Closing Chord - John Ferguson
The finest teacher of theatre organ style playing, with a list of students who rose to the highest level of concert playing, has died. John Ferguson passed away in Indianapolis Monday morning at the age of 79. He died peacefully in his sleep following some health issues.
Born in Shreveport, LA in 1935, his piano studies morphed into organ studies, and he made a name for himself playing Hammond with piano at lounges and restaurants, including the famous Stan Musial's restaurant in St. Louis.
John Ferguson began teaching in earnest while working as the Music Director at the Paramount Music Palace in Indianapolis, IN. The likes of Jelani Eddington, Dwight Thomas, Mark Herman and other top players learned their craft at the hands of this brilliant teacher. John's impact on the modern world of theatre organ playing cannot be measured in simple terms. We who listen to these great artists tutored by this great teacher have been and will continue to be the beneficiaries of his deft touch and sensitive ear.
While never famous as a concert player in his own right, this genial genius instructor's legacy will live on as long as his students are creating great music for us to enjoy. ATOS and the theatre organ world has lost a giant.