Sour Note

Wurlitzer 's fight to survive

For more than a century, the name Wurlitzer has been a household synonym for high-quality musical instruments, from grand pianos to the imposing wood and gold-leaf scroll organs that boomed across sports stadiums and carnival midways. Although the 8,000-pipe "Mighty Wurlitzer" at Manhattan's Radio City Music Hall is still in operation, the company that built it is struggling for its life, victimized by foreign competition, high interest rates and a weak economy. Together, these pressures have flattened sales of pianos and organs alike.

During the past year, business for...

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