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Encyclopedia of Disc Music Boxes 1881 - 1920
       A History,
          Catalog Raisonné,
                and Appreciation.
                          By Q. David Bowers
                                     An AMICA-International Publication

Q. David Bowers has collected, studied, and enjoyed automatic musical instruments, beginning in 1960. In the intervening years he has written several books on the subject, including A Guide Book of Automatic Musical Instruments (1966), Put Another Nickel In (1968), Encyclopedia of Automatic Musical Instruments (1971), and Treasures of Mechanical Music (co-authored with Arthur A. Reblitz, 1981). He has contributed many articles to the journals of the Musical Box Society International and AMICA (Automatic Musical Instrument Collectors Association), and is one of just four recipients of the Musical Box Society International’s Lifetime Service Award. The author, whose main business over the years has been as a dealer in rare coins, has traveled extensively through America and Europe seeking information relating to automatic musical instruments.


 

Pete Wendling

He started his working life as a carpenter, but gained fame during the mid 1930s as a popular music composer - producing such hits as Yaka Hula, Hickey Doola, Take Me To The Land Of Jazz, Take Your Girlie To The Movies, Felix The Cat, and Oh What A Pal Is Mary.

However, Wendling was also one of the top pianists of his era, and set a long-standing record when he appeared at the London Hippodrome for 8 consecutive weeks. He joined the Rhythmodik Music Roll Company in 1914 and started to record his performances on paper rolls for player-pianos. In 1918, joined the largest piano roll company, QRS, and rapidly became one of their most popular artists - his distinctive yet always fresh performances constantly topping their best-selling lists and are still in production as of 2003 - over 80 years since they were produced.

In 1925 QRS, who were tightening their belt due to declining sales, released Wendling, and he concentrated on his composing career until his retirement in the 1950s.

 

 

©2016 AMICA International
Automatic Musical Instrument Collectors' Association,
a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization.


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