I received a nice letter from Ray Siou this week, in response to a
CD of Rich Olsen's 165 band organ arranging that I sent him. As most
roll collectors know Ray was for many years the mogul of the music
roll business, selling rolls of all sorts at bargain prices (by today's
standards). Plus every roll shipment contained surprises of one sort
or another: a few aprons, some cologne samples, cassette tapes, recipe
books, tooth paste -- who knows what.
Ray has outlived his beloved cats, for whose care he had provided
handsomely in his will, and has moved into the house owned by his late
mother. He has been thinking of moving to a senior center where he can
get three meals a day, since his health is not very good, but he is not
sure how well he would adjust to the confines of such a place, after
living in his big old warehouse/home at 1612 East 14th Street, Oakland,
Ray's brother, Benton, is living in Ray's old house at present, but
Benton's wife doesn't like the noise in the neighborhood nor the crime
rate. It sounds as though Ray is thinking of moving back there, just
to keep the building occupied, if his brother moves out.
Ray says none of his old musical instruments work now because of rodent
damage. He had put his roll collection into storage five years ago when
he sold the 14th Street building to a party who has since defaulted on
the mortgage. His style 165 church-pipe organ has fallen victim to rats,
and Ray is trying to sell the parts of the organ at a give-away price.
Ray gives his present address as 1612 International Boulevard, Oakland,
CA 94606. He says that the old phone number (510-534-8421) still works.
I believe that the old curmudgeon would really enjoy hearing from his
old friends and customers. He sent me a couple of CD's along with his
Irondequoit, New York
[ MMDigest articles about Ray Siou are indexed at
[ and other articles about band organs (including Ray's)
[ that feature salvaged church organ pipes are indexed at
[ -- Robbie