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MMD > Archives > August 1999 > 1999.08.12 > 08Prev  Next

Seek QRS Autograph Rolls of "Magnolia Suite"
By Robbie Rhodes

Ragtimer Trebor Tichenor and collector Mike Montgomery are collabo-
rating on a CD recording project featuring the piano rolls of Blind
Boone and R. Nathaniel Dett.

Montgomery seeks the QRS Autograph roll of the fifth and last song
from "Magnolia Suite", by R. Nathaniel Dett (1882-1943), recorded in
Chicago in 1912.  (The misspelled name on the Autograph script label
is "Rethaniel Dett".)  Three of the four rolls have been located, but
the last roll with song #5 is still needed:

  QRS 80192  Magnolia Suite
    1. Magnolia
  QRS 80196  Magnolia Suite
    2. Deserted Cabin
    3. My Lady Love
  QRS 80184  Magnolia Suite
    4. Mammy
  QRS   ?    Magnolia Suite
    5.  ?

Nathaniel Dett's early piano suites were much influenced by black folk
and sacred music, and include Magnolia (1912), In the Bottoms (1913),
The Cinnamon Grove (1928), and The Chariot Jubilee (1921).  Three songs
from In the Bottoms were recorded for Welte-Mignon, and Percy Grainger
recorded "Juba Dance" for Duo-Art.

During his tenure at Hampton Institute in Virginia (1913-1931) Dett
developed the Hampton Institute Choir, which gained international
recognition under his guidance.  The Nathaniel Dett Chorale of Canada
preserves and continues his work today.

In his book, "They All Played Ragtime", Tichenor writes, "In 1912
Blind Boone recorded several hand-played rolls for the Q.R.S. Company
in Chicago that not only represent the earliest hand-played rolls, but
afford one of the earliest glimpses of black folk music as interpreted
by a black musician."

Please contact me if you can help the project, and I'll put you in
touch with Mike Montgomery.

Robbie Rhodes <>

(Message sent Fri 13 Aug 1999, 01:40:21 GMT, from time zone GMT-0700.)

Key Words in Subject:  Autograph, Magnolia, QRS, Rolls, Seek, Suite

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