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Re: [EliteSyncopations] Can you identify this rag?

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  • drjames
    I did the piece 3 years ago. James :-) ... From: Randy Runyon To: EliteSyncopations@yahoogroups.com Sent: Monday, August 27, 2012 10:02 PM Subject: Re:
    Message 1 of 15 , Aug 27, 2012
    I did the piece 3 years ago.
     
    James :-)
     
     
    ----- Original Message -----
    Sent: Monday, August 27, 2012 10:02 PM
    Subject: Re: [EliteSyncopations] Can you identify this rag?

     

    Wow.  That's good detective work.  And it can be downloaded from the Mississippi State Library:





    On Mon, Aug 27, 2012 at 4:45 PM, Ragnar Hellspong <ragnar.hellspong@...> wrote:
     

    <<It's thus probable that the roll was released in 1910-11 and a guess is that the unknown rag was copyrighted in 1909 or 1910 - like the above mentioned.<<


    Found it - it's Bud Rag by Bud L. Cross. Indeed published in 1909.

    /Ragnar


  • Andrew
    Hi Bryan and gang, I respect Mr. Crandall a great deal, and although I really like all of the history and research that has gone into his now-vintage (late
    Message 2 of 15 , Oct 12, 2012
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      Hi Bryan and gang,

      I respect Mr. Crandall a great deal, and although I really like all of the history and research that has gone into his now-vintage (late 1980s) article on the Peerless Piano Player Co (and related Roth & Engelhardt, Engelhardt Piano Co., etc.), it is not completely accurate.

      For one thing, there are a few typographical and editorial errors that actually made it into the published version of the article as well (I know, I have a copy of the exact MBSI Journal where it was published).

      For another, and much more importantly, new information on Peerless and the related companies has since been discovered in the 20+ years since that article was written. I am sure Mr. Crandall himself has turned up much additional information on the company, instruments, and rolls, beyond what was published in this article, and I'm sure he would be happy to publish it eventually.

      I think that the new discoveries and/or complete unraveling of the Peerless/Engelhardt/National story will be included in the forthcoming book on American Coin Pianos and Orchestrions that Mr. Art Reblitz has been co-writing with Mr. Q. David Bowers the past several years, but I could be wrong.

      Anyway, I myself don't own any products of this company (except perhaps an old Master Record roll or two) but can make a few educated statements based upon many old ads and articles I've found in the Music Trade Review magazine archived here:

      http://mtr.arcade-museum.com/

      1. The Peerless RR was apparently the very first instrument designed to use this roll (actually, it's the other way around, the ROLL was probably designed originally for this specific PIANO, with the additional tracker bar holes probably reserved for any subsequent planned models, such as the F and V, which use them for pipe registers). The first ads I have seen for it (in the Music Trade Review) are from 1910. Since Peerless did NOT make any instrument which played this roll prior to this time, I would bet that the earliest RR/Cabaret rolls date from 1910. As soon as I can dig out the links to the ad for the RR piano, I'll post them here.

      2. Bryan Cather is correct that Engelhardt/Peerless/National was producing rolls for their instruments fairly early on (I believe the pioneering models D and 44 were introduced in 1902 and 1903, although I can't remember which came which year exactly, I'll ask the experts to correct me on this). However, I am not aware of them producing this style of roll any earlier than 1910. I challenge anyone to prove me wrong.

      3. The subsequent instruments using this roll were not exactly as Mr. Crandall described them in his article.

      The Peerless model F piano (from circa 1911? I'll have to check the MTR ads again) was NOT the same instrument at all as the later Englehardt model F with which collectors are familiar.

      The Peerless F is a keyboard piano of normal height with three rectangular art glass panels in the top, somewhat similar in appearance to the contemporary Cremona model 3 coin piano. The Peerless model F has a rank of flute pipes controlled by the roll, and its sister model V has a rank of violin pipes instead. I have never seen one of these pianos in-person, so I'm not sure if the pipe rank was mounted behind the piano itself, or crammed inside. As soon as I can dig out the links to the ad for the F & V pianos, I'll post them here.

      [The later Engelhardt model F, by contrast, is a medium-size cabinet piano featuring carved ladies' heads at the upper front corners of the cabinet, and which could be ordered with different instrumentations from a plain piano up through a small orchestrion. As far as I know, most varieties of the Engelhardt F used standard "A" rolls, while the orchestrion models probably used "G" rolls due to the later connection with the Capitol Roll Co. of Chicago]

      I have not yet found any ads for the Peerless "Cabaret" models A and B piano (also using the "RR"/"Cabaret" roll), so I'm not sure of the appearance of these two models.

      However, I am willing to bet that one of the Cabaret models looked nearly identical to the model F/V in appearance, and only differed in that it did not have the rank of pipes. I make this statement based upon an existing piano sold by Hathaway and Bowers years ago (and pictured in the Peerless section of Bowers' "Encyclopedia of Automatic Musical Instruments") which appears identical to the ad picture of the F and V, yet lacks the rank of pipes.

      It is possible that the other Cabaret model had very fancy art glass with built-in coach lamps and a windmill design, since I saw a Peerless piano like this on eBay several years ago, and an identical one (the same one?) is on display in the American Treasure Tour collection in Pennsylvania. I could be wrong of course!

      Anyway, before you guys all doze off, I'd like to make a couple more pertinent statements about these kind of rolls:

      1. Given what I've stated above about the different pianos that use this roll, and their introduction, I would bet that this IS the 14th or 15th RR/Cabaret roll issued, and I see no reason to think otherwise. The tunes on it appear to date from the correct time period, and although Peerless/National may have used other numbering systems for this kind of roll issued in the subsequent decades, I feel confident in stating this roll is probably of their first numbering system for RR rolls.

      2. Part of the "confusing numbering system" thing is that not all rolls suitable for Peerless instruments were made by them. As soon as the very popular models 44 and D were introduced circa 1902 or so, other companies started running away with Peerless' roll business, since both of these models had the same standardized 6-holes-per-inch tracker bar spacing used by the common 65-note piano roll.

      I am not sure who all made Peerless D and 44 rolls besides Peerless, but I do know that U.S. Music (of Chicago, established 1909) and Kibbey (??? I know nothing about this company) both made rolls in at least one of these formats (U.S. made many rolls for both styles).

      It is probably precisely because of the intense roll competition from U.S. that Peerless cleverly used different hole spacings for the newer models they introduced in 1910 and later. The style Elite and O rolls both use the odd spacing of 7 holes per inch, while the DX, RR/Cabaret, and Trio rolls all use the really strange hole spacing of 6 and 1/2 holes per inch!

      Needless to say, I am not aware of any other roll company (during the original period of popularity of these instruments) making rolls for ANY of these formats! Thus, not only are the rolls themselves exceedingly scarce today (to the point where we are not even sure if any examples still exist of some of the rolls they issued), but so are the instruments!

      Most of the Peerless/Engelhardt/National instruments existing today are either of the popular early 44 or D type (although many D pianos were gutted as the rolls became scarce and a pain to change, and many 44 pianos were converted to Pianolin rolls), or of the later Engelhardt or National models which were originally made to play common "A" rolls.

      The rest which do survive were mostly either gutted (to use as "straight" pianos, although you can easily play any piano with a player action anyway), or converted to use other popular roll formats such as A or O rolls.

      Very few Peerless pianos using the original 6-&-1/2-per-inch or 7-per-inch roll formats exist today.

      I would wager there are probably less than 10 surviving instruments today which can still play a Peerless Cabaret or RR roll, and maybe it is actually less than a half dozen. Thus, I really salute Frank Himpsl and his friends in their efforts to save the few remaining examples of this rare style of roll, and make recuts available to the owners of those few existing pianos that can play them.

      Andrew Barrett


      --- In EliteSyncopations@yahoogroups.com, Bryan Cather <catt967@...> wrote:
      >
      > According to an article by Richard Crandall about Peerless, this particular type of roll was introduced in 1911. Peerless coin pianos seem to have been most common in the New England states, the company being in New York and not really equipped to compete with Chicago-based competitors.
      > I'm a little bit confused by the number listed: 10014-16. The Style RR or Cabaret rolls were numbered 10,XXX, so it would appear that this particular roll was early in the series. The fly in the ointment there is that Peerless would issue the same title in formats for several different machines in their product line, rolls for the Trio for example would be 40XXX. So on that format the number would be 40014-16, presumably. Where it gets confusing is that Peerless had been making rolls and using this numbering system for quite some time by that point, and for it to be the fourteenth or sixteenth title to appear is not likely.Add to that the fact that Peerless' numbering system isn't always chronologically sequential and it gets even more confusing.
      > It might be helpful to know the other tunes on the roll....that would help to establish when this particular tune was popular, further narrowing down the search.
      > BryanC
      >
    • Andrew
      One more thing: This is tune SIXTEEN of a presumably TWENTY-TUNE roll. Although most prior and subsequent coin piano rolls had only ten tunes, the Peerless RR
      Message 3 of 15 , Oct 12, 2012
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        One more thing:

        This is tune SIXTEEN of a presumably TWENTY-TUNE roll. Although most prior and subsequent coin piano rolls had only ten tunes, the Peerless RR roll boasted TWENTY tunes per roll for at least some of their early rolls (I doubt that every single roll they made for this model had twenty tunes on it).

        Although unusual, this was not completely unheard of in the coin piano business. When Wurlitzer introduced their "long" roll frame in the 'teens (to replace their earlier short roll frame which could only play about a five tune roll), they also made a few APP rolls with fifteen or twenty tunes on them. However, I believe most issued Wurlitzer APP rolls contain ten tunes or less.

        Comments from the real experts appreciated as always.

        -Andrew

        --- In EliteSyncopations@yahoogroups.com, Bryan Cather <catt967@...> wrote:
        >
        > According to an article by Richard Crandall about Peerless, this particular type of roll was introduced in 1911.  Peerless coin pianos seem to have been most common n the New England states, the company being in New York and not really equipped to compete with Chicago-based competitors.
        > I'm a little bit confused by the number listed: 10014-16.  The Style RR or Cabaret rolls were numbered 10,XXX, so it would appear that this particular roll was early in the series.  The fly in the ointment there is that Peerless would issue the same title in formats for several different machines in their product line, rolls for the Trio for example would be 40XXX.  So on that format the number would be 40014-16, presumably.  Where it gets confusing is that Peerless had been making rolls and using this numbering system for quite some time by that point, and for it to be the fourteenth or sixteenth title to appear is not likely.Add to that the fact that Peerless' numbering system isn't always chronologically sequential and it gets even more confusing.
        > It might be helpful to know the other tunes on the roll....that would help to establish when this particular tune was popular, further narrowing down the search.
        > BryanC
        >
        > --- On Sun, 8/26/12, Ragnar Hellspong <ragnar.hellspong@...> wrote:
        >
        > From: Ragnar Hellspong <ragnar.hellspong@...>
        > Subject: RE: [EliteSyncopations] Can you identify this rag?
        > To: EliteSyncopations@yahoogroups.com
        > Date: Sunday, August 26, 2012, 2:49 AM
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        > <<Can you tell us anything about the roll itself? manufacturer?
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        > number? anything?
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        > BryanC<<
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        > I think the label is Peerless Cabaret 1014-16. It's available in
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        > mid-format from http://frankhimpslarchive.com/Page_36.html as Unknown
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        > Rag (4).
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        > /Ragnar
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