So the story goes like this… John had recently returned from a working trip cruising around the USA and as chance had it, he very soon bumped into his wife-to-be Jackie. A few months later Jackie’s birthday was due and John went out to buy a prezzie, unfortunately, he got distracted in a local music shop and ended up buying a new Technics SX700 keyboard with an eye to adding it to his Midi accordion. Through the years he has taken a little stick for not having come back with the birthday prezzie, however, the new keyboard led directly to Carillon Studios.
The keyboard opened up a new world of electronic possibilities for the accordion although the technology was still a little limited. For many years he had backing bands behind him however the backing on the new keyboard left him a little frustrated. In time Technics released a new keyboard, the KN800. This had better backing styles but they still left John needing others for his professional gig work. For the first time, however, the instrument had the capability to enable a player to write his own and John quickly realised this was the way forward and set about teaching himself how to do so.
During these months he was introduced to Gareth Lewis who ran the Technics User magazine and after several phone calls, Gareth invited John to write articles. Later that summer Gareth suggested John should sell some of the styles he had written through the magazine and within 8 weeks he had a list of nearly 100 players all asking for more styles and so the ‘Mega Style disks’ were born. It was decided that a name for the business was needed and it was Jackie’s idea to use the name Carillon (meaning a peal of bells sounded by a keyboard).
The name ‘Carillon’ has stuck and now has several subsections. ‘Carillon Studios’ now writes styles for Ketron, Korg, Roland, Solton and Yamaha instruments and sells to 29 different countries around the world. ‘Carillon Festivals’ has been the couples music theme holidays since 2002 and now has over 60 events under its belt.
John has always taught accordions and keyboard ‘tec’ so it made sense to put this under the Carillon banner as well with his ‘Carillon Music School‘. And it was another chance meeting that led to John being the driving force behind the OrganFax website for over ten years. It is Unfortunate that this situation recently went sour and was pushed out by those he trusted. He wishes to make it clear to all that it was not his decision to leave OrganFax and he truly regrets the mess the site is in since he left, however as he is no longer involved he has no control over the current site. It should also be noted the same circumstances that led to his withdrawal from the Accordion Central website, this site is now also failing badly.
This whole sorry state of affairs with two well-known names in the organ/keyboard world has brought a silver lining though. The knowledge of programming and websites john has gained has led to the formation of a charity which helps both children, adults and their carers. If you fancy a look please visit their site Middlewich Addition Needs Network