Charlie passed away in 2019. This page is kept as reference material. Charlie Balogh was originally from Trenton, New Jersey. His interest in music began at age 11, at which time he started organ instruction. He studied with various teachers and eventually attended Trenton State College where he immersed himself in classical studies with Albert Ludecke, while performing in supper clubs throughout the area. For a short time, he studied with Lee Erwin in New York.
From those beginnings, he has emerged as an exciting and dynamic performer at the theatre pipe organ. Under the guidance of Lyn Larsen, Charlie worked as a staff organist at Organ Stop Pizza in Phoenix, Arizona from 1973 until 1976. In 1977 he moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan to become organist at the Roaring 20's restaurant. In 1986 Charlie and his family purchased the business, which was renamed Good Time Charley's.
Charlie recorded three very successful albums on the organ in his restaurant. One of those was an album called "Pipes Plus" that combined the sounds of the Wurlitzer with modern day digital keyboards. "Pipes Plus" not only won the praise of record reviewers but other professional organists as well. He had his own radio program on WGHN in Grand Haven, Michigan. After 14 years at the console of the Wurlitzer, he decided to close the restaurant in September 1991. He developed a monumental following of fans in Michigan during his tenure that ultimately led to a hugely successful community project to relocate the restaurant organ to the Grand Rapids Public Museum.
After closing Good Time Charley's, Balogh decided to move back to Arizona to play for Organ Stop Pizza, this time in Mesa, at their magnificent new restaurant which features one of the largest Wurlitzer theatre organs in the world. He has recorded a number of albums on this fabulous instrument that have won the praise of reviewers for being innovative and setting new standards of performance and repertoire. He continues on there to the delight of the hundreds of thousands of people who visit yearly. In addition to his schedule at the restaurant, he maintains an active concert schedule throughout the country and abroad including Canada, England, and Australia. For eight years he was a featured artist at the Century II Civic Center in Wichita, playing the former NY Paramount Wurlitzer with the Wichita State University Jazz Band as part of the Wichita River Festival. He has performed on three separate occasions for the American Theatre Organ Society's national conventions and for the most recent Regional Convention in Phoenix. Charlie was also voted “Organist of the Year” by ATOS for the year 2000.
Charlie's style stems from a love of jazz and the music of the 30's and 40's along with classical influences and a broad background in traditional theatre organ techniques. He is, and continues to be, one of this country's finest artists. In 2002 he celebrated 30 years of professional performance at the console.
Charlie makes his home in Gold Canyon, Arizona with his wife Carrie, and a couple of four-legged youngsters named Tammy and Mandy. In addition to playing the theatre pipe organ, Charlie also enjoys composing electronic music, amateur astronomy, and hiking in the Arizona wilderness.
The following is a list of Charlie’s past concert appearances:
- The Auditorium Theatre -- Rochester, New York
- Long Island University -- Brooklyn, New York
- The Avalon Theatre -- Milwaukee, Wisconsin
- The Eisenhart Auditorium -- Rochester, New York
- Shea's Buffalo Theatre -- Buffalo, New York
- The Fox Theatre -- Detroit, Michigan
- The Michigan Theatre -- Ann Arbor, Michigan
- The Redford Theatre -- Detroit, Michigan
- The Senate Theatre -- Detroit, Michigan
- The War Memorial -- Trenton, New Jersey
- Dickinson High School -- Wilmington, Delaware
- Century II Civic Center -- Wichita, Kansas
- Thomaston Opera House -- Thomaston, Connecticut
- The Hinsdale Theatre -- Hinsdale, Illinois
- Phipps Center for the Arts -- Hudson, Wisconsin
- Grand Ledge Opera House -- Grand Ledge, Michigan
- The Saenger Theatre -- Pensacola, Florida
- Casa Loma -- Toronto, Ontario
- Kautz Vineyards -- Murphys, California
- Rialto Theater – Joliet, Illinois
- Berkeley Community Theatre -- Berkeley, California
- Sexon Auditorium -- Pasadena California
- Sanfillipo Music Salon -- Barrington, Illinois
- San Sylmar -- Sylmar, California
- Trinity Baptist Church -- Santa Monica, California
- Trinity Presbyterian Church -- San Diego, California
- The Orpheum Theatre -- Phoenix, Arizona
- Grand Rapids Public Museum -- Grand Rapids, Michigan
- The Capri Theatre -- Adelaide, Australia
- The Orion Centre -- Sydney, Australia
- The Dendy Theatre -- Melbourne, Australia
- Granada Studios -- Manchester, England
- The Rialto Theater -- Joliet, Illinois
Charlie passed away in 2019. This page is kept as reference material.
ATOS Artists' pages are provided as a courtesy to the artist and do not imply an endorsement by the American Theatre Organ Society.