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MMD > Archives > January 2015 > 2015.01.14 > 03Prev  Next

"On The Beach" March Two-step by Fred Vokoun
By Matthew Caulfield

David Naythons' posting to the 150111 MMD, as edited by Jody Kravitz,
failed to give David's email address so I'm not sure he got or will
see Dave Vincent's astounding reply in the 15012 MMD.

I say astounding because David Naythons first posed the question to
Rosanna Harris, editor of CAMN (Carousel and Automatic Music News).
Rosanna passed the question on to me, and although I tried various
sources, using Google search engine turned up far too many hits, given
the fact that nothing was known but its title and that fact that it is
a march.

Googling anything with "march" in the construct swamps you with
everything containing a mention of the month of March.  "On The Beach"
is too common a title, making the search as hopeless as searching for
"I Love You."

David did give me a YouTube link to the Frati organ performance at  but that produced no leads.  He also told
me that the march was from a B.A.B. 48-key roll.  Since I have all
Ozzie Wurdeman's B.A.B. production lists, I thought that would tell me
something, but the title was not in Ozzie's notebook listing all known
B.A.B. roll masters.  Although his lists of 48-key rolls do show the
tune being used, there is no information about composer or date.  And
I was a bit skeptical about the accuracy of the title, given what
I know about garbled B.A.B. tune titles!

So I told David Naythons his search might be hopeless unless he could
search the Library of Congress' Copyright Office catalogs, where he
would still run into dozens of entries in the music card files for "On
The Beach."  But I did suggest posing his question to the MMD, given
the talents and expertise of MMD subscribers.

My question is, how did Dave Vincent zero in on the Fred Vokoun march
of that name, and can the sheet music (which Robbie reports as being in
the Fine Arts Department of the Cleveland Public Library, Cleveland,
Ohio) be obtained and compared with the Frati performance for
confirmation or rejection?

Virtually nothing is known about Fred Vokoun other than the bare facts
given in the original sheet music of his only known [copyrighted]

  "Santa Claus" march and two-step, by Fred Vokoun
  (C) Nov. 15, 1907 by Sam Fox Publ. Co., Cleveland, Ohio

That Fred Vokoun was a real name and not a pseudonym can be deduced
from the fact that this piece was dedicated to a certain "Wm. J.
Schwarz of Boston, Mass. (A Prince of Good fellows)".  The fact that
Vokoun's publisher, the Sam Fox Publishing Company, was located in
Cleveland some 25 degrees of longitude to the west of Boston gives no
clue to Vokoun's abode.  He is not mentioned in any musical reference
work and Internet research has revealed nothing.

Dave Vincent says he may yet turn up more information, and I too will
search the sheet music sources I know of, now that we have a composer
name and a 1909 performance date from Robbie.

Matthew Caulfield
Irondequoit, New York

 [ Searching for "On the beach march two step" returned Vokoun.
 [ The piece was apparently published without copyright registration.
 [ -- Robbie

(Message sent Thu 15 Jan 2015, 00:34:45 GMT, from time zone GMT-0500.)

Key Words in Subject:  Beach, Fred, March, Two-step, Vokoun

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