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MMD > Archives > March 2012 > 2012.03.16 > 04Prev  Next

Uncertain Wurlitzer 165 Rolls 6504 & 6651
By Matthew Caulfield

This will probably not excite anyone except avid students of
Wurlitzer 165 music, but the 165 rolls in the batch of rolls recently
acquired by Dana Johnson from the estate of Bud Hurlbut have resolved
two longstanding ambiguities about style 165 roll numbering.

One question was whether the assumed number for roll 6651 is correct
or not.  That roll, found in the Seabreeze Park collection without
label or number, is shown in my catalog as 6651(?).  By the dates
of its tunes we knew it must be one of the three rolls that are
unaccounted for from the 1928-1929 time period, rolls 6650, 6651,
and 6652.  So it was given the number 6651(?).

If we had known at the time the roll was recut that its number could
be found at the end of the roll, the mystery would have probably been
solved.  But the Seabreeze original was destroyed in the park's fire
of March 31, 1994.

Among Dana Johnson's Hurlbut acquisitions was a copy of the real (and
different) roll 6651, with original Wurlitzer label.  From dating its
tunes and comparing those dates with the dates on 6651(?), it was
apparent that the correct roll number for the Seabreeze roll is 6650.

The other mystery -- a bigger one -- is the nature of what we were
calling roll 6504(?).  The roll recut by Play-Rite as 6504(?) originated
in an earlier recut made for Ross R. Davis, containing only eight
tunes, with two of them obviously incomplete.  The original green-paper
roll was never seen and the tune titles were unknown, but over time
most were identified.

One of the finds among Dana Johnson's Hurlbut rolls was roll 6532, a
roll that Wurlitzer listed in its February 1922 Monthly Roll Bulletin
but which had never been heard in modern times.  Upon playing 6532, it
was immediately apparent that 6504(?) is a truncated and somewhat
damaged copy of 6532.

After debating the best way of handling this mix-up in my 165 catalog,
I decided to move the entry for 6504(?) to follow the entry for 6532
and to call it 6532-A (variant).  The catalog now has a link at 6504(?)
taking users to the new location for that variant roll.

All this has required considerable editing of my catalog, especially
since two incorrect titles given for 6504 needed to be corrected.  Roll
6651 has been sent to Play-Rite for copying, and soon 6532 will also be
sent.  I am also making corrected labels for what were 6504(?) and
6651(?) and will be happy to send new labels to anyone who has those
two rolls and would like better labels.

Matthew Caulfield
Irondequoit, New York

(Message sent Fri 16 Mar 2012, 20:37:01 GMT, from time zone GMT-0400.)

Key Words in Subject:  165, 6504, 6651, Rolls, Uncertain, Wurlitzer

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