Wolverhampton organist Steve Tovey remembered at celebration

There was laughter, line-dancing and lots of classic melodies as friends of the late city organist Steve Tovey gathered to celebrate his life and enduring love of music.

Wolverhampton organist Steve Tovey remembered at celebration

The much loved musician, whose keyboard career spanned an illustrious 50 years, was remembered at a special tea dance at Wolverhampton's Civic Hall held in his honour.

Scores of dancers and music fans converged on the venue to hear acclaimed organists Keith Tomlin and Cameron Lloyd play the electronic organ while DJ Jim Duncan and his wife Debbie organised the line dancing.

Fittingly it was the last event to be held at the civic hall in North Street, where Steve was the resident organist for more than 20 years, before it closes to complete its multi-million pound refurbishment.

Cannock Chase Organ Club, of which he was president, described the turn-out as 'fantastic' on its Facebook page.

One of the staff made a cake in the shape of the Odeon Birmingham Compton organ which was raffled to raise money for Stafford Kidney Unit. Many people wore Christmas jumpers, as requested, in the spirit of the season.

Steve, from Hazel Slade Cannock, resident organist at the Civic Hall since 1993, died suddenly in September, aged 69.

He was described as a driving force behind both the Midlands music scene and the theatre organ circuit across the UK in tributes following his death. Cabinet member Councillor John Reynolds said he re-kindled tea dances at the Civic in the 1990s, which had remained a regular fixture, and showed 'great passion and enthusiasm' in what he did.

He was married to Ann, who is front of house for the Cannock Chase Organ Club, and had three daughters. A club spokesman said they owed him 'a great debt' for many of the installations now enjoyed in the UK.

He grew up in Aston and spent a quarter of a century playing the iconic Compton organ at Birmingham Odeon cinema when it was the leading stage venue in the city before the arrival of Symphony Hall and the NEC. In his day he performed alongside greats such as Judy Garland, Cary Grant and Cliff Richard.

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