From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
The organ is a keyboard instrument .
In popular music
Church-style pipe organs are very rarely used in popular music. In some cases, groups have sought out the sound of the pipe organ, such as Tangerine Dream,and Arrogant Worms which used combined the distinctive sounds of electronic synthesizers and pipe organs when it recorded both music albums and videos in several cathedrals in Europe.In 2000 Radiohead Frontman Thom Yorke played the organ on the Kid A album to great effect, most notably in "Motion Picture Soundtrack".
On the other hand, electronic organs and electromechanical organs such as the Hammond organ have an established role in a number of non-"Classical" genres, such as blues, jazz, gospel, and 1960s and 1970s rock music. Electronic and electromechanical organs were originally designed as lower-cost substitutes for pipe organs. Despite this intended role as a sacred music instrument, electronic and electromechanical organs' distinctive tone-often modified with electronic effects such as vibrato, rotating Leslie speakers, and overdrive-became an important part of the sound of popular music. Billy Preston and Iron Butterfly's Doug Ingle have featured organ on popular recordings such as "Let it Be" and "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida", respectively. Well-known rock bands using the Hammond organ include Pink Floyd and Deep Purple.
Recent performers of Popular organ music include William Rowland of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma who is noted for his compositions of "Piano Rags" which he plays on a Wurlitzer theatre organ in Miami, Oklahoma; George Wright (1920-1998) whose "Jealousie" and "Puttin on the Ritz" are some of the finest performances of this genre and Virgil Fox (1912-1980), who bridged both the classical and religious areas of music with pop and so-called Heavy Organ concerts that he played on an electronic organ accompanied by a light show similar to those created in the 1960s for rock concerts. Jimmy Smith was a famous jazz organist of the twentieth century.