I had known Larry Villano for over 50 years. I first met Larry in 1970
at the B&B Carousell in Coney Island, New York. Larry would travel from
West Haven, Connecticut, on a weekly basis, carrying no less than four
B.A.B. music rolls which he would play on the Bruder Organ. (The owner,
Willy Bischoff, took a liking to Larry.)
Larry was so obsessed with the B.A.B. arrangements, that he himself
bought nearly thirty of the re-cut rolls. So knowledgeable was Larry,
that he could tell you every tune on every roll without looking at the
roll box label.
Larry was so eager to meet J. Lawrence Cook, his idol, that he invited
me to visit Mr. Cook at his home. Larry's obsession for B.A.B. music
carried over to his work place. He would play his B.A.B. recordings
over the P.A. sound system at the parking garage where he worked.
It was through Larry that I came to record all the available B.A.B.
rolls that were in the Jerry Doring Collection. When I moved from
New York to Vancouver, B.C., I was only occasionally able to visit
with Larry. But we corresponded frequently by phone, and Larry would
send me many recordings of the Savin Rock Gavioli Organ.
I don't know anyone else who is as knowledgeable about B.A.B. music
as Larry was. I shall greatly miss him -- RIP, Larry.
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada