The Roller Organ Cob Handbook

by Richard Dutton1)

Thirty-Two-Note Cobs

Cobs #2001-2100


With #2001-2100 we move from 20-note roller organ cobs to the much larger and much scarcer cobs for the 32-note Grand roller organ. As we have seen, more than 1,050 different cobs were made for the 20-note roller organ and new ones containing currently popular music continued to be issued regularly from the latter part of the 1880s through the early 1920s. Only 160 different cobs, however, were made for the Grand roller organ and, as I noted in my article, “Some Observations About the Dating of the Music on Regular and Grand Roller Organ Cobs”, in the May/June 2006 issue of Mechanical Music, it can be seen from comparing the dates of composition of the pieces of music that appeared on Grand cobs that at least those in the 2000 series (those numbered from 2001 to 2143) were first issued during a very short period, probably from about 1891 through about 1896.

This conclusion is based on the assumption that the 143 Grand cobs in the 2000 series were issued in numerical order, which was almost certainly the case. The sort of analysis involved is simple: cob #2003, the third cob in the series, contains “The Thunderer March” by John Philip Sousa, which dates from 1889, leading to the conclusion that no cob numbered higher than #2003 could have been first issued any earlier than 1889. Similarly, “The Nightingale's Song” on cob #2010 was the English-language version of a song from Carl Zeller's operetta “Der Vogelhandler”, which, according to EM, was first performed in January, 1891, in Vienna and, therefore, no cob numbered higher than that one could have been first issued any earlier than then. Similarly, the songs on cobs #2014, “Daddy Wouldn't Buy Me a Bow-Wow”, and #2016, “After the Ball”, are both known to date from 1892, which means that all of the cobs in the 2000 series with numbers higher than these—in other words, about 90% of the cobs in the 2001-2143 range—must have been first issued no earlier than that year. Continuing in a similar way in numerical order through higher numbered cobs, we find, in succession, some with tunes that can be definitively dated to 1893 (#2036, 2055 and 2063) and 1894 (#2069, 2086 and 2091) and we then see that tunes on many of the very highest-numbered cobs in the 2000 series (#2126, 2132, 2134, 2137 and 2143) date from 1895. The only tune that dates from 1896, however, is “I'll Tell Papa on You” on cob #2131, and no tune on the Grand roller organ dates from any subsequent year. Combining all of this information leads to the conclusion that the Autophone Company probably first began issuing its Grand cobs in 1892 or perhaps 1891 and stopped issuing new cobs in about 1896.

Another difference between 32-note cobs and 20-note cobs is in the types of music that appeared on them, and this is attributable in part to the respective sizes of the two kinds of cob and the length of time each of them plays. Grand cobs are 13.25“ long with a diameter of about 2.5” and rotate through eight revolutions as they play; 20-note cobs, on the other hand, are 6.375“ long with a diameter of about 1.75” and rotate through only three revolutions as they play. Therefore, when a Grand cob and a 20-note cob are cranked at the same speed, a Grand cob will play for nearly four times as long. This, along with the fact that the greater number of available notes allowed a wider range of octaves and more complicated and sophisticated arrangements and harmonies, made it possible to put on Grand cobs longer, fuller and more complex pieces than could be included on their 20-note counterparts. Also, Grand organs cost much more—they were first listed in the Sears Roebuck catalog at $18.50 and later reduced to $14.95, at a time when the simplest model of 20-note organ, the Gem, was sold by Sears for $3.25—which meant that Grands were generally sold to wealthier people with more “highbrow” musical tastes. These factors led to the inclusion of a much higher percentage of classical and operatic pieces on Grand cobs than appeared on 20-note cobs. It has been repeatedly noted in the discussion of individual 20-note cobs that the ones containing those types of pieces were generally not big sellers (See, for example, the notes on cob #143, “Chorus from Castor and Pollux”, by the eighteenth-century French classical composer Jean-Philippe Rameau, one of only two cobs in the numerical range 101-200 with a scarcity rating of “S” (“Scarce”)). In the numerical range 2001-2100, by contrast, we find cobs containing pieces such as #2018, “In This Celestial Dwelling”, from Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's opera “The Magic Flute”, and #2022, “Gypsy Song—Anvil Chorus” from Giuseppe Verdi's opera “Il Trovatore”, with a scarcity rating of “C” (“Common”), indicating that a fair number of Grand roller organ owners bought these cobs. The most common cobs in the range, however, all contain familiar tunes not drawn from the classical or operatic repertoire and have 20-note counterparts that were comparably popular: #2001, “Auf Wiedersehn Waltz” (perhaps more common than it would otherwise have been because it was the first cob in the series to be issued and was, therefore, available for the longest time; a much simpler version of the tune was on 20-note cob #206 under the English title “Waltz—Till We Meet Again”), #2016, “After the Ball—Waltz Song” (also on 20-note cob #600), #2043, “Home, Sweet Home” (also on cob #123, one of the very most common 20-note cobs), #2055, “Sweet Marie Waltz” (also on 20-note cob #1036) and #2071, “America—The Star Spangled Banner” (also on 20-note cobs #14 and 273, respectively). At the other extreme are two cobs with the scarcity rating “N” (“No known copy”), #2041, “The Fencing Master—Three Songs”, and #2085, “Avanera”. As no copy of either of these cobs has yet turned up, no one has yet collected a complete set of the cobs in the 2001-2100 range.

In this numerical range and the subsequent numerical ranges that include Grand cobs, the scarcity ratings were determined by combining the list of cobs I have in my own collection with information obtained from 33 other collectors about the Grand cobs they have and analyzing the frequency with which each cob appears in the resulting total group of almost 700 cobs. It should be noted, however, that scarcity ratings as they apply to Grand cobs are merely an indicator of the relative scarcity of each cob to the others. Grand roller organs and Grand cobs represented only a tiny fraction of the Autophone Company's output and, judging from the date stamps that have been noted on Grand organs to date, production of the organs appears to have ceased in about 1907, while production of 20-note organs continued for more than another decade and a half after that. Therefore, all Grand cobs are scarce!

The Grand roller organ is not only very different from the 20-note roller organ (although it operates on the same mechanical principles) but it is also more appealing in a number of ways. While, to me, a fascinating aspect of the music on the 20-note roller organ is the great and interesting variety of the more than 1,000 tunes that were put onto 20-note cobs over a period of many years, and so many of these cobs, as I have often said before, contain appealing and harmonious arrangements of very pretty pieces, a 20-note cob plays for only a relatively short time (although it will then snap back so that it can be played repeatedly). Grand cobs, by comparison, not only play for a much longer time so that they can accommodate longer pieces but, as noted above, also permit arrangements that include a wider range of octaves, additional sharp and flat notes and fuller and more sophisticated harmony, and even though there are many fewer Grand cobs they also contain a wide variety of both interesting and beautifully arranged pieces of music, some of them quite striking, so that very often when I play one of them I exclaim “Wow!”. One way, however, in which the Grand organ is less appealing than the 20-note organ is that the Grand does require a great deal of cranking to play through even one cob. Perhaps well-heeled Grand owners had servants who would crank the machine for them!


#2001 - Auf Weidersehn Waltz, Scarcity: VC
One might expect that the first tunes chosen for the Grand roller organ would be very familiar and popular ones, and if they were waltzes they might be by internationally-known figures such as Johann Strauss II, “the Waltz King”, or Emile Waldteufel, “the Parisian Waltz King” (see notes to cobs #102 and 209). Instead, the two lowest-numbered Grand cobs contain unfamiliar waltzes by now-forgotten American composers. The “Auf Wiedersehn Waltz” dates from 1882 and was composed by Massachusetts composer, organist, musical director and teacher Eben Howe Bailey (1843-1943) (see notes to cob #206, which contained an abbreviated version of the piece under its English title, “Waltz—Till We Meet Again”). Reference: UV

#2002 - Autograph Waltz, Scarcity: C
This pretty piece, although sometimes called “Strauss' Autograph Waltz”, is generally acknowledged to have been composed in the style of Johann Strauss II by Alfred E. Warren (1834-1922), who was born in England, emigrated to Boston in 1861 and established himself there as a composer, pianist and teacher. According to G. L. Howe and W.S.B. Mathews in A Hundred Years of Music in America (Chicago, G.L. Howe, 1889), which contains a biography and photograph of Warren, the piece was for some time believed to be by Strauss and sheet music for it was republished in England under Strauss' name. Warren is listed, at different addresses and in each case with the occupation “music teacher”, in the 1864 city directory for Charlestown, Massachusetts and in the 1869, 1874, 1877, 1878 and 1880 city directories for nearby Boston. In the 1880 U.S. Census, Warren was shown as single and living as a boarder at 208 Pearl Street across the Charles River in Cambridge, Massachusetts, again with the occupation “music teacher”. The 1880, 1881, 1882, 1883 and 1888 Cambridge city directories also show him as a “music teacher” boarding at the same address. The 1913 Cambridge city directory gives 208 Pearl Street as both his business and home address, and in the 1920 U.S. Census he was shown as still living at that address, age 85. An entry in the 1923 Cambridge city directory states that Warren died on January 26, 1922. Reference: UV

#2003 - The Thunderer March, Scarcity: C
This is the first of a number of marches on the Grand roller organ by the great John Philip Sousa (1854-1932), known as “the March King”. Sousa was born in Washington, D.C., the son of a trombonist in the United States Marine Band, and was brought into the band by his father as an apprentice musician at age 13. He became bandmaster of the Band in 1880 and twelve years later started his own band, which made many recordings in the early days of recorded music. “The Thunderer” dates from 1889 and was dedicated to Columbia Commandery No. 2, Knights Templar, in Washington, of which Sousa was a member. References: OC, LL

#2004 - En Avant March, Scarcity: LC
This interesting and appealing march tune is by Hungarian composer, violinist and conductor Johann Gung'l (1818 or 1828-1883) and is known, variously, in different languages as “En Avant March” (French), “Vorwarts, Marsch” (German) and “Forward March” (English). Gung'l, like his better-known uncle, military bandmaster and orchestra conductor Josef Gung'l, composed a large volume of dance music as well as marches, and led an orchestra that performed in cities throughout Europe. According to information about Gung'l provided on the online website of the Johann Strauss Society of Great Britain, this piece is probably his best-known work. Additional references: GD, MN (1862 sheet music for an arrangement of the piece under the title “En Avant!, the Forward March”)

#2005 - The Parting Kiss, Scarcity: VS
The lyrics to this obscure love song were written by Robert Dodsley (1703-1764), an English poet, playwright, publisher and bookseller who was associated with the poet Alexander Pope and a number of Pope's literary contemporaries. “The Parting Kiss” is the best-known in a series of twelve poems by Dodsley published in 1742 with the title Colin's Kisses: being Twelve New Songs Design'd for Music. Dodsley's words were set to music more than a century later by English composer, organist and choirmaster Edwin Augustus Sydenham (1847-1891) and the resulting hymn-like choral piece was published in The Musical Times (London), July 1, 1869. It was later included in the collection Golden Treasure by T. P. Ryder, published by White, Smith & Co. in Boston in 1878. References: Ralph Straus, Robert Dodsley, Poet, Publisher & Playwright (London, John Lane, 1910), The Musical Times (London), March 1, 1891 (notice of Sydenham's sudden death providing some biographical details, including the facts that he had studied at the Leipzig Conservatorium and was the organist and choir director at All Saints' Church, Scarborough, at the time of his death)

#2006 - The Shadow Dance, Dinorah, Scarcity: S
This is the first of a number of operatic and classical pieces that were familiar in the 1890s and found their way onto the Grand roller organ. It is the now-best-remembered piece from the once-popular opera “Dinorah” by German-born composer Giacomo Meyerbeer (1791-1864), which was first performed at the Opera Comique in Paris in 1859. The simple plot centers around Dinorah, a Breton peasant girl, who goes mad because she fears she has lost her lover, Hoel, who has set out in search of a mythical treasure. In Act II, she does the “shadow dance” when she sees her shadow in the moonlight, imagines it is a friend and sings and dances with it. References: VB, GD

#2007 - Spring Song, Scarcity: LC
The classical composer Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy (1809-1847) is well-represented on the Grand roller organ and this light, pretty and familiar piece was the first of his compositions to appear. Other music by him can be found on cobs #2038, 2059, 2084, 2138 and 3001. His “Spring Song” is from his “Songs Without Words”, Op. 62, first published in 1844. An abbreviated version of the piece appeared on cob #1223. Reference: GD

#2008 - Blooming Youth Waltz, Scarcity: C
This waltz tune is by George Wiegand (1834-1901), who was a prominent composer, arranger, conductor and teacher in New York City as well as a “performing member” of the Philharmonic Society of New York (a predecessor of today's New York Philharmonic) and, beginning in 1885, a Director of the Society. “Blooming Youth Waltz” was one of five pieces by Wiegand on the program at the great ball at the American Centennial Celebration in New York in April, 1889, along with “Nick of the Woods”, the waltz tune on cob #223. References: U.S. passport application of Wiegand dated June 12, 1896 stating that he was born at Homberg, Prussia, on September 4, 1834 and emigrated to the U.S. in 1854; New York City death record stating that he died in Manhattan on March 7, 1901; article in the New York Herald of January 7, 1894 including information about Wiegand as well as a drawing of him; Illustrated Programme of the Centennial Celebration in New York, April, 1889; Henry Edward Krehbiel, The Philharmonic Society of New York: A Memorial (New York and London, Novello, Ewer & Co., 1892)

#2009 - Four Little Curly Headed Coons, Scarcity: C
[With regard to this cob, see the WARNING AND HISTORICAL CONTENT DISCLAIMER about songs containing offensive language or negative stereotypes at the end of the General Introduction to this Handbook.] SR lists the composer of this lively minstrel-type piece as “Gilmore”, referring to Patrick Sarsfield Gilmore (1829-1892), an Irish-born bandmaster whose band achieved great popularity after returning from service in the Civil War. In fact, however, Gilmore's Band merely popularized the tune by performing it; it was composed by Joseph W. Wheeler (1845-1908), who also wrote lyrics for it. Wheeler generally used just his initials, “J. W.”, and his first name is incorrectly given in many sources as “James”, but I have not located any basis for this. Joseph, not James, W. Wheeler was born in Maine in March, 1845, moved to Boston in the 1870s and lived there for the rest of his life. He wrote music and lyrics for a number of songs, many of them similar to the piece on this cob and some of them with lyrics in dialect. In some cases he collaborated with his younger brother, Hawthorne G. (“H.G.”) Wheeler. References: OC (concerning Gilmore), MN, U.S. Census records for 1870 (showing Wheeler, age 25, still living in Belfast, Maine, with his parents, a “piano tuner”, and his younger brother Hawthorne G., age 18, also living in the household), 1880 (showing Wheeler as living in Boston, age 35, born in Maine, a “musician”) and 1900 (showing Wheeler as living in Boston, born in Maine in March, 1845, a “musician”), obituary article about him in the Boston Evening Transcript of June 15, 1908 reporting that he had died the previous day in Belfast, Maine, that although he had lived in Boston for the past thirty-five years he was a native of Belfast, and that he was a composer of vocal and instrumental music, including the music for a number of successful songs with lyrics by his brother, H.G. Wheeler

#2010 - The Nightingale's Song, Scarcity: C
The music to this song in waltz time, known as “Wie mein Ahnl zwanzig Jahr” in the original German, was written by Carl Zeller (1842-1898), an Austrian civil servant who composed, in his spare time, a number of operettas, including “Der Vogelhandler” (“The Birdseller”) (1891), from which this song came. EM called the operetta “(t)he most outstanding and enduring product of the Viennese stage of the 1890s”. The English-language version of the song comes from “The Tyrolean”, an 1891 New York production of Zeller's operetta with a libretto by Helen F. Tretbar. References: OC, EM, LL


#2011 - The Washington Post March, Scarcity: C
This is another familiar and stirring march by John Philip Sousa (1854-1932) and, like “The Thunderer” (see notes to cob #2003), dates from 1889, when Sousa was the bandmaster of the U.S. Marine Band. One might think that its name derives from a Washington military post, but it was in fact composed by Sousa at the request of the Washington Post newspaper for the awards ceremony in an essay contest sponsored by the paper, and was first performed there before an enormous throng of people. It immediately became very popular, in part because the two-step was then in vogue and was widely danced to it, but Sousa earned only $35 for its composition. References: The Washington Post, June 15, 1989 (article about the march upon the 100th anniversary of its first performance), LL

#2012 - Robin Hood, 4 songs, Scarcity: S
The operetta “Robin Hood” is the best-remembered work of Reginald De Koven (1859-1920), a Connecticut-born, Oxford-educated composer and music critic. De Koven lived in grand style in what came to be known as the De Koven Mansion at 1025 Park Avenue in New York; 1920 U.S. Census records show De Koven, his wife, an adult daughter and no fewer than ten servants living at the address. The operetta was first produced in Chicago in 1890, became very popular and remained so for several decades. EM called it “(t)he most generally successful comic opera of the 19th-century American musical theatre”. Its libretto was by De Koven's frequent collaborator, the prolific Harry B. Smith (1860-1936). The plot involves the usual cast of characters of the Robin Hood story, including Robin Hood himself, his beloved Maid Marian, his band of Sherwood Forest outlaws including Little John, Will Scarlet, Friar Tuck and Allan a Dale, and his nemesis the Sheriff of Nottingham, who seeks to deprive him of his hereditary title as the Earl of Huntington and have Marian marry the Sheriff's protege Guy of Gisborne. Despite the title of the cob, there are only three songs on it. The first is the “Entry of the Outlaws” from the Introduction and Opening Chorus in Act I (Item 1 in the score), which is reprised with different lyrics in the Finale to Act II (Item 15 in the score) when the outlaws mock the Sheriff, who has been placed in the stocks. The second is the piece beginning “Oh an ideal milkmaid's a thing of grace” from The Milkmaids' Song in Act I (Item 3 in the score). The third is the song “Sir Cavalier, you're welcome here” which is sung to Robin as a greeting when he arrives at the fair, also in Act I (Item 4 in the score). These three songs are all lively ones and together make this an especially appealing cob, but they do not appear to be among what were the most familiar and lasting pieces from the operetta. One very lasting piece was “Oh, Promise Me!”, which continued to be sung at weddings long after the operetta was forgotten. It was not, however, included in the operetta from the very beginning and did not appear in the first score of the operetta in 1891. References: OC, BW, birth and baptismal record from The Holy Trinity Protestant Episcopal Church, Middletown, Connecticut, confirming that the year of De Koven's birth was 1859 (Some sources incorrectly give it as 1861, and De Koven himself inexplicably used the later date in a 1915 U.S. passport application and perhaps on other occasions as well), 1870 U.S. Census record stating his age as 11, not 9

#2013 - The Lilacs, Scarcity: C
There is sheet music in UN for this pretty but forgotten sentimental song giving the title as “The Lilac” rather than “The Lilacs” and calling it “Charles A. Gardner's new song, as sung by him in 'Fatherland'”. The words of the two verses are credited to Marion May and the words of the chorus as well as the music are credited to Gustave H. Kline. The piece is copyrighted 1888 by “Gardner & Kline”. It is played through on the cob just as it appears in this sheet music with the introduction followed, in order, by the first verse, chorus, interlude, second verse, chorus and repeated interlude. In the verses, “high rocks” and “grey rocks” are both rhymed with “lilacs”. Kline (1859?-1901) was born in Germany and was brought to the United States as a child. He was associated with Gardner and was musical director of productions in which Gardner appeared as well as composing the music for songs Gardner popularized. Gardner (1848?-1924) was born in upstate New York, began his long stage career as a ballad singer and clog dancer with minstrel troupes, later appeared in sketches as a German character, dancing in large wooden shoes, began starring in theatrical productions and ultimately was called, in an article in The Indianapolis Journal of December 31, 1893, “the leading German dialect comedian of the American stage”. Both Kline and Gardner lived in Chicago. I have not located any information about Marion May. The tune also appeared on 20-note cob #1060, again with the title “The Lilacs”, but because the verse, chorus and interlude were all fit into the much smaller space on the cob it must be played at a very slow speed to sound anything like the Grand cob. References: 1900 U.S. Census records showing Kline's birth month as November 1859, year of immigration as 1864, residence as Chicago and occupation as “music composer”, Illinois death record stating that Kline died on August 12, 1901 at age 43 (an age inconsistent with what is in the Census records), article in the New York Clipper of November 30, 1912 providing a biography of Gardner up to that time with the title “The Sweet Singer” (his nickname), article in The Indianapolis Journal of February 5, 1893 about a performance of “Fatherland” noting that the setting for the piece was the Tyrol and the cast included a quintet of genuine Tyrolean singers dressed in their native costumes and singling out Gardner's singing of “The Lilac” as “a decided hit”, 1900 and 1910 U.S. Census records showing Gardner as living in Chicago, having been born in New York in about 1848 (1910 records) or in May 1851 (1900 records), with the occupation “actor”, Illinois death record stating that Gardner died on February 16, 1924 and that his date of birth was May 15, 1848 (consistent with what is in the 1910 rather than the 1900 Census records)

#2014 - Daddy Wouldn't Buy Me a Bow-Wow, Scarcity: S
Both the words and music of this novelty song were written in 1892 by Joseph Tabrar (1857-1931), the extraordinarily prolific writer of pieces for the British music hall stage, many of them written to order for particular performers (See the notes to cob #417). Tabrar, in an interview in the February 10, 1894 edition of The Era, published in London, said that, as with other songs he wrote, the idea for this song struck him as he was walking along and he pulled out a pencil and half of an envelope and wrote it down, leaning on the wall of a building. He then sent it to Vesta Victoria, the English music hall performer, who, he said, had wanted a song from him for some time, and, despite its subsequent vast popularity, which he did not foresee, he earned only eight pounds from it. The song was popularized by Miss Victoria in England and was then brought by her to the United States. It was also performed in Paris by the singer May Belfort, whom the artist Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec painted in 1895 holding a black cat in her arms and singing this song. A more abbreviated version of the song appeared on 20-note cob #1027. References: OC, New York Public Library Sheet Music Collection (sheet music for the song published in both London and New York with a copyright date of 1892 and the subtitle, on the cover, “A Pretty Little Song for Pretty Little Children” along with an image of Vesta Victoria)

#2015 - Dramatic News Waltz, Scarcity: C
SR lists as the composer of this piece “M. H. Rosenfeld”, meaning Monroe H. Rosenfeld (1862-1918), the New York newspaper columnist and composer (see notes to cobs #115 and 428). I have found references to, but have not yet seen, sheet music for “The Dramatic News Waltzes” by Rosenfeld published in Boston in 1888.

#2016 - After the Ball, Waltz Song, Scarcity: VC
Both the words and music of this once extraordinarily popular song in waltz time were written in 1892 by Charles K. (Kassell) Harris (1867-1930). It is typical of a number of songs of its time in that its verses, which tell a story, were not as well-known or remembered for nearly as long as its widely-sung chorus; in the abbreviated version of the piece that appeared on 20-note cob #600, the tune is not immediately recognizable to most people until they hear the very familiar chorus beginning with the words “After the ball is over” near the end. As discussed at greater length in the notes to cob #600, Harris, a young banjo player and teacher who had turned to songwriting, wrote the piece for an amateur minstrel show in Milwaukee and because of its moving, sentimental lyrics coupled with a pretty waltz tune it became enormously popular almost immediately and, published by Harris himself, broke previous records for sheet music sales. The lyrics relate the sad story of an elderly man who has never married because when he was young and in love he saw his now-deceased beloved being kissed by another man, assumed she was unfaithful, refused to let her explain, and found out only much later that the man was her brother. This cob was rightfully one of the most popular Grand cobs because the appealing arrangement of the tune shows off the Grand roller organ well. References: OC, Charles K. Harris, After the Ball: Forty Years of Melody (New York, Frank-Maurice, Inc., 1926)

#2017 - Ah! So Fair - Martha, Scarcity: S
The lovely song on this cob, also known as “M'Appari” (as sung in Italian) and “Ach! So Fromm” (as sung in German), is from the opera “Martha” by German composer Friedrich von Flotow (1812-1883). Although the opera is almost never heard today, it includes some beautiful music and its great popularity in the late Victorian era is evidenced by the fact that no fewer than four pieces from the opera appeared on the Grand roller organ (cobs #2017, 2019, 2056 and 2118) (five pieces if you count “The Last Rose of Summer” by the great Irish songwriter Thomas Moore, which von Flotow used in several places in the opera and which is one of the two tunes on Grand cob #2117). “Martha” was first produced in Vienna in 1847 and first heard in New York in 1852, in English. The characters include the hero Lionel, who is the adopted brother of Plunkett, a farmer, but is actually the son of a nobleman; the heroine Lady Harriet; and her faithful maid Nancy. The setting is England (“near Richmond, in Surrey”). Harriet, a young and beautiful noblewoman bored with court life, and Nancy go to a country fair in disguise and, giving their names as “Martha” and “Julia”, are hired as servants by Lionel and Plunkett. The women are unable to perform household tasks and soon escape from the farmhouse and Lionel, who immediately fell in love with “Martha”, sings “Ah! So Fair” in Act III in his sorrow at losing her. All ultimately works out, however, and Lionel (whose noble birth has been confirmed using a ring his real father left with him) is happily reunited with Harriet and Plunkett is likewise happily reunited with Nancy at the close of the opera at the end of Act IV. References: VB, GD

#2018 - In This Celestial Dwelling / Magic Flute, Scarcity: C
This serene and majestic operatic piece, in German “In diesen heil'gen Hallen”, was beautifully arranged for the Grand roller organ. It is a bass aria from “The Magic Flute”, in German “Die Zauberflote”, by the great Austrian composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791), which was first produced in Vienna on September 30, 1791 with Mozart himself conducting and was first produced in New York in 1833, in English. It is, strangely, the only operatic piece by Mozart that found its way onto the roller organ. References: VB, GD

#2019 - Gracious Heavens - Martha, Scarcity: S
This is another piece from von Flotow's opera “Martha” (see notes to cob #2017). During Act I, upon arriving at the fair where they later hire “Martha” and “Julia” as servants, Lionel and Plunkett sing a duet from which the audience learns that Lionel is Plunkett's adopted brother whose mysterious true father left with him a ring with instructions that he present it to the Queen in the event that he is ever in danger or difficulty. Although from the hymn-like nature of the tune and the title “Gracious Heavens” one might assume that the piece involves an appeal to deity, that title actually comes from the first two words of the English-language translation of the section (item 5) that includes the piece in an Italian version of the opera: when Lionel and Plunkett arrive at the fair, Plunkett exclaims, with regard to all the noise and activity they encounter, “Quante Voce! Quante Grida!” (literally “How many voices! How much shouting!”), which was translated into English as “Gracious Heavens!”. The musical piece that follows includes three parts: a part sung by Lionel, a second part, with a different tune, sung by Plunkett, and a third part, begun by Lionel and then sung by the two of them together with the same tune as the first part. The middle part sung by Plunkett is not included on this cob but the piece, including all three parts, also appeared on cob #2118 under the title “Duetto from Martha”. In German, the piece is known as “Ja, seit fruher Kindheit Tagen”; in the Italian version mentioned above, the piece itself (as opposed to the section that includes the piece) begins with the words “Solo, profugo, reietto” (the title under which it was recorded by the great Italian operatic tenor Enrico Caruso in 1910) and in the English version based on that Italian version, the corresponding opening words are “O'er my head from boyhood tender”. Reference: [Sir] Arthur Sullivan, ed., Marta. (Martha.) Opera in Four Acts, by Flotow. (with Italian and English words) (the so-called “Royal Edition”, London and New York, Boosey & Co., n. d. (reportedly published in 1871))

#2020 - The Oxford Minuet, Scarcity: VS
The dance piece on this cob is interesting and unusual in that, three times, it starts off in a slow, formal tempo and then breaks into a much more lively quick tune. The piece is by Horace W. Beek (1856-1936), a Chicago “professor of dancing”, as he described himself, and dates from 1890. On the front cover of the sheet music for it is the notation “Adopted by the American Society of Professors of Dancing in New York” and on the inside front cover are instructions for the dance. The tune in the sheet music is identical to the tune on the cob and is divided into three sections, each with two parts. Each section begins with the slow, formal part in 4/4 time (referred to as “gavotte anglaise” (English gavotte) in the first and second sections and “minuet anglaise” (English minuet) in the third section) and then switches to the much quicker second part in 2/4 time (called “galopp” tempo). Beek was born in St. John, New Brunswick, Canada, emigrated to the United States in 1878 and, with his wife, Frances T. Beek (1858-1927), conducted “schools for dancing and deportment” in Chicago. An article in the March 17, 1889 Chicago Tribune titled “Inventing New Dances” included a lengthy interview with Beek and described him as “tall, erect, still youthful” with “mutton chop whiskers…neatly trimmed and curled”. His “invention” in the following year of the “Oxford minuet” appears to be the accomplishment for which he is most remembered. The Beeks relocated to southern California in about 1912. Additional references: DU, 1871 Canadian Census record, 1880, 1900, 1920 and 1930 U.S. Census records, many references in the Chicago Tribune and the Inter Ocean (another Chicago newspaper) to the Beeks' roles as dancing teachers and prominent society figures in Chicago between 1889 and 1910 including advertisements for the Beeks' schools, city directories for Chicago and for the Los Angeles area, and the Beeks' tombstone in Mountain View Cemetery and Mausoleum, Altadena, California giving their respective birth and death years.


#2021 - The Wedding of the Lily and the Rose, Scarcity: LC
I have always felt that the tune on this cob sounded similar to piano rags by the African-American pianist and composer Scott Joplin, but when I located the sheet music for it I found that it had a copyright date of 1892, seven years before Joplin's first rag appeared; however, I recently discovered that the tune was not only familiar to Joplin but was one that he apparently particularly liked and that he at least performed himself, because an advertisement in the November 25, 1902 edition of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch calling him “the king of rag-time writers” announced that he was going to play the piece as a trio with two brothers of his as part of a program that evening on stage at the Germania Theater in St. Louis. The piece was the only one mentioned in the advertisement that was not by Joplin himself. Its tune was composed by W. Andrew Mack (1863-1931), its words were written by Thomas LeMack (1865-1899) and it was introduced in a comic “stage Irish” production titled “Aunt Bridget's Baby”. Mack and LeMack were Boston-born brothers whose real name was McAloon. Mack (William A. McAloon) was a singer, comedian and actor, LeMack (Thomas McAloon) was a comedian and dancer and both performed with minstrel troupes. In LeMack's lyrics, the singer falls asleep while sitting on a bench in a garden and has a dream in which a lily marries a rose with various other flowers in the garden participating. References: MN, MM, The Theatre Magazine, Vol. VII, No. 22 (New York, 1891) (review of “Aunt Bridget's Baby” following its opening on May 18, 1891 at the Bijou Theater in New York listing Mack and LeMack in the cast), Massachusetts birth records showing William Andrew McAloon (misspelled “McLoon”)'s date of birth as July 25, 1863 and Thomas Francis McAloon's date of birth as April 26, 1865, 1870 U.S. Census record showing William McAloon, age 6, and Thomas McAloon, age 5, living in Boston with their Irish-born parents, Brooklyn Daily Eagle obituary articles on May 22 and 23, 1931 reporting Andrew Mack's death at his home in Bayside, Queens, New York which included a photograph of Mack, said he “was regarded as one of the most popular comedians and singers in the history of the stage in this country” and noted that he appeared almost entirely in Irish plays, brief New York Times article on February 28, 1899, reporting the death the previous day of heart disease of Thomas LeMack, describing him as a “well-known vaudeville performer” and noting his relationship to his by then much better-known brother

#2022 - The Gypsy Song / Anvil Chorus, Scarcity: C
The piece on this cob comes from the opera “Il Trovatore” by the revered Italian composer Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901), which was first performed in Rome in 1853 and in the United States in 1855. The opera is set in fifteenth-century Spain and the title character is Manrico, the “trovatore” or troubadour, who is of noble birth but was kidnapped from his cradle by a gypsy woman, Azucena, and, after a great deal of intense intervening melodrama, is ultimately executed by his own brother, the Count di Luna. The “Coro di Zingari” (“Gypsy Chorus”, item no. 7 in the score), also known by the name “Vedi le fosche”, is sung at the beginning of Act II, Scene 1. Azucena and Manrico are at a gypsy camp at dawn when the gypsies arise, begin singing and then strike their anvils rhythmically in time to the music. This “Anvil Chorus” is one of the most familiar of all operatic pieces. Other music from the opera appeared on cobs #137 (“Miserere”) and #188 and #1120 (“Ai nostri monti” (“Back to/Home to our Mountains”)). References: VC, GD, Giuseppe Verdi, Il Trovatore (The Troubadour) (complete score including an English translation by T. T. Barker (Boston, Oliver Ditson & Co., 1857))

#2023 - The Bowery, Waltz, Scarcity: VC
“The Bowery” is a famous street in the lower part of what is now the Borough of Manhattan in New York City known, in the 1890s, for its many saloons and dance halls. The hapless singer of this song describes his misadventures visiting the Bowery and the famous chorus following each verse is “The Bow'ry, the Bow'ry! They say such things, and they do strange things on the Bow'ry, the Bow'ry! I'll never go there any more!”. The song was included in the extremely popular Broadway musical “A Trip to Chinatown” and, like “After the Ball” (see notes to cobs #600 and 2016), epitomizes the “Gay '90s” song in waltz time, popularized through widespread sales of sheet music and with a chorus that was still remembered in the public mind years after the verses were forgotten. The words were by Charles H. Hoyt (1860-1900) and the music by Percy Gaunt (1852-1896). Hoyt, born in Concord, New Hampshire, both wrote and produced comic plays, including “A Trip to Chinatown”, which was the longest-running Broadway musical of its day, logging more than 650 performances at the Madison Square Theatre in New York in 1891-1893. During the show's long run, there were a number of changes in the music included in it, and two prominent pieces that were added to it were “After the Ball” and “Push Dem Clouds Away” (the latter with both words and music by Gaunt; see notes to cob #2031). Also, “The Bowery” was the sort of song that invited the addition of new, extra verses to it and Hoyt boasted that he had written between four and five hundred of them. As for Gaunt, according to an article about him in the New York Sun of September 5, 1896, he was born in Philadelphia and was already a published song writer when he befriended Frank McKee, Charles Hoyt's partner in the theatrical firm of Hoyt & McKee, became the firm's music director and began collaborating with Hoyt on their successful farce comedies, but two years earlier had deserted the Hoyt theatrical company in Boston without explanation. The article reported that he had composed and/or written more than 500 songs, was said to have made $37,000—a substantial sum in those days—from three songs, two of which were “The Bowery” and “Push Dem Clouds Away”, but was dying of consumption, in poverty, in a boarding house in the Catskill Mountains in upstate New York. He did in fact die there the same day the article was published. A more abbreviated version of “The Bowery” appeared on cob #1004. Additional references: EM, OC, DU

#2024 - Par Ci, Par La, Polka, Scarcity: C
This lively polka (the title of which, translated from French, is “This Way That Way”) is by French composer Emile Waldteufel (real name Charles Emile Levy; 1837-1915), who is better known for his waltzes and is sometimes called “the Parisian Waltz King”, to differentiate him from Johann Straus II, who is known simply as “the Waltz King”. Waldteufel was a pianist and piano teacher who published his own compositions, became a popular performer at social gatherings, was selected to be court pianist to the French Empress Eugenie and was later appointed as the court music director. His music subsequently became popular in England and many of his compositions in the late 1870s and the 1880s were published there. This piece is his op. 239. Other compositions by Waldteufel appeared on cobs #102, 114, 457, 461, 468, 469 and 2079; all but #102 are waltzes. Reference: OC

#2025 - The High School Cadets' March, Scarcity: C
This is another well-known and familiar march by John Philip Sousa (1854-1932), “the March King” (see notes to cobs #2003 and 2011). It dates from 1890, when Sousa was leading the United States Marine Band, and was written for the cadet drill team of the high school in Washington, District of Columbia, the city in which Sousa was born and then resided. A more abbreviated version of the tune appeared on cob #577. Other marches by Sousa, in addition to those on cobs #2003 and 2011, appeared on cobs #1009, 1096, 1125, 1126, 2063, 2067 and 2143. References: OC, UT

#2026 - Mosquito Skirt Dance, Scarcity: C
As discussed in the notes to cob #578, the “skirt dance” was a type of dance that became very well-known in the late 1880s and was performed by women in short accordion-pleated skirts who kicked out one leg and then the other in time to a jerky, schottische-like tune. The novelty piece on this cob is intended to evoke the image of mosquitoes performing such a dance. SR gives the composer of the piece as “M. G. Wittman” and there is a listing in the Catalogue of U.S. Copyright Entries for a piece of this title with that composer entered in May, 1892 naming “M. D. Swisher, Philadelphia”, presumably the publisher of the piece, as the proprietor (holder) of the copyright. I have not, however, yet seen a copy of the sheet music for the piece. Wittman (1868-1941) was a German-born pianist, composer, music teacher, and sometime piano tuner and repairman who moved frequently and, according to advertisements he placed seeking students and other references to him in newspapers, apparently lived, at various times between 1892 and 1904, at least in Ohio, Indiana, Tennessee, Arkansas and Mississippi before he established himself for the longer term in Kansas in 1905. An article in the Nashville newspaper The Tennessean of July 3, 1895 reported on a recital by students of his at Southern Normal University in Huntingdon, Tennessee, where he was then director of music, and an article in the Nashville American on March 2, 1897 reported that Wittman, then still living in Huntingdon, might relocate to Nashville and described him as a composer of about 28 years of age who had been born in Bayreuth, Germany, although he had “some Spanish blood in his veins”, had been in the U.S. for about 10 years, had “come south” from Indianapolis about two years earlier, and had written and published 55 vocal and instrumental pieces. An article in the Coffeyville [Kansas] Daily Journal of August 28, 1905 titled “Musician Locates Here” described him as being “of Chicago” and a pianist and composer of more than 150 works who received his musical training in Bayreuth, had maintained a music studio at a certain address in Chicago and now planned to open a music studio in Coffeyville. Wittman's gravestone in Olathe Memorial Cemetery, Olathe, Kansas gives the years of his birth and death and includes only his initials, “M.G.”, as he preferred to call himself, but an entry in U.S. copyright records for 1928 provides his full name, Max George Wittman, and his then residence as Chanute, Kansas. Additional references: 1900 U.S. Census record showing him (“Max G. Wittman”) as a music teacher living in Jonesboro, Arkansas, who was born in Germany in 1868 and immigrated to the U.S. in 1885; March, 1902 issue of Scientific American listing Wittman as having obtained a patent for a piano pedal he invented

#2027 - "Wang" Waltzes, Scarcity: C
Like “A Trip to Chinatown” (see notes to cob #2023), “Wang” was a very popular comic musical production of the early 1890s. It included three pieces that found their way onto Grand roller organ cobs, the waltzes on this cob, the song “A Pretty Girl—Wang” on cob #2045 and “Wang March” on cob #2049. “Wang” opened on May 4, 1891 at the Broadway Theater in New York featuring De Wolf Hopper, a headliner of the day, playing the impecunious and wily Wang, the Regent of Siam, who tries to solve his financial problems by wooing a French Consul's widow whom he mistakenly believes has great wealth. The libretto was by J. [John] Cheever Goodwin (1850-1912) and the music by H. [Henry] Woolson Morse (1858-1897). Goodwin was a Boston-born Harvard graduate who adapted a number of comic French pieces for the American stage in addition to writing librettos of his own. Morse was born in Charlestown, Massachusetts and according to obituary articles in the New York Sun and New York Times of May 4, 1897 graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and then studied art in Paris (EM, by contrast, does not mention M.I.T. but reports that he studied music at the Boston Conservatory and then in Paris). He produced his first musical in Springfield, Massachusetts at his own expense when he was only 22 years old and it was brought to Broadway in 1881 in a revised form which was his first of a number of collaborations with Goodwin. Their greatest success, however, was “Wang” ten years later. Additional references: New York Sun, May 5, 1891, and New York Evening World, May 6, 1891 (reviews of the production following its opening on May 4, noting that it was called a “comic burletta” rather than a “comic opera”)

#2028 - De Paris a Londres, Polka, Scarcity: LC
The title of this lively polka translates from the French as “From Paris to London” and SR listed it as being by “Eilenberg”. This is the German composer Richard Eilenberg (1848-1927), who is remembered for his salon pieces and wrote a number of polkas, some called “polka francaise” (“French polka”), one of which, dating from 1886 and published by the German music publisher August Cranz, was given the German title “Von Wien bis Berlin” (“From Vienna to Berlin”). The same work, Eilenberg's opus 62, is mentioned elsewhere as having the French title “De Paris a Londres” and under this title appeared as piece number 356 in the “Odeon” series of pieces arranged for salon orchestra and also published by Cranz. Although I have not seen either item of sheet music, there is a compact disc recording of a variety of pieces by Eilenberg played by the WDR Rundfunkorchester Koln that includes “Von Wien bis Berlin” and the tune is the same as the tune on the cob except that the first and last lines of the “Austrian National Hymn” (the familiar piece by Franz Josef Haydn on cob #113) are woven into the end of the tune on the compact disc. While this is appropriate for a piece whose title refers to Vienna and Berlin, it would not be for one whose title refers instead to Paris and London, and the change from the German to the French title and deletion of the excerpt from the specifically Austrian patriotic melody may have been made so that the piece would appeal to a broader international audience. References: The website, which includes biographical information about Eilenberg as well as a catalog of his works and lists his opus 62 as “Von Wien bis Berlin. Polka francaise fur Orchester. Hamburg: Cranz 1886”; list of titles in the Cranz Odeon series on the website (International Music Score Library Project/Petrucci Music Library) giving the title of piece no. 356 in the series as “Eilenberg, Richard, - Op. 62. De Paris a Londres. Polka.”

#2029 - Träumerei, Reverie, Scarcity: LC
This familiar and dreamy piece is by German classical composer Robert Schumann (1810-1856) and is from his “Kinderscenen” (“Scenes of Childhood”), op. 15 (1839). A more abbreviated version of the piece appeared on 20-note cob #1217. Reference: GD

#2030 - The Virginia Skedaddle, Scarcity: S
This lively and appealing instrumental piece appeared in 1892 with the subtitle “Ethiopian Patrol” and is another work by the New York newspaper columnist, songwriter and composer Monroe H. Rosenfeld (1862-1918) (see also notes to cobs #115, 428 and 2015). It is remembered today primarily by ragtime piano enthusiasts as an early example of music of that genre. Reference: DU


#2031 - Push Dem Clouds Away, Scarcity: C
The tune to this lively minstrel-type song is one of my favorites on the Grand roller organ and this cob is the one I always choose to demonstrate the organ because it shows it off so well. The song dates from 1892 and, like “The Bowery” (cob #2023) and “After the Ball” (cob #2016), was included in the now-forgotten comic Broadway musical “A Trip to Chinatown”. Both the lyrics and music were by Percy Gaunt (1852-1896) (see notes to cob #2023).

#2032 - Mia Bella, Waltz, Scarcity: VS
The composer of this pretty 1889 waltz tune was Otto Roeder, who also composed “Waltz—Love's Dreamland” on cob #407 and “Gondolier Waltzes” on cob #2046, as well as several dozen similar pieces, all published by Enoch & Sons in London in the years 1883-1897. I found it puzzling that I was unable to locate any newspaper or periodical article or any obituary piece containing any personal information about Roeder, although when new compositions by him appeared they were frequently reviewed with the comment that he was a familiar or well-known composer. English census records list a Swiss-born chemist and Congregational missionary named Ernest Otto Charles Roeder who lived in the London area and died there in 1896 whom I suspected might conceivably be the composer Otto Roeder, but I have found no reference to this individual's being involved in any musical endeavors. Some sources have said merely that Roeder was a prolific but “shadowy” late Victorian composer about whom essentially nothing is known, but the complete dearth of any information about him as a person, as opposed to many references to him as the composer of new musical works as they appeared, suggested that “Otto Roeder” may have been just a pseudonym used by another composer, and as it turns out this was indeed the case: according to an 1897 work titled Musicians of All Times: A Concise Dictionary of Musical Biography (David Baptie, compiler; London, J. Curwen & Sons), “Otto Roeder” was the pseudonym of Clement Locknane, an English organist and composer. Clement John Locknane (1866-1914) was born in Allahabad, Bengal, India, the son of an Irish-born soldier in a British regiment stationed there, and although I have again found no obituary article or other piece summarizing information about him in a single place, it is possible from scattered references to him in newspapers and periodicals to piece together a picture of him. He composed many pieces of music that were published under his own name, a number of them religious in nature; served as a church organist; frequently appeared as a performer or accompanist on the piano or organ, sometimes playing his own compositions; also sometimes acted as a conductor or choral director; arranged and compiled vocal music for use in schools; composed music for musical comedies; and even traveled to Australia in 1908 as the musical director of a light opera company. He died, however, six years later at the age of only 45 after being admitted to the Workhouse in Burnley, Lancashire, England. References: SR; Brainard's Musical World, No. 318 (Chicago, June, 1890) (sheet music for the piece); Locknane's Indian birth and baptismal record; 1891 English census record listing him as 24 years old, a British subject born in India, and an “organist, composer and teacher” who lived in Willesden in Middlesex; newspaper references from the same time frame indicating that he was then the organist at St. Andrew's Church there; 1893 entry in the register of the St. Marylebone Lodge of Freemasons in London stating that Locknane had become a member of the Lodge and giving his occupation as “professor of music”; 1911 English census record listing him as a “musical composer and conductor—theatrical”; admission records at the Burnley Workhouse stating that he was admitted there on February 28, 1914 and Lancashire death records (which misspell his last name as “Lockname”) stating that he died in Burnley at the age of 45 later that year.

#2033 - I Wish I was in Dixie's Land, Scarcity: C
The almost universally-known piece that appears on this cob, followed by variations, is more usually referred to simply as “Dixie” and was also included, in a simpler and shorter version, on 20-note cob #205. As noted in the paragraph about that cob, “Dixie” became the unofficial anthem of the South at the time of the American Civil War, having been written in 1859 by Ohio-born Daniel Decatur Emmett (1815-1904), a singer and banjo player who performed with circuses and minstrel troupes, when he was asked to create a new piece for a performance of Bryant's Minstrels in New York. Emmett later said that the expression “I wish I was in Dixie” predated the song and referred not to any patriotic loyalty to the South, but rather to the desire of minstrel performers in the North to head to warmer climes in winter. References: OC, LL, Los Angeles Herald, October 27, 1887 (report of interview with Emmett), The Week's Progress [New York, New York], July 9, 1904 (article about Emmett following his death).

#2034 - The Daisy, Polka, Scarcity: C
The rollicking polka tune on this cob is also known by the Italian name for daisy, “Fior di Margherita”, and had Italian lyrics. There is sheet music for the piece in MN with the lyrics and an English translation of them, published in New York in 1882. The tune was written by Luigi Arditi (1822-1903), an Italian-born composer and opera conductor who studied at the Conservatory in Milan, began his career as a violinist, traveled widely and in his later years spent much of his time in England, where he died. He is better known for his waltz, “Il Bacio” (“The Kiss”), which appeared on cob #2110. Additional reference: GD

#2035 - Love's Dream After the Ball, Scarcity: C
This dreamy waltz tune is by Alphons Czibulka (1842-1894), a Hungarian-born bandmaster and prolific composer who wrote music in a variety of genres, including dance pieces, light orchestral works and operettas as well as military band music. It is also known by the French title “Songe d'Amour apres le Bal” and the German title “Liebestraum nach dem Balle”, sheet music for it was published in Leipzig in 1890 and it was Czibulka's op. 356. References: GD, UV, Hofmeisters Musikalisch-literarischer Monatsbericht, Februar 1890, pp. 36, 51, Mai 1890, pp. 197, 200

#2036 - After Nine / Hello! Central, Hello!, Scarcity: LC
These two waltz songs are both lesser-known pieces by Charles K. Harris (1867-1930), the writer and composer of “After the Ball” (see notes to cob #2016). In his 1906 book How to Write a Popular Song (a full half of which is a rhyming dictionary!) Harris said that he had written “Hello, Central, Hello!” about fifteen years earlier—that is, before he wrote “After the Ball” and began publishing his songs himself—and that only about 3,000 copies of the sheet music for it were sold at that time. The song was more successful, however, after Harris later re-published it himself, because the title also appears in a list, later in Harris' book, of songs he wrote for which at least 100,000 copies of sheet music were (in this case ultimately) sold. The singer receives a telephone call from a woman whose pretty voice he does not recognize who asks why he did not keep a date with her the previous night. They are then disconnected and he is unable to re-establish the connection with her; instead, as lines are crossed, he is connected first with someone who accuses him of being drunk and then with someone who demands payment of a bill he allegedly owes. “Hello, Central, Hello!”, which, as Harris correctly estimated in his book, dates from 1891, should not be confused with Harris' 1901 song with a similar title, “Hello, Central, Give Me Heaven”. “After Nine” dates from 1893, a year later than “After the Ball”, and also appears in the list in Harris' book of songs by him for which at least 100,000 copies of sheet music were sold. There is a copy of the sheet music for “After Nine” in LL which has on the cover “As sung by Eddie Foy in Ali Baba”. Foy was a comedian and singer who starred in a very successful 1892 Chicago production based on the story of Ali Baba and the forty thieves. In the six verses, the singer of the song describes various people he encounters and things he sees while strolling on a street “after nine” (o'clock). Both “Hello, Central, Hello!” and “After Nine” are unlike the typical 1890s waltz song epitomized by “After the Ball” in that the chorus following each verse of the song is different and relates to the words of that particular verse. References: FG (two different editions of the sheet music to “Hello, Central, Hello!”, both published by Harris himself with a copyright date of 1891), EM (re: Foy and “Ali Baba”)

#2037 - The Little Stars Won't Tell, Scarcity: S
SR lists the composer of the piece on this cob as “Ig. Martinetti”. This was Ignacio (V.) Martinetti (1863-1931), a dancer, character actor and comedian who began performing as a child with his family's traveling troupe and appeared in many stage productions all over the United States over a period of six decades, from the 1870s through the 1920s. Although I have not located any book or article in which the details of his life and career were summarized in a single place, he was mentioned in hundreds of newspaper notices, advertisements and reviews during his many years as a performer. A piece in the Charleston [South Carolina] Daily News as early as October 8, 1870 said “Little Ignacio Martinetti is an infant phenomenon as a singer and dancer”, and fifty years later a brief piece about him titled “He's Made Millions Laugh in Long Stage Career” in the December 11, 1920 edition of the Evening Times-Republican of Marshalltown, Iowa included a photograph of him and noted that he had “played comedy roles in scores of Broadway successes”. Beginning when he was still in his teens he appeared (billed then as “Master Ignacio Martinetti”) as a character named Roundy the Bootblack with Denman Thompson and his traveling “Joshua Whitcomb” company (see notes to cob #436) and, in this role, performed an acclaimed duet with actress Julia Wilson of a piece titled “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Stars”. Martinetti subsequently wrote his own song “The Little Stars Won't Tell” and an advertisement for sheet music for it appeared on the back cover of sheet music for a song (not by Martinetti) titled “Mother's Last Request” published in 1885 by Charles D. Blake & Co. of Boston. The advertisement described Martinetti's piece as a “new Song and Dance. By Ignacio Martinetti. Written and composed especially for Mlle. Patti Rosa, and sung by her with wonderful success in her new play, 'Mizpah'. This song and dance is the legitimate rival of 'Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Stars' and will be just as popular.” I have not yet seen the sheet music for Martinetti's song, but its lyrics appeared in Volume 18 of the series of inexpensive paperback songbooks (containing lyrics only) called Wehman's Universal Songster, published by the Wehman Publishing Company over a number of years beginning in the 1880s. The singer tells of meeting his beloved in the dell after dark and says that the little stars that were then overhead will not reveal what was said or what transpired there. Additional references: theatrical review of a production of Martinetti's family's troupe in the January 21, 1874 Wheeling [West Virginia] Daily Intelligencer describing him as “a youth of ten years”; New York City death certificate reporting his death on May 12, 1931 at the age of 68 in the Borough of Queens and giving his occupation as “actor”, his date of birth as February 10, 1863 and his place of birth as California; 1870 U.S. census record showing him at age seven living in a boarding house in New York City with six other members of his family, all (including him) with the occupation “pantomimist”

#2038 - Nocturne / Midsummer Night's Dream, Scarcity: VS
The beautiful, dreamy tune on this cob is from the incidental music for William Shakespeare's play “A Midsummer Night's Dream” written by classical composer Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy (1809-1847) (see also notes to cob #2007) and first performed in 1843. It is another piece in the category of classical music that would have been familiar to many during the late Victorian era and that was often arranged for performance by home pianists and organists. References: GD; review in the November, 1873 issue of The Atlantic Monthly that said “In recently published sheet-music, we notice a quite graceful, though perhaps rather drawing-roomy transcription [for piano] by Sidney Smith of the fascinating Nocturne in Mendelssohn's “Midsummer Night's Dream” music”; MN (1877 arrangement of the piece for organ)

#2039 - Flemish Dance, Scarcity: LC
SR lists “Theo. Bonheur” as the composer of this pleasant, pretty, courtly, spritely dance tune. There is a copy of the sheet music for it in the Natchez Trace Sheet Music Collection at the University of Texas at Austin with a copyright date of 1892. “Theo. Bonheur” was one of the many pseudonyms used by the prolific English composer Charles Arthur Rawlings (1857-1919). Some sources have confused Rawlings with his brother Alfred, also a composer who used pseudonyms, but the U.S. Library of Congress Name Authority File, which contains entries for both brothers, reports that the Catalogue of Printed Music in the British Library to 1980 links the Theo. Bonheur pseudonym with Charles, not Alfred, and when Alfred died, his obituary piece in the London Times of August 7, 1924 described him as “brother of the late Theo. Bonheur”. References: English Civil Registration Birth Index listing Rawlings as having been born during April-June 1857 in Marylebone; 1861 English census record listing Rawlings as age 3 and a native and resident of Marylebone, where his father, listed as a musician, blind from birth, was also born; 1871, 1881, 1891, 1901 and 1911 English census records in each case listing Rawlings as residing in London and the latter four records describing him, respectively, as age 23 and a “musical composer”, age 33 and a “composer of music”, age 43 and a “pianoforte accompanist” and age 53 and a “composer of music”; England and Wales National Probate Calendar listing Rawlings' date of death as January 29, 1919

#2040 - Tannhauser March, Scarcity: VS
The stately and powerful march tune on this cob, still frequently heard today, is from Act II of the opera “Tannhauser” by German composer Richard Wagner (1813-1883), first performed in Dresden in 1845 and first performed in New York in 1859. It seems odd that a cob containing such a well-known piece is one of the very scarce ones. The opera is set in 13th century Germany and Tannhauser is a minstrel who has encountered Venus, goddess of love. A more abbreviated version of the march was fitted onto 20-note cob #1200, the “Song to the Evening Star” from the opera was likewise fitted onto 20-note cob #1224 and the “Pilgrims' Chorus” from the opera appeared on Grand cob #2076. References: GD, VB


#2041 - The Fencing Master, 3 songs, Scarcity: N
This is the first of four Grand roller organ cobs of which I am not aware of any existing copy. SR, the Fall, 1903 edition of the Sears Roebuck Catalog, listed in its advertisement for the Grand roller organ numbers and titles for 157 of the 160 Grand cobs known to have been made (all but #2141-2143). The corresponding ad in the Spring, 1904 edition, however, omitted 18 of these cobs, including this cob. Perhaps the Autophone Company had by then ceased manufacturing the cob or perhaps the Sears Roebuck Company had merely decided to cease selling it, but in either event the cob was presumably not one that many Grand roller organ owners ordered. The pieces on the cob are from the 1892 operetta “The Fencing Master” which, like “Robin Hood” (see notes to cob #2012), was written by Reginald De Koven (1859-1920) with a libretto by Harry B. Smith (1860-1936). The “Bolero” from the operetta appeared on 20-note cob #1103. Reference: EM

#2042 - Daisy Bell, Scarcity: VS
This very popular song in waltz time (also known as “A Bicycle Built for Two”) also dates from 1892. Both the words and music were by the prolific English songwriter Harry Dacre (real name Frank Dean, although according to OC he also used the name “Henry Decker”; 1857-1922). Dacre wrote “Daisy Bell” after emigrating to the United States, although it was brought back to England by a singer named Katie Lawrence and first popularized by her there before taking off and finding its way back to the U.S. in the process of becoming a worldwide hit. Dacre subsequently returned to England himself and founded the music publishing firm of Frank Dean and Co. there. Of the enormous number of songs he wrote and published, “Daisy Bell” was his best known. It is another gay '90s waltz song of which all that is now remembered is the chorus, in which the singer asks his beloved Daisy to give him an answer to his marriage proposal, and says that although he cannot afford a carriage for the wedding she would be a sweet-looking bride on a bicycle built for two. According to an often-repeated story that is told in both FS and BW, when Dacre arrived in the United States he was surprised to learn that he had to pay a customs duty on the bicycle he had brought with him, and a fellow songwriter commented that it was a good thing it had not been a bicycle built for two, because he would then have had to pay twice the duty. This reportedly gave Dacre the idea to include a reference to a tandem bicycle in “Daisy Bell”. In light of the onetime great popularity of the piece, it is strange that this cob is a very scarce one. A shorter version of the piece appeared on 20-note cob #1010. Additional references: LL; several reports in the entertainment columns of American newspapers during September, 1892 that “Harry Dacre, the celebrated English song writer, will locate permanently in New York”; article in the December 21, 1894 edition of the Manchester [England] Guardian about a court case involving the copyright of “Daisy Bell” in which testimony was given by “Frank Dean, who said he was professionally known as Harry Dacre”; Isle of Man baptism record showing Dean was baptized there on September 6, 1857; English census records for 1861, 1881, 1901 and 1911 for Frank Dean, listing him with an age of 3, 23, 43 and 53, respectively, in each case listing his birthplace as the Isle of Man and in 1901 and 1911 listing his profession as “music publisher” (OC and BW are therefore incorrect in giving his birth year as 1860); England and Wales National Probate Calendar giving Dean's date of death as July 16, 1922

#2043 - Home, Sweet Home, Scarcity: VC
The song on this cob was universally known and sung during the early 1890s and this cob was accordingly one of the ten most common cobs on the Grand roller organ, just as its smaller counterpart (cob #123) was one of the five most common on the 20-note roller organ. As noted in more detail in the paragraph on cob #123, the author of the words to the song was John Howard Payne (1792-1852), an American actor, journalist and writer, and Payne's words were set to a “Sicilian air” in fact composed by Londoner Sir Henry Rowley Bishop (1786-1855). The song that resulted appeared in an 1823 opera Payne wrote, “Clari, or the Maid of Milan”, and 100,000 copies of sheet music for it were reportedly sold in one year. The Grand roller organ version of the tune should probably be titled “Variations on 'Home, Sweet Home'”, because it consists of a series of stylized alterations of the familiar tune, which does not appear completely in its original form even once. References: OF, SG, IV, GD.

#2044 - "1492" Waltzes, Scarcity: S
The show from which the two waltz tunes on this cob came, “1492” (the full title was “1492 Up to Date or Very Near It”), opened at Palmer's Theatre in New York on May 15, 1893 to a full house with a cast of eighty and received a laudatory review in the next day's New York Times, which reported that its “wild nonsense amused an immense audience”, some of whom were “laughing like imbeciles”, and that the crowd called for half a dozen encores of every song. The story line involved Christopher Columbus coming to 1890s New York and meeting a number of Broadway characters there. The music was composed by Carl Pflueger (misspelled as “Pfleuger” in SR; 1850-1901), the libretto was by R. A. [Robert Ayres] Barnet (1853-1933), and the “extravaganza” had intentionally been put together to coincide with the 400th anniversary of Columbus' discovery of America and was first performed in Boston in 1892 by the Boston Cadets' amateur theatrical group, with which Barnet was associated. Pflueger was a German-born tenor soloist, voice teacher and composer who lived in Cambridge, Massachusetts and was for many years the musical director of Boston's Orpheus Musical Society. A year before he collaborated with Barnet on “1492”, he had worked with him on another musical comedy, “Injured Innocents”, also initially performed by the Cadets. After “1492”, however, although Barnet wrote many other musical comedies, Pflueger did not furnish the music for any of them. The first tune on the cob is part of Queen Isabella's song in waltz time, which was a central musical theme in the show and appears in the score three times, in item 5(B), “the Queen's Song”, in Act I (pages 21-23), in item 7, the Finale to Act I (pages 30-33) and in item 17, the Finale to Act III (pages 90-93). The second tune on the cob is a waltz song titled “Wait Till the Sweet Bye and Bye” and appears in the appendix to the score on pages 95-97. It is played through once on the cob after the first tune and is followed by a buildup to a crescendo after which the first tune is played through again. References: score for “1492” published by White-Smith Music Pub. Co. in Boston in 1892 (in the Sibley Music Library at the Eastman School of Music at the University of Rochester (Rochester, New York)); EM (entry under E[dward] E[verett] Rice, whose traveling troupe known as Rice's Surprise Party put on the 1893 New York performance); Anne Alison Barnet, Extravaganza King: Robert Barnet and Boston Musical Theatre (Boston, Northeastern University Press, 2004) (excellent book about Barnet researched and written by his great-granddaughter); 1900 U.S. Census record showing Barnet as living in Boston, age 46, a “playwright”, with a date of birth of September 1853; Episcopal Diocese of New York record listing Barnet's death on June 26, 1933 in his eightieth year; detailed obituary article about Pflueger in the May 25, 1901 issue of the Cambridge [Massachusetts] Chronicle

#2045 - A Pretty Girl / "Wang", Scarcity: S
As noted in the paragraph on cob #2027, “Wang” was a very successful musical comedy that opened on Broadway in 1891. It was billed as a “burletta”, a word created by combining “burlesque” and “operetta”, and the libretto was by J. Cheever Goodwin (1850-1912) and the music by Woolson Morse (1858-1897). “A Pretty Girl” was one of the most popular songs in the show and there is sheet music for it in LL. AM commented that the song “juxtaposes a simple, charming tune with an equally simple lyric that turns unexpectedly cynical”: the singer (Mataya, the Prince of Siam) at the end of each of the two verses says that the “pretty girl” who has been exchanging kisses and vows does the same thing on another night with another fellow. The song should not be confused with the later and more popular song “A Pretty Girl is Like a Melody”, which dates from 1919.

#2046 - Gondolier Waltzes, Scarcity: LC
The three waltz tunes on this cob are, according to SR, additional pieces by “Otto Roeder” (the English composer Clement Locknane (1866-1914); see notes to cob #2032). The sheet music for them was, like sheet music for other compositions by Roeder, first published by Enoch in London. Additional references: UM (undated sheet music published by Richard A. Saalfield in New York containing the three waltz tunes followed by a coda (concluding section), corresponding closely to what is on the cob); The Folio, Volume XXXIV, no. 10 (October 1889) (publication of White, Smith & Co., Boston music publishers) (paragraph on the page headed “Monthly Bulletin of New Music” (p. 371) describing newly-published sheet music for “Gondoliers Waltzes” by Otto Roeder as containing Waltz No. 1, which introduces the principal theme, followed by Waltz No. 2, Waltz No. 3 and a Coda, as in the Saalfield sheet music)

#2047 - Mardi Gras Quadrille Nos. I and II, Scarcity: LC
#2048 - Mardi Gras Quadrille Nos. IV and V, Scarcity: LC
SR lists the composer of the pieces on these cobs as “Schubert”, but this was not the well-known Austrian classical composer Franz Schubert (1797-1828; see notes to cob #524). Instead, it was a French music publisher and composer named Charles Edouard Camille Prilipp (1810-1889) who adopted the name “Camille Schubert” and wrote hundreds of pieces of dance music, many of which became popular. The “Mardi Gras Quadrilles” were originally published in Paris by Prilipp in 1845 under the title “Le Mardi-Gras aux Enfers” and were Schubert's opus 79. Sheet music for them intended for the home pianist later appeared in the United States in, for example, an 1863 book titled The Welcome Guest: A Collection of Modern Piano-Forte Music, published by Henry Tolman & Co. in Boston. The first piece on cob #2047 corresponds to item No. 1 in that sheet music and the second piece corresponds to item No. 2. The first piece on cob #2048 corresponds to item No. 3 in the sheet music and the second piece corresponds to item No. 5. Quadrilles typically have five parts and the inclusion of only four of those five parts may have been just a matter of the amount of space available on the cobs. It is not clear, however, why the Autophone Company gave the pieces on cob #2047 the numbers “I and II” and those on cob #2048 the numbers “IV and V”, skipping the number “III” (The same thing was done with the quadrilles on cobs #2050-2051, but in that case the pieces on the cobs were the first, second, fourth and fifth pieces in the sheet music, so that the numbering in the cob titles was correct). The “Mardi Gras Quadrilles” were described as “probably the most popular set of quadrilles published” when they were included in a list of 59 different “Quadrilles for the Piano” for which sheet music was offered for sale in S. Brainard's Sons' Descriptive Catalogue of Selected Popular Music, an 84-page listing of available sheet music, musical instruments and other musical items, published in Cleveland and undated but reportedly dating from 1872. Additional references: Bibliographie de la France (a work that was intended to list all new works, including musical works, published in France, and was issued weekly and subsequently compiled into volumes by year), June 14, 1845, p. 324 (noting publication of “Le Mardi-gras aux enfers, quadrille fantastique”, by Schubert, published by Prilipp); Supplement et Complement, Tome 2 to Francois-Joseph Fetis, Biographie Universelle des Musiciens (Paris, Firmin Didot, 1880) (biographical information about Camille Schubert describing his musical works); entry in the Registre d'Etat Civil (Civil Registry containing entries of births, marriages and deaths) for Montmagny, a commune just north of Paris, recording Prilipp's death there on November 13, 1889 and stating that he had been born in Paris on March 16, 1810; TE (additional source of sheet music for the tunes, undated and published by Oliver Ditson in Boston, with the title “Le Mardi Gras: Shrove-Tuesday in Pandemonium: Quadrille Fantastique”, containing the five separate parts as in The Welcome Guest)

#2049 - "Wang" March, Scarcity: VS
The march tune on this cob is still another piece from “Wang”, the very successful musical comedy that opened on Broadway in 1891 with libretto by J. Cheever Goodwin (1850-1912) and music by Woolson Morse (1858-1897) (see also notes to cobs #2027 and 2045).

#2050 - Palermo Quadrilles Nos. I and II, Scarcity: LC
#2051 - Palermo Quadrilles Nos. IV and V, Scarcity: LC
The pieces on these cobs were by Charles D'Albert (1809-1886), a German-born composer and dancing master who lived in England and wrote a great deal of dance music, some of which was published in lavish annual albums of his compositions that were displayed in Victorian-era parlors. There is undated sheet music for the “Palermo Quadrilles” in DU published by Hamilton S. Gordon in New York that contains five separate tunes numbered from 1 to 5 and the tunes on cob #2050 do indeed correspond to tunes 1 and 2 and the tunes on cob #2051 correspond to tunes 4 and 5. Omission of tune 3 may once again have been just a matter of the amount of space available on the cobs (see notes to cobs #2047 and 2048). References: OC; GD; March 15, 1855 issue of The Times (of London) containing an advertisement by London music publisher Chappell for sheet music for “D'Albert's New Music for the Season”, which included the Palermo Quadrilles; other advertisements in American newspapers that show that sheet music for the pieces was available in the U.S. at least as early as the following year

#2052 - How Dear to Me The Hour, Scarcity: S
“How Dear to Me the Hour” is a poem by Ireland's “national poet” Thomas Moore (1779-1852; see notes to cob #149) that was set to the traditional Irish tune “The Twisting of the Rope” and, in that form, appeared as one of the songs in his Irish Melodies. The tune on this cob, however, is not the one used by Moore but a different and more florid but interesting and appealing tune composed by Henry Kleber (1816-1897) to accompany the words of Moore's poem. Kleber was a German-born organist, teacher and music dealer in Pittsburgh who was associated with the great songwriter Stephen Foster (see notes to cobs #112 and 129) during Foster's years in the Pittsburgh area and is said to have provided Foster the only instruction in music he ever received. He also led the choir that sang at Foster's funeral. There is sheet music for Kleber's piece set as a duet for soprano and tenor held by the University of Michigan with a copyright date of 1861, a copy of which can be viewed on the website. References: The Pittsburg Press, February 20, 1897 (obituary article about Kleber reporting that he was born in Darmstadt, Germany in 1816, was brought to Pittsburgh by his parents in 1830, began teaching music there only five years later and had been a church organist and tenor singer), The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, January 29, 1864, The Pittsburg Post, October 3, 1897, The Pittsburg Press, May 30, 1915 (articles about Stephen Foster mentioning Kleber)

#2053 - Minuet, Scarcity: VS
The tune on this cob is the familiar “Minuet in G” (opus 14 no. 1) of Polish-born virtuoso pianist and composer Ignaz Jan Paderewski (1860-1941). Notably, he gave his first U.S. concert in 1891 at the time when Grand roller organ cobs were first being manufactured. References: GD, June 30, 1941 edition of the Brooklyn Eagle (lengthy Paderewski obituary article that said he “was known for 60 years as the greatest pianist of his time” and was said to have earned more than $10,000,000 as a pianist and composer)

#2054 - Caliph of Bagdad Overture, Scarcity: LC
The interesting piece on this cob is a condensed version of the overture from the 1800 opera “Le Calife de Bagdad” (“The Caliph of Baghdad”) by Francois-Adrien Boieldieu (1775-1834), who was born in Rouen, France, achieved success as a composer of operas and, to a lesser extent, chamber music in Paris and was a professor of the pianoforte and later of composition at the Paris Conservatory. Reference: GD

#2055 - Sweet Marie, Waltz, Scarcity: VC
This very pretty piece, in my opinion the nicest of the many 1890s popular songs in waltz time on the Grand roller organ, dates from 1893. The lyrics were by Cy (Cyrus Clarence) Warman and the tune by Raymon Moore. Warman (1855-1914) was an interesting character, a onetime railroad engineer who wrote poems and stories about railroad life and became known as “the Poet of the Rockies”. There is a whole body of lore, some of it dating from long after the fact, with conflicting details as to exactly how Warman came to write the lyrics to “Sweet Marie”. It is definite, however, that he wrote them in relation to his courtship of his wife Marie (nee Myrtle Marie Jones), whom he married in 1892 when he was a widower in his late thirties and she was fifteen years younger. Raymon Moore (1867 or 1868-1916), who set Warman's lyrics to music, was a minstrel singer known for his beautiful tenor voice and his sweet and unaffected renditions of ballads. He was born in Amsterdam, New York, grew up in San Francisco, made his first professional appearance in New York singing “Down on the Farm” (cob #442), joined Primrose & West's Minstrels and was depicted on their advertising posters, which described him as “the greatest of ballad singers”. He later joined George Thatcher's Minstrels, and the incorrect listing in SR of the composer of “Sweet Marie” as “Thatcher” is probably a reference to the leader of that minstrel troupe. In an 1894 interview (see below) Moore said that, while on a cross-country train ride, he read Warman's lyrics in the New York Sun, where they were first published, was impressed by their tenderness and prettiness, immediately put together a tune to accompany them and wrote to Warman with the proposal that his tune be joined with Warman's lyrics and that they split the proceeds from the resulting song equally. Warman agreed, the song unexpectedly became extraordinarily successful and more than a million copies of the sheet music for it were sold. A more abbreviated version of the tune appeared on 20-note cob #1036. References: LL; June 14, 1893 edition of The Morning Call, San Francisco (article about Warman including a drawing of him); April 11, 1914 issue of The Publishers' Weekly (obituary article about Warman); U. S. Government “Application for Registration—Native Citizen” signed by Mrs. Warman on November 15, 1917 in connection with her move back to the United States from Canada following Warman's death in which she gave her name as Myrtle Marie Warman and his name as Cyrus Clarence Warman and said she had been born in Lowell, Massachusetts in 1870; MN (Primrose & West poster depicting Moore); lengthy article about Moore by author and playwright Edith Sessions Tupper, including a drawing of him and information she obtained in interviewing him about his life and how he came to compose the tune to “Sweet Marie”, that appeared in the November 7, 1894 edition of the Akron [Ohio] Daily Democrat and in a number of other newspapers in other cities on or about the same date; note in the January, 1912 issue of The Etude magazine that Moore, “formerly one of the best minstrel ballad singers on the stage, and composer of “Sweet Marie”, a once popular song, is said to be ill and destitute in a Massachusetts hospital”; New York City death record (misspelling Moore's first name as “Raymond”) showing that he died in Brooklyn, New York in 1916 at the age of 48

#2056 - Martha Overture, Scarcity: LC
This condensed version of the overture is still another piece from the opera “Martha” by German composer Friedrich von Flotow (1812-1883) (see notes to cobs #2017 and 2019). It includes the familiar and beautiful theme of the quintet “Mag der Himmel Euch vergeben”, known as “Lionel's Prayer”, which is the Finale to Act III.

#2057 - After the Masquerade, Scarcity: S
SR lists the composer of this piece in waltz time as “Koeppen”. This was almost certainly an obscure musician and composer named Erwin C. Koeppen (1856-1912) who lived in Buffalo, New York and who wrote several pieces of music that were published during the 1890s and early 1900s. He does not appear to have been well-known outside of Buffalo even during his lifetime and it is now difficult to locate any information about him except what can be pieced together from scraps. A concert program in the August 7, 1894 edition of the Buffalo Commercial lists as two of the pieces performed “Bob and I” and “At the Masquerade” (perhaps the correct title of the piece on this cob) by “Koeppen” and the April 25, 1896 edition of the Buffalo Enquirer lists “E. C. Koeppen” as the composer of a piece titled the “St. Elmo Two Step”. Koeppen also wrote the music to an 1895 song titled “When the Girl You Love is Many Miles Away”, with lyrics by the much more well-known George M. Cohan (see notes to cob #1098). The sheet music for it was published by the Allen May Music Publishing Company in Buffalo and a copy of that sheet music somehow found its way to, and is now held by, the Cypress Branch of the Orange County (California) Public Libraries. An article in the August 1, 1896 edition of the Buffalo Commercial described Allen May as a “baritone singer and entertainer” and said that he was appearing in a program that also included cornet solos by Koeppen. An article in the September 8, 1900 edition of the Buffalo Commercial said that Koeppen played the cornet in the orchestra at Buffalo's Teck Theatre and a brief biography of Koeppen that appeared, along with a photograph of him, in the Review of the 1900-1901 Season and Prospectus of the 1901-1902 Season of the Aschenbroedel Society, a German-American musical organization in Buffalo, said that he had been born in Buffalo on July 6, 1856 and had been a member of both the Buffalo Philharmonic and Buffalo Symphony Orchestras. There was also an article twenty years earlier in the February 11, 1881 edition of the Buffalo Express reporting that Koeppen had performed cornet solos at a “musical and literary entertainment” as early as in that year. Koeppen also wrote both the lyrics and music of a “descriptive song” dating from 1895 called “True to his Promise” that was performed by Allen May, who was depicted on the cover of the sheet music, a copy of which is in LL. The lyrics tell the odd story of a boy, the son of an alcoholic, who promised his mother never to play his violin in a barroom and refuses to do so even when threatened with being shot point-blank when he is for some unexplained reason in a barroom in a rough mining town. Additional references: Buffalo city directories for 1882 and many later years listing Koeppen as living in the city with the profession “musician”; notice reporting Koeppen's death at age 56 in the December 31, 1912 edition of the Buffalo Enquirer

#2058 - Madam Angot, Waltz Song, Scarcity: VS
This waltz song, with the French title “Tournez, Tournez” (“Turn, Turn”), is from the comic opera “La Fille de Madame Angot” (“The Daughter of Madame Angot”), with music by (Alexandre) Charles LeCocq (1832-1918) (see also notes to cob #319). LeCocq was a native of Paris who attended the Conservatoire there and wrote music for a large number of popular and successful operettas beginning in the 1860s. “La Fille de Madame Angot” was first produced in Brussels in December 1872 and in Paris several months later and was enormously successful and popular for many years, although it is essentially forgotten today. The title character, Clairette, is the orphaned daughter of Madame Angot, a Paris fishwife about whom many tales are told, one of which is that she had a liaison with the Grand Turk and he was Clairette's father. The plot involves the rivalry between Clairette and an actress, Mademoiselle Lange, for the affection of Ange Pitou, a bold revolutionary who writes and sings anti-government songs. “Tournez, Tournez” is introduced by Mlle. Lange and then picked up by the chorus at the close of the second act. References: GD, EM

#2059 - Wedding March, Scarcity: C
This march is another piece from the incidental music composed by classical composer Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy (1809-1847) for William Shakespeare's “A Midsummer Night's Dream” and first performed in 1843 (see also notes to cob #2038). It is widely familiar because of its almost universal use as a recessional at weddings. Reference: GD

#2060 - Tancredi Overture, Scarcity: S
The piece on this cob is a condensed version of the overture to the now little-remembered opera “Tancredi”, which was written by Italian composer Gioacchino Rossini (1792-1868) and first performed, to great acclaim, in Venice in 1813. The opera is set in Syracuse, Sicily in 1005 A.D. and Rossini wrote two separate endings for it, each of which has been used in some performances of the opera. In one ending, the hero Tancredi, a banished soldier who has returned from exile, defeats the Saracens in battle and is then joyfully reunited and reconciled with his beloved Amenaide. In the other ending, Tancredi also returns victoriously from the battle to Amenaide, but he has been mortally wounded and dies in her arms. Reference: GD


#2061 - Maid of Plymouth, Waltzes, Scarcity: S
This is the first of three Grand roller organ cobs containing music from the once-popular but now forgotten musical production “The Maid of Plymouth”, with a libretto, based on Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's “The Courtship of Miles Standish”, by Clay M. (Meredith) Greene (1850-1933), who was born in San Francisco, lived in Bayside, Queens, New York, and wrote dozens of plays, none of them now remembered, and music by T. (Thomas) Pearsall Thorne (1861-1922), a wealthy and socially prominent New Yorker who graduated from Yale College in 1882 and persisted in composing music for theatrical productions despite harsh comments in some reviews, such as “Mr. Thorne…has the pecuniary wherewithal to support his position that nature designed him to be a composer of comic opera”, “T. Pearsall Thorne is a persevering young man” but “never yet has perseverance conquered a lack of natural gifts in music”, and “[h]is melodies are the essence of ingenuousness…designed, apparently, to please persons who do not like anything ambitious”. References: OA, Who's Who in America, 1903-1905 (Chicago, A.N. Marquis & Co., 1903) (biography of Greene), Yale University, Obituary Record of Graduates Deceased during the Year Ending July 1, 1922 (New Haven, 1922) (biography of Thorne), review of “The Maid of Plymouth” in the January 16, 1894 edition of New York Times the day after it opened at the Broadway Theatre in New York after a short run in Chicago and review of “Leonardo”, another comic opera with music by Thorne and a libretto this time by Gilbert Burgess (see notes to cob #2073), in the October 22, 1895 edition of the New York Times (both of which noted that the opening night audience included a large number of Thorne's friends and that if they did not continue to come to performances night after night the future of the production was doubtful)

#2062 - William Tell Overture, Scarcity: LC
This is an arrangement of themes from the familiar overture to the opera “Guillaume Tell” (“William Tell”) by Gioacchino Rossini (1792-1868), first produced at the Paris Opera in 1829. It was the last opera Rossini wrote, even though he lived for almost forty more years. The action is set in medieval Switzerland and in one well-known scene Tell, a Swiss patriot and famed archer, is ordered by the Austrian tyrant Gessler to shoot an apple from Tell's son's head and successfully does so. The “Tyrolian Song” or “Tyrolienne” from the opera appeared on cob #184. References: VB, GD

#2063 - Liberty Bell March, Scarcity: C
This is still another familiar and stirring march tune by John Philip Sousa (1854-1932) (see also notes to cobs #2003 and 2025). It dates from 1893. References: OC, CC

#2064 - Wedding March / Lohengrin, Scarcity: C
More familiar under the name “Here Comes the Bride”, this march is universally played as the processional at weddings. It comes from Act III, Scene I of the opera “Lohengrin” by German composer Richard Wagner (1813-1883), which was first produced at Weimar, Germany in 1850 under the direction of the great pianist and composer Franz Liszt and was first produced in the United States in 1871. See also notes to cobs #2059 and 2096. References: GD, VB

#2065 - Gondoliers Lanciers I and II, Scarcity: S
#2066 - Gondoliers Lanciers IV and V, Scarcity: S
These two cobs include music, arranged for dancing, from the 1889 operetta “The Gondoliers” by W. S. (William Schwenck) Gilbert (1836-1911), the great English dramatist and librettist, and his musical collaborator Sir Arthur Sullivan (1842-1900). Despite Gilbert & Sullivan's great popularity in the United States as well as England during the Victorian era, these cobs are the only ones on the Grand roller organ containing music of theirs. It was common in Victorian times to take themes from popular musical productions of the day and arrange them for dancing. As the “lanciers” is a variant of the quadrille (see notes to cobs #2047-2048 and 2050-2051) and, like the quadrille, is a five-part dance, it is once again not clear why the four separate pieces on these two cobs are numbered I and II and IV and V, omitting III. I is an arrangement of a melody from the “Chorus of Contadine” (peasant girls), item no. 1 in the score for Act I; II combines another melody from the “Chorus of Contadine” with the song “The Duke of Plaza-Toro” (“In Enterprise of Martial Kind”), item no. 3 in the score for Act I. IV is the “Chorus and Dance” (“Cachucha”) from Act II (no. 5 in the score for that act); V is based on the “Gavotte” (“I Am a Courtier Grave and Serious”) from Act II (no. 11 in the score for that act). References: OC, GD; “the score” in this paragraph refers to the vocal score dated 1890 published by Chappell & Co., London

#2067 - The Belle of Chicago, Scarcity: C
The tune on this cob is still another march by “the March King”, John Philip Sousa (1854-1932) (see notes to cobs #2003 and 2025). It dates from 1892, and when it was first performed the Chicago Evening Post, noting the “overpowering amount of brasses and solid, emphatic forte effects”, commented that “Mr. Sousa evidently views the Chicago belle as a powerful creature, with the swinging stride of a giant, a voice like a foghorn and feet like a sugar-cured ham” and suggested that the piece be retitled “The Belle of St. Louis”. References: OC, MN, article in the November 5, 1892 edition of the Buffalo [New York] Enquirer, quoting from the Chicago Evening Post article but not providing its date

#2068 - Maid of Plymouth, 2 Songs, Scarcity: VS
The songs on this cob are again from the 1893 musical production “The Maid of Plymouth”, with lyrics by Clay M. Greene (1850-1933) and music by T. Pearsall Thorne (1861-1922) (see notes to cobs #2061). The first is “'Twas Written So”, a duet sung by Sir Lovesby Montague, the “Puritan masher”, and the Indian maiden Masconoma; sheet music for it appears in Vocal Selections from the Maid of Plymouth (New York, T. B. Harms & Co., 1893). The second song begins with the same unusual opening bars as the first and is also in the same slow 3/4 time but was not included as one of the eight pieces in Harms' Vocal Selections. Additional references: Reviews of “The Maid of Plymouth” in the January 16, 1894 editions of the New York Times, New York World , New York Evening World and New York Sun

#2069 - University March, Scarcity: S
SR lists the composer of the march tune on this cob as “Guyer”. United States copyright records show that sheet music for “University March” by H. W. Guyer of Sunbury, Pennsylvania was filed in 1894 in order to secure a copyright. Harry W. (William) Guyer (1871-1943) lived for most of his life in Sunbury, a small city on the Susquehanna River in Northumberland County, Pennsylvania, where his family owned a considerable amount of commercial real estate and operated the Central Hotel beginning in 1882. Although Guyer was mentioned in dozens of newspaper articles over many decades, in his youth because of his involvement in the sport of rowing and in later years with regard to his business interests, I have found no references in any of these articles to his having had any connection with music. “University March” dates from when he was only twenty-three years old and may have been his only published musical work. One might ask how this obscure march found its way onto the Grand roller organ. The answer, apparently, is that Guyer attended Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, where roller organs were manufactured, so that the “University” in the title of the march most likely refers to Cornell and for that reason the tune came to the attention of the Autophone Company and was put on a cob. References: Catalogue of Title-Entries of Books and Other Articles Entered in the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington under the Copyright Law for the period from September 10 to 15, 1894; The Shield (publication of Phi Kappa Psi fraternity), Vol. XIV, No. 2, December, 1893, listing Guyer as one of the “new men” in the chapter of the fraternity at Cornell, Vol. XIV, No. 3, February, 1894, listing Guyer as having been initiated into the fraternity in 1893, his college class as 1897 and his intended occupation as electrical engineering, Vol. 18, No. 3, January 31, 1898, noting that Guyer, '96, had taken charge of the Central Hotel; 1900 and 1910 U.S. Census records showing Harry Guyer living in Sunbury with the occupation “manager hotel” and “hotel proprietor”, respectively; obituary article about Guyer's mother Catherine in the June 8, 1922 edition of the Selinsgrove [Pennsylvania] Times-Tribune including information about the Guyer family and the Central Hotel; Pennsylvania death certificate for Guyer reporting his date of death as November 23, 1943 and his date of birth as August 19, 1871

#2070 - The Fatal Wedding, Scarcity: VS
The lyrics to this once-popular “tear jerker” tell how it is revealed at the altar that the bridegroom-to-be is already married when his wife appears, carrying their baby in her arms. The bridegroom commits suicide and two graves are dug, one for him and one for the baby, who has also died. The lyrics were written by William H. Windom (1865-1913), a minstrel and vaudeville singer and comedian described in some newspaper notices as “the phenomenal alto”. Windom appeared with Primrose & West's Minstrels and later sang with four African-Americans called the Blackstone Quartette and performed blackface monologues. The music to “The Fatal Wedding” was composed by Gussie L. Davis (1863-1899), one of the first successful African-American Tin Pan Alley songwriters (see also notes to cob #220). The tune also appeared on cob #1039. References: UM; January 10, 1897 edition of the Brooklyn Eagle listing performers in the Primrose & West troupe including Windom; May 1, 1898 edition of the Pittsburg Press containing a drawing of Windom; dozens of notices in newspapers all over the United States listing appearances by Windom, sometimes as a monologuist and sometimes singing as a member of “the Windom Quintette” or backed by “the Blackstone Quartette”; February 4, 1905 edition of the Minneapolis Star reporting on a lengthy interview with Windom in which he told how he came to write the lyrics to “The Fatal Wedding”, which were based on real-life events, and said he had received $38,000 in royalties from the song (the article also reported that he had lived in Minneapolis for twelve years and had been trained as a barber there before beginning his career as a performer); 1900 U.S. Census record showing William Windom, age 34, white, born in Tennessee in December 1865, musician, living in Chicago; 1910 U. S. Census record showing William H. Windom, age 45, white, born in Tennessee, “actor—theater”, again living in Chicago; Indiana WPA Death Index showing Windom's death in Gary, Indiana on August 25, 1913 at age 47; brief obituary articles in several Indiana and Illinois newspapers reporting that he had suffered a breakdown after the recent death of his wife and young son of scarlet fever and adding that he was the first man to have sung “After the Ball” (see notes to cobs #600 and 2016)


#2071 - America / The Star Spangled Banner, Scarcity: VC
The tunes to these two universally-known American patriotic hymns appear together on this cob and also appear, separately, in much shorter versions on cobs #14 and 273, respectively; the tune to “America” also appears by itself on Grand cob #2104. As noted in the paragraph on cob #14, Samuel F. Smith, D.D. (1808-1895), a Boston-born Baptist minister and productive hymnwriter, wrote the lyrics to “America”, also known as “My Country 'Tis of Thee”, in 1832 and selected the tune to accompany them from a song book provided to him by the great Boston composer and arranger of hymn tunes Lowell Mason (see notes to cob #2); the same tune is also used for the British anthem “God Save the King/Queen” and has been attributed to the English poet and dramatist Henry Carey (c. 1690-1743). As noted in the paragraph on cob #273, the lyrics to “The Star Spangled Banner”, which is the American national anthem, were written by Francis Scott Key (1779-1843), a lawyer and amateur poet, at the siege of Fort McHenry in Baltimore by British forces in 1814 and were set to a then-familiar tune, “To Anacreon in Heaven”, written by English composer, organist and musicologist John Stafford Smith (1750-1836).

#2072 - Narcissus, Scarcity: VS
This spritely tune was written by Ethelbert Nevin (1862-1901) as a piano piece and was published in 1891. Nevin was born near Pittsburgh and was a child prodigy who began composing at a very early age. He studied in Germany and during his short life lived in Paris, Berlin, Algiers, Florence and Venice as well as Boston and New Haven, Connecticut, where he died at the age of only thirty-eight. “Narcissus”, the fourth of five pieces from his “Water Scenes”, opus 13, was the last of those five pieces to be completed. Nevin wrote it very hastily after rereading the story of Narcissus from Greek mythology and sent it to his music publisher immediately, without even playing it on the piano. He was astonished when it became enormously popular as soon as it was published, considered it one of his most inconsequential compositions and disliked being recognized forever after primarily as the composer of this one work. References: GD, OC, BW, Willa Sibert Cather, “The Man Who Wrote 'Narcissus'”, in The Ladies' Home Journal, November, 1900, Vance Thompson, The Life of Ethelbert Nevin (Boston, The Boston Music Company, 1913)

#2073 - Because I Love Thee So, Scarcity: VS
The peculiar tune on this cob is still another from the operetta “The Maid of Plymouth”, with lyrics by Clay M. Greene (1850-1933) and music by T. Pearsall Thorne (1861-1922) (see also notes to cobs #2061 and 2068). Because it was included by itself on a Grand roller organ cob, it must have been regarded as one of the most significant pieces from the operetta, but it was not one of the eight included in Vocal Selections from the Maid of Plymouth (New York, T. B. Harms & Co., 1893). There is sheet music for it in the New York Public Library collection in which the lyrics are credited, on the first interior page, not to Greene (although his name appears on the cover with Thorne's), but rather to Gilbert Burgess (1868-1912), an English author and journalist who wrote librettos for other operettas including “Leonardo”, with music by Thorne, which was produced in New York the year after “The Maid of Plymouth” (see also reference to “Leonardo” in the notes to cob #2061). Also at the top of the first interior page of the sheet music the name of Masconoma, the Indian maiden, appears as the character in the operetta who sings the song (see notes to cob #2068). References: Entries for Burgess in the England and Wales Birth and Death Registration Indexes; note about him in the November 15, 1895 edition of The Literary World (London)

#2074 - Skirt Dance / Faust Up To Date, Scarcity: C
A more abbreviated version of this unusual dance tune appeared on cob #578. As noted in the paragraph about that cob, the tune, which generated a dance craze, is from an 1888 comic opera, “Faust up to Date”, and was composed by (Wilhelm) Meyer Lutz (1828 or 1829 (OC says 1822)-1903), the German-born long-time musical director at London's Gaiety Theatre. SR mistakenly spelled the composer's name as “Luty”, apparently a misreading of the name as written out in longhand by someone either at the Autophone Company or the Sears Roebuck Company like the misreading of the name “Ziehrer” as “Fichner” that gave rise to a similar error in SR with respect to cob #2078. Additional references: LL, EM

#2075 - Coronation March / The Prophet, Scarcity: VS
The tune on this cob, still frequently heard as a processional march, is from the opera “The Prophet” (“Le Prophete”) by German-born composer Giacomo Meyerbeer (1791-1864) (see also notes to cob #2006), which was first performed in Paris in 1849 and first performed in the United States in New Orleans in 1850. It is set in Holland and Germany in the sixteenth century at the time of the uprising of the Anabaptists, who recruit a Leyden innkeeper named John (in French, Jean de Leyde) to their cause, elevate him to the status of their prophet and leader and later betray him. The “Coronation March” is from Act IV, in which John is crowned at Munster Cathedral. Reference: VB

#2076 - Pilgrim's Chorus, Tannhauser, Scarcity: LC
The “Pilgrims' Chorus” is another piece in the category of “familiar classics” that were included on the Grand roller organ, that is, tunes from classical and operatic works that were known to many during the late Victorian era and often appeared in sheet music arrangements intended for the home pianist or organist. MN, for example, has a copy of sheet music for the tune (under the title “The Pilgrim Chorus from Tannhauser”) that was included as a supplement in an edition of the New York Sunday Press in 1902. The tune comes from the opera “Tannhauser” by German composer Richard Wagner (1813-1883), first performed in Dresden in 1845 and first performed in New York in 1859 (see also notes to cob #2040). References: VB, GD

#2077 - Cavalleria Rusticana, Intermezzo, Scarcity: S
The very beautiful and well-known “Intermezzo” comes from the opera “Cavalleria Rusticana” by Italian composer Pietro Mascagni (1863-1945), first performed in Rome, to great acclaim, in 1890 and first performed in the United States in Philadelphia the following year. Mascagni was born in very modest circumstances in Leghorn (Livorno) in Tuscany and was an unknown music teacher when he entered his hastily-composed opera in a music competition in 1889 and won first prize. When it was first performed the following year, it immediately became an enormous success, but none of his later works were accorded anything like the same attention and praise. The opera is set in a Sicilian village and its title, in English, means “rustic chivalry”. The plot is simple: Turiddu, a returned soldier, continues to pursue his beloved Lola, who, in his absence, has married another man, the teamster Alfio; Santuzza, who has been abandoned by Turiddu for Lola, tells Alfio of Turiddu and Lola's relationship and he challenges Turiddu to a duel and kills him. References: VB, GD

#2078 - Columbus March, Scarcity: S
SR lists “Fichner” as the composer of this unfamiliar and forgotten march, but this is incorrect, and it is easy to see how the error was made. The correct name of the composer is “Ziehrer”, which was apparently written out in longhand and misread as “Fichner” by someone either at the Autophone Company, which made the cob, or Sears Roebuck Company, which sold it. The “Columbus Marsch” was written by the Austrian composer and bandmaster Carl Michael Ziehrer (1843-1922), whose band played at the “World's Columbian Exposition”, the World's Fair held in Chicago in 1893 in honor of the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus' discovery of America in 1492. References: HE (biographical information about Ziehrer listing over 100 of his works including the “Columbus Marsch”, his opus 457), Hofmeisters Musikalisch-literarischer Monatsbericht, Januar 1894, pp. 4, 13, 27, September 1894 pp. 366, 368 (listing sheet music for the march published by the German music publisher Cranz; although I have not seen any of this sheet music, the tune on the cob is essentially identical to the piece with the title “Columbus Marsch” in a collection of works by Ziehrer recorded by Gardemusik Wien conducted by Hans Schadenbauer)

#2079 - Always or Never Waltz, Scarcity: C
This lovely piece, also known by the French title “Toujours ou Jamais”, is another by the “Parisian Waltz King”, Emil Waldteufel (1837-1915) (see notes to cob #2024). References: OC, SR

#2080 - 1. Mrs. Flarity, What do You Mean by That? / 2. Do, Do, My Huckleberry, Scarcity: C
During the 1890s, many popular songs and shows included “stage Irish” characters, cheery, canny, witty and lovable but combative, devious and hard-drinking, stereotypes drawn from the enormous number of Irish immigrants who lived in densely-populated and impoverished areas of large American cities at the time. The correct title of the first piece on this cob is “O, Mrs. O'Flarity, What Did You Mean by That?” and the sheet music for it, a copy of which is held in the New York Public Library collection, shows on the cover two stage Irish comedians, Conroy and Fox [John H. Conroy and John C. Fox], credits the words and music to them and bears a copyright date of 1892. The lyrics tell how “O'Flarity's big fat wife” sits down on a chair at a wedding party, crushing the groom's hat, and he shakes his fist at her and says “It's lucky for you that you ain't a man, or I'd wipe the floor with you”. After the hat is fixed and brought back, it is switched with another hat as a joke on him and she sits on it and crushes it a second time, prompting the singing of the chorus again. “Do, Do My Huckleberry, Do”, with lyrics by Harry Dillon (1866-1916) and music by his brother John Dillon (1863-1953), was still another song that found its way into the musical “A Trip to Chinatown” (see notes to cob #2023). It contains a father's advice to his son to “do” (take advantage of) others in order to get ahead in life. There is sheet music for the song in FG. The Dillon brothers, who appeared together for many years as a vaudeville act, were originally from upstate Cortland, New York, and both of them returned there after retiring from the stage. Although later sources contain contradictory information as to their birth years and ages, U.S. Census records for 1870 and 1880, when they were still living in Cortland with their Irish-born parents, are probably reliable as to their respective years of birth. The 1870 record shows John as 6 and Harry as 4, and the 1880 record shows them as 16 and 14, respectively (Harry is listed in both records under the name “Henry”, presumably his actual given name). When Harry died on February 6, 1916 newspaper obituary articles differed as to whether he was 44 or 49, but the latter age is consistent with the 1870 and 1880 U.S. Census records and his age was recorded as 49 in the 1915 New York State Census, which was dated as of June 1 of that year. As for John, the 1865 New York State Census, again dated as of June 1 of that year, lists his age as “1 6/12”, which would mean that he was born in late 1863. It is interesting that, in an article titled “Prosperous Vaudeville Vocalists” by Monroe H. Rosenfeld (see notes to cobs #115, 428 and 2015) in the April 1897 issue of Metropolitan Magazine, Conroy and Fox and John and Harry Dillon were mentioned in the same paragraph, which reported that Conroy and Fox were paid $250 per week and the Dillons $150, both substantial amounts at that time. According to the April 13, 1899 edition of the New York Times, however, John C. Fox declared bankruptcy only two years later, listing as one of his few remaining assets a $310 note from Conroy. Additional references: Obituary article about Harry Dillon in the February 7, 1916 edition of The Post-Standard of Syracuse, New York also referring to John and their long career together; obituary article about John Dillon in the September 3, 1953 edition of the Ithaca [New York] Journal


#2081 - Rock-a-Bye Baby, Scarcity: LC
The ultimate origin of the nearly universally-known child's nursery rhyme “Rock-a-Bye Baby” has been the subject of a great deal of speculation, but a version of the rhyme was published in England in the late eighteenth century that was not very different from the version of today. In 1886, Effie I. Crockett Canning (1857-1940), an amateur musician who had been born in Maine and lived in Boston, began with the words of the nursery rhyme as the chorus, added additional lyrics of her own and set her piece to music to create a song that became so popular that more than a quarter million copies of the sheet music for it were sold within two years. Canning's song appeared, in simpler form, on cob #255 (see also notes to that cob). References: UT, March 31, 1888 edition of the Cambridge [Massachusetts] Tribune (drawing of Canning and article about her, how she came to write her song, how she took it to Boston music publisher Charles D. Blake, who accepted it for publication, and how it was incorporated into the musical production “The Old Homestead” and became enormously popular)

#2082 - Zampa Overture, Selections, Scarcity: S
“Zampa”, with music by the French composer Ferdinand Herold (1791-1833), is another opera remembered today primarily because of the popularity of its overture. The familiar and dramatic opening portion of the overture has been used countless times as background music for racing, dueling and other scenes involving lively action in movies and cartoons. The opera, also known by the title “La Fiancee de Marbre” (in English “The Marble Bride”), is set in Sicily and the title character is a villainous pirate who meets his death at the hands of a miraculous marble statue of a young woman he betrayed and abandoned. The opera was first performed in Paris in 1831. References: GD, Arthur Elson, A Critical History of Opera (London, Seeley & Co., Ltd., 1905)

#2083 - Naila, Intermezzo, Scarcity: VS
The French composer Leo Delibes (1836-1891) wrote some of the music for the 1866 ballet “La Source”, also known as “Naila”. His “Intermezzo”, however, was composed for inclusion in an 1867 revival of “Le Corsaire”, a ballet by his former teacher, Adolphe Adam, but was subsequently added to “Naila” and is sometimes referred to as the “Naila Waltz”. Reference: GD

#2084 - 1. Boat Song / 2. Consolation, Scarcity: VS
Like “Spring Song” (see notes to cob #2007), “Boat Song” and “Consolation” are popular names given to two of the piano pieces from “Songs Without Words” by Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy (1809-1847). “Boat Song” is a piece sometimes called “Venezianisches Gondellied” or “Venetian Gondola Song” and is no. 6 in G minor from Book I, op. 19, first published in 1832; “Consolation” is no. 3 in E major from Book II, op. 30, first published in 1835. An arrangement of “Consolation” was used as the tune for the hymn “Still, Still With Thee”, with words by the Connecticut-born author and abolitionist Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811-1896) (see also notes to cob #603). References: GD, MH #40

#2085 - Avanera, Scarcity: N
I have not yet located a copy of this cob and am uncertain about the tune that appears on it. The most familiar and well-known “Avanera” (or “Habanera”), a type of dance, is from the opera “Carmen” by Georges Bizet (1838-1875), but SR lists “Leo Delibes” as the composer for cob #2085. This may be an error, however, because no composer is listed for cobs #2083 and 2084 and the “Leo Delibes” entry could have been intended for cob #2083 (the tune on which is Delibes' “Intermezzo from Naila”) and mistakenly moved down two entries and included in place of the name “Bizet”. Reference: GD

#2086 - 1. The Sidewalks of New York / 2. I Long to see the Girl I Left Behind, Scarcity: C
“The Sidewalks of New York”, which dates from 1894, is another “gay '90s” waltz song with a chorus that at one time would have been familiar to nearly all Americans. It remained popular for many decades because of its adoption by New York politician and onetime presidential candidate Alfred E. (“Al”) Smith as his theme song during the 1920s and its periodic revival in movies and shows. The tune was written first, by Irish-born vaudeville singer Charles B. Lawlor (1852-1925), and the lyrics were then supplied by his friend James W. Blake (1862-1935). Lawlor reportedly came into a New York hat store where Blake worked as a clerk humming the tune, which he had put together in his mind the night before, and prevailed upon Blake to write words to go with it, and Blake did so, completing them right then and there. Despite the enormous success of the song, Lawlor and Blake received only $5,000 for it, which they split, and both ended up impoverished at the time of their deaths. Lawlor continued to perform in vaudeville until near the end of his life, billed as “writer of 'The Sidewalks of New York'”, and even made a comeback on the stage after being stricken blind in 1921. Many obituary articles appeared in newspapers all over the country following his death in 1925. Some of the more detailed ones were in the June 1, 1925 edition of the Miami Daily News and Metropolis, the June 1, 1925 edition of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, and the June 7, 1925 edition of the Rochester [New York] Democrat and Chronicle. Also, an article by James J. Geller, author of FS, about the creation and history of the song, including a drawing of Lawlor, appeared in the November 22, 1925 edition of The Baltimore Sun. Both the words and music of the now-forgotten 1893 song “I Long to See the Girl I Left Behind” that was also included on this cob were written by Boston-born vaudeville dancer, “stage Irish” comedian and actor John T. Kelly (1851 or 1852-1922). According to FS, Kelly spontaneously wrote the lyrics to the song on the back of an envelope and composed the tune to accompany them while riding on a train with other members of the cast of a show called “You and I”, which included his son Harry. There is a copy of the sheet music for the song in the New York Public Library collection. The sheet music is also included in FS. Additional references: LL (copy of the sheet music for “The Sidewalks of New York”), May 7, 1935 edition of the Asbury Park (New Jersey) Press (article reporting that Alfred E. Smith had arranged for medical assistance to the ailing and impoverished Blake, who, the article reported, wrote lyrics to fifty songs in addition to “The Sidewalks of New York”, none of them successful), May 8, 1935 edition of the Los Angeles Times (similar article including a photograph of Blake), May 25, 1935 edition of the Cincinnati Enquirer (obituary article about Blake), January 17, 1922 editions of the New York Times, New York Herald and Los Angeles Times (obituary articles about Kelly), 1880 U.S. Census record showing Kelly as age 29 and living in New York City with the occupation “actor”

#2087 - Cujus Animam, Scarcity: VS
“Cujus Animam Gementem”, by Italian operatic composer Gioacchino Rossini (1792-1868; see also notes to cobs #184, 2060, 2062 and 2112), was written as a tenor solo and is the second movement of his “Stabat Mater”, a musical setting of the medieval sacred poem “Stabat Mater Doloroso”, which described the Virgin Mary at the foot of the Cross. The complete version of his “Stabat Mater” was first performed in Paris in 1842. Reference: GD

#2088 - Poet and Peasant Overture, Scarcity: LC
As with the overture to “Zampa” (see notes to cob #2082), stirring portions of the “Dichter und Bauer” (“Poet and Peasant”) overture have lent themselves for use as background music for action scenes in movies and cartoons. The overture dates from 1846 and was written by Franz von Suppe (1819-1895) (see notes to cobs #211 and 235), who was born in Dalmatia on the eastern coast of the Adriatic Sea in present-day Croatia and became a theater conductor and composer in Vienna. Although he wrote music for hundreds of stage productions, he is remembered today primarily for this overture and his “Light Cavalry” overture. References: EM, GD

#2089 - The Kiss Waltz, Scarcity: C
The “Kiss Waltz” or “Kuss-Walzer” was written by “the Waltz King”, Austrian composer, conductor and violinist Johann Strauss II (1825-1899) (see notes to cob #119). It was his op. 400, it dates from 1881 and it incorporates the melody of the song in waltz time “Nun fur Natur” from Act II of his operetta of the same year, “Der Lustige Krieg” (“The Merry War”). A more abbreviated version of the tune appeared on 20-note cob #209. References: MN, GD

#2090 - 1. Yankee Doodle / 2. My Old Kentucky Home, Scarcity: C
As James J. Fuld said in BW, “[a] book is waiting to be written regarding 'Yankee Doodle'”, that is, there are so many different theories regarding its exact origin that scores of pages could be filled on the subject. As noted in the paragraph about cob #190, which contained a more abbreviated version of the tune to this universally known American patriotic song, that tune has variously been claimed to be of English, French, Dutch, Spanish or Hungarian origin, and one version of the origin of its lyrics is that they were written in 1755 during the French and Indian Wars by a British regimental surgeon as a derogatory joke upon the ragtag continental troops that were serving alongside the British soldiers. “My Old Kentucky Home” is one of the best-known songs by the great and well-loved American songwriter Stephen (Collins) Foster (1826-1864) (see notes to cob #112). It dates from 1853 and sheet music for it, in MN, is titled “My Old Kentucky Home, Good Night”. The cover states that the piece was No. 20 in a series called “Foster's Plantation Melodies” and that it was sung by Christy's Minstrels, who popularized many of Foster's songs by performing them. A shorter version of the tune appeared on 20-note cob #1069. References: OF, SG, OC, BW (entries for both songs on this cob)


#2091 - 1. I Don't Want to Play in Your Yard / 2. He Never Cares to Wander from his Fireside, Scarcity: LC
The music to the 1894 popular song “ I Don't Want to Play in Your Yard” was by Illinois-born minstrel entertainer and composer Henry W. Petrie (1857-1925) and the lyrics were by “Philip Wingate”, very likely a pseudonym of Petrie. The lyrics tell of two cute little girls, best friends and neighbors, who quarrel and then quickly reconcile. The sheet music, a copy of which is in LL, was published by the Petrie Music Company in Chicago and the song was dedicated to “the ladies of the Charity Circle, La Porte, Indiana”. Petrie had formerly lived in La Porte, his mother was a physician there and the song was first performed at a minstrel show put on by the Circle. Petrie also wrote the tunes to the 1897 favorite of bass singers, “Asleep in the Deep”, and the 1902 song “Where the Sunset Turns the Ocean's Blue to Gold”, on cob #1203. As for Wingate, after considerable research I have been unable to find any information about him and I feel nearly certain that Petrie wrote the lyrics as well as the music for the song but attributed the lyrics to a fictitious “Philip Wingate” when he published the sheet music for it. Use of pseudonyms by songwriters, for various possible reasons, was not uncommon at the time (see, for example, notes to cob #284). In this regard, an article in the July 13, 1895 Golden [British Columbia] Era (undoubtedly reprinted from some other source) about the writing of the lyrics of this song quoted Petrie as saying, with no mention of Wingate, that he did not much care for the song but “as a child song was insisted upon I turned it out to order”. A briefer version of the song appeared on 20-note cob #1050. Both the lyrics and music of “He Never Cares to Wander from his Own Fireside” (the correct title) were by the prolific lyricist, composer and music publisher Felix McGlennon (1856-1943), for whom songwriting was a well-organized business enterprise (see notes to cobs #515 and 555). There is a copy of sheet music for the piece in DU with a copyright date of 1892. The simple lyrics praise the joys and comforts of life at home. Additional references: OC, 1870 U.S. Census record showing Petrie as living in La Porte, age 12, with his mother, Martha Stevens, 1880 U.S. Census record again showing Petrie as living in La Porte, age 22, occupation “shorthand reporter”, article in June 3, 1895 edition of the [La Porte] Daily Herald about the writing and first performance of Petrie's song

#2092 - Military March, Scarcity: C
This unfamiliar march is listed in SR as being by “Weiss”. Perhaps this was the same “Weiss” who is listed in SR as the composer of “Autophone Melody” (cob #2139), in which case he might have been an employee of the Autophone Company, the manufacturer of cob roller organs. The “Weiss” who composed “Military March” and/or “Autophone Melody” also may have been George O. T. Weiss (1853-1915) who, under the name “Fred. Lone”, wrote the tune to “I’ll Tell Papa on You” on cob #2131 (see also the notes to that cob for further information and speculation in this regard). As for other possibilities, notices in both the December 27, 1891 and March 11, 1894 editions of the Chicago Tribune reported that one of the pieces to be played in an upcoming concert by the American Conservatory string orchestra was, in the first case, “Schubert's 'Military March' arranged by Weiss” and, in the second case, “a Schubert-Weiss military march”. One of Franz Schubert's best-known works, generally referred to as his “Marche Militaire” or “Military March”, is in fact one of three military marches that made up his opus 51. The tune on this cob does not correspond to any of these three marches and could not conceivably have been an arrangement of any of them. It remains a mystery to me as to who “Weiss” was and where a copy of sheet music for the march on this cob might be obtained. I have located two further clues: an article in the June 23, 1893 edition of the [Frederick, Maryland] Daily News reported that a piece played at a graduation program at a Catholic girls' academy was “Military March, Weiss”, and HE lists a “March Militaire” by “Weiss” as having been published by the German music publisher Schott in 1888 but provides no further information.

#2093 - Toreador Song / Carmen, Scarcity: VS
The opera “Carmen” by French composer Georges Bizet (1838-1875) was first performed in Paris in 1875 and first performed in the United States in New York in 1878. The “Toreador Song” from Act II is certainly one of the most universally known operatic pieces. It is therefore surprising that this is such a scarce cob. SR, the Fall, 1903 edition of the Sears Roebuck Catalog, listed in its advertisement for the Grand roller organ numbers and titles for 157 of the 160 Grand cobs known to have been made (all but #2141-2143). The corresponding ad in the Spring, 1904 edition omitted 18 of these cobs but still included #2093 in the list, but the ad in the Spring, 1905 edition omitted 45 more, this time deleting #2093. By the Spring, 1907 edition the ad for the Grand roller organ had been removed from the Catalog and the latest date stamp found so far on any Grand suggests that production of Grands ceased at about that time. Thus, cob #2093 was still available until almost the very end and it is not clear why so few copies of it were sold. References: VB, GD

#2094 - K. of P. Initiatory Anthem / Installation Anthem, Scarcity: VS
#2095 - K. of P. Opening Ode / Closing Ode, Scarcity: VS
These two cobs would have been played in lodges of the Knights of Pythias for the opening and closing of their meetings, their initiation ceremonies and the installation of their officers, and show that the Grand roller organ was intended for use by fraternal organizations. The Knights of Pythias was founded in Washington, D.C. in 1864 and by the time these cobs were issued about thirty years later the order had almost half a million members. Reference: Brooklyn Daily Eagle Almanac, 1894 edition

#2096 - Elsa's Dream / Lohengrin, Scarcity: VS
The tune on this cob is from a soprano solo in Act I of the opera “Lohengrin” by German composer Richard Wagner (1813-1883) (see also notes to cob #2064), first produced in 1850. The opera is set in Antwerp during the first half of the twelfth century and Elsa of Brabant, falsely accused of murdering her brother, Duke Godfrey, tells of a mystical dream she had in which a knight in armor appeared to protect her. References: GD, VB

#2097 - Dream Waltz / Black Hussar, Scarcity: C
As noted in the paragraph about cob #314, which contains a portion of the tune on this cob, “The Black Hussar” was an 1885 New York adaptation, in English, of the operetta “Der Feldprediger” (“The Army Chaplain”) by prolific Viennese composer Karl Millocker (1842-1899), who was conductor and resident composer at the Theater an der Wien in Vienna for many years beginning in 1869 (see also notes to cobs #179 and 322). The tune on this cob is known as the “Dream Waltz” because in Act III of the original German-language operetta a song titled “Nur Ein Traum” (“Only a Dream”) is sung to it. References: EM, GD, OC.

#2098 - Palm Leaves, Scarcity: LC
This familiar, majestic piece of religious music is often heard on Palm Sunday, sung with English words, with the title “The Palms”. It was composed by Jean-Baptiste Faure (1830-1914), a famous French operatic baritone who studied and later taught at the Paris Conservatory. Faure (not to be confused with the better-known composer Gabriel Faure) was also an art collector and friend (and painting subject) of the painter Edouard Manet, many of whose works he owned. References: GD, Henri de Curzon (Theodore Baker, tr.), “Jean-Baptiste Faure”, The Musical Quarterly, April, 1918, DU (sheet music for “The Palms” with French and English lyrics, copyright 1889)

#2099 - Kerry Dance, Scarcity: VS
Both the words and music of “The Kerry Dance” (“O the Days of the Kerry Dancing”), referring to County Kerry in Ireland, were written in 1879 by James Lynam (often misspelled as “Lyman”) Molloy (1837-1909), an Irish-born British civil servant who wrote songs in his spare time and is also remembered as the composer of the tune to the once very popular “Love's Old Sweet Song” (see notes to cob #329). The arrangement of “The Kerry Dance” on this cob is lovely; the changes in tempo and imitation of bagpipes show off the Grand roller organ well. References: OC (which, incorrectly, spells his middle name as “Lyman” and gives his death date as 1900), England and Wales Civil Registration Death Index and National Probate Calendar, both showing Molloy's middle name as “Lynam”

#2100 - March from Die Meistersinger, Scarcity: S
This is still another piece from the operas of Richard Wagner (1813-1883); other Wagnerian pieces appeared on cobs #1200/2040, 1224, 2064, 2076 and 2096. “Die Meistersinger” (“The Meistersingers”, a guild of tradesmen-musicians) was first produced in Munich in 1868 and first performed in the United States in New York in 1886. The opera is set in sixteenth-century Nuremberg and the hero, Walther, wins the hand of the heroine, Eva, by his performance of his “prize song” at a contest of the Meistersingers. References: VB, GD

Scarcity Ratings

Scarcity ratings are based on hundreds of cob transactions and many years experience.
MC Most Common
VC Very Common
C Common
LC Less Common
S Scarce
VS Very Scarce
N No known copy


AM Gerald Bordman, updated by Richard Norton, American Musical Theatre: A Chronicle (New York, Oxford University Press, 4th Ed., 2010)
BW James J. Fuld, The Book of World-Famous Music, Classical, Popular and Folk, 3rd. Ed. (New York, Dover Publications, Inc., 1985)
CC Sheet music in the Connecticut College Sheet Music Collection, accessible online at
DU Duke University Sheet Music Collections (online at
EM Kurt Ganzl, The Encyclopedia of the Musical Theatre, 2nd Ed. (New York, Schirmer Books, 2001)
FG Frances G. Spencer Collection of American Popular Sheet Music at Baylor University (online at
FS James J. Geller, Famous Songs and their Stories (New York, Garden City Publishing Co., Inc., 1940)
GD H. C. Colles, Ed., Grove's Dictionary of Music and Musicians, 3rd Ed. (New York, MacMillan, 1935)
HE William H. Rehrig (Paul E. Bierley, Ed.), The Heritage Encyclopedia of Band Music: Composers and their Music (Westerville, Ohio, Integrity Press, 1991)
IV Aline Waites and Robin Hunter, The Illustrated Victorian Songbook (London, Michael Joseph, 1984)
LL Lester S. Levy Sheet Music Collection at Johns Hopkins University (online at
MH The Methodist Hymnal (New York, etc., The Methodist Publishing House, 1935)
MM Edward LeRoy Rice, Monarchs of Minstrelsy, from “Daddy” Rice to Date (New York, Kenny Publishing Co., 1911)
MN Music for the Nation: American Sheet Music (1820-1860, 1870-1885 and similar online United States Library of Congress collections)
OA Gerald Bordman & Thomas S. Hischak, The Oxford Companion to American Theatre, 3rd Ed. (New York, Oxford University Press, 2004).
OC Peter Gammond, The Oxford Companion to Popular Music (New York, Oxford University Press, 1991)
OF Helen Kendrick Johnson, Our Familiar Songs and Those Who Made Them (New York, Henry Holt and Co., 1881)
SG Henry Frederic Reddall, compiler, Sweetest Gems of Music and Songs of the Fireside (no publisher stated, 1910)
SR Sears Roebuck Catalog No. 113 (Chicago; Fall, 1903 edition), which contained on p. 146 an advertisement with the heading “Grand Roller Organ—A Musical Wonder” that included a complete list of numbers and titles of Grand roller organ cobs numbered from 2001 through 2140 and 3001 through 3017 and listed with nearly every cob the name of the composer of the tune on it.
TE Sheet music in the library of Temple University, accessible online at
UM Sheet music in the University of Maine Sheet Music Collection, accessible online at
UN Sheet music in the library of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, accessible online at
UT Sheet music in the University of Tennessee Sheet Music Collection, accessible online at
UV Sheet music in the University of Virginia Library, accessible online at
VB Victor Talking Machine Company, The Victrola Book of the Opera: Stories of the Operas with Illustrations & Descriptions of Victor Opera Records (Eighth Edition, 1929)

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