Wurlitzer "Style Sp 3m"
Factory date: January 30, 1929
This organ was originally built in 1929 for Warner Brothers' Vitaphone recording studio in Hollywood. In 1948, CBS purchased the organ for Radio Station KNX, its West Coast flagship station, where it was heard daily when Gaylord Carter played "The Perfect Song" for the "Amos 'n' Andy" show. At some point the organ was placed in storage until 1955, when it was sold to actor Joseph Kearns, best known as Mr. Wilson on TV's "Dennis the Menace" show. Kearns built his house around the organ, and enlarged it to 26 ranks. After Kearns' death in 1962, the residence was leased to Robert Carson, who founded a recording firm and produced a number of record albums featuring the instrument. After Carson died, the residence changed hands and the instrument was offered for sale. Several legal tangles ensued and finally, Russ Nelson, a wealthy Santa Anna contractor, bought it. He in turn sold it to Ron Walls, a well-known organ enthusiast and pizza parlor owner. Following business reversals, Walls lost ownership and in 1985 the organ was purchased by the Renaissance Theatre in Mansfield, Ohio, where it was installed with assistance by Ken Crome and reduced to 20 ranks.