Republic/Welte Mystery Artists: Adams, Foster and Lane
For years we've seen these three artist names on Republic and Welte
rolls: Cal Adams, Nan Foster and Victor Lane. The common assumption
is that these were pseudonyms for either Adam Carroll or J. Milton
I was very surprised recently to see an artist photo line-up on the
inside back cover of the 1920 Republic roll catalog which includes
pictures of three very real looking people -- Adams, Foster and Lane --
along with the familiar pictures of Adam Carroll and J. Milton Delcamp.
I'm sending along an image scan of this page in hopes that someone
might be able to shed light on who these people actually were.
The Cal Adams / Adam Carroll connection is pretty hard to dismiss.
Almost every Republic roll that I've heard that credits Cal Adams
(as solo performer) I would have to definitely call an Adam Carroll
performance, based on what I've learned about his early playing style
and the high level of musicianship in these performances.
On the other hand, Republic rolls credited to Lane or Foster are
usually more generic sounding; certainly not stylistic to the extent
that they could be linked with one of the "known real" artists.
The four-hand arrangements, i.e., by Adams and Lane, etc., are very
generic sounding, most likely intended as sing-a-long rolls with the
usual marimba accompaniment line.
Maybe Lane and Foster were company employees involved in the editing
or perforating/stenciling, etc. of the rolls? Or was their job to
turn out rolls of tunes that for whatever reason didn't appeal to
Delcamp or Carroll?
And who is this fellow pictured as Cal Adams, who certainly is Adam
Carroll in playing style? Maybe some day one of the photos will
turn up in a period music trades magazine and we'll be able to make
a connection from that. How sad that none of these folks are around
to tell us -- a minute with Adam Carroll would probably clear up the
[ In his 1969 interview with Nelson Barden, Adam Carroll told how
[ J. Milton Delcamp encouraged pseudonyms at Ampico and, we might
[ assume, earlier when they both worked at Republic. Maybe the
[ mystery artists in the photos are simply hired models.
[ See the artist's pictures and Frank's earlier article,
[ "Republic Player Roll Corporation", at
[ -- Robbie