Joyce Brite touched on an interesting but seldom-discussed topic
yesterday -- that of "publicizing" mechanical music.
Now, at the risk of making a hobby into a commercial enterprise, anyone
with any sort of money tied up in musical stuff should see the importance
in "protecting" the value of his investment.
The importance of keeping the stuff from physically falling apart is
evident to everyone, and the hobby has been quite effective in protecting
many rare antiques for future generations.
Less obvious is the value derived from public interest in our musical
stuff, without which, it would often hardly be worth restoring and
maintaining some of it. Just look at the hundreds of player pianos that
are broken up and carted away as scrap each year... simply because the
public's perception of "value" just doesn't warrant the moving costs, yet
I recall one interesting, although probably accidental, marketing
success. Remember what happened to the value of the Wurlitzer 1015
juke box after "Happy Days" became a hit on prime time television? Those
1015's went through the roof... everyone had to have one. It wasn't the
best or the biggest or the most rare, but it was what everyone wanted.
Joyce hit the nail on the head: public interest in our musical machines
is vital in keeping the remaining examples alive. As a group, we should
all consider this marketing an obligation as important as the annual
tuning hammer visit.
(Soap-box mode 'off'.)
Long Beach, New York