BluesTone rolls below are sorted by PIANIST then by TITLE:
You can begin browsing the blues from the "top" at
Blues Pianists, A-J
(Edythe Bake, Eubie Blake, Frank Black, Adam Carroll, "Cow
Cow" Davenport, Clarence Johnson, Clarence Jones, etc.) or
take it from here...
137177 Frankie & Johnny Boogie played by Scott Kirby $16
Scott Kirby is one of the best new ragtime pianists and has earned quite a name for himself with his tasteful interpretations of Joplin rags -- especially the way he adds clever, subtle filigrees to the scores -- without taking inappropriate liberties (see writeups on Scott in Mississippi Rag). If you haven't heard his CD's yet, don't hesitate to buy them; even with several complete sets of Joplin recordings you'll be glad you added these to your collection. Here Scott shows an awesome ability with a killer boogie-woogie on Frankie and Johnny, featuring a full 24 choruses -- and then some!! The ideas for new verses just kept coming to him as he sat down for this after-hours recording at the Scott Joplin Ragtine Festival in Sedalia (then he apologized for going on and on - thank god he did!). I promise you've never heard anything like it -- you'll even think of Jerry Lee Lewis in a few spots! You won't believe how good this is, and how far it leaves other boogie-woogie rolls behind.
137291 Fourth of July Medley played by the arranger Scott Kirby $16
137292 Aunt Hagar's Blues played by Jim Hession $16
These 2 rolls were produced for the 1996 AMICA convention in St. Louis, and came from MIDI recordings made by Richard Riley at his PianoMania recording piano. Scott Kirby's 4th of July Medley is based on Eubie Blake's famous recording of Stars and Stripes Forever, and includes equally inspired, rollicking renditions of 3 other vintage tunes: America, You're a Grand Old Flag, Seventy-Six Trombones, and Washington Post March. If you aren't familiar with how Eubie ragged the Stars & Stripes, you owe it to yourself to find out through this hot roll!
Jim Hession plays a mean, low-down bluesy version of Aunt Hagar's Blues on this recording which was originally issued on a CD featuring today's artists as recorded at PianoMania studios in California. Jim's gut bucket style is almost unheard of on rolls, and you'll really enjoy playing it.
137125 Yankee Doodle Blues played by Max Kortlander $13 This roll is currently out of stock
(originally issued on QRS 2081 / December 1922) - lyric sheet included with roll
George Gershwin composed this number with lyrics by Irving Caesar and B. G. DeSylva. Irving Caesar was interviewed in a PBS special on Gershwin a few years ago and told a story about the creation of this song. Dave Jasen put this piece in the context of Gershwin's career on page 166 of his book Tin Pan Alley. It's a fun, upbeat pop song played in a typically fine, breezy rendition by Max Kortlander. The lyrics are a simple, patriotic testament which will be just the thing for Fourth of July footpumping this Summer! Once again, this is a roll which has not been recut before now.
137178 This Is The Blues played by Carl "Sonny" Leyland $13 This roll is currently out of stock
Otis Spann apparently wrote this tune around 1960 when he recorded it for Candid (these sessions were recently re-released on the Mosaic CD label). Spann's is a hot, post-war urban Chicago blues style developed while working with such peers as Muddy Waters.
This solo is a tough, strutting piece which again is refreshingly different for a piano roll. It is played by Carl "Sonny" Leyland, who currently makes his home in New Orleans. Sonny plays a wonderful mixture of blues, New Orleans standards and boogie-woogie, and even plays in a rockabilly trio! He's a very capable player and the only one I've heard who plays this great number, not to mention playing it with such authority.
37269 Honolulu, America Loves You played by Howard Lutter $16 This roll is currently out of stock
(originally issued on Artempo 10595)
and In the Beautiful Seaside Air played by Walter Redding (Max Kortlander?)
(originally issued on QRS 100397 / June 1916)
Honolulu, America Loves You and In the Beautiful Seaside Air are raggy,
World War I era one-steps which could easily be included below
with the rest of the rags. Both are played in a clean hand-played
style without any annoying over- arranged effects. The latter
interpolates In The Good Old Summertime for the final chorus.
I expect many of you to be skeptical of these two choices, but
I guarantee you'll agree with me that they're hot and they deserved
to be reissued!
137316 When the Red, Red Robin Comes Bob, Bob, Bobbin' Along $13
(Harry Woods) played by Roger Morris (originally issued on Aeolian 1116)
and Mary Had a Little Lamb (Symes & Malneck) played
by Vern Elliott
(originally issued on Aeolian 1202)
These next two tunes are intended for children, but they're great arrangements that everyone else will like too! When I was a kid, these rolls were new and my father's friend bought them for his children. Now that my kids are old enough that they want to pump some of their own rolls, they want tunes they know, and they want fun arrangements. You won't believe how good these versions of When the Red, Red Robin and Mary Had a Little Lamb are! Both of these rolls were arranged and issued by the folks at Aeolian in Oregon, Illinois in the 1960's. Notice the price; the roll plays fairly slowly so both tunes fit on a short enough roll that I can keep the price down. Start saving your allowance or ask your folks to get these for you too! My friend Mary got her copy for Easter in 1967. I've been trying to locate my own originals since then (literally!) and never found them, hence this recut.
137303 Broken Hearted Blues played by Hilda Myers $13
(originally issued on Vocalstyle 12269 / ca. November 1922) - lyric sheet included with roll
Broken Hearted Blues is a popular blues taken here from the hot, never-before-recut rare Vocalstyle blues played by Hilda Myers.
Jelly Roll Morton
has his own page, with many of his great hand-played popular rolls.
137241 Railroad Blues (Luckey Roberts) played by the composer Luckey Roberts $13
(originally issued on Vocalstyle 11356 / April 1919) - lyric sheet included with roll
This neat blues appears on several piano rolls, including one by Pete Wendling on QRS and one by Roy Bargy on Mel-O-Dee. This roll has a very clean arrangement and a strong left-hand vamp throughout the roll (the driving train, no doubt). Surprisingly, it hasn't been available since Hollywood Vintage reissued it about 20 years ago!
137242 Irresistible Blues (Luckey Roberts) played by
the composer Luckey Roberts $13
(originally issued on Vocalstyle 11463 / September 1919) - lyric sheet included with roll
This roll has only been recut once before, and definitely deserves to be "in print" again! While the arrangement is heavier than the others, it's still a very good popular blues and fun to foot-pump. The lyrics are super-hot: "Can't tell which rag you like the most, but when you hear this latest rag I'll bet you'll choose Luckey Roberts' Irresistible Blues!!"
137243 Blue Fever (Luckey Roberts) played by the composer Luckey Roberts $13 This roll is currently out of stock
(originally issued on Vocalstyle 11490 / December 1919) - lyric sheet included with roll
If this isn't one of Luckey Roberts' most popular songs, it should be. The lyrics and melody are VERY catchy, and the arrangement is hot, full of Roberts' trademark right-hand "swoops". This is probably the best of the Vocalstyle rolls.
137244 Rosetime and You (Luckey Roberts) played by the
composer Luckey Roberts $13 This roll
is currently out of stock
(originally issued on QRS 2287 / July 1923) - lyric sheet included with roll
This tune is really a pop-tempo ballad, consequently not the "hot" performance that Mo'lasses is. However, it is arranged very cleanly per QRS's usual standards which allows Luckey's style to remain evident throughout.
137245 Mo'lasses (Luckey Roberts) played by the composer
Luckey Roberts $13
(originally issued on QRS 2306 / August 1923) - lyric sheet included with roll
Ah, last but not least we have Roberts' finest piano roll performance, and one of the all-time HOTTEST piano rolls ever issued! Just about everyone recut this over the years (including myself!), but this is the first time to my knowledge that the lyrics have been available. You won't find copies of this floating around, because it tends to stay in collections rather than get auctioned off! Treat yourself to it if you haven't already.
137348 Decatur Street Blues played by J. Russel Robinson $13
(originally issued on QRS 1913 / June 1922) - lyric sheet included with roll
137349 Never Let No One Man Worry Your Mind played
by J. Russel Robinson $13
(originally issued on QRS 1179 / Sept. 1920) &SHY; copy of original sheet music included with roll
Decatur Street Blues is another New Orleans tune (see also Make Me A Pallet on the Floor, #137347) with lively, upbeat lyrics and melody written by Clarence Williams. All 3 choruses feature different piano arrangements, and all are nicely done. There's also a neat (but short) coda at the end.
Never Let No One Man Worry Your Mind has two tasty 16-bar solo verses and a neat, swaying "shimmie" feel all the way through. Like many of his best rolls, these J. Russel Robinson rolls have a special feel to them, which is hard to describe. There is a lot of variety in the tricks he uses to fill in the melody; lots of breaks where just a few notes are played; lots of blue notes and interesting filigrees.
137110 Easy Come, Easy Go Blues played by J. Russel
(originally issued on QRS 2648) - lyric sheet included with roll
After hearing this roll from a private recutting a couple of years ago I was thrilled to run across an original that I could offer for you. This is one of Robinson's all-around best rolls, and it finishes up with a wonderful double-time chorus. Nice, smooth lyrics, too -- everything about this roll reminds us of why we keep collecting them!
137270 Hooking Cow Blues played by J. Russel Robinson $13
(originally issued on QRS 595 / September 1918) - lyric sheet included with roll
137271 Rampart Street Blues played by the Composer J. Russel Robinson $13
(originally issued on QRS 2465 / December 1923) - lyric sheet included with roll
J. Russel Robinson hand-plays the next two. Hooking Cow Blues is the W. C. Handy blues classic from 1917, which has a very funky feeling and plenty of walking bass. Rampart Street Blues was written by Robinson himself and absolutely swings like nobody's business - it's tight!
137366 Good Morning, Carrie! (©1901 / Chris Smith & Edgar Bowman) / arranged roll $16
(originally issued on Angelus 58-note roll X4581) &SHY; copy of original sheet music included
and I've Got De Blues (©1901 / Chris Smith &
Edgar Bowman) / arranged roll
(originally issued on Aeolian Grand 58-note roll 40898)
(NOTE: copies of both original sheet music scores are included with this recut!
Here are two neat, raggy popular songs from 1901. You may have noticed Chris Smith's name as composer of many great songs of the piano roll era. Among Edgar Bowman's claims to fame is lyricist to an obscure song by ragtime legend Louis Chauvin, Babe It's Too Long Off (reprinted in The Rag Time Ephemeralist #1; see my links page for details). Also be sure to read about Smith & Bowman in Jasen & Jones' excellent book Spreadin' Rhythm Around. Anyway, these neat tunes are reissued here for the first time ever, coming from two very scarce 58-note originals. Both are light comic songs and a lot of fun to play. I have been fortunate to locate copies of the sheet music for both, which are included here!!
137350 Muscle Shoals Blues played by Chet Gordon $13
(originally issued on US Music 40258 / March 1921) &SHY; lyric sheet included with roll
137351 Caldonia Blues played by the composer
George W. Thomas $13
(originally issued on US Music 42255 / October 1924) &SHY; lyric sheet included with roll
137352 Washwoman Blues played by the composer
George W. Thomas $13 This roll is
currently out of stock
(originally issued on US Music 42563 / January 1925) &SHY; lyric sheet included with roll
137353 New Orleans Hop Scop Blues (©1916-1923
George W. Thomas) / arranged roll $13
(originally issued on Kimball 50186) &SHY; lyric sheet included with roll
Here comes my George W. Thomas feature! Thomas was an important composer out of Texas who wrote some great blues standards. Muscle Shoals Blues is probably his best-known tune, and is played here in a neat, driving style by Chet Gordon. It has a much different feel than the James P. Johnson roll of this tune, with more of a Southern or rural style as opposed to James P.'s New York style.
Caldonia Blues has a primitive feel as well, as played here by the composer. George often inserts 2 extra bars after the first 8 of this otherwise 12-bar blues form, giving it a loose and free feel. He also uses some walking bass and an up-in-the-air ending like Jimmy Blythe. This is good blues shoutin' material!
Washwoman Blues is more of a strutting blues with some nice walking bass. This rare original roll has never been recut before. Thomas wrote this right around the same time (©1924) as several of his greatest pieces: Underworld Blues, Suitcase Blues, and Hersal Blues.
New Orleans Hop Scop Blues is one of George's earlier pieces. It was first published in 1916, but was revised and updated several times up to1923. This is one of the earliest known tunes which uses a boogie-woogie bass, as mentioned in this account in Robert Palmer's excellent book Deep Blues: "Clarence Williams remembered hearing Texas pianist George W. Thomas play [this tune] with a boogie-woogie bass part in Houston in 1911". The "Hop Scop" is a dance they do down there "until daylight". I have also heard this tune sound great on a Wurlitzer PianOrchestra. The walking bass during the choruses is nice, and it has the overall feel of some of W. C. Handy's fine, early blues.
137240 Creepy Feeling played by Butch Thompson $16 This roll is currently out of stock
You don't need me to tell you how good a Morton player Butch is (if you haven't heard, you owe it to yourself to buy some of his solos piano CD's). Butch made this recording in Sedalia last year. It prominently features what Jelly Roll Morton described as "the Spanish tinge", and has never appeared on a piano roll before. Butch stretches out and plays a nice, long version which is a natural for piano roll issue. Be sure to accent those Spanish beats as you foot-pump this roll! That's how Butch plays it...
137272 Four O'Clock Blues played by Marg Thompson $13 This roll is currently out of stock
(originally issued on Columbia 529 / March 1923) - lyric sheet included with roll
Sorry, this roll is OUT
OF STOCK 137275 I Wonder Where My Sweet Daddy's
Gone pianist unknown $13
(originally issued on Columbia 234 / Red Seal 8234 / ca. 1921) - lyric sheet included with roll
The last two Capitol / Columbia rolls feature tunes which hadn't turned up before on Capitol / Columbia labels except on "A" rolls. Four O'Clock Blues is just as lively and bluesy as the many great Blythe and Johnson rolls, making one wonder if either man didn't have something to do with the production of this roll as well. I Wonder Where My Sweet Daddy's Gone was familiar to me from the "A" roll, and it's also very hot. This roll turned up on the exceedingly rare Red Seal label, a Capitol subsidiary about which we know almost nothing. The Columbia version has not yet turned up, and it may tell us who the pianist is. In the mean time we're fortunate that this copy has surfaced and been made available for recutting; it is the same length as other Columbia rolls (verse/chorus/verse/chorus) so this is not an abridgement.
Thomas "Fats" Waller has his own page, with many of his great hand-played popular rolls.
137071 Jackass Blues played by Teddy Weatherford $13 This roll is currently out of stock
(originally issued on QRS 3560 / August 1926) - lyric sheet included with roll
Tempo indications on blues rolls often seem about 20% too fast for my taste, but I thought Jackass Blues was just right. That is, until listening to Fletcher Henderson's May 1926 recording which slowed it way down, about the speed of a Bessie Smith blues. And boy, does Jackass sound great at this slower tempo! Jackass Blues is a great roll, a genuine 12-bar blues, and one of the very few rolls recorded by Teddy Weatherford (see more on last Spring's list about Weatherford). Once again the lyrics are excellent, too: "Ephram Jones" buys a mule "on the installment plan", which sets us up for the inevitable line "you'll pay me now or kiss your mule goodbye" (ahem!).
137047 Sugar Foot Stomp played by Teddy Weatherford
(originally issued on QRS 3563 / August 1926) - lyric sheet included with roll
Teddy Weatherford was one of the great stride pianists back in the 1920's. He recorded some marvelous piano solos, both by himself and in bands like Erskine Tate's Vendome Orchestra (with Louis Armstrong on two 1926 classics, Static Strut and Stomp Off, Let's Go). His move to Calcutta, India in the 1930's cut him off from the mainstream of jazz; consequently he left us with very few recordings. He made rolls of Sugar Foot Stomp and Jackass Blues on both QRS and Imperial (for a total of four different rolls). Sugar Foot Stomp is another name for Dipper Mouth Blues , the King Joe Oliver classic. This QRS roll is exceedingly scarce and quite different from the Imperial version that Mike & Fred Schwimmer recut several years ago.
137378 Ain't You Coming Out, Malinda? played by Pete Wendling $13
(originally issued on QRS 1632 / September 1921) - lyric sheet included with roll
137379 Spread Yo' Stuff played by Pete Wendling $13
(originally issued on QRS 1680 / October 1921) - lyric sheet included with roll
These two Pete Wendling rolls are both outstanding! Ain't You Coming Out, Malinda is practically overflowing with the lively Wendling right-hand filigrees that make his rolls so collectible. And on top of that, it features a double-time "ragtime" ending that really puts this performance over the top. I found this original in my mother-in-law's antique shop in Missouri. The "good ol' boy" who owned it obviously liked it too because he wrote "Right good" on the box label! I was going to look for a cleaner label to copy, but I decided this one had too much personality to pass up.
Spread Yo' Stuff is another fun Wendling roll, with a neat solo section in the middle along the lines of his "Slow And Easy" music roll. Also like Wendling greats "Slow And Easy" and "Jazz Dance Repertoire", the lyrics are about doing a dance. The driving rhythm is obviously intended to get you up on your feet. I dare you to sit still for this roll!
137377 Goodbye Broadway, Hello France! played by Pete
(originally issued on QRS 260 / August 1917) - lyric sheet included with roll
Goodbye Broadway, Hello France is a World War I tune, which just about everyone has heard. This roll is quintessential Pete Wendling - a hot one-step with tons of syncopation. Surprisingly, it has never been reissued before (to my knowledge).
137380 Let's All Be Americans Now played by Pete Wendling $16
(originally issued on QRS 100601 / April 1917) - sheet music is included with this roll
and America, I Love You played by Harold Weber
(originally issued on QRS 100258 / Late 1915)
I had selected these two patriotic tunes last spring for the Fourth of July holiday, but my procrastination ran its course and they are just now appearing. Both feature snappy World War I one-step piano arrangements. While the original rolls were issued without lyrics, I was fortunate to find both tunes on the Duke University website: http://scriptorium.lib.duke.edu/sheetmusic/
These rolls were selected for reissue because of their excellent arrangements. But now, after the events of September 11th, it's chilling how appropriate these WWI lyrics are for today's situation. Let's All Be Americans Now starts with this verse: "Peace has always been our prayer / now there's trouble in the air / war is talked of everywhere / still in God we trust; / We're not looking for any kind of war / but if fight we must "
Auto-015 Pete Wendling Dance Medley No. 1 played by Pete Wendling $16
featuring Poor Butterfly (Raymond Hubbell), Yaddie Kaddie Kiddie Koo (George W. Meyer), From Here To Shanghai
(Irving Berlin), I Know I Got More Than My Share (Johnson), and Pray For The Lights To Go Out (Will E. Skidmore)
(originally issued on QRS Automatic 100562 / February 1917)
Pete Wendling Dance Medley No. 1 is another outstanding roll which readily lives up to the great reputation of Wendling, who is one of the most popular of hot piano roll artists. This dance medley is nice and long, with an outstanding, lively arrangement as was typical of the best rolls of the mid-teens. QRS Automatic rolls will play on all standard 88-note players, and they have expression coding for the Melville Clark Apollo expression piano system.
137044 Jazz Dance Repertoire played by Pete Wendling
(originally issued on QRS 1155 / August 1920) - lyric sheet included with roll
Moving right along with back-to-back blockbuster rolls, this may be the hottest thing Pete Wendling ever recorded. It's so full of hot tricks from start to finish that it's hard to single out specific examples. Pete picks up the tempo about two-thirds of the way through, and leaves your head spinning by the time he's through. If anyone thinks there's a better Wendling roll out there, I'd like to hear about it!
137088 Slow and Easy played by Pete Wendling $13
(originally issued on QRS 922 / November 1919) - lyric sheet included with roll
I looked for this roll after hearing the version on an Automatic "A" roll, and was rewarded with great lyrics besides the outstanding treatment Wendling gives us. The roll includes three great solo verses with blue notes and breaks that will blow you away. The lyrics are about a girl trying to dance with new shoes and sore feet who'd rather sit and have a "beer -- I mean a lemonade". It's quintessential Wendling -- and man, those solo verses...
137354 Squealin' Pig Blues played by Pete Wendling $13
(originally issued on QRS 916 / November 1919) &SHY; lyric sheet included with roll
137355 Hula Blues played by Pete Wendling
(originally issued on QRS 1232 / November 1920) &SHY; lyric sheet included with roll
What's a roll list without a few Pete Wendling rolls?!! Squealin' Pig Blues is so hot you won't believe it. It's another tune about the "jass" bands in New Orleans (like New Orleans Hop Scop Blues, above) and features two terrific 16-bar solo verses in the middle. Pete has a way of setting up a rollicking "shimmie" beat, splashing a few hot breaks here and there, and strutting like nobody's business. You're gonna love it!
Hula Blues is one of those smoother, swaying, more relaxed Wendling blues (you never would have guessed from the title, eh?). It also features two fine 16-bar solo verses in the middle, and hot breaks in just the right spots. You will also enjoy the different piano arrangements in each chorus. Great stuff...
137326 It Takes A Long Tall Brown-Skin Gal To Make A Preacher Lay His Bible Down played by Pete Wendling (orig. issued on QRS 233 / July 1917) - lyric sheet included with roll $13 This roll is currently out of stock
137327 Once In A Blue Moon played by Pete
Wendling $13 This roll is currently
out of stock
(originally issued on QRS 1716 / November 1921) - lyric sheet included with roll
137328 Tishomingo Blues played by Pete Wendling
$12 This roll is currently out of
(originally issued on QRS 431 / March 1918) &SHY; copy of original sheet music included with roll
Brown-Skin Gal is an absolute delight. It starts with 2 slow, easy verses & choruses, then rips into 2 red-hot, double-time solo choruses that will make your head spin. You can imagine what the lyrics are about, and you get what you'd expect in this 1917 tune! Funny stuff, but still not as hot as that piano
Once In A Blue Moon is a scarce Wendling title, which has not been recut before. It's chock full of unusual piano tricks - double-time stuff, rips, 3-over-4's, and so on - all around a straight-ahead pop tune, with a regular driving beat behind all Pete's antics. It almost sounds like he'll lose the beat, but no!
I sought a roll to recut of Tishomingo Blues after I realized it was the opening tune for Garrison Keillor's radio show A Prairie Home Companion, to which I am addicted! Pete's version is much better than Edythe Baker's in my opinion: he has more down-home blues feel, and there's a nice solo verse after the singing is over. Nice syncopation, too, and this hasn't been recut in ages.