Layton at his retirement party in 2003
|Born||Edward M. Layton
October 10, 1925
|Died||December 26, 2004
Forest Hills, New York
Layton was a native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He graduated from the West Chester State Teachers College majoring in meteorology with a minor in music. He began playing the organ when he was twelve years old. While serving in the United States Navy during World War II, he learned to play the Hammond organ. After the war, he began a career as a professional organist writing scores for soap operas on CBS.
New York Yankees
Layton joined the New York Yankees franchise in 1967 when team president Mike Burke inaugurated organ music at the stadium. At the time, he had never been to the stadium and knew nothing about baseball. He went on to play the organ for the Yankees for over three decades, taking break from 1971 to 1977 to pursue other musical commitments. When he retired on September 28, 2003, he played a final performance of "Take Me Out to the Ball Game", while fans chanted "Eddie! Eddie!".
In addition to playing for the Yankees, Layton was the organist for the New York Knicks and the New York Rangers from 1967 to 1985. He also played for a few seasons of New York Islanders games in the 1990s.
Layton also performed concerts in more than 200 cities for the Hammond Organ Company and released 27 albums. In addition, Layton played the organ at Radio City Music Hall for thirty years of Pace University commencements held there. The student union at Pace University's New York City campus was named in his honor.
In 2009, Soapluvva established a YouTube tribute channel to both Eddie Layton and Charles Paul who were colleagues of each other at the CBS Broadcast Center in Manhattan.
- Botte, Peter (28 December 2004). "Eddie Layton Dies At 79". New York Daily News.
- Goldstein, Richard (28 December 2004). "Eddie Layton, a New York Sports Fixture, Is Dead". New York Times.
- "Three Kings". Village Voice. June 13–19, 2001.
- "Layton retired in 2003 after 35 years". Associated Press. December 27, 2004. Retrieved April 6, 2012.
- "Eddie Layton Student Union". Pace University.