By Chris Doe
Why Happy Cow Music? Lets let Stephen explain —
“The concept of Happy Cow Music started some 20 years ago, when I acquired my first mechanical organ, which was a French ‘Le Ludion’ hand turned organ. Normally, monkeys or apes are associated with this sort of instrument and although actual animals are generally replaced by soft toys, I didn’t like monkeys. There is a reason for this. Aged 13 on a school trip to Chester Zoo, we managed to annoy the monkeys and quickly found their skill at launching poo with amazing accuracy! I think the expression is ‘going ape-shit!’
So instead of a toy monkey I adorned my mechanical organ with a soft toy cow. Later I acquired a glove puppet cow and entertained the children with that. The puppet cow, Mitzi, had a big smile and soon became known as the happy cow. When I started selling perforated music for mechanical organs, it was natural to use the happy cow as a trade mark.”
Unfortunately Stephen passed-away in August 2022
About me – I am Chris Doe a long time friend of Stephens -I first met Stephen at the tender age of 12/13 back in 1993 – at the time I had 21 Note Trueman organ.
Stephens music appealed to me immediately, it was modern and fun in the arrangement style, quite different from some of the other available music at the time – Stephen and his wife Joy encouraged me in the hobby for many years – later years Stephen and I would visit events in the Netherlands and Belgium together – he also played my wife and I down the isle on my wedding day back in 2009 with his 42 Key Heesbeen “Marina”.
I made Stephens original Happy Cow Music website back in 2003
Stephen stopped commercially producing 20 note rolls and books in about 2005 – and concentrated on making one off books and midi music for his organs.
Stephen passed his 20/21 book patterns to James Reid and books can be bought direct from James.
Stephens 20 note roll patterns, unfortunately did not survive.
Fortunately however, I had obtained a large number of rolls from Stephen over the years and with the acquisition of his old Deleika 20/31 from Stephens friend Tony Yorke in 2023, gained access to Stephens own collection of his rolls.
In the later part of 2023 some of Stephens friends and fans of his music discussed resurrecting his roll music legacy in his memory, hence Happy Cow Music (2023)
Modern technology has been used to make accurate digital masters of these rolls- this means that new rolls and midi music can now be produced and a new master library made.
Not all of Stephens arrangements are yet available, as some are missing from the list- we hope that in time these titles will be added and available for all to enjoy again!
Please contact us if you have any of Stephens 20 note rolls – we would be happy to hear from you! please e-mail