August 1, 2007 12:22 AM   Subscribe

A mainstay of the old-timey cinema era, the Photoplayer was a pump organ designed for player piano rolls, sound effects and a human composer. [Courtesy of Huell Howser]
posted by dhammond (11 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
That last just jaw-droppingly wonderful....thanks!
posted by pjern at 12:56 AM on August 1, 2007

I used to work for a competing station to WSM in Nashville at the time Huell Howser was doing his bits, so that your post was a personal blast to the past. I remember Huell leaving Nashville, but I kind of lost track of him thereafter, and hadn't thought about him in years. Glad to learn he's still doing his schtick.

And the Photoplayer links were interesting, too.
posted by paulsc at 1:13 AM on August 1, 2007

Nice find. Way cool post. Many thanks.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 1:23 AM on August 1, 2007

The Photoplayer is, of course, reminiscent of the Dutch street organs, but with considerably more live (human) player interaction.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 1:35 AM on August 1, 2007

Awesome. That human composer video actually looks like a great cardio workout.
posted by swordfishtrombones at 1:55 AM on August 1, 2007

Hey, dhammond, if you add the musicalinstrument tag to this post, there'll finally be someone besides myself on MeFi who uses it! Don't let me down, friend...
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:08 AM on August 1, 2007

Huell Howser chased a male friend of mine around a table once, years ago. The story was hysterical, if creepy. I will never be able to listen to his voice again without imagining him calling out, "Hey! Why ya runnin!?" Friends of mine & I have done impressions of it for years, and it never ceases to give me the giggles.
posted by miss lynnster at 7:47 AM on August 1, 2007 [1 favorite]

Huell Howser fans should definitely check out his video podcast on iTunes. The full half-hour episode about the Photoplayer is still available and can be downloaded for free.
posted by dhammond at 12:20 PM on August 1, 2007

thanks, dhammond.
posted by pjern at 8:25 PM on August 1, 2007

Absolutely great.
posted by Wolof at 10:33 PM on August 1, 2007

I probably should have added "allegedly" before that comment. Cuz dagnabbit, I don't want Huell a-suein' me.
posted by miss lynnster at 8:36 AM on August 2, 2007

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