Buddy Bonds - An Orchestra of OrgansBuddy Bonds - An Orchestra of Organs (back)

Is your insatiable organ-lust at peak intensity? Has the thrill of just one organ long ago faded? Do you crave more and more– your harmonic intensity increasing– until you burst forth in a melodic cascade of organ ecstasy?! Well, wait no longer, because Buddy Bonds has heard your prayers!

OK, in all fairness, Buddy’s idea of an “orchestra” consists of a measly three organs. But fear not– three organs can make an awful lot of racket. It is, as the back cover breathlessly proclaims, “the most ambitious undertaking of his 28 years as an organist!”

Probably the most interesting thing about this album is the way it anticipates the synthesizer boom of the 70’s. Buddy and his compatriots Ray Jenkins and Darrell Stuckey coax some very Moog-like sounds out of these otherwise unhip harps, creating a “way out” sound that’s sure to delight “the Hullabaloo-oriented teen-agers.” (Sadly, Hullabaloo-orientation is still not protected by federal law.) Or, as Ed Wallace of the New York World-Telegram is quoted as saying on the album’s reverse side:

The newest means of making hip-swinging music, which seems to propel the most casual foot-patter right out of his seat and onto the dance floor, is the electronic organ. This small box of electronic wizardry is filled with new sounds, and is capable of endless surprises of rhythm. Its voices and moods may be varied through a thousand colored tones, and on the drawing board of its engineers and designers are more wonders to come.

The foremost missionaries of the modern organ are two brothers, Ralph and Buddy Bonds, who came out of the armed forces to form the first twin organ team to appear in night clubs, hotels, theaters, and organ clubs throughout the country. Their numberous albums, several of them on the nation’s best seller list, propelled them into national prominence.

Question: why are there no more “organ clubs” in existance? At any rate, if you like your twin organ teams missionary style, this album is sure to delight. Sadly, Buddy’s fame appears to have been short-lived; I could find very little of interest about him on the web. Let this page be the resurgence of Buddy’s organ!

(PS: My apologies for the rather poor sound quality of this one.)

Listen: Have You Heard The One About…? (2Mb MP3)

This was recorded at the time organ bars were in there “Hay day”. Buddy was teamed up with his brother Ralph, playing as the “Bonds Brothers” and Ray Jenkins and Darrell Stuckey were another organ duo known as “The Knights of the Organ”. The record was one year in rehearsal and then recorded at the Fine Studios in New York city. Buddy has since passed on and Ray and Darrell are retired in Florida. Darrell is staff organist at the Olympia Theater in Miami.


just bought this at value village in bellingham, wa. it’s pretty good for how bad the cover is. listening as i type.

Share has expired, mind renewing?

Hey Folks- thanks for all of this wonderfuly unpleasant stuff. The link here does not seem to be working -can you repost it?

Thanks folks!

I met the brothers in the Philadelphia store in the lates 70s, and interviewed them for my radio programme at that time. I was eventually sent an autographed copy of Orchestra of Organs. What an amazing sound. I knew Buddy had passed away, but is Ralph still alive? I’d love to get in touch with him again. Any information would be welcome. I am planning on putting something about them on You-Tube because those guys deserve to be more recognised than they now appear to be. They were pioneers in twin Hammond organ presentation and sounds, and I only wish I could get more of their recordings. Only one was released in the UK. Titled All Stops Out. Released 1959.