Dave Haibach remarks on the low price realized for the last two
T.R.T. style 150 band organ rolls on the eBay auction just ended, $55
for roll 13313 and $66 for roll 13314. But, all things considered
-- the choice of the music, the quality of the paper, the fact that
the Herschell Carrousel Factory Museum has the masters and could
re-issue the rolls, and finally, the exorbitant shipping charge of
$12 for a roll that can ship by Media Mail for $3 -- it doesn't
surprise me that the rolls did not go for more.
In the old days, music roll mogul Ray Siou, of Oakland, Calif., was
selling newly recut Wurlitzer band organ rolls for $15 each, and he
always said that the wise instrument owner would buy all the rolls
he could before it was too late. I did that and was never sorry.
With the rising cost of paper, all the production expenses involved,
the shrinking market as owners MIDIfy their instruments, the cost of
new rolls has increased six-fold. In cases where certain styles of
rolls are no longer being cut, the choice is to either pay astronomical
prices for those rare copies that do come on the market or to locate
a scanable copy and have a MIDI file made.
I wonder what that old curmudgeon Ray Siou thinks of this state of
affairs, wherever he is in his final years? He did us a service, and
I for one am thankful to him and also to Jeanne Malone, the mother of
Play-Rite's John Malone, who cranked out all those thousands of recut
rolls in pretty much a one-woman operation in Turlock, California.
Irondequoit, New York