An American Classic is my new book of photographs of Aeolian-Skinner organs designed by the late Roy Perry.
Roy Perry’s life is one of those classic American stories. Born poor to a widowed mother, self-taught, and a genius at what he did. What he did, in addition to being a highly respected church musician, was the on site tonal finishing of pipe organs.
Perry was the Organist and Choirmaster of First Presbyterian Church in Kilgore, Texas from 1932 to 1972. The annual East Texas Pipe Organ Festival was established in 2011 to honor his life and work. Were it not for the festival, Perry’s name might be simply a footnote among students and enthusiasts of Aeolian-Skinner history and pipe organ folklore.
The project of photographing these historically significant musical instruments was undertaken for the archives of the festival. An American Classic presents selected images of ten of these organs. The photographs were made over a period of about a year from mid 2014 to mid 2015. The intent of the photographs was not just to document the organs in their present condition, but also to show the sculptural beauty of the instruments, particularly the pipework.
An American Classic is available in paperback, or a deluxe hardbound edition; and may be ordered at blurb.com.