Thursday, November 30, 2006

Ken Griffin - Christmas Organ

Last year at FaLaLaLaLa, I began my career in Christmas sharity. One of these shares was a 45 single of "Winter Wonderland" and "Up On The Housetop" by Ken Griffin that I had just acquired from my in-laws record collection.

If you look at the Rondo label of "Winter Wonderland", the credited songwriter is Irving Berlin! Fact checking wasn't a huge priority in the music industry back in the 1950s obviously.

When I typed out the description for that record, I didn't know who Ken Griffin was. I did some Google searches for background information and the like. At the time, I stated that Ken released two Christmas albums:

+ Christmas Organ And Chimes (Rondo-Lette A-40), 1950/1951
+ The Organ Plays At Christmas (Columbia CL-692), 1959

Some new research informs us that Griffin did indeed release a Christmas album entitled "Merry Christmas (Organ And Chimes)" (Rondo RLP-10) in 1951. It was a 10" LP that I haven't found... yet!

This Rondo website claims that Eric Silver was the actual credited artist on the "Christmas Organ And Chimes" (Rondo-Lette A-40) released in 1958. The album you are looking at in Rondo-Lette A-38 and was released in 1959 - the same year as the Columbia release listed above.

I don't understand it either.

Want more confusion? One half of the tracks on this album are simply Ken Griffin playing Christmas tunes on the organ, the other half is INDEED organ and chimes! I personally enjoy the solo organ tracks on this album - it places you at a 1940s skating rink at Christmas time when you listen. Considering Griffin got his start playing at roller rinks probably didn't hurt either!

Lace up your skates and take a lap:

Ken Griffin - Christmas Organ

Happy listening... skating... whatever!



Anonymous said...


unfortunately I missed the

Ken Griffin – Cristmas Organ
post. Obviously being deleted from server.

Any chance to repost?

Greetings and thankful.

CaptainOT said...

Anonymous -

Zen Mama said...

Thank you for this! You just made my year. I used to listen to this every night growing up around the holidays. I have been looking everywhere for a non lp version as I don't have a record player. Do you have any more?? (i.e from Organ Plays Christmas?)

CaptainOT said...

Kiera'sMom - I don't own any other Ken Griffin Christmas albums but if you search hard enough on the Net, it might turn up!

Glad to have reconnected you with Christmas memories!


Anonymous said...

Hi, Capt.

I've just been doing a bit of research on Ken Griffin and found some useful info at this site:-

If you scroll through the catalog numbers, until you get to CL-692, they have stated the year of release for "The Organ Plays At Christmas" as 1955.

This, I think, clears up the confusion over the years. It may also interest you to know that Columbia Records issued a version which they had "Electronically Re-Channeled For Stereo". The catalog number was CS 8760, and it was released in 1962. There's a copy of it on eBay just now (Item number: 360221849536) - auction ends Jan 28, 2010 - by a seller in Crystal River, FL.

There's also some good info on the Columbia Records label, including an overview of their catalog numbering system. It was done by the same people who provided the Ken Griffin info (above). You can find it at:-

Hope that's of use to you.

Keep up the good work !!


Anonymous said...

Hi. I was researching an album I purchased, and It is closely related to what I see here. I have a 10 inch LP of "CHRISTMAS MUSIC featuring KEN GRIFFIN at the organ". It has 4 songs on each side, and towards the bottom it says ORGAN and CHIMES. It is on the VARSITY RECORD label #69156. If you would like a picture email me at I hope this helps a little. Victor

Anonymous said...


Could you please repost this album?
Thanks in advance!

Kind regards,


Anonymous said...

"Fact checking wasn't a huge priority in the music industry back in the 1950s obviously."

Thanks for the additional information. With all due respect, though, the above remark is a bit of a hasty generalization. Rondo was not exactly a major, big-budget label. The majors, I suspect, might have been a little more on the ball with respect to such things as listing proper song-writing credits.