was the title tune from a brand-new show, Thoroughly Modern Millie, followed by part of the complete score featuring such brand-new tunes as Poor Butterfly, Japanese Sandman, Charmaine, Stumbling, etc.
Other high points of the first half were I've Got You Under My Skin, Winchester Cathedral, How Am I To Know au Crawford, Satin Doll featuring the "Dirty Piston," and ending with a Gershwin Medley in the best tradition.
The second half started with Guy Melendey's romp-stomping arrangement of Back Bay Shuffle, followed by Brubeck's Take Five featuring the pit piano. Nacht Und Tag (Night & Day) by BeethovenPorter followed, supplemented by Carrie Jacobs Bond's Just A-Wearyin' For You (Will the real Jesse Crawford stand up?). An electrifying Duke Ellington medley was followed by the three famous Noel Coward Waltzes, Zigeuner, I'll Follow My Secret Heart and I'll See You Again. Then, after a touching verbal tribute to the late, great, Jesse Crawford, George meticulously and effectively played Crawford's High Hat. This was the real Oriental Wurlitzer showpiece.
George then dedicated the medley from Kern's Showboat to Dennis Hedberg who, with Bill Peterson, completely restored and improved the organ and helped make the show possible. This was supposed to be the end, but George was so touched by the crowd's reaction that he presented us with The Whistler and His Dog, another new (1911) pleaser.
There were many luminaries from the organ world present, from all over the Northwest and a few from San Francisco. All agreed that George was at his best. -- MARTHA LAKE

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