Arnold Loxam

Dr Arnold Loxam, one of the last great British theatre organists, has died at age 93.

He played professionally until the age of 90, including 16 years in Bradford at the Wurlitzer organ at the New Victoria, which became the Gaumont and later the Odeon. Arnold Loxam's relationship with the New Victoria began when he was a 14-year-old member of the audience on the opening night of the theatre on September 22, 1930. In 1946 he began playing regularly for New Victoria audiences and broadcasting from the theatre for BBC Radio.

He met his wife Audrey in 1948 when she was working in the New Victoria as an usherette. Mrs. Loxam had been his driver for the past 25 years, chauffeuring him around to fulfill a busy schedule of engagements in England and overseas.

Arnold Loxam at the
Blackpool Tower Ballroom Wurlitzer

In 1968 he made a well known final broadcast from the Gaumont before the Wurlitzer was removed. His son Keith Loxam said: “He was one of the last great theatre organists of that type, making it his profession to play in the cinema, and he spent his entire career doing it. He played at the Gaumont for 16 years and was there in the opening days of Radio Leeds. He was very flamboyant and cared greatly about his music, he was completely immersed in the music.”

In 1996 Arnold Loxam was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Bradford for his musical achievements. Former Radio Leeds presenter, Nigel Fell, who worked with Dr Loxam for 20 years, said: “In organist circles there was something known as the Loxam Bounce, to do with the way he played the organ.”

Discography from Wikipedia:

ARNOLD LOXAM at the Wurlitzer Organ, Burton On Trent "WURLITZER SEASONS"
ARNOLD LOXAM at the Compton Organs, Southampton Guildhall "AT THE CONSOLES"
ARNOLD LOXAM at the Wurlitzer Theatre Organ, Burton Upon Trent Town Hall "COME DANCING"
ARNOLD LOXAM at the Wurlitzer Theatre Organ New Victoria Centre, "ARNOLD LOXAM CELEBRATES"
ARNOLD LOXAM at the Organ of Ossett Town Hall "THEATRE ORGAN TIME"

Photo by P.G. Young

Arnold LoxamBlackpool Tower Ballroom