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MMD > Archives > November 2011 > 2011.11.15 > 02Prev  Next

Grand Roller Organ Cobs 2142 & 2143 "King Cotton"
By Richard Dutton

In the January 8, 2006, MMDigest I wrote saying I had an original Grand
(32-note) roller organ cob with no label and the tune on it was
definitely the John Philip Sousa march "King Cotton", a title that does
not appear on any of the lists of Grand cob numbers and titles that
I have seen.

A few weeks ago, I was contacted by Jere Ryder, who said he had another
copy of the same cob with a complete label and the number on it was
2143.  He brought it to my home and showed it to me when he came by to
take some measurements of my Grand roller organ in connection with a
Grand he was restoring.  So, I have seen this cob with my own eyes!

The lists of Grand cob numbers and titles that appeared in the Sears
Roebuck catalogs in the early years of the twentieth century listed cobs
in the 2000 series (non-hymns) only up to #2140.  I have cob #2141,
"Benny Havens, Oh!" (a West Point drinking song) and the question now
is, since they made a cob #2143, what was cob #2142?

Kevin McElhone of England prepared a list of Grand cob numbers and
titles some years ago in part, I believe, by canvassing owners of Grand
organs and asking them to submit numbers and titles of cobs they had.
In his list, he included "The Robin and the Bear" as the title of cob
#2142, but I have never come across a copy of this cob and have been
unable to locate any piece of music with that title.

I have suspected that someone with a copy of cob #2012, "Robin Hood --
Four Songs" with a partial or illegible label may have misread it as
"The Robin and the Bear" (This cob does have a number that ends in "2",
the word "Robin", the letter "d" at the end of the next word and the
letter "r" at the end of the word after that, so if he/she thought the
final two numbers were "42" and the cob was clearly not #2042, "Daisy
Bell", he/she might have jumped to the conclusion that it was #2142 and
read the title as best as he/she could.)

Does this make sense?  Does anyone have cob #2142, or a cob with the
title "The Robin and the Bear"?  Has anyone ever heard of a piece of
music by that name?

Best regards to all,

Richard Dutton

(Message sent Wed 16 Nov 2011, 00:23:27 GMT, from time zone GMT-0800.)

Key Words in Subject:  2142, 2143, Cobs, Cotton, Grand, King, Organ, Roller

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