Thursford organist Robert Wolfe returns home to tickle the Wurlitzer ivories at Angles Theatre
Famous Wurlitzer organist Robert Wolfe returns home to play at Angles Theatre, Wisbech, on Friday September 28 at 7.30pm.
As a 14-year old school boy and budding organist, Robert Wolfe visited the Thursford Collection in Norfolk and approached founder George Cushing to ask if he could play the Mighty Wurlitzer Organ.
Mr Cushing happily agreed, as he was already aware of Robert’s musical talent, that gesture was to lead to a relationship between Robert and Thursford that has continued for over 35 years.
Little did he realise at that time but that brief encounter was to be the start of a long career entertaining the summer visitors at Thursford.
Before he took up the full-time post as resident organist, Robert, at the age of 16, became the youngest person to join the team playing at the famous Tower Ballroom in Blackpool, home of “Mr. Blackpool”, the late Reginald Dixon. Incidentally, Robert played for Reg Dixon’s 80th Birthday party held at Thursford.
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He remained seated at the world famous Wurlitzer in Blackpool until he was 19, returning to the Norfolk Museum occasionally for one-off concert appearances.
In 1981 Robert was offered the role as the solo or resident organist, a first for both Thursford and Robert.
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Having been part of the team for three years of what was essentially the British home of the Wurlitzer, it was a tough decision to make.
However, this year sees Robert’s 32nd year of consecutive summer seasons.
It has proven a wise career choice to leave the premier northern seaside resort and head back to Norfolk.
Robert’s popularity as a first class musician is reflected in the type of music he plays ranging from the 1930s to the present day, ballads to ragtime, dance music to light classical, including tunes from the top West End Musicals.
Robert is often heard on Radio 2 and has been featured on TV, including playing live to an audience of around 20 million for The National Lottery.