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MMD > Archives > December 1999 > 1999.12.05 > 03Prev  Next

Seek Frank McCullough & Rhoda Krasner
By Matthew Caulfield

Does anyone on MMD know the whereabouts of Rhoda Krasner and what she
is doing today?  I believe she was at one time connected with the
carousel and band organ in St. Catherines, Ontario, Canada.  I looked
in the MMD archives, but her name doesn't appear either as author or

Another person never mentioned here is Frank McCullough, a name all too
familiar to me and Bill Black, Tim Trager, and other band organ people.
But I wonder if anyone really knows Frank's true background and the
reason he spins his tall tales?

He claims to have worked for Wurlitzer in the late 1930's and tells
that he was called to the North Tonawanda plant to take over in the
roll department for Ralph Tussing who needed to go on leave for health
reasons.  Frank describes his experiences there with "Meakin Jone"
(i.e., W. Meakin Jones) and Farny Wurlitzer, and relates how Farny's
daughter, Fanny, would drop into the plant after school, that Farny
gave her a 153 band organ as a Christmas surprise one year, which Frank
and the crew delivered to the Wurlitzer house, and that Fanny lives
alone now on Long Island where Frank occasionally visits her and enjoys
the Wurlitzer collectibles she still owns along with the band organ.

The catch is that, to quote the National Cyclopedia of American Bio-
graphy, "Farny R. Wurlitzer died without issue in Kenmore, N.Y., May 6
1972."  And my inquiries to the high schools of the Tonawandas and
Grand Island revealed no "Fanny Wurlitzer" for the appropriate period.

Frank McCullough lives, or lived, in the Asbury Park, N.J., area.  On
first acquaintance he impresses one as a person with a lot of knowledge
of Wurlitzer history and the possessor of several interesting docu-
ments.  But his "history" doesn't check out in large part, and the
documents, while appearing to be on Wurlitzer letterheads, are typed
in a typeface that is too modern for the time period, though the
signatures of Farny Wurlitzer and W. Meakin Jones compare well with
their genuine signatures on documents which I own.

Frank disappeared from my radar screen after I began to question him
closely about certain stories, and he moved on to find new audiences,
I believe.  Now in retrospect I am trying to understand what drove this
man to make these claims, to inflate our hopes, to waste much time, and
-- worst of all -- to create bogus history.

Matthew Caulfield

(Message sent Mon 6 Dec 1999, 04:09:45 GMT, from time zone GMT-0800.)

Key Words in Subject:  Frank, Krasner, McCullough, Rhoda, Seek

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