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The "Organ Club" was established in 1928, following the opening of the Jefferson Theatre. The club held weekly events on Saturday mornings, during which young patrons were treated to a variety of programming, including cartoons, serials, and special features. The Mighty Morton Wonder Organ would rise dramatically from the orchestra pit, accompanied by the music of Al Sacker.
The scene depicted in this painting is from June 2, 1951, during a talent contest held at the Jefferson Theatre. The morning's lineup included the short film "Rushin' Ballet" featuring the Little Rascals, followed by Woody Woodpecker and Tweety cartoons and a new chapter of Undersea Kingdom. The feature film for the day was the classic science fiction horror film "The Thing! From Another World."
The artist notes that the Jefferson Theatre in the 1950s was a mysterious and somewhat eerie place, and that "The Thing" remains one of the scariest movies ever made. The painting pays homage to the classic Saturday morning television of the era, such as Howdy Doody and Space Patrol. The artist's son, Bryan Welborn, assisted in the creation of the piece, using Organ Club photos sponsored by Coca-Cola and clothing references taken from a group of 17 children who were later rewarded with pizza. The artist also included his '41 Cadillac Series 75 in the painting, which can be identified by its emblem.
Description by the Artist
Watch this video presentation by the artist describing the painting process, the research, and the hidden trivia in the painting.
The original painting is 35x28" on masonite panel, completed in 1988.
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