Yesterday, after more than a year's work, I finished inputting online
all of the style 150 band organ rolls made in North Tonawanda, N.Y.,
from 1913 to the mid-1960's. The last two rolls, 13313 and 13314 threw
me -- twelve tunes, no composers, and the strangest, unheard-of titles:
13313: Lazy Latin, Kindergarten, Braunschweig, Smaltz, Hot Sauce,
and Pop Corn;
13314: Peeping Tom, Little Miss Muffet, Bossa Nova Linda,
Girl From Guadeloupe, Meine Schatz, and Breezing Easy.
Unlike other tunes arranged for band organ rolls, not one of these
titles appeared in Copyright Office registration records. Wanting
to find out whether they were a joke or really represented tune titles,
today I tried Google-ing them on the Internet. Of course "kindergarten"
is hopeless and "peeping tom" brings up a host of porno sites. But
"bossa nova linda" produced results, leading me to the site of
Thomas J. Valentino, Inc.
The Valentino organization holds the rights to thousands of tunes and
sound effects that are used in radio and TV broadcasting and perhaps
films. All twelve of the band organ tunes were listed on that site,
albeit sometimes more correctly (Schmaltz valse and Popcorn, for
example). Four composers nobody ever heard of (Cyril Watters, Bill
Potts, Michael Reynolds, Anthony Mawer) created the twelve tunes.
Now my questions to the MMD are these: Am I right in assuming that
these twelve tunes were once themes for well-known radio or TV programs
so that they would have been familiar to people hearing these two band
organ rolls in the 1960's? Does anybody recognize any of the twelve
tunes by title? Does anyone know anything about any of the four
composers named? (Apparently Anthony Mawer is dead, according to
How would Ralph Tussing, alone up in his dark, cluttered North
Tonawanda, N.Y., shop in the 1960's, have gotten hold of these
pieces to arrange? Were they published in some song collection?
I'd appreciate any ideas or thoughts from you musicologists.
Matthew Caulfield (Irondequoit, N.Y.)