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MMD > Archives > December 2005 > 2005.12.13 > 04Prev  Next

Who Is Making Piano Rolls?
By Don Teach

The is in response to the MMD articles about the music roll cutters
or "Who Cuts Rolls".  People like to complain about music rolls but
they should know that music roll sales are not slow.

Play-Rite is very busy with a backlog of roll orders for custom rolls
such as Wurlitzer Paganini rolls.  They cut my "O" rolls that I try to
sell.  I have 16 copies of an "O" roll recut by them and then I have
to try to sell them.  You would think that there would be at least 16
MMD'ers out there in cyber space that would take a copy.  I usually
end up with several left over on a shelf.

I am currently having an "O" roll of marches recut, with the American
Patrol on it.  I have tried recutting blues rolls, classical rolls,
and pop rolls.  This will be my first march "O" roll to recut.

It is also very discouraging to try to borrow rolls to recut.  People
want to buy my rolls but then they will not loan me rolls to recut.
How in the world do you think I got the rolls to recut in the first
place so someone else can enjoy the music.

The pop rolls sell the best.  I hope to offer some recuts of Capital
"O" rolls in the 1000 series after the first of the year.  These have
not been recut before.  I also have some "O" rolls missing the roll
label.  One of them has "Sweet Georgia Brown" as tune 5 and is an
excellent roll, but the problem of no tune titles scares me as to if
this roll will sell.

It is hard for some people to buy a roll just because I say it is a
great roll.  There are some people that love "G" rolls and then there
is are others (people with good taste) that love the "O" roll (me).
In past MMDigests I have written about Coinola pianos and the style
"O" music roll.

I am also toying with the idea of offering some recuts of the program
rolls that Ray Siou did for the Ampico and the Duo-Art some years ago,
if anyone is interested.  These were very large rolls made by putting
together up to ten small rolls onto one large roll.

The original question was who makes rolls?  There are several people
that actually cut the rolls and several people that just sell the
rolls.  I have others cut rolls for me and I sell them -- I do not
actually cut the rolls.  Of the actual roll cutters I know, none have
a lot of spare time.  Custom Music Rolls [Janet and Richard Tonnesen]
in Dallas is very busy, Ed Gaida is cutting Aeolian Orchestral rolls,
Play-Rite has three perforators going, and the others I assume are also
busy. I hear that Keystone is also busy with a new sales administration.

By the way, Ed, did you have to bring up Blackbeard the Pirate?
He never had a player piano and you can be pretty well advised that
I know that for a fact!

Don Teach - Shreveport Music Co.
Shreveport, Louisiana

(Message sent Tue 13 Dec 2005, 15:30:55 GMT, from time zone GMT-0600.)

Key Words in Subject:  Is, Making, Piano, Rolls, Who

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