Georges Montalba
(Robert Hunter)
(1929-2001)

Recording & Touring Artist

Mr. Montalba played the B-3

We remember the eclectic and multi-talented Georges Montalba: French-born pianist, child prodigy, master organist, and international star; teen runaway and traveling-circus organist; army veteran; father, husband, lion tamer; oboist and 1950s big-band jazz pianist; Broadway musical director, and devoted Christian. By age six he was working in radio alongside Shirley Temple and Judy Garland; by 19, he was playing with the L.A. Philharmonic Orchestra. His stupendously prolific music career spanned 60 years, which took him from classical concert piano to big bands to Broadway to TV, and eventually to acclaim as a respected and sought-after chorale arranger. Messr. Montalba was also a popular Theatre Organist. His most popular album was “Pipe Organ Favorites”

(Georges Montalba was actually a pseudonym used by the organist¬†Robert Hunter. This name was also used by the occultist Anton LaVey. The mythology of “Georges Montalba” unfortunately often intermingles the facts between them. In the short bio above, “lion-tamer” is mentioned as a point of career interest for Messr. Montalba. This is probably apocryphal for Mr. Hunter, but we wouldn’t put it past Mr. LaVey. The true origin of the name-and parts of the myth-resides with the Author Ben Hall, who invented it when he could not ascertain the identity of an organist featured in his landmark book “The Best Remaining Seats”. Mr. Hall admired the photo so much, he kept it in the book, with the ficticious name)