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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.


 

Edgar Fairchild was a composer, songwriter conductor and pianist He was educated at Juilliard and a student of Percy Goetschius. He led his own trio, and conducted orchestras for several network radio programs in radio's "golden age". He was also the featured pianist in several Broadway musicals. Among his other popular song compositions are "Gotta Go to Work Again", "I Made Arrangements With the Moon", "Lady Precious Stream", "These 'n' That 'n' Those", and "Are You Listenin' Joe?".

 

From THE AMICA, June 1969
 WELCOME, EDGAR FAIRCHILD (AND THAT WHOLE CROWD)

The list of Honorary Members has suddenly gotten very heavy with the impressive additional of Sascha Baronoff, Corrine de Bert, Herbert Cooke, Enrico Lavarro,  Henri LeFevre, Harry Shipman and Milton Suskindo Perhaps it would be simpler to list them all as Edgar Fairchild, which has been their legal name these last 40 years, although they were born as Milton Suskind (a rough translation of 'Suskind' yields 'Fairchild'). Actually, Mr. Fairchild shared the name 'de Bert' with J. Milton Delcamp and Adam Carroll (and possibly others), and the name 'Shipman' with Carroll, but the others were solely his own. They were used to lend 'authenticity' when recording Russian, Italian, French, etc compositions, and to prevent the monthly bulletins from being overloaded with anyone pianist. The names Fairchild, Cooke and Shipman were used for popular music, while Miss de Bert restricted her fictitious self to salon music of a certain type. As the Werolins' guests of October 14, 1966 and the readers of the January 1967 AMICA Bulletin (expertly written by Bill Knorp) will recall, Mr. Fairchild Is remarkably  adept at performing both classical and popular music, and was Editor-in-chief of Ampico's Recording Department from 1917 to 1925.

I called to offer him the Honorary Membership, which seemed to please him very much. At first he thought he wasn't qualified, as he doesn't own a reproducer, nor any of the many fine rolls he recorded and edited for Ampico o He and his wife both regret the absence of an Ampico in their home, but when they've ventured out to price them, have found them "a nickel short of a million dollars".

Mr. Fairchild agrees that the phenomenon of the reproducing piano must be documented While memory will still  Information, and he was most gracious and cooperative about giving me a wealth of valuable material for the proposed recording, coding andrecoding article. This project has been slow getting off the ground, but with the help of some Associate Members and such obliging Honoraries as Mr. Fairchild, it will eventually emerge as a real contribution to the lore.

 


 

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


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