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MMD > Archives > December 1995 > 1995.12.28 > 05Prev  Next

Roll Catalogs
By Matthew Caulfield

Although I had known about this group for months from MBSI and AMICA publications, I only now got around to contacting Jody and learning what I have been missing.

My maiden posting here is to list the music roll catalogs that I am aware of and to ask whether there are others that I don't know about. By music roll catalogs I mean modern-day listings, published or unpublished, which attempt to enumerate as completely as possible all the rolls of a given type known to have been produced.

In the piano roll category I am aware of the Billings Rollography, Charles Davis Smith's Welte opus (from having worked with Charles on that myself), and his Duo-Art catalog.

In the band organ roll category, there is Mike Grant's catalog of style 125 rolls (a new ed. of which, completely verified against Copyright Office records, is due out soon), my two catalogs of style 150 and style 165 rolls, and my list of the 9 known Wurlitzer style 180 rolls.

I am not aware of anyone having worked on other types of rolls, such as orchestrion rolls, at all. There are heaps of data out there for such work: Dick Howe owns nearly complete runs of Wurlitzer monthly lists showing the rolls for every kind of automatic instrument which they issued from 1913 to 1925; I have copies of Ozzie Wurdeman's notebooks listing all BAB roll masters by type; the Music Trades Review listed for many years the new releases of many roll manufacturers (Charles Davis Smith's next project was to have been an Aeolian (or was it Ampico?) catalog, and he was combing through a microfilm of the MTR for such rolls at the time of his death).

What about listings of Violano, Welte orchestrion, APP, Caliola, or other rolls which have been the subject of extensive recutting projects? I would think that cataloging these roll series would be a natural consequence of hunting them down and gathering them for recutting. Please add any catalogs I left out that you know of.

(Message sent Thu 28 Dec 1995, 19:58:14 GMT, from time zone GMT-0500.)

Key Words in Subject:  Catalogs, Roll

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