Memory Lane: Your Own Toy Organ

A line from an ancient commercial floated through my mind: Whee, whee, whee, whee, whee! It’s Emenee! Holy cow, what made me remember that? Emenee toy organs, vintage 1960s.

Suddenly everybody had one. We had one in our house, my aunts had one in theirs, and Uncle Bernie in his. Emenee made all kinds of musical instruments for kids, but was best known for the organs. The one in the video, the guy bought from Goodwill for a mere $12. Old as the hills, and still works.

When Patty and I were first married, we used to go to Walden Books in the Menlo Park Mall in search of scary novels. Right outside the bookstore was a display of organs suitable for the home. Whenever you went, you could count on somebody sitting at the biggest organ, playing “Blue Spanish Eyes.”

Were more people making more music, back then? I think they were. And nothing was digital yet, the personal computer was decades away. But you could have your own organ.

7 comments on “Memory Lane: Your Own Toy Organ

  1. I remember seeing those everywhere. I think I may be the only kid of the ‘60s that didn’t have one. 🙂

    I’m certain that more than a few good keyboard players got their first exposure on one of these. It certainly would be more mentally stimulating than some stupid video game.

    1. Modern electronic keyboards are amazing. I have a $500 Yamaha 88 key electronic piano that feels like a piano (weighted keys) and sounds amazingly good. Adjusted for inflation, that’s not much more than that organ cost, back in the sixties.

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