Print Story hockey music
By misslake (Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 12:37:30 PM EST) (all tags)
when watching the world junior hockey championships last night, ni and i were discussing and wondering:
what is the history and sociology of hockey music?

there they were, in the saddle dome in calgary, and somewhere up behind the cheap seats, was a man with a keyboard.

dum da dum. bam ba bam! doodlee doot do do!

it was organ music.
when did hockey become associated with an organ? how old is the organ music that we hear at hockey games?

we were at a local sports bar, because MissTrish is the bartender. it's close to our house, and jalapeno poppers are half-price on tuesdays!

the leafs were playing on some televisions, and then the world junior semi-finals were on others.
we were discussion various aspects of hockey - is the goalie a specialized position, has it always been like that? why does the goalie get a different stick?
canada was playing russia. the game was exceptionally violent, there were 6 or 7 penalties in the first period, all for things like high-sticking and hooking. i was wondering about the looming social pressure. since the famous cold war game in 1972, games played between russia and canada seem to carry more weight, like they are playing for ULTIMATE WORLD DOMINATION in a way that games against the us or other countries don't. did that account for the increased violence of the players?

we were also listening to the music. there was so much organ music, and it was interspersed with classic rock anthems and a few more modern songs.

when did the organ become a hockey instrument? did the first games between the original six feature organ music?
were all arenas outfitted with pipe organs? did they have guys on keyboards, or equivalent people in sound booths with samples pumping out the organ sounds in the us like they did here?
did it have to do with silent movies, which had someone playing the piano or organ along with the film, or was it more a church and reverence thing, for playing god save the queen and later o canada.
is it somehow equivalent to the american half-time show? a military marching band with the teams as the two armies, and the spectators being whipped up into a greater frenzy so they don't get bored during the breaks.
i can't imagine the link between the militaristic aspects of hockey and an organ, but maybe there is one.

i need to track down a musicologist or a hockey or sport historian.
i want to know about the organ music.
i can find various papers discussing the contrast between the hetero-normative sports culture and the very gay rock songs that are most popular.
i can find analysis of jock rock songs, jock jam albums, associations between jazz and early african american baseball and basketball teams and players.
i have found sport music papers about shaquille o'neal's rap album.
i can find information about golf music in the 1800s.
i can't find anything on the source of the organ songs, or the origins of music while playing hockey.

i am considering writing to don cherry to ask him.

has hockey always had a soundtrack?

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hockey music | 11 comments (11 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
Not sure about hockey by ana (2.00 / 0) #1 Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 12:46:40 PM EST
...which my fingers absolutely insist on spelling hokey. Ahem. sorry.

There seem to be organs on the loudspeaker systems at most baseball parks, however. Most everywhere during the 7th inning stretch they play (and the crowd sings along) Take Me Out To The Ballgame. Here in Bostonia, that's followed (for reasons nobody seems to know) with Sweet Caroline.

There's a recorded incident at a baseball park, where, while three umpires were consulting on how to call a certain play, the organist started to play Three Blind Mice, which led to him getting tossed out of the ball park by the umpires, Who Were Not Amused.

I now know what the noise that is usually spelled "lolwhut" sounds like. --Kellnerin

Sweet Caroline by yankeehack (2.00 / 0) #2 Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 02:40:03 PM EST
the provenance of Sweet Caroline is that Neil Diamond wrote the song after he saw a picture of then three year old Caroline Kennedy, which makes that verse "touching me, touching you" all the more creepier.

So maybe the Kennedy connection?

As for organ playing at hockey (and formerly baseball games) I would think that since both sports predate loudspeakers, an organ would have been the loudest, most flexible instrument to put in that type of situation (big area with large crowds)...kind of like church.
"...she dares to indulge in the secret sport. You can't be a MILF with the F, at least in part because the M is predicated upon it."-CBB

[ Parent ]
good thinking! by misslake (2.00 / 0) #7 Thu Jan 05, 2012 at 04:48:14 PM EST
i bet the organ's volume would account for it!

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Volume by Herring (2.00 / 0) #11 Fri Jan 06, 2012 at 04:02:04 AM EST
To get the same volume you'd need a few hundred ukelele players. Although that would be more fun.

christ, we're all old now - StackyMcRacky
[ Parent ]
And wikipedia is at your service by yankeehack (2.00 / 0) #3 Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 02:41:48 PM EST
"...she dares to indulge in the secret sport. You can't be a MILF with the F, at least in part because the M is predicated upon it."-CBB
thanks! by misslake (2.00 / 0) #8 Thu Jan 05, 2012 at 04:49:08 PM EST
i read that, but i was curious about why an organ, which i associate with church, would be in a hockey rink.

[ Parent ]
Organs by Vulch (4.00 / 1) #4 Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 03:10:36 PM EST
Would the original ice hockey arenas have been more general skating rinks which had organs to give background music for the skaters?

When ice hockey was introduced to the New World by ammoniacal (4.00 / 6) #5 Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 08:28:26 PM EST
in 1973, the first teams were composed of itinerant Capuchin monkeys. These little fellers had been put on the dole after the Great Organ Grinder Ban of '69 and they were eager to find work. It was a natural fit and management soon discovered that organ music improved their shooting accuracy by 17%, so the music remained!

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

ah, the great ginder ban, by misslake (4.00 / 2) #9 Thu Jan 05, 2012 at 04:50:23 PM EST
just when you think you have gotten over the loss and sorrow of those days, something comes to remind you of it again.

[ Parent ]
not a complete history or anything by clover kicker (2.00 / 0) #6 Thu Jan 05, 2012 at 08:17:29 AM EST
But seems the pipe organ was a fixture at old-timey rinks.

awesome! by misslake (4.00 / 1) #10 Thu Jan 05, 2012 at 04:51:03 PM EST
thanks for that.

that gives me a lot to go on.

[ Parent ]
hockey music | 11 comments (11 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback