Dear friends, To answer a question that Mark Kinsler had intended
to ask a few days ago, "Yes," some piano roll companies did copy rolls
from other manufacturers and sold them as their own.
While I was growing up in the 1950s I used to play a great
arrangement of "Beautiful Ohio" on a regular basis. The beginning of
the roll has long since gone, as well as the box, but the paper quality
and perforations seem to indicate a lesser brand of roll, possibly
Majestic, or maybe even an early Imperial.
Anyway, one day last year I had the opportunity to purchase a
collection of old rolls and while going through them I found a copy of
QRS #666, "Beautiful Ohio". I thought I'd put it on the piano and see
what it sounded like. I was amazed to find the same arrangement that
I had been listening to since 1953, only on a different label!
The next time I spoke with Bob Berkman at QRS I mentioned this
"abnormality" to him and he replied that it was not a common occurrence
years ago, but it did sometimes happen. Others may share the same kind