Credited on some
POP/Filmusic popular selections, usually with Vern Elliott. Most
probably an Elliott pseudonym, as he surfaces again in the '60s as a
credited artist for Aeolian.
Likely a Howard
Lutter psuedonym. Appears as a solo and duet artist for Artempo, and
some Welte rolls credited to 'Howard Lutter & John Spencer'.
William Otto Axtmann was born August 21, 1891 in NYC and
was one of Connorized's staff arrangers. His WWI draft card lists
his profession as 'Musician - pianist for P. J. Harvey, 181 St &
Boston Road'. Physical description is 'tall, medium build' with grey
hair and brown eyes. This tallies with the description from . The
1930 census shows him having married Georgina in 1924 and working as
a pianist for a music publishing company.
Following anti-German sentiment during WWI, his rolls Anglicized his
name to "William Arlington".
One interesting point is that the only match for William O. Axtmann
in the 1900 and 1910 census shows him as born in March 1886, the son
of a barber. In 1910 this Axtmann is working as a bank bookkeeper.
Axtmann's style frequently uses rapid octave runs in the bass. The
rolls credited as 'played by Scott Joplin' on the Connorized label
exhibit these same traits, suggesting the rolls were edited by
Atlas, Standard (Perfection, SingA, etc)
John Albert Schmidlin was born
November 29, 1891 in Philadelphia, PA. His father Albert was a
cooper who arrived in the USA from Germany in 188, and in 1900 is
listed as 'widowed'.
On June 23, 1916 he married Mabel Hemple at the German Church in
His 1917 WWI draft card lists his
profession as 'musical arranger, Standard Music Roll Co.' and to be
married with wife and one child. Tall and slender with dark hair and
The 1920 census lists his parents as
both being born in France, and he is living with his wife and son, 2
year old John R. Schmidlin. His profession is 'musical arranger'.
The 1930 census shows another son, Robert A. Schmidlin, was born in
1921, and the family of four are living at 18 Bradley Terrace, West
Orange, NJ. His profession is now listed as 'manufacturer - piano
He was apparently the last owner and/or president of the Standard
Music Roll Co. [FH]
In 1942, his WW2 draft card shows the
50-year-old Schmidlin living at 39 Condit Terrace, West Orange, NJ
and working for the Sperry Product Inc. in Hoboken, NJ. He lists
himself as standing at 5'11" and weighing 167lb.
He died February 1982 in St Mary Hospital, Essex NJ, and his wife
Mabel died in December 1989.
QRS (early Autograph Hand Played)
Mabel Cripe, born February 1879 in Illinois,
recorded a few superb duets with Sollie Heilbronner in the early QRS
Autograph series, including #100074, 'Junk Man Rag', and #100076,
'Nights Of Gladness'.
The 1900 census lists her as 'pianist - musical house'. By 1920 she
had married and become Mabel Avery, and appears to have retired from
her musical career.
Head Of Department at Columbia/Capitol, and
arranged their piano rolls, automatic/coin piano rolls, and organ
Born September 27, 1887 in Illinois, his WW1 draft card states he is
'Foreman - Melville Clark Piano Co.' - Short height, medium build,
black hair and eyes.
AMICA article by Dave Junchen from 1983 states:
The Columbia Music Roll Company was founded in
1920, simultaneously with the beginning of the Clark
Orchestra Roll Company. Ernest G. Clark had purchased the coin
operated division of the QRS Company,
and Roy Rodocker, who had been head of the QRS coin operated
division, was hired by the Operators Piano
Company to form a roll making division in their building at 22 South
Peoria Street in Chicago.
When Columbia first began operations in 1920, their output was
entirely rolls for the Coinola pianos manufactured
by Operators, and many, if not all, of the arrangements were copied
from QRS 88-note rolls. Within a year, however, Columbia decided to
enter the 88-note market, which meant that they had to develop their
own arrangements. I suspect that the first Columbia arrangements in
1921 were the work of Mr. Rodocker's drafting board. By 1922 live
artists were recording their playing at the Columbia factory, and
most popular 88note rolls issued from then on list a performing
artist on the label. Roy Rodocker particularly admired the playing
of Negro musicians, and artists such as James Blythe, Clarence
Johnson, Alex Hill, Lloyd Smith, and James P. Johnson are often seen
on Capitol rolls. Mr. Rodocker also persuaded some of the Chicago
theatre organists to record for Capitol, including Eddie Hanson,
Irma Glen, Pearl White, and Al Carney. He didn't neglect good white
pianists, either - so fine musicians like John Honnert and Charlie
Garland also joined the Capitol roster.
Quality was a hallmark of Capitol roll production from the 1920
beginning until the bitter end in 1934. The musical arrangements,
under Roy Rodocker's editorship, were consistently superb - being
easily the equal and frequently the finest of all the roll
In the 1920 census he's listed as 'Manager -
music roll mf'g.' In the 1930 census, "Arranger - music rolls".
The WW2 draft card lists him as self-employed. He
appears to have been modest about his height in the WW1 draft, since
he lists himself as 5'10", 168lb, brown eyes, grey hair, and a ruddy
He died October 31, 1945 in Illinois, and is at
that time listed as being in the coal business.
Interviewed in later life and provided invaluable
information about the operations of the Columbia/Capitol company.
Arranged piano rolls and automatic/coin piano rolls. Said about the
Columbia company's operations..
"Their performances were first done on a
recording piano. The arrangements then were edited extensively
before they were issued on music rolls. The resulting rolls
usually were about 50% performer and 50% editor so far as
musical stylistic traits were concerned, but this editing was in
excellent musical taste."
Born November 23, 1888 in Illinois.
1910 census - 'Drug store clerk'
WW1 draft - 'Machinist - Geo. Whitcomb'. 'Lost left leg'(!)
1920 census - 'Music Arranger - music roll mf'g'.
1930 census - "Musician - salesman".
The WW2 draft lists him as self-employed as a
band director for 'Grade Schools of Park Ridge & Elmhurst'. Height
5'6", weight 175lb, blue eyes, brown hair, ruddy complexion.
He died in April 1978 in Austin, Texas.
According to Percy Keast, Gullman arranged piano
rolls and automatic/coin piano rolls, and died in 1925. Probably
Ralph Goolman, formerly with Kibbey?
Feb 14th 1872 - Jan 19th 1947
Died of cerebral hemmorgage. Parents names John
A. and Clara Stallo Tyler.
Divorced from Harry Plogstedt. Buried in lot belonging to Amy
Sherlock (1873-1960) as per her orders.
HARRY F. WILLSEY
December 28th 1897 - September 1947.
Died of tuberculosis at Dunham Hospital. Not married
ANDERLIK, Joseph Edward
Born April 2 1892 or April 3, 1893, Chicago IL
Died May 1967, Arlington Heights, IL
May 9, 1914 MTR:
Will Record Artists Here.
Joseph Anderlik, who recently took charge of
the roll cutting department of the Rudolph Wurlitzer
Co., at North Tonowanda, N. Y., returned
a few days ago to the Chicago offices. Mr. Anderlik
is very much pleased with his new work
and announces the practical completion of a new catalog of 200 rolls
which will be known as the
Wurlitzer "Rolla Artis" list. While here, Mr.
Anderlik received rolls from the factory which
were played by himself just before leaving, and
which are admirable. They are the "Misere" from
"II Trovatore," and "The Rosary" by Nevin. Mr.
Anderlik announces it as probable that the recording
of these rolls will be done, before long, in
Chicago. This will be an advantage because of
the city's central location, and because of the fact
that numerous first-class artists are here the year
April 28, 1917 MTR: Joe Anderlik, who has been
manager of the
local Wurlitzer player roll department and recording
manager of "Rolla Artis" rolls, has resigned.
He has not yet announced his future
13 July 1918: QRS buys Rolla Artis
WW2 - working for Petroleum Heat & Power Co.,
KAPLAN, Dave (Artempo)
Born: c1889, PA
Parents Rusisan Jews
Profession: Musician (1920FC)
Married Jane (b1889) who was born in Ohio
Died Feb 1973, Atlantic City NJ
I suspect it is not a coincidence that the only
Bernard Schaik listed in the 1930 Census lives 3 doors down from
Capitol head arranger Roy Rodocker!
Rodocker had a daughter the same age, and I
speculate Schaik was either her boyfriend or a friend. Unknown as of
now is whether he had any hand in recording the rolls, or whether
Rodocker simply used his name on some of the Supertone releases from
1930-1933 after Capitol released most of their regular recording
artists as the Depression hit.
An obituary for a Mary J. Hannigan (1919-2004) mentions she was born
in Chicago, married Bernard J. Schaik in 1941, then moved to
Lafayette, 'where her husband taught flight at Purdue University
with the Army Air Corps during WWII. Her husband, Bernie Schaik,
preceded her in death on Jan. 9, 1997'. The corresponding death
entry for Bernard Schaik gives the dates 1914-1997, which fits well
with the 1930 Census. Aside from the middle initial, it seems likely
this is the same Bernard Schaik.
On 31 January 2010 I contacted a relative I tracked down via a
family website. Sure enough, Bernard was a great pianist and played
in a band!
Ralph Sparks recorded a few rolls for Vocalstyle, all duets with
Herbert Lange with the exception of one solo performance (Estudiana
The only match for this name in Cincinnati appears to have worked
all his life as a clerk in a box making factory, so seems an
Betty Lee recorded a few early rolls for Vocalstyle, some duets with
Walter Esberger and Herbert Lange and a few solo rolls (notably
'Beets and Turnips' rag).
Jimmie Jones recorded a few early rolls for Vocalstyle, all solo
performances, the most interesting sounding roll being #50022,
Jimmie's Medley Dream.
Willie Blackman recorded two rolls for Vocalstyle, Friml's 'Tis
The End, So Farewell from Katinka, and a duet with
Herbert Lange, There's Egypt In Your Dreamy Eyes, a jazz