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MMD > Archives > March 2012 > 2012.03.19 > 02Prev  Next

How Did Wurlitzer Choose Songs for Music Rolls
By Gary Watkins

[ Ref. 120316 MMDigest, Uncertain Wurlitzer 165 Rolls 6504 & 6651

I want to thank Matthew Caulfield for his update of Wurlitzer 165
rolls 6504 and 6651.  Since I am indeed an "avid student of Wurlitzer
165 music", it is a pleasure to see Matthew unravel many of the
mysteries that have surrounded this music for so many years.

Moving beyond the catalog itself, I have often wondered how Wurlitzer
selected the tunes appearing on band organ rolls.  Was it the cost?
Popularity?  Ease of arrangement?

This becomes more than an "avid student" question when trying to
identify "mystery" selections!  Looking at roll 6651, for example,
the fox trot tunes were all issued as piano rolls in March and April
of 1929, yet these are not the tunes I would have guessed for 6651.

My guesses from those months would have included "Button Up Your
Overcoat", "Let's Do It!", "Lover Come Back To Me" or "Makin' Whoopee!".
Those tunes were all in successful Broadway shows, but none of them
appears on discovered style 165 rolls.  Judging by other rolls issued
at the time, perhaps Wurlitzer was more interested in music from motion

Kudos again to Matthew!

Gary Watkins

(Message sent Mon 19 Mar 2012, 03:35:13 GMT, from time zone GMT-0700.)

Key Words in Subject:  Choose, Did, How, Music, Rolls, Songs, Wurlitzer

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