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MMD > Archives > May 2015 > 2015.05.29 > 02Prev  Next


Old and New QRS "Darktown Strutters' Ball"
By Marshall Jose

I bought a fairly youthful QRS roll recently in an antique store,
bearing the title "Q-168 Darktown Strutters Ball (The original QRS
164)".  After I got it home and looked at the first part of the
punching, it didn't seem to match the QRS 164 scans so amply
represented at IAMMP, of which this is a good sample:

http://www.pianorollmusic.com/doesigns/midifiles/PDfiles/QRS-164_DarktownStrutters%27Ball,The(1916)_eRollMIDIWexp.mid 

(Ignore the copyright year in the filename, the piece wasn't written
until 1917.)

After scanning, I confirmed that it's quite a different arrangement,
and much less pleasing to my tastes than the supposedly contemporaneous
(~1917) QRS 164.  It certainly is missing the Kortlander "kick".  I'm
left to wonder just how jumbled the QRS archives had gotten by the time
they started re-issuing the old hits.

Marshall Jose

 [ Scanned QRS Q-168 roll
 [ http://www.mmdigest.com/Attachments/15/05/29/150529_143844_DarktownStruttersBall_QRS_Q168_eRollMIDIWexp.mid 

 [ QRS Q-168 label
 [ http://www.mmdigest.com/Attachments/15/05/29/150529_143844_DarktownStruttersBall_QRS_Q168_Label.jpg 

 [ The QRS Dealer's Reference Catalog of June, 1922, shows
 [
 [   Word Roll 164 -- Darktown Strutters' Ball, The -- Shelton Brooks,
 [   Jass Fox Trot, played by Baxter and Kortlander $.90
 [
 [ It seems that catalog numbers for QRS Word Rolls were assigned to
 [ the song title, not to a particular performance of a song.  The 1917
 [ roll is indeed played by Max Kortlander.  (The florid style sounds
 [ like a xylophone soloist accompanied by a small orchestra.)  Later
 [ QRS rolls, including reissues, that say "Played by Max Kortlander"
 [ were frequently played by J. Lawrence Cook.  -- Robbie


(Message sent Fri 29 May 2015, 21:38:44 GMT, from time zone GMT-0700.)

Key Words in Subject:  Ball, Darktown, New, Old, QRS, Strutters

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