I was in Wichita on Friday for an appointment and while I was there,
I went to a few garage sales. I didn't have a newspaper or anything
providing a list of where the sales were that day, I just looked for
signs along the avenues. One of the sales I went to was hosted by a
Upon entering the church annex, I immediately spotted an old piano
roll. The roll was in poor condition to say the least. The box was
in pieces and missing the end flaps, and top and bottom did not match.
The roll had several tears, was frayed on the edges, and was missing
the end tab. Someone had tried to repair this roll at one time and did
a very poor job of it (cellophane tape, etc). The title of the song
was also missing so I had no way of knowing the name of the tune.
We've all seen many rolls in similar condition over the years. Often
the damage is extensive and the song boring so it is usually not worth
it to take the time to repair the roll. The roll was overpriced for
its condition, so I asked for and received a reduced price for it.
At home the next day, I put the roll on my piano to further evaluate
the damage and to try and identify the tune. I recognized the song
immediately. It was "The Mosquitoes' Parade." I have been looking for
a copy of this song on a piano roll for years! I couldn't believe it!
("The Mosquitoes' Parade" was included on Ian Whitcomb's "Titanic" CD
of songs that survivors reported hearing the orchestra play during the
I quickly set to work repairing the rest of the roll with the
handy-dandy archival tape that Larry Norman sells. The roll still
needs additional repair but it is now in playable condition.
I was very happy to finally find a copy of this desired roll at long
last! I have sent the church a donation of appreciation. :-)
Player Piano and Mechanical Music Exchange