In response to Tom Lear's request for information about Lee S. Roberts,
I would like to refer him to the Obenchain "The Complete Catalog of
Ampico Reproducing Piano Rolls". The information therein is brief, but
significant. It states that in 1912 Roberts developed "artist-recorded"
piano rolls for QRS. Thirteen Ampico rolls are credited to Roberts.
There is additional information published about Roberts, perhaps in the
AMICA Bulletin, but my memory fails. It is also my memory, but I can't
be sure, that the QRS recording of "Valse Parisienne", by Roberts, is
supposed to be the first QRS hand played roll.
"Valse Parisienne" was also issued by Ampico as roll number 90003G.
My copy of that roll is autographed by Roberts and he even included the
first few bars of music written with his signature. Oddly, the music
he penned on the roll leader is in a different key than the roll.
Using the dates on the roll, 10/26 in his autograph and the copyright
for the music, 1918, it is hard to imagine that "Valse Parisienne" is
indeed really the first hand played QRS roll. Perhaps others on the
list have more information.