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MMD > Archives > November 1997 > 1997.11.22 > 04Prev  Next

Unknown Wurlitzer Rolls
By Matthew Caulfield

Robbie wrote:

> The file name is "WPunk01.mid", which indicates "Wurlitzer
> PianOrchestra unknown tune #1".  Can anyone identify it?

Robbie,  Kind of an unfortunate titling, putting me in mind of a punk
rock tune rather than a decent PianOrchestra tune.  I'll listen to it
anyway.  <G>

Do you have the PianOrchestra roll number by chance?  There are pretty
complete Wurlitzer roll lists available for the 1916-1924 period.  Roll
number or names of other tunes on the roll can usually lead to the
correct title if the roll is from that time period.

 [ I don't know the roll number, but I might have a tune list.
 [ Several of the other tunes on the roll were familiar.  -- Robbie

Do you know that Wurlitzer usually (maybe always) penciled or stamped
the roll number at the end of the roll?  In some cases the roll end
gets lost or torn away, but in most cases the end number is intact,
even in cases where the beginning of the roll is missing.

They did this so that the ladies who boxed and labeled rolls would be
able to identify the roll.  And because Wurlitzer perforators all had a
spooling rack attached to the perforator, every roll came off the
perforator spooled backwards (that is, with the end of the roll
outermost on the spool).  Hence the utility of "end numbers."

I have even seen a case with a number like "6517  10"; I suppose the
"10" indicated either the run number or more likely the copy number.
But that's just a guess.

Matthew Caulfield

(Message sent Sun 23 Nov 1997, 01:02:58 GMT, from time zone GMT-0800.)

Key Words in Subject:  Rolls, Unknown, Wurlitzer

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